On Thursday afternoon last week, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) hosted a breakout session entitled “Scammed Parenthood: Celebrating Slaughter in the Age of Empathy.” This panel was timely considering that earlier in the week, the U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation that would have protected infants who survive abortion procedures. Panelists included Alison Centofante, the Director of Strategic Communications for Live Action, Mary Vought of Vought Strategies, and Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) who has represented the 10th District of Georgia in Congress since 2015. The panel was moderated by Matt Smith from the group Catholic Advocate.
Michael New is a visiting assistant professor at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New
March 6, 2019, 2:09 PM EST
February 26, 2019, 2:24 PM EST
This past weekend, Marist released the results of a poll which found a substantial increase in pro-life sentiment. This poll was conducted in mid-February and found that 47 percent of respondents identified as “pro-life” and 47 percent of respondents identified as “pro-choice.” This is the first Marist poll since 2009 which found that as many or more Americans have identified as “pro-life” as “pro-choice.” More importantly, these results were in stark contrast to a January Marist poll, which showed “pro-choice” outpolling “pro-life” by an seventeen-point margin (55 percent to 38 percent). Interestingly, much of the gain in pro-life sentiment during the past month took place among self-identified Democrats and respondents under the age of 45.
February 7, 2019, 3:15 PM EST
Last month, the Knights of Columbus released the results of a survey on abortion attitudes they commissioned through the Marist Poll. The Knights have sponsored a survey on abortion attitudes each of the past 11 years, and the news is always good for pro-lifers. This year’s poll found that three fourths of Americans felt abortions should be illegal after the first trimester. Also, majorities opposed taxpayer funding of abortion and supported the conscience rights of medical professionals who oppose abortion. In the days leading up to the March for Life, these results received coverage from a number of media outlets including: U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Examiner, and Fox News.
January 21, 2019, 12:03 PM EST
Earlier this month, the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) was introduced in the New York state legislature. This piece of legislation would make New York’s abortion laws among the most permissive in the country. It would legalize abortion in New York throughout all nine months of pregnancy. It would also repeal the current state laws that only allow licensed physicians to perform abortions. Furthermore, the bill also removes protections for accidental live births and disallows criminal changes for illegal abortions. This piece of legislation has the enthusiastic support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the plan is to have the state legislature vote on the bill on January 22nd – the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
January 17, 2019, 9:34 AM EST
Last month, The New York Times published an article about Delaware’s efforts to make contraception more available to its residents. Starting in 2014, Delaware partnered with the company Upstream to offer a range of free contraceptive services to women who visit health care providers. According to the article, long-acting reversible contraceptives, like IUDs and implants, have been popular among both patients and doctors. Indeed, data presented in the article indicates that the percentage of Delaware family planning patients who are using a long-acting reversible contraceptive has increased since 2014. The Times article is supportive of the program and even states that conservative critics should appreciate the fact that Delaware’s abortion rate dropped a year after Upstream arrived, and that the health department expects it to fall again.
December 14, 2018, 9:47 AM EST
On Tuesday, The Washington Post ran an opinion piece by Charlie Camosy, an associate professor of theology at Fordham University. In the op-ed, Camosy, who identifies as a “left-leaning pro-lifer,” criticizes the March for Life for having writer and commentator Ben Shapiro as their keynote speaker at this January’s March. Camosy states that speakers like Shapiro and President Trump alienate moderate and liberal pro-lifers and make it difficult to build the broad-based coalition necessary to reverse Roe v. Wade and change abortion policy in this country.
October 22, 2018, 4:08 PM EDT
This fall, the website FiveThirtyEight.com ran a series of articles on the politics and policy of sex education in high schools. One article focused on sex education curricula at the elementary and middle school levels. Another explored why sex education is such a polarizing issue politically. However, the most interesting article they ran dealt with the efficacy of various sex education programs. This article was entitled “What Does Science Tell Us About Sex Ed?” and was authored by Christie Aschwanden.
October 5, 2018, 3:47 PM EDT
Last week, the Guttmacher Institute released a study on recent trends in sexual activity among U.S. high school students. The report analyzes new data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). It found that between 2013 and 2017, the percentage of high school students who ever had sexual intercourse fell from 47 percent to 40 percent – an all-time low in the 26-year history of the YRBS. The report finds that there were declines in sexual activity among both genders, all grade levels, and all ethnic and racial groups. Overall, the decline in teen sexual activity that started in the early 1990s continues well into this decade. Good news.
September 7, 2018, 2:22 PM EDT
Last month, Chelsea Clinton generated a firestorm of controversy with comments at a “Rise up for Roe” rally in Manhattan about the economic impact of the Roe v. Wade decision. Clinton stated that “American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy.” Her remarks were widely criticized by a number of conservative media outlets including The Federalist, National Review, Breitbart, Townhall.com, and CNSNews.com. Some commentators disagreed with her economic logic. Others rightly felt that no amount of economic prosperity justified removing legal protections for the unborn.
August 17, 2018, 2:00 PM EDT
Speaking at the “Rise up for Roe” rally this past Saturday in Manhattan, Chelsea Clinton along with CNN political commentator Symone Sanders and columnist Lauren Duca urged attendees to oppose the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Clinton, like many other supporters of legal abortion, thinks Kavanaugh might be the fifth vote to reverse the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. However, Chelsea Clinton’s defense of Roe v. Wade was unconventional. During her remarks, she stated that the women entering the economy between 1973 and 2009 added $3.5 trillion in wealth to the U.S. economy.
August 3, 2018, 10:13 AM EDT
The Washington Post recently published a fact check column about public attitudes toward abortion. Since the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, a number of public opinion firms have released polls on sanctity of life issues. Supporters of legal abortion have frequently used these surveys to argue that Roe v. Wade enjoys substantial public support and should be considered settled. In particular, NARAL, through their press releases and social media outlets, frequently argues that seven in 10 Americans support the Roe v. Wade decision.
May 24, 2018, 3:09 PM EDT
Last Friday, the Trump administration announced its new Protect Life Rule. These new HHS regulations will insure that Title X Family Planning Funds will no longer go to organizations that perform or promote abortions. As the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood is poised to lose the $50 to $60 million it receives annually in Title X funds – its second largest source of taxpayer funding.
February 23, 2018, 11:50 AM EST
This month Politico Magazine ran a story by University of Virginia Professor W. Bradford Wilcox and Demographic Intelligence President Samuel Sturgeon about recent declines in sexual activity among young adults. The article cites a 2017 study that was published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior. This article uses data from General Social Survey (GSS) to present solid statistical evidence that since 2010, there has been a decline in sexual activity among a range of age demographics. However, some of the largest declines have taken place among young adults.
Media Mislead on Guttmacher Report: Little Evidence Contraception Use Responsible for Abortion Decline
November 16, 2017, 1:50 PM EST
Last month two researchers affiliated with the Guttmacher Institute published a report in the American Journal of Public Health. The study analyzes abortion trends between 2008 and 2014. It finds that the U.S. abortion rate declined by 25 percent during that 6-year timespan. There were declines in the incidence of abortion among a wide range of demographic groups. However, the largest percentage declines took place among adolescents and non-white women.
October 19, 2017, 10:08 AM EDT
As abortion facilities have closed down in many parts of the country, travel distances to abortion clinics have become an increasingly salient public policy issue.
August 31, 2017, 4:20 PM EDT
After Texas defunded Planned Parenthood in 2011, The Heidi Group, led by long time pro-life activist Carol Everett, planned to establish a network of pro-life medical clinics in the Lone Star State. However, last week, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced substantial funding cuts to the Heidi Group – citing a failure to serve as many patients as anticipated. Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media, eager to report on bad public health news from Texas, pounced on the announcement. This story was first covered by Politico and subsequently reported on by a number of other outlets including The Texas Tribune, Yahoo! News, Newsweek, and the Associated Press.
August 24, 2016, 11:14 AM EDT
New study shows no evidence that wait times have increased in the past 10 years and provides some evidence that waiting times might have actually decreased.