Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care vs. Abortion Rates

I've been hearing a lot about counties that have socialized health care have low abortion rates. So, I decided to go look for myself here. UN data appears to support that claim (you have to sort the data by the “value” column, but be careful to note that several show up at the bottom that should be at the top because of a sort anomaly).

Since I can count, I can see that the United States is 47 th of the 61 countries listed, with 20.8 abortions per thousand women. All of the countries on the list that have socialized health care that I know of have lower abortion rates. The one thing I notice about all the countries with higher abortion rates is that most of them are or were communist countries or dictatorships and poor. We fall between Sweden (20.2 per thousand), probably the most sexually promiscuous in the world, and Bulgaria (21.3 per thousand), which was communist until 1990 and is still trying to become a freer democratic state but is poorer than dirt, although it did start universal health care in 1999. Bulgaria will likely pass us in a few years. I suppose we can side with either group, the more promiscuous or ex-communist, neither are my first choices.

Or, we could shoot for the being like those with the lowest rates; Brazil, Poland, Panama, Mexico and Portugal. My hunch is that these are at the bottom because of the high percentage of Catholic population – but that's a guess. But, we could all become Catholics. On the other hand, India, which is not Catholic, is next at 6 th. Other than its attempt at socialized health care at the state or territory levels, I would have no idea what cultural motivation it would have to have so few abortions. Perhaps it's because Hindu marriages in India are for life and divorce is severely frowned on and kids are valued in whole families. India is mostly Hindu, so should we become Hindus to keep abortion rates low? Do pigs fly?

The data appear to say, however, that socialized health care systems in democratic countries have fewer abortions by as much as five to ten percent lower than the United States. Could it be that free access to health care will actually reduce abortions? That's what it says to me.

You have to wonder why a person (Congressman) would deny health care to 31 million people (the Health Care Bill will do that), including young pregnant women, based on mistaken principals and concocted beliefs. It sort of makes a person want to send those deniers to the doctor with a broken nose. God forbid that we look at some facts.


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