Teen Pregnancy Rate at Lowest Level Since 1946

Teen Birth Rates Continue to Decline,” InfoPlease, http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0193727.html.

CDC pleased with efforts to reduce teen pregnancies,” by Robert Longley, About.com, 19 November 2004, http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/healthcare/a/teenbirthsdrop.htm.

Ummm…,” by Seth, Clean Cut Kid, 8 April 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/04/07/seeing-gaping-wounds-conservatives-offer-band-aids/#comment-822.

I’m posting this as a story because CCK’s comments page is acting up. Maybe this will work?

Seth implies the American teen birth rate is exploding

Also, the American Prospect notes that there were 700,000 to 800,000 abortions per year during the 1950s and 1960s [Seth gives no reference — tdaxp]. And that was before explosions in the number of teen prgnancies, during a period when sex out of wedlock was pretty taboo, etc.

Good thing that isn’t true

The U.S. birth rate among young adolescents aged 10-14 has fallen to the lowest level since 1946 according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Better news? For older teens, itt’s the lowest. Ever.

Per one thousand 15-19 year old females, there were 42.9 live births. This bests record low years 1980 (53.0) and 1940 (54.1)

3 thoughts on “Teen Pregnancy Rate at Lowest Level Since 1946”

  1. I gave no reference to the 700,000-800,000 figure because you had a link to the article on your own website. I apologize for thinking that you would actually read the stuff you put up.

    You bring up all this stuff to get away from the point of my post: if we were really serious about ending abortions, not just punishing doctors and women, we would be looking to solve the problems that place women in a situation where an abortion becomes an attractive option.

    Again, if you're perfectly happy with a million (illegal) abortions a year or more, then the Republican course of action is the best way to go. If you're actually interested in stopping abortions, then you'd be looking for other solutions. This, of course, would eliminate the main issue that gets Republicans elected. The irony is that the party that rails against abortion isn't really interested in pursuing policies that would actually stop abortions from happening.

  2. I described the dubiousness of the 800,000 figure on your site, cleancutkid.com.

    Some abortion counts as infanticide — just as the killing of infants outside of the womb is infanticide. The penalties should be the same for both cases. Human society rarely accepts infants as full persons, and I accept that. But infanticide is surely as serious a crime as first degree manslaughter. So we could charge and punish both the murderess and her accomplice along those lines.

    I also agree that, just as we are hard on murderers and the causes of murder, we must be hard on both infanticides and the causes of infanticide. Making “morning after pills” readily available is part of that. The conflation of infanticide with wider issues of morality bedevils both parties.

    Again, we should be serious about ending abortion. Part of that is changing social conditions. Another part is punishing offenders. It would be negligent to do one without the other.

    It is ironic that liberals created Roe v. Wade, and the liberal Democrat party is the one being harmed by it. Whether or not the Democrat Party will be wise enough to abandon a wicked princile for electoral success remains to be seen.

  3. All you did was call that number arbitrary and make up some junk about why you thought so. In fact, you ended by saying “That's a guess.”

    And until I held your hand and took you to the part in the article where it said that, you were willing to accept that article as being statistically accurate.

    So about a million per year is the best number we have.

    Just a question: would you be in favor of allowing mothers on welfare to begin collecting benefits at conception?

  4. Seth,

    I apologize for not being clearer earlier. I shall try again.

    The American Prospect is a liberal magazine. As such, it has an interest in a very high pre-Roe abortion rate and very low determent rates for abortion law. Therefore, the different numbers they gave implying relatively high abortion rates are more trustworthy than the very high numbers they gave for the pre-Roe abortion rate.

    I did not make that clear earlier. I apolgize and I thank you for pointing out my error.

    So I repeat, the “About a million to per year” number is made ouf whole cloth. If you wish to dispute the American Prospect article in its entirely, very well — then find another source for your high number. If you find “Argument against interest” too arcane an argument, very well — then find another source for your high number.

    To answer your question: you mistake my beliefs. I do not believe personhood starts at conception. Nor is abortion shortly after conception infanticide. So of course I would oppose such an expansion of state welfare.

    Thank you again for the fair criticisms and the fair question. I enjoy talking to you.

  5. You have made no valid criticism about how they arrive at their pre-Roe number.

    Here is what you said: “They took the reported number of abortion fatalities, assumed (no evidence, just assumption) that abortions then were 50 times more likely to cause death than now (a completely arbitray figure), and got 800,000. That’s a guess.” You actually have no clue how they came about any figure, and then you pull the number 50 out of your ass and talk about multiplication.

  6. That article also has a reference to a JAMA estimate of 1,000,000 per year. I know you'll probably say that the doctors have a financial stake in making sure they are being paid to perform abortions, but JAMA isn't exaclty known for having a leftist bent.

    I apologize. You actually have no clue how they came about any figure, and then you pulled the number 50 out of your butt and talked about multiplication.

  7. I'm unsure of your last paragraph. The article I linked to esimated pre-Roe abortions to be 50 times as dangerous as ones now. Didn't you see that?

    I'll address your first paragraph once that is clarified. If we are disagreeing about what the new source says we should get that cleared away.

  8. The point is that your questioning of the number 800,000 is pretty weak, especially considering you haven't been able to find a study showing lower, and now you have evidence up on your site that points to a number significantly higher than 800,000.

    I don't expect you to address things. All you do is dodge.

  9. It is the obligation of a person making a claim to support it. The burden of proof is always on the man who makes a positive claim. That's not “dodging.” That's logic.

    Regardless, as few wish to return to a completely pre-Roe state (no contraception, weak prosecutiosn, etc), I'm not sure what the utility is. But I'm sure you have your reasons.

    I previously addrressed, on grounds of both Interest and logic, the Prospect's claim (which you cited). You never addressed either of those criticisms, besides (strangely) accusing me of makign the 50x figure up.

  10. Your criticisms were unintelligible. I couldn't understand what this meant:
    “They took the reported number of abortion fatalities, assumed (no evidence, just assumption) that abortions then were 50 times more likely to cause death than now (a completely arbitray figure), and got 800,000. That’s a guess.”
    You are saying I never addressed it? That's because it doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

    I understand you think that the Prospect has an interest in a high number. But if they were merely self-interested, they wouldn't have published numbers you claim hurt them. So, obviously simply saying that one part of the article is in their interest doesn't work because they've shown a willingness to publish both good and bad numbers. Also, from the other sources you've shown, maybe the 700,000-800,000 is too low. The bottom line is you can't just say The Prospect is a liar liar pants on fire and expect the burded to then be on me. To seriously question that number you'd need to question their methods or the particulars of a study, rather than just talk about interest.

  11. Seth,

    I gave you a link (http://eileen.250x.com/Main/GerriS/numbers_sykes.htm) which deals with the process of arriving at 800,000 mathematically. However, I mispoke. They assumed that such abortions were about 80 times more dangerous than today.

    The page requires the ability to understand algebra. Not everyone does. I know many of my students have trouble with algebra, so if it would be helpful for you I can translate the formula

    NA = ND / MR * 80

    and explain the transformations used to get that in English.

    I “qustion their methods” because they assume, the average mortality rate of abortions in 1960 was 80 times the average mortality rate of abortions today. They arbitrarily choose this number because the reported mortality rate for legal abortions in 1960 was 80 times higher than today's mortality rate for legal abortions. It is bizarre to claim that today's legal and 1960's illegal abortions were equally safe!

    Again, the formlae are discussed at

    http://eileen.250x.com/Main/GerriS/numbers_sykes.htm

    Second, saying

    “But if they were merely self-interested, they wouldn't have published numbers you claim hurt them”

    is naive.

    Imagine a driver with a dent in his car a mile down the road from a hit-and-run victim say

    “Yes, officer. I was raced through the stopsign but I never ran anyone over!”

    Under your logic, we would have to believe him, because he confessed to a crime (driving recklessly) and “if they were merely self-interested” he wouldn't have confessed to something that hurts him.

    Of course someone can be merely self-interest and confess to something that hurts them. Especially if it adds to their believability elsewhere. It obviously worked on you!

    Third, criticizing me for saying “The Prospect is a liar liar pants on fire” is juvenile and deceptive. It's juvenile for obvious reasons. It's deceptive because I never accused them of lying. More likely is that they chose the highest reasonable number of 1960s abortion and steepest resaonable decline in abortions because of modern laws. That's not lying. (It may be academic dishonesty, but that's far, far broader than lying.)

    Fourth, “Argument Against Interest” is typically encountered by serious students of law or critical document analysis. If you do not understand or accept it, fine. It's just a short-cut. You end your post by saying “To seriously question that number you'd need to question their methods or the particulars of a study, rather than just talk about interest.” I take it you mean you don't care about the argument against interest. Fine. Then don't bring it up again.

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