No, Anti-Abortion Laws Aren’t Responsible for the Decline in Abortion


You’ve probably heard that the abortion rate in 2011 dropped to its lowest level since 1973. You may have also heard that pro-lifers are adopting the inane talking point that this is due to the big raft of anti-abortion bills passed in red states after Republicans won their landslide victory in the 2010 midterms. There are two problems with this theory.

First, the drop in 2011 came before any of these new laws were passed. Second, as you can see in the chart below, the abortion rate has been falling steadily ever since 1980.

Better contraceptives are part of the reason for the declining abortion rate. Lower teen pregnancy rates are part of the reason. Changing sexual mores might be part of the reason. But laws restricting abortion? That might succeed in making lots of poor women miserable, but it has nothing to do with declining abortion rates. Not yet, anyway. More details here from Dana Liebelson and Molly Redden.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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