View Full Version : K Selection: Extinction of Liberals & The Roe Effect

James Brody
May 6th, 2007, 08:27 PM
The Wall Street Journal lists today as "Best of the Web" an essay from March 2004:


Friday, March 5, 2004 3:02 p.m. EST

"Quantifying the Roe Effect

"Regular readers of this column know that for some time we have been pushing a pet theory about the political effect of abortion. We refer not to the issue of abortion but to the practice, and our theory is that abortion is making America more conservative than it otherwise would be.

"We base this on two assumptions. First, that liberal and Democratic women are more likely to have abortions. Second, that children's political views tend to reflect those of their parents--not exactly, of course, and not in every case, but on average. Thus abortion depletes the next generation of liberals and eventually makes the population more conservative. We call this the Roe effect, after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

"Some critics have objected that this is pure conjecture, but a new study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research group named for a onetime Planned Parenthood head, contains data that bolster the first assumption. We briefly noted the study yesterday, and now we've taken a look at the Guttmacher data for all 50 states. They show that there is indeed a statistical correlation between how a state voted in 2000 and its teen abortion statistics for each year...

"This doesn't prove the Roe effect, which ultimately is conjectural in nature, resting as it does on a supposition about how the world would be different if the Supreme Court had not decriminalized abortion in 1973. But there now is evidence for the proposition that liberals and Democrats have more abortions."

Full article with graphs at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110004780