...An August 2008 study released by the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good had Obama supporters (and some editorial boards) swooning. Analyzing state level abortion data from 1982 to 2000, it purportedly found evidence that increased spending on various welfare programs resulted in substantial reductions in state abortion rates. The spin given to the results was that many pro-life laws, such as those requiring parental notification for abortions performed on minor girls, had little effect. So the paradoxical message to pro-life voters was that they could best advance their interests by electing pro-choice Democrats instead of pro-life Republicans.
Not surprisingly, this study had a substantial impact on the debate over sanctity of life issues during the 2008 Presidential election. Self proclaimed pro-lifers who support Democratic Presidential nominees can be found in every election cycle. However, this study gave Doug Kmiec, Nicholas Cafardi, and others intellectual legitimacy in arguing that pro-life voters should vote for liberals, even if they favor abortion-on-demand and its public funding, in order to advance the pro-life cause. At last, there was a methodologically sophisticated study which allegedly demonstrated that the welfare policies favored by Democrats were more effective in preventing abortion than the pro-life laws supported by Republicans. It seemed too good to be true.
It was. In November, with no public announcement, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good removed this study from their website. A replacement version was uploaded shortly thereafter...
...The new version provides evidence that welfare policy has no more than a marginal effect on the incidence of abortion. In fact, the new regression results indicate that none of the three welfare policies which the authors previously argued were effective tools for reducing the incidence of abortion have a substantial abortion reducing effect. Wright clearly states that “WIC payments are not correlated with the abortion rate in the 1990s.” Additionally, the regression results consistently indicate that the presence of family caps has only a marginal effect on state abortion rates. Furthermore, while Wright argues that increased AFDC/TANF spending reduces state abortion rates, his regression results raise serious doubts about the reliability of this finding...
...Unfortunately, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good continues to miss the boat and mislead the public. There exist plenty of peer reviewed studies which find that public funding restrictions and parental involvement laws reduce the incidence of abortion. However, instead of acknowledging the positive impact of pro-life legislation and constructively working with pro-lifers to promote social policies that will further reduce abortion rates, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good seems primarily interested in providing moral, political, and theological cover for supporters of Barack Obama and other Democrats who support “abortion rights.” Unfortunately, their latest study indicates that their original findings have been unable to withstand serious scrutiny.
Sadly, just weeks into his administration, President Obama has already demonstrated considerable disregard for the sanctity of human life. One of Barack Obama’s first acts as President was to revoke the Mexico City Policy. Now non-governmental organizations receiving funds from the U.S. Government can perform and promote abortions overseas. It is unfortunate that the faulty research of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was used as political cover to help make such a thing possible...
Oh My! Doug Kmiec has some s'plainin to do!