The Roe Effect

The basic logic of the Roe Effect is thus:

1. Those who favor legal abortion are much more likely to have the procedure than those who oppose it.
2. Children usually follow their parents’ political leanings.
3. Therefore, pro-choice parents will have more abortions.
4. Therefore, pro-choice parents will have fewer children.
5. Therefore, the pro-choice population gradually shrinks in proportion to the pro-life population.
6. Therefore, support for legal abortions will decline over time.

The logical failing is 3 -> 4, which simply does not follow. Yes, all else being equal, people who have more abortions will have fewer children, but all else is not equal in the real world. If the high-abortion group has higher fertility for other reasons, it will out-breed the low-abortion group. Within both groups, those who behave identically to the group but have more or less abortions will also be increasing in size, but this increase may be less than the increase of the high-abortion over the low-abortion group. There are currently two reproductive strategies proving to be successful:

(1) a strategy associated with socially conservative values, including a high commitment to the bearing of children within marriage; and
(2) a strategy associated with antisocial behavior, early sexual experimentation, a variety of sexual partners, low educational attainment, low commitment to marriage, haphazard pregnancies, and indifference to politics. 

The former is the low-abortion group, the later is the high-abortion group. Who’s winning? Hard to say.

More fundamentally, the Roe effect conflates a strong feeling against personally getting an abortion with a strong feeling that this should be law. Suppose people who don’t get abortions outbreed those who do. If it’s anything like America, these groups also have a lot of other disagreements and resentments unrelated to abortion. When the anti-abortion group reaches 51%, it will have to ask itself “hey, should we obviate our own reproductive advantage?” The future belongs to those who show up, and they might not want to drag the rest of us there with them.

5 thoughts on “The Roe Effect

  1. Will Williams

    +1 to this post

    Compare anti-abortion in Israel to anti-abortion in America. In Israel it has little to do with universalistic human rights crap. Instead, they use photos of the Holocaust, abortion is wrong because it leads to fewer Jews in the world. In America, it’s a univeralistic crusade by white christians in order to prevent non-white women and white women with tattoos from having abortions. Very cucky.

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    1. Daniel Simpson

      Christianity doesn’t mean caring only about Christians, it certainly doesn’t mean caring only about Christians of European descent. I know the notion of empathy is hard for you white nationalists to understand. You seem to be full of hatred and resentment even for other white people as the tattoo comment roves. Yes, I want to stop non-whites and white women with tattoos from getting abortions. The reason is simple: it is wrong.

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      1. Will Williams

        The problem with your “empathy” is that it’s entirely one-sided. The Blacks and Hispanics don’t have that kind of “empathy” for you. Not that they hate you(though many do) but they won’t be motivated to stop your wife from getting an abortion. They don’t consider it their problem. Nor should they.

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  2. Daniel Simpson

    When the anti-abortion group reaches 51%, it will have to ask itself “hey, should we obviate our own reproductive advantage?” The future belongs to those who show up, and they might not want to drag the rest of us there with them.

    I assume from this comment that you are not Christian, and probably think we’re all a bunch of crazies. To us this comment is a non-sequitur. If we’re going to give up our values, what’s the point? Your white nationalist commenter above is right about one thing: Christianity is a universal message and we can’t just say “this is morally wrong when we do it and fine when everyone else does.”

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  3. kerdasi amaq

    Ti suspect that there is a flaw in the notion, held by some “white nationalists”, that abortion helps reduce the number of minorities. Suppose a minority female has three abortions and one baby in the course of twelve months. Does that keep their numbers down? No, it doesn’t. It’s the equivalent of three miscarriages with one baby successfully brought to term.

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