Letters to the Editor

Anti-abortion assertions not backed by science

It should hardly astonish us that Republicans continue to do the same thing over and over again, and predictably, they still expect the same results. The latest instance would be yet another bill meant to defund Planned Parenthood, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.

Ernst has attempted to sell this bill as a “modest proposal,” but if enacted into law, women and children will come last, especially the poor. This finding is supported by the work of Jonathan Gruber, who discovered that before Roe vs. Wade was rendered in 1973, marginal children would be 70 percent more likely to live in a single household, 35 percent more likely to die within the first year of their life, and 50 percent more likely to be in a welfare recipient household. He also determined these children were 19.1 percent less likely to experience poverty in adulthood and had an incarceration rate that was 29.5 percent lower.

Now, even if we assume restriction of abortion has substantial value as a moral good, analyses that examine data on a global scale, like the 2016 study conducted by Sedgh et al., have demonstrated rate of abortion is not correlated with level of restriction. Rather, relative to countries that apply no constraints, it’s more prevalent, by a value of 3 per 100,000, in places where it’s prohibited altogether.

On all matters of public policy, we should not expect Ernst to understand the underlying science, but we should demand she at least defer to the experts.

Scott Roland

Cedar Rapids

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