By Jonathon Van Maren
Every four years, there are people who declare that they are pro-life but plan to vote for a political party dedicated to preserving the so-called right to kill children in the womb. It is always jarring to hear it, because it is difficult to understand how someone who believes that abortion kills a human being would also state that they are planning to vote for a party that sees abortion as a fundamental plank in their platform. This year, for example, the group “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden” is claiming to be … well, both “pro-life” and “for Biden.” Biden, of course, is “for abortion.”
To justify this, some pro-lifers voting for pro-abortion candidates will claim that the abortion rate goes down under Democrat presidents. This argument is thrown out so often it has become something of a trope, and this election year is no different. I’ve seen the argument making the rounds on social media, and I’ve seen it used by pro-life people who really badly want to believe that a vote for Joe Biden can be morally neutralized by this alleged fact. As you might imagine, it isn’t true. At least, not in the way that those using it intend.
To debunk this assertion, I turned to pro-life researcher Dr. Michael New, a visiting assistant professor of Political Science and Social Research at the Catholic University of America, as well as an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute and a fellow with the Witherspoon Institute at Princeton. He has a Ph.D in political science and a Master’s degree in statistics from Stanford, and has served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard-MIT data center and as a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts. He is one of America’s foremost experts on abortion rates. Here’s what he had to say.