## Abortions and Political PartiesL. David Roper (E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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(Go to data table at bottom.)

The abortion rate (number/1000) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1996 rates.)

An interesting question to ask is: Is there any correlation between the abortion rate and the strength of the two political parties in the states?

I compared different state's abortion rate (AR) data for 1996 with the results of the 1996 presidential election for each state. (See table at end for votes in the 1996 election.) A correlation calculation yielded the following:

 Correlation Rate Democrat vote +0.457 Republican vote -0.421

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 46% positive correlation with increasing AR and the Republican votes had a 42% negative correlation. States with high abortion rate vote much more Democratic than Republican and vice versa.

 This is a plot of the abortion rate (AR) sorted by rank of the states compared to the Democratic votes and the Republican votes. (See table at end for the data.) Also shown are linear fits to the two votes. This shows visually the negative correlation of AR with the Republican vote and the positive correlation of AR with the Democratic vote. The highest six states are definitely Democratic. Note the exceptionally high rates for New York (8.4) and California (8.5).

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for abortions rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Republican. I believe that the main factors are:

• Minimum government: Government is to stay out of the lives of people, except for the most personal aspects of their lives.
• Low taxes: Keep the taxes as low as possible, leaving little to pay for birth-control projects.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=2.1), ranked 9 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=3.7), ranked 33 of 50 for increasing abortion rate in 1996.

 U.S. abortions 1996 1996 election State Legal Abortions Population Abortions/1000 Democrat Republican Rank Wyoming 208 479602 0.4 36.8% 49.8% 1 Idaho 1022 1251700 0.8 33.6% 52.2% 2 South Dakota 901 733133 1.2 43.0% 46.5% 3 West Virginia 2470 1806928 1.4 51.5% 36.8% 4 Mississippi 4206 2768619 1.5 44.1% 49.2% 5 Utah 3639 2129836 1.7 33.3% 54.4% 6 Kentucky 7000 3960825 1.8 45.8% 44.9% 7 New Hampshire 2300 1201134 1.9 49.6% 39.6% 8 Oklahoma 6769 3358044 2.0 40.4% 48.3% 9 North Dakota 1291 633666 2.0 40.1% 46.9% 10 Maine 2615 1253040 2.1 51.6% 30.8% 11 Missouri 11629 5468338 2.1 47.5% 41.2% 12 Indiana 13341 5942901 2.2 41.6% 47.1% 13 Arizona 11016 4778332 2.3 46.5% 44.3% 14 Arkansas 5882 2551373 2.3 53.7% 36.8% 15 Maryland 12363 5171634 2.4 54.3% 38.3% 16 Colorado 9710 4056133 2.4 44.4% 45.8% 17 South Carolina 9326 3885736 2.4 44.0% 49.8% 18 Wisconsin 13673 5250446 2.6 48.8% 38.5% 19 Iowa 7602 2869413 2.6 50.3% 39.9% 20 Louisiana 11865 4372035 2.7 52.0% 39.9% 21 New Mexico 5033 1739844 2.9 49.2% 41.9% 22 Minnesota 14193 4775508 3.0 51.1% 35.0% 23 Michigan 30208 9863775 3.1 51.7% 38.5% 24 Nebraska 5214 1666028 3.1 35.0% 53.7% 25 Montana 2763 882779 3.1 41.3% 44.1% 26 Alabama 13826 4369862 3.2 43.2% 50.1% 27 Pennsylvania 38004 11994016 3.2 49.2% 40.0% 28 Ohio 36530 11256654 3.2 47.4% 41.0% 29 Tennessee 17989 5483535 3.3 48.0% 45.6% 30 Alaska 2139 619500 3.5 33.3% 50.8% 31 Vermont 2139 593740 3.6 53.4% 31.1% 32 Virginia 25770 6872912 3.7 45.1% 47.1% 33 Nevada 6965 1809253 3.8 43.9% 42.9% 34 New Jersey 31860 8143412 3.9 53.7% 35.9% 35 Kansas 10685 2654052 4.0 36.1% 54.3% 36 Hawaii 4916 1185497 4.1 56.9% 31.6% 37 Oregon 13767 3316154 4.2 47.2% 39.1% 38 Connecticut 14094 3282031 4.3 52.8% 34.7% 39 North Carolina 33554 7650789 4.4 44.0% 48.7% 40 Illinois 53613 12128370 4.4 54.3% 36.8% 41 Washington 26138 5756361 4.5 49.8% 37.3% 42 Texas 91470 20044141 4.6 43.8% 48.8% 43 Georgia 35790 7788240 4.6 45.8% 47.0% 44 Massachusetts 29293 6175169 4.7 61.5% 28.1% 45 Florida 80040 15111244 5.3 48.0% 42.3% 46 Rhode Island 5437 990819 5.5 59.7% 26.8% 47 Delaware 4482 753538 5.9 51.8% 36.6% 48 New York 152991 18196601 8.4 58.3% 30.0% 49 California 280180 33145121 8.5 51.1% 38.2% 50