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What statistics would you cite to create hysteria over genocide?

February 25, 2010

Ask and you shall receive, Jeremy. Here’s a quick look at the claim that black women are coerced into abortions by shadowy advocates of “black genocide.”

I want to stress that this is some back-of-the-envelope stuff. I can’t find datasets on abortion, just summary tables, so I can’t control on black-white poverty rates and other covariates. Keep in mind that doing so would significantly lessen all reported black-white disparities.

First, here are some stats from the report on Repeat Abortion in the United States:

The white share of [first abortions = 46%, second abortions = 31%, Third or higher abortions = 27%]

The black share of [first abortions = 32%, second abortions = 38%, Third or higher abortions = 46%]

The number of first-time abortions is about equal to the number of second-time or higher abortions, so the heavy skew toward multiple abortions by black women will exaggerate the black abortion rate, “number of abortions per thousand black women.” The black-white differential would therefore be much smaller if we were comparing the statistic “Percentage of black women who ever had an abortion” to “The percentage of white women who have ever had an abortion.”

Then consider this statistic:

Women who have had no prior births, share of [first abortions = 53%, second abortions = 20%,  3rd or higher = 16%]

Women with 3+ prior births, share of [first abortions = 8%, second abortions = 20%, 3rd or higher = 28%]

Like I said, I don’t have cross-tabular data, so the following inference is vulnerable to the ecological fallacy. But note that both black women and women who have had 3+ babies are at highest risk of repeat abortions.  So while black women are more likely to obtain multiple abortions, this may imply that they are also more likely to be mothers thrice over.

Now, if you’ve given birth to 3 children, you are already reproducing above the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple. I’d think that the mark of any well executed genocidal campaign would be that the population in question would be shrinking. But blacks have higher birth and fertility rates than whites and the black population is projected to grow over the next century, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the American population.

If the masterminds behind the black genocide are real, I think we can at least conclude that they are incompetent.

To end, I’ll just say that everything Shani Hilton said was right: Black women have more abortions because black women are more at risk of unwanted pregnancies. One reason black women are more likely to consider a pregnancy unwanted is because black women are more likely to already have multiple children. It follows that if your primary concern were actually what is best for certain afflicted communities, you’d choose more STOPP and fewer hysterical billboards.


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