The Pronk Pops Show 1203, February 7, 2019, Story 1: Radical Extreme Democrats (REDs): Killing Babies In and Out of The Womb OK — Wearing Blackface Not OK– Morally Bankrupt REDs — Videos — Story 2: The RED New Deal — Santa Claus Socialism — Vote For Me To Get Free Stuff — Government Coercion and Dependence — In Your Guts You Know Socialists Are Nuts — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1203 February 7, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1198 January 25, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1179 November 27, 2018

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Story 1: Radical Extreme Democrats (REDs): Killing Babies In and Out of The Womb OK — Wearing Blackface Not OK– Morally Bankrupt REDs — Videos

See the source image

The Most Important Question About Abortion

A Silent Scream (Short Clip)


The Silent Scream [high quality] (The ultrasound of abortion)

Maafa 21 – Black Genocide in 21st Century America – full documentary

Alveda King on the impact of abortion on minorities – ENN 2019-01-17

Alveda King Shares the History of Abortion in the African American Community (1of5)

Mike Wallace Interviews Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s Racist Founder

21 Quotes by Margaret Sanger

Eugenics, Hitler, Margaret Sanger’s Planned Murderhood, etc. by Edwin Black

Eugenics Glenn Beck w/ Edwin Black author of “War Against the Weak” talk Al Gore & Margaret Sanger

Babies In New York Have To Die So This Can Happen In 2020

Virginia Democrat defends bill allowing abortion as woman is giving birth

Virginia governor Ralph Northam: killing live-born babies should be legal

Trump slams Virginia governor over abortion comments

Virginia Governor Targeted By Classmate

“Abortion is clearly wrong.” Jordan Peterson “but it’s not that simple.”

I’m Pro-Life (2nd Edition) | Change My Mind

The Ethics of Abortion

Ben Shapiro DEBATES Dave Rubin On Abortion! (Best of Ben Shapiro)

Blackface Overkill, Hypocrisy, Diversion, Delusion: Media Dumpster Fires and Virtue Signaling Lunacy

Demented Dems Nuts Over 35 Year-Old Blackface Yearbook Idiocy But Indifferent As to Infanticide

INSANE: Dems Now Openly Embrace Infanticide

Ralph Northam’s 1984 Blackface Explanation Is a Racism Dumpster Fire | The Daily Show

Democrats Call on Ralph Northam to Resign After Racist Photo Surfaces: A Closer Look

Cotton and Chick Watts Blackface Minstrel Show Comedy

Even by minstrel show standards, Cotton Watts was far more extreme and offensive than most blackface comedians of his time. This clip includes the classic “Lion Tamer” bit and an excellent dance routine in “slap shoes.” Read more about the history of blackface and minstrel shows at

Blackface: A cultural history of a racist art form

The racist role of blackface in American society

Understanding the “legacy of oppression” behind blackface

Celeb Defends Whiteface & Blackface | TMZ Live

By the Numbers: U.S. Abortion Statistics

  1. Abortion: Why I’m Pro-Life
  2. The ‘Sanctity of Life’ Ethic
  3. Remembering Roe
  4. The Serpent’s Whisper
  5. What is a Chemical Abortion?
  6. Abortion Complications
  7. By the Numbers: U.S. Abortion Statistics
  8. State Ultrasound Laws
  9. ‘Women’s Right to Know’ Legislation
  10. Abortion and ObamaCare
  11. A Pro-Life Response to Abortion in ObamaCare

Life Issues

The U.S. has seen a steady and significant drop in the number of abortions in recent years.  In 2015, the number of abortions was at its lowest since 1976 – and had dropped almost in half in the last 20 years.

It’s estimated that fewer than one million abortions take place annually and more than 55 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since 1973, based on accumulative data from the two primary sources of U.S. abortion statistics – U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Guttmacher Institute.

Problematic Reporting

The graph below shows the reported number of legal abortions in the U.S. for selected years according to the CDC’s 2015 Abortion Surveillance Report.

From 1973 to 1997, the CDC received data from all 50 states; however, beginning in 1998, some states did not report, including California.

The sizable drop in abortions between 1997 and 1998 (from 1,186,039 to 884,273) reflects the absence of data from those non-reporting states. The third column of the chart lists the annual percent of change based on the states reporting the previous year and provides the best big picture of abortion trends.

In 2014, several states, including California, Maryland, and New Hampshire – did not report abortions to the CDC. Based on other sources, the total number of abortions in those states in 2014 is approximately 188,000 – the majority occurring in California.

That puts the estimated number of U.S. abortions in 2015 closer to 826,199. However, the downward trend in the abortion numbers continues, even with this adjustment.

Unfortunately, the lack of mandatory abortion reporting for all 50 states hampers the CDC’s ability to accurately report the number of abortions performed in the U.S.

According to the 2015 CDC report:

  • More than 25 percent of abortions are chemical
  • Nearly 75 percent of abortions are surgical
  • 41 percent women who had abortions in the U.S. had no other children
  • 44 percent of women who had abortions in the U.S. had at least one previous abortion
  • 86 percent of women who had abortions in the U.S. were unmarried
  • 41 percent of abortions are among women and teens 24-years old and younger

And according to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of the nation’s leading abortion seller, Planned Parenthood:

  • At current rates, an estimated 1/4 of American women will have an abortion by the age of 45
  • About 15,000 abortions are attributed to rape and incest — representing 1.5 percent of all abortions.


U.S. Abortion Statistics

Facts and figures relating to the frequency of abortion in the United States.

Primary nationwide abortion statistics for the United States are available from two sources—privately from the Guttmacher Institute (AGI) and publicly from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Guttmacher’s numbers, published every three years, come from direct surveys of all known and suspected abortion providers in the United States. The CDC numbers, published annually, are derived from actual counts of every abortion reported to state health departments. Unfortunately, California, Maryland, and New Hampshire do not publicly report abortion totals. As such, Guttmacher’s abortion numbers are more complete, but they are approximations. Since only 58% of queried providers responded to Guttmacher’s latest survey, abortion totals were estimated for the remaining 42%. These estimates utilized in-state health department data and “service patterns of other abortion-providing facilities in the community.” Whereas the CDC numbers may be too low, Guttmacher’s numbers may be too high. The information on this page has been gleaned from both sources to provide an overview of the frequency and demography of abortion. Additional secondary statistics have been taken from the National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) 2009 teaching text on abortion, Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care.


  • Based on the latest state-level data available, approximately 882,000 abortions took place in the United States in 2017—down from approximately 885,000 abortions in 2016 and 913,000 abortions in 2015.
  • According to the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 926,240 abortions took place in the United States in 2014—down from 1.06 million in 2011, 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.2 million in 2005, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S (AGI).
  • In 2014, approximately 19% of U.S. pregnancies (excluding spontaneous miscarriages) ended in abortion.1
  • According to the United Nations’ 2013 report, only nine countries in the world have a higher reported abortion rate than the United States. They are: Bulgaria, Cuba, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine.*

    *Though the UN lists China’s official abortion rate at 19.2, China’s actual abortion rate is likely much higher. According to China’s 2010 census, there were approximately 310 million women of reproductive age in the country. An estimated 13-23 million abortions happen annually in China, resulting in an adjusted abortion rate of 41.9-74.2. The abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.

  • In 2014, the highest percentage of pregnancies were aborted in the District of Columbia(38%), New York (33%), and New Jersey (30%). The lowest percentage of pregnancies were aborted in Utah (5%), South Dakota (4%), and Wyoming (<2%). (AGI abortion data + CDC birth data).
  • In 2015, approximately 35% of all pregnancies in New York City (excluding spontaneous miscarriages) ended in abortion (CDC).
  • The annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States doubled between 1973 and 1979, and peaked in 1990. There was a slow but steady decline through the 1990’s. Overall, the number of annual abortions decreased by 6% between 2000 and 2009, with temporary spikes in 2002 and 2006 (CDC).
  • From 2014 to 2015, the number, rate2 and ratio3 of reported abortions all decreased by 2% (CDC).


  • In 2015, unmarried women accounted for 86% of all abortions (CDC).
  • Among married women, 4% of pregnancies currently end in abortion. Among unmarried women, 27% of pregnancies end in abortion (CDC).
  • Women in their 20s accounted for the majority of abortions in 2015 and had the highest abortion rates (CDC).
  • Adolescents under 15 years obtained .03% of all 2015 abortions; women aged 15–19 years accounted for less than 10% (CDC).
  • Percentage of 2015 Reported Abortions by Age of Mother (CDC):
    <15 years 15–19 years 20–24 years 25–29 years 30–34 years 35–39 years ≥40 years
    0.3% 9.8% 31.1% 27.6% 17.7% 10.0% 3.5%
  • Women living with a partner to whom they are not married account for 25% of abortions but only about 10% of women in the population (NAF).
  • In 2015, women who had not aborted in the past accounted for 56% of all abortions; women with one or two prior abortions accounted for 35%, and women with three or more prior abortions accounted for 8% (CDC).
  • Among women who obtained abortions in 2015, 41% had no prior live births; 45% had one or two prior live births, and 14% had three or more prior live births (CDC).
  • Among white women, 10% of pregnancies currenlty end in abortion. Among black women, 28% of pregnancies end in abortion (CDC).
  • Black women were more than 3.5 times more likely to have an abortion in 2015 than white women (CDC).
  • The abortion rate of non-metropolitan women is about half that of women who live in metropolitan counties (NAF).
  • The abortion rate of women with Medicaid coverage is three times as high as that of other women (NAF).
  • In 2014, 30% of aborting women identified themselves as Protestant and 24% identified themselves as Catholic (AGI).



  • 89% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation (AGI/CDC).
  • In 2015, 8% of all abortions occurred between 14-20 weeks’ gestation; 1.3% occurred ≥21 weeks’ gestation (CDC).
  • Percentage of 2015 Reported Abortions by Weeks of Gestation* (CDC):
    ≤6 wks 7 wks 8 wks 9 wks 10 wks 11 wks 12 wks 13 wks 14-15 wks 16-17 wks 18-20 wks ≥21 wks
    34.2% 17.8% 13.3% 8.9% 5.6% 4.7% 3.5% 2.8% 3.5% 2.1% 2.0% 1.3%

    *Gestational weeks are measured from the first day of the woman’s last menstruation and not from the day of conception. Though it does not provide an accurate fetal age (which is roughly 2 weeks less than the gestational age), it is the simplest way for an OB/GYN to age a pregnancy since the day of conception is often not known. Hence, if an abortion occurs at 8 weeks gestation, it is actually aborting a 6 week embryo. The images on our Prenatal Development and Abortion Picturespages are more precisely captioned with fetal ages in accordance with standard teaching texts on prenatal development.



  • The number of abortion providers declined by 3% between 2011 and 2014—from 1,720 to 1,671 (AGI).
  • In 2011, 42% of providers offered very early abortions (during the first four weeks’ gestation) and 95% offered abortion at eight weeks. Sixty-four percent of providers offer at least some second-trimester abortion services (13 weeks or later), and 20% offer abortion after 20 weeks. Eleven percent of all abortion providers offered abortions past 24 weeks (AGI).
  • Only 5% of U.S. abortions occur in hospitals; 2% occur in physician’s offices. The rest occur in freestanding abortion clinics—without any established doctor-patient relationship (NAF).


  • In 2014, six women died as a result of complications from induced abortion. Between 1973-2014, 437 women died due to abortion complications (CDC).
  • The number of deaths attributable to legal induced abortion was highest before the 1980s (CDC).
  • In 1972 (the year before abortion was federally legalized), a total of 24 women died from causes known to be associated with legal abortions, and 39 died as a result of known illegal abortions (CDC).



  • In 2011, 59% of abortion providers, or 1,023 facilities, provided one or more types of medical abortions. At least 17% of abortion providers offer only medication abortion services (AGI).
  • Medication abortion accounted for 31% of all nonhospital abortions in 2014 (AGI).


  • Induced abortions usually result from unintended pregnancies, which often occur despite the use of contraception (CDC).
  • In 2008, 51% of women having abortions used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. (AGI).
  • 9 in 10 women at risk of unintended pregnancy are using a contraceptive method (AGI).
  • Oral contraceptives, the most widely used reversible method of contraception, carry failure rates of 6 to 8% in actual practice (NAF).


  • 40% of minors having an abortion report that neither of their parents knew about the abortion (AGI).
  • 39 states currently enforce parental consent or notification laws for minors seeking an abortion: ALAKARAZCODEFLGAIAIDILINKSKYLAMAMDMIMNMOMSMTNCNDNENHOHOKPARISCSDTNTXUTVAWIWV, and WY. The Supreme Court ruled that minors must have the alternative of seeking a court order authorizing the procedure (AGI).


  • The U.S. Congress has barred the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for abortions, except when the woman’s life would be endangered by a full-term pregnancy or in cases of rape or incest (AGI).
  • 17 states (AKAZCACTHIILMAMDMNMTNJNMNYORVTWA and WV) use public funds to pay for abortions for some poor women. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds—virtually all from the state (AGI).
  • In 2014, 88,466 abortions in California were paid for with public funds. Public funds paid for 45,722 abortions in New York (AGI).

This page was last updated on January 22, 2019. To cite this page in a research paper, visit: “Citing Abort73 as a Source.”


  1. This percentage was arrived at by comparing the number of 2014 births reported by the CDC (3,984,924) and the number of abortions reported by AGI.
  2. The abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.
  3. The abortion ratio is the number of abortions per 1,000 live births.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Synonyms Induced miscarriage, termination of pregnancy
Specialty Obstetrics and gynecology
ICD-10-PCS O04
ICD-9-CM 779.6
MeSH D000028
MedlinePlus 007382

Abortion is the ending of pregnancy due to removing an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside the uterus.[note 1] An abortion that occurs spontaneously is also known as a miscarriage. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently an “induced miscarriage”. The word abortion is often used to mean only induced abortions.[1] A similar procedure after the fetus could potentially survive outside the womb is known as a “late termination of pregnancy” or less accurately as a “late term abortion”.[2]

When allowed by law, abortion in the developed world is one of the safest procedures in medicine.[3][4] Modern methods use medication or surgery for abortions.[5] The drug mifepristone in combination with prostaglandinappears to be as safe and effective as surgery during the first and second trimester of pregnancy.[5][6] The most common surgical technique involves dilating the cervix and using a suction device.[7] Birth control, such as the pillor intrauterine devices, can be used immediately following abortion.[6] When performed legally and safely, induced abortions do not increase the risk of long-term mental or physical problems.[8] In contrast, unsafe abortions(those performed by unskilled individuals, with hazardous equipment, or in unsanitary facilities) cause 47,000 deaths and 5 million hospital admissions each year.[8][9] The World Health Organization recommends safe and legal abortions be available to all women.[10]

Around 56 million abortions are performed each year in the world,[11] with about 45% done unsafely.[12] Abortion rates changed little between 2003 and 2008,[13] before which they decreased for at least two decades as access to family planning and birth control increased.[14] As of 2008, 40% of the world’s women had access to legal abortions without limits as to reason.[15] Countries that permit abortions have different limits on how late in pregnancy abortion is allowed.[15]

Historically, abortions have been attempted using herbal medicines, sharp tools, forceful massage, or through other traditional methods.[16] Abortion laws and cultural or religious views of abortions are different around the world. In some areas abortion is legal only in specific cases such as rapeproblems with the fetuspoverty, risk to a woman’s health, or incest.[17] There is debate over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of abortion.[18][19] Those who oppose abortion often argue that an embryo or fetus is a human with a right to life, and so they may compare abortion to murder.[20][21] Those who favor the legality of abortion often hold that it is part of a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.[22] Others favor legal and accessible abortion as a public health measure.[23]



An induced abortion may be classified as therapeutic (done in response to a health condition of the women or fetus) or elective (chosen for other reasons).[24]

Approximately 205 million pregnancies occur each year worldwide. Over a third are unintended and about a fifth end in induced abortion.[13][25] Most abortions result from unintended pregnancies.[26][27] In the United Kingdom, 1 to 2% of abortions are done due to genetic problems in the fetus.[8] A pregnancy can be intentionally aborted in several ways. The manner selected often depends upon the gestational age of the embryo or fetus, which increases in size as the pregnancy progresses.[28][29] Specific procedures may also be selected due to legality, regional availability, and doctor or a woman’s personal preference.

Reasons for procuring induced abortions are typically characterized as either therapeutic or elective. An abortion is medically referred to as a therapeutic abortion when it is performed to save the life of the pregnant woman; to prevent harm to the woman’s physical or mental health; to terminate a pregnancy where indications are that the child will have a significantly increased chance of mortality or morbidity; or to selectively reduce the number of fetuses to lessen health risks associated with multiple pregnancy.[30][31] An abortion is referred to as an elective or voluntary abortion when it is performed at the request of the woman for non-medical reasons.[31] Confusion sometimes arises over the term “elective” because “elective surgery” generally refers to all scheduled surgery, whether medically necessary or not.[32]


Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion, is the unintentional expulsion of an embryo or fetus before the 24th week of gestation.[33] A pregnancy that ends before 37 weeks of gestation resulting in a live-born infant is a “premature birth” or a “preterm birth”.[34]When a fetus dies in utero after viability, or during delivery, it is usually termed “stillborn“.[35] Premature births and stillbirths are generally not considered to be miscarriages although usage of these terms can sometimes overlap.[36]

Only 30% to 50% of conceptions progress past the first trimester.[37] The vast majority of those that do not progress are lost before the woman is aware of the conception,[31] and many pregnancies are lost before medical practitioners can detect an embryo.[38] Between 15% and 30% of known pregnancies end in clinically apparent miscarriage, depending upon the age and health of the pregnant woman.[39] 80% of these spontaneous abortions happen in the first trimester.[40]

The most common cause of spontaneous abortion during the first trimester is chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo or fetus,[31][41] accounting for at least 50% of sampled early pregnancy losses.[42] Other causes include vascular disease (such as lupus), diabetes, other hormonal problems, infection, and abnormalities of the uterus.[41] Advancing maternal age and a woman’s history of previous spontaneous abortions are the two leading factors associated with a greater risk of spontaneous abortion.[42] A spontaneous abortion can also be caused by accidental trauma; intentional trauma or stress to cause miscarriage is considered induced abortion or feticide.[43]


Gestational age may determine which abortion methods are practiced.


Medical abortions are those induced by abortifacient pharmaceuticals. Medical abortion became an alternative method of abortion with the availability of prostaglandin analogs in the 1970s and the antiprogestogenmifepristone (also known as RU-486) in the 1980s.[5][6][44][45][46]

The most common early first-trimester medical abortion regimens use mifepristone in combination with a prostaglandin analog (misoprostol or gemeprost) up to 9 weeks gestational age, methotrexate in combination with a prostaglandin analog up to 7 weeks gestation, or a prostaglandin analog alone.[44] Mifepristone–misoprostol combination regimens work faster and are more effective at later gestational ages than methotrexate–misoprostol combination regimens, and combination regimens are more effective than misoprostol alone.[45] This regime is effective in the second trimester.[47] Medical abortion regiments involving mifepristone followed by misoprostol in the cheek between 24 and 48 hours later are effective when performed before 63 days’ gestation.[48]

In very early abortions, up to 7 weeks gestation, medical abortion using a mifepristone–misoprostol combination regimen is considered to be more effective than surgical abortion (vacuum aspiration), especially when clinical practice does not include detailed inspection of aspirated tissue.[49] Early medical abortion regimens using mifepristone, followed 24–48 hours later by buccal or vaginal misoprostol are 98% effective up to 9 weeks gestational age.[50] If medical abortion fails, surgical abortion must be used to complete the procedure.[51]

Early medical abortions account for the majority of abortions before 9 weeks gestation in Britain,[52][53] France,[54] Switzerland,[55] and the Nordic countries.[56] In the United States, the percentage of early medical abortions is around 30% as of 2014.[57]

Medical abortion regimens using mifepristone in combination with a prostaglandin analog are the most common methods used for second-trimester abortions in Canada, most of Europe, China and India,[46] in contrast to the United States where 96% of second-trimester abortions are performed surgically by dilation and evacuation.[58]


A vacuum aspiration abortion at eight weeks gestational age (six weeks after fertilization).
1: Amniotic sac
2: Embryo
3: Uterine lining
4: Speculum
5: Vacurette
6: Attached to a suction pump

Up to 15 weeks’ gestation, suction-aspiration or vacuum aspiration are the most common surgical methods of induced abortion.[59] Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) consists of removing the fetus or embryoplacenta, and membranes by suction using a manual syringe, while electric vacuum aspiration (EVA) uses an electric pump. These techniques differ in the mechanism used to apply suction, in how early in pregnancy they can be used, and in whether cervical dilation is necessary.

MVA, also known as “mini-suction” and “menstrual extraction“, can be used in very early pregnancy, and does not require cervical dilation. Dilation and curettage (D&C), the second most common method of surgical abortion, is a standard gynecological procedure performed for a variety of reasons, including examination of the uterine lining for possible malignancy, investigation of abnormal bleeding, and abortion. Curettage refers to cleaning the walls of the uterus with a curette. The World Health Organization recommends this procedure, also called sharp curettage, only when MVA is unavailable.[60]

From the 15th week of gestation until approximately the 26th, other techniques must be used. Dilation and evacuation (D&E) consists of opening the cervix of the uterus and emptying it using surgical instruments and suction. After the 16th week of gestation, abortions can also be induced by intact dilation and extraction (IDX) (also called intrauterine cranial decompression), which requires surgical decompression of the fetus’s head before evacuation. IDX is sometimes called “partial-birth abortion“, which has been federally banned in the United States.

In the third trimester of pregnancy, induced abortion may be performed surgically by intact dilation and extraction or by hysterotomy. Hysterotomy abortion is a procedure similar to a caesarean section and is performed under general anesthesia. It requires a smaller incision than a caesarean section and is used during later stages of pregnancy.[61]

First-trimester procedures can generally be performed using local anesthesia, while second-trimester methods may require deep sedation or general anesthesia.[62]

Labor induction abortion

In places lacking the necessary medical skill for dilation and extraction, or where preferred by practitioners, an abortion can be induced by first inducing labor and then inducing fetal demise if necessary.[63] This is sometimes called “induced miscarriage”. This procedure may be performed from 13 weeks gestation to the third trimester. Although it is very uncommon in the United States, more than 80% of induced abortions throughout the second trimester are labor-induced abortions in Sweden and other nearby countries.[64]

Only limited data are available comparing this method with dilation and extraction.[64] Unlike D&E, labor-induced abortions after 18 weeks may be complicated by the occurrence of brief fetal survival, which may be legally characterized as live birth. For this reason, labor-induced abortion is legally risky in the United States.[64][65]

Other methods

Historically, a number of herbs reputed to possess abortifacient properties have been used in folk medicine. Among these are: tansypennyroyalblack cohosh, and the now-extinct silphium.[66]:44–47, 62–63, 154–55, 230–31

In 1978 one woman in Colorado died and another was seriously injured when they attempted to procure an abortion by taking pennyroyal oil.[67] Because the indiscriminant use of herbs as abortifacients can cause serious—even lethal—side effects, such as multiple organ failure,[68] such use is not recommended by physicians.

Abortion is sometimes attempted by causing trauma to the abdomen. The degree of force, if severe, can cause serious internal injuries without necessarily succeeding in inducing miscarriage.[69] In Southeast Asia, there is an ancient tradition of attempting abortion through forceful abdominal massage.[70] One of the bas reliefs decorating the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia depicts a demon performing such an abortion upon a woman who has been sent to the underworld.[70]

Reported methods of unsafe, self-induced abortion include misuse of misoprostol and insertion of non-surgical implements such as knitting needles and clothes hangers into the uterus. These and other methods to terminate pregnancy may be called “induced miscarriage”. Such methods are rarely used in countries where surgical abortion is legal and available.[71]


An abortion flyer in South Africa

The health risks of abortion depend principally upon whether the procedure is performed safely or unsafely. The World Health Organization defines unsafe abortions as those performed by unskilled individuals, with hazardous equipment, or in unsanitary facilities.[72] Legal abortions performed in the developed world are among the safest procedures in medicine.[3][73] In the US, the risk of maternal death from abortion is 0.7 per 100,000 procedures,[4]making abortion about 13 times safer for women than childbirth (8.8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births).[74][75] In the United States from 2000 to 2009, abortion had a lower mortality rate than plastic surgery.[76] The risk of abortion-related mortality increases with gestational age, but remains lower than that of childbirth through at least 21 weeks’ gestation.[77][78][79] Outpatient abortion is as safe and effective from 64 to 70 days’ gestation as it is from 57 to 63 days.[80] Medical abortion is safe and effective for pregnancies earlier than 6 weeks’ gestation.[81]

Vacuum aspiration in the first trimester is the safest method of surgical abortion, and can be performed in a primary care officeabortion clinic, or hospital. Complications, which are rare, can include uterine perforationpelvic infection, and retained products of conception requiring a second procedure to evacuate.[82] Infections account for one-third of abortion-related deaths in the United States.[83] The rate of complications of vacuum aspiration abortion in the first trimester is similar regardless of whether the procedure is performed in a hospital, surgical center, or office.[84] Preventive antibiotics (such as doxycycline or metronidazole) are typically given before elective abortion,[85]as they are believed to substantially reduce the risk of postoperative uterine infection.[62][86] The rate of failed procedures does not appear to vary significantly depending on whether the abortion is performed by a doctor or a mid-level practitioner.[87] Complications after second-trimester abortion are similar to those after first-trimester abortion, and depend somewhat on the method chosen. Second-trimester abortions are generally well-tolerated.[88]

There is little difference in terms of safety and efficacy between medical abortion using a combined regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol and surgical abortion (vacuum aspiration) in early first trimester abortions up to 9 weeks gestation.[49] Medical abortion using the prostaglandin analog misoprostol alone is less effective and more painful than medical abortion using a combined regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol or surgical abortion.[89][90]

Some purported risks of abortion are promoted primarily by anti-abortion groups,[91][92] but lack scientific support.[91] For example, the question of a link between induced abortion and breast cancer has been investigated extensively. Major medical and scientific bodies (including the World Health OrganizationNational Cancer InstituteAmerican Cancer SocietyRoyal College of OBGYN and American Congress of OBGYN) have concluded that abortion does not cause breast cancer.[93]

In the past even illegality has not automatically meant that the abortions were unsafe. Referring to the U.S., historian Linda Gordon states: “In fact, illegal abortions in this country have an impressive safety record.”[94]:25 According to Rickie Solinger,

A related myth, promulgated by a broad spectrum of people concerned about abortion and public policy, is that before legalization abortionists were dirty and dangerous back-alley butchers…. [T]he historical evidence does not support such claims.[95]:4

Authors Jerome Bates and Edward Zawadzki describe the case of an illegal abortionist in the eastern U.S. in the early 20th century who was proud of having successfully completed 13,844 abortions without any fatality.[96]:59 In 1870s New York City the famous abortionist/midwife Madame Restell (Anna Trow Lohman) appears to have lost very few women among her more than 100,000 patients[97]—a lower mortality rate than the childbirth mortality rate at the time. In 1936 the prominent professor of obstetrics and gynecology Frederick J. Taussig wrote that a cause of increasing mortality during the years of illegality in the U.S. was that

With each decade of the past fifty years the actual and proportionate frequency of this accident [perforation of the uterus] has increased, due, first, to the increase in the number of instrumentally induced abortions; second, to the proportionate increase in abortions handled by doctors as against those handled by midwives; and, third, to the prevailing tendency to use instruments instead of the finger in emptying the uterus. [98]:223

Mental health

Current evidence finds no relationship between most induced abortions and mental-health problems[8][99] other than those expected for any unwanted pregnancy.[100] A report by the American Psychological Association concluded that a woman’s first abortion is not a threat to mental health when carried out in the first trimester, with such women no more likely to have mental-health problems than those carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term; the mental-health outcome of a woman’s second or greater abortion is less certain.[100][101]Some older reviews concluded that abortion was associated with an increased risk of psychological problems;[102] however, they did not use an appropriate control group.[99]

Although some studies show negative mental-health outcomes in women who choose abortions after the first trimester because of fetal abnormalities,[103] more rigorous research would be needed to show this conclusively.[104] Some proposed negative psychological effects of abortion have been referred to by anti-abortion advocates as a separate condition called “post-abortion syndrome“, but this is not recognized by medical or psychological professionals in the United States.[105]

Unsafe abortion

Soviet poster circa 1925, warning against midwives performing abortions. Title translation: “Abortions performed by either trained or self-taught midwives not only maim the woman, they also often lead to death.”

Women seeking an abortion may use unsafe methods, especially when abortion is legally restricted. They may attempt self-induced abortion or seek the help of a person without proper medical training or facilities. This can lead to severe complications, such as incomplete abortion, sepsis, hemorrhage, and damage to internal organs.[106]

Unsafe abortions are a major cause of injury and death among women worldwide. Although data are imprecise, it is estimated that approximately 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, with 97% taking place in developing countries.[3] Unsafe abortions are believed to result in millions of injuries.[3][107] Estimates of deaths vary according to methodology, and have ranged from 37,000 to 70,000 in the past decade;[3][9][108] deaths from unsafe abortion account for around 13% of all maternal deaths.[109] The World Health Organization believes that mortality has fallen since the 1990s.[110] To reduce the number of unsafe abortions, public health organizations have generally advocated emphasizing the legalization of abortion, training of medical personnel, and ensuring access to reproductive-health services.[111] In response, opponents of abortion point out that abortion bans in no way affect prenatal care for women who choose to carry their fetus to term. The Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health, signed in 2012, notes, “the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”[112]

A major factor in whether abortions are performed safely or not is the legal standing of abortion. Countries with restrictive abortion laws have higher rates of unsafe abortion and similar overall abortion rates compared to those where abortion is legal and available.[9][13][111][113][114][115][116] For example, the 1996 legalization of abortion in South Africa had an immediate positive impact on the frequency of abortion-related complications,[117] with abortion-related deaths dropping by more than 90%.[118] Similar reductions in maternal mortality have been observed after other countries have liberalized their abortion laws, such as Romania and Nepal.[119] A 2011 study concluded that in the United States, some state-level anti-abortion laws are correlated with lower rates of abortion in that state.[120] The analysis, however, did not take into account travel to other states without such laws to obtain an abortion.[121] In addition, a lack of access to effective contraception contributes to unsafe abortion. It has been estimated that the incidence of unsafe abortion could be reduced by up to 75% (from 20 million to 5 million annually) if modern family planning and maternal health services were readily available globally.[122] Rates of such abortions may be difficult to measure because they can be reported variously as miscarriage, “induced miscarriage”, “menstrual regulation”, “mini-abortion”, and “regulation of a delayed/suspended menstruation”.[123][124]

Forty percent of the world’s women are able to access therapeutic and elective abortions within gestational limits,[15] while an additional 35 percent have access to legal abortion if they meet certain physical, mental, or socioeconomic criteria.[17] While maternal mortalityseldom results from safe abortions, unsafe abortions result in 70,000 deaths and 5 million disabilities per year.[9] Complications of unsafe abortion account for approximately an eighth of maternal mortalities worldwide,[125] though this varies by region.[126] Secondary infertility caused by an unsafe abortion affects an estimated 24 million women.[114] The rate of unsafe abortions has increased from 44% to 49% between 1995 and 2008.[13] Health education, access to family planning, and improvements in health care during and after abortion have been proposed to address this phenomenon.[127]

Live birth

Although it is very uncommon, women undergoing surgical abortion after 18 weeks gestation sometimes give birth to a fetus that may survive briefly.[128][129][130] Longer term survival is possible after 22 weeks.[131]

If medical staff observe signs of life, they may be required to provide care: emergency medical care if the child has a good chance of survival and palliative care if not.[132][133][134] Induced fetal demise before termination of pregnancy after 20–21 weeks gestation is recommended to avoid this.[135][136][137][138][139]

Death following live birth caused by abortion is given the ICD-10 underlying cause description code of P96.4; data are identified as either fetus or newborn. Between 1999 and 2013, in the U.S., the CDC recorded 531 such deaths for newborns,[140] approximately 4 per 100,000 abortions.[141]


There are two commonly used methods of measuring the incidence of abortion:

  • Abortion rate – number of abortions per 1000 women between 15 and 44 years of age
  • Abortion percentage – number of abortions out of 100 known pregnancies (pregnancies include live births, abortions and miscarriages)

In many places, where abortion is illegal or carries a heavy social stigma, medical reporting of abortion is not reliable.[113] For this reason, estimates of the incidence of abortion must be made without determining certainty related to standard error.[13]

The number of abortions performed worldwide seems to have remained stable in recent years, with 41.6 million having been performed in 2003 and 43.8 million having been performed in 2008.[13] The abortion rate worldwide was 28 per 1000 women, though it was 24 per 1000 women for developed countries and 29 per 1000 women for developing countries.[13] The same 2012 study indicated that in 2008, the estimated abortion percentage of known pregnancies was at 21% worldwide, with 26% in developed countries and 20% in developing countries.[13]

On average, the incidence of abortion is similar in countries with restrictive abortion laws and those with more liberal access to abortion. However, restrictive abortion laws are associated with increases in the percentage of abortions performed unsafely.[15][142][143] The unsafe abortion rate in developing countries is partly attributable to lack of access to modern contraceptives; according to the Guttmacher Institute, providing access to contraceptives would result in about 14.5 million fewer unsafe abortions and 38,000 fewer deaths from unsafe abortion annually worldwide.[144]

The rate of legal, induced abortion varies extensively worldwide. According to the report of employees of Guttmacher Institute it ranged from 7 per 1000 women (Germany and Switzerland) to 30 per 1000 women (Estonia) in countries with complete statistics in 2008. The proportion of pregnancies that ended in induced abortion ranged from about 10% (Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland) to 30% (Estonia) in the same group, though it might be as high as 36% in Hungary and Romania, whose statistics were deemed incomplete.[145][146]

The abortion rate may also be expressed as the average number of abortions a woman has during her reproductive years; this is referred to as total abortion rate (TAR).

Gestational age and method

Histogram of abortions by gestational age in England and Wales during 2004. (left) Abortion in the United States by gestational age, 2004. (right)

Abortion rates also vary depending on the stage of pregnancy and the method practiced. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 26% of reported legal induced abortions in the United States were known to have been obtained at less than 6 weeks’ gestation, 18% at 7 weeks, 15% at 8 weeks, 18% at 9 through 10 weeks, 10% at 11 through 12 weeks, 6% at 13 through 15 weeks, 4% at 16 through 20 weeks and 1% at more than 21 weeks. 91% of these were classified as having been done by “curettage” (suction-aspirationdilation and curettagedilation and evacuation), 8% by “medical” means (mifepristone), >1% by “intrauterine instillation” (saline or prostaglandin), and 1% by “other” (including hysterotomy and hysterectomy).[147] According to the CDC, due to data collection difficulties the data must be viewed as tentative and some fetal deaths reported beyond 20 weeks may be natural deaths erroneously classified as abortions if the removal of the dead fetus is accomplished by the same procedure as an induced abortion.[148]

The Guttmacher Institute estimated there were 2,200 intact dilation and extraction procedures in the US during 2000; this accounts for <0.2% of the total number of abortions performed that year.[149]Similarly, in England and Wales in 2006, 89% of terminations occurred at or under 12 weeks, 9% between 13 and 19 weeks, and 2% at or over 20 weeks. 64% of those reported were by vacuum aspiration, 6% by D&E, and 30% were medical.[150] There are more second trimester abortions in developing countries such as China, India and Vietnam than in developed countries.[151]



A bar chart depicting selected data from a 1998 AGImeta-study on the reasons women stated for having an abortion.

The reasons why women have abortions are diverse and vary across the world.[148][152]

Some of the most common reasons are to postpone childbearing to a more suitable time or to focus energies and resources on existing children. Others include being unable to afford a child either in terms of the direct costs of raising a child or the loss of income while caring for the child, lack of support from the father, inability to afford additional children, desire to provide schooling for existing children, disruption of one’s own education, relationship problems with their partner, a perception of being too young to have a child, unemployment, and not being willing to raise a child conceived as a result of rape or incest, among others.[152][153]


Some abortions are undergone as the result of societal pressures.[154] These might include the preference for children of a specific sex or race, disapproval of single or early motherhood, stigmatization of people with disabilities, insufficient economic support for families, lack of access to or rejection of contraceptive methods, or efforts toward population control (such as China’s one-child policy). These factors can sometimes result in compulsory abortion or sex-selective abortion.[155]

An American study in 2002 concluded that about half of women having abortions were using a form of contraception at the time of becoming pregnant. Inconsistent use was reported by half of those using condoms and three-quarters of those using the birth control pill; 42% of those using condoms reported failure through slipping or breakage.[156] The Guttmacher Institute estimated that “most abortions in the United States are obtained by minority women” because minority women “have much higher rates of unintended pregnancy”.[157]

Maternal and fetal health

An additional factor is risk to maternal or fetal health, which was cited as the primary reason for abortion in over a third of cases in some countries and as a significant factor in only a single-digit percentage of abortions in other countries.[148][152]

In the U.S., the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton: “ruled that the state’s interest in the life of the fetus became compelling only at the point of viability, defined as the point at which the fetus can survive independently of its mother. Even after the point of viability, the state cannot favor the life of the fetus over the life or health of the pregnant woman. Under the right of privacy, physicians must be free to use their “medical judgment for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” On the same day that the Court decided Roe, it also decided Doe v. Bolton, in which the Court defined health very broadly: “The medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment.”[158]:1200–01

Public opinion shifted in America following television personality Sherri Finkbine‘s discovery during her fifth month of pregnancy that she had been exposed to thalidomide. Unable to obtain a legal abortion in the United States, she traveled to Sweden. From 1962 to 1965, an outbreak of German measles left 15,000 babies with severe birth defects. In 1967, the American Medical Association publicly supported liberalization of abortion laws. A National Opinion Research Center poll in 1965 showed 73% supported abortion when the mother’s life was at risk, 57% when birth defects were present and 59% for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.[159]


The rate of cancer during pregnancy is 0.02–1%, and in many cases, cancer of the mother leads to consideration of abortion to protect the life of the mother, or in response to the potential damage that may occur to the fetus during treatment. This is particularly true for cervical cancer, the most common type of which occurs in 1 of every 2,000–13,000 pregnancies, for which initiation of treatment “cannot co-exist with preservation of fetal life (unless neoadjuvant chemotherapy is chosen)”. Very early stage cervical cancers (I and IIa) may be treated by radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection, radiation therapy, or both, while later stages are treated by radiotherapy. Chemotherapy may be used simultaneously. Treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy also involves fetal considerations, because lumpectomy is discouraged in favor of modified radical mastectomy unless late-term pregnancy allows follow-up radiation therapy to be administered after the birth.[160]

Exposure to a single chemotherapy drug is estimated to cause a 7.5–17% risk of teratogenic effects on the fetus, with higher risks for multiple drug treatments. Treatment with more than 40 Gy of radiation usually causes spontaneous abortion. Exposure to much lower doses during the first trimester, especially 8 to 15 weeks of development, can cause intellectual disability or microcephaly, and exposure at this or subsequent stages can cause reduced intrauterine growth and birth weight. Exposures above 0.005–0.025 Gy cause a dose-dependent reduction in IQ.[160] It is possible to greatly reduce exposure to radiation with abdominal shielding, depending on how far the area to be irradiated is from the fetus.[161][162]

The process of birth itself may also put the mother at risk. “Vaginal delivery may result in dissemination of neoplastic cells into lymphovascular channels, haemorrhage, cervical laceration and implantation of malignant cells in the episiotomy site, while abdominal delivery may delay the initiation of non-surgical treatment.”[163]

History and religion

Bas-relief at Angkor WatCambodia, c. 1150, depicting a demoninducing an abortion by pounding the abdomen of a pregnant woman with a pestle.[70][164]

“French Periodical Pills”. An example of a clandestine advertisement published in a January 1845 edition of the Boston Daily Times.

Since ancient times abortions have been done using herbal medicines, sharp tools, with force, or through other traditional methods.[16] Induced abortion has long history and can be traced back to civilizations as varied as China under Shennong (c. 2700 BCE), Ancient Egypt with its Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BCE), and the Roman Empire in the time of Juvenal (c. 200 CE).[16] There is evidence to suggest that pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques. One of the earliest known artistic representations of abortion is in a bas relief at Angkor Wat (c. 1150). Found in a series of friezes that represent judgment after death in Hindu and Buddhist culture, it depicts the technique of abdominal abortion.[70]

Some medical scholars and abortion opponents have suggested that the Hippocratic Oath forbade Ancient Greek physicians from performing abortions;[16] other scholars disagree with this interpretation,[16] and state that the medical texts of Hippocratic Corpus contain descriptions of abortive techniques right alongside the Oath.[165] The physician Scribonius Largus wrote in 43 CE that the Hippocratic Oath prohibits abortion, as did Soranus, although apparently not all doctors adhered to it strictly at the time. According to Soranus‘ 1st or 2nd century CE work Gynaecology, one party of medical practitioners banished all abortives as required by the Hippocratic Oath; the other party—to which he belonged—was willing to prescribe abortions, but only for the sake of the mother’s health.[166][167]

Aristotle, in his treatise on government Politics (350 BCE), condemns infanticide as a means of population control. He preferred abortion in such cases, with the restriction[168] “[that it] must be practised on it before it has developed sensation and life; for the line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive”.[169] In ChristianityPope Sixtus V (1585–90) was the only Pope before 1869 to declare that abortion is homicide regardless of the stage of pregnancy;[170] and his pronouncement of 1588 was reversed three years later by his successor. Through most of its history the Catholic Church was divided on whether it believed that abortion was murder, and it did not begin vigorously opposing abortion until the 19th century.[16] In fact, several historians have written[171][172][173] that prior to the 19th century most Catholic authors did not regard termination of pregnancy before “quickening” or “ensoulment” as an abortion.

A 1995 survey reported that Catholic women are as likely as the general population to terminate a pregnancy, Protestants are less likely to do so, and Evangelical Christians are the least likely to do so.[148][152] Islamic tradition has traditionally permitted abortion until a point in time when Muslims believe the soul enters the fetus,[16] considered by various theologians to be at conception, 40 days after conception, 120 days after conception, or quickening.[174]However, abortion is largely heavily restricted or forbidden in areas of high Islamic faith such as the Middle East and North Africa.[175]

In Europe and North America, abortion techniques advanced starting in the 17th century. However, conservatism by most physicians with regards to sexual matters prevented the wide expansion of safe abortion techniques.[16]Other medical practitioners in addition to some physicians advertised their services, and they were not widely regulated until the 19th century, when the practice (sometimes called restellism)[176] was banned in both the United States and the United Kingdom.[16] Church groups as well as physicians were highly influential in anti-abortion movements.[16] In the US, according to some sources, abortion was more dangerous than childbirth until about 1930 when incremental improvements in abortion procedures relative to childbirth made abortion safer.[note 2] However, other sources maintain that in the 19th century early abortions under the hygienic conditions in which midwives usually worked were relatively safe.[177][178][179] In addition, some commentators have written that, despite improved medical procedures, the period from the 1930s until legalization also saw more zealous enforcement of anti-abortion laws, and concomitantly an increasing control of abortion providers by organized crime.[180][181][182][183][184]

Soviet Russia (1919), Iceland (1935) and Sweden (1938) were among the first countries to legalize certain or all forms of abortion.[185] In 1935 Nazi Germany, a law was passed permitting abortions for those deemed “hereditarily ill”, while women considered of German stock were specifically prohibited from having abortions.[186] Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, abortion was legalized in a greater number of countries.[16]

Society and culture

Abortion debate

Induced abortion has long been the source of considerable debate. Ethicalmoralphilosophicalbiologicalreligious and legal issues surrounding abortion are related to value systems. Opinions of abortion may be about fetal rights, governmental authority, and women’s rights.

In both public and private debate, arguments presented in favor of or against abortion access focus on either the moral permissibility of an induced abortion, or justification of laws permitting or restricting abortion.[187] The World Medical Association Declaration on Therapeutic Abortion notes, “circumstances bringing the interests of a mother into conflict with the interests of her unborn child create a dilemma and raise the question as to whether or not the pregnancy should be deliberately terminated.”[188] Abortion debates, especially pertaining to abortion laws, are often spearheaded by groups advocating one of these two positions. Anti-abortion groups who favor greater legal restrictions on abortion, including complete prohibition, most often describe themselves as “pro-life” while abortion rights groups who are against such legal restrictions describe themselves as “pro-choice”.[189] Generally, the former position argues that a human fetus is a human person with a right to live, making abortion morally the same as murder. The latter position argues that a woman has certain reproductive rights, especially the right to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.

Modern abortion law

International status of abortion law

UN 2013 report on abortion law.[190]

 Legal on request
 Legal for maternal life, health, mental health, rapeand/or fetal defects, and also for socioeconomic factors
 Illegal with exception for maternal life, health, mental health and/or rape, and also for fetal defects
 Illegal with exception for maternal life, health and/or mental health, and also for rape
 Illegal with exception for maternal life, health, and/or mental health
 Illegal with exception for maternal life
 Illegal with no exceptions
 No information[191]

Current laws pertaining to abortion are diverse. Religious, moral, and cultural factors continue to influence abortion laws throughout the world. The right to life, the right to liberty, the right to security of person, and the right to reproductive health are major issues of human rights that sometimes constitute the basis for the existence or absence of abortion laws.

In jurisdictions where abortion is legal, certain requirements must often be met before a woman may obtain a safe, legal abortion (an abortion performed without the woman’s consent is considered feticide). These requirements usually depend on the age of the fetus, often using a trimester-based system to regulate the window of legality, or as in the U.S., on a doctor’s evaluation of the fetus’ viability. Some jurisdictions require a waiting period before the procedure, prescribe the distribution of information on fetal development, or require that parents be contacted if their minor daughter requests an abortion.[192] Other jurisdictions may require that a woman obtain the consent of the fetus’ father before aborting the fetus, that abortion providers inform women of health risks of the procedure—sometimes including “risks” not supported by the medical literature—and that multiple medical authorities certify that the abortion is either medically or socially necessary. Many restrictions are waived in emergency situations. China, which has ended their[193]one-child policy, and now has a two child policy,[194][195] has at times incorporated mandatory abortions as part of their population control strategy.[196]

Other jurisdictions ban abortion almost entirely. Many, but not all, of these allow legal abortions in a variety of circumstances. These circumstances vary based on jurisdiction, but may include whether the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, the fetus’ development is impaired, the woman’s physical or mental well-being is endangered, or socioeconomic considerations make childbirth a hardship.[17] In countries where abortion is banned entirely, such as Nicaragua, medical authorities have recorded rises in maternal death directly and indirectly due to pregnancy as well as deaths due to doctors’ fears of prosecution if they treat other gynecological emergencies.[197][198] Some countries, such as Bangladesh, that nominally ban abortion, may also support clinics that perform abortions under the guise of menstrual hygiene.[199] This is also a terminology in traditional medicine.[200] In places where abortion is illegal or carries heavy social stigma, pregnant women may engage in medical tourism and travel to countries where they can terminate their pregnancies.[201] Women without the means to travel can resort to providers of illegal abortions or attempt to perform an abortion by themselves.[202]

The organization Women on Waves, has been providing education about medical abortions since 1999. The NGO created a mobile medical clinic inside a shipping container, which then travels on rented ships to countries with restrictive abortion laws. Because the ships are registered in the Netherlands, Dutch law prevails when the ship is in international waters. While in port, the organization provides free workshops and education; while in international waters, medical personnel are legally able to prescribe medical abortion drugs and counseling.[203][204][205]

Sex-selective abortion

Sonography and amniocentesis allow parents to determine sex before childbirth. The development of this technology has led to sex-selective abortion, or the termination of a fetus based on sex. The selective termination of a female fetus is most common.

Sex-selective abortion is partially responsible for the noticeable disparities between the birth rates of male and female children in some countries. The preference for male children is reported in many areas of Asia, and abortion used to limit female births has been reported in Taiwan, South Korea, India, and China.[206] This deviation from the standard birth rates of males and females occurs despite the fact that the country in question may have officially banned sex-selective abortion or even sex-screening.[207][208][209][210] In China, a historical preference for a male child has been exacerbated by the one-child policy, which was enacted in 1979.[211]

Many countries have taken legislative steps to reduce the incidence of sex-selective abortion. At the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 over 180 states agreed to eliminate “all forms of discrimination against the girl child and the root causes of son preference”,[212] conditions also condemned by a PACE resolution in 2011.[213] The World Health Organization and UNICEF, along with other United Nations agencies, have found that measures to reduce access to abortion are much less effective at reducing sex-selective abortions than measures to reduce gender inequality.[212]

Anti-abortion violence

In a number of cases, abortion providers and these facilities have been subjected to various forms of violence, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, stalking, assault, arson, and bombing. Anti-abortion violence is classified by both governmental and scholarly sources as terrorism.[214][215] Only a small fraction of those opposed to abortion commit violence.

In the United States, four physicians who performed abortions have been murdered: David Gunn (1993), John Britton (1994), Barnett Slepian (1998), and George Tiller (2009). Also murdered, in the U.S. and Australia, have been other personnel at abortion clinics, including receptionists and security guards such as James Barrett, Shannon Lowney, Lee Ann Nichols, and Robert Sanderson. Woundings (e.g., Garson Romalis) and attempted murders have also taken place in the United States and Canada. Hundreds of bombings, arsons, acid attacks, invasions, and incidents of vandalism against abortion providers have occurred.[216][217] Notable perpetrators of anti-abortion violence include Eric Robert RudolphScott RoederShelley Shannon, and Paul Jennings Hill, the first person to be executed in the United States for murdering an abortion provider.[218]

Legal protection of access to abortion has been brought into some countries where abortion is legal. These laws typically seek to protect abortion clinics from obstruction, vandalism, picketing, and other actions, or to protect women and employees of such facilities from threats and harassment.

Far more common than physical violence is psychological pressure. In 2003, Chris Danze organized pro-life organizations throughout Texas to prevent the construction of a Planned Parenthood facility in Austin. The organizations released the personal information online, of those involved with construction, sending them up to 1200 phone calls a day and contacting their churches.[219] Some protestors record women entering clinics on camera.[219]

Other animals

Spontaneous abortion occurs in various animals. For example, in sheep it may be caused by stress or physical exertion, such as crowding through doors or being chased by dogs.[220] In cows, abortion may be caused by contagious disease, such as brucellosis or Campylobacter, but can often be controlled by vaccination.[221] Eating pine needles can also induce abortions in cows.[222][223] Several plants, including broomweedskunk cabbagepoison hemlock, and tree tobacco, are known to cause fetal deformities and abortion in cattle[224]:45–46 and in sheep and goats.[224]:77–80 In horses, a fetus may be aborted or resorbed if it has lethal white syndrome (congenital intestinal aganglionosis). Foal embryos that are homozygous for the dominant white gene (WW) are theorized to also be aborted or resorbed before birth.[225] In many species of sharks and rays, stress-induced abortions occur frequently on capture.[226]

Viral infection can cause abortion in dogs.[227] Cats can experience spontaneous abortion for many reasons, including hormonal imbalance. A combined abortion and spaying is performed on pregnant cats, especially in Trap-Neuter-Return programs, to prevent unwanted kittens from being born.[228][229][230] Female rodents may terminate a pregnancy when exposed to the smell of a male not responsible for the pregnancy, known as the Bruce effect.[231]

Abortion may also be induced in animals, in the context of animal husbandry. For example, abortion may be induced in mares that have been mated improperly, or that have been purchased by owners who did not realize the mares were pregnant, or that are pregnant with twin foals.[232] Feticide can occur in horses and zebras due to male harassment of pregnant mares or forced copulation,[233][234][235] although the frequency in the wild has been questioned.[236] Male gray langur monkeys may attack females following male takeover, causing miscarriage.[237]


  1. ^ Definitions of abortion, as with many words, vary from source to source. Language used to define abortion often reflects societal and political opinions (not only scientific knowledge). For a list of definitions as stated by obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) textbooks, dictionaries, and other sources, please see Definitions of abortion.
  2. ^ By 1930, medical procedures in the US had improved for both childbirth and abortion but not equally, and induced abortion in the first trimester had become safer than childbirth. In 1973, Roe v. Wade acknowledged that abortion in the first trimester was safer than childbirth:

References … 


External links


Story 2: The RED New Deal — Santa Claus Socialism — Vote For Me To Get Free Stuff — Government Coercion and Dependence — In Your Guts You Know Socialists Are Nuts — Videos

Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles Tribute

Here Comes the Sun
Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
It’s all right
Songwriters: George Harrison
Here Comes the Sun lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez proposing Green New Deal to fight climate change

Democrats and the New Green Deal

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and socialism, explained

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Economic Genius

Rush Limbaugh (20190207) AOC and the Green New Deal

60 Minutes of Stupidity with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – REACTION

SHE’S A CRAZY LOON-BAG SOCIALIST! Ben Shapiro LOSES IT To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “Green New Deal”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Tax Expert

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an Idiot


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Brands Climate Change Proposal As ‘Green New Deal’ | NBC


Tucker: Solar power cannot replace fossil fuels

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

Jordan Peterson: The fatal flaw in leftist American politics

Professor Jordan Peterson on climate change and climate policy at the Cambridge Union

Ben Stein’s take on the ‘Green New Deal’

Knowles SHREDS The Green New Deal

Ep. 1327 The Green New Deal Is Insane

Rep. Alexandria Occasional-Cortex and Her Globalist Green New Deal Should Scare the Hell Out of Dems

WSJ writer slams Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, says it looks like Dem parody bill

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel issued a blistering critique of the proposed Green New Deal, saying that the proposal reads like a parody of the Democratic Party done by Republicans.

“By the end of the Green New Deal resolution (and accompanying fact sheet) I was laughing so hard I nearly cried,” Strassel wrote on Twitter. “If a bunch of GOPers plotted to forge a fake Democratic bill showing how bonkers the party is, they could not have done a better job. It is beautiful.”

The Green New Deal, pushed by freshman New York Democrat Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, attempts to radically transform the country, including rendering air travel obsolete, move the U.S. to rely completely on renewable energy with net-zero emissions, and guarantee economic security even for people who are “unwilling” to work.


But the sweeping proposal was hit with mockery once the details were unveiled on Thursday, with many pointing out how unrealistic the suggestions are.

Strassel pointed out that in order to live up to the proposal’s promise of 100 percent of renewable energy, a space as big as the entire state of California would have to be dedicated solely for the facilities, wind turbines, and solar panels.

The proposal’s suggestion of putting charging stations “everywhere,” upgrading or replacing “every building” and developing high-speed railway across every state may also hit a wall due to permitting laws.


Strassel notes that the Green New Deal is far from just a proposal to curb emissions and create more environmental regulations – it’s also about implementing radical left-wing measures.

“Somehow, government-run healthcare, ‘family sustainable’ wages, paid leave, and ‘affordable’ housing are also ‘required’ for a clean economy,” the writer wrote. “I would love to understand this logic. (And imagine what wages will need to be to pay for billion-dollar-per-kilowatt electricity).”

But even those pushing for the document aren’t sure it can actually be achieved within 10 years. In a now-deleted FAQ page on Ocasio-Cortez’s website, the document explains that it’s calling for an elimination of greenhouse gas emissions rather than an immediate ban on fossil fuels because “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

“Planes run on fossil fuel. No fossil fuel, no visits to granny. Cows produce methane, why alarmists want to get rid of livestock,” Stressel wrote. “She can’t do it ‘fully’ in 10 years, but AOC is coming after your air miles and bacon. This is honesty (sp) about how Democrats would micromanage private life.”

Lastly, the Green New Deal, which doesn’t exactly reveal how it will be funded, except for the suggestion that the Federal Reserve could step in and extend credit.

There’s now an official Green New Deal. Here’s what’s in it.

A close look at the fights it picks and the fights it avoids.

But for now, I just want to share a few initial impressions after reading through the short document a few times.

It’s worth noting just what a high-wire act the authors of this resolution are attempting. It has to offer enough specifics to give it real shape and ambition, without overprescribing solutions or prejudging differences over secondary questions. It has to please a diverse range of interest groups, from environmental justice to labor to climate, without alienating any of them. It has to stand up to intense scrutiny (much of it sure to be bad faith), with lots of people gunning for it from both the right and center.

And, of course, it eventually has to give birth to real legislation.

Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle. It is bold and unmistakably progressive, matched to the problem as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while avoiding a few needless fights and leaving room for plenty of debate over priorities and policy tools.

The resolution consists of a preamble, five goals, 14 projects, and 15 requirements. The preamble establishes that there are two crises, a climate crisis and an economic crisis of wage stagnation and growing inequality, and that the GND can address both.

The goals — achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, providing for a just transition, securing clean air and water — are broadly popular. The projects — things like decarbonizing electricity, transportation, and industry, restoring ecosystems, upgrading buildings and electricity grids — are necessary and sensible (if also extremely ambitious).

There are a few items down in the requirements that might raise red flags (more on those later), but given the long road ahead, there will be plenty of time to sort them out. Overall, this is about as strong an opening bid as anyone could have asked for.

Now let’s take a closer look.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., questions Andrew Wheeler as he testifies at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

Sen. Ed Markey.

 Andrew Harnik/AP

The Green New Deal resolution features 2 big progressive priorities

From a progressive point of view, the discussion over climate change in the US has always been overly skewed toward technologies and markets. (The term of art is “neoliberalism.”)

I have been guilty of this myself. Economics and technology are considered serious topics in the US, a ticket to being heard and acknowledged by the political mainstream, and there is a subtle, tidal pressure to hew to those subjects, at risk of being relegated to the status of activist or, worse yet, ideologue. (As though neoliberalism is not an ideology.)

The resurgent left is done with all that.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with technologies or markets, as long as they remain servants, not masters. It’s just that in the US, those subjects have tended to occlude deeper and more urgent considerations (like justice) and exclude a wide range of policy instruments (like public investment).

It is for the progressive movement to stand up for those priorities, and that’s what the GND resolution does. We’ll take them in turn.

1) Justice

Ordinary people matter. Emissions matter, yes. Costs and money matter. Technologies and policies matter. But they all matter secondarily, via their effects on ordinary people. The role of progressive politics, if it amounts to anything, is to center the safety, health, and dignity of ordinary people.

That means that justice — or as it’s often called, “environmental justice,” as though it’s some boutique subgenre — must be at the heart of any plan to address climate change. The simple fact is that climate change will hit what the resolution calls “frontline and vulnerable communities” (who have contributed least to the problem) hardest. And attempts to transition away from fossil fuels threaten communities that remain tied to the fossil fuel economy.

Frontline and vulnerable communities stand to get it coming and going, from the problem and from the solutions. And unlike big energy companies pursuing growth, unlike idle billionaires fascinated with new tech, unlike banks and financial institutions seeking out new income streams, unlike incumbent industries fat from decades of subsidies, frontline and vulnerable communities do not have the means to fund campaigns and hire expensive lobbyists. They do not have the means to make their voice heard in the scrum of politics.

That’s why progressives exist: to amplify the voices of those without power (a class that includes future generations).

Accordingly, in the resolution’s preamble — the part with all the whereas this and whereas that — there are three statements focused on climate damages and emissions and four focused, in one way or another, on justice.

Of the resolution’s five goals, three are focused on justice. (For example: “promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression to frontline and vulnerable communities.”)

Of the 12 GND projects, three, including the very first, are focused on community-level resilience and development. And something like two-thirds of the GND requirements, depending on how you count, direct political power and public investment down to the state, local, and worker level, safeguarding environmental and labor standards and prioritizing family-wage jobs.

The resolution makes clear that justice is a top progressive priority. It is fashionable for centrists and some climate wonks to dismiss things like wage standards as tertiary, a way of piggybacking liberal goals onto the climate fight. But progressives don’t see it that way. In a period of massive, rapid disruption, the welfare of the people involved is not tertiary.

Demonstrators march in Washington, DC in 2017 demanding action on climate change. Polls show that Americans are more worried about climate change.

After some justice.

 Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

2) Investment

Neoliberalism has also made old-fashioned public investment something of a taboo. The GND goes directly at it — public investment aimed at creating jobs is central to the project.

The preamble notes that “the Federal Government-led mobilizations during World War II and the New Deal era created the greatest middle class that the US has ever seen” and frames the GND as “a historic opportunity to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States.”

Of the GND requirements, the very first is “providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization.”

Also in the requirements: funding education and job training for frontline communities in transition; investing in research and development; and investing in community ownership and resilience.

The Hoover Dam from the air. Colorado river and Lake Mead. Significant water level decline is indicated by the white high water line.

The Hoover Dam, completed in 1936, back when lawmakers knew what public investment meant.


Public investment with the returns going back to the public — it’s not a GND without that.

The Green New Deal resolution smartly avoids a few fights

There some internecine fights within the broad community of climate hawks that are best left to other venues, in order to keep the coalition behind a GND as broad and small-c catholic as possible. This resolution deftly avoids several of those fights.

1) Paying for it

The question of how to pay for the many public investments called for in the GND is still a bit of a political minefield. There are centrist Democrats who still believe in the old PAYGO rules, keeping a “balanced budget” within a 10-year window. There are Democrats who think deficit fears have been exaggerated and there’s nothing wrong with running a deficit to drive an economic transition. And there are Democrats who have gone full Modern Monetary Theory, which is way too complicated to explain here but amounts to the notion that, short of inflation, the level of the deficit is effectively irrelevant, as long as we’re getting the economy we want.

2) Clean versus renewable energy

Many, probably most, climate hawks would prefer a future in which all electricity is provided by renewable energy. (I am among them.) But there is good-faith disagreement about whether 100 percent renewables is realistic or economical in the 10-year time frame.

Many, probably most energy analysts believe that renewables will need to be supplemented with nuclear power or fossil fuels with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), but some lefty environmental groups pushed for the GND to explicitly prohibit them.

As I argued earlier, that would have caused a completely unnecessary fight. The resolution wisely avoids taking that route.

Instead, it calls for the US to “meet 100 percent of our power demand through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

Clinton Nuclear Generating Station

Lots of old nuclear plants are still generating carbon-free power.


Easy. Now renewables advocates can go right on advocating for renewables, nuclear fans can go right on advocating for nuclear, and they can continue fighting it out on Twitter. But their fight doesn’t need to muck up the GND. The GND targets carbon emissions, which is the right target for a broad programmatic outline.

3) Carbon pricing

Carbon pricing — carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems — is also the source of much agita within the climate hawk community. The need to price carbon has practically been climate orthodoxy for the past few decades, but lately there’s been something of a lefty backlash.

Some have taken the (sensible) position that climate pricing has been rather fetishized, that it may not be the smartest political priority in all cases, and that other policy instruments with more proven records are equally important. Some have taken the (silly) position that carbon pricing is bad or counterproductive in and of itself and pushed to have it excluded from the GND.

The resolution doesn’t take a position. It merely says that the GND must involve “accounting for the true cost of emissions.” If you’re a carbon pricing fan (as I am), you can read pricing into that. But there are other ways to read it too.

Pricing advocates probably would have liked something a little more muscular there, but in the end, I think the instinct — to avoid the fight entirely — is the right one. The struggle over how or whether to prioritize pricing instruments can come later; it doesn’t need to be settled in advance of getting people on board with the GND.

4) Supply-side policy

Lately, lots of climate activists have been pushing to directly restrict the supply and distribution of fossil fuels — at the mine, well, or import terminal — with an eye toward phasing out fossil fuels entirely. “Keep it in the ground,” as the slogan goes.

This is the leading edge of the climate fight, out ahead of where labor and most moderates are. Including it in the GND probably would have sparked some defections.

The GND resolution doesn’t touch the subject, other than calling for transition assistance for communities losing fossil fuel jobs. And it calls on the US to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions,” which theoretically allows for some fossil fuel combustion coupled with carbon removal.

The keep-it-in-the-ground crowd is in the same position as the all-renewables crowd: They may feel some initial disappointment that their perspective was not reflected in the resolution, but they can take comfort in the fact that it was not excluded either. The resolution simply slates that fight as something to take place within the broad GND coalition, rather than making it part of the price of membership.

Sen. Jeff Merkley has sponsored a Keep It In the Ground Act.

Sen. Jeff Merkley has sponsored a Keep It in the Ground Act.

 Sen. Jeff Merkley

All four of these omissions or elisions — these fights postponed — signal, to me, a movement that is capable of reining in its more vigorous ideological impulses in the name of building the broadest possible left coalition behind an ambitious climate solution. That bodes well.

The Green New Deal resolution omits a few key, wonky policies

There are a few things I would have liked to see feature more prominently in the resolution. They are somewhat nerdy, but important in climate policy.

Just about the only urban-focused element of the GND resolution is tucked into the transportation section, calling for “investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing, clean, affordable, and accessible public transit, and high-speed rail.”

That’s it. Boo.

Creating dense urban areas with ample public spaces and multimodal transportation options — deprioritizing private automobiles and reducing overall automobile traffic — serves multiple progressive goals.

It tackles the next big climate challenge, which is cars. It reduces urban air pollution, urban noise, and the urban heat island effect, while increasing physical activity and social contact, all of which improves the physical and psychological health of urban communities.

It addresses the housing crisis that is crippling many growing cities, pricing young people, poor people, students, and longtime residents out of walkable urban cores.

And, if you will forgive some dreamy speculation, a little more public space might just generate a sense of community and social solidarity to counteract the segregation, atomization, isolation, and mutual distrust that cars and suburbs have exacerbated.

I get that GND proponents are spooked about being seen as anti-rural, which is why these kinds of plans from the left always include education, training, and transition assistance for rural communities hurt by decarbonization.

And that’s great. But they should also remember that their core demographics live in cities and are engaged in urban issues. Cities are central to any vision of 21st-century sustainability. They deserve pride of place in a GND.

Placa Reial (Royal Plaza), in Barcelona, Spain.

Placa Reial, in Barcelona — a nice public space.


2) Electrification

It is widely acknowledged in the climate policy community that deep decarbonization will involve rapid and substantial electrification. We know how to decarbonize electricity grids — so we need to get everything we can onto the grid.

That means two big things in particular.

First, the US vehicle fleet needs to be electrified as fast as practicably possible. The resolution’s “investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure” hints at this, but scarcely conveys the needed scale and speed.

Second, the millions upon millions of buildings in the US that use natural gas for heat need to find a zero-carbon alternative, and quickly. There are some zero-carbon liquid substitute fuels on the horizon, but for the time being, the best way we know to decarbonize HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) is to rip out all those millions of furnaces and replace them with electric heat pumps. That’s a big, big job that will create a ton of work and directly involve millions of people’s homes and businesses.

Bruce Nilles@brucenilles

From the good folks at @EIAgov — the electricity in our homes is getting cleaner (almost on 1.5 degree trajectory), we are using less fuel oil for heating, but….we haven’t made progress on reducing gas use. We have efficient electric appliances – let’s get busy.

See Bruce Nilles’s other Tweets

The GND resolution would “upgrade all existing U.S. buildings and build new buildings, to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability.” Theoretically that could imply electrification, but I’d like to see it called out.

[UPDATE February 7, 2019: In between the leaked copy and the final resolution, a single phrase was added to the sentence quoted above: “including through electrification.” They’re reading my mind!]

The Green New Deal resolution has a few, er, aspirational inclusions

As I said, most of the resolution consists of goals and policies that anyone who takes climate change seriously will find necessary. But down toward the bottom of the list of projects, the resolution really lets its hair down and gets funky. Readers who make it that far into the document will find some eyebrow-raising doozies.

Like No. 8: “guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and disability leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.” Heyo! There’s that job guarantee.

Or No. 9: “strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment.” A full-on right to unionize, okay.

11: “enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas and to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States.” And there’s a liberal trade regime.

14: “ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies.” All right, we’re going after monopolies too.

And just to fill in the remaining gaps, 15: “providing all members of society with high-quality health care, affordable, safe and adequate housing, economic security, and access to clean water, air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.” That is quite the addendum!

If you’re keeping score at home, the Green New Deal now involves a federal job guarantee, the right to unionize, liberal trade and monopoly policies, and universal housing and health care.


Starting strong, bargaining down

This is just a resolution, not legislation. (I’m pretty sure providing universal housing and health care would require a couple of bills at least.) So I’m not really sure how literally these latter requirements are meant to be read, or how literally those who sign on to the GND will take them.

If they’re taken literally, then everyone who signs on should get a welcome letter from the Democratic Socialists of America. If they are taken as an aspirational list of Good Things, as I suspect they will be (especially given Markey’s involvement), then many arguments will remain to be had about just what a GND endorsement means.

But it definitely means something.

“The Green New Deal is what it means to be progressive. Clean air, clean water, decarbonizing, green jobs, a just transition, and environmental justice are what it means to a progressive,” Sean McElwee said. He’s the director of Data Progress, a young think tank whose work has substantially informed the GND. “By definition that means politicians who don’t support those goals aren’t progressive. We need to hold that line. Get on the GND train or choo-choo, motherfucker, we’re going to go right past you.”

Choo-choo, indeed. As I said in my first post on the Sunrise Movement protest that got the GND train rolling, I think it is all to the good that a muscular progressive movement is rallying behind a program shaped by the problem at hand rather than speculation about what is politically possible. It is good to start from a position of strength.

And just to be clear, I’m a big fan of universal housing and health care. But at some point, we have to grapple with the fact that a solution to climate change will require the support of people who may not be ready to join the democratic socialist revolution.

Given the two-year time window to get legislation ready and the 10-year time window to kickstart multiple decarbonization revolutions, the chances of pulling off a full-scale political revolution beforehand seem remote.

So there will be a lot of bargaining ahead and some of the dreamier GND requirements will go overboard for the time being. Perhaps universal health care will have to be tackled separately.

A whole other thing.

 Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

But take a step back and appreciate: The progressive movement has, in rather short order, thrust into mainstream US politics a program to address climate change that is wildly more ambitious than anything the Democratic Party was talking about even two years ago. One hundred percent clean energy, investment in new jobs, and a just transition have gone from activist dreams to the core of the Democratic agenda in the blink of a political eye. There’s a long way to go, but the GND train has come farther, faster than anyone could have predicted.

“We are going to transition this country into the future and we are not going to be dragged behind by our past,” Ocasio-Cortez said at the press conference Thursday.

With Trump and his attendant chaos, US politics is more disrupted, uncertain, and malleable than it’s been in my adult lifetime. Everything is up for grabs. The forces of ethnonationalism and fossil fuel myopia sense this malleability and are organizing to drag the country backward. But the malleability can serve a humane progressive agenda as well; progressives just have to organize better.

The map has been drawn, the path laid out. Now it’s on.



Green New Deal: “Air Travel Stops Becoming Necessary”

Posted by Michael Palicz on Thursday, February 7th, 2019, 11:27 AM

This morning, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released an

overview of the Democrat “Green New Deal” which threatens “a massive transformation of our society.”

Below are the details of the proposal.

Rebuild every single building in the U.S.

“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”

Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.

The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.

“It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

Build trains across oceans and end all air travel!

“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”.

Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead!

“We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”

Mandates all new jobs be unionized.

“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”

May include a carbon tax.

“We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal.”

May include cap and trade.

“…Cap and trade may be a tiny part of the larger Green New Deal plan.”

How much will it cost?

No estimate of the total cost of implementing the Green New deal is offered by Ocasio-Cortez.

However, as Ocasio-Cortez admits, “even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they could make would not be sufficient.”

She does provide one estimate that the cost to “repair and upgrade infrastructure U.S. infrastructure” alone will cost “$4.6 trillion at minimum.”

How will it be paid for? Don’t worry about that.

Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t provide any insight into how the trillions of dollars in spending will be paid for other than claiming, “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit”.

But as Ocasio-Cortez says, “the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity”.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline

The Green New Deal legislation laid out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.

Amr Alfiky/NPR

Updated 4:30 p.m.

Whether it’s a deadly cold snap or a hole under an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., think they have a start to a solution. Thursday they are introducing a framework defining what they call a “Green New Deal” — what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.

That’s a really big — potentially impossibly big — undertaking.

“Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us,” Ocasio-Cortez told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview that aired Thursday on Morning Edition.

She added: “It could be part of a larger solution, but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail. And so that’s really what we’re trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal.”

What is the Green New Deal?

In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal legislation laid out by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.

In that vein, the proposal stresses that it aims to meet its ambitious goals while paying special attention to groups like the poor, disabled and minority communities that might be disproportionately affected by massive economic transitions like those the Green New Deal calls for.

Importantly, it’s a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if it were to pass (more on the challenges to that below), it wouldn’t itself create any new programs. Instead, it would potentially affirm the sense of the House that these things should be done in the coming years.

Lawmakers pass nonbinding resolutions for things as simple as congratulating Super Bowl winners, as well as to send political messages — for example, telling the president they disapprove of his trade policies, as the Senate did in summer 2018.

What are the specifics of that framework?

The bill calls for a “10-year national mobilizations” toward accomplishing a series of goals that the resolution lays out.

(Note: Ocasio-Cortez’s office released an updated version of the bill on Thursday. The earlier version, which we had included in a prior version of this story, is still available here.)

Among the most prominent, the deal calls for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” The ultimate goal is to stop using fossil fuels entirely, Ocasio-Cortez’s office told NPR, as well as to transition away from nuclear energy.

In addition, the framework, as described in the legislation as well as a blog post — containing an updated version of “FAQs” provided to NPR by Ocasio-Cortez’s office — calls for a variety of other lofty goals:

  • “upgrading all existing buildings” in the country for energy efficiency;
  • working with farmers “to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions … as much as is technologically feasible” (while supporting family farms and promoting “universal access to healthy food”);
  • “Overhauling transportation systems” to reduce emissions — including expanding electric car manufacturing, building “charging stations everywhere,” and expanding high-speed rail to “a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”;
  • A guaranteed job “with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security” for every American;
  • “High-quality health care” for all Americans.

Which is to say: the Green New Deal framework combines big climate-change-related ideas with a wish list of progressive economic proposals that, taken together, would touch nearly every American and overhaul the economy.

Are those ideas doable?

Many in the climate science community, as well as Green New Deal proponents, agree that saving the world from disastrous effects of climate change requires aggressive action.

And some of the Green New Deal’s goals are indeed aggressive. For example, Ocasio-Cortez told NPR that “in 10 years, we’re trying to go carbon-neutral.”

According to Jesse Jenkins, a postdoctoral environmental fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, that may be an unreachable goal.

“Where we need to be targeting really is a net-zero carbon economy by about 2050, which itself is an enormous challenge and will require reductions in carbon emissions much faster than have been achieved historically,” he said. “2030 might be a little bit early to be targeting.”

Similarly, removing combustible engines from the roads or expanding high-speed rail to largely eliminate air travel would require nothing short of revolutionizing transportation.

Likewise, some of the more progressive economic policies — universal health care and a job guarantee, for example — while popular among some Democrats, would also be very difficult to implement and transition into.

On top of all that, implementing all of these policies could cost trillions upon trillions of dollars.

Altogether, the Green New Deal is a loose framework. It does not lay out guidance on how to implement these policies.

Rather, the idea is that Ocasio-Cortez and Markey will “begin work immediately on Green New Deal bills to put the nuts and bolts on the plan described in this resolution.”

And again, all of this is hypothetical — it would be tough to implement and potentially extremely expensive … if it passed.

So did the idea of a Green New Deal start with Ocasio-Cortez?

Not at all.

While the Green New Deal has in the last year or so grown central to progressive Democrats’ policy conversations, the idea of a Green New Deal itself is well over a decade old. Environmentalists were talking about it as far back as 2003, when the term popped up in a San Francisco Chronicle article about an environmentalist conference.

It gained traction with a 2007 New York Times columnfrom Thomas Friedman, where he used the phrase to describe the scope of energy investments he thought would be necessary to slow climate change on a large scale.

The phrase was also used around President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus, which had around $90 billion worth of environmental initiatives.

While the idea gained some currency in Europe and also in the Green Party, it wasn’t until after the 2016 election that it really gained broad popularity on the left in the U.S.(Vox’s Dave Roberts has a more thorough history here).

This latest iteration is different both in the political energy that it has amassed and the grand scope it is taking. While it was a product of the progressive activist community, Ocasio-Cortez has been perhaps the most visible proponent of the plan and has helped it gain nationwide attention.

So will it pass?

That looks unlikely.

Yes, there’s some energy for it on the left — some House Democrats have already said they will support the bill. However, there are indications House leadership isn’t prioritizing the idea as much as those more liberal Democrats would like — Speaker Nancy Pelosi frustrated Green New Deal proponents by not giving them the kind of committee they wanted to put the policies together.

After the deal’s Thursday release, she also cast the plan as simply one of any number of environmental proposals the House might consider.

“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi told Politico. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”

In addition, it’s easy to see how the bill could be dangerous for moderate House Democrats, many of whom come from swing districts and may be loath to touch such a progressive proposal.

Among Republicans — even those worried about climate change — the package, with its liberal economic ideas, will also likely be a nonstarter.

“Someone’s going to have to prove to me how that can be accomplished because it looks to me like for the foreseeable future we’re gonna be using a substantial amount of fossil fuels,” said Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., co-chair of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, speaking to NPR before the Green New Deal’s text was released.

For his part, Rooney is in favor of a carbon tax, a policy he helped propose with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in November. Information from Ocasio-Cortez’s office says that the Green New Deal could include a carbon tax, but that it would be “a tiny part” of the total package of policies.

Meanwhile, there’s little chance of a Green New Deal getting a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.

If it’s not going to pass and it’s not even binding, why is it worth even talking about?

It’s worth talking about because it already is a politically powerful idea among Democrats.

Already, presidential candidates are being asked whether they support the idea of a Green New Deal, meaning it’s easy to see the issue becoming a litmus test for some voters in both the 2020 congressional elections and the presidential election.

To more liberal Democrats, the prospect of such an ambitious economic and environmental package at the center of the 2020 campaign may be particularly energizing.

“I think it’s like a really weird instinct that the Democratic Party develops to not be exciting intentionally,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress. “Most of politics is getting people excited enough to show up and vote for you. And I think that a Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all — these are ideas that are big enough to get people excited and show up to vote for you.”

For her part, Ocasio-Cortez says that a policy like the Green New Deal could get voters excited enough to pressure their Congress members to support it.

“I do think that when there’s a wide spectrum of debate on an issue, that is where the public plays a role. That is where the public needs to call their member of Congress and say, ‘This is something that I care about,’ ” she told NPR, adding, “Where I do have trust is in my colleagues’ capacity to change and evolve and be adaptable and listen to their constituents.”

That said, it’s easy to see how a Green New Deal litmus test could backfire on that front, endangering some Democrats — particularly in swing districts.

But it’s not just about national politics. The national-level energy for a Green New Deal could boost efforts in cities and states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, has been pushing a Green New Deal in his state.

Aside from the politics, there’s the fact that climate change remains an impending threat — one for which the world has yet to come up with a fix.

“It’s a big legislation because it’s a huge [expletive] problem! We’re all going to die,” said McElwee. “Every week it seems like the risks of climate change become more real, and the amount of devastation it is going to wreak upon humanity becomes larger, and that means we have to do bigger things.”




The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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The Pronk Pops Show 470, May 22, 2015, Story 1: Part 1 of 3: American People Leaving Both Democratic and Republican Parties In Search of A Party With Principles and Leaders With Integrity and Defenders of The United States Constitution — A New Direction For America — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Story 1: Part 1 of 3: American People Leaving Both Democratic and Republican Parties In Search of A Party With Principles and Leaders With Integrity and Defenders of The United States Constitution — A New Direction For America — Videos

Five Finger Death Punch – Wrong Side Of Heaven


Gallup: Partisan split at historic level

Gallup Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Want GOP Congress to Set Country’s Agenda, Not Obama

Most Political Independents Ever In USA

How Are Conservative And Liberal Brains Different?

Poll Record High 42 Percent Americans Identify As Independents

Against the USA, Naked Communist Conspiracy Is Unfolding, NWO

1.U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2.U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3.Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4.Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation
5.Extension of long-term loans to Russia & satellites.
6.Provide American aid to all nations regardless
7.Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
8.Set up East and West Germany as separate states under supervision of the U.N.
9.Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the U.S. has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10.Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11.Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. Demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces.
12.Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13.Do away with all loyalty oaths.
14.Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
15.Capture one or both of the political parties.
16.Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17.Get control of the schools. Promote Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations.
18.Gain control of all student newspapers.
19.Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20.Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
21.Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22.Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”
23.Control art critics and directors of art museums.
24.Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech.
25.Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity 26.Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
27.Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible as a “religious crutch.”
28.Eliminate prayer or religious expression in the schools
29.Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30.Discredit the American Founding Fathers.
31.Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history
32.Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture; education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33.Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of communism
34.Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35.Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36.Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37.Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38.Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
39.Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40.Discredit the family. Encourage promiscuity, masturbation, easy divorce.
41.Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding to suppressive influence of parents.
42.Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use “united force” to solve economic, political or social problems.
43.Overthrow all colonial governments before natives are ready for self-government.
44.Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45.Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over domestic problems and individuals alike.

Mind Control, Psychology of Brainwashing, Sex & Hypnosis

Fit vs. UnFit, Eugenics, Planned Parenthood & Psychology, Mind Control Report

Yuri Bezmenov: Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society

The Subversion Factor, Part 1: Moles In High Places

The Subversion Factor, Part 2: The Open Gates of Troy

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy


The Quigley Formula – G. Edward Griffin lecture

Robert Welch in 1974 reveals NWO

Robert Welch Speaks: A Touch of Sanity (1965)

Robert Welch Speaks: In One Generation (1974)

CORPORATE FASCISM: The Destruction of America’s Middle Class

CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America

Countdown to Financial Collapse – A Conversation with G. Edward Griffin

WRCFresnoTV — G. Edward Griffin — The Federal Reserve, Taxes, The I.R.S. & Solutions

Rammstein “We’re all living in America” (HD) English Subtitle

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status:  Employed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS15000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Not in Labor Force
Labor force status:  Not in labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After reaching a more than two-year high in early 2015, Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the U.S. continues to fall. Twenty-six percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the nation in May, down slightly from 32% in January and February.

Satisfaction With the Direction of the U.S.

The latest data are from Gallup’s May 6-10 poll.

Satisfaction jumped nine points in January to 32%, a promising sign that Americans’ moods were improving after a year of lower figures throughout 2014, ranging between 20% and 27%. Since February, though, satisfaction has dipped only slightly each month, but these small drops have resulted in a six-point decline since the beginning of the year. Satisfaction remains below the 36% historical average for Gallup’s trend dating back to 1979.

The drop in Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going parallels the recent decline in economic confidence. Americans had a more positive outlook on the economy at the dawn of 2015, but these views, like satisfaction, have edged down in recent months.

Satisfaction With the Direction of the U.S. vs. Economic Confidence

Views of the nation’s direction have certainly been brighter in the past. Majorities of Americans were typically satisfied with the direction of the U.S. between 1998 and mid-2002 — including a record high of 71% in February 1999. But satisfaction declined steadily in the latter half of President George W. Bush’s presidency as the public grew disillusioned with the war in Iraq and the national economy suffered. This dip in satisfaction culminated in 7% of Americans, a record low, saying they were satisfied with the direction of the nation in October 2008 as the global economy collapsed and the U.S. stock market plummeted.

Satisfaction improved significantly during the first year of President Barack Obama’s term — reaching 36% in August 2009. It has not returned to that level since, ranging between 11% and 33% throughout Obama’s time in office.

Americans Still List Economy, Gov’t and Unemployment as Top Problems

Though the 14% of Americans who name dissatisfaction with government, Congress and politicians as the top problem facing the U.S. has fallen five points since April, it still remains the most commonly mentioned problem — a distinction it has held for six months.

The economy in general (12%) and unemployment (10%) have remained at the top of the list for several years. But mentions of these issues are down significantly from their recent peaks — the economy reached a high of 37% in 2012, and unemployment reached a high of 39% in 2011.

Trends in Top

Race relations and racism (8%), immigration (6%), a decline in moral, religious and family ethics (6%), the state of the healthcare system (5%) and terrorism (5%) were also among the most frequently cited problems facing the nation.

Most Commonly Named Problems in April 2015 vs. May 2015

Bottom Line

After years of dysfunctional government, the economy and unemployment dominating Americans’ mentions of the top problem facing the nation, fewer mention these problems now than in recent years. Still, these three problems remain at the forefront of Americans’ concerns, and may be driving Americans’ high level of dissatisfaction with the nation’s direction.

Although Americans’ confidence in the economy is higher this year than in recent years, it is still negative. And while fewer mention dysfunctional government as the nation’s top problem, Americans still strongly disapprove of Congress’ performance and remain divided on Obama’s.

Meanwhile, mentions of unemployment as a top problem have dipped as more U.S. workers report their workplaces are hiring and the unemployment rate as reported by the BLS declines. But unemployment still remains one of the most frequently cited problems.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-10, 2015, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Trend: Party affiliation in U.S. plus leaners

Story Highlights

  • Congressional job approval at 19%, essentially unchanged
  • Approval of GOP Congress similar among Republicans and Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressional job approval, currently at 19%, remains stuck near historical lows, despite a number of recent high-profile legislative achievements.

Congressional Job Approval Ratings: 2001-2015

Over the past month, Congress has confirmed the stalled nomination of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and both chambers passed a bill that was signed into law regarding Medicare. Bills that would authorize limited congressional oversight on any international agreement with Iran and help victims of human trafficking passed the Senate with little or no opposition. The uptick in activity, though hardly historic, is notable compared with the past two Congresses. Those Congresses, marked by divided control of the two chambers, were known for their entrenched partisan gridlock and few legislative accomplishments. And Americans didn’t care for their inability to agree — they gave Congress its lowest approval ever over this time period. Gallup found in June 2013, six months into the previous Congress, that gridlock and ineffectiveness were the most frequently cited reason for Americans’ disapproval of Congress.

Several months into this new Congress, the accomplishments that have been realized could give one the impression that the gridlock is softening, particularly over the past month. But these achievements have had virtually no impact on Congress’s job approval compared with early April (15%).

And, of course, Congress is far from working perfectly now, even if the pace of work appears to have increased. Most dramatically, the Senate failed to overcome a Democratic filibuster Tuesday afternoon that would give the president enhanced authority in negotiating trade bills, though the May survey was conducted before this occurrence. Legislation authorizing the use of military force in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS, proposed by the administration and which many members of Congress support, remains stalled.

GOP Congress Has Low Approval Among Republicans

A key reason the current 114th Congress appears to be having more legislative success than the two Congresses before it is that the House and Senate are now under one party’s control. Unified GOP control of Capitol Hill should, at least in theory, boost Republicans’ overall approval of Congress. But the expected “Republican rally” for Congress has yet to materialize — 21% of Republicans and Republican leaners approve of Congress, not much different from the 18% of independents and of Democrats who approve. Nor is Republican support notably higher than the 15% it reached in 2014, despite the decided Republican tilt of this year’s legislature.

Congressional Job Approval, by Party Identification, May 2015

Bottom Line

After years of dysfunction, Congress is moving forward on key pieces of legislation. No longer shackled by split control — though still facing a president of the opposite party — the legislative branch is suddenly finding some areas of agreement. But even if it appears that the gridlock is easing, the overwhelming majority of Americans still disapprove of Congress. If Congress continues passing bipartisan legislation, more Americans might soften their stance. Still, it may be that Americans are largely not aware of or impressed by Congress’ recent legislative successes. Or it may be that the hit to Congress’ reputation over the last several years — evident not only in dismal job approval ratings, but also fallinglevels of trust and confidence — will take a long time to reverse.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-10, 2015, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Story Highlights

  • 31% say they are socially liberal, 31% socially conservative
  • This is the first time conservatives have not outnumbered liberals
  • Conservatives maintain edge on economic issues

PRINCETON, N.J. — Thirty-one percent of Americans describe their views on social issues as generally liberal, matching the percentage who identify as social conservatives for the first time in Gallup records dating back to 1999.

Trend: Americans' Self-Description of Views on Social Issues

Gallup first asked Americans to describe their views on social issues in 1999, and has repeated the question at least annually since 2001. The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.

The newfound parity on social ideology is a result of changes in the way both Democrats and Republicans describe their social views. The May 6-10 Gallup poll finds a new high of 53% of Democrats, including Democratic-leaning independents, describing their views on social issues as liberal.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Social Issues, Democrats and Democratic Leaners, 2001-2015

Democrats were more likely to describe their views on social issues as moderate rather than liberal from 2001 to 2005. Since then, socially liberal Democrats have outnumbered socially moderate Democrats in all but one year.

Meanwhile, the 53% of Republicans and Republican leaners saying their views on social issues are conservative is the lowest in Gallup’s trend. The drop in Republicans’ self-identified social conservatism has been accompanied by an increase in moderate identification, to 34%, while the percentage identifying as socially liberal has been static near 10%.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Social Issues, Republicans and Republican Leaners, 2001-2015

These trends echo the pattern in Gallup’s overall ideology measure, which dates back to 1992 and shows increasing liberal identification in recent years. As with the social ideology measure, the longer-term shifts are mainly a result of increasing numbers of Democrats describing their views as liberal rather than moderate. That may reflect Democrats feeling more comfortable in describing themselves as liberal than they were in the past, as much as a more leftward shift in Democrats’ attitudes on political, economic and social issues.

Conservatives Still Lead Liberals on Economic Issues

In contrast to the way Americans describe their views on social issues, they still by a wide margin, 39% to 19%, describe their views on economic issues as conservative rather than liberal. However, as on social ideology, the gap between conservatives and liberals has been shrinking and is lower today than at any point since 1999, with the 39% saying they are economically conservative the lowest to date.

Trend: Americans' Self-Description of Views on Economic Issues

Currently, 64% of Republicans identify as conservative economically, which is down from 70% the previous two years and roughly 75% in the early years of the Obama presidency. During George W. Bush’s administration, Republicans were less likely to say they were economic conservatives, with as few as 58% doing so in 2004 and 2005. The trends suggest Republicans’ willingness to identify as economic conservatives, or economic moderates, is influenced by the party of the president in office, and perhaps the types of financial policies the presidential administration is pursuing at the time.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Economic Issues, Republicans and Republican Leaners, 2001-2015

Democrats are also contributing to the trend in lower economic conservative identification. While the plurality of Democrats have consistently said they are economically moderate, Democrats have been more likely to identify as economic liberals than as economic conservatives since 2007. The last two years, there has been a 15-percentage-point gap in liberal versus conservative identification among Democrats on economic matters.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Economic Issues, Democrats and Democratic Leaners, 2001-2015


Americans’ growing social liberalism is evident not only in how they describe their views on social issues but also in changes in specific attitudes, such as increased support for same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. These longer-term trends may be attributable to changing attitudes among Americans of all ages, but they also may be a result of population changes, with younger, more liberal Americans entering adulthood while older, more conservative adults pass on. Gallup found evidence that population replacement is a factor in explaining changes in overall ideology using an analysis of birth cohorts over time.

The 2016 presidential election will thus be contested in a more socially liberal electorate — and a less economically conservative one — than was true of prior elections. Economically and socially conservative candidates may still appeal to the Republican Party base in the primaries, but it may be more important now than in the past for the GOP nominee to be a bit less conservative on social issues in order to appeal to the broader general electorate.

And while Americans are less economically conservative than in the past, economic conservatives still outnumber economic liberals by about 2-to-1. As a result, Democrats must be careful not to nominate a candidate who is viewed as too liberal on economic matters if their party hopes to hold the White House beyond 2016.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-10, 2015, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Democrats’ Vanishing Future

Hillary Clinton is not the only Democratic comeback candidate on the 2016 ticket. Senate Democrats are betting on the past to rebuild their party for the future.


One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama’s tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.

But less attention has been paid to how the shrinking number of Democratic officeholders in the House and in statewide offices is affecting the party’s Senate races. It’s awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016. Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania’s Joe Sestak, Indiana’s Baron Hill, and Ohio’s Ted Strickland all ran underwhelming campaigns in losing office in 2010—and are looking to return to politics six years later. Party officials are courting former Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina to make a comeback bid, despite mediocre favorability ratings and the fact that she lost a race just months ago that most had expected her to win. All told, more than half of the Democrats’ Senate challengers in 2016 are comeback candidates.

On one hand, most of these candidates are the best choices Democrats have. Feingold and Strickland are running ahead of GOP Sens. Ron Johnson and Rob Portman in recent polls. Hill and Hagan boast proven crossover appeal in GOP-leaning states that would be challenging pickups. Their presence in the race gives the party a fighting chance to retake the Senate.

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But look more closely, and the reliance on former failures is a direct result of the party having no one else to turn to. If the brand-name challengers didn’t run, the roster of up-and-coming prospects in the respective states is short. They’re also facing an ominous historical reality that only two defeated senators have successfully returned to the upper chamber in the last six decades. As political analyst Stu Rothenberg put it, they’re asking “voters to rehire them for a job from which they were fired.” Senate Democrats are relying on these repeat candidates for the exact same reason that Democrats are comfortable with anointing Hillary Clinton for their presidential nomination: There aren’t any better alternatives.


For a portrait of the Democrats’ slim pickings, just look at the political breakdown in three of the most consequential battleground states. Republicans hold 12 of Ohio’s 16 House seats, and all six of their statewide offices. In Wisconsin, Republicans hold a majority of the state’s eight House seats and four of five statewide partisan offices. In Pennsylvania, 13 of the 18 representatives are Republicans, though Democrats hold all the statewide offices. (One major caveat: Kathleen Kane, the Democrats’ once-hyped attorney general in the state, is under criminal investigation and has become a political punchline.) These are all Democratic-friendly states that Obama carried twice.

If Strickland didn’t run, the party’s hopes against Portman would lie in the hands of 30-year-old Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who would make unexpected history as one of the nation’s youngest senators with a victory. (Sittenfeld is still mounting a long-shot primary campaign against Strickland.) Without Feingold in Wisconsin, the party’s only logical option would be Rep. Ron Kind, who has regularly passed up opportunities for a promotion. Former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett already lost to Gov. Scott Walker twice, and businesswoman Mary Burke disappointed as a first-time gubernatorial candidate last year. And despite the Democratic establishment’s publicized carping over Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, the list of alternatives is equally underwhelming: His only current intra-party opposition is from the mayor of Allentown.

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In the more conservative states, the drop-off between favored recruits and alternatives is even more stark. Hagan would be a flawed nominee in North Carolina, but there’s no one else waiting in the wings. The strongest Democratic politician, Attorney General Roy Cooper, is running for governor instead. And in Indiana, the bench is so thin that even the GOP’s embattled governor, Mike Pence, isn’t facing formidable opposition. Hill, who lost congressional reelection campaigns in both 2004 and 2010, is not expected to face serious primary competition in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.

Even in the two swing states where the party landed young, up-and-coming recruits to run, their options were awfully limited. In Florida, 32-year-old Rep. Patrick Murphy is one of only five House Democrats to represent a district that Mitt Romney carried in 2012—and his centrism has made him one of the most compelling candidates for higher office. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly rallied behind his campaign (in part to squelch potential opposition from firebrand congressman Alan Grayson). But if Murphy didn’t run, the alternatives would have been limited: freshman Rep. Gwen Graham and polarizing Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz being the most logical alternatives.

In Nevada, Democrats boast one of their strongest challengers in former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, vying to become the first Latina ever elected to the Senate. But her ascension is due, in part, to the fact that other talented officeholders lost in the 2014 statewide wipeout. Democratic lieutenant-governor nominee Lucy Flores, hyped by MSNBC as a “potential superstar,” lost by 26 points to her GOP opponent. Former Secretary of State Ross Miller, another fast-rising pol, badly lost his bid for attorney general against a nondescript Republican. By simply taking a break from politics, Cortez Masto avoided the wave and kept her prospects alive for 2016.

(RELATED: Newly Released Clinton Email Detail Benghazi Correspondence)

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This isn’t an assessment of Democratic chances for a Senate majority in 2017; it’s a glaring warning for the party’s longer-term health. If Clinton can’t extend the Democrats’ presidential winning streak—a fundamental challenge, regardless of the political environment—the party’s barren bench will cause even more alarm for the next presidential campaign. And if the Democrats’ core constituencies don’t show up for midterm elections—an outlook that’s rapidly becoming conventional wisdom—Democrats have serious challenges in 2018 as well. It’s why The New Yorker’s liberal writer John Cassidy warned that a Clinton loss next year could “assign [Republicans] a position of dominance.”

By focusing on how the electorate’s rapid change would hand Democrats a clear advantage in presidential races, Obama’s advisers overlooked how the base-stroking moves would play in the states. Their optimistic view of the future has been adopted by Clinton, who has been running to the left even without serious primary competition.

But without a future generation of leaders able to compellingly carry the liberal message, there’s little guarantee that changing demographics will secure the party’s destiny. The irony of the 2016 Senate races is that Democrats are betting on the past, running veteran politicians to win them back the majority—with Clinton at the top of the ticket. If that formula doesn’t work, the rebuilding process will be long and arduous.

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