An interesting little test

More than 60 women from far north Queensland have been forced to go interstate to have abortions, often to Sydney, in the first six months of 2018.

Other women from regional parts of Queensland, where abortion remains a criminal offence under the 1899 criminal code, have taken round trips of up to 2,600km to undergo procedures, health professionals and support workers have told Guardian Australia.

Abortion is more difficult in one part of Oz. The general culture is rather similar across all parts of Oz. Thus we’ve a natural experiment.

Given that difficulty of abortion we might assume, say, a higher rate of single mothers, or teenage ones. Or it’s possible to assume the other way, in that the difficulty leads to very much less unprotected sex.

So, which way does the evidence swing? Does legal availability of abortion – easily that is – lead to more or fewer single/teenage mothers?

8 thoughts on “An interesting little test”

  1. You have to put the journey into perspective. My family once did a round trip from Dalby to Townsville by car for a weekend to visit friends. Thats almost 2400km. The buggers are crazy in this respect, they have to be, it’s so big.

    Not sure about the effect. Left the place 30 years ago and rarely go back. Plenty of single mothers though, same as everywhere.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    When is an abortion not an abortion? When you’re pro abortion and then it apparently becomes a “procedure”.

  3. “higher rate of single mothers, or teenage ones”

    If we are to judge whether abortion is a good thing or a bad thing, this doesn’t seem the optimal metric to do so.

    There’s an argument to be made that western cultures should start churning out its kids at an earlier age, and that our ever-longer postponement so that mid-to-late 30s is the “new normal” is a civilizational mistake.

  4. Plus obviously there’s an even clearer argument that it is a biological mistake.

    For all that, even if you accept the great postponement of tiny footsteps is a mistake, that in itself still isn’t a compelling argument that women who are pregnant should be left with no option but to carry to term.

  5. Dear Mr Worstall

    Perhaps the availability of benefits will have more influence on single teenage motherhood.

    If a sprog or two without a partner nets you a council house, the tendency will be to have a sprog or two.

    If five sprogs each from a different father nets you a six bedroom council house, what’s the incentive there?

    Apparently incentives do matter.


  6. ‘More than 60 women from far north Queensland have been forced to go interstate to have abortions, often to Sydney, in the first six months of 2018.’

    The Guardian still hires shit for writers.

    Women were not forced; they chose.

    Often? Was this one woman who had 60 abortions?

    First half of 2018. As opposed to the second half of 2018. “This year” would cover it, but I guess more flourish was required.

  7. Yes distance is different outside U.K. I would take my son to Edmonton for university term, stay overnight and drive back next day which is roughly 1,200km each way

  8. What MyBurningEars says. Fewer single mothers is fine. Fewer young mothers is not necessarily a good thing.

    I’d be interested to see if there’s any relationship between (availability of) abortion and propensity for men to stick around.

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