Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Wednesday line — abortion, marriage equality, state Senate, college enrollment

Posted By on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

The line is open. Finshing up:

* HOW PRO-LIFE GROUPS REALLY DON'T PROTECT THE UNBORN: Good op-ed in Christian Science Monitor. It's about the money and effort spent on anti-abortion demonstrations and the effort to pass ever more restrictive abortion laws. What if some of that money was spent on the hundreds of thousands of women who decide to have an abortion because of economic reasons, from pre-natal care to pregnancy costs to the costs of caring for a child.

So while pro-life Americans spend millions of dollars on events geared toward making abortion illegal, there were 1.16 million women who came to the conclusion in 2009 (a figure that has steadily decreased since the 1990s) that they could not carry their child to term – many of them because of money. The money spent on the March for Life alone could pay for prenatal care for around 6,600 women, or prenatal vitamins for nearly 250,000.

Even if those who participate in the March for Life were able to successfully revoke the legality of abortion in the US, or substantially limit the time in which women can obtain an abortion, statistics indicate that it wouldn’t necessarily protect the unborn. The Guttmacher Institute’s statistics show that abortion rates are higher in countries where it is illegal and procedures are often unsafe.

Even more disheartening are statistics from the Turnaway Study done by The University of California, San Francisco, which showed that women who sought abortions and were turned away (because they had passed their state's gestational limits) were three times more likely to fall into poverty than women who obtained an abortion

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* ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY: Meet the lawyer, law professor and elected county clerk in Pennsylvania who decided to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Some people have said I’ve broken the law, which I may have done,” said Hanes, while seated in his office surrounded by family photos and Civil War-era paraphernalia, as well as an 1857 newspaper clipping advertising Abraham Lincoln’s legal services. “But I’ve broken an unconstitutional law.”

* RACES DEVELOPING FOR STATE SENATE: Five candidates have filed so far for the Jonesboro-area state Senate seat vacated by Paul Bookout. Republicans: John Cooper, Chad Niell and Dan Sullivan; Democrats: Gene Roebuck and Steve Rockwell. More likely.

* EMPHASIZING THE POSITIVE: Arkansas State University announced 11th-day enrollment this year and chose to emphasize test scores, not numbers. Full-time equivalent enrollment this year is 13,538, down 348 from 13,886 last year. But, said the school:

The first-time freshman ACT composite score rose to 23.3, a full three points higher than the state of Arkansas mark of 20.2 and well above the national average of 20.9. Arkansas State’s first-time freshmen also had a record-high 3.43 average high school GPA.

I'll be interested in UALR's numbers, which are expected to be down this year. It could suffer from being a haven for non-traditional (read older) students. Nationally, a new report today said college enrollment was down measurably last year mostly because of a big drop in enrollment of students aged 25 and older.

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