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February 4, 2013

HOWEY: Pro-life movement an Indiana political juggernaut

In the past 40 years there have been 55 million abortions in the United States. With Indiana at 2.1 percent of the U.S. people, the math produces a startling statistic: Approximately 1 million Hoosiers didn’t make it into the population.

“We’ve screwed up the population pyramid,” observed Curt Smith, who heads the Indiana Family Institute. “Forty years later, we do not have the adult work force to make the system work. The Social Security system would be different. There’s probably been a million Hoosiers aborted. We’d have 14 percent more population and they’d be coming into their peak earning years and peak productivity.”

It’s not the first time the post-Roe v. Wade demographics have been probed to explain a social phenomenon. In the mid-1990s after crack cocaine spiked violent crime rates in major U.S. cities, the statistics rolled off the table. Crime took a deep dive and some demographers pointed to the fact that scores of babies in single parent and lower economic classes were never born.

In the four decades of Roe vs. Wade, Indiana has been impacted not only in a demographic sense, but politically as well.

Gov. Mike Pence’s new administration is the most overtly pro-life in the state’s history. The Republican supermajorities of the Indiana General Assembly are overwhelmingly pro-life. Of the 125 legislators on the ballot in 2012, Indiana Right to Life endorsed 75 of the eventual winners. The 10-3 Republican advantage in the congressional delegation found Right to Life endorsing nine of them, excluding U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, who is pro-life.

Sen. Donnelly continues a trend of Indiana’s U.S. senators, all of whom have been pro-life since Birch Bayh’s defeat in 1980 by Dan Quayle.

Essentially, a pro-choice Republican stands little chance of being nominated or elected to anything above the municipal level since Gov. Robert D. Orr, a member of Planned Parenthood, left office in 1988.

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