Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. following the ruling to overturn Roe vs. Wade. (Joshua Comins/Fox News Digital)
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On Friday, Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump was skewered for his analysis piece titled, “Scaling back abortion access is consistent with declining democracy.”
In the piece, Bump made the argument that the United States’ restriction of abortion rights with Friday’s Supreme Court decision puts it in league with two other not-so-democratic countries which have restricted abortion rights and have trended towards authoritarianism in recent years.
The insinuation is that the Court’s ruling, in addition to other alleged authoritarian moves, like electing former President Trump, puts the U.S. among the dregs of the world. Though critics on Twitter called the argument misleading, the “dumbest piece” they’ve read today, and proof that Bump “isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.”
Bump began his piece by stating that many countries are undoing abortion restrictions.
“The pattern over the past 25 years has been fairly steady: Many countries with prohibitions against abortion have unwound those laws either slightly or substantially. Places like Nepal and Ireland and Colombia have loosened bans on abortion since the turn of the century, as have dozens of other countries.”
Washington Post writer Philip Bump argued that the U.S. restricting abortion access means it’s losing democracy. (iStock)
He added that most countries aren’t changing them at all, except for two, and pointed out that the U.S. has now joined this minority with its Roe v. Wade reversal.
“Most countries, of course, didn’t [affect] any changes at all from 2000 to the beginning of this year. Two, Nicaragua and Poland, scaled back access to abortion,” Bump wrote. He added, “On Friday, the United States joined them. The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization repealed its decision in Roe v. Wade, allowing states to prohibit abortion entirely.”
Bump then made the claim that all three of these countries had been trending away from “liberal democracy” shortly before their abortion restrictions. “But it’s worth noting — particularly given broader international trends — that Poland, Nicaragua and the United States had all moved measurably away from liberal democracy before abortion bans were expanded. ”
Bump cited a research group called “The Varieties of Democracy project,” which allegedly “evaluates leadership and decision-making in countries on dozens of metrics,” showing that each of these three countries have had a “consistent pattern” of increasing illiberalism.
Bump cited other experts who pointed to America’s “attacks on women’s rights” and the election of Trump as connections to “authoritarianism.” He asserted, “But we can say the other countries in which abortion access has been scaled back in the past 20 years are ones where democracy was in decline.”
However, conservatives on Twitter were not buying it, claiming the argument was significantly flawed and proof of Bump’s lack of intelligence.
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck blasted Bump, tweeting, “Bump isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.”
Houck also shared a tweet from popular conservative account @AGHamilton29, which poked huge holes in Bump’s assertions. “It ignores the baseline where U.S. is an extreme outlier among first world countries. And one of the 2 other countries used to show a pattern (Poland) liberalized abortion under an anti-Democratic Communist regime.”
Pro-abortion protester stands out U.S. Supreme Court.
AG added, “He literally tried to make a pattern out of 2 non-US countries and an honest assessment of 1 of the 2 would lead to the exact opposite conclusion about correlation.”
National Review Washington correspondent John McCormack made that argument, tweeting, “One of the three countries mentioned here is Poland. Under Communism, a permissive abortion law was forced on Poland in 1956. After Poland was liberated, it banned abortion in 1993. These facts are not mentioned in this piece.”
The Federalist senior editor David Harsanyi tweeted, “This might be the dumbest piece I’ve read today— and that’s no small achievement. The court is handing an issue found nowhere in the constitution back to voters and these ridiculous ppl claim dobbs is undermining ‘democracy.’”
“For the left, ‘democracy’ is just a euphemism for ‘policies I want,’” he clarified, and also called the piece “dishonest.”
Anit-abortion activists hold signs outside the US Supreme Court after overturning of Roe Vs. Wade, in Washington, DC, on June 24, 2022. (STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
“Democracy is when Abortion,” tweeted, Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy mocking the piece.
Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., spokesperson Christina Pushaw tweeted sarcastically, “China has state funded abortion up to 9 months, that’s a famous vibrant democracy, maybe you should move there.”
Gabriel Hays is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @gabrieljhays.