Abortion Accuracy

By June 2, 2005California
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Truth is inescapable; it will come out and it will prevail.

In a 2004 October surprise, just before President George W. Bush’s re-election, the religious left publication Sojourners published figures indicating that the number of abortions in the U.S. had gone up 25 percent during President Bush’s first term in office. That increase was shouted from the media rooftops as uncontested fact; even recently in two high-profile interviews last week Howard Dean on NBC’s Meet the Press with Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton on CNN’s Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff.

Then, the Left’s Planned Parenthood think tank, the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), released a comprehensive study of 43 states indicating that both the number and the rate of abortions were down by around 1 percent in 2001 and again in 2002.

These decreases track information released in the Beverly LaHaye Institute’s (BLI’s) January 2005 Data Digest, “America’s Staggering Hidden Loss.” The latest research from BLI, Concerned Women for America’s think tank, indicates that the decrease in the number and rate of abortions stems from the decline in teen abortions.

In addition, while unmarried women are four times more likely to have an abortion than married women, both married and unmarried abortions declined by more than 25 percent during the 1990s. In fact, abortion increasingly is becoming a matter of birth control for women over age 25. They are the ones having the largest share of abortions. Also, the data indicates that the number of women having repeat abortions is increasing (some four or more) and more abortions are being performed on women who have previously had a live birth.

These are facts that the general public needs to know. Researchers recognized immediately that the information in Sojourners was skewed. Institutions like BLI (from the Right) and AGI (from the Left) have been studying this data and tracking these statistics for years.

Now the author of the disputed study (some old numbers and some misused categories), Glen Harold Stassen, an ethics professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, points out that he used data from a sample of states (16) states that have, historically, higher abortion rates and data from Colorado and Arizona two states that had recently changed their methods of reporting, thus rendering their sharp increases meaningless.

Thankfully, we live in the age of blogs and, when former first lady and now Sen. Clinton and the Chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, dug up the old statistic, the blogosphere went into high gear. Very quickly it broadcast the facts around the Internet. Folks who would never see the January 2005 report from BLI or the May 2005 report from AGI would read Michelle Malkin and Charmaine Yoest.

Strange how these false “facts” have a life of their own, and how nice that today’s bloggers are ready to pounce on misinformation and get the truth out. Now that we know the facts, we must spread the word. As George Washington once said, “Truth will ultimately prevail.” Defenders of truth have brought the abortion facts to light; it’s up to us to spread the word.

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