Friday, October 12, 2007

Parsing the Planned Parenthood Spin Machine

Steve Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, is out with a sharp criticism of the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's spin-tank. From the piece:
In its new report on abortions worldwide, Guttmacher makes several claims. These fall into two broad, overlapping categories. The first consists of ploys to raise more funds for the population control-abortion crowd. The second, intended to pander to radical feminists, consists of veiled pleas to legalize abortion, couched in the form of arguments.

Guttmacher claims that the number of induced abortions worldwide declined from nearly 46 million to under 42 million between 1995 and 2003. "Significantly, the abortion rate for 2003 was roughly equal in developed and developing regions ... despite abortion being largely illegal in developing regions."

In actual fact, neither Guttmacher nor anyone else knows how many abortions have been performed worldwide in this year or any other year. Guttmacher's numbers may be reasonably accurate for countries with socialized medicine, like Great Britain, where accurate records are kept. But for other developed countries, like the United States, they are at best educated guesses. Abortion may be legal, but its proponents have kept it deliberately shrouded in secrecy.

As far as the numbers given for the developing world, they are simply bogus. Take the case of Columbia, for example. In the hysteria surrounding the effort to legalize abortion there, the feminists kept advancing higher and higher numbers. The numbers of illegal [hence "unsafe"] abortions spiraled upward at a dizzying pace--250,000, 300,000, 450,000. All fantasy.

I interviewed the Vice Minister for Health of Columbia on September 28th of this year. She informed me that, since the legalization of abortion in that country on May 10th of last year, the Ministry for Social Protection's health clinics had performed approximately 50 abortions. Not 50,000, or 5,000, or even 500. Fifty. This is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted.

Why, you may ask, does the Guttmacher crowd play fast and loose with zeros? Because they are deliberately exaggerating the magnitude of the problem in order to create a "health crisis." After all, the more women they can claim have "unsafe" abortions, the more women they can claim die as a result. The numbers are merely chips in a high-stakes poker game to legalize abortion-on-demand worldwide.

Another Guttmacher claim is that the number of abortions has "fall[en] most where abortion is broadly legal." "On the whole, the abortion rate decreased more in developed countries, where abortion is generally safe and legal on broad grounds ... than in developing countries, where the procedure is largely illegal and unsafe." This statement is speculative at best, since there are no hard numbers where clandestine abortions are concerned. Again, Guttmacher invents absurdly large numbers of "unsafe abortions," which then enable it to claim that the abortion rate plummets with legalization (and the collection of real statistics).

Related:
A Moment of Silence
Woman Dies from Abortion
WHO Study on Abortion's Frequency, Safety Likely Relies on False Data

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