Abortions Have Not Increased

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Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.

This claim is false. It's based on an an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased. Update, May 26: The author of the original claim now concedes that the Guttmacher study is "significantly better" than his own. - FactCheck

HT: WorldMagBlog via Parableman (who adds additional commentary)

Others Blogging: Papa Famalias, Open Book

Updates:

Michelle Malkin writes:

The bogus claim about rising abortions is apparently based on a discredited analysis of abortions in 16 states by Glenn Stassen, a professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Stassen himself has retracted his original conclusion that abortion increased in 2 of the 16 states he examined (South Dakota and Wisconsin). A third state, Illinois, showed an increase in Stassen's analysis, but more recent figures show a large decrease. In at least two states, Arizona and Colorado, the increase in abortions reported by Stassen is almost certainly an artifact of improved reporting techniques.
Imago Dei, after much commentary, writes:
It is tragic that a Christian ethicist goes on record with bad data, and even worse that Democrats mindlessly picked up on that theme. Abortions are not predominately an economical issue, it is predominately a moral issue. It is sad that he cannot see this regardless of what the data shows.
Reasoned Audacity, who appears to have been the first blogger to comment on this story, quotes Howard Dean's May 22nd interview on Meet the Press:
Here's what Howard Dean had to say on Meet the Press yesterday about abortion:

Howard Dean
on Meet the Press

DR. DEAN: . . .You know that abortions have gone up 25 percent since George Bush was president?

She concludes, "So there you have it: It's President Bush's fault that the number of abortions has been increasing. Except that they haven't been. Yes, the truth. Such a pesky thing."

However, according to FactCheck, Dean is not the only one who has criticized the Bush administration using the false statistics related to abortion. Hilary Clinton told the Houston Chronicle:

But unfortunately, in the last few years, while we are engaged in an ideological debate instead of one that uses facts and evidence and common sense, the rate of abortion is on the rise in some states . In the three years since President Bush took office, 8 states saw an increase in abortion rates (14.6% average increase), and four saw a decrease (4.3% average), so we have a lot of work still ahead of us.
And, in an interview on NBCs Meet the Press on January 30, 2005 , Sen. John Kerry claimed that abortions were up across the board:
And do you know that in fact abortion has gone up in these last few years with the draconian policies that Republicans have.
It should come as no surprise that political pundits exploited weakly developed statistics to criticize an opponent.

In the end, the slight decline in U.S. abortions means that thousands are still legally killed every day while politicians quibble about the numbers. The fact remains that the government through both Democrat and Republican administrations has protected the murder of millions.


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