NRL News

Having scholarly nonsense accepted as truth is part and parcel of defending abortion

by | Mar 1, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

TXPEPwaittimesreWhat a juxtaposition.

Today is Super Tuesday and both Republicans and Democrats will be taking the next step in deciding whom will be their respective presidential nominee.

Tomorrow is a kind of Super Wednesday, if you will. Stephanie Toti, of the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Scott Keller, the Texas solicitor general, will argue before the Supreme Court the Texas abortion industry’s challenge to portions of the 2013 omnibus Texas pro-life law, HB2.

I read the harsh editorial in the Washington Post, bashing the state of Texas, just before I read an op-ed written for the Post by PPFA President Cecile Richards.

If you did not see the bylines, you’d be hard pressed to figure out who wrote which–they are that indistinguishable. (As they say, it is no accident that the online edition of the Post uses the same graphic for both stories.)

And undistinguished. They roll out the customary talking points, as if by power of repetition Richards and the Post will carry the day.

What’s fascinating to someone who watches the pro-abortion propaganda machine closely is how the most outlandish “scholarly” claims get assimilated into the conversation as if they are gospel.

For example, Richards tells us, “These same researchers [the Texas Policy Evaluation Project] estimate that at least 100,000 Texas women have tried to end a pregnancy on their own, without medical assistance.” But, in fact, this is at best only a very tenuous projection from TxPEP that amounts to very little when looked at in a context that spans not two years but many decades!

We won’t spend as much time on it, but both the Post editorial and Richards’ piece also mention concerns about “skyrocketing” wait times (the Post) and wait times of 20 days for abortion as another dire consequence of the new law. However this is a very selective reading of the data, which does not take into account local factors and ignores altogether the long-term trend of a declining number of abortions in Texas and elsewhere.

NRLC’s Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon thoroughly debunked this nonsense–and many other errors– in two posts–here and here.

They are absolutely must reading.

Two points by way of summarizing Dr. O’Bannon’s posts.

First, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) is not some neutral band of truth-seekers. TxPEP is a group of pro-abortion researchers from the University of Texas, Ibis Reproductive Health, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and notorious abortion academy, University of California San Francisco. You knew their results before they published it–indeed, before they started.

Second, TxPEP did not actually claim to have found between 100,000 and 240,000 women who have self-aborted in Texas; this was only the projection from a survey. And even this covered reports of women over their entire reproductive life, perhaps 30 years. It is not the past couple of years since the law has been in effect. It just conveniently let people get the false impression this was a result of the 2013 law.

As Dr. O’Bannon explains, the 100,000 and 240,000 abortion figure is an extrapolation from a small sample, is rife with vague explanations, and, in fact, reflects behavior that took place almost entirely before HB2 was passed.

Self-abortion (in most instances, they mean chemically-induced abortions) is being promoted by the abortion industry, by the usual pro-abortion media sites, and by academics like those that made up the Texas Policy Evaluation Project!

To summarize: the 100,000-240,000 abortion figure is an extrapolation of a small sample which (however accurate or bogus) took place almost entirely before HB2 was based, and which was and is driven by pro-abortionists!

What about the increased waiting periods? Where they were found, they were consistent with the normal temporary fluctuations that have been occurring, not just in certain metropolitan areas of Texas, but in the abortion business all across the U.S., as some clinics have closed, others have opened, and the market has adjusted to decreased demand.

We’ll talk more about the Supreme Court in two other posts today.

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion