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Accurate numbers? Not when inaccuracy serves the pro-abortion cause

by | Jan 4, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

If I was on the other side, and I was on the receiving end of a “flood of anti-choice restrictions,” I would also shout to the high heavens (or wherever it is they shout). So, when rewire.com’s headline reads, “2016 Brought a Flood of Abortion Restrictions,” it was hardly a surprise. (The rest of the headline–“But Also a Surge of Proactive Measures”–refers largely to bills outside our single-issue purview.)

The “source” is the same source the mainstream media treats with reverence: the Guttmacher Institute, the one-time research arm of Planned Parenthood, whose relentlessly pro-abortion interpretations rest on the most complete data.

But it is a measure of their determination to inflate (from their perspective) the damage that when you read the numbers from Guttmacher dutifully trotted out by Lauryn Gutierrez, you have to understand they bear only a passing resemblance to the truth.

Am I suggesting that since 2011, pro-lifers have not passed many, many pro-life measures? Of course not. What I am saying is that pro-abortionists use various accounting gimmicks to exaggerate the number of “anti-abortion restrictions,” the better to gin up their supporters and receive even more sympathetic press from reporters already bound to them hand and foot.

So I asked Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life, how it works in her state. She wrote back with a couple of examples:

Guttmacher never, ever itemizes their annual “count” of what they call “anti-abortion bills/laws.” In Kansas, an identical measure that gets introduced in both the House and the Senate under separate numbering and then gets redrafted as an amendment to a final bill, counts for three laws, not one.

It gets worse–there are more permutations of that in our experience. When a bill reaches a conference committee (to reconcile difference in the bills passed in the House and in the Senate), it gets it own number.

And what about omnibus bills (as opposed to single subject)? Do pro-abortionists itemize each clause in a bill as a separate “assault”?

As I read Kathy’s response, it reminded me of a different way pro-abortionists manipulate numbers. Only instead of exaggerating the numbers, they minimize them.

Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC’s director of education, has explained the absurd method PPFA uses to tell us that abortion constitutes only “3% of its services.” He has so well that sources outside the pro-life community, including a Factchecker for the Washington Post, have exposed PPFA’s mendacious approach.

In 2015 Michelle Ye Hee Lee deconstructed PPFA’s talking point. She wrote

The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally. Yet there are obvious difference between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.

Lee gave the 3% claim “three Pinocchios.” Pinocchios refer to how deceptive an assertion is, with four Pinocchios representing the highest degree of distortion. Three Pinocchios means (according to the Post) that a statement has “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

So my point is a simple one. When it serves the pro-abortion agenda, they will exaggerate the “damage.” But when it comes to the truth that abortion is a core component of PPFA’s “services,” they will attempt to minimize the damage by the use of flat-out distortion.

Categories: pro-abortion