Agenda Journalism, Example 4,506,302,235 – Abortion Edition

October 12, 2007

The AP has a story out today with the headline:

Abortion just as common where it’s illegal

That sounds pretty serious. But reading further down in the story you find this:

In North America, there are 33 abortions for every 100 live births, while in Africa, where abortion is illegal in most countries, there are 17 abortions for every 100 live births.

So which is it? Is abortion just as common where it is illegal or not?

And of course, the answer to illegal abortions is contraception, contraception, contraception.

And who did this study?

The study was done by Gilda Sedgh of the Guttmacher Institute in the United States and colleagues from the World Health Organization. It was published in an edition of The Lancet medical journal devoted to maternal health.

“The legal status of abortion has never dissuaded women and couples, who, for whatever reason, seek to end pregnancy,” Beth Fredrick of the International Women’s Health Coalition in the U.S. said in an accompanying commentary.

Oh, the Guttmacher Institute. Just take a quick browse through the site and you will find that they are on the leading edge of unrestricted abortion and contraceptive access, sex “education” for everyone and want the US to fund abortion worldwide. Oh, they also happen to be part of Planned Parenthood.

I’m sure that the survey wasn’t skewed at all.

Update: The Population Research Institute has issued a response noting a possible skewing of data pointing out that while the official statistics from Columbia only show 50 recorded abortions, Guttmacher claims over 100,000.

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