Another media outlet gives “One in Three” claim a “Half-True” assessment

Own research suggests the assertion is not true

By Dave Andrusko

halftruth6reMy rule of thumb is when sources that are ordinary inhospitable to pro-lifers reveal pro-abortion shenanighans (even if gently), it’s important to bring it to people’s attention, even if it is plowing old ground.

What am I talking about? That the “1 in 3” campaign is, at best, outdated, a worse an ongoing and conscious deception.

You’ll recall the the soundbite: “One in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches the age of 45.” Well, Politifact Virginia (which works in association with the Richmond Times Dispatch) took a look at the above phraseology which appeared, we are told, last Monday on the website of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

To jump to the (unsatisfactory) conclusion: The statement is “Half-True,” according to Sean Gorman, and W. Gardner Selby.

Here’s why this is unfair, at best, bogus at worse.

In a nutshell, (as the concluding paragraph summarizes), the “half-true” is arrived at even though “the statistic it [NARAL] cites as fact actually is an estimate that might be outdated.”

Got that? An estimate passed off as fact that might (and obviously IS) outdated. Think about this for a moment and this is obviously wrong even to the Washington Post and other Politifact wannabes.

Estimate as fact?

In 2011 the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute wanted to update its 1992 estimate that “43 percent of U.S. women would have at least one abortion by the time they turn 45.”

Why? “Abortion rates had declined since 1992, and researchers wondered whether that meant that the percentage of women who would have an abortion at some point in their lives also had dropped,” Gorman and Selby write.

NARAL derives its 1 in 3 from the updated study from Guttmacher.  What matters is “a caveat,” according to Gorman and Selby

Guttmacher said its estimate stands as long as “prevailing abortion rates” continue. The abortion rate, however, has not held steady. According to Guttmacher, it fell from 19.4 per 1,000 women in 2008 – when the lifetime incidence estimate was made – to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women in 2011, the latest figures available.

So, given this–and given the fact that the percentage had already been ratched down from 43% to roughly 33%– how could the 1 in 3 lifetime estimate possibly be accurate?

Politifact Texas also called it Half True. The Washington Post gave this claim Two Pinocchios [“significant omissions and/or exaggerations”].

Here’s Guttmacher tortuous explanation why the 1 in 3 shouldn’t be abandoned yet:

Rachel Jones, co-author of the Guttmacher report, told us in an email that it’s possible – but far from certain – that the percentage of women expected to have an abortion before age 45 would go down with the abortion rate.

Jones said Guttmacher plans to take another look at the lifetime incidence of abortions. “We will not have an updated estimate for several years,” she said.

Yikes. I wonder if Jones said this with a straight face.

With Guttmacher providing cover, we can be confident NARAL and its sister pro-abortion organizations will spew the same distortion for at least “several years.”