Two attempts to rebut pro-life criticisms mired in lies, distortions, and evasions

By Dave Andrusko

What’s a good abortion apologist supposed to do when caught red-handed? What follows in today’s last post are two examples of their slippery, slip-shod responses.

First, what does Planned Parenthood do when the Washington Post’s Fact-Checker obliterates them (“Four Pinocchios”) for thrice peddling patently unsubstantiated claims about abortion deaths prior to Roe v. Wade?

Second, what does the Abortion Industry do when Justice Clarence Thomas lays out chapter and verse how abortion and eugenics were joined at the hip in the early days and continue to be linked today?

The WaPo’s Glen Kessler, who would never be accused of being a friend of the Pro-Life Movement, gave three examples of where Dr. Leana Wen, Planned Parenthood’s new president, claimed that “thousands” of women died prior to Roe v. Wade. This is a pro-abortion lie so old it has mold, but Planned Parenthood and its friends need to convince the public that “thousands” of women died before Justice Harry Blackmun saved them.

Kessler politely pointed out that the claim is virtually all speed and no altitude, was based on data that was bad when it was accumulated and patently absurd in retrospect, and not supported by the experts Planned Parenthood relied on. Kessler ended his “Four Pinocchios” critique, “But advocates hurt their cause when they use figures that do not withstand scrutiny. These numbers were debunked in 1969 — 50 years ago — by a statistician celebrated by Planned Parenthood. There’s no reason to use them today.”


So does Wen respond personally on her Twitter account? Of course not.

She re-tweets posts from someone else that is rife with the kind of misinformation that Kessler critiqued. For example, he links back to a Guttmacher study from 2003 which (he tweets) “The number of yearly deaths could well have been in the thousands. A @Guttmacher report contains data indicating that in 1930 abortion was named as the cause of death for nearly 2,700 women.”

Two things. I cannot find a link in the Guttmacher study to back up their claim that in 1930 “abortion was the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women.” Even the most hyperbolic assertions never listed more than 15,000 deaths, a figure itself that was bloated and patently absurd.

But the point is not what was the number of abortion-related deaths in 1930. It is rather (if you were honest), what the numbers were leading up to 1973 when Roe was decided.

The same Guttmacher study that is linked to in the tweet Dr. Wen reposted says the number of abortion deaths had dropped to 1,700 by 1940 “and to just over 300 by 1950 (most likely because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion). By 1965, the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200”—not the “thousands” that Wen demagogues.

These people are shameless.

What about a rebuttal of Justice Thomas’s devastating concurrence?

Writing at the Huffington Post, Lydia O’Connor accuses Thomas of using “cherry-picked data”; of having a “view [that] stands in stark contrast to that of many reproductive rights and medical groups”; and of misunderstanding (or worse) sex-selective abortion.

Thomas doesn’t use cherry-picked data. O’Connor does—and worse.

O’Connor tells us the aforementioned “many reproductive rights and medical groups” argue “that policing a woman’s reason for having the procedure not only infringes on her constitutional rights, but also paves the way for even more restrictive legislation around women’s bodies.”

Which, of course, is entirely besides the point Thomas was making.

Pro-abortionists don’t want more protective laws, I get that. But that doesn’t invalidate what Thomas wrote, not even a little:

Technological advances have only heightened the eugenic potential for abortion, as abortion can now be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics, such as a particular sex or disability.

So how did Thomas get sex-selective abortions wrong? Did he misquote Mara Hvistendahl’s famous conclusion that there were a 160 million “missing” women? No.

Were his comments nothing more than “a disturbing data point to argue that abortion can be a eugenic tool for those who prefer baby boys over baby girls”? To O’Connor, yes. To the rest of us, no.

Justice Thomas was stating a simple, undeniable fact. There is a preference for males in many cultures and many more than 160 million girls have paid the price. Countries such as India are trying desperately to prevent sex-selective abortions but to O’Connor the fact that girl babies are aborted left and right because they are not boys can never “justify restrictions on the procedure in the U.S.”

Shoddy work, but what can they do? They must lie about the number of abortion deaths prior to Roe and pretend that sex-selective abortion is just a price countless female babies pay for their mothers’ uninhibited access to abortion or any reason, or no reason.