Thursday, May 26, 2005

Howie Dean: "abortions have gone up 25 percent" under President Bush

On last Sunday's "Meet the Press," Howard "Screaming Weenie" Dean belched up this gem:
You know that abortions have gone up 25 percent since George Bush was President?

Other Democratic leaders have refered to this, too, and their mindless followers have repeated it ad nauseum. Is it true? Unsurprisingly, no. Here's what has to say:

The Biography of a Bad Statistic
Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.

This claim is false. It's based on an an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased.

Where did this liberal lie start?
The claim that abortions are rising again can be traced back to an opinion piece by Glen Harold Stassen, an ethics professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. His article originally appeared in a web and e-mail publication of Sojourners, a Christian magazine, in October 2004. Several other outlets, including the Houston Chronicle, also ran a similar piece co-authored by Stassen and journalist Gary Krane. The articles generated a good deal of discussion on a number of both liberal and conservative blogs.

Describing himself as “consistently pro-life,” Stassen reported that he “analyzed the data on abortion during the Bush presidency” and reached some “disturbing” conclusions. "Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed," he said. "Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction."

Stassen's broad conclusion wasn't justified by the sketchy information he cited, however. Furthermore, a primary organization he cited specifically as a source for historical data now contradicts him, saying abortions have continued to decline since Bush took office.

And where did Dean get his "25 percent" statistic? Looks like from the same bodily oriface where his head is located:
Dean's "statistic" went unchallenged by moderator Tim Russert, so millions of viewers probably got the impression that Dean's very specific 25 percent figure was correct. But Dean was wrong -- and by a wide margin.

We asked the Democratic National Committee repetedly where Dean got his 25 percent figure, but we got no response. Even if Stassen's estimate of 52,000 additional abortion were correct, that would figure to an increase of less than 4 percent.

None of this will stop the liberals from continuing to use the false claim, though. As with the Koran abuse claims, it makes the Bush administration and, primarily, President Bush himself look bad, and that is more important to liberals than the truth.

[Hijacked from Wizbang.]


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