New Abortion Study Needs to Be Taken With a Grain of Salt

News: US News
by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  •  September 18, 2019   

Michael Spielman: 'Guttmacher has a horse in this race'

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NEW YORK ( - The Guttmacher Institute, which was originally founded as a branch of Planned Parenthood, recently released a study claiming abortions have declined 7% from 2014 to 2017, offering better contraception and self-managed abortions as reasons.

Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Witwer and Jenna Jerman conducted the study released Wednesday by sending questionnaires to all facilities nationwide known or suspected to have done abortions ― focusing mostly on 2016 and 2017 ― and gathering state health department data from 45 states and the District of Columbia.

American mothers are increasingly choosing life for their children.

The study claims that fertility rates have declined in most states and that an increase in "unintended births" was unlikely a reason for the alleged decline in abortion rates.

The study also offered improvements in contraceptive use and increases in individuals doing self-managed abortions outside of facilities as reasons for the decline.

Others considering the study offered different reasons for the decline.

Chuck Donavan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute — a pro-life organization that promotes deeper public understanding of the value of human life, motherhood and fatherhood — noted that the Guttmacher Institute ignored cultural changes and pro-life work:

There are several reasons for this positive news, including factors that Guttmacher does their best to ignore. American mothers are increasingly choosing life for their children, as well as choosing to identify themselves with the pro-life cause and pro-life policies. This includes the broad protections for women and children being enacted at the state level such as strengthened health and safety standards for abortion facilities, limits on public funding of abortion, parental involvement laws, and increased informed consent.


Donavan also noted that the abortion industry's increasing use of so-called medication abortion and self-managed abortion is alarming for multiple reasons:

March for Life 2019

The rise in so-called medication abortion should concern us all as it reveals the abortion industry's increasingly successful effort to cut the overhead costs of surgical abortion while still profiting off the destruction of unborn children and wounding of his or her mother, who is given dangerous abortion drugs and then sent off to pass the body of her aborted child in isolation. The industry's migration to chemical self-abortion is deeply disturbing as it carries with it the possibility of increasing the overall abortion rate over time and also carries with it a higher rate of injury, about which women are often under informed or deceived.

The Guttmacher Institute was founded in 1968 as the Center for Family Planning Program Development (CFPPD) and as a branch of Planned Parenthood (PP), the nation's largest abortion chain.

The CFPPD became an independent non-profit and was renamed to the Guttmacher Institute after Alan Guttmacher, an obstetrician-gynecologist who once served as the president of PP.

Guttmacher has a horse in this race.

Regarding the Guttmacher Institute's reporting on global abortion rates, Michael Spielman, writing for the pro-life blog Abort73, has cautioned readers to take the reports with a grain of salt:

Common sense notwithstanding, virtually no one questions the numbers put forward by Guttmacher, let alone their conclusions. Even Christians who purportedly oppose abortion are apt to read these numbers and naively conclude that laws don't matter — or that they do more harm than good. Do not be deceived. Guttmacher has a horse in this race. Guttmacher knows that if abortion is already occurring in countries where it is against the law, at rates that are indistinguishable from countries where it is protected by law, then all of the pragmatic arguments for outlawing abortion cease to exist.

The Guttmacher Institute mainly produces studies in an attempt to influence public policy on so-called reproductive health and reproductive rights.

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