by Steven Ertelt
June 1, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life group that was one of the leading critics of a study claiming abortions increased during President Bush’s first term in office is applauding the results of a new Planned Parenthood report showing the opposite is true.
Shortly before the 2004 presidential election, researcher Harold Stassen released an op-ed in which he claimed abortions had increased during Bush’s administration, based on the findings from roughly a dozen states.
However, a new report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute shows both the abortion numbers and abortion rate on the decline both from 2000 to 2001 and from 2001 to 2002.
During the first two years of Bush’s term in office, the number of abortions declined by 20,000 and the abortion rate dropped from 21.3 to 20.9 in that same period of time.
Guttmacher’s abortion ratio, the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies ending in abortion or live birth, dropped from 24.5 in 2000 to 24.2 in 2002, the lowest abortion ratio Guttmacher has reported since 1974.
After Stassen released the results of his study, National Right to Life Committee education director Dr. Randy O’Bannon was one of the first out of the door with a comprehensive rebuttal.
"Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood’s special research affiliate looked at data from more than 40 states, not just the 16 states Stassen studied, and saw an entirely different pattern," he told LifeNews.com.
"AGI largely validated National Right to Life’s original analysis of Stassen’s figures, not simply pointing out the need for a larger state sample, but rejecting extreme increases from certain states," O’Bannon added.
He told LifeNews.com that Stassen used new figures from Arizona and Colorado supposedly showing a sharp increase in the number of abortions. However, those two states merely implemented a more effective method of counting abortions and O’Bannon said AGI agreed that those numbers should instead be used as a baseline for future analysis of abortion data from those states.
O’Bannon chided some politicians such as New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and new Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, who have used the Stassen report to attack President Bush’s pro-life policies.
"Pro-abortion Democrats have been pushing the myth ever since the election that abortions had increased since Bush took office," he said. "Turns out not to have been true at all."
"Many of those in leadership in the Democratic party seem to have suddenly developed an interest in reducing abortion, but if they were sincere, they’d be supporting pro-life legislation and policies," Dr. O’Bannon added.