Faith in Public Life Ad Downplays Abortion in Voting, Denies Abortion Decline

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Faith in Public Life Ad Downplays Abortion in Voting, Denies Abortion Decline

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 29
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — When is a pro-life advertisement not really a pro-life ad when it comes to the issue of abortion? When the ad downplays the importance of abortion as a voting topic and distorts the success of pro-life efforts to reduce abortions by claiming to has real solutions.

Faith in Public Life has begun running an interesting radio ad in presidential battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri.

Curiously, the ad doesn’t endorse Obama or try to paint him as open to the pro-life perspective as misleading groups like Catholics United and the Matthew 25 Network have attempted.

Instead, FPL attempts to deceive pro-life voters into thinking abortion isn’t an important voting topic.

"It’s time to stop the political posturing and get serious about protecting life," the ad claims. "We need to ask ourselves what it really means to be pro-life and help move the conversation beyond bumper sticker slogans. It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to come together around solutions based on results, not rhetoric."

In an attempt to stop the sloganeering it appears to condemn, it adopts the mantra of the supposedly pro-life Obama apologists, who claim pro-life advocates have been unsuccessful in reducing abortions.

"With 1 in 5 pregnancies in America ending in abortion and the number of abortions unchanged from 32 years ago," it claims. Not so.

The false claim that abortions have not been reduced under pro-life presidents and through pro-life legislation has been repeatedly refuted.

In January, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which bears the name of a former Planned Parenthood president, reported that the number of abortions nationwide have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years and have declined 25 percent since 1990.

The number of abortions are now at their lowest point since 1976 AGI said.

The abortion rate, which Faith in Public Life notes in its ad, shows a drastic change from its highest levels in the years after Roe.

The AGI report shows the abortion rate (the number of abortions per 1,000 women age 15-44) down to 19.4 per thousand — the lowest since 1974. That was the first full year following the Roe v. Wade decision. The rate had been as high as one in three pregnancies ending in abortion — a marked reduction that FPL appears to ignore.

The same claims as FPL’s have been used to contend that abortions haven’t declined under President Bush — something the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania says is "not true."

"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," the researchers have written.

"This claim is false. It’s based on 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," Annenberg indicates.

"The claim is repeated by supporters of abortion rights as evidence that Bush’s anti-abortion policies have backfired, or at least been ineffective," it added. "But the claim is untrue. In fact, according to the respected Alan Guttmacher Institute, a 20-year decline in abortion rates continued after Bush took office."

A study from University of Alabama professor Michael New also shows that pro-life laws have been directly responsible for reducing abortion numbers.

He says laws like "well designed parental-involvement laws have been surprisingly effective at reducing abortion rates among minors."

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