Media Erred Predicting Bad Economy Would Drive Up Abortions

National   |   David Schmidt   |   Nov 23, 2012   |   11:25AM   |   Washington, DC

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual report on abortions in 2009 and found a 5% decrease from the previous year. The Associated Press described this drop as the “biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade.”

That is all well and good until we look back at reporting about abortion in 2009. Some outlets like The New York Times and Reuters ran with an unsupported theory that a bad economy must equal a higher abortion rate and cherry-picked facts and quotes from abortion providers as the evidence. Now we know the truth. Will the media take note of their reporting failure from 2009?

Let’s look at some major media that got things wrong;

Side observation: Evidence that Planned Parenthood share of abortions is rising

If Planned Parenthood of Illinois is reporting all-time high abortion numbers at the same time that the country is experiencing its ”biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade,” it stands to reason that Planned Parenthood’s share of the abortion industry is rising.

Associated Press (3/24/2009): “Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinics performed an all-time high number of abortions in January”

Tampa Bay Times/AP (3/20/2009): Planned Parenthood clinics in St. Petersburg and Sarasota observed a 14 percent increase in abortions the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year.

Planned Parenthood’s increasing share of the abortion market is long-term trend that has seen them go from performing 1 in 10 U.S. abortions in 1995 (139,899 of 1,359,400) to slightly more than 27% of abortions today (332,278 of 1,212,400).



Theories, speculation, and experts

Also of note is the new theory going around. The big Associated Press article on the new CDC report led with the speculation that “perhaps … women are more careful to use birth control when times are tough,” and that is why abortion dropped during a recession. Talk about whiplash from the “experts” that just a few years ago speculated that a poor economy would lead to more abortions. Note: David Schmidt is the Media Director for Life Action, the pro-life group best known for exposing sexual abuse coverup at Planned Parenthood. David is a human rights activist who specializes in grassroots organizing with an emphasis on web technology and reaching today’s youth. This column appeared at the Live Action blog and is reprinted with permission.