Heard the Claim That 1 in 3 Women Will Have an Abortion? It’s Totally False

Opinion   |   Kelsey Hazzard   |   Jan 19, 2016   |   12:34PM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion advocates will hold an online “speakout” today from noon to 6:00 p.m., in which women who do not regret ending the lives of their children will attempt to counter the very vocal post-abortive pro-life women who do. (Amusingly, they’re streaming the speakout on a pro-choice website, which is basically the definition of preaching to the choir.)

Free speech is free speech, of course. They have every right to tell their stories, just like I have the right to say that celebrating the deaths of helpless unborn children is seriously disturbing and shows just how out of touch pro-choice leadership is with the American public.

But their decision to promote the speakout using the hashtag #1in3 crosses the line into outright deception.

The supposed statistic this alludes to—that one out of every three American women will kill at least one unborn child in her lifetime—has been thoroughly debunked. You can get the whole story at not1in3.com, but here’s a quick recap. In 2011, researchers published a study of American abortion rates from 2000 to 2008. Based on those rates, they predicted that 3 in 10 (not 1 in 3) women would have an abortion in their lifetime, “if exposed to prevailing abortion rates throughout their reproductive lives.”

This was merely a hypothesis, and the authors cautioned that the even the 3 in 10 figure may have been too high. But activists ran with it. The message of “1 in 3” is simple: abortion is very popular, so there’s no way to talk about the deaths of unborn children without alienating a significant and growing number of women. Just shut up, okay?

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But then the post-2008 abortion statistics came out. All those headlines you saw about abortion rates hitting a record low? Abortion advocates saw them too. Women aren’t being exposed to the same abortion rates throughout their reproductive lives; instead, we’re being exposed to plummeting abortion rates. The researchers’ hypothesis was wrong.

That happens a lot when you do science. It’s okay; I don’t fault the researchers for this boondoggle at all. It’s abortion advocacy groups who turned “1 in 3” from prediction into supposed fact, and kept running with it long after it had been disproven.

At this point, any pro-choice organization that uses the “1 in 3” messaging is deliberately lying to you. I’ll cut some slack to pro-choice individuals, who may be less educated about the issue. Show them not1in3.com, and if they keep using it, then you’ll know that they care more about their ideology than about the truth.

You know what to do. Let’s take over the #1in3 hashtag with the facts. Link to this article and/or to not1in3.com. Abortion groups think that if they just keep repeating the lie often enough, no one will question it. But we won’t let them get away with it.

LifeNews Note: Kelsey Hazzard is the head of Secular Pro-Life and this article originally appeared at its blog.