Abortions are far too common. About 62 million unborn babies have been aborted in the U.S. since 1973.
But they may not be as common as abortion activists claim in their efforts to normalize the killing of unborn babies.
Snopes recently examined a common pro-abortion claim that “roughly 1 in 4 women in the United States have at least one abortion in their lifetime.” Until a few years ago, abortion activists claimed it was 1 in 3.
While Snopes rated the claim “mostly true,” citing a study by two pro-abortion researchers, pro-life leaders have repeatedly debunked it as “hogwash.”
Snopes cited a 2017 study from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute as evidence to support the claim. The study, published in American Journal of Public Health, estimated that about “23.7 percent of girls and women in the United States (or roughly 1 in 4) had undergone at least one abortion between the ages of 15 and 44.”
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Here’s more from its report:
Ultimately, the authors estimated that 1.6 percent of girls aged between 15 and 17 had undergone at least one abortion; 4.6 of women aged 18 or 19; 13.3 percent of women aged between 20 and 24; 18.6 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds; 21.5 percent of 30-34 year-olds; 23.1 percent of 35- to 39-year-olds; and by age 44, 23.7 percent of women in the United States had undergone at least one abortion — hence the figure of “1 in 4” …
The numbers are from 2014, and Guttmacher told Snopes that it does not have current data. However, the pro-abortion research group did provide more recent data on overall abortion rates (abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age), which fell from 14.5 in 2014 to 13.5 in 2017, according to the article.
Because of the declining abortion rates, “it’s possible that the lifetime incidence of abortion changed between 2014 and 2020, and there is good reason to believe it may, specifically, have declined,” Snopes concluded.
Pro-life researchers also believe the average may be much lower.
For years, abortion activists have used data from Guttmacher studies in 2017, 2011, 2008 and 1992 to support their claims about how common abortions are.
But as Secular Pro-Life and other pro-life experts have noted, the Guttmacher researchers themselves cautioned that their studies have “several limitations.” The researchers wrote in the 2011 study, “Because some of these subgroups are relatively small and because the confidence intervals suggest some degree of inaccuracy, these findings are best interpreted as general patterns as opposed to precise measures.”
ACLJ attorney Matthew Clark also discussed problems with the claim in 2016:
In fact, the [Guttmacher] study concludes with this little ditty of a disclaimer that undercuts the entire premises of the projected estimates: “Our analysis assumes that women obtaining abortions were more likely to report previous terminations, but even in this clinical setting some patients may have failed to report them. This would mean that the estimate of the lifetime incidence of abortion is artificially high.”
Here’s the clinker: this 2008 Guttmacher study was done to correct statistics from a 1992 Guttmacher study which claimed that “43% of women will have had an abortion by age 45.” Yet, that turned out to be completely wrong.
Both the 1992 and 2008 studies rely on the faulty premise that data from one year can be extrapolated out over a 30-year period of a woman’s likely span of fertility to project a likely rate of abortions for all women age 15-45. As abortion rates continue to plummet, so too does the logic of these projections.
It is true that abortions are more common than many people may realize, but common does not equal acceptable. And no matter how common or uncommon they are, it does not change the fact that abortions intentionally and unnecessarily kill innocent human beings inside their mothers’ wombs.