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New Report Wildly Inflates Global Abortion Numbers

There’s an old saying that that if you torture the numbers long enough, they will confess to anything. Recently, the Guttmacher Institute, which has strong ties to Planned Parenthood, published yet another dubious, politically driven report that fudges the numbers on worldwide abortion incidence. Predictably, it is funded by abortion-friendly groups like the Packard Foundation, United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organization, and others.

The main problem with the new Guttmacher report is that it does not include actual verifiable data for all countries. If the “government agencies” cited refer to ministries of health and other government offices that collect service reports and data from hospitals and abortion centers, then this data is most likely reliable.

However, data compiled from so-called “national representative studies,” whether published or unpublished, are highly suspicious, and this raises important questions. How did these studies obtain their abortion data from the 60 countries where abortion is illegal? Who is reporting those abortions? How is data collected in countries where abortion is underreported? What about countries that do not have strict reporting requirements and have trouble tracking things such as basic vital statistics, let alone abortion data?

It is possible to track 12.4 million actually reported abortions annually worldwide, including in the top three countries of China, the United States, and Russia. But Guttmacher’s assertion that 56.3 million abortions occur worldwide annually is highly improbable and unprovable, not to mention that their total is four and a half times more than the actual documented data available. (Actual abortion data are available here for over 100 nations and territories, including year-by-year for many of them).

Perhaps this is why the report even admits on all of its charts that is has a “90% uncertainty interval.” Who publishes a report with information that is 90 percent uncertain? A report worthy of being trusted should have a 90 percent or more certainty level.

The Real Game Is Government Spending

The better question is, why is Guttmacher advancing this report? The answer is clear. This report is a tool to push for more contraception and abortion, especially in developing countries such as many in Africa and Latin America. The report asserts, again with 90 percent uncertainty, that abortion rates are just as high where abortion is illegal as where it is legal.

Of course we know this to be purely speculative bias. The facts counter it. In actual recordable abortion data we see that whenever abortion is legalized, its incidence typically increases exponentially. These country charts with actual abortion data tell this story quite clearly.

Take, for example, abortion numbers in America. Prior to 1969, the recorded number of annual abortions was nearly non-existent. By 1972 when 20 states had legalized abortion, the number of abortions jumped to a little over half a million annually. When abortion was nationally legalized in 1973, it initially doubled to about a million abortions…

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