Error found at FAB



A commenter has brought it to my attention that the article I referenced in a previous posting has been retracted.  Here is the retraction:

Author’s Note: I made a serious error in reporting this column that undermines the conclusion I drew. I compared statistics on contraceptive use from a January 2011 Guttmacher Institute fact sheet to a year 2000 study on the same issue.  However, I did not realize that the 2011 fact sheet derived its statistics from the year 2000 numbers, so my argument was not supported by the data. I am deeply sorry for the error, which invalidates my piece.

First of all, thank you to the commenter for letting us all know of the error.  We always want to get the facts right.  We can’t make rational decisions based on myths and errors.  As Daniel Patrick Moynhan is quoted as saying, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

I must point out,  however, that some of the statements in the article itself are not without merit.  For example, the statement that 54 percent of women who had abortions had used a contraceptive method in the month they got pregnant came directly from a Planned Parenthood information sheet.  It’s still a sobering number for those who claim that handing out condoms to teenagers will make abortion “rare.”  Yes, the statement is based on data gathered in 2000, but Planned Parenthood is still quoting this number today, so we have no reason to doubt that much has changed.  I referenced this in my previous posting on the relationship between contraception use and abortion.

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