That’s the conclusion of Lydia McGrew at What’s Wrong with the World as she looks at the Guttmacher study claiming that 98% of Catholic women use contraception:
Recently I received a phone call from my non-Christian (as far as I know) philosopher friend Neil Manson who, because he has an active and fair mind, had been exercised over what seemed to him the high FQ (Fishiness Quotient) of the statistical meme presently going around to the effect that “98% of Catholic women use birth control.” Or something. Maybe “98% of Catholic women have used birth control.” The former is obviously ludicrous, as it would seem to include elderly Catholic women, of whom it seems plausible that there are more than 2% among Catholics. Anyway, Neil wanted to know if I had read anything debunking the statistic.
Well, I had to admit that I hadn’t. This is mostly because the relevance of the claim to the HHS’s mandate is, to put it mildly, obscure. If a large percentage of Jainists are chowing down on hamburgers on the side, it hardly follows that an expressly Jainist charitable organization should be forced by the federal government to fund a plan that buys free hamburgers for its employees. If a bunch of Quakers turn out to have gun licenses, employees of an expressly Quaker organization are not therefore entitled to have their fees paid to a shooting range or their ammo. provided at no cost through an employer plan. There is this commonsense notion that organizations that are explicitly identified as religious are allowed to uphold the actual doctrinal and behavioral standards of their respective religious bodies. Whether the rank and file membership of that religious body follow those standards in daily life should be irrelevant.
Still, it has proven rather interesting to look into the statistical claim.
And look she does, with a fine tooth comb. Read the entire piece and then really tick off your Catholic bashing friends by passing it on.
Watch ’em froth at the mouth.