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Chronicle Of A Democratic Lie

Howard Dean on NBC News' Meet the Press (5/22/05):

You know that abortions have gone up 25 percent since George Bush was President?
Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and scads of Democrats have told variations of this story - a contention that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001. Most were smart enough to shy away from providing numbers or sources, but apparently Howard Dean didn't get that memo.

Dean's assertion was so emphatic that someone finally bothered to look into the the claim. FactCheck.org finds that Democrats claims (based on a single incomplete opinion piece) are patently false. Based on the best available data, as interpereted by the most respected provider of abortion statistics, abortions have actually decreased since 2001. They also find that Dean was pulling numbers out of his ass, presumably to make more room for his head...

Previously:

Quote Of The Day - Dr. Dean's History Lesson Edition


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» Shock and Blog linked with Howie Dean: "abortions have gone up 25 percent"

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Comments (24)

Excellent Retort... (Below threshold)
AFM:

Excellent Retort

you couldn't ask for a bett... (Below threshold)
plebe:

you couldn't ask for a better leader.

OK, so who in the Media wil... (Below threshold)
BurbankErnie:

OK, so who in the Media will call Howard out on this?
Who?
Who?
Oh.

abortions have actually ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

abortions have actually decreased since 2001.

So your response to the Democrats citing spotty numbers of incomplete studies as proof of an abortion increase is to do the same thing in reverse?

From the study Factcheck.org cites and you dutifully accept as fact:

The most recent survey reported on abortions in 2000. Since that time, limited national abortion incidence data have been available.

Because these abortion estimates are not based on a comprehensive census, they are subject to some limitations and should be considered provisional.

“It takes time for political decisions to be reflected in the statistical data, so it is too soon to tell what the impact of Bush administration policies will be on U.S. abortion rates,” says Sharon Camp, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute.

Mantis, do you or do you no... (Below threshold)

Mantis, do you or do you not accept population estimates, household income surveys, and all manner of other statistics from the Census Bureau? Those are all very good estimates, based in large part, off of the decennial census.

The difference in the numbers Clinton, Kerry, and Dean cited vs. what FactCheck.org cited are night and day.

Take for example a household income survey. If you were to take unadjusted household income numbers from say 12 states, average them, then say they represented the US household income you'd be dead wrong.

If however you had a large sample set of over 80% of the states, and you used a known statistical methodology (which took into account past data and other factors) to estimate the missing 20%, you could produce valid statistics which would be reported at some confidence level (based on the response rate). This is how the BEA and Census Bureau of their yearly manufacturing and services statistics. The economic census are every 5 years, and the interim years are surveys.

So to answer your question, yes I do...

Sure, I'm not saying I woul... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sure, I'm not saying I would accept the Stassen numbers over the Guttmacher numbers, as Guttmacher has a larger and more comprehensive sample, but if I were to offer this as proof I would not fail to mention that the study itself notes the numbers are provisional and based on limited data.

And while you're right about Kerry and Dean throwing this idea around carelessly, Clinton seems to have explained the numbers she was quoting:

But unfortunately, in the last few years, while we are engaged in an ideological debate instead of one that uses facts and evidence and common sense, the rate of abortion is on the rise in some states. In the three years since President Bush took office, 8 states saw an increase in abortion rates (14.6% average increase), and four saw a decrease (4.3% average), so we have a lot of work still ahead of us.

And by the way did you read... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And by the way did you read the methodology for the Guttmacher study? They are basing their data not on a survey or census, but on reporting from the CDC (for 2001, collected from state health departments) and directly from those departments in 2002.

As the AGI notes:

The methods of data collection differ as well. The CDC collects most of its information indirectly, mainly through reports from state health departments. Reports for the 45 states that collect information on abortion and the District of Columbia vary in completeness, with some lacking information on as many as 40-50% of the abortions that occur in the state.

In the case of this study data was taken from 44 states in 2001, 43 states in 2002, at varying levels of completeness. Further, the study notes that applying the same methodology to the data for 1996-7 and comparing it to the more complete AGI survey data, they found there was a 1.0% error rate. Based on all of this, I would say there is no reason to draw any conclusions about abortion rates in 2001-2, and we certainly don't know what has happened "since Bush took office".

Why would Dems care if abor... (Below threshold)
IcallMasICM:

Why would Dems care if abortions were up, down or sideways? There's no moral impact to them donchaknow?

mantis, that may be all wel... (Below threshold)

mantis, that may be all well and good, but the bottom line is this: Dean's 25% number is PULLED OUT OF HIS ASS. Under any analysis, the man is BULLSHITTING!!!!!!!!!

Ok, first of all, the ONLY ... (Below threshold)

Ok, first of all, the ONLY data we have on the number of abortions performed is from the Guttmacher institute since the CDC does not keep full records on the number of abortions performed, number of botched abortions, or the number of deaths by abortions. Go ahead, call them up and see if you can get a straight answer from them. Go ahead! Here, here's the number: 1-800-311-343 (incidentally- abortion is the ONLY common surgery, that I'm currently aware of, that the CDC does NOT keep these stats on.)

Ah, and by the by, the Alan Guttmacher Institute? It was created and funded by Planned Parenthood. The information they get (if it *is* accurate- and that is up for some debate) is on a strictly voluntary basis. If you are an abortion provider and you opt *not* to tell them how many abortions you perform a year- you are not required to. Heck- you can give them any number you like- nothing in the law says it has to be accurate either.

So have the numbers gone up or down. No one can say for sure. One thing *is* certain, the less restrictions on abortion- the more common the procedure.

mantis, that may be all ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

mantis, that may be all well and good, but the bottom line is this: Dean's 25% number is PULLED OUT OF HIS ASS. Under any analysis, the man is BULLSHITTING!!!!!!!!!

Agreed.

Okay I agree with the earli... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Okay I agree with the earlier post.

What exactly is supposed to be the point of all this?

I mean whether abortions are up or down, it isn't like Bush was out there dragging women to abortion clinics and forcing them to have abortions.

As for the stats, the Guttmacher (spell?) insitutes is well regarded as being accurate by all sides of this issue and their stats are routinely used by people on both sides of the debate. I find it amusing that mantis all the sudden finds the numbers suspect, since they do not even remotely-in any fashion support the 25% claim made by Dean.

Ah- let me correct myself. ... (Below threshold)

Ah- let me correct myself. We do get information from the CDC, not *accurate* information, mind you. As the CDC is subject to reporting limitations from State Health Dept.s, and the data varies as the information collected differs from one state to another. They also have different ways to calculate gestational age and different categories for abortion methods. The CDC does not take information from Alaska, California, Oklahoma, or N. Hampshire. (because of state laws there)

In addition, death and injury data is, at best, extremely difficult to gather as doctors and ME's tend to clessify these things as something other than "cause: abortion". For example, if a woman's uterus is punctured and and her large intestine is pulled through the wound and out her vagina, a serious infection and internal bleeding could result. The ME might call the cause of death from this type of abortion "peritonitis and septicemia"- with no mention of abortion in the report.

I find it amusing that m... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I find it amusing that mantis all the sudden finds the numbers suspect, since they do not even remotely-in any fashion support the 25% claim made by Dean.

I find it amusing that you failed to even read what I had wrote, or else you would realize everything I quoted was from AGI themselves. And where did I say Dean was even remotely correct? Did I not agree that he is full of shit on this? I was discussing the methodology of this report, which is markedly different than a complete AGI survey, which they haven't performed for a few years, and thus don't have data after 2000. And I never said it was suspect, just based on incomplete data. But it's nice to know that you see everything in strict binary of right vs. left.

Democrats say it for the sa... (Below threshold)
sue:

Democrats say it for the same reason they point out every republican that is being accused (rightly or wrongly) of ethical, moral or legal issues-They give all the "dirty details" and then shout "AND THEY SAY THEY ARE THE PARTY OF FAMILY VALUES"

When they say that abortions are up (even if they are not) they usually go on to say that abstinence doesn't work, the way that conservatives think that sex ed should be taught in school doesn't work, and that an increas in abortons are all the REPUBLICANS FAULT.

They also like to tie it into the "horrible economy" "high unemployment rate", "minimum wage" and poor women that are unable to get the financial help they need from the government. You see these poor women wouldn't be forced into having abortions if the economy wasn't so bad and they had some help.

Ohhh; And it's all President Bush's fault.

As an aside, I also think that they use it to divert attention from the fact that it is DEMOCRATS that are out of the mainstream with demanding that abortions be legal, with no restraining rules such as no 3rd trimester abortions except for the case of a womans health, and parental notification.

I find it amusing that y... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I find it amusing that you failed to even read what I had wrote

Interesting grammar Mantis, we do read what you and Joser and those of your ilk choose to spew here, but get this --- WE ARE NOT THAT STUPID!

The truth is the truth, is the truth -- is the truth, no matter how you try to twist it. We do think it through before we make decisions about our beliefs and we resolve to do the best that we can to do what we believe to be right for what WE believe in. Not to push an agenda or an ideology. No excuses and never to support a WEAK viewpoint shoved down our throat by a WEAK party line.

Why do you think that there are so many former Dems that are on this side now?

It has been amazing to me to see that many of the foremost "conservative" blogs were started by people that used to consider themselves Democrats, yet now have been forced to go elsewhere.

Looking forward to the future, "Mantis Redstate.com" blog after the next election. When even you cannot put up with the crap that you are being force fed on a daily basis.

Chill a bit, mesa, I give m... (Below threshold)

Chill a bit, mesa, I give mantis credit for acknowledging Dean's bullshittery.

I'd be interested to know t... (Below threshold)

I'd be interested to know the numbers in a different light. The ratio of abortions to population in the larger cities. I've found that teenage pregnancy rates are higher per person in those cities as well. At least in Miami they are.

Could we glean from this information that the more rural areas in the US that voted more Republican (You know, ... Jesusland) and have lower ratios of teen pregnancies and possibly abortions are really so bad?

Had written. Wrote. I cho... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Had written. Wrote. I chose both. ;)

When even you cannot put up with the crap that you are being force fed on a daily basis.

Well that is right now, I just think its being shovelled in from both sides.

Florida Oyster, WILLisms.co... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Florida Oyster, WILLisms.com has some abortion ratio charts!...Howard Dean is a loud mouth, dimwitted donkey's behind! I love that about him though!

Mantis, I think that Howard... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Mantis, I think that Howard Dean pulling things out of his ass is fascinating ! That is probably apart of his appeal...

Mantis, I think that How... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, I think that Howard Dean pulling things out of his ass is fascinating ! That is probably apart of his appeal...

Part of his appeal to both sides it seems. He appeals to those on the left who are more interested inflammatory rhetoric than facts, and he appeals to some on the right because he says foolish things. Of course those on the right tend to overestimate the effect of this, considering Dean probably won't be running again, and the vast majority of people (on both sides) aren't engaged enough to hear about or care what Dean says.

The inflammatory rhetoric a... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

The inflammatory rhetoric and the foolish things Dean says are why he seems to get so much publicity! I really am so surprised he has anymore room available to store all the BS he continues to find up his ass! If you will pardon the expression! Does he think nobody will check the facts?

Way to go Mesablue!... (Below threshold)

Way to go Mesablue!




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