When facts mess up the narrative

Monday, October 28, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

pregnant woman handOne pro-lifer says the media is misleading people on a study about self-induced abortion.

"The American Journal of Public Health released a study recently which did some research on women who are going online to seek abortion pills, says Michael New, a visiting professor of social research and political science at The Catholic University of America and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C. "There is a website called Women on Web, which dispenses pills to women in countries where abortion is legally restricted. And U.S. women have sometimes logged on to this website and requested pills."

According to the study, about 6,000 U.S. women requested abortion pills from the website, and these were women in states that are "hostile to abortion." Based on this, it is believed that women from these states are more likely to request pills from this website.

New

"A lot of the coverage is misleading," says New, who wrote a related article for NationalReview.com. "First off, one thing that should be made clear is that no women actually received abortion pills from this website, [because] this website only sends abortion pills to women in countries where abortion is largely illegal. That's included in some of the stories, but it's not featured."

New suspects some people just read the headline and are under the impression that women were getting abortion pills through this website, when, in fact, they were not.

"Secondly, the number of women coming to ask this website is probably small," he continues. "It's about 6,000, and considering there's about 800,000 abortions annually, that means there's a pretty small percentage of abortion-minded women … interested in seeking abortion pills online."

It should also be noted that some of the women in the study might have gone online more than once.

"If that's the case, that could skew the results," New adds. "But the researchers don't really make any mention of that."

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