WASHINGTON, D.C., August 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On August 29, the New York Times corrected a column decrying the increase in pro-life legislation in the U.S. after the pro-life organization Live Action pointed out a significant factual error.
The uncorrected version of Charles Blow’s piece titled “Failing Forward” misstated the findings of a report by the Guttmacher Institute about the rate of unintended pregnancy, suggesting that there was a 50% increase since 1994 in unplanned pregnancies among all women, when in fact the overall rate has remained relatively constant.
“Blow quotes a wildly incorrect statistic,” Live Action contributor Jennie Stone said. “The Guttmacher actually reported that ‘the overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate has remained essentially flat — about 5% of U.S. women have an unintended pregnancy every year.’”
“It seems possible that Mr. Blow misread the increase in the poor unintended pregnancy rate as an increase in the overall rate. A major data analysis error,” she said.
Stone and fellow Live Action contributor Lisa Graas also decried what they called the “abortion-first mentality” of the New York Times’ columnist.
Blow had pointed to what he suggested is an epidemic of unwanted pregnancies, and criticized the idea that people who become pregnant when they don’t want to, “must be punished by becoming a parent even if you know that you are not willing or able to be one.”
“This is insane,” he said.
“Even if you follow a primitive religious concept of punishment for sex, as many on the right seem to do, you must at some point acknowledge that it is the child, not the parent, who will be punished most by our current policies that increasingly advocate for ‘unborn children’ but fall silent for those outside the womb.”
But the Live Action contributors questioned Blow’s apparent belief that abortion is preferable to living a potentially difficult life “because you assume that they will just drain our society for being undereducated.”
“I agree that we need to teach our youth the facts, risks, and statistics about sex, contraception, and abortion,” Stone said, referencing Blow’s suggestion that society has to do a better, more focused job of teaching sex education.
“If we tell them the truth about these things,” she said, “that sex can have dire emotional and spiritual complications when it is taken lightly or is outside of a committed marriage, that hormonal birth control has the potential to act as abortifacients and cause cancer, that abortion doesn’t remove a ‘blob of tissue’ but takes the life of a human being and can physically and emotionally harm women, and offer free pregnancy resources to pregnant women in need—THIS is how we reduce unplanned pregnancies and the abortion rate. Education and outreach truly are the key.”
Graas quoted the words of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who once said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
“One can only imagine what it is that prompts so many to adopt such a disregard for truth as we find in Charles Blow’s claims at the New York Times, but in the end, truth will be there,” Graas said. “Falsehood cannot withstand the light of truth.”