WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of a possible Roe reversal, taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio (NPR) is out with a misleading fact-check of “7 persistent claims about abortion” and the 1973 court decision. The fact-check misleads on the nature of Roe v. Wade, misdirects on the issue, downplays the dangers of abortion, and uses a non-sequitur about religion to advance the pro-abortion narrative.
First, NPR correctly notes that Roe “ruled that women have a constitutional right to end their pregnancies,” though it should have noted that the “health of the mother” exception has been exploited to allow for abortions through all nine months of pregnancy.
But then the first “fact-checked” claim attempts to debunk the argument that “[t]here is big support for ending Roe.” But the NPR fact-checkers do not cite polls that ask if people want abortion returned to the states, which would be the result of reversing Roe. Instead, they cite polls on whether Americans want abortion to be illegal or not and in which cases.
Yet, as recently noted by LifeSiteNews, polls have consistently found that Americans want the ability to vote and voice their opinion on abortion, an ability Roe took away. A 2019 poll of millennials conducted by Students for Life of America (SFLA) found that 65 percent of that age group wants to be able to vote on abortion policy and only 16 percent said the courts should limit the public’s say on the issue. A Knights of Columbus poll from 2019 reached similar conclusions.
Second, NPR reported that the abortion rate has decreased since Roe v. Wade. That may or may not be true, because we do not have a federal abortion reporting law.
But taking the claim about the rate to be true, it’s still a misdirection on the issue – every year, hundreds of thousands, if not a million, innocent human babies are killed through abortion in the United States. The particular rate for women aged 15-44 is irrelevant to the central, moral issue: Should the United States let women kill babies in the womb or not?
This is part of the issue with the claim about abortion being safe that NPR also makes. By definition, a “successful” abortion automatically ends in at least one death. Abortion has also been linked to possible increases in breast cancer diagnoses and mental health issues. SFLA has also identified 122 studies that link abortion to future risks for preterm births.
NPR then relies on fuzzy math, using two different standards depending on what point it is trying to make. In the one claim, NPR says that it’s not just heterosexual, “cisgender women” who have abortions, but also “transgender or non-binary people.” It notes that 500 gender-confused women have had abortions. It does not really matter to the pro-life movement who has abortions, insofar as every abortion takes a human life. So, it’s not clear the point NPR is trying to make here – pro-lifers don’t want any woman to have abortions.
Second, these 500 women are apparently a significant stat for NPR, despite it being on the backdrop of at least 609,000 abortions in 2017, the year both data points are drawn from. This represents .08 percent of abortion cases. But in the next claim, NPR “fact-checks” the claims that women are having abortions late in pregnancy, by noting that only 10 percent of abortions are after the first trimester. The news site does not explain how 10 percent is an insignificant number but .08 percent is significant.
NPR then uses a 2005 study on fetal pain to allegedly debunk that babies can feel pain. LifeSiteNews has compiled a list of research that proves babies can feel pain during abortions.
Finally, the NPR fact-checkers say that plenty of women who are religious have abortions. There’s some truth here and some falsehoods. Women who identify with a religious denomination may be having abortions – many “religions” endorse abortion, such as the United Church of Christ and liberal Jewish sects.
Second, people may identify as Catholic, but not attend Mass, go to Confession, or in any other way live out the faith. Third, it’s a non-sequitur, the same as the earlier claim about gender-confused women having abortions. The debate is whether or not women should be allowed to kill babies in the womb, not if this Protestant sect says abortion is okay or if this one does not.
“The argument against abortion has frequently been based on religion,” the article stated, to explain why it brought up abortion rates. This is the nature of sin, that people who are Catholic, for example, have abortions despite the Church’s prohibition against it. There are Catholics who have viewed pornography, consumed drugs, and used prostitutes. None of those moral failings on behalf of those individual Catholics justify an acceptance of those practices, nor does the sad reality that women have abortions despite being Catholic justify the legalization of them.