Obama admin accused of hiding abortion statistics
February 7, 2011 (Lifesitenews.com) - Conservative blogger and CNN correspondent Erick Erickson is alleging that the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) three-month delay in releasing its annual Abortion Surveillance Report is evidence of an attempt on the part of the Obama administration to deliberately conceal the statistics revealed in this year’s report.
The report, which releases data up to three years prior to the publication year, is typically published in late November. The 2009 report, published on schedule on November 27, 2009, revealed a 3% increase in abortions in 2006 over the previous year. The 2010 report, however, has not yet been published.
Erickson reported in a blog post last Thursday on RedState.com that CDC press officer Rhonda Smith stated in a January 27th interview that the CDC “will not have stats available any time in the near future,” and that there “are no plans for them to come out any time soon.”
“What is the CDC trying to hide?” Erickson wrote, “The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn here is that someone higher up has made the decision to actively eliminate the only official report on abortion statistics in the country, just because they don’t want abortion being talked about.”
Later on Thursday, RedState published a second post reporting on the Congressional response to the delayed CDC report, including a letter which is alleged to have been sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from Senator Tom Coburn, in which Coburn expresses “deep concern” at the CDC’s apparent failure to release this year’s statistics.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is also reported to have weighed in with a statement sent to RedState, calling the delayed report “the epitome of hypocrisy being exhibited by the Obama Administration as it hides facts and figures on abortion while claiming to want more transparency in government.”
Today, the conservative blog is reporting that the CDC reversed its position last Friday, stating that the report was scheduled for release in February, and that the delay was due to the fact that “the population data needed to develop rate/ratio statistics was not available at the time we normally prepare the ASR.”
“This ignores the fact that the CDC’s 2010 report will use data from 2007,” wrote Erickson, “including population data from 2007, readily available to anyone with an internet connection since . . . well . . . 2007, courtesy of the Census Bureau — another organization that, like the CDC, just so happens to be part of something called the federal government.”
In a statement which RedState reports was added to the CDC website later on Friday, the CDC confirmed that the report “is scheduled for publication . . . on Friday, February 25, 2011. The report will include information based on state and area reports for calendar year 2007.”
CDC Spokesperson Karen Hunter told LifeSiteNews in an interview that the delayed data was natality data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
“The folks who write the report need that information to calculate the abortion ratio and rate,” she said, adding that the data is typically provided in May but was not furnished until August this year, which set the report back three months.
“I know we’ve had this issue with other reports. It’s not uncommon for a report to be delayed,” Hunter added. “There’s a lot that goes into putting these reports together. It’s not something you can just throw together in a couple weeks.”