Tag archives: The Guttmacher Institute

Response to NYT Editorial, Sound Medical Advice

by Family Research Council

July 28, 2011

On July 20th the New York Times published an editorial Sound Medical Advice which despite its name ironically included misinformation about the recent IOM report recommending that contraceptives be covered by all health plans with no co-payment.

The writer states that the report was guided by medical evidence but makes no mention of the dissenting committee member who would not put his name to the recommendations because evaluation for evidence lacked transparency… The process tended to result in a mix of objective and subjective determination through the lens of advocacy.

Additionally the writer suggested that studies show that cost is a major barrier to regular use of contraceptives when in fact the opposite is the case. The Guttmacher Institute, originally the research arm of Planned Parenthood, a group that stands to benefit enormously from this report, reports that only 12 percent of women not using contraception are doing so because of financial reasons.

Lastly, the writer criticizes groups, such as the FRC, who oppose this mandate but does not delve into the science and rationale behind the opposition: drugs included in this recommendation have modes of action that will not only prevent the creation of life, but also in fact destroy it in its early stages. While this might be an insignificant point to the writer of the editorial, it is of utmost significance to the millions of pro-life Americans who deserve transparency and should not be forced to pay for abortions.

Guttmacher: 54% of Women Who Aborted in 2008 Were Using Contraception

by Family Research Council

March 4, 2011

As Family Research Council has previously reported increasing access to contraception does not decrease the number of abortions. In fact, studies show quite the opposite.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its allies are banging the “family planning decreases the abortion rate” drum on Capitol Hill these days. However the Guttmacher Institute, previously PPFA’s own research arm, reports that over half the number women who had an abortion in 2008 —54%— were using a form of contraception during the month they got pregnant.

In the words of Kristin Powers, who blogged on this story earlier today, “what is truly astonishing about the Guttmacher statistics is that they are completely unchanged from a decade ago.”

She is correct. This is not new. Family Research Council wrote on this very topic in our Top Ten Myths of Abortion piece a few years ago,

In the United States, a decrease in contraceptive use in recent years correlates to a decrease in the number of abortions. From 1995 to 2002, the rate of contraceptive use decreased from 64 percent to 62 percent,43 while the number of abortions fell from 1,359,400 to 1,293,000. Contraceptive Use, Facts in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute (March, 2005). These numbers represent use among all women age 15-44, and thus, because many women in this age group would not be sexually active, the rate of use among sexually active women would be higher.

There is more. A study recently published in Contraception conducted in Spain from 1997-2007 showed as contraceptive use increased from a rate of 49.1 to 79.9%, simultaneously the elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women.

[R]esearch here and abroad shows that increasing access to contraception is not a solution to the problem of soaring abortion rates. In fact, it makes the problem worse. In Sweden, for example, an increase in affordable access to contraception and the presence of free contraceptive counseling have resulted in a substantial increase in the teen abortion rate. The abortion rate has climbed from 17 abortions per thousand teens in 1995 to 22.5 abortions per thousand teens in 2001.(Edgardh, K., et al., Adolescent Sexual Health in Sweden, Sexual Transmitted Infections 78 (2002): 352-6)

According to Professor Peter Arcidiacono of Duke University, increasing teenagers access to contraception may actually increase long run pregnancy rates even though short run pregnancy rates fall. On the other hand, policies that decrease access to contraception, and hence sexual activity, are likely to lower pregnancy rates in the long run. Peter Arcidiacono, et al., Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased Contraception Have Unintended Consequences for Teen Pregnancies? (Oct. 3, 2005), Working Paper, p. 29.