Analysis

Fact check: MariaTalks site overstates abortion frequency

The Massachusetts state-funded MariaTalks.com website has come under quite a bit of pressure recently as the site made statements that seemed to promote abortion to teens. After this revelation the site was taken offline and later reappeared with only some of the criticisms addressed.

Now a new factual error on the MariaTalks website has been discovered in the abortion Q&A section which states in its abortion Q&A section:

It is estimated that about four out of every 10 women in the United States have had at least one abortion by the time they turn 40 years old.

But is the 40% claim accurate?

We crunched the latest figures from the Guttmacher Institute and found that at the current abortion rate 30.09% of women would have an abortion in their lifetime. The Guttmacher Institute website states similar findings writing that “nearly one-third [of women] will have had an abortion.”

Why then does the MariaTalks website overstate the rate of women who will get abortions? In the past abortion backers have used the argument that abortion must be a moral and acceptable decision because look how many mothers terminate their unborn children. There is a rhetorical incentive for abortion supporters to show abortion as common in an attempt to normalize it and that could very well be what is going on here.

No matter the reason why, it is not acceptable for any educational site to be sharing inflated information — especially a government-funded site targeted to youth. MariaTalks should immediate correct this error as well as conduct a review of all facts on their website.

Note: The Guttmacher Institute opposes the right-to-life and was founded as a research division of Planned Parenthood, the largest U.S. abortion network. The Guttmacher Institute has since been spun off to its own organization. It gets its name from former Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher who is also known for his role as Vice President of the American Eugenics Society.

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