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Mon Mar 12, 2012, 11:56 AM

True or False? In 2011, 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions were introduced.

TRUE: In 2011, 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions were introduced in state legislatures, of which 135 passed in 36 states.


I heard a guest on the Diane Rehm show quote this statistic except she said they were anti-reproductive health bills, and immediately thought that couldn't be true because that'd be an average of 22 bills per state. Googling around I see that same wording, or the even more misleading "anti-women", used frequently on many, many high profile sites like Huffington Post.

The correct statistic I quoted above seems to come from the Guttmacher Institute who clarifies the language:

"By almost any measure, 2011 saw unprecedented attention to issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level. In all 50 states, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, again an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. (Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.)"


So it's flat out incorrect to say these were all anti-reproductive rights bills, since Guttmacher is counting individual provisions. Furthermore, even though the majority of these provisions were limiting access to, or funding for, abortion and contraceptive services, a large number dealt with other issues. Some of these provisions expanded access for STI prevention and treatment, others expanded access to prenatal care, and eight states took steps to limit exposure to environmental toxins believed or shown to adversely impact reproductive health such as BPA or certain flame retardants.

We really need to be careful when quoting statistics because often those statistics are worded in very precise ways. We don't do ourselves any favors by misrepresenting or misquoting statistics.

Besides, if we look at the subscales that Guttmacher used, we can show good cause for alarm even without misrepresenting the 1,100 number. As the graph shows, actual enacted legislation to restrict access to abortion has skyrocketed since 2008. Quoting Guttmacher again:

"Fully 68% of these new provisions, 92 provisions in 24 states, restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26% of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions shattered the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions adopted in 2005."


The real numbers are alarming enough without crying wolf.

Source: http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/updates/2011/statetrends42011.html

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Reply True or False? In 2011, 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions were introduced. (Original post)
salvorhardin Mar 2012 OP
polichick Mar 2012 #1
salvorhardin Mar 2012 #2
polichick Mar 2012 #3
salvorhardin Mar 2012 #4
polichick Mar 2012 #5
salvorhardin Mar 2012 #6
polichick Mar 2012 #7
salvorhardin Mar 2012 #8

Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:00 PM

1. Still, the American Taliban has infiltrated our gov't at all levels...

Time to WAKE UP!

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Response to polichick (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:01 PM

2. Oh yes. That's my point.

The actual numbers are scary enough without misrepresenting the statistics.

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Response to salvorhardin (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:04 PM

3. I wish more media people would talk about Dominionists...

...and their agenda - so far I've only heard one or two people on msnbc mention it.

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Response to polichick (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:09 PM

4. The topic gets more coverage in print

Although I seem to remember a PBS Frontline show about Dominionists from a few years ago, but yeah, it's woefully under-represented.

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Response to salvorhardin (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 01:51 PM

5. Here's an interesting piece about Santorum and Dominionism...

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Response to polichick (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 03:48 PM

6. Talk2Action is always good for keeping up on Christian Nationalists

Rachel Tabachnick especially posts informative stuff there.
http://www.talk2action.org

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Response to salvorhardin (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 03:52 PM

7. Thanks!

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Response to salvorhardin (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 07:26 PM

8. Kick for useful statistics.

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