Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 21 Comments
In the debate surrounding Barack Obama treating the Establishment Clause as so much toilet paper, his fawning sycophants in the media, the social networks and elsewhere have made much of an Alan Guttmacher Institute(a Planned Parenthood affiliate) study that reports that 98% of Roman Catholic women have, at one time or other, ignored their church’s teaching on birth control.
Two reactions come to mind. The first one, of course, is, “So what?” No study proving this has ever been done but I think it’s fairly safe to assume that 100% of Christian men, Catholic and non-Catholic, have violated Christ’s teaching in Matthew 5:27-28 at least once during the past week but the Christian church isn’t going to be doing any higher criticizing of Our Lord, isn’t going to decide what Jesus really meant, any time soon.
GetReligion’s Mollie Hemingway has another take. Seems that Ms. Hemingway has seen the particulars of the Guttmacher study aforesaid and so she was able to come up with a concise, two-word summation of it. Absolute crap:
It’s fine, I suppose, to use White House talking points in a story or to cite the abortion rights supporting Guttmacher Institute without noting its relationship with Planned Parenthood. But in this case, Guttmacher erred in what it claimed were the results of its own study.
Guttmacher did say in its summary that “Among all women who have had sex, 99% have ever used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning. This figure is virtually the same, 98%, among sexually experienced Catholic women.”
But that’s not in any way an accurate statement of what its own survey found.
On the very same page, it explains that its survey was restricted to women aged 15-44, so that cuts out all women who were older than 44 at the time of the survey. And a footnote explains that a rather significant chunk of women were excluded from this figure of “all women” — namely, women who are pregnant, post-partum or trying to get pregnant.” A later footnote says that the only women who had sex in the last three months were included in this group. Finally, included in this 98 percent figure of current contraceptive users are the 11 percent who report no method.
So I guess we could say that among women aged 15-44 who had sex in the last three months but aren’t pregnant, post-partum or trying to get pregnant, 87 percent of women who identify as Catholic used contraception. It’s worth pondering just who is left out of this 87 percent, other than, you know, everyone who doesn’t use contraception. Great stat, team journalist! I mean, the study was designed to find only women who would be most likely to use contraception. And it did.