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.

21 Comments to SHENANIGANS

February 15, 2012

Nothing like professional journalism. The “gatekeepers” of knowledge. Where would we be without them?

Anytime you see figures like a Cuban election (98%, 97%) from a survey, it should set off alarm bells as being horribly designed, deliberately (mis)leading, or both. Unless, of course, it’s like, “Of people who eat, 98% report eating food.”

It’s amazing how these “urban legends” become indisputable fact.

FW Ken
February 15, 2012

Mollie is the bomb. She has done incredible work on the HHS debacle and the Komen/PP before that. Come to think of it, she did a pretty good number on the coverage (read: lack of coverage) of the March for Life.

Read down the comments under the GetReligion post. The stats go through further deconstruction, for what that matters. Truth is not a matter of majority opinion, but the more you read, the more you realize the dishonesty of the pro-death position.

February 15, 2012

Paraphrasing Harry Truman, I guess this proves that there are lies, damn lies, and lies using statistics!

February 15, 2012

99.6% of all males in the United States who ate carrots in the decade from 1850 through 1859 are dead.

56.4% of all statistics are made up.


ann r
February 16, 2012

I remember hearing on the radio 20 years ago that a set of statistics being used by the proabort camp were invented entirely by one fellow, who later confessed that the figures were totally fictitious. I haven’t trusted their stats ever since.

Daniel Muller
February 16, 2012

I remember hearing on the radio 20 years ago that a set of statistics being used by the proabort camp were invented entirely by one fellow

And in refreshing candor, he admitted it. You may well want to read this article excerpted from his 1997 book in light of the original post. “The Second Key Tactic was to Play the Catholic Card.” Everything old is new again.

February 16, 2012

According to my research 99.9% of Irish people drink Guinness. The survey was conducted in a number of Irish pubs among people drinking or ordering Guinness. Everybody else was excluded. After all the survey was about Guinness drinkers.The missing .1% is made up of persons purchasing Guinness for their friends.

February 16, 2012

The Guttmacher Institute has been shoveling bull shit for the baby-killing crowd for decades.

February 16, 2012

Statistics don’t lie. Statisticians do. You also want to be very careful about believing opinion polls and election exit polls (before the final vote counts are in). It’s all in what sample is selected and how the questions are phrased.

Jacob Morgan
February 16, 2012

So women (catholic, or otherwise) currently having sex, in their prime child bearing years, but who have never been pregnant tend to use some sort of birth control. Amazing!

The way to look at “studies” would be to ask if the study methods, applied to medicine, would pass muster with any medical professional. Any drug company pushing that as a study would either be sued into oblivion or be shut down by the FDA.

Otherwise, I’ll be a millionaire in a month “considering only those who went into remission anyway, 98 percent took my wonder pill of ground up tree bark from my back yard”. I suppose journalists would buy it. I’ll also write a book damning the “tube of death”, you know 98 percent of people who die in hospitals had IV’s.

Jacob Morgan
February 16, 2012

To clarify my post, the Church teaches that married couples who don’t have compelling reasons not to have children, should have them instead of using NFP. Therefore, the definition of the study leaves out nearly every couple using NFP. Only couples that some how know that there are medical reasons not to become pregnant (and know that before without ever being pregnant), or are so dirt poor that a child would bankrupt them, and use NFP are in the “study” to represent acceptance of NFP.

Here is a statistic I’ll guess at, 99 percent of Catholic women that use NFP have children already. It is called being open to life. I.e., if one is open to life they would welcome becoming pregnant and then go to NFP only at such time that there were compelling, valid, reasons to delay or fail to become pregnant again. Those reasons have to do, usually with age, problems with later pregnancies, and a need to space births.

February 16, 2012

If you drill down even more into the survey results, it turns out that the women represented are self-identified as Catholics, so this includes everyone from those who attend weekly Mass to those who only go once a year or even never.

30% of the weekly Mass-goers use some form of contraception. Now, a chunk of those probably do use Natural Family Planning, but I would estimate a lot do use some form of artificial contraception. That’s troublesome, but it’s a far cry from “98% of Catholic women use contraceptives”, which all the papers repeated without bothering their heads (except in one or two rare cases) to check out where those figures were coming from.

If only 2% of all the Catholic women in America were having all the babies, they should be awarded medals!

It also means that the next time we see any kind of figure being bandied about (even if it’s “100% of humans breathe air”) we should take it with not just a grain but a whole shovelful of salt.

February 16, 2012

Planned ‘Parenthood’ (oxymoron for an abortion facility?)

It’s not your mother’s Planned Parenthood anymore.

Here’s what the PP Beast is up to nowadays LINK – WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

Get’m while they are young.

Then you can make the rest of their lives a living 4+ H3!!

February 16, 2012

In case you all didn’t know it. S E * UAL addiction is the crack cocaine pandemic of this century, psychologists say.

Preachers, priests, bishops, teachers, dads and moms, TSA, CDC employees, businesspersons and politicians have been caught in this addiction in record numbers. Year by year, PO R N and s e * u a l behaviors are getting more evil, vile, violent, and dev i a n t with younger and younger victims in the films. This is drug that changes the brain, emotional/physical responses and behavior…destroys the ability to relate to others, male or female, to bond normally and to have a faithful healthy respectful marriage.

The goal of Planned Parenthood, to increase business and sales of services, without any decrease from generation to generation, decade to decade. Planned Parenthood wants to create s e x u al addiction and normalize it, sell it to you, then pass it on your children and grandchildren at your expense.

Only Jesus can restore the souls caught up in this garbage.

Daniel Muller
February 16, 2012

Planned Barrenhood in Wisconsin has so much money that they have time to search out, bait, ridicule, and molest Catholic charities.

Of course, their main concern is providing food to the poor.

Allen Lewis
February 16, 2012

The lies just keep on coming from people who want to tell everyone else what they can and cannot do.

Come, Lord Jesus!

FW Ken
February 16, 2012

30% of the weekly Mass-goers use some form of contraception.

Do they use, or have they used it? Past tense or present tense?

That’s a question, not a defensive posture, because the numbers are giving me a headache. In all honesty, I’ve read for so many years that some high percentage of Catholic women use artificial contraception that 30% sounds like a pretty sweet number.

FW Ken
February 16, 2012

From here –

Humanae Vitae’s specific predictions about what the world would look like if artificial contraception became widespread. The encyclical warned of four resulting trends:

* a general lowering of moral standards throughout society;

* a rise in infidelity;

* a lessening of respect for women by men;

* and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by

If you haven’t read Humanae Vitae, it’s online and a quick read.

Allen Lewis
February 17, 2012

Thank you all for your incisive comments. i marvel at being in such august company as the commenters on the MCJ!

You guys are awesome! Really!

It has gotten so that I do not pay any attention to any statistics vandied about in a main stream media article. I know they are all bogus. Press reporters are such dolts, they will repeat anything given to them rather than research it. What makes it worse is that their editors – who do know better – let them get away with it!

Jacob Morgan
February 17, 2012


Good point, if only 2 percent of Catholic women are having 100 percent of the babies (as the “study” implies) they would have to have 49 babies each just to keep the population stable. If they started at 18 years of age they’d have bear a child every 9 months until age 55.

This study would be like having a study on veterans, but in the fine print saying that military people who finished boot camp were not included. And then implying that sample was representative of veterans in total. Only journalists are that stupid, or corrupt.

On a more serious note, how long until the lords and masters at the HHS decree that (to save money) OB services will not be insured after x number of pregnancies or if someone decides a woman ought not have any more. A round about way to institute Chinese family planning services. Get sterilized (for free!) or risk going broke.

Daniel Muller
February 17, 2012

their editors – who do know better – let them get away with it!

What editors? The Dallas Morning News, the last I looked, has enough spelling and grammatical errors, not to mention ‘hood usage, to make a sixth-grader blush. It never used to be that way.

Get sterilized (for free!) or risk going broke.

You are very optimistic if you think that people will actually be given the option. In Mexico, they just put “those” women under during their xth childbirth stay; I am not at all sure that they bother to tell them when they come to that they will never have any more babies. The Mexican government pays for that, but I would not be surprised to know there was American money mixed in. We are so helpful to our underprivileged neighbors that way.

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