Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have been repeating the same thing since the firestorm with the Catholic Church over providing free contraception in their health care plans - "Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use contraceptives". Almost immediately I was dubious of the statistic. Where did this number come from? It was out there so quick, and the media was gleefully out there parroting it with literally no vetting of the "statistic". Pelosi and the Democrats said it, so they repeat it. No journalistic curiosity at all.
The number sounded way too high. Too me, it is reminiscent of the kind of percentage we hear about when despots get 98% in their rigged elections. In addition, the figure was touted immediately after the first inkling of opposition to the Obama Administration's mandate.
Well it turns out that the figure comes from an Guttmacher Institute (a liberal group that started as an arm of Planned Parenthood) study that was done in 2011. The study, called "Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use" (link here) doesn't seem to support the claims in the incurious media. Supplemental Table 3 shows that 11 percent of Catholic women use no method at all, and 4 percent use what is labeled "Other", possibly the 'rhythm method'. Those alone knock the number down to 85%. In addition, if a woman who falls into the 15-44 year age group, has ever used a contraceptive, even once, during her life she is lumped into the 98% group. The study also "refers to sexually active women who are not pregnant, postpartum or trying to get pregnant". Of this group, only 68 percent are using what is called "highly effective methods". These are listed as:
- Sterilization - 32%
- Pill or other hormonal - 31%
- IUD- 5%
According to the study, the Dems and the media are spewing political talking points, spreading the propaganda/lie that 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives, as the study only looked at women in the age range of 15-44 who had ever had sex.
The next time you hear a "fact" or "statistic" being regurgitated by the Diane Sawyers', Brian Williams', or some hack up on Capital Hill, fact-check it. We know the media's not.
Pelosi: Catholic Church 'Has Not Enforced' Its Teaching on Contraception
By Eric Scheiner February 22, 2012
(CNSNews.com) - During an event at Texas A&M University on Monday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed the Catholic Church has not enforced its teaching on contraception and that the church now wants the federal government to enforce that teaching for it.
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