Planned Parenthood's research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, has a new report out on contraception and how states rate. After reviewing Michigan's record on contraception (based in large part on how much taxpayer money Planned Parenthood gets) I went to look at how the AGI grades Michigan with regards to abortion. What I found were some odd statistics.
First, I thought it odd that the AGI's pregnancy and abortion numbers come from the year 2000 when pregnancies and abortions are recorded by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) through 2004. Why is the AGI four years behind? Even though this report was funded by the deep pockets of the Packard Foundation, the AGI's sources on pregnancy and abortion all come from outdated sources and the AGI's own reports.
Second, it seems that the AGI took the 15-44 female population (2,159,468) the number of births (136,048) from the MDCH's pregnancy stats and then added their own abortion number of 46,470 (which happens to be about 20,000 more abortions than the number reported by abortionists to the MDCH) and somehow (I couldn't figure out how) created a new estimated number of miscarriages by factoring in the new abortion number.
What's interesting is if the AGI's abortion numbers are correct then Michigan abortionists broke the law about 20,000 times in 2000 by failing to report abortions to the MDCH. If Michigan abortionists are required by law to report each abortion they perform to the MDCH, are they more likely to be accurate reporting to the MDCH or through an informal survey by the AGI?
The AGI's report is also telling in that two of the states with the best contraceptive services (California (ranked #1) and New York (ranked #5)) according to the AGI also have some of the highest abortion rates in the nation. Pro-choicers tell us over and over again that mandating contraception coverage by insurance companies and more tax dollars to family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood will lower the abortion rate. Yet in two states where pro-choice lobbyists can usually get whatever they want, the abortion rates are higher than the rest of the nation.