There was much tut-tutting last week when data came out from the Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood — but despite its pedigree the most comprehensive source of data on issues relating to abortion most of the time) showing that the pregnancy and abortion rates for teenagers had increased in 2006 for the first time in over a decade. This fit will with two stories which people had been itching to tell:
1) Those opposed to abstinence-based sex ed in schools have been eagerly waiting for some sort of data to support the claim that not pushing contraception in school was resulting in more teen pregnancy and abortion. (The previous, much trumpeted, round in this debate ony really succeeded in proving that abstinence-based sex ed was no more effective than contraception-based.)
2) A small subset of progressive pro-lifers have been very eager to find a way to claim that Bush’s policies increased abortion, while progressive policies (even combined with pro-choice policies) would decrease abortions. Indeed, some have already attempted to make this claim, though the data on which they attemped to base the argument turned out to be incorrect.
So what are we really seeing with this latest data?
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