Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Washington Post Is "Surprised"

The Washington Post is rarely "surprised"

After all, those that control and write for The Washington Post seem to think they know everything. They knew Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could do no wrong. They "know" that Donald Trump can do nothing right.

That is why it was such a surprise for them to find out that 63 million American voters did not agree with them last November.

They were "surprised" again this week when they fact-checked a Trump administration statement of policy that indicated that President Trump intends to sign the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if it becomes law.

This bill would generally make it unlawful for any person to perform or attempt to perform, an abortion after 20 weeks, with limited exceptions.

This bill passed the House of Representatives 237-189 last week and is now being considered in the Senate.

What "surprised" The Washington Post was this factoid in the Administration's statement.
The United States is currently out of the mainstream in the family of nations, in which only 7 out of 198 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Washington Post immediately jumped on this and put their fact-checkers on it to prove that this could not be right. They could not wait to put their 4 Pinocchios on this outlandish statement by the Trump administration.

There was only one problem---it was true.

Much to the "surprise" of The Washington Post.

In fact, The Washington Post actually conveyed the Geppetto Checkmark to this factoid. This is how this mark of distinction is described by The Washington Post fact checkers.

The Washington Post explained their conclusion this way.

This statistic seemed dubious at first, because it seemed extreme for just seven countries out of 198 to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But upon further digging, the data back up the claim.
Further, what is telling is that the research from both sides of the reproductive rights debate confirm this figure. It’s not easy to boil down complex abortion laws in a cross-comparative manner like this, and there are some minor caveats associated with this talking point. Still, we did not find the caveats rise to the level of One Pinocchio.
We award the elusive Geppetto Checkmark when a factoid surprisingly  (my emphasis) turns out to be true, as in this case.

I thought it was interesting that The Washington Post fact checkers questioned the statistic because they thought it was "extreme" that just 7 countries out of 198 allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Isn't this revealing bias in itself?

The Washington Post thought that the fact that only seven countries allowed elective abortions seemed to be "extreme" in their view.

However, it never seemed to occur to them that the seven countries that are allowing the practice are those that are really on the far "extreme" side of the issue.

What is more shocking is that the United States of America is one of the seven.

The list of the seven countries compiled from The Washington Post research is below. Note that the only countries that have more liberal abortion policies than the United States are North Korea, China and Vietnam. These are hardly the countries you want to keep company with on any human rights issue.

Note that there is not one European country in the seven other than the Netherlands. Since most European countries are generally considered to be more liberal and have weaker religious values than the United States, this also says a lot about how far out of the mainstream America is on abortion.

From the Washington Post...

Here’s a look at the seven countries. We sorted them from the most liberal on gestational limits to the least:

North Korea and Vietnam: No specified gestational limit, though regulatory mechanisms vary.

China: “Abortion is virtually freely available in China, and there are no defined time limits for access to the procedure,” according to Pew Research Center. China now has a “two-child” policy, and human-rights advocates have criticized China’s population and family planning laws.

United States: No federal ban on gestational limit, but 43 states have prohibitions on gestational limits, from 20 to 24 weeks, or the point of “viability,” according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group. There are some exceptions made, usually for the life or health of the mother.

Canada: No federal gestational limit, but provinces and territories vary as to whether they will offer abortion services after a certain gestational age. Some offer abortion services up to 12 weeks, others up to 24 weeks. (This is similar to how states operate in the U.S.) Abortions after 20 weeks are not always readily available for Canadians, so women are often referred to a clinic in the United States, according to an abortion rights group in Canada. These procedures may be paid in full or in part by provincial governments.

Netherlands: Abortions are allowed up to 24 weeks. After that period, abortions are allowed only if the unborn fetus has an untreatable disease and would have little to no chance of survival after birth, or for the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.

Singapore: Abortions are allowed up to 24 weeks. After that, abortions are only allowed to save the life of, or for the physical or mental health of, the pregnant woman.

Liberals often like to talk about the extremist views of conservative Republicans.

However, there is almost nothing more extreme than the abortion policies that are in place in the United States of America.

Watch closely if the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" gains any traction in the Senate. If it does, we surely will hear from Democrats how extreme this bill is.

However, you now have the facts to put that claim in context.

The facts are that the extremists are those that will not support this legislation, not those who are supporting it.

Feel free to share these extreme facts with a Pro-Choicer that you love.

They may be surprised as well.

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