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A so-called “fact-check” published by NPR last week is being challenged by critics who assert that many of the abortion claims addressed in its report aren’t actually debunked.
On Friday, NPR went over “7 persistent claims about abortion,” the first being that “There is big support for ending Roe in America,” saying that is false since polls consistently show a majority of Americans saying they don’t want Roe v. Wade overturned.
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But as conservative writer A.G. Hamilton wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread on Saturday, NPR ignores how polls also show that Americans consistently “support restrictions on elective abortions after 1st trimester,” which he stressed “are not possible under Roe.”
“NPR did a fact-check claiming to debunk 7 abortion myths, but at least 5 of their responses are wrong or deceptive,” Hamilton wrote. “This is why the media fact-checking genre has been such a joke. It’s really just spin meant to push an opinion.”
Protestors gather outside the Supreme Court to protest abortion rights (Fox News Digital)
(Fox News Digital)
NPR refuted the claim that “After Roe, abortions skyrocketed,” writing, “While the rate of abortions increased significantly in the decade after Roe v. Wade, it has since decreased to below the 1973 level.”
“This is what I call the ‘true, but inconvenient, so we will label it false’ approach to fact-checking,” Hamilton reacted.
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The third claim NPR pushed back on was “Abortion is dangerous,” citing data from the CDC that compare death rates from pregnancy and childbirth versus getting an abortion.
“Of course, abortions are just a small subset of pregnancies. Also, when pro-life people say this, they also mean for the baby,” Hamilton tweeted.
A pregnant woman visiting the doctor. (iStock)
NPR later fact-checked the claim, “People are getting abortions late in pregnancy,” suggesting that’s not true since “Over 90% of abortions happen in the first trimester (by 13 weeks).” NPR then displayed CDC data showing the breakdown of percentages of abortions in various weeks of pregnancies, showing 43% of abortions taking place at six weeks or prior and collectively 3% of abortions occur at 18 weeks of pregnancy and beyond.
“They don’t debunk it, they just suggest the percentage is small. But the reason they only show % is because 10% of the 800k yearly abortions is 80K!” Hamilton exclaimed. “For context: There are only 12K firearm homicides in the US each year. So 80K mostly elective abortions after the first trimester can be considered a rather significant amount for many people.”
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Hamilton continued, “The other claims they seem to debunk are claims that barely anyone makes (such as that no one who is transgender gets an abortion). They didn’t even attempt to debunk any pro-abortion myths and got many of these wrong. Terrible fact-checking for a news organization.”
FiveThirtyEight founder editor-in-chief Nate Silver also criticized NPR’s fact-check, particularly the notion that abortions didn’t skyrocket after Roe, writing, “What’s interesting is how overt it is. It’s not some complicated dispute subject (inevitably) to some bias despite best journalistic efforts. In one case they’re literally saying that up is down!”
NPR did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.