Planned Parenthood Claims 1 In 3 Women Have Had An Abortion—That’s A Lie, It’s Not Even Close

“1 in 3 Women Have Had Abortions” Debunked

America’s liberals and the Democratic party are working overtime to fight against Donald Trump’s pledge to de-fund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider.

They claim that abortion is so prevalent in American society that it should be considered just another healthcare procedure—apparently vacuuming a fetus out of a woman’s womb is semantically the same as getting your blood pressure checked, or getting hit with one of those tiny reflex-testing hammers.

In fact, Planned Parenthood claims that 1 in 3 women in the US have had an abortion—and that 95% of them don’t regret it (the same goes for the United Kingdom, apparently).

Of course, characterizing pregnancies this way serves a political end, to normalize abortion.  For Planned Parenthood, pregnancy is basically the flu: you’ll probably have it at some point, and you’re glad when it’s gone.

But these feelings aren’t held by most Americans.  In fact, only 43% of Americas believe abortion is morally justifiable (57% believe abortion is either morally wrong, or are on the fence).

So on the one hand, we’re told that abortions are super common, while on the other, we know that most people aren’t in favor of abortions.  What’s going on?

Planned Parenthood Misrepresents Abortion Statistics For Political Purposes

Basically, Planned Parenthood, and the American left, is fudging the numbers, and preying upon the general population’s trouble with statistics.


I’m not entirely sure how Planned Parenthood calculated their numbers, but they either: took the total number of abortions legally performed in the US since Roe v Wade in 1973, and divided them by the number of women; or extrapolated the annual abortion rate for the number of fertile years a woman has in her life.

Either way, the result is that roughly one in three American woman should have an abortion.  And either way, it’s wrong.

It’s just bad math.

The fact is that many woman have multiple abortions, so we need to look at the 1st time abortion rate, not the total rate.

When we look at the actual abortion statistics, we find that 46.08% of all abortions were performed on women who had previous abortions (they were on their second or third+).

This means that, only 25 million (not 46) American woman had abortions between 1970 and now, which means that 15.7% of woman have had an abortion.

Planned Parenthood’s lying: it’s not 1 in 3, it’s just over 1 in 7.

They’re counting woman who’ve had multiple abortions multiple times, and hoping that people don’t pick up on this fact.

For example, women like Irene Vilar dramatically inflate the statistics.  She’s had 15 abortions in 17 years (and is proud of it—she even wrote a book about it).

Condoms, Irene. Use them.

Woman Who Get 1 Abortion Are Likely To Get Another: This Inflates The Numbers

The number of abortions a woman has in her lifetime doesn’t follow a thin-tailed Gaussian distribution, where most people with abortions only have 1, and then fewer have 2, and very few have 3 etc.

In other words, abortion statistics don’t follow a bell curve, where everything is tightly clustered around the mean.

It’s the opposite.

The distribution is fat-tailed, meaning that women who have abortions usually have multiple abortions—it’s a question of conditional probability: if a woman has 1 abortion, she’s fairly likely to have a 2nd, if she has a 2nd, she’ll probably have a 3rd etc.

For example, a woman who’s had 3 prior abortions has a 67% chance of having a 4th.  And so on.

The graph looks more like the red line (it’s been exaggerated so you can see what I’m talking about).

fat tailed vs thin tailed (gaussian) distributions



They do the same thing with the divorce rates: we’re told that 50% of marriages fail, however, this includes chronic losers and romantic misanthropes who have 3+ divorces to their names.

In fact, only 25% of first-time marriages are likely to fail—the number doubled due to people like Ross from Friends.

Abortions work the same way.

When they say that 1 in 3 American woman have had abortions, Planned Parenthood is lying.  Plain and simple.

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About Spencer P Morrison 160 Articles
J.D. B.A. in Ancient & Medieval History. Writer and independent intellectual, with a focus on applied philosophy, empirical history, and practical economics. Author of "Bobbins, Not Gold," Editor-In-Chief of the National Economics Editorial, and contributor to American Greatness. His work has appeared in publications including the Daily Caller, the American Thinker, and the Foundation for Economic Education.