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So lost in the hullabaloo over Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) implying that blacks were better off as slaves, was this big lie that's been repeated in various forms by quite a few pro-lifers.

Rep. Trent Franks: (R-AZ) In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say "How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible." And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

I explained in Muzikal203's diary how that was a lie, but I fear it got lost among all the other comments.  So below the fold is an explanation of how exactly the lie got started.

See, the "half of all black babies are aborted" line immediately stood out for me, because I've written about this very lie before.  Lila Rose (better known for her "sting" operations on Planned Parenthood with none other than James O'Keefe) used this lie in her pro-life magazine, ironically called The Advocate.  The statistic is pure bullshit.  I found where that made-up statistic came from: a blatant misreading of the original 2004 CDC report (scroll down to the "Results" section).

In the 38 reporting areas for which race was provided, classified according to the same categories used in previous years, approximately 53% of women who obtained legal induced abortions were white; 35%, black; and 8%, other; race was not known for 4% (Table 9). The abortion ratio for black women (472 per 1,000 live births) was 2.9 times the ratio for white women (161 per 1,000), and the ratio for women of the nonhomogeneous "other" race category (330 per 1,000) was 2.0 times the ratio for white women.

That's what the person saw.  The numbers 472 and 1,000, and so it must mean 47.2%, which is "almost half"!  Except... it's a RATIO, not a percentage.  Those "1,000 live births" are just that; babies that are actually born, i.e., not aborted.  If you want the percentage, it's 472 / (472 + 1000) = 32%.  (FYI, the percentage for whites is 13.9%.)  Now, I don't want to get into a debate on whether 32% is too high of a number.  But we simply don't refer to a percentage that less than one-third as being "almost half"!  Well, unless you're a pro-lifer, I guess.

Hope this clarifies.  Any time one of these Republican pro-lifers tries to throw the bullshit "50%" statistic out there, someone NEEDS to call them out on that, and explain that that figure is an outright LIE.

(However, if they say one-third of all black babies are aborted, then you're pretty much stuck.)

Originally posted to BruinKid on Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 03:03 PM PST.

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