Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Context Often a Casualty in ‘War on Women’

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. Jackie Speier said at a March 15 Women's Health Forum that 1,100 bills have been introduced to reduce sources for women's health.

“In 2011, there were over 1,100 provisions introduced at the state level [by both Republicans and Democrats] and range across the reproductive health spectrum,” said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, when asked by Roll Call for clarification.

“Nearly 600 of these provisions would restrict access to abortion,” said Nash, who added that it was a “huge jump” from the 400 restrictive provisions the group sees, on average, each year. But because Guttmacher doesn’t have a detailed list of all the provisions and their authors, it’s virtually impossible to know whether Republicans were solely responsible for the restrictive provisions.

“Of the remaining provisions,” Nash explained, “some expand access, such as provisions that fund family planning services, ensure access to pregnancy care and infertility treatment or establish comprehensive sex education.”

This isn’t the last time that partisans from across the ideological spectrum will reach for the biggest number or most inflammatory rhetoric to make their argument. But, unfortunately, most people won’t take the time to dig deeper into the context of statistics before regurgitating talking points.

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