Tax-Funded PBS, NPR Eagerly Push Planned Parenthood ‘Study’ of Rapes and Abortion

PBS and NPR are funded by taxpayers – federal, state, and local. But they’re “owned” by the Left. Look no further than a very biased Planned Parenthood study fishing numbers out of the air to assert that there were more than 64,000 “people” who became pregnant from rapes in red states with abortion bans. No one who would criticize or even question this effort was allowed on air. The stories were unanimous.

On Thursday, the PBS NewsHour brought on Dr. Samuel Dickman to discuss his study, published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Anchor John Yang pointed out that Dickman is chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of Montana. Yang asked “Is there anything in what you found in your study that surprised you?” and then added “you’re saying that this could actually be an undercount.”

Notice Dr. Dickman admitted “these are just estimates.” Yang continued with the facilitation: “Why did you undertake this study?” And: “As we mentioned, there are five states that do have exceptions for rape, but under very tight restrictions. Given those restrictions, how meaningful are those exceptions?” This PBS-pampered abortionist said they were meaningless.

The PBS NewsHour website provided a second promotion, an article by health reporter Laura Santhanam that was just as one-sided.

On Wednesday, NPR’s comically named All Things Considered aired a story by reporter/abortion advocate Selena Simmons-Duffin that never considered any critics. Instead, the soundbites came from the doctor from Planned Parenthood – oh, wait, the reporter never mentioned Planned Parenthood, Dr. Dickman was just an “abortion provider” – another doctor endorsing the research named Rachel Perry, and a rape victim that guessed this was an undercount.

For an opposing viewpoint, Michael New trashed this research at National Review: 

First, the authors of the study claim that approximately 12.5 percent of rapes result in a conception. That is an exceptionally high figure. The results of a survey of over 4,000 women that was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1996 puts that figure at closer to 5 percent. Furthermore, the 5 percent figure cited in this 1996 journal article is probably high because several survey respondents reported being raped more than once.

Second, there are extremely wide disparities in reported rape statistics. The authors use data from the CDC’s 2016–17 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which estimated that over 1.4 million women were the victims of a completed forcible rape during a twelve-month period. That is over four times higher than the estimates provided by the Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey and over ten times higher than FBI data on the number of rapes reported to law enforcement. Furthermore, the CDC data have been criticized for significantly overestimating the incidence of rape. Fair-minded researchers would have at least acknowledged these disparities. However, the authors of the JAMA Internal Medicine article simply assume that the much higher CDC estimates are the most accurate.

They want you to think that “public broadcasting” is so professional that it thoroughly reviews “studies” like these. But the actual stories suggest they are barely considered “rip and read” segments that amount to a press release. They weren’t alone: New pointed out “This study was quickly and uncritically covered by a number of mainstream media outlets including CNN, NBC News, the Houston Chronicle, Axios, Time, and the Huffington Post.”

NPR transcript is below:

NPR’s All Things Considered

January 24, 2024

ARI SHAPIRO: A warning – this next story deals with sexual assault and abortion. A new paper out today estimates the number of people who have become pregnant from rape in states with abortion bans. It’s nearly 65,000. NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin has more.

SELENA SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Dr. Samuel Dickman is an abortion provider in Montana.

SAMUEL DICKMAN: I have patients routinely who tell me that they’re pregnant as a result of rape.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Dickman began to wonder about patients who became pregnant due to rape in states where abortion is banned, so he and a group of colleagues set about to gauge the scope of that problem. The challenge – there is no dataset on the number of rapes that result in pregnancy.

DICKMAN: We use the best available research and data that we’re aware of to come up with the fraction of women of reproductive age who are survivors of – and the terminology here is horrible – but, you know, completed vaginal rape.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: They put together survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with Bureau of Justice Statistics data and FBI crime reports. They calculated there have been more than half a million rapes in states with abortion bans while those bands were in effect and that those rapes have resulted in 64,565 pregnancies. Dickman said he and his colleagues were shocked at those numbers.

DICKMAN: I was horrified. Sexual assault is incredibly common, and I knew that in a general sense. But to be confronted with these estimates that are so high in states where there’s no meaningful abortion access — I mean, it’s hard to comprehend.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Dr. Rachel Perry is an OB-GYN and professor at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the study. She thinks the methods Dickman and his colleagues used to come up with their estimates were appropriate, given the lack of concrete data.

RACHEL PERRY: Seeing these numbers makes us realize that even if they aren’t exact, it is a huge problem.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Certainly, not all of the people who become pregnant due to rape want an abortion, Perry observes.

PERRY: But we do know that those who become pregnant after rape are more likely to choose abortion than to continue their pregnancies.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Which suggests tens of thousands of Americans have wanted an abortion after a rape and had no access where they lived. Polling consistently shows that most Americans think that someone who is raped and becomes pregnant should have legal access to an abortion, yet the majority of states with abortion bans do not include such an exception. Some rape survivors are starting to speak out about the need for easier access to abortion after assault — survivors like Samantha Hansen. She was a college student at Brigham Young University in 2014 when she was watching Netflix with someone she considered a friend. She went to go pop popcorn in the other room.

SAMANTHA HANSEN: When I came back with the popcorn and started sipping my Coke, it wasn’t too long before I couldn’t move a single muscle.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Weeks later, she noticed she’d missed her period, and a pregnancy test came back positive. She went to Planned Parenthood to talk through her options. She had decided to continue the pregnancy but ended up having a miscarriage. Still, she was grateful to have had the option to end her pregnancy.

HANSEN: Having had my autonomy stripped from me that night that I was raped – having the ability to make that choice was so, so pivotal to my healing.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: Hansen says the researchers’ estimate of 65,000 pregnancies from rape may surprise some people.

HANSEN: I’m not surprised. And if anything, I’m over here going, it’s probably higher.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: She’s glad the researchers worked to quantify the number. Selena Simmons-Duffin, NPR News.

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