Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fraudulent Data Used By Catholics in Alliance

Fraudulent Data Used By Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Organization to Defend Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

February 12, 2009 ( - The group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, whose primary goal is providing moral, political, and theological cover for supporters of Barack Obama and other Democrats who support "abortion rights," released a study last August which purported to show that increased spending on various welfare programs resulted in substantial reductions in state abortion rates.

This study, however, was later proven to be false due to the fact that the authors used incorrect abortion data.

The study analyzed state level abortion data from 1982 to 2000 and claimed that many state level pro-life laws, such as those requiring parental notification for abortions performed on minor girls, had little effect on over-all abortion rates, and that increased spending on three specific welfare policies had significant effects on reducing state abortion rates.

According to the study, family caps, which deny welfare recipients extra benefits if they have additional children out of wedlock, increased abortion rates. Second, increased spending on the Women Infants Children (WIC) program reduced abortion rates. Third, increased spending on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) also reduced abortion rates.

This study had a substantial impact on the debate over sanctity of life issues during the 2008 Presidential election. It was used to give the message to pro-life voters that they could best advance their interests by electing pro-abortion Democrats instead of pro-life Republicans, because the study allegedly demonstrated that the welfare policies favored by Democrats were more effective in preventing abortion than the pro-life laws supported by Republicans.

An analysis of the study by Michael J. New, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama and a visiting fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, however, found serious inconsistencies and errors in the data used in the Catholics in Alliance study. The group subsequently removed its study from their website in November 2008 and replaced it with a version substantially different from the original.

Professor New wrote in his appraisal of the original study that after the study was released the authors, Michael Bailey of Georgetown University and Joseph Wright, a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame, discovered that they used incorrect abortion data for the years following 1997, with the result that the new version provided evidence that welfare policy has no more than a marginal effect on the incidence of abortion.

"In fact," wrote Professor New, "the new regression results indicate that none of the three welfare policies which the authors previously argued were effective tools for reducing the incidence of abortion have a substantial abortion reducing effect."

Professor New noted that one of the authors of the August study, Professor Michael Bailey, removed his name from the November version. Joseph Wright remained the sole author of the current study.

Professor New concluded his evaluation of the fraudulent study by pointing out that, "It is unfortunate that the faulty research of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was used as political cover" for the Obama administration's promotion of "abortion rights" and that the group "continues to miss the boat and mislead the public."

"As the Obama administration continues its assault on laws and policies upholding the sanctity of human life, pro-lifers need to hold Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good morally accountable."

Link to Professor New's analysis:

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