Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute has attacked the global abortion estimates of the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute as "simply bogus."
The Guttmacher Institute, which Mosher describes as the "research arm of Planned Parenthood," has published a report claiming a reduction in global abortions. It estimates worldwide abortion statistics to have declined from about 46 million in 1995 to under 42 million in 2003. It attributes this decline to an increase in countries that legalize abortion and more access to contraceptives.
Mosher criticized these estimates: "In actual fact, neither Guttmacher nor anyone else knows how many abortions have been performed worldwide in this year or any other year." He noted that abortion statistics were only reliable in a few developed countries. In other countries, he claimed, these numbers are "at best educated guesses." Mosher said any decline is not necessarily due to contraceptive access but rather due to government sterilization programs, especially in China and Vietnam. Some of these campaigns are known to be coercive.
In the report Dr. Sharon Camp, president and CEO of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, argued for legalizing abortion: "…we know that the crucial first step in making abortion safer is to legalize the procedure, ensuring that it is performed by skilled providers under the best possible conditions. It's high time for policymakers worldwide to renew their commitment to women's health by addressing these crucial issues."
To which Mosher responded: "Legalized abortion is never "safe" for the baby being aborted, of course. Neither is there any reason to assume that the legalization of abortion will instantly bring medical facilities up-to-date and start money pouring into rural clinics. Abortion, legal or not, is an invasive medical procedure with the potential for many complications and health risks."
Mosher also reported statistical manipulations in arguments for legalizing abortion. In Columbia, abortion advocates claimed anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 illegal abortions took place annually. According to Mosher, after Columbia's legalization of abortion the Columbian Vice-Minister of Health reported only fifty abortions in government clinics over the following year.
He accused abortion legalization advocates of "deliberately exaggerating the magnitude of the problem in order to create a 'health crisis' to justify legalizing abortion-on-demand."