Politicians from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Howard Dean have recently contended that abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.
This claim is false. It's based on an an opinion piece that used data from only 16 states. A study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute of 43 states found that abortions have actually decreased.
The story of how the claim started is ridiculous -- some ethics professor just calculated a bogus statistic and put it in a relatively obscure op-ed, and pretty soon top Democratic politicians were repeating it as fact. It reminds me of some of our all-time great myths on Spinsanity -- the NEA and 9/11, Ken Lay and the Lincoln Bedroom, and Bush and the Taliban, all of which started with one misinformed or misleading source and then exploded. And the worst part is that once a compelling myth is in the media bloodstream it's almost impossible to stamp out for good.