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Big Mistake

October 19, 2007

Yikes…Megan McArdle catches a correction the AP made to a recent article. Someone at the AP needs to take an introduction to statistics class:

LONDON (AP) — In an Oct. 11 story about a study examining global abortion trends from 1995 to 2003, The Associated Press erroneously reported that nine out of 10 women will have an abortion before age 45. Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute in the United States and the World Health Organization calculated that an average woman would have 0.9 abortions in her reproductive lifetime (between the ages of 15 and 44), given currently prevailing rates. The figure was arrived at by combining higher abortion rates in some areas and lower abortion rates in others; some women have multiple abortions and others have none. The rate is an average and it does not mean that nine out of 10 women worldwide have abortions.

Also, if the average woman has 0.9 abortions, how many women are there having multiple abortions to offset the ones that don’t? It would be interesting to see the average number of abortions for women who have had at least one.

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