Kansans for Life’s False Claims About “Right to Know” Websites

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Commentary Abortion

Kansans for Life’s False Claims About “Right to Know” Websites

Kari Ann Rinker

Kansans for Life uses false assumptions and "data" to make false claims about the role of its "right-to-know" website in a decline in the number of abortions in the state, shifts that are most attributable to the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, restrictions on abortion care, and national trends.

See all our coverage of misleading “Right to Know” initiatives here.

The need to remain relevant is necessary within any business, including the faux-life business.  Conveying relevancy is key for fundraising successes and in the pursuit of future faux-life legislative endeavors. Proving one’s relevancy often requires conveying past successes by showing proven outcomes of an organization’s programs and policies. Numerically and analytically quantifying one’s work is part of the professional world, but in the faux-life world, there is a systemic and pervasive disregard for truth and standard measures of accountability. Faux-lifers can be predictably and reliably counted upon for one thing… their misuse and misinterpretation of science, data, fact, and statistics.

That’s why I am so, so, so… just NOT at all surprised by the most recent set of “facts” being used by Kansans for Life to quantify the “success” of their “Women’s Right to Know” (WRTK) website. Yes, they are purporting that the abortion rate has lowered due to this Internet wonder. They are so proud that they have drafted press releases touting its success in both March and April of this year. They excitedly peddled its false accomplishments when they testified in support of the 2011 mega abortion bill, touting it as a reason to lie to women about a non-existent and dis-proven abortion/breast cancer link.   

So according to the logic of Kansans for Life, you too can reduce the number of abortions today! Just click HERE and watch those fetal beings come to fruition! 

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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A friend of mine was running for Kansas State Senate during the last election cycle.  She had plans to participate in a faux-life candidate forum. As a bright, articulate and passionate pro-choice candidate, she was confident that she had nothing to hide. She felt assured that she could easily defend her personal beliefs and make the case for her positioning on policy effecting women’s health and welfare. Having some past experience talking with and dealing with “the other side,” I gave her the following advice regarding preparation for the forum. 

“You should expect to have all of your facts challenged with their “facts.”  They will throw out lots of numbers, lots of false statistics. They will, quite literally try to overwhelm you with manufactured numbers. So anything you might present as fact, be prepared with back up for that positioning. They will pounce on any flat, unsupported statements. Like if you were to say that abortion is safer than childbirth, you should have that statistic and the source of that statistic. If you want to talk about contraception preventing pregnancy, have your research ready about how greater access to contraception has been linked to lower pregnancy rates. Although, they think contraception is abortion...so, also be prepared with how contraception and EC really works and explain how that medically differs from pregnancy. I would study their myths and be ready to debunk them…abortion causes breast cancer and depression…they truly believe that stuff and have lots of fake science to “back it up.”

Ultimately, the truthful reply to my friend would have been, “nothing that you will say to these folks in such a forum, hosted by faux-lifers, will matter.” They engage in a whole, unique, false, and misleading use of statistics and logic. That’s why those who are active pro-choice warriors, our she-ros and heroes who participate in clinic defense, know that debating with self-proclaimed “sidewalk counselors” is futile.  That’s also why I brought a rubber stamp to a committee hearing earlier this year. The truth is irrelevant to faux-lifers, whether they are holding manufactured bloody fetus signs on the street or whether they are positioned with a fancy nameplate behind a committee room conference table… facts just don’t matter. 

Kansans for Life isn’t afraid to crow about their WRTK “accomplishment,” no…they are busy marketing this high-techy “baby-saving” gem of a website to their faux-life friends in Nebraska.  Now Nebraska Right to Life can feed this prettily packaged waste of “abortion reducing” Internet space to their state legislature. 

Let’s look at this “proof” that Kansans for Life is so happily sharing with its red state neighbor to the north.

The Women’s Right to Know and See Act was passed by the Kansas Legislature in 2009.  It included lots of factoids that they figured pregnant women-folk should most likely be told if they find themselves seeking an abortion. As a bonus, the faux-life groups were able to mandate that a “state health department website with real-time sonography of the developing child (!)” be set up. That web address is included in the WRTK materials that are handed out to women at the start of their 24-hour waiting period required for a pregnancy termination in Kansas. Of course the sonography video isn’t of “the developing child” so much as “a developing child”, but what the heck….it’s a cute little fetus and you should love it and pet it and cuddle it, okay?

From Kansans for Life’s most recent blog post…

In 2008 (before the website), 10,642 pregnant women entered Kansas abortion clinics, in 2009, 9,701 did so, in 2010, 8,615, and in 2011, 8,033. Thus, nearly 2,700 women never stepped inside a Kansas abortion business, due to their access to a state informed consent website!

So, while we are pleased that a few hundred women each year do reject abortion upon reflection AFTER entering Kansas clinics, the number choosing life has greatly increased with the online website. 

Kansans for Life is claiming that the number of abortions in Kansas was reduced by 25 percent due to the WRTK website! There is not a wit of direct correlation or causation to be found in that statement and yet, they are feeding this obtuse logic to their faux-life compatriots in Nebraska. Like any good piece of faux-life legislation, it will come at a cost to the state.  From the fiscal note from Kansas’ House Substitute for SB 238….

In the fiscal note for the bill as introduced, KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) estimates additional expenditures totaling $182,637 from the State General Fund in FY 2010. Of this amount, $34,500 would be for postage costs to mail 5,000 DVDs and reprinted Women’s Right to Know materials; $15,137 would be used to reprint the materials; and, $133,000 would be for professional service expenses related to video production. The agency also estimates that $6,500 in out-year postage costs would be needed. This estimate assumes that 1,000 DVDs would be mailed in FY 2011 and FY 2012.


Now lets go back to those statistics, Kansans for Life gives the WRTK website credit in its “abortion-rejecting” figures the decline in abortions from 2008 to 2009 and then from 2009 to 2010. Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in his church on May 31, 2009. Dr. Tiller’s clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, was one of the few clinics in the nation offering terminations of later term pregnancies. In fact, Dr. Tiller saw international patients in his Wichita clinic. The interruption of his medical work, due to his murder, would likely greatly contribute to the decline in Kansas abortions taking place from 2008 to 2009 and then again from 2009 to 2010. 

The enactment of a greater number of restrictions in Kansas, a lower abortion rate nationwide, President Obama’s elimination of federal funding for abstinence education programs (although the President recently reversed this in the 2012 budget)… are all much more likely to have made a far greater difference in a lower number of abortions in Kansas than some cyber-fetus imagery on a website. Just another day in the life of the faux-life spin machine, disseminating lies and false misrepresentations in their quest to eliminate freedom of choice for women… one red state at a time.