Statistics of abortion
Yeah, weird title, I know.
On my way to work every day, I pass a womens’ health clinic that offers, among many other services, abortions. Most days there is a small contingent of protesters outside the clinic, and one of them is usually holding a sign that reads “Women regret abortions.”
This sign always makes me think of baseball and statistics. If I saw someone holding up a sign reading “Joe Carter had over 100 RBI in his age 37 season!!” I would feel compelled to roll down the window and shout “but he sucked horribly that year with a 77 OPS+….77!!!”
Don’t get me started on the loon heralding Dante Bichette’s second-place MVP finish in 1995.
These are all examples of cherry-picked statistics that give the wrong impression without the complete picture. Joe Carter and Dante Bichette DID do those things, but they also sucked those seasons. Women who have abortions probably do experience feelings of regret, but how much more might they regret giving birth to a child they don’t want for some reason? I don’t think the sign about women regretting abortions presents anything close to the full picture.
Just to be clear, I’m not taking any side on the abortion issue–I’m just pointing out an everyday example of the type of statistical misuse we’re accustomed to seeing in baseball.
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