Response to Cleveland Plain Dealer indictment

Tue, 02/21/2012 - 7:20pm -- Dr. Patick Johnston

This is my response to a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper article which indicted me for dishonesty in claiming that abortion was the most common surgery in America. If any of you can Email him and point out some of these points afresh to him, it might have a greater impact: His Email is

Hello Aaron,

I’ve given your article indicting me for having “pants on fire” deception some thought.

Several points. The Cleveland Dispatch misquoted me. I didn't say that abortion should be banned because it was so routine. I didn’t say anything like it. You can listen to my interview here: I said that the victims of abortion have been censored, and for what is the most common surgery in America, they shouldn’t be censored. I said that they could watch an abortion at and see for themselves if abortion kills a baby.

For a fact-checking article, you tossed me a pretty bad misquote, wouldn’t you say?

Moreover, I didn't say that it was the most common abortion every year. Since 1973 it's the most common surgery, as far as I can determine. Each of the surgeries that have passed abortion as the most common surgery annually are because of explosions of endoscopies, cataracts, and C-sections in recent history. But in the past forty years, have there been more abortions, cataract extractions, polypectomies, or C-sections? Check out the numbers and say it with me Aaron, “more abortions.” Thank you.

It is difficult, I admit, to find hard data on the exact number of polypectomies and cataract surgeries going back that far. But their rate of growth is demonstrably relatively recent compared to the number of abortions, which are about 53 million since 1973 – and that’s not even counting how many illegal ones were performed before ’73 (which NARAL claimed was a significant number).

Is it too much to ask for a proper quote from you, and a clarification?

In my follow-up response to you, I did mistakenly compare the frequency of the most common inpatient surgery - cholecystectomies - with the most common outpatient surgery (abortion).

Thank you for your time,
Patrick Johnston