It was certainly not intentional, but the leftwing interest group Media Matters for America has uncovered an internal memo from the CDC proving the CDC did in fact cover up and suppress abortion data until RedState revealed the coverup.
On Thursday, I reported that the Centers for Disease Control was covering up abortion data. Each year since 1969, the Centers for Disease Control has published its "Abortion Surveillance System" the week after Thanksgiving in its professional journal, The Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report ("MMWR").
Two weeks ago, RedState contacted the CDC to inquire if and when the data would be released. We were told by their press office — direct quotes — that the CDC “will not have stats available at any time in the near future” and there “are no plans for them to come out any time soon.”
On Friday, the CDC reversed its position and claimed that the data would come out in February. Later that day the CDC said the data would be out February 25th.
Now Media Matters has released a memo that gives away the game. And it may be time for a congressional hearing into what happened.
Let us just be clear about the CDC's last minute story to us. The hold up, according to the CDC, was its need to get population data. This ignores the fact that the CDC's 2010 report will use data from 2007, including population data from 2007, readily available to anyone with an internet connection since . . . well . . . 2007, courtesy of the Census Bureau — another organization that, like the CDC, just so happens to be part of something called the federal government.
In other words, two weeks ago the CDC said it “will not have stats available at any time in the near future” and there “are no plans for them to come out any time soon.” Last week, after we documented this, the CDC reversed and said "the population data needed to develop rate/ratio statistics was not available at the time we normally prepare the ASR" and the CDC would release it "tentatively" in February. The CDC also noted the MMWR's editorial calendar is booked 'well in advance.'
Today, our "friends" at Media Matters confirm for us the CDC did cover up the abortion data and try to avoid publishing it. Media Matters obtained an internal CDC memo showing "that the report was submitted for review and editing on November 12."
That would be exactly when one would expect the report to go for editing with a publication date the week after Thanskgiving.
Again, the CDC first told us that it had no plans of releasing the report. Then the CDC told us it was awaiting data. Thanks to Media Matters, we now know the report was actually done and submitted on November 12, 2010, completely contrary to everything the CDC has said both to RedState and publicly in response to our story.
What this means is that someone at the CDC received the report to review and edit, and caused it not to be released on its usual schedule, with no publicly stated reason why and no apparent interest in releasing it until we publicized the issue. The question that now needs to be answered - perhaps ultimately to Congress - is who made that decision, who told them to make that decision, and why. With Media Matters' help, Congress will now know where to start asking those questions.