Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s claim that 60 percent of woman use contraceptives “for something other than family planning” came under scrutiny Monday from the Washington Post.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks onstage at the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit on October 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit on October 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune)

In a March 25 interview with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, Wasserman Schultz said, “When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it’s outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous.”

But, the Post’s “Fact Checker” column thinks those numbers are “overstated,” giving her comment two Pinocchios.

“Wasserman Schultz used numbers from well-documented studies but without the right context,” the Fact Checker column stated. “In particular, the claim that 60 percent of women use ‘birth control’ for something other than family planning is overstated, as the more correct figure is 14 percent — and the pill is used by less than one-third of sexually active women.”

“Wasserman Schultz used numbers from well-documented studies but without the right context.”
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According to the Post, the figure cited by the DNC chair comes from a Guttmacher study, titled “Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits Of Oral Contraceptive Pills.”

In it, the study stated that, “More than half of pill users, 58 percent, rely on the method at least in part for purposes other than pregnancy prevention.”

But, the Post noticed that “if you dig deeper in the report, you see that only 14 percent use birth control pills just for non-contraceptive reasons.”

“The 58 percent figure includes people who have added other reasons on top of family planning,” the Fact Checker column quipped.

DNC deputy press secretary Rebecca Chalif told the Post that Wasserman Schultz “did not mean to imply that 60 percent of women used birth control only for non-contraceptive reasons.”

The Post countered that “it certainly sounded that way when The Fact Checker first noticed her remarks.”

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