A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate the Population Research Institute Questionable based on extreme right-wing bias, promotion of propaganda and pseudoscience, as well the use of poor sources, and lack of transparency with funding.
Reasoning: Extreme Right, Propaganda, Pseudoscience, Poor Sourcing, Lack of Transparency, Anti-LGBTQ
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 1989, by Paul Marx, a family sociologist, a Catholic priest, and Benedictine monk, Population Research Institute (PRI) is a “non-profit research group whose goals are to expose the myth of overpopulation as well as “human rights abuses committed in population control programs, and to make the case that people are the world’s greatest resource.” Essentially, the primary function of the group is to operate programs against the advancement of contraception, sterilization, and abortion. They further claim their “global network of pro-life groups spans over 30 countries.”
Funded by / Ownership
PRI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) think tank that is primarily funded through donations. However, they lack transparency as they do not disclose donors of funding sources on the website. According to Media Transparency, they have received $130K from the conservative The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. Further, charity navigator rates them 1 out of 4 stars for Financial, Accountability, and Transparency.
Analysis / Bias
In review, the Population Research Institute is a Catholic advocacy group that promotes banning abortion and contraception. The views expressed align with the Christian right and often are at odds with science. The website publishes in-depth reports such as this: Innocents Betrayed: A side of family planning the White House does not discuss. They also publish a weekly briefing that features loaded emotional wording such as this: Population control policies to combat climate change prove deadly, demographer says. This story relies on the Questionable Daily Mail as its primary source. Further, they sometimes republish news from other poor sources such as LifeSiteNews, which holds extreme right views such as this: Transgender people are suffering, and indulging their delusions will not help them as well as anti-LGBTQ messages, How to Defeat the Enemies of Natural Marriage.
When it comes to science they have published unproven information such as this: Out of India Comes Yet More Evidence that Abortion Causes Breast Cancer. According to the American Cancer Society the consensus of studies indicates that “induced abortion is not linked to an increase in breast cancer risk.” Further, they frequently do not align with the consensus of science regarding human-influenced climate change: Climate Change Alarmism Results in Anti-Baby Madness.
PRI has also faced criticism from some groups such as the Ten Million Club, which states they have a “religious hidden agenda (against family planning and contraception) that motivates its deceiving claims, stating that those are not backed up by any original research as PRI has never been published in a single peer-review paper in any scientific journal.” Finally, the Southern Poverty Law Center has called the Population Research Institute “an anti-choice and anti-LGBT organization.”
Overall, we rate the Population Research Institute Questionable based on extreme right-wing bias, promotion of propaganda and pseudoscience, as well the use of poor sources, and lack of transparency with funding. (D. Van Zandt 11/19/2019) Updated (10/12/2020)