The American Bar Association is a special-interest group like any other association representing its members. The Chamber of Commerce represents corporate interests, such as seeking cheap labor to keep the cost of wages low, and the National Education Association represents the education industry's interests, such as seeking more public funding to create more school jobs.
The ABA represents lawyers who seek to win their cases, especially if they are profitable and result in verdicts that order transfers of money. We can therefore assume that ABA publications are not disinterested research, but are meant to promote the litigating and financial interests of lawyers.
A good example of a special-interest publication is called "10 Myths About Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them," which was produced "for use in litigation" by an ABA subgroup called the Commission on Domestic Violence. "10 Myths" is designed to teach lawyers how to win money verdicts against fathers by using false or misleading arguments masquerading as objective research.
The same techniques can theoretically be used against mothers, but fathers are the chief targets because they more frequently have greater financial resources than mothers. Litigation is often stimulated by the search for deep pockets.
The commission's Web site notes this disclaimer: "The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence does not engage in research, and cannot vouch for the quality or accuracy of any of the data excerpted here." Too bad the "10 Myths" flier doesn't include this disclaimer, too, because most of it lacks both quality and accuracy.
A nonprofit research and education organization called Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting has just published a detailed analysis of "10 Myths." The association's report - which can be found online at www.eagleforum.org/sources - proves that "10 Myths" uses bogus statistics and is "profoundly and systematically biased ... unworthy to be used as a foundation for legal practice or public policy."
"10 Myths" denies the big problem that false allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are frequently used by women to win child custody, and that children can be coached to betray their fathers. "10 Myths" ignores the problem that family courts regularly deny custody and issue restraining orders against men based on a woman's unsubstantiated say-so and without giving the man fundamental due process rights.
RADAR shows that "10 Myths" sells the feminist falsehoods that only fathers engage in domestic violence and child abuse. "10 Myths" consistently selects language to portray fathers negatively.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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