Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards travels around the country giving speeches about “women’s health care” and interviews to some of the top news outlets in the country.
But Richards is not a doctor. She does not appear to have any medical training whatsoever. Her background is in political activism.
So it is curious that the American Public Health Association, a major U.S. health organization, would invite Richards to be its keynote speaker this weekend during its annual meeting.
“Her selection demonstrates the strong advocacy position organized public health takes regarding legal abortion,” Dr. James Studnicki wrote at The Federalist.
Richards, given her background, won’t talk about the medical and biological facts about human life or the specifics of abortion procedures in her address to doctors and other medical professionals this weekend, Studnicki said. Her speech will focus on abortion politics and rhetoric, not scientific evidence or medical practices, he predicted.
This politicking and promotion of a pro-abortion ideology has a dangerous impact on the medical community. As a result, research on abortion risks rarely receives funding, statistics about babies who die in abortions are not fully reported, and medical journals often reject studies and articles that do not fit the pro-abortion narrative.
Three states (California, Maryland, and New Hampshire) do not report abortions to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and reporting is uneven among states that do report. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has stressed the need for complete, valid data in addressing abortion as a public health issue and informing research on unintended pregnancies and contraceptive method effectiveness.
Guttmacher endorses a coordinated federal and state effort to build a robust abortion reporting system that is “similar to the existing systems for other vital statistics such as births and deaths.” However, given the current exclusion as a cause of death and the paucity of valid abortion data despite its huge mortality burden compared to other causes of death, abortion research is essentially unfunded.
In the absence or denial of available science, public dialogue will be driven by ideology. We see … this “fraudulent exercise” when euphemisms such as “access to health services” are used in an attempt to deny the objective reality of fetal deaths.
This ideologically driven denial also has a corrosive effect on conducting science. The editor of a well-known public health journal, declining to use a manuscript on this subject, explained (direct quote), “In the tradition of [journal name withheld], the reviewers were all staunch advocates of ‘choice’ and were unhappy with your point of view.” …
An induced abortion is the death of a human being, determined and carried out by other human beings in a conscious, deliberate process. In this respect abortion is similar to capital punishment and subject to the same clash of religious, political, and ideological values. The appropriate role of science is to inform the societal dialogue with objective information.
The New England Journal of Medicine, a highly regarded medical journal, made a similar move in March when it published an article Richards wrote about birth control access.
When Richards’ article was published, the Rev. James Harden, chief operations officer and founder of the Commission for Reproductive Health Service Standards and president/CEO of CompassCare Pregnancy Services, pointed out numerous flaws with the piece, including that Richards failed to present any meaningful evidence to make her case.
“A scientific journal ought to constitute thoroughgoing analysis by way of research, analysis, and peer review. In this case the context is medicine, the purpose of which is to heal and maintain the health of an individual. The publication of Cecil Richards’ slanted Planned Parenthood love prose violates the purpose of a journal while insultingly ignoring the purpose of medicine.”
Similarly, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has had close ties to the abortion industry for many years and has promoted misinformation about abortion on several occasions. In 2015, the Washington Post Fact Checker called out its CEO Hal Lawrence for giving “incorrect” information about the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Because of these strong pro-abortion biases, many Americans are only getting one side of the picture in the abortion debate. These influential medical groups, the mainstream media and many in the government are preventing Americans from learning all the facts about abortion and its effects on the family.