The U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls public health “the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention and detection and control of infectious diseases.” Tragically, prominent public health organizations have betrayed that purpose by embracing abortion and assisted suicide, which not only destroy the life of individuals but have a tremendous and under-recognized impact on the health of communities. Despite ongoing public debate that would benefit from robust statistics, the United States on the whole has a poor record of tracking abortion data – a deficiency CLI urges policymakers to address and aims to improve through quality research. In addition to abortion data, our national systems for monitoring maternal health are in need of major overhaul to ensure that all pregnancy outcomes are measured and incorporated in data readily accessible to researchers everywhere.

Backgrounder: We Need a New NIH Director

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

On April 25, 2017, Charlotte Lozier Institute Vice President and Director of Research, Dr. David A. Prentice, Ph.D., was published in USA Today on the need for a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director. The backgrounder below provides summary main points and sources on the position of current NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins in support of human embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and the creation of ethically-questionable human-animal chimeras.

Letter from Aaron Kheriaty, M.D., to American Medical Association in Opposition to Physician-Assisted Suicide

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

For almost a quarter of a century, the American Medical Association (AMA) has opposed physician-assisted suicide, stating that it is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” In strong language, the AMA has concluded that “permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good” and that physicians “should not abandon a patient once it is determined that cure is impossible.”

Jennifer Lahl

Q&A with the Scholars: Surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology

Jennifer Lahl, R.N., M.A.  

Jennifer Lahl, R.N., M.A., is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. In this interview, she discusses surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology.

Q&A with the Scholars: Practicing Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Steve Calvin, M.D.  

Pregnancies are the most momentous event in our lives—both for those who are born and for those who become mothers, when they give birth. Pregnancy is most often a normal life event. But even normal pregnancy and birth can become complicated and can lead to harm to the mother and the baby. The challenge is to provide care that recognizes these two realities.

What Happens Next If Roe Is Overturned?

Tim Bradley  

A legislator in Indiana has announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban abortion in that state when its legislature convenes in January. In Texas, lawmakers introduced several pro-life measures on November 14, including a proposed amendment to the state constitution prohibiting abortion to the extent permitted by federal law.

CLI Comment on NIH Proposal to Fund Human-Animal Chimeras

David Prentice, Ph.D.  

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proposed lifting a ban on approval and funding for the creation of human-animal chimeras. CLI submitted detailed comments regarding the science and ethics of such research, opposing the NIH proposal and noting ethical and scientifically valid alternatives exist to satisfy scientific demands.

graphs

Analyzing The Recent Fertility Decline in the U.S.

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Last week The Washington Examiner reported on a new study released by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. It analyzed the declining birthrate in the United States since 2007. Even though there are more women of childbearing age, the number of births has fallen from over 4.3 million in 2007 to 3.978 million in 2015 – an 8 percent decline. If the fertility rate had remained at its 2007 level, the author estimates that there would have been 3.4 million more births during the last 8 years.

Ana Carolina Caceres

A Baby is Not a Mosquito

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

Ana Carolina Caceres is a journalist in Brazil. In a photograph in a recent story about her, she wears a garland of flowers, a simple necklace and a pleasant if somewhat nonplussed expression on her face. Caceres’ writing is clear and straightforward, as befits the blogger she is, but the story is not about her chosen profession – about what she does – but about who she is. Or rather a condition she has that some think should define her – or even have prevented her coming to birth.

Ms. Caceres was diagnosed at birth with microcephaly, the condition so much in the news as a result of a spike in cases associated with the spread of the Zika virus across Latin America.

Premature infant pain

Pediatricians Recommend More Attention to Pain Management in Premature Infants

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a statement pertaining to the prevention and management of procedural pain in babies. Pain that newborns experience from routine medical procedures can be significant, especially in premature infants with more intensive health needs. Research suggests that repeated exposure to pain early in life can create changes in brain development and the stress response systems that can last into childhood. Premature infants are especially at risk. The AAP policy statement recommends that every health facility caring for newborns use strategies to minimize the number of painful procedures performed, and routinely monitor and treat pain with greater emphasis on proven non-drug interventions. The policy statement, “Prevention and Management of Procedural Pain in the Neonate: An Update,” appeared in the February 2016 issue of Pediatrics (published online Jan. 25).

Premature infant pain

Abortion Increases Risk of Preterm Birth: More Evidence in New Publication

Donna Harrison, M.D.  

The recent systematic review published by Gabrielle Saccone and colleagues joins the long list of over 150 studies over the past four decades which extensively document that having an induced abortion increases a woman’s risk of preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. Saccone et al. clearly document again what other authors have repeatedly published; a fact also acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in their report on preterm birth in 2005. However, unlike the IOM, who hid the association on page 625 in Appendix B, Saccone places the facts in the open: “Prior surgical uterine evacuation for either I-TOP [induced termination of pregnancy] or SAB [spontaneous abortion] is an independent risk factor for PTB [preterm birth].” Translated, that means any time the womb of a pregnant woman is forced open, there is a risk of damaging the opening of the womb.

Bicameral Congressional Letter Demands Transparency from FDA

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

Yesterday 75 members of Congress, led by Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration demanding answers to questions about the FDA’s surprise approval of relaxed protocols for the distribution of the abortion-inducing drug regimen known as Mifeprex. The changes, announced on March 30, significantly increase the duration of pregnancy at which the drug regimen may be administered, raising it from 49 days (7 weeks) from the last menstrual period (LMP) to 70 days (10 weeks) post-LMP.

New CLI Scholar to Testify at “Pricing of Fetal Tissue” Congressional Hearing

Catherine Glenn Foster, J.D., M.A.  

On April 20, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives will hold a hearing on “The Pricing of Fetal Tissue” in response to information brought forth by the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover video exposé.

Charlotte Lozier Institute’s new associate scholar Catherine Glenn Foster, J.D. has been invited to testify as an attorney on the federal statutes governing fetal tissue research. Below is a preview of her testimony.

Medication Abortion: FDA Guidelines and Personal Experience

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the regulations for RU-486, the “abortion pill,” allowing its use up to 70 days into pregnancy, three weeks past the previous guidelines. On the same day, Abby Johnson’s The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories, was officially released. One chapter in particular stood out as especially timely in regards to the news: “Medication Abortion.”

Minnesota Reports Show Smaller Abortion Centers Shrinking as Planned Parenthood Consolidates into Mega-Clinics

Rebecca Gonzales  

The Minnesota Department of Health publishes an extensive and organized annual abortion report that presents important public health information, including demographic statistics, while protecting the anonymity of women. Additionally, Minnesota reports the volume of abortions performed at each clinic in the state.

Minnesota’s abortion trends provide a glimpse of what is happening to the abortion market on a national scale. Similar to national trends, the total number abortions in Minnesota has decreased, one abortion clinic has closed, several have merged, and Planned Parenthood increasingly dominates the market.

On Top of Everything Else, Contraception Mandates Don’t Work

Thomas M. Messner, J.D., Michael J. New, Ph.D.   

It’s hard to believe the Obama Administration is still fighting the nuns over abortion and contraception.

The Little Sisters of the Poor object on religious grounds to the government hijacking their health insurance plan to provide contraceptives including some that can cause abortions.

They’ve filed a lawsuit and today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case.

World Down Syndrome Day: Celebrating Life and Facing Challenges of Prenatal Discrimination

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Today is a very special day for all those living with Down syndrome and for all those who love them. Today is a day to celebrate the special gifts those living with Down syndrome bring to our human family. It is also a day to celebrate the progress made from a time when those living with Down syndrome were shunned, feared, and most often hidden away in bleak and often squalid institutions. So much has changed for the better, but there are still many challenges to overcome.

Oregon Health Report: Assisted Suicide Deaths at an All-Time High in 2015

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

According to the annual report from Oregon’s Public Health Division released in February, 132 people died from assisted suicide in the state – more people than in any of the 17 previous years and at a 26 percent increase from 2014.

Most individuals who died by assisted suicide were 65 years or older, either had no insurance or government insurance, and were not currently married.

AAPLOG on Zika and Abortion: An “Abuse of Power”

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has issued a helpful statement on the Zika virus and the effort by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights to exploit its spread to promote abortion and repeal of national laws against the practice. The statement contains a number of useful links regarding what is known about the virus and the recommendations of responsible agencies. Footnotes are supplied by Charlotte Lozier Institute. The AAPLOG website can be accessed at www.aaplog.org.

Charlotte Lozier Institute Letter to Congressional Budget Office regarding Defunding Planned Parenthood Estimates

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

On November 9, 2015, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, at CBO’s invitation, submitted a detailed letter to CBO describing six ways in which its analysis leads to misleading conclusions about the federal budget impact of the Planned Parenthood cutoff. In fact, among other points CLI argues that rechanneling funds from Planned Parenthood to primary care providers will lead to budget savings in Medicaid, that CBO underestimates Planned Parenthood’s private sector fundraising resilience, that CBO uses an incorrect (too high by 20%) figure for Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive client base, and that the 10-year budget window analysis artificially shows new costs for Medicaid enrollees but neglects the contributions human beings make to sustain government programs in the second decade of their lives and beyond.

Assisted Suicide at the Polls: Risks & Rewards Associated with Voting to Legalize Assisted Suicide vs. Maintaining the Status Quo

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

By Jacqueline H. Abernathy, Ph.D.

This academic paper analyzes the significance of a legislator’s position in favor of assisted suicide. In particular, the paper looks at the risk associated with support for legalization of assisted suicide on subsequent re-election. This original work comes from the Department of Social Sciences at Tarleton State University, written by Dr. Jacqueline C. Harvey, a political science faculty member. This version of the paper is a conference abstract that was presented at the 2016 Southern Political Science Association Conference. The full version of the paper will be published in an appropriate academic journal at a later date.

PRESS RELEASE: Lozier Scholar Submits Amicus Brief in Little Sisters Case

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Michael New, Ph.D., an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of Susan B. Anthony List, submitted an amicus curiae brief yesterday to the U.S. Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell and consolidated cases.

These cases represent a challenge against the Obamacare contraception mandate and its impact on the religious freedom of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious nonprofits. The religious nonprofit organizations are arguing that the so-called “accommodation” crafted by the Obama Administration violates religious freedom protections secured by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Decline in Female Contraceptive Clients Continues at Planned Parenthood

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

Of all the Planned Parenthood data being looked at today as a result of release of the agency’s annual report, one of the more significant is the continued decline in its client total for reversible contraceptive methods (excluding services like sterilization and emergency contraceptive kits). This number is distinct from its contraceptive services total, where discrete services provided to a single individual are separately tallied, leading to a higher overall figure for services and a reduction in the apparent significance of a single “service” like abortion. The reversible contraceptive client total simply refers to the number of women coming to Planned Parenthood to obtain reversible contraception like oral contraceptives, barrier methods and IUDs, and this number continued to drop in 2014 – by more than 122,000 women, or more than 5.7 percent of those clients.

No One Seems to Know How Many Abortion Clinics Collect Fetal Tissue

Rebecca Gonzales  

An editorial in Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals, recently covered the political debate surrounding fetal tissue harvesting and the editors’ perceived threat to this form of research with the defunding of abortion giant, Planned Parenthood. The article, “Fetal tissue research under threat,” was published on December 7th but was corrected soon after on December 8th.

Nature issued a correction in an area where there is a significant amount of uncertainty. The correction states, “An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that six clinics recovered legally allowed costs for fetal tissue. In fact, we are unable to determine the exact number of clinics. Also uncertain is the number of remaining clinics that still supply the tissue. The text has been updated to reflect these uncertainties.”

More Positive Opinions and Experiences Reported for Life-affirming Pregnancy Centers Than with Abortion Providers

Moira Gaul, M.P.H.  

By an overwhelming margin, American women and men report more favorable opinions of life-affirming pregnancy centers offering abortion alternatives, as compared to organizations providing abortions such as Planned Parenthood, according to a 2014 national poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI).

One thousand American women aged 18-44 years and 300 men of the same age range were surveyed about questions related to health behaviors, specifically geared towards unexpected pregnancy decisions and care. Overall opinions and impressions about experiences were measured to contrast views towards organizations which provide abortion alternatives at the community-based level and those which offer and refer for abortion.

Obamacare Year 3: Abortion Coverage Still Hidden

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

“Do your health plans on the exchange cover elective abortion?” Since the first Obamacare Open Enrollment Period in November 2013, the Charlotte Lozier Institute has asked this simple question of insurance companies, only to find mostly confusion, an inability to share relevant plan documents, and few companies able to give a direct answer to our simple question. For 2016, CLI and the Family Research Council (FRC) have once again researched plans and updated the ObamacareAbortion.com resource website with the abortion coverage policies for each individual and family plan on the Obamacare exchanges.

In sum for 2016: The abortion coverage remains difficult to discern for many plans without enrolling first; an estimated 59% of Obamacare plans for individuals and families cover abortion on demand; two states still have no plans excluding elective abortion; and compared with last year, there are three fewer states with Multi-State Plans (MSPs) which generally exclude elective abortion.

Federal Report Shows New Drop in Abortions

Rebecca Gonzales  

During the Thanksgiving holiday week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control published its annual abortion surveillance report, revealing a historic decline in the incidence of abortion across the nation since 1973.

Lagging three years behind, this year’s report covers the national abortion data for 2012. The abortion data is analyzed from the 47 areas that voluntarily report abortion statistics to the CDC. States that do not report to the CDC include several large jurisdictions – California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. According to the Guttmacher Institute in 2011, these four were among the jurisdictions with the highest abortion rates in the nation.

Germany Bans “Business-like Assisted Suicide,” But New Regulation Reminds Us: Killing Can Never Be Safe

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

By Jacqueline H. Abernathy, Ph.D.

Switzerland has an unlikely tourist attraction — one where those who visit never leave — and it draws Germans to it more than visitors of any other nationality. It is called the Dignitas clinic, and Germans represent 44 percent of foreign-nationals paying the staff to help them commit suicide. This is more than double the next most common nationality of suicide tourists, British citizens, who constitute 21 percent of the euthanasia clinic’s international business. Death as a paid service is such a concern to the governments of Germany and the United Kingdom that both have recently voted on legislation to ban this practice. Britain overwhelmingly rejected killing outright this September with a vote of 330 to 118 against legalizing assisted suicide.

Germany, however, banned assisted suicide, but only when operated as a business.

Access to Care: A Mission for Community Health Centers

Genevieve Plaster, M.A., Rebecca Gonzales   

In response to the Planned Parenthood scandal involving late-term abortions and harvesting fetal tissue from aborted babies, some are clinging to the claim that women, especially low-income women living in medically underserved areas, rely on the organization as their only healthcare provider. Further scrutiny has revealed that low-cost, publicly-funded health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to one nationwide, care for 23 million Americans, and even provide more health services.

Aside from the sheer number of the combined sum of 13,000+ Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) service sites and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), two aspects of these centers distinguish them and their mission: transportation assistance and accessible locations.

Good News for Pregnant Moms Diagnosed with Cancer, and Good News for their Unborn Babies

Donna Harrison, M.D.  

Separation of a mother and her unborn child is tragically sometimes necessary to save the life of the mother. But the number of conditions which truly threaten the mother’s life, and which require a life-saving separation of the mother and her baby are vanishingly small. A new study by Amant and colleagues, entitled “Pediatric Outcome after Maternal Cancer Diagnosed during Pregnancy,” brings tremendous hope to pregnant women who have courageously carried their unborn children to birth, despite the need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. And the successful outcome of these children exposed in utero to radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of both is reassuring to pregnant women who no longer need be told outdated information that they must abort their children or else risk compromising their own care or their child’s life.

A Mother’s Love and the Continuity of Knowing

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

A few years ago we received a request from a family, whose baby had been a patient in our NICU, to speak with the neonatologist who had cared for their child. I remembered the name vaguely, but was unclear about the circumstances of the encounter, so I had to go way back into the database to find the record.

Turns out that the patient was a little boy who had been born extremely premature, and a patient for less than 24 hours before he died. As I recall, those had been some very long hours. He had been born at one hospital, where I was on call, and then transferred to a higher level hospital, where I just happened to be on call the following night. Mom was terribly sick, and too unstable to transfer along with her baby, although the father and some other family members were able to follow the baby to the new location.

Planned Parenthood and the Public Purse

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

In a radio interview on the Diane Rehm Show on July 30, Terry O’Neill of the National Organization for Women (NOW) made a series of claims regarding Planned Parenthood that deserve a much closer look. O’Neill asserted that, “The claim that we can somehow replace Planned Parenthood overnight – you shut down all the Planned Parenthood’s [sic] clinics and that they could be replaced overnight, is silly and specious.”

It is indeed silly and specious because none of the proposals pending in Congress would shut down Planned Parenthood clinics and replace them, overnight or anytime. Instead, the discussion is about shifting the $528.4 million of total government funds away from Planned Parenthood and to the thousands of existing community health centers and other providers.

Planned Parenthood Shows $¾ Billion of Excess of Revenue Over Past Decade

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

As debate over the relative capacity of Planned Parenthood clinics and federally qualified health centers has emerged, one element of the argument has focused on funds that may be available to the former to replace certain government grants and reimbursements. CLI examined nine consecutive years of annual reports for the organization and the available information there on “excess of revenue over expenses” is shown below. While consistent details on certain financials in these documents are absent, particularly prior to 2008, the annual reports provide a glimpse of the general pattern of net income for the organization over nearly a full decade.

California’s Assisted Suicide Bill Revived in Special Session

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

In mid-August, California lawmakers announced a second attempt to legalize assisted suicide this year. In July, a nearly identical bill, SB 128, died in the Health Committee. The proposed legislation, now revived as Assembly Bill X2-15 (the End of Life Option Act), was introduced during a special legislative session on healthcare financing, which will allow it to bypass the previous committee in which it stalled.

Last Thursday, AB X2-15 which was introduced into the special session by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), was referred to the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee. This 13-member committee is a smaller health panel than the original health committee in which the bill died, and does not include the handful of Democratic Members who opposed the assisted suicide bill in July.

Maps: Health Clinics Nationwide Compared to Planned Parenthood Centers

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This map and state chart depict the number of health clinics that serve low-income, medically under-served populations in the United States in comparison to the number of Planned Parenthood centers. If Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, were to be defunded from receiving over $500 million in taxpayer funds per year, there already exist over 13,000 non-abortion providing federally qualified health center (FQHC) service sites and rural health clinics (RHCs) that could receive this sum instead and continue to provide comprehensive women’s healthcare.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Defends Planned Parenthood as Videos Continue to Emerge

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rose to the defense of the embattled Planned Parenthood organization, which is currently caught up in a fetal tissue and organ harvesting scandal following an undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress.

In a letter addressed to Senators Joni Ernst and Roy Blunt, HHS insisted that they know of no breach of the law in the actions taken by Planned Parenthood in its selling of fetal remains. In the letter, Jim Esquea, the HHS’s assistant secretary for legislation, wrote, “We have confirmed that HHS researchers working with fetal tissue obtained the tissue from non-profit organizations that provided assurances to us that they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.”

Pregnancy Help Centers More Likely to be Welcomed into Neighborhoods Than Planned Parenthood

Moira Gaul, M.P.H.  

Pregnancy help centers (PHCs), also known as pregnancy resource or care centers and in the past as crisis pregnancy centers, are more likely to be welcomed than Planned Parenthood facilities into communities across the country, according to a 2014 poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Survey respondents were asked, in separate questions, whether as far as they knew there was either a Planned Parenthood facility or PHC currently in their community. To measure desirability, each set of respondents who said there was no such facility was then asked a follow-up question, “Would you like one?”

Planned Parenthood and Federally Qualified Health Centers

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

While Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, having performed 327,653 abortions in 2013, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which operate in service sites in both rural and urban locations, offer low-income populations health services similar to those provided by Planned Parenthood, but do not perform abortions.

See here for comparisons between the two regarding the number of centers and individuals served by year both nationally and by state.

Reflections on the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 Years Later

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

July 26 marks a momentous anniversary for persons with disabilities living in the United States. On that day in 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first legislation of its kind focused solely on prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities and mandating that all Americans be accorded equality in pursuing jobs, goods, services and other opportunities.

The ADA has radically improved the lives of those living with disabilities over the last 25 years, especially in the areas of accessibility, education, and employment. However, laws can only protect individuals from institutionalized discrimination. Twenty-five years later, forms of discrimination can still be seen to a greater or lesser extent in American societal attitudes – perhaps even more so in attitudes toward and fears about those with mental illness and intellectual disabilities.

Nebraska’s Annual Abortion Report: A Unique Set of Abortion Statistics

Rebecca Gonzales  

According to Americans United for Life, Nebraska is ranked in the top 10 best states for life. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Nebraska publishes a timely and extensive annual abortion report revealing a 4.3 percent decrease in abortions from 2013 to 2014.

Nebraska’s report includes a wealth of unique data. Not only does Nebraska report the common patient demographics such as age, race, and education level, but Nebraska’s report presents detailed information that other states often neglect to report. For example, Nebraska reports the number of abortions per month and the reason given for those abortions. Additionally, Nebraska’s report reveals the ancestry of patients, the length and weight of the fetus, and the patient’s gravidity.

Idaho Annual Abortion Report Deserves Wider Access and Attention

Rebecca Gonzales  

Editor’s Note: In 2012 CLI published a lengthy paper summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of federal and state abortion reporting policies and practices. Beginning with this overview of the state of Idaho’s latest published report, CLI is reexamining these policies and practices, looking forward to an update of the 2012 report with more comprehensive evaluations of the states and recommendations for specific improvements. As these overviews will make clear, the quality of state reports does not depend on the political composition, size, or budgets of the various states. The information contained in these documents is of surpassing public interest and enhanced efforts are within the reach of even the smallest government units in this age of the Internet.

A Pro-Life Setback in Iowa

Michael J. New, Ph.D.  

Pro-lifers received some disappointing news last Friday when the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down Iowa’s telemed abortion ban. In 2013, the Iowa Board of Medicine issued administrative regulations that required physicians to perform in-person examinations (rather than webcam consults) on women before prescribing abortion-inducing drugs. These regulations would have effectively banned the webcam abortion practice in Iowa, in which a woman could receive the abortion-inducing drugs through a remote-controlled drawer after speaking to a doctor via webcam. However, these administrative rules set off a flurry of legal challenges. In August 2014, a Polk County District Court judge ruled to uphold the ban. However, in September the Iowa Supreme Court issued a stay on the decision, allowing telemed abortions to continue.

Abortion and Preterm Birth: Educational Campaign Recognizes the Well-Documented Link

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Baby Elizabeth was born nine weeks premature. With under-developed lungs, she struggled to breathe and needed to remain in intensive care in the hospital for two and a half weeks. “I couldn’t even hold her for the first five days… We dressed her in doll clothes,” says Jenn, her mother, recalling Elizabeth’s tiny size. Jenn attributes her daughter’s premature birth – and a host of other health complications – to a previous abortion she had, and now shares her story as part of a newly launched educational campaign called Prevent Preterm.
Prevent Preterm (PreventPreterm.org) was launched this June to educate the general public on three known risk factors for preterm, or premature, births: tobacco use, lack of prenatal care, and prior abortion. Despite a large body of medical research showing that abortion increases the risk of a subsequent preterm birth, information on this link is not nearly as accessible to the general public as that of smoking and prenatal care. PreventPreterm.org fills this need by providing a user-friendly, comprehensive chart summarizing more than 100 peer-reviewed published studies that identify abortion as a risk factor for preterm birth.

Surrogacy: The Commodification of Motherhood and Human Life

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Last month, an international coalition of individuals and organizations launched a campaign calling for an end to the assisted reproductive technology practice known as surrogacy. Stop Surrogacy Now (SSN) is urging national governments and the global community to end the “exploitation of women and the human trafficking of children through surrogacy.”

According to the campaign’s statement, the coalition “affirm[s] the deep longing many have to be parents”; however, it rejects surrogacy as a solution because of the human rights abuse it inflicts on women and children. The coalition represents 16 organizations and more than 100 individuals from 18 countries.

U.S. Abortion Reporting: An Issue We Can Agree On

Rebecca Gonzales  

Abortion is one of the most highly debated political topics, and is almost always in the national spotlight. There were an estimated 1.1 million abortions in the United States in 2011. If historical trends continue, it is estimated that by age 45, roughly 26 percent of American women will have had an abortion. Therefore, abortion, and abortion policies impact millions of women’s lives every day. Consequently, abortion policy must be grounded on the most accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date statistical information and health data. Unfortunately, after 42 years and over 55 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade decision, our country still doesn’t have a timely and streamlined system to report and publish state abortion records.

PRESS RELEASE: Alaska Medicaid Expansion Would Significantly Increase Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

Washington, D.C. – This morning the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, published a new paper examining how expansion of the Medicaid program in Alaska will significantly increase the number of abortions in the state. The analysis comes as the Alaska legislature considers a law that would expand Medicaid enrollment.

Written Testimony of Chen Guangcheng: A Matter of Life and Death

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

A Matter of Life and Death: How Violent Birth Control in China Is Breaking Down the Traditional Morality of Chinese Society

To address the issue of violent birth control in China, let me start by listing birth control slogans from some of the following provinces:

In Yunnan: All villagers will be sterilized once a single villager violates the birth quota.

In Sichuan: Anyone avoiding sterilization must be put in custody; anyone avoiding sterilization must be punished by bulldozing their house; anyone avoiding abortion shall surrender their cattle and house.

PRESS RELEASE: New Paper Warns Against Expansion of Physician-Assisted Suicide in the U.S.

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

As an increasing number of states weigh the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, a new paper released by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) elaborates the arguments against the practice, citing numerous abuses. Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith examines how assisted suicide impacts the states and countries where it has been legalized, particularly legalization’s effect on medical ethics and patient care.

Assisted Suicide Is Not Compassion

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

In the United States as of March 2015, numerous bills to legalize assisted suicide have been introduced into as many as 25 state legislatures. In this timely paper, Wesley J. Smith examines the subject of assisted suicide and demonstrates how it is distinct from other medical end-of-life care. The paper outlines in detail the abuses of legal assisted suicide and euthanasia laws in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland as well as in the state of Oregon.

New Study: Abortion after Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome Reduces Down Syndrome Community by Thirty Percent

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

How many babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS) are aborted in the United States each year? Well, we don’t know. While new data suggesting lower numbers has recently been published, we continue to see most often in print a statistics of 90% – 92%. While that certainly draws attention to the horrifying reality that the majority of children prenatally diagnosed with DS are aborted, it is not accurate. That number relies on a 1999 European study with little data drawn from the U.S. There are good reasons for advocates to use the best data available to raise awareness of the problem that exists in the link between prenatal diagnosis and abortion.

Study: More Than 1,000 Deaths “Hastened without Patient’s Explicit Request” in Belgium

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

In 2011, doctors gave then-22-year-old Matt Davis a 10 percent chance of ever waking up from his coma. After suffering a severe traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle accident, the doctors advised his wife of only seven months, Danielle Josey Davis, to end his life support. “They said if it was them, they’d pull the plug. That’s what they’d want their family to do,” Danielle Davis told ABC News this week. Three months later, her husband awoke from the coma. “I wasn’t going to give up,” she wrote on their GoFundMe page.

The hopeful outcome for the Davis family stands in stark contrast to a troubling new report on end-of-life practices in Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002. According to the report published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), potentially more than one thousand deaths in Belgium were “hastened [by a doctor] without an explicit request from the patient”…

Thirteen Million “Hidden” Children due to China’s One-Child Policy

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

In 1968, Dick van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes starred in a children’s fantasy movie based on a book written by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. While Chitty Chitty Bang Bang celebrates whimsy embodied in a flying (and water-compatible) English racing car, it also features a rather dark storyline: In the faraway land of Vulgaria, children are banned from the country by the baron and baroness, resulting in a sizable subpopulation of illegal minors hiding underground or locked in prison.

When the children are freed by Van Dyke’s crew, they storm the castle and a shocked Baron Bomburst exclaims, “Where are all these children coming from? I thought we passed a law against children!” Eerie, the parallel between fiction and reality.

In 2010, China conducted its latest census, which revealed that the country had 13 million undocumented children…

World Down Syndrome Day & How One Family’s Mission Brightens Futures

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

This March 21st marks the 10th year of a worldwide campaign to celebrate and advocate for people with Down syndrome (DS). World Down Syndrome Day always falls on the 21st day of the third month, a meaningful selection representing the third copy of the 21st chromosome, the characteristic possessed by all individuals with Down syndrome.

This year, World Down Syndrome Day will highlight the positive contributions that families make for their loved ones and others in the DS community. The theme, “‘My Opportunities, My Choices’ – Enjoying Full and Equal Rights and the Role of Families,” was appropriately chosen because 2015 is also the 21st anniversary of the International Year of the Family as declared by the United Nations.

The Drop Box: Rescuing Hundreds of Babies in South Korea

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

“This is a facility for the protection of life. If you can’t take care of your disabled babies, don’t throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here.” – A sign on the Drop Box.
It’s 1987 in Seoul, South Korea. A baby is born with cerebral palsy and a massive cyst on his left cheek that is cutting off blood flow to his brain, causing permanent damage. Without surgery, he will die, say the doctors, and with it, he will still be deformed. Fast forward to 2013: Eun-man is 26 years old. Though he has been bedridden his entire life with limbs bent in impossible positions and a vacuum that constantly suctions out saliva through a hole in his trachea, Eun-man has been instrumental in inspiring a mission that has saved the lives of hundreds of babies.

Virginia to Compensate Victims of Its Forced Sterilization Program

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

In February, Virginia became the second state in the union to legislate in favor of compensating victims of the state’s infamous eugenic sterilization program. The living victims of state sponsored forced sterilization are set to be awarded $25,000 following a protracted battle in the legislature. In 2013, North Carolina was the first state to compensate surviving victims, at $50,000 each.

This news of the decision has been welcome relief for Virginia survivors of this program, most of whom are quite elderly and were only teenagers when they were forced to undergo these procedures. “I couldn’t have a family like everybody else does,” stated 87-year-old Lewis Reynolds. “They took my rights away.”

A Second Chance at Life: Reversing the Abortion Pill

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

On February 23, the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (AAPLOG) co-hosted a press conference with Priests for Life at the National Press Club to increase awareness about a relatively new medical protocol for reversing medication abortion and to unveil a new Abortion Pill Reversal Kit now available to doctors.

Abortion Rill Reversal (APR) is a program that seeks to provide medical support to women who have taken mifepristone, the first of two drugs in the RU-486 abortion regimen, and then changed their minds, wanting to continue their pregnancy and save their baby’s life. APR connects with these women through its website (www.abortionpillreversal.com) and a 24/7 emergency hotline (877-558-0333) staffed by nurses and an international network of doctors and pregnancy medical clinic (PMC) hubs.

Holding, Listening, Rocking – and a Blessing in Turn

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

We deal with it fairly often. Or maybe not that often; perhaps it just seems more frequent than it actually is. But at least a couple times a year, at least for the docs anyway.

Pregnant women get sick. At times very, very sick. And I will forever be grateful for obstetricians and obstetrical nurses, because their job is a difficult one. Very difficult. Often a woman will come in needing an emergency delivery. And sometimes she will need to go to surgery and require general anesthesia. In most cases she will wake up soon afterward, but not always. Sometimes she does not recover. Sometimes she needs the ICU. And there are rare and tragic instances in which she never wakes up again at all.

The Reality of Late-Term Abortion Procedures

Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D.  

Of interest to the medical, moral, sociological, and political issues surrounding late-term abortion is the question of why women seek abortion after twenty weeks gestation. Any data considered to answer this question must be examined carefully for limitations. However, a greater understanding of the reasons why women choose these late-term procedures is valuable to those who seek to offer alternative, compassionate options.

Fetal Surgery: Hope for Families and the Patient in Utero

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. In the United States, about 120,000 babies each year have a congenital anomaly, otherwise known as a birth defect, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That is, about one in every 33 babies is diagnosed either prenatally or after birth with a health problem or physical abnormality that varies in degree of severity. Severe birth defects account for the death of one out of every five infants, making it the leading cause of infant mortality.

For parents who receive the heartrending news that their unborn child has a severe or life-threatening fetal anomaly, fetal surgery – surgery performed on a child in the womb – is one option that offers hope.

Charlotte Lozier Institute, alongside Family Research Council, Joins Comment Filed by Alliance Defending Freedom on New Federal Transparency Rules

Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan  

On Monday, December 22, Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) joined with Family Research Council (FRC) as cosignatories on comments filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) regarding new federal rules from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Personnel Management on transparency in health insurance coverage of abortion. The comment covers two separate rulemakings, one of which concerns the general use of federal tax subsidies to purchase health insurance plans on the federal and state insurance exchanges, and another which addresses transparency with respect to certain multi-state plans (MSPs) managed by OPM under the Affordable Care Act.

Non-invasive Prenatal Screening Expands Disability Discrimination Abortion

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

A recent report on prenatal genetic screening from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has caused quite a stir. The report showed significant inaccuracies in non-invasive (i.e., using blood tests and not invasive means such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis) prenatal screening and told the stories of a number of women who chose to terminate based on these inaccurate test results. The report, which is the result of a three-month investigation by the group, found that prenatal testing companies are overselling the accuracy of their screening tests and doing little to inform parents and doctors of the major risk of unreliability of these test results – a circumstance that can lead to a multitude of problems.

CDC Reports Abortion Incidence at Lowest Point Since 1973

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its annual Abortion Surveillance Report for 2011, revealing that abortion incidence is at its lowest level since the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973.

According to the data, 730,322 abortions were reported in 2011, down 5% from the previous year and 13% since 2002. Of the 48 areas reporting for both 2010 and 2011 (the District of Columbia and New York City included), 41 reported a decline in the abortion rate (i.e., number of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age). Maine experienced the greatest dip with its rate decreasing from one year to the next by almost a quarter, and its state rate holding at almost half the national rate of 13.9.

New Online Resource, ObamacareAbortion.com, Featured in News

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

The Charlotte Lozier Institute has joined forces with Family Research Council to examine individual plans on each state’s insurance exchange in an attempt to provide the transparency that is so lacking for consumers on abortion coverage in Obamacare. These findings are shared via a new online resource, www.ObamacareAbortion.com. Below are some highlighted news stories and excerpts covering the Capitol Hill press conference announcing the website’s launch on November 20, 2014.

New Study from Abortion Rights Groups Displays Ideological Bias

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

A new report released October 1 by abortion rights groups, Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and Ibis Reproductive Health, claims that the more laws regulating abortion a state has, the poorer the state performs in health outcomes for women and children. A brief look at the methodology employed, however, reveals a built-in subjectivity from which correlations and results are drawn, effectively stacking the deck to support the authors’ narrative.

Supreme Court Ruling on Texas Abortion Regulations: What Happened and What Now?

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

This Q&A-style fact sheet explains the background and implications of the Supreme Court ruling on October 14, 2014 regarding challenges to abortion-related laws enacted in Texas. It answers questions regarding which abortion provisions are at issue, whether the Supreme Court ruling deals with the constitutionality of the provisions, what the key court rulings are leading up to this ruling, and what happens next.

Modern-Day Slavery of Human Trafficking

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

On September 11, the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2014 introduced by Rep. Renee Ellmers. Witnesses testified to the problematic trend of forced abortions in the sex trade industry.

Judge Grants Limited Abortion Law Enforcement in Louisiana, Exempts Some Facilities Still Seeking Admitting Privileges

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

A federal judge on August 31 issued a “limited” temporary restraining order on a Louisiana abortion health and safety law that would have gone into effect September 1. The Unsafe Abortion Protection Act (HB 388), or Act 620, requires doctors at abortion facilities to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles in case a need for emergency care […]

Assisted Suicide in International Spotlight: Swiss Society Numbers Up, Australia Suspends Physician

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Last week, an assisted suicide organization in Switzerland named Exit made the news with a report of an anomalous growth in membership. According to its vice president, a record number of about 60 to 100 new applicants poured in daily this July and August, instead of the expected lag in applications due to summer travel.  All told, […]

Thailand Moves to Reform Law following Surrogacy Cases Gone Awry

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Last week, Thailand officials announced a reform of its surrogacy legislation by way of a newly drafted bill that would ban commercial surrogacy. This move to tighten restrictions comes after two widely-reported and controversial surrogacy cases gone wrong in the nation – the now-famous story of Gammy, a twin abandoned by his intended parents due […]

Center for Bioethics and Culture Founder Releases Documentary on Harmful Effects of Surrogacy

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

Jennifer Lahl, founder of the Center for Bioethics and Culture and an award-winning film director, recently released her latest documentary entitled Breeders: A Subclass of Women? The new film examines the harmful consequences of surrogacy.  Breeders concludes her three-part film series on sexual reproductive technologies.  The first installment, Eggsploitation (California Independent Film Festival Best Documentary, 2011), highlighted the risks for […]

Improving Joyful Lives: Society’s Response to Difference and Disability

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

This paper looks at the highly complex genetic condition that is Down syndrome and society’s response to individuals with this condition. This important paper points out that while research to improve the lives of those with Down syndrome has progressed, federal funding for it lags considerably behind that for other genetic disorders. Policy recommendations are made for the support of those with this condition and their families.

UN Report Details Infanticide, Forced Abortion, and Other Horrific Human Rights Abuses in North Korea

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

This week the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea released a report detailing the harrowing human rights atrocities being perpetrated by the North Korean dictatorship upon its people.  North Korea has been essentially cut off from the rest of the world since the ceasefire was declared in the Korean War.  This new […]

CDC Report Shows Abortion Decrease, Reinforces Need for Improved Abortion Reporting

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

On November 29, the day after Thanksgiving, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their 2010 Abortion Surveillance report to the public. The annual report is composed of statistical data and analysis documenting induced abortions in the States. The report revealed that there was a total of 765,651 abortions in 2010 – a 3% decrease from the figure CDC reported in 2009. This number also represents the lowest abortion total reported by the CDC since 2001.

Anniversaries and Obamacare

Keiren D. Smith, M.D.  

Today is the one-year anniversary of the big surgery: 78-pound, five-foot-tall “M’, 87 years old and a feisty New York native, was operated on for tongue cancer. The surgery meant removal of half her tongue followed by its reconstruction using the long muscle of her forearm. It included removing all the lower teeth on one side and […]

Victims of NC Eugenics Program to Receive Compensation At Last

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Despite signals earlier this year that the State of North Carolina would once again not include plans compensation for the victims of the state’s infamous eugenics programs in the state’s budget, it seems that those who suffered forcible or coerced sterilization at the hands of the state will see some restitution after all as North […]

Momentum for Late-Term Abortion Limits

Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D.  

(Click here for a chart detailing all state abortion limitations: Abortion Funding Limits)   In the last three years, an increasing number of states have debated and/or passed statutes limiting abortions beyond a certain point in pregnancy.  Most recently, Texas legislators voted to ban abortions after five months of pregnancy and to increase the health and safety […]

Women, Children and the Sex Industry: Laws, Law Enforcement and Society

Nadja Wolfe  

The FBI recently announced that it had rescued 105 exploited children and arrested 159 pimps as part of the national effort against sex trafficking of minors.  Last summer, they made a similar announcement regarding the rescue of 79 children and 104 pimps.  These efforts highlight the priority law enforcement is placing on trafficking in persons, particularly the sexual trafficking […]

Human Arithmetic: Valuing Lives

Nadja Wolfe  

A report emerged recently that at least 148 female inmates in the California penal system had been sterilized without authorization.  The outcry justifiably focused on the fact that some women did not give informed consent, that it was against the law without prior authorization, and that in some cases it appeared there had been coercion.  But the underlying […]

What Wendy Stands For

Nadja Wolfe  

Last month, the Texas legislature tried to pass SB5, which would have limited abortion and regulated abortion clinics.  Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) filibustered, as it was the last day of the session.  I followed by proxy the events through Facebook.  I had pro-life friends at the senate, and pro-choice friends livestreaming it long into […]

Webinar Discusses Relationship between Abortion and Pre-Term Birth

Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D., Nora Sullivan, M.P.A   

In a fascinating new webinar sponsored by Heartbeat International and the Charlotte Lozier Institute, CLI adjunct scholar Dr. Elizabeth Johnson gave a fascinating presentation on induced abortion and the subsequent risk of pre-term birth.  In her talk, Dr. Johnson describes the serious public health concerns of pre-term birth and discusses the growing body of research […]

Pro-Life Ireland Safer for Mothers, Babies than Pro-Abortion UK

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Last week, a fascinating new research paper was released which demonstrates that mothers and babies in Ireland are safer there and receive better care than they would in the neighboring United Kingdom, in spite of the fact that abortion remains illegal in Ireland.  The paper, entitled Maternal and Neonatal Health and Abortion: 40 Year Trends […]