On December 28, 2016, CLI’s Vice President and Research Director, Dr. David Prentice, co-authored an op-ed with Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) on the ethical and unethical uses of human gene editing, especially in light of the advent of the CRISPR-Cas System.
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.
On October 7, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) filed two separate comments to the Department of Health and Human Services regarding its proposed rule on entities qualifying for the government’s Title X family planning funds.
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.
Because abortion and abortion policies impact thousands of women’s and families’ lives every day, abortion policy must be grounded on the most accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date statistical information and health data.
Late Friday, it was announced that leading United Kingdom abortion agency Marie Stopes International will suspend a significant percent of abortion procedures following a surprise inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of Susan B. Anthony List, today released a landmark review of health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). These ministries, which date back decades as a source of health care financing for both individuals and families, have experienced new prominence as an alternative to conventional health insurance.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this testimony, Dr. David Prentice, Vice President and Research Director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, testifies in support of Ohio’s HB 135, which would provide necessary, distinct protections for developing human beings, preventing discrimination based on genetics or disability.
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.
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.
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.
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.