Scientists’ Failure to Report Abortions as ‘Cause of Death’ Masks Massive Racial Disparities

UNITED STATES, Tinley Park : TINLEY PARK, IL - JULY 31: Stages of a fetus are displayed at the Illinois Right To Life a table while Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom's Journal Institute for the Study of Faith and Public Policy 2015 …
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A new research study illuminates the alarming paradox that, despite the fact that no credible scientific theory has refuted the reality that all human life begins at conception, the scientific community has not reported abortion as a “cause of death” in the country’s vital statistics system, a practice that aids public ignorance of the massive racial disparities associated with the procedure.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte assert in their study, published in the Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, that the ramifications of this failure to report abortion as a cause of death are significant for public policy since mortality — along with fertility and migration — is among the major determinants of the size and composition of any nation.

Authors James Studnicki, Sharon J. MacKinnon, and John W. Fisher write:

The exclusion of a major cause of death from the vital statistics system, especially one with large racial and ethnic disparities, should be a major concern to the scientific community and society as a whole. Therefore, we considered abortion as a cause of death in order to: 1) assess its magnitude against other major causes of death; 2) assess its contribution to years of potential life lost; and 3) compare its relative impact on these outcomes for the three major racial and ethnic groups in the United States: Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) and Whites (NHW).

Using data from 2009 of pregnancy outcomes — including estimates of induced abortions as collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and deaths due to all causes — the researchers report that induced abortions represented only 16.4 percent of NHW deaths, but 61.1 percent of NHB deaths and 64.0 percent of Hispanic deaths.

“For Hispanics and NHB, deaths from abortion are 4.2 and 3.5 times, respectively, the number of deaths from all diseases of the heart and malignant neoplasms combined,” they write.

The authors find that for Hispanic and blacks, abortion deaths were 79.3 and 57.5 times the number of homicide deaths, respectively and, for whites, abortion deaths were 12.4 times the number of suicide deaths.

Results show that induced abortion represents 63.1 percent of years of potential life lost before age 75 (YPLL 75) for NHW, 86.5 percent of YPLL 75 for NHB, and 87.4 percent of YPLL 75 for Hispanics. In addition, the YPLL 75 rate per/100,000 population for NHB is 5.9 times that of NHW, and 2.1 times that of Hispanics.

Added to the authors’ alarming findings is that, as measured by the availability of valid data, there is evidence that the science community is not appropriately engaged regarding this crucial public health problem as it is for many other public health and policy concerns.

The study is published, ironically, at the close of an Obama administration that has cast many issues in light of its perceived racial and ethnic disparities over the past eight years. Despite this characteristic, abortion as a cause of death is not being reported in light of very real racial disparities in the number of deaths it produces. Instead, the procedure has been promoted and protected as one that provides women with “health care.”

Additionally, abortion has been fully embraced by the Democratic Party and its nominee Hillary Clinton, as it has never been before. Clinton herself has said she plans to work to eliminate the longstanding Hyde Amendment — a federal provision that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion. Clinton’s specific reason for expanding taxpayer funding of abortion is to allow minority women — most of whom are black and Hispanic — to obtain even more abortions.

Breitbart News asked principal researcher Dr. James Studnicki (JS) about the results of the study in an exclusive email interview:

Breitbart News: From your perspective, are scientists not reporting abortion as a cause of death because they are influenced by the politics surrounding it?

JS: It is clear that the overwhelming proportion of academics and public health professionals support access to legal induced abortion.

For example, Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood) will give the opening keynote session of the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting in late October. In the advertising for the event, Ms. Richards is described as “One of our nation’s most important advocates’ for the right to health…” Imagine the impact if, instead, she was described as one of the nation’s most important advocates of the termination of a pregnancy by death of the embryo or fetus. Most people, on both sides of the legal debate, would prefer to avoid taking the life of a developing human being.

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have been quoted as saying that abortion should be legal, safe and rare. The use of the word “rare”, just like the CDC interest in avoiding unintended pregnancies, is an acknowledgement that the termination of a human life, legal or not, should be avoided if at all possible. Abortion as a death is an inconvenient truth for the narrative of pro-choice advocates. So instead of labeling an induced abortion as a death, legal abortion advocates prefer euphemisms such as: “healthcare services”, “freedom of choice”, “woman’s rights”, and others.

The best illustration I can give you of this point of view comes from an editor of a journal who declined to use our paper. He said… “in the tradition of (Journal Name withheld) the reviewers were all staunch advocates of ‘choice’ and were unhappy with your point of view.” This is a chilling victory of ideology over science.

Breitbart News: What are the ramifications of this denial of abortion as a cause of death?

JS: The most sinister result of excluding abortion as a cause of death is that this crucial topic is “scrubbed” from the purview of legitimate scientific inquiry. As a cause of death, the major one for Hispanics and African Americans, abortion would be at the top of the scientific agenda in the U.S., and with a funding priority consistent with its importance. Imagine the urgent scrambling among federal health bureaucracies if some mysterious new virus or bacteria were killing more than a million children each year. Complete and extensive recording and reporting of each abortion would enable the scientific community to evaluate important correlates, determinants and outcome of abortion with the intent of developing effective preventive strategies.

The ramification of denial of abortion as a death is the willful ignorance of abortion’s impact on society. One can only wonder how long this official subterfuge would be tolerated if it were Whites who were disproportionately affected.

The researchers note that even the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute has recently stressed the importance of valid data in addressing abortion as a public health concern. A Guttmacher policy review report titled, “Promoting Public Health, Not Politics,” urges the creation of a coordinated federal and state abortion reporting system that it says is “similar to the existing systems for other vital statistics, such as births and deaths.”

“Of course, the logical and most cost-effective way to achieve that goal is to formally consider abortion as a reportable death,” conclude Studnicki and his colleagues.


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