By Staff

SACRAMENTO, November 1, 2005 ( – The current president of the American College of Pediatricians and a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with two other California physicians, has called on AAP to immediately withdraw “for correction and further study” its statement opposing parental involvement laws, including Proposition 73 in California. The physicians, all Fellows of AAP, cite “indisputable inaccuracy and bias” in an AAP study that is being used to distort the truth in effort to defeat Prop 73.

Joseph Zanga, M.D., FAAP, along with Jane Anderson, M.D., FAAP, a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and Paul Macdonald, M.D., FAAP, a pediatrician in private practice in Ukiah, sent a letter Monday to the current AAP president challenging the numerous significant errors in the AAP statement, errors that have been repeated by Proposition 73 opponents and widely disseminated by the mass media.

Dr. Zanga, professor of pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, was President of the AAP from 1997 to 1998 and currently serves on its Bioethics Committee.

Several misrepresentations in the AAP statement involve a 1992 study of minors seeking abortion by Stanley Henshaw and Kathryn Kost. In 2003, Dr. Henshaw testified that the AAP statement concerning the percentage of minors who inform a parent of their planned abortion in the absence of parental involvement laws was “entirely incorrect.”

Other areas in which the AAP statement was false included the most frequent reasons minors cited for not telling parents and the percentage of minors who involve an adult other than a parent in their decision.

According to Dr. Macdonald, “Though I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt, the distortion and misquotation of data are so obvious that I am forced to conclude that the AAP authors are attempting to promote a specific political agenda.” He added, “I was angered and saddened that, in the nine years since the original publication of this statement, no update has been approved correcting these egregious errors. Any high school student comparing the AAP statement with the Henshaw study could spot these errors.”

“The AAP authors cited the Henshaw study for four points, and in each case they misrepresented the results of the study. Unfortunately, this misinformation has been repeated countless times by opponents of Proposition 73 and extensively reported in the media. We hope that AAP, Planned Parenthood, and the media will do the right thing and acknowledge these errors,” Dr. Anderson said.