Kirsten Andersen

Is that new abortion study biased? You bet. But don’t expect the media to tell you that.

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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November 21, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Meet Tracy Weitz, Ph.D.  Dr. Weitz describes herself as “a lifetime advocate of women’s health and reproductive rights.” She calls her work expanding access to abortion her “first love” and describes abortion as “a moral action undertaken by moral agents.”

Recently, Weitz called ‘beautiful’ an Indian doctor’s defense of abortion, in which he said, “anything 46 million women do every year can’t be immoral.”

Said Weitz of the man with the tortured logic: “How beautiful was his deep respect for women.”

Obviously, Weitz is a real piece of work.  But why is she relevant?  Why write about her now? 

Well, Weitz is the head of ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health), a research group based at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  Their latest study was all over the news last week as mainstream outlets trumpeted their incredible “findings”: according to ANSIRH, wanting an abortion and not getting one could leave you poor and on welfare, but getting an abortion has no negative effects at all. 

How convenient.

The ANSIRH “Turnaway Study” is being promoted as a serious scientific study, the first of its kind to explore the effects of abortion restrictions on women’s well-being. The study, which began in 2008, followed just under 1000 U.S. women who sought abortions, including 182 who were turned away from abortion clinics due to being too far along in their pregnancies.  The women were interviewed every six months following their abortion or abortion attempt regarding their financial and emotional status.  They were rewarded with gift cards to Target and Walmart for their participation. 

ANSIRH compared the “turnaways” with women who were able to obtain abortions and reportedly found that those who carried their babies to term were more likely to be dependent on government aid a year later.  They also claim to have found no negative impact on the emotional state of those who aborted their babies, saying that even those who felt sad or guilty were still relieved.

While the media have credulously parroted the group’s findings, there’s just one small problem: No one has actually seen the study. It’s not publicly available.  The group presented their findings at an academic conference earlier this month, but their research hasn’t been published in any journal and hasn’t been peer-reviewed.

Even though I haven’t seen the study (because no one has been allowed to) I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it just might be biased.  Here is an excerpt from ANSIRH director Tracy Weitz’s bio, taken directly from ANSIRH’s website: “Tracy Weitz is a lifetime advocate of women’s health and reproductive rights. Dr. Weitz’s passion is for those aspects of women’s health that are marginalized either for ideological reasons or because the populations affected lack the means or mechanisms to have their concerns raised. Dr. Weitz’s current research focuses on innovative strategies to expand abortion provision in the U.S.”

Did you get that?  Dr. Weitz’s current research (i.e. the “Turnaway Study”) focuses on innovative strategies to expand abortion provision.  She’s not interested in the truth about what happens to women who abort their babies.  She’s not interested in the truth at all.  She’s interested in expanding access to abortion – that’s her “first love,” after all. 

All of this information is easily available on her group’s own website, but the mainstream media continues to frame this study as objective science, not the pro-abortion propaganda that it obviously is.

Now, ANSIRH wants to do another “Turnaway Study,” this one global in scope.  Shockingly, the research community has been slow to shower these quality scientists with traditional grants, so ANSIRH has gone indie.  Last week’s media blitz coincided with the launch of a crowdfunding drive to finance the global study on indiegogo, a site better known for financing vanity film projects and a lifetime vacation for the lady in the Youtube “bus monitor” video than serious science. So far, they have raised $7,809 toward a $25,000 goal to get them started.

I’m going to make a bold prediction:  If Weitz and her cohorts can raise the funds needed, The Global Turnaway Study will reveal that abortion does nothing but good in the world, and that restricting the procedure ruins women’s lives.  I predict that the media will loudly proclaim those results as if they are the truth.

All of this will contradict the real scientific studies done worldwide on the issue, studies like the one in Finland that determined that the suicide rate among post-abortive women was three times higher than the average for all women.  (Meanwhile, the suicide rate associated with birth was half the rate of all women and less than one-sixth the rate of suicide among women who had abortions.)  Or the study of low-income California women that showed that women who aborted had significantly higher rates of depression compared with those who carried their unintended pregnancies to term.  That study found that within the first 90 days after an abortion, women were 2.6 times more likely to require inpatient psychiatric treatment than women who did not abort.  The increased risk of serious psychiatric problems decreased slowly over time, but even after four years, those who aborted were 50 percent more likely to experience psychiatric problems requiring hospitalization.
 
These are the facts about abortion.  This is what it does to women.  But Dr. Weitz and ANSIRH aren’t focused on the facts.  They’re focused on expanding access to abortion. 

Since the real facts are bad for their narrative, they’re going to have to fabricate some new ones.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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