A new study which seeks to discredit the notion that abortion increases a woman’s risk of suicide was funded in part by an organization deeply tied to the abortion industry.
The study, entitled, “The association between first abortion and first-time non-fatal suicide attempt: a longitudinal cohort study of Danish population registries,” was published in November by Lancet Psychiatry. The study was funded in part by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, as well as the pro-abortion Society of Family Planning (SFP), known to collaborate and fund research on abortion. According to the Society’s research fund 2017 report, “Abortion-focused research makes up an average of 38% of all proposals and grants….”
SFP was founded in 2005 thanks to a generous contribution from the Packard Foundation. In 2011, the Board created the SFP Research Fund as the organization that focuses solely on grant making. Recently, the Society of Family Planning Research Fund invited researchers to submit proposals to “de-medicalize abortion” and “increase access to medication abortion in the US.”
SFP is focused on promoting abortion:
- SFP’s mission and 2020 strategic goal is to support research on abortion.
- SFP’s members are united in part by a vision of “equitable abortion…”
- SFP’s board has as a member Planned Parenthood abortionist Lisa Harris who once wrote that she “does society’s dirty work,” and claimed she felt liberated after using “ordinary kitchen tools” to commit legal abortions. She has also committed abortions while she was pregnant.
- SFP’s Executive Director Amanda Dennis formerly served on Abortion Care Network‘s board and was an Associate at IBIS Reproductive Health which is funded by abortion pill manufacturer, Danco Laboratories.
- SFP’s staffer Rhea Beddoe serves on board of New York Abortion Access Fund and was a former education associate at Physicians for Reproductive Health.
- SFP’s staffer Christine Hence worked with Medical Students for Choice.
- SFP staffer Elizabeth Ly “held several positions at the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program in Family Planning and Abortion” at the University of San Francisco. Live Action News has detailed how the Ryan program under the Bixby Center at UCSF trains abortion providers.
- SFP staffer Ruth Manski worked for IBIS Reproductive Health which is funded by abortion pill manufacturer, DANCO Laboratories.
- SFP staffer Mia Reilly formerly worked at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
- SFP runs the pro-abortion Contraception Journal.
- SFP founding member Mark Nichols, MD, was “local principal investigator in the initial Population Council trial investigating mifepristone [abortion pill] for first trimester abortion leading to FDA approval.”
- SFP funds (2018) Guttmacher Institute, a former “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood which promotes self-managed abortion.
- One of SFP’s goals is to “transform the field’s ability to answer actionable research questions aimed at improving access to abortion care, and the safety, quality, and efficiency of abortion care offered in the US.”
- SFP members are part of the TelAbortion study team.
- SFP is collaborating on second trimester clinical trial with UC Davis.
The recent Lancet Psychiatry study was led by Julia R Steinberg, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Her research on abortion has long been funded by SFP.
Steinberg was a consultant for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, according to her 2016 CV and is associated with the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, which as Live Action News previously documented trains abortionists. Bixby receives funding from a number of organizations collaborating to expand abortion, including:
- William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- The Fred H. Bixby Foundation
- The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Study author Nancy E Adler is also connected to UCSF. The University of California has been funded in large part by the pro-abortion Buffett Foundation (as in Warren Buffett), which gave $78 million to the University. According to the New York Times, Buffett is the primary financier of the Bixby Center’s Ryan Residency Program at UCSF, which trains abortionists. In 2016, ProPublica revealed that “Buffett’s main academic partner (receiving at least $88 million from 2001 to 2014) has been the University of California, San Francisco….”
A 2018 report published by Inside Philanthropy revealed Buffett is also funding SFP:
[P]ublicly available tax documents show that in 2014 and 2015, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation was SFP’s main backer. The foundation provided $3.7 million of the nonprofit’s $4.1 million in revenue in 2014, and $6.3 million out of $6.4 million total revenue in 2015. It’s highly likely that Buffett is the funder behind SFP’s new push on medication abortion.
A separate summary from Grantmakers.io reveals millions to SFP’s Research Fund:
Buffett and Packard have been radical financiers of abortion for years.
The Journal Lancet Psychiatry was launched in 2014 and is part of The Lancet family of Journals. Live Action News previously documented how The Lancet’s editorial board recently made the decision to become an outright advocate for abortion, calling “the right to access abortion” an “empty construct in some states in the USA.”
In 2016, Lancet partnered with the Guttmacher Institute to form the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, which advocates for abortion globally. Money for that commission was funneled by the Packard Foundation, which has been funding abortion training, and specifically, the expansion of the abortion pill within the United States. In 2018, The Lancet published a report with Gutmacher, which included abortion rights supported in part by abortion philanthropists, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as well as Packard.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Research at The Catholic University of America and Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Michael J. New, PhD., told Live Action News that the Lancet Psychiatry study fell short in several ways.
He said the Lancet Psychiatry study:
- Only analyzes women over 18.
- Did not analyze multiple suicide attempts (it only considers the first).
- Did not analyze how multiple abortions might have impacted suicide attempts.
- Only looks at first trimester abortions — it does not analyze how late term abortions would impact suicide attempts.
In addition, Dr. New points out that the study “actually does find evidence that suicide attempts increase in the first month after the abortion takes place. This is true for the group of women who had previous psychiatric contact and women who did not have previous psychiatric contact.”
Dr. New told Live Action News that there is good research to show that abortion increases the risk of suicide. He pointed to several studies on the topic but said a more recent study from 2019 published in the Journal Archives of Women’s Mental Health, which analyzed data between 2006 and 2012, found that (according to New) “Italian women who obtained abortions were more likely to commit suicide than women who carried pregnancies to term.”
Dr. New said he plans to write a more in depth analysis of the study in coming days. Another analysis of the study, written by Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D. can be found here.
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