Follow the money: Pro-abortion group funded study claiming abortion doesn’t increase suicide risk

suicide, abortion, abort

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….”

Image: Society of Family Planning funds abortion study in Lancet Psychiatry

Society of Family Planning funds abortion study in Lancet Psychiatry


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.”

Image: Society of Family Planning mission is abortion research

Society of Family Planning’s mission is abortion research

SFP is focused on promoting abortion:


The recent Lancet Psychiatry study was led by , 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.

Image: Julia R Steinberg (Image credit: University of Maryland)

Julia R Steinberg (Image credit: University of Maryland)

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:

Study author  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.

In 2016, Buffett gave SFP over $8 million dollars as well as millions over the past years according to a summary from

Image: Buffett foundation funds Society of Family Planning Org (Image: Grantmakers)

Buffett foundation funds Society of Family Planning Org (Image: Grantmakers)

A separate summary from reveals millions to SFP’s Research Fund:

Image: Buffett foundation funds Society of Family Planning (Image:

Buffett foundation funds Society of Family Planning (Image:

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.”

Image: Lancet editorial supports abortion

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.

Image: Guttmacher Lancet Commission on Abortion (Image Guttmacher on Twitter)

Guttmacher Lancet Commission on Abortion (Image Guttmacher on Twitter)

The Study:

Image: Michael J. New, PhD. (Image: Charlotte Lozier Institute)

Michael J. New, PhD. (Image: Charlotte Lozier Institute)

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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