Stifling Dissent

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Behind the statue of George Orwell, author of Animal Farm, outside Broadcasting House in London, are inscribed the words from his preface to that book: ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’

Stifling dissent is of particular concern in science and medicine, where discovery and insight depend on open exchange and testing of claims and ideas. The place of this testing and exchange of ideas has historically been peer reviewed scientific journals as a vehicle for communicating case reports case series, randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews and meta-analyses of these papers.

When one of the major producers of systematic reviews receives a $1.15 million dollar donation from the Gates Foundation, who also funds abortion advocacy groups, there is reason to look carefully at the objectivity of the subsequent results produced by that partnership.

When a high impact journal partners with an abortion advocacy group to advance abortion legalisation, there is danger of significant institutionalised bias.  In 2016, the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of abortion provider Planned Parenthood, partnered with the medical journal The Lancet to form the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission.  The goal of this partnership is to ‘advance sexual and reproductive health and rights’ which includes worldwide legalisation of abortion.

With such an ideological commitment to the destruction of human beings in the womb, the Lancet becomes blind not only to the destruction of young human beings but also to the effects of abortion on women, and the increasing maternal mortality which comes in the aftermath of abortion legalisation.

The ideological commitment to worldwide legalization of abortion by a major medical journal combined with the ‘21st-century scramble for Africa by US universities’ leads to great concern about the potential for blinding bias in published research which excludes real harms done to women, real destruction of human beings in the womb, and the prostitution of scientific integrity in the name of abortion advocacy.

Not only the scientific community, but also the general public has reason for concern about free speech and free flow of information.

Amazon Smile, the charitable donation program allowing Amazon customers to donate to charities has excluded Alliance Defending Freedom from being allowed to receive donations.  Why?  Because the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated ADF as a ‘hate group.’ (How goes the Republic, Citizen?)

It is tragically ironic that Amazon censors ADF as dangerous for defending our first amendment rights as U.S. citizens, while at the same time selling a manual quoting pimps on how to do sex trafficking.

Google and Facebook also displayed their advocacy for abortion by shutting down communications in Ireland shortly before the referendum on abortion. And, YouTube shuts down videos describing abortion pill reversal. Read about Susan B. Anthony List and Charlotte Lozier Institute calling on YouTube and other social media companies to stop censoring pro-life content here.

Why is this important information?  As Hippocratic doctors who practice evidence-based medicine, we will be facing an increasing challenge of discerning ‘whose evidence’ we are being allowed to access.  It has never been more important to stand for truth about abortion in the scientific and policy arenas.

Guest blog by Donna Harrison, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Executive Director of the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynaecologists ( 




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