Friday, October 19, 2012

Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Integrity Compromised By St Louis Birth Control Study ?

I have talked about this recently at Major Problems With St Louis Free Birth Control Miracle Story .

Lydia McGrew at My present thoughts on the "contraception prevents abortion" study goes into the problems also but also mentioned a fact I missed that sounds very troubling.

Before she gets in the core problems she states:

No doubt quite a few of my readers have now heard about this study, deliberately released just now with the intent of influencing the election (!), that purports to show that free contraception reduces abortions.

I've entitled my post "My present thoughts," because I anticipate that there will be more analysis on this subject from others as time goes on. However, I have gotten hold of the paper itself (thanks to Serge at Life Training Institute) as well as this Powerpoint PDF from the study author.

Before getting into criticisms of the methodology and conclusions of the study, I want to ponder something that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere. The celebratory article on the study from NBC says this:

The results were so dramatic, in fact, that Peipert asked the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology to publish the study before the Nov. 6 presidential election, knowing that the Affordable Care Act, and its reproductive health provisions, are major issues in the campaign.

“It just has so many implications for our society,” he told NBC News.

Since when are professional scientific journals openly and proudly attempting to influence political elections by their decisions about publication? Isn't there something a tad unprofessional about that? More than a tad? The study's author, Jeffrey Peipert, tells a news organization unabashedly that he expressly asked the journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology, to hasten the publication of his article in order to influence this fall's presidential election. Frankly, if I ever tried such a thing on a philosophy journal editor, even an editor who had already accepted an article of mine, I hope (and still believe) I'd receive a sharp rebuke. (Not that my philosophy articles have political implications anyway; the scenario is hypothetical.) Such a request should be taken as an insult to the professionalism of the editor. Regardless of whether the article was accepted independently of political considerations, the timing of its release should be decided on the basis of academic and professional considerations, including time for possible revisions and the courtesy owed to other authors whose articles were submitted and accepted longer ago. The utterly unashamed announcement that author and editor colluded to time the article to influence the U.S. presidential election should leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, especially in the mouths of scientists and scholars, and should even cast a small amount of doubt on the objectivity of the review process itself.

Now, on to content issues...........


Anonymous said...

I fail to see how Protestants can claim any other form of artificial birth control to be more righteous than abortion. If they don't want the children to exist, what is the big difference in what they do to prevent their existence?

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