Pro-Life Researchers Will Sue Medical Journal That Yanked Their Studies

Leading pro-life researchers have announced they will take legal action against a medical journal that pulled their peer-reviewed study.

As reported by LifeNews, Sage publications announced that it was withdrawn three study already discovered that chemical abortions pose health risks. The lead author of each of these studies is James Studnicki, the vice president and director of data analytics at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

The announcement of the recall received considerable media attention. That’s because these studies were cited by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in his April 2023 decision to suspend the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, one of the drugs used in chemical abortions. This case has gone through the appeals process and the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in March.

Now Studnicki, former faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, says the team of researchers plans to sue.

“Our team of researchers has refuted every single criticism about the research and we encourage everyone to read the studies to understand the reasoning behind the methodology and our rebuttals to the criticisms,” Studnicki said. The repair in an email. “There is no legitimate reason for Sage’s withdrawal.”

On Wednesday, the Charlotte Lozier Institute said The repair via email that their research organization is “pursuing appropriate legal action.”

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“Sage’s actions were unnecessary and clearly harmed” the researchers’ professional reputation, their attorney David Shaneyfelt said. wrote in a letter to the journal Nov. 29 after being informed of potential recoveries.

Studnicki said the issue was a bogus one in which Sage implied the studies were retracted because the researchers did not declare they were affiliated with a pro-life group. But the journal never required abortion advocates to declare their affiliation with pro-abortion groups.

Studnicki said The repair that one of the problems with the journal’s argument is that its editors did not apply the same standards to researchers affiliated with pro-abortion groups.

He said Sage published 2010 article of the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research organization, which has “no disclosures.”

Another example, Studnicki pointed out The repair until 2012 study “led by an abortionist with all authors affiliated” with the pro-abortion Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability – again without disclosures.

In contrast, all pro-life researchers in the three retracted studies complied to Sage policies regarding conflicts of interest, including their organizational affiliations and funding from CLI, Studnicki said.

“This apparent double standard is unacceptable,” Studnicki said. “So far, Sage has not advanced valid objections to their findings and presented no evidence of any substantial errors, miscalculations, or lies.”

Dr. Michael New, another researcher affiliated with the Catholic University of America, highlighted the double standard and other problems with Sage’s reasoning.

Much of the rationale used by Sage to retract these studies cannot withstand serious scrutiny. Sage claimed the lead author “declares no conflict of interest.” However, the pro-life organizations with which the authors are affiliated are clearly mentioned on the first page of each study. Sage also says that an outside reviewer for each of the studies is a scholar affiliated with the Charlotte Lozier Institute. However, Sage’s review process was double-blind. Neither the authors nor the reviewer knew each other’s identity. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that any of these studies would have been accepted because of a supportive review. When a journal accepts a study, it is usually because there is consensus among the reviewers to publish the research.

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Sage’s other justifications for retracting the study include various technical arguments raised by an outside scholar. This includes whether multiple emergency room visits are evidence of abortion complications or rather of other pre-existing health problems. Another issue raised involves the fact that Medicaid recipients are more likely to get health care from emergency rooms than the general population. However, journals typically retract studies in response to scholarly misconduct. Examples of this include either misrepresentation or falsification of data. They don’t usually retract studies because of a difference of opinion about the analysis or interpretation of the data.

It should also be noted that Sage has not been entirely clear about their rationale for retracting these three articles. They have made it difficult to find retracted studies on their website. They have not made public the sum of the criticisms of the published studies. More importantly, they also did not publicize the response Studnicki and his team address criticisms of their research.

Instead of retracting the studies, a better strategy would be to let Studnicki’s critics publish a response. Once a study is accepted, authors usually have to make their data available to other researchers. Granted, Studnicki’s critics can conduct their own analysis. Other scholars may also conduct their own research. This dialogue between academics will certainly help the scholarly community decide who has a more compelling argument on an issue of public concern.

Unfortunately, instead of facilitating a debate between academics, Sage decided to effectively use academic publishing and take a clear stance in favor of legal abortion. This is a worrying trend in academic journals, particularly in the field of public health. In 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine published a editorialcriticizing some of President Trump’s Health and Human Services appointees. Last month, JAMA Internal Medicinepublished a letter that used greatly exaggerated data on claim that more than 64,000 children were conceived of rape in states with strong pro-life laws.

In general, academic journals should publish high-quality research and facilitate scholarly debate. Unfortunately, Sage’s decision to retract these three articles is further evidence that many journals are primarily concerned with promoting left-wing causes and suppressing dissenting points of view.

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