Polemics and Politics Replace Science in New England Journal of Medicine


In an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine last month, R. Alto Charo, J.D. attacks some of the Trump administration’s appointments to the Department of Health and Human Services by the tactic of declaring as “alternative facts” some of the science about abortion and its effects that pro-abortion activists want to pretend is made up.

Charo makes it clear she doesn’t like President Trump’s appointments of Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento, and so takes potshots at their past public pro-life statements. In doing so, she misstates or just completely ignores the science behind them.

For one thing, Charo particularly homes in on the abortion-breast cancer link, which pro-abortion activists have long tried to discredit, except that there is a decades-long trail of peer-reviewed research that finds a link between having an abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer later in life. Even the studies that they use to try to discredit the link still contain data that correlate with an increased risk.

Charo also takes shots at the four appointees for various views regarding contraception’s effectiveness at preventing pregnancy, disease, and/or abortion. Yet, none of what they—and many pro-lifers and scientists—claim is outside the boundaries of science or common sense. For instance, Charo claims that contraceptives do not act as abortifacients even though we know they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. Mainstream human embryology science has long established that the zygote is a unique human. Contraceptives prevent implantation (which is what so-called “emergency contraception” is all about). Therefore, the zygote—a unique and unrepeatable unborn child—is aborted. That’s science. Claiming that pregnancy starts after implantation isn’t science; it’s political polemics.

And that’s what Charo’s editorial is as well. The New England Journal of Medicine is no stranger to placing politics over science. In doing so, it’s putting abortion advocacy over the health and well-being of women.

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