Academic journal publishes flawed article promoting home abortions and ignores criticism.
By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
Editor’s note. Misoprostol is one of the drugs that make of the two-drug RU-486 abortion technique.
The British Medical Journal’s journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health journal has refused to publish any criticism of a widely-publicised article promoting home abortions.
The article is co-authored by, among others, Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Professor Sharon Cameron of the British Association of Abortion Care Providers (BSACP).
The article concludes by asking the Secretary of State for Health “to use his powers to extend to women in England the same compassion, respect and dignity that the Scottish and Welsh Governments have announced so that all women can access safe, effective abortion care.”
“It’s true because I say so”
In responding to the article Dr. Anthony McCarthy, collaborating with Dr. Greg Pike on behalf of SPUC, pointed out numerous problems with the methodology used in the piece and questioned the seriousness of the sources used for some of the claims made.
For example, the article claims that “The larger abortion services in Scotland report wide scale uptake of home use of misoprostol among women and that it is highly appreciated with no negative impact on services.” However, the Scottish “abortion services” consulted are not named and the reference for the bold claim that home use of misoprostol is “highly appreciated” is “S Cameron (co-author), personal communication 2018”.
Such statements do not inspire confidence that the topic is being treated with the seriousness it deserves.
The response was received and twice acknowledged but the editors of the journal refused to get back after three weeks of unexplained delay. We are not aware of other journals, including BMJ, behaving in this way with regard to rapid responses.
BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health introduces itself – on its website – as a “multiprofessional journal that promotes sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing, and best contraceptive practice, worldwide.”
We urge readers to read the response and ask themselves why an academic publisher would refuse to publish a considered and careful response to what appears to be little more than a propaganda piece put out by the organ of the RCOG’s Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.
Shutting down debate
Dr. McCarthy said, “We would ask the RCOG [Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] why they are refusing to defend material that should be subject to academic scrutiny. Are they unconcerned about the evidence surrounding home abortions? Or does the RCOG now believe that academic scrutiny is not needed when it comes to promoting the agenda of the abortion industry?”
Please read the full response from SPUC here.