SBA List Hits Back on Rep. Ellison’s Claim that “Women are Dying” Under Republican Administration


April 17, 2018
CONTACT: Mallory Quigley
[email protected] | 202-223-8073

Ellison Spreads Misinformation with Inflammatory Rhetoric

Washington, D.C. – The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) responded to Democratic National Committee (DNC) vice chairman Keith Ellison’s claim that “Women are dying because [Democrats] are losing elections”:

“Rep. Keith Ellison’s inflammatory comments aren’t just divisive – they’re plain wrong,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Recently more evidence, including peer-reviewed research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, has come to light thoroughly debunking the accusation that pro-life policies in Texas or elsewhere negatively impact women’s health. The Trump administration should be praised for their consistent efforts to enact policies that protect unborn children and their mothers. That includes allowing states like Texas to redirect tax dollars away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood to comprehensive alternatives that offer preventative and primary care. Shame on Rep. Ellison for spreading misinformation with irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric.”

On Friday the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology published research by Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) Vice President and Director of Data Analytics James Studnicki, Sc.D. and by John Fisher, Ph.D., J.D. challenging the methodology and findings of a 2016 study led by Marian MacDorman of the Maryland Population Research Center. The study purported to show stable rates of pregnancy-related deaths in Texas between 2000 and 2010, followed by a substantial increase from 2010 to 2012.

The influential MacDorman study, which was methodologically flawed and relied on faulty data, has been cited more than 300 times by online news sources and by approximately 70 scholarly research articles.

In their published letter exposing the study’s problems, Studnicki and Fisher found:

  1. A proportionally larger increase in maternal mortality occurred between 2004 and 2006, which was in effect masked by an adjustment made only to the years 2000-2005 by MacDorman et al.
  2. The MacDorman study compared Texas trends unfavorably to California, whereas late maternal mortality – deaths after 42 days – was significantly higher in California than in Texas and the nation during the study period.

Other studies, including previous CLI research, have also identified shortcomings of the source data.

Susan B. Anthony List and its partner super PAC, Women Speak Out spent more than $18 million in the 2016 election cycle, knocking on more than 1.1 million doors in battleground states to defeat Hillary Clinton and maintain a pro-life Senate. SBA List is dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women.  The SBA List is a network of more than 630,000 pro-life Americans nationwide. 


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