Identifying data for the empirical assessment of law (IDEAL): a realist approach to research gaps on the health effects of abortion law
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  • Published on:
    Gap in Analysis Misses Benefits of Laws Regulating Pre-Abortion Screening and Counseling

    Dear Editor,

    I am extremely puzzled by the lack of any response regarding my proposed comments regarding this article. I've submitted my comments twice, but they have not been published. I cannot imagine why. It appears to be a discretionary censorship, which is of course contrary to BMJ's published editorial policies which generally favor respectful discourse. I would greatly appreciate an explanation and an appeal to a larger panel of BMJ editors.

    To repeat...for the third time,... regarding this article:

    There is a growing interest in developing evidenced based standards for public health policy initiatives.[1] In response to this effort, Burris et al have put forward their own initial effort to identify the potential effects of laws regulating abortion on women’s health.[2] Unfortunately, they apparently failed to include in their research team anyone with familiarity with the literature regarding the negative physical and psychological effects of coerced and unnecessary abortions. This is not a minor oversight.

    Regarding the issue of women’s autonomy, increasing legal access to abortion is a double-edged sword. Easier access makes it easier for women to choose abortion for their own self-interests, but it also makes it easier for those pressuring women into unwanted abortions to abuse women’s rights.[3]

    Coerced abortions are especially common among women enslaved in sex trafficking.[4,5] But it is also common within...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    David Reardon is the Director the Elliot Institute which sponsors peer reviewed medical research, promotes post-abortion healing programs, and advocates for laws requiring pre-abortion screening for coercion and other risk factors associated with negative outcomes for women.