Researcher Claims Scientific Studies Publication is Being Politicized

(IntegrityPress.org) – Sage Publications, a publisher of scientific studies, has retracted three “pro-life” studies related to the abortion pill mifepristone following concerns about the reliability of the research. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk from Texas cited these studies multiple times in his reasoning for attempting to ban it in the state in 2023.

The studies, published in “Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology,” were written by James Studnicki and others. Studnicki is a vice president at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life group. Sage revealed that the authors, including Studnicki, had conflicts of interest that were not known to the public and that they used unreliable methodologies regarding their data, saying these were the two main reasons for the retractions.

This development comes after Kacsmaryk’s aforementioned decision to revoke the FDA’s approval of mifepristone in the state of Texas, citing a study claiming that there was a high amount of emergency room visits in the state directly related to use of the drug. However, a federal appeals court partially overturned Kacsmaryk’s ruling, and the Biden administration is appealing to the Supreme Court, with arguments scheduled for March 26.

Sage retracted the studies due to the conflicts of interest previously stated and a lack of what they called “strong” research that made the data from the papers unreliable. Despite the authors declaring no conflicts of interest when the studies were submitted, Sage’s post-publication peer review identified “fundamental problems.” Notably, one article was reviewed by someone affiliated with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, where the main author, Studnicki, is a vice president

Another study suggested that complications from mifepristone were often misclassified as miscarriages, and this claim contributed to Kacsmaryk’s attempted ban as well. Studnicki defended their work, emphasizing that their anti-abortion affiliations were already known, and criticized Sage’s decision to retract the papers without justification, accusing them of political bias.

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