Life News reported yesterday (31 March) that girls as young as 14 are being recruited for clinical trials at the University of Hawaii’s School of Medicine, involving second-trimester abortions.
The purpose of the trials is to compare how much patients bleed during the gruesome “dilation and evacuation” procedure, with and without the use of intravenous Oxytocin. Registry information about the clinical trials can be found here and here.
Cheryl Sullenger gives a brief description of the abortion procedure:
Dilation and evacuation abortions are grisly 2-3 day procedures that involve dismembering the pre-born baby with forceps and other instruments in order to remove him or her from the womb.
The scope of work includes 166 of these procedures. For those with strong stomachs, a dismemberment abortion can be viewed here.
The idea of comparing how much women – including teenage girls – bleed during a homicidal and invasive abortion procedure is of course a horrific shock to the conscience. Pointing out the moral similarities to Nazi experimentation on human beings is fully justified.
And one question it raises is, who is paying for this?
Pulling the string leads to a network that pro-life advocates know well. All three of the principal researchers connected with the trials are recent or current fellows of the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning. See Bliss Kaneshiro and Elizabeth Micks, principal investigators, and Kate Whitehouse, sub-investigator.
The Ryan program is administered by the Bixby Center for Global and Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco. And the “money connection” is this: the Bixby Center sponsors the family planning departments and fellowships at the two universities where the women-bleed trials are being conducted: the University of Hawaii (Kaneshiro and Whitehouse) and the University of Washington (Micks).
The Society of Family Planning (headquartered in Philadelphia), listed as the third sponsor of the trials, is connected closely with the Ryan program and the Bixby Center. Check out a few of the biographies of top executives and you’ll see that there’s basically a revolving door between the entities.
The Society of Family Planning makes research grants to other organizations, but its financial numbers are quite small. It may be contributing a token amount to this project, but most of the funding undoubtedly comes from the Bixby-Ryan nexus. Who funds the Bixby and Ryan programs?
The “anonymous” donor
According to an investigative report in the New York Times in 2010, the funder is Warren Buffett. Again, long-time pro-life advocates have known about this for years. Fox News had additional reporting in 2014 on Buffett’s donations to abortion organizations, through the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named for Buffett’s late wife.
Emily Bazelon, the NYT reporter, recounted the following:
The money for the Ryan and the [Bixby-administered] Family Planning Fellowship comes from one foundation and from one family. The donor has chosen to remain anonymous, which helps to explain why there’s been so little publicity about the pro-choice strategy of bringing abortion into academic medicine. It has been covered by a veil of semisecrecy.
At the same time, as the Ryan and the fellowship have expanded to dozens of institutions, many people have come to know about the source of funding. In the course of my reporting, two doctors who had not done the fellowship themselves, but who work in universities, volunteered to me that the money for the programs comes from the Buffett Foundation. They meant the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation.
Embedding abortion as a “research” discipline of mainstream medicine has been a way of trying to surround it with a clinical aura, and sequester practitioners from public criticism:
The providers that make up the new vanguard don’t define themselves as “abortion doctors.” They often try to make the procedure part of their broader medical practice — by spending much of their week seeing patients for general gynecology or primary-care visits, and by being on call on the labor and delivery floor. …
By taking jobs on university faculties, the young doctors avoid walking to work through a scrum of screaming demonstrators. “Some people like to live on the edge — I don’t,” said Emily Godfrey, a 40-year-old doctor who practices at a primary-care clinic at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also does abortions. “I’m a Catholic girl from the suburbs. I’m a yoga student. I like calm and serenity.”
Buffett certainly prefers flying under the radar. Says Bazelon:
The tax records also show that most of the [Buffett] foundation’s spending goes to abortion and contraception advocacy and research. …
In 2006, Buffett announced his $3 billion gift to the foundation in a letter that’s written in a kind of code. He and his late wife had established the foundation, he wrote, “to focus intensely on important societal problems that had very limited funding constituencies.”
“You mean you didn’t know Warren Buffett’s foundation has been funding abortion-rights organizations?” NPR reported at the time. “Well, that’s just the way the Buffetts wanted it.” The Web sites for the Family Planning Fellowship and the Ryan program are also discreet. A private log-in is required to read more than basic information.
The foundation could have been straightforward about its work from the start. Instead, according to some doctors involved with the programs, a low profile eased the way for universities to sign on for the fellowship and the Ryan. [Uta] Landy and others administrating the grant programs continue to express concerns about the implications of publicity (including this article). Buffett and Allen Greenberg, the director of the foundation, and Buffett’s former son-in-law, declined to speak to me on the record.
The Fox report from 2014 confirmed the same. The close connection of the Buffett Foundation with the Bixby Center and its focus on abortion is evident:
Buffett’s own charity, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, is named after his first wife who was an abortion supporter. Its domestic operation is led by pro-abortion activist Tracy Weitz, Ph.D., MPA. Weitz has worked at Planned Parenthood, The Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and once defined abortion as “a moral action undertaken by moral agents.”
But Buffett and his foundation don’t want to talk about it.
None of that is obvious from the charity’s website. It includes information on college scholarships and the “Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award.” Neither that award, for “Outstanding Omaha Public School Teachers (K –12),” nor the scholarships even hint at the darker direction of the massive charity.
The site itself seems deliberately insular. Copyrights on the pages read “2008” and the charity makes it clear: “The Buffett Foundation responds to questions about College Scholarships and the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award only. We will not respond to any other inquiries.”
Perhaps that’s because the research the foundation pays for involves watching teenagers bleed, as morally grotesque abortion procedures are performed on them and their babies.
The marriage with public funding
One other point is worth noting. All three of the sponsors of the women-bleed abortion project receive taxpayer support. In theory, none of this support goes to the performance of abortions. But the schools of medicine at the Universities of Hawaii and Washington certainly could not operate at all without state and federal funding.
(UH, for example, received $427 million in federal grants and contracts in 2014, and about $391 million from the state of Hawaii, out of total operating revenues of approximately $1.25 billion. $42.3 million of the federal grants and contracts, or nearly 10% of them, went to the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Grant information verified through this website.)
The Society of Family Planning, which functions in part as a professional association, would probably be able to survive without federal grant money. But its already limited ability to turn around and offer its own grants would be more limited still.
The Bixby Center, meanwhile, although it’s an endowed entity, benefits from the services provided by taxpayers through UC-San Francisco. Embedding abortion in the research-and-fellowship stratum of the big universities has been an ingenious way of both protecting it from criticism, and enabling it to get the biggest bang for its major donor’s buck.