[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]
By Carole Novielli
Live Action News
Live Action News has learned that multiple spokespersons and study authors on the payroll of the abortion pill manufacturer Danco and its generic GenBioPro are often cited by the media without question and their studies are openly promoted. The abortion pill, which has long been shrouded in secrecy, is more than a profitable venture. The abortion industry is estimated to gross nearly $200 million annually in abortion pill sales — twice as much money as initially projected.
Who’s funding the abortion pill?
The abortion pill (mifepristone) was brought to the U.S. by the eugenics-founded Population Council which later established Danco Laboratories to manufacture the pill. The Population Council was in charge of overseeing clinical trials for the abortion pill and set up a system through which it would also receive royalties from its sales. From the onset, Danco’s executives, company structure and original investors have been shrouded in secrecy with the exception of a select few like the Packard and Buffett Foundations, as well as billionaire George Soros‘ Open Society Foundations.
In 1996, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, (a substantial donor to Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation (NAF), and NARAL), invested $14.2 million into Danco and is now also investing millions in GenBioPro, Inc., an FDA-approved company which began manufacturing a generic version of the abortion pill in 2019. Packard has also funded Gynuity Health Projects, which is currently conducting abortion pill clinical trials and a number of studies with the goal of expanding access to the abortion pill regimen. The Buffett and Packard Foundations then finance studies used to convince the public that abortion is safe, yet the media fails to point out this conflict of interest.
Who has financial ties to the abortion pill?
Courtney A Schreiber recently declared that she has received “personal fees” as well as “consulting fees” from Danco Laboratories. She is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a member of the National Abortion Federation, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, and Society of Family Planning (SFP). Schreiber has co-authored research published by JAMA Network Open, Perspectives on Sexual Health (PSH), Reproductive Psychiatry and Women’s Health (RPWH), New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JOG), American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology AJOG and Contraception (see here, here, here, here, here, and here).
Schreiber is cited by the media as an expert. She recently referred to a law requiring doctors to inform patients about abortion pill reversal (APR) as “deeply distressing” and “mortifyingly harmful,” with no disclosures of any conflicts. She has admitted to teaching both chemical and surgical abortion, and claims to have “expertise in the conduct of human-subjects research in reproduction.”
“I am an expert in the provision of abortion services, having provided this procedure to over 5,000 patients as an integral component of my practice,” she stated in a court deposition.
Caitlin S. Shannon and Beverly Winikoff received funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute to publish a 2005 study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JOG). In 2008, JOG published another piece co-authored with Beverly Winikoff and Ilana G. Dzuba. In that “randomized controlled trial” their disclosure noted that Gynuity (where all three authors worked) had a contract with Danco Laboratories at that time.
Beverly Winikoff is founder and President of Gynuity Health Projects, which conducts clinical trials to expand use of the abortion pill. When Gynuity abortion pill trials were conducted, the company received financial support from Ibis Reproductive Health which was directly funded by Danco. Winikoff has served on the board of NAF, which was at one time directly funded by Danco, as well investors the Buffett and Packard Foundations. Cited often as an expert by the media, in 2019, Winikoff coauthored a cross-sectional analysis of mifepristone published in Contraception where she declared “no known competing financial interests.”
Ilana G. Dzuba is listed as a senior advisor at Gynuity. Despite Gynuity’s previous contract with Danco, in August 2020, Dzuba co-authored “a retrospective chart review of medical abortion outcomes” published in Contraception where she, too, declared “no conflict of interest.”
In a 2015 commentary published in Contraception, Dzuba, Schreiber, and Daniel Grossman (noted below) praised the off-label indications for the abortion pill mifepristone. In 2016, Dzuba and Winikoff claimed in Contraception that “evidence supports outpatient abortion services” of medication abortion through 77 days gestation — beyond the 70-day limit set by the FDA’s REMS safety system.
In January 2020, Dzuba co-authored a study to assess “efficacy of a common outpatient medical abortion regimen,” also published in Contraception along with Winikoff and others. There the authors declared “no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work.” Again, in 2019 Dzuba and Winikoff published a report of their randomized trial in Contraception with no conflicts declared. Dzuba and Winikoff are currently principal investigators for a clinical trial experiment using the abortion pill regimen well into the second trimester.
Daniel Grossman is a vocal proponent of expanding abortion and an abortionist with multiple conflicts of interest surrounding abortion pill studies. In 2015, Grossman, Dzuba, and Schreiber published a commentary in Contraception, previously mentioned. At that time, Grossman was serving as VP of research of Ibis Reproductive Health, which was being funded by Danco. Today, Grossman is a senior adviser at Ibis which, as recently as 2020, was still directly funded by Danco. Grossman has also served as a consultant to Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Yet Grossman is regularly cited by the media without any mention of a conflict of interest.
Mitchell D. Creinin is an author of an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Practice Bulletin citing the safety of abortion pill up to 70 weeks gestation. ACOG’s bulletin cites as its proof research from Creinin himself as well as others who have been paid by the abortion pill manufacturer, such as Courtney A Schreiber, Caitlin S. Shannon, and Beverly Winikoff.
Live Action News previously documented Creinin’s conflicts of interest, noting that, by his own admission, Creinin receives “compensation” from Danco as a consultant, receives consulting fees and has received an honorarium from the abortion pill’s manufacturer. Creinin also provides “third-party telephone consults” for Danco.
Creinin has co-authored research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Obstetrics and Gynecology (here, here, and here), journal Contraception, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) and the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPHA). Creinin is cited by the media, which fails to publish his financial conflicts, heavy pro-abortion connections, and clear pro-abortion bias.
Creinin, Grossman, and Schreiber all serve on the editorial board of Contraception, the official journal of SFP, founded with a “generous contribution” from the Packard Foundation and receiving millions from the Buffett Foundation.
Karen Meckstroth has received “personal fees” from Danco and has been listed as a “consultant” of Danco. She is on staff at UCSF and is the director of Women’s Options Center, an abortion facility which commits abortion up to the 23rd week of pregnancy. It is also one of the sites for a pharmacy-dispensed abortion pill clinical trial. Her research has been published at Pharmacy, JAMA Network Open, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JOG), the International journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPHA). Meckstroth is also cited by the media.
Sally Rafie is a consultant for GenBioPro, the generic of abortion pill manufacturer Danco. She is a pharmacist at UC San Diego and a former pharmacist consultant for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. She founded the organization Birth Control Pharmacist with help from a grant by SFP. Rafie’s online bio states that she “has trained and worked with Planned Parenthood, University of California San Diego Medical Center, University of California San Francisco, and San Francisco General Hospital.”
Rafie’s research has been published in Contraception and the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JOG). In March of 2021 she co-authored an opinion piece published by Pharmacy Times promoting the “safety” of the abortion pill for pharmacy dispensing, where she did not disclose her close ties to the generic manufacturer GenBioPro. Then, in April of 2021, Ms. Magazine published an opinion piece authored by Rafie and Grossman promoting the lifting of the FDA’s REMS on the abortion pill and calling on the Biden administration to allow pharmacists to dispense the deadly abortion pill. None of their conflicts were mentioned in that particular piece.
Kirsten M J Thompson also receives “personal fees” from GenBioPro. She is a Program & Communications Director at UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, where abortionists are trained. Thompson’s research has been published by JAMA Open Network as well as AJOG.
DeShawn Taylor is a senior medical director and a consultant for GenBioPro, the generic of the abortion pill manufacturer. Taylor is also listed as owner and medical director of Desert Star Family Planning clinic in Arizona. She has worked at Planned Parenthood facilities in Arizona and Nevada, and served as Board Chair for NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona. Taylor is one of the Planned Parenthood abortionists recorded in undercover video by the Center for Medical Progress admitting to committing abortions “up to 24 weeks.”
Taylor is also cited by the media as an expert and she recently co-authored an opinion piece with Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (abortion chain) board member and activist Lizz Winstead at Tucson.com where she is described as “a board-certified OB/GYN, clinical professor, women’s health and reproductive rights advocate and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix” with no mention of her financial conflicts of interest regarding abortion pill generic manufacturer GenBioPro.
[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]
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