We have been told that an “independent” panel from the Institute of Medicine put together the recommendations upon which the current mandate we’ve been talking so much about here and elsewhere is based. But it’s worth noticing that the “reproductive rights” activists were well represented on that panel.
Claire Brindis is a member of the Board of Directors of the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, as well as a member of NARAL’s Pro-Choice California “1969 Society,” which has been called by NARAL “a group of our most steadfast and generous donors.”
Angela Diaz is a former board member of “Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health,” anadvocacy group that “work[s] to improve access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion.” Until just a few weeks ago she served as the senior vice president of the International Women’s Health Coalition and was on the board of directors from 2007-2010. Her biography on the IWHC’s website (which was recently removed) stated that she “has a deep and long commitment to IWHC’s mission and to the organization.” The IWHC is a pro-choice advocacy group that declares that “access to safe abortion is a human right” and that abortion and contraception are “universal and inalienable” rights.
Francisco Garcia has donated between $11,750 and $13,000 to candidates that support abortion since 2004. These pro-choice candidates include Raul Grijava and Barack Obama.
Kimberly Gregory, as indicated by public records, has donated $35,200 to the California Victory 2010 of the Democratic National Committee in support of Barbara Boxer.
Paula A. Johnson is the Chairwoman of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and is affiliated with the pro-abortion National Organization of Women (NOW). This year she will be the winner of NARAL’s 2011 “Champion for Choice” award. Public records indicate that since 2003 she has given between $9,550 and $11,000 each to the political campaigns of Pro-Choice candidates including Martha Coakley, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. She also has made contributions to Emily’s List, an organization dedicated to “electing pro-choice Democratic women.”
Roberta Ness has donated at least $2,500 to pro-abortion candidate John Kerry and to the Democratic National Committee.
Magda G. Peck is associated with a host of organizations that advocate for abortion and free access to contraception, and was on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs and served as both vice chair and chair of the board.
E. Albert Reece donated $1000 in 2010 to the campaign of pro-abortion politician Barbara Mikulski, the sponsor of the amendment that paved the way for recommendation 5.5.
Linda Rosenstock, committee chairwoman, has since October 2004 donated over $40,000 to pro-choice political candidates including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and the Democratic National Committee.
Alina Salganicoff is the Vice President and Director of Women’s Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a major proponent of abortion and contraception on demand. She donated $950 to the Barack Obama and Judy Feder campaigns in 2008.
Carol Weisman has made $4,500 in political donations to pro-abortion candidates including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry and Judy Feder since 2000.
The vast majority of the committee members demonstrate a more than casual commitment to the goals of the abortion lobby. In fact, according to information available from the public record, these committee members have donated a total of $116,500 to pro-choice organizations and candidates. Public records show that not one of the fifteen committee members has financially supported a pro-life political candidate. This committee was purportedly assembled for the purpose of providing outside, objective, and expert advice to the HHS policymakers. Whatever one thinks of the relevant issues, one would be hard-pressed to argue that this IOM committee is politically nonpartisan.
Of course the political involvement of the members does not necessarily invalidate the findings of the IOM. Nor does support for a pro-choice candidate necessarily indicate an unalloyed loyalty to a cause. Yet the unbalanced makeup of the IOM’s supposedly objective committee—a makeup that does not reflect the distribution of either the lay population or of the medical community in America—should raise questions about the objectivity with which they undertook their mission.
The committee held three “open information-gathering sessions” to receive expert testimony regarding the preventive services that should be mandated and funded. However, nearly all of the invited speakers were known advocates of contraception and abortion on demand. Michael O’Dea notes:
At both meetings, the invited speakers represented organizations which advocate coverage of contraception, without cost sharing of expenses. Those organizations include the Guttmacher Institute, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Planned Parenthood, The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Society for Family Planning.