Society and Culture


Take-Aways From Trump's 

'Suburban Housewives' Myth

By Cheryl Eichar Jett
A stereotypical 1950s era housewife.
   EDWARDSVILLE - 10/29/2020 - During President Donald J. Trump's recent campaign rally at Jamestown, Pennsylvania, his supporters – and the world – heard a desperate plea from an incumbent president attempting to hang on to the battleground states he is in danger of losing: “Do me a favor, suburban women, would you please like me?” For good measure, he added, “Please, please. I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?”

    Back in August, Trump introduced his talking point of “saving the suburbs” in an attempt to appeal to what he called “suburban housewives.” It was little more than a thinly-veiled dog whistle to his base of keeping “low-income housing,” i.e. black or minority renters, out of what he sees as a 1950s stereotype of racially pristine neighborhoods looked after by attractive white housewives.

   “Suburban housewives” as a segment of the American population is as out-dated in fact as it sounds.

   But it isn't news that Trump lives in the past. From the introduction of his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan in 2016, we've known that he has a longing for the “good old days,” which appears to mean before the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, or financing of housing. (In 1973, Trump was poised to take over the New York City middle-class rental empire built by his father, Fred C. Trump, when they were both named in a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging discriminatory practices.)

   But besides the racial dog whistle and the implication that Trump is talking about all-white neighborhoods, the whole talking point reflects his basic misunderstanding – or ignorance – of women's history. The 1950s-60s wasn't just a time that many white men (remember Alabama Governor George Wallace and his supporters?) still believed that blacks should know their place. Women were generally expected to know theirs as well, and that place was in the home, maintaining the nuclear family while wearing a pretty housedress, in sharp contrast, of course, to the image of the unattractive Communist Russian woman toiling in a factory every day.

   Trump's 1950s highlight reel may be playing in his head, as he promotes his idea of “suburban housewives” flocking to his “save the suburbs” promise, although polls are showing that the majority of women are having none of what he's selling. But Mr. Trump, we “suburban women” would like to clear up a couple things:

Source: Pew Research Center
   First of all, we aren't Mrs. Cleaver (if we ever were), mother of the Beaver. We aren't the Stepford wives. And we aren't afraid and in need of protection from the people next door. Take another look. We female inhabitants of suburbs may be white, or black, Latina, Asian, Native American, or multi-racial. And sure, some of us are married – to men. But some of us are single, or married to women. American suburbs are growing in both population and diversity. Please don't put yourself out saving us from our neighbors.

   And, to show you who we are and how fed up we are with four years of your misogyny and racism, we're voting in droves against you, standing in lines for six or eight hours and sharing our food and our stories with those standing with us. We've shattered early voting records. We've marched, protested, put signs in our yards, written postcards to undecided voters in battleground states, texted, and phoned.

   With those points hopefully cleared up, here are my four take-aways from Trump's appeal to “suburban women”:

   First, his fundamental misunderstanding, no, ignorance, of history – basic American history, post-WWII history and culture, Mid-Century pop culture, let alone American women's history – have not served him well.

   Secondly, his deep-rooted misogyny and “playboy” persona never allows him to acknowledge that “suburban women” could ever think for themselves. Again, we're not the Stepford wives – we're intelligent, educated, thinking human beings.

   Third, he may yet underestimate the collective anger of women at his racism, misogyny, cruelty, and incompetence (which looks likely to be demonstrated in epic fashion at this year's ballot box) – the last five years has seen women organize in numbers, strength, and fervor reminiscent of the years of women's suffrage.

   And my final take-away from Trump's plea to “suburban women” – his desperation in his struggle to keep his head above water in this election, a desperation highlighted by begging for the votes of a segment of the population – “suburban” women – that he underestimates, doesn't understand, and will never respect.

   Even Mrs. Cleaver would see right through it.

For further reading

 Mrs. America: Women's Roles in the 1950s

Criminal Indictment

 Investigation Into Violent White 

Supremacist Gang Brings Additional 

Charges, Rico Indictment

(DOJ) - 10/28/2020 - The U.S. Justice Department has announced that additional charges have been brought in a superseding indictment against members and associates of a white supremacist gang known as the 1488s. The 1488s have been charged as a criminal organization that was involved in narcotics distribution, arson, obstruction of justice, and acts of violence including murder, assault, and kidnapping.

Two new defendants were added to the recently unsealed superseding indictment. Felicia King, 55, of Wasilla, Alaska, was charged with accessory after the fact for her role in the August 2017 beating, kidnapping, and murder of Michael Staton, aka “Steak Knife.”

Justin Eaton, aka “Skulls” 45, of Anchorage, Alaska, who had been previously charged in a separate indictment as a felon in possession of a firearm, was charged with RICO conspiracy, kidnapping and assault for his role in the April 2, 2017, beating of a former 1488 member.

Original defendants Filthy Fuhrer, (formerly Timothy Lobdell), 42; Roy Naughton, aka “Thumper,” 40; Glen Baldwin, aka “Glen Dog,” 37; Craig King, aka “Oakie,” 53; and Colter O’Dell, 26, were all charged in a RICO Conspiracy. Fuhrer and Naughton also face additional charges for federal kidnapping, as well as kidnapping and assault in aid of racketeering for incidents occurring in April and July of 2017.

In the original indictment, Fuhrer, Naughton, Baldwin, King, O’Dell, and Beau Cook, 32, were charged with murder in aid of racketeering, kidnapping in aid of racketeering, assault in aid of racketeering, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit assault and kidnapping in aid of racketeering. Two other key members, Nicholas M. Kozorra, aka “Beast,” 29, and Dustin J. Clowers, 34, previously pleaded guilty to murder in aid of racketeering in unsealed court documents. Additionally, Cook has pleaded guilty to kidnapping for his role in the Staton homicide.

According to the superseding indictment, the 1488s are a violent prison-based gang operating inside and outside of state prisons throughout Alaska and elsewhere. The 1488s employed Nazi-derived symbols to identify themselves and their affiliation with the gang. The most coveted tattoo of 1488s members was the 1488s “patch” (an Iron Cross superimposed over a Swastika), which could be worn only by “made” members who generally gained full membership by committing an act of violence on behalf of the gang.

According to the indictment, as part of their operations, 1488s members and associates engaged in illegal activities under the protection of the enterprise, including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and other illegal activities to promote the influence of the gang The 1488s allegedly had an organizational structure, which is outlined in written “rules” widely distributed to members throughout Alaska and elsewhere.

Members of the 1488s allegedly acted in different roles in order to further the goals of their organization, including “bosses” who had ultimate authority in all gang matters. “Key holders” were allegedly responsible for all gang matters within penal facilities where 1488s had a presence, and in “free world” Alaska (outside of prison). “Enforcers” were allegedly responsible for enforcing the rules and performing tasks as assigned by higher-ranking gang members. “Prospects” for membership were required to familiarize themselves with Nazi-inspired white supremacist ideology. Violence against law enforcement was also a means of gaining standing within the 1488s. Female associates of the gang were referred to as “lady-eights”.

In or about 2016, Fuhrer allegedly became more aggressive in his efforts to impose discipline within the gang. He allegedly believed that members who were defying the 1488 code of conduct were diminishing the power and influence of the gang. As outlined in the superseding indictment, this culminated in the kidnapping and assault of former members on April 2, 2017, and July 20, 2017, and the kidnapping, assault, and murder of Staton on Aug. 3, 2017. These acts were allegedly ordered by leadership of the 1488s acting from within and from outside of the prison system.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, and the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Bureau of Investigation, investigated this case in conjunction with the District of Alaska U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime Division and the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section (OCGS). Investigative Assistance was provided by IRS Criminal Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Anchorage Police Department (APD), and the State of Alaska’s Department of Corrections.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Chad McHenry of OCGS and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Taylor, James Klugman, and Chris Schroeder of the District of Alaska.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder of the District of Alaska, Special Agent in Charge Robert Britt of the FBI’s Anchorage Field Office, and Alaska State Trooper Captain David Hanson, Commander of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement.

   Charges detailed in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

   Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice press release
   See also: indictment download

By the Numbers

COVID-19 Cases Surge; Countries

Struggle To Avoid Second Deadly Wave

Missouri and Illinois a Contrast in Severity, Approach

By Steve Rensberry 
RP News

EDWARDSVILLE - (RP News) - 10/19/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to threaten the stability of countries around the world, including the United States, with the latest figures showing Europe and many other countries struggling to avoid a potentially devastating second wave amid a new surge in cases.

A graph of COVID-19 cases from statista
    According to statista data journalist Felix Richter, increased testing accounts only for portion of the increase in numbers.

Citing data from the World Health Organization, Richter writes: “According to the World Health Organization, daily new cases hit a new high of 394,501 on October 17, with the seven-day average quickly approaching 350,000. While the high number of new cases is partly due to a steep increase in testing compared to a couple of months ago, the most recent surge in new infections, with Europe at the forefront, cannot be attributed to testing alone.”

The total number of people who have contracted COVID-19 worldwide has now topped 40 million, leading to 1.1 million deaths.

On Oct. 18, Illinois officials reported just over 3,100 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 new deaths in the state. Since the start of the crisis, the state has recorded 347,161 infections, and 9,236 deaths.

Illinois Gov. J.P. Pritzker expressed concern on Monday that the state could be facing a new wave of the virus, citing increasing hospitalizations and positivity rates.

Missouri, meanwhile, has been reporting record numbers and positivity rates. As reported in this AP story, the state logged a record number of COVID-19 cases this past Saturday, with 2,357 infections, and 1,768 cases on Sunday. Total cases statewide are at 156,696, with 2,582 deaths.

Nationwide, the United States has experienced more than 8.4 million infections leading to 224,159 deaths (4 percent). Roughly 5.49 million people (96 percent) have been discharged or have recovered.

Voting Matters

Voting is Your Right and


 Not a Spectator Sport


By James Grandone

Oct. 14, 2020 - Did you vote for president in 2016? Some 63 million voted Republican, while 66 million voted Democratic. Unfortunately, that is out of 200 million registered to vote, which means more people sat at home than voted for either political party.

Jim Grandone

Women, people who didn’t own land, African Americans, Immigrants and even Native Americans had to fight for years to get the right to vote. Because of the desire for universal suffrage, over past the centuries, we have evolved from a representative republic to a democratic republic or some hybrid thereof. It wasn’t easy to expand the right to vote. It took protests, riots and bloodshed. And still, there are those in government who want to make it difficult for us to cast a ballot.

Bear with me for a little history that doesn’t get taught much in schools today.
Although Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves and gave them rights, those rights were eroded after Reconstruction by Jim Crow laws and poll taxes.

Women won the right to vote by the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution 100 years ago, which passed after women marched and were arrested and beaten in the streets. The Fifteenth Amendment, which was passed in 1870, granted all U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of race, however, it wasn't until the Snyder Act in 1924 that Native Americans could enjoy the rights granted by this amendment.

Many died fighting for the right of African Americans to vote, which was secured in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and, even then, in the South and other parts of the USA, African Americans were prevented from voting by various tactics used by powerful people to stay in power. Eighteen-year-old Americans did not get the right to vote until the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which was ratified in 1971. Even after that, they did not prove themselves a political force until 2008.

After all that effort over many years and generations we finally have what amounts to universal suffrage – almost every citizen can register to vote in America. It baffles me that tens of millions did not vote in the last presidential election.

We can conduct all the voter registration drives we want. We can identify voters and survey them for national polls, we can crow about the large numbers of people registered to vote, but if those registered don’t show up at the polling place or cast their vote by mail, then all the polls are wrong and we get a minority government like we have had twice this century.

More than eight in ten Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. Just because Illinois is not a battleground stated does not mean your vote doesn’t count. The people who write the laws are all on the ballot this November including members of Congress and some local candidates and referenda.

Now is the time to make your voice heard. I strongly urge you to consider all that has taken place up to this moment in time and make a decision right now that you are going to vote on or before Nov. 3, 2020. Mail-in ballots have been sent out and in person voting is taking place now. Don’t hesitate.

You don’t have to worry about being beaten or killed while casting your vote. Your biggest challenge may be finding a parking spot.


Jim Grandone is a long-time resident of Edwardsville, Ill. He was the architect of the 'East County...If You Only Knew' marketing campaign promoting the Metro East to businesses in St. Louis in the 1990s. Grandone holds a BA in political science from the University of Illinois at Springfield and was a Coro Fellow and serves on a variety of boards. He lives in Leclaire with his wife, Mary.

State of Science


Trust in Science Soars Amid 

Global Pandemic


ST. PAUL, Minn.- (BUSINESS WIRE) - 10/10/2020 - If the world’s biggest challenges are to be solved, science will lead the way.

That’s the takeaway from the annual 3M State of Science Index (SOSI). This year’s survey shows that the image of science is on the rise, sustainable solutions remain critical, barriers to STEM and gender/race inequality must be removed, and public/private partnerships are expected to solve issues that people care most about.

A screenshot from the 3M SOSI site.
“As people face the most challenging health crisis in our lifetime, science is more relevant, more trusted, and more important to people all over the world,” said Mike Roman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, 3M. “Advocating for science is important to 3M, but it’s bigger than just us. We’re leaning in with a focus on the things people care most about: pandemic preparedness, sustainability, social justice, and STEM equity. The State of Science Index shows that people want and expect science to make lives better and these are important issues that are at the heart of 3M’s vision to improve every life.”

Against the backdrop of COVID-19, trust in science and scientists is the highest it has been in three years since SOSI first began. Today, 89%* of those surveyed trust science; 86%* trust scientists; 77% are more likely as a result of the pandemic to agree that science needs more funding; and more than half (54%*) agree science is very important to their everyday lives – a double-digit increase from the pre-pandemic data (44%*). Rounding out the picture, 92% of global respondents believe actions should follow science to contain the global pandemic, revealing another measure of trust in science.

The evolving image of science is a key theme to emerge from findings of SOSI -- a third party, independently researched study commissioned by 3M to track attitudes towards science. The latest SOSI survey was fielded in eleven countries throughout July and August of 2020, about six months into the global pandemic.

COVID-19 has made people more appreciative of what science can do

A world that has been increasingly skeptical of science seems to be waking up to its relevance and importance. In 2020, rising skepticism reversed for the first time in three years. People who stated, “I am skeptical of science,” dropped by 7 points to 28%* during the pandemic this summer, from its high of 35%* last year. Relatedly, respondents who only believe science that aligns with their personal beliefs is down six percentage points from when the question was first asked in 2018.

A renewed trust in science appears to translate into taking action too: more than half of those surveyed (54%) agree COVID-19 has made them more likely to advocate for science, whereas pre-pandemic data showed only 20% would stand up for science when debating its merits with others.

There is good reason to push for science advocacy because the needle hasn’t moved on everything. Nearly two-thirds (63%) rarely think about the impact science has on their everyday lives—and nearly one-third (32%) still believe their lives “wouldn’t be that different” if science didn’t exist.

Solutions remain critical: science, sustainability and social justice

There are negative consequences to a world that does not value science, according to 82% of those surveyed. When those who agree were asked about the top negative consequences of concern — topping the list of concerns is “a higher risk of health issues” (68%) – which is not surprising in a year dominated by COVID-19. But sustainability remains an important priority too, with “negative environmental impact” (67%) cited as the second most concerning consequence.

Similarly, when asked about issues people most want to solve for, finding a cure for emerging viruses (such as COVID-19) ranks at the top (80%), followed by finding a cure for other major diseases (62%). Outside of healthcare, social justice and the environment are among the greatest priorities. Social justice/STEM equity (advocating for racial equality in society and/or ensuring underrepresented minorities have access to STEM education) is the top non-health related issue (55%) - and addressing the effects of climate change is the second (51%).

But, who will the world count on to resolve these problems people care about in the future? The next generation of scientists, which must be more diverse and better engaged to truly address global challenges.

Race and generational barriers to STEM education threaten future advances

As a result of the pandemic, pro-STEM sentiment is even stronger: today, 74% are more likely to believe that the world needs more people pursuing STEM-related careers to benefit society, while 73% are more likely to believe a strong STEM education is crucial for students.

Unfortunately, too many people have been discouraged from pursuing science, especially younger generations; Gen Z respondents are three times more likely than their boomer counterparts to report being discouraged as K-12 students from pursuing science (28% adult Gen Zers, 24% millennials, 15% Gen X and 9% baby boomers).

The reasons for being discouraged reveal barriers that run deep: More than one-third of discouraged respondents (36%) say it was due to a lack of access to science classes in school, 34% were told they weren’t smart enough, and 27% point to inequalities in gender, race and/or ethnicity as the problem; in the U.S., this issue is especially high, at 50%.

“We’ve learned from this year’s study and from previous years that people want and need science to solve global challenges,” said Dr. Jayshree Seth, corporate scientist and chief science advocate at 3M. “It has never been more important to enable bright, motivated students from all walks of life to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams through careers in STEM,” Dr. Seth continued. “Attracting the next generation of scientists starts with access to education and motivating students to pursue STEM. The science community – and therefore the world – will only benefit from a greater diversity of talent across gender, racial and ethnic lines.”

Businesses and governments have to work together 

The pandemic has uncovered perceived gaps in science leadership around the world, but it has also revealed opportunities to make a difference. A vast majority of survey respondents around the world believe governments need to lead the way -- 86% say governments should be more involved in containing the spread of COVID-19. In the same way, they also look to governments to address challenges such as affordable healthcare (86%), food safety (86%), improving air quality (85%), and ocean plastics pollution (84%).

While governments are deemed the single most responsible organization, a combination of non-government entities emerge as viable partners (corporations, non-profits, and individual citizens) to help address challenges like climate change (48% non-government** vs. 52% government). For racial inequality, respondents are split 52% non-government** vs. 48% government; and for equal access to STEM education for underrepresented minority groups, the split is 38% for non-government** vs. 62% for government.

Importantly, 53% of respondents believe that, amid major challenges in 2020, corporations should prioritize collaborating with governments for solutions to global challenges — second only to preparing for future pandemics (61%).

3M will host a live media briefing and panel discussion on Tuesday October 6th at 2.20pm ET, to talk about the State of Science in 2020, insights behind the findings, and their implications to society with scientists from 3M; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the UNCF; and the University of Texas at Austin. To register and join the live panel event, please click here.

For more information about the 2020 SOSI Pre-Pandemic and Pandemic Pulse survey results, please visit

Survey Methodology

3M’s State of Science Index presents two waves of original, independent and nationally representative (based on census demographics) research in 2020, both conducted by global research firm Ipsos through a combination of online and offline interviews.

Pre-Pandemic Wave: The 2020 Pre-Pandemic Survey was conducted in 14 countries among 1,000 general population adults (18+) in each of the following countries: Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, UK and the US. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error is +/- 0.83 percentage points at the global, 14-country level and +/- 3.1 percentage points for each individual country.

Pandemic Pulse Wave: The 2020 Pandemic Pulse was conducted among 1,000 general population adults (18+) in 11 of the 14 countries from the 2020 Pre-Pandemic Survey. Countries excluded from this pulse include India, Mexico, and South Africa. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error is +/- 0.94 points at the 11-country level and +/- 3.1 percentage points for each individual country.

To compare across all years of SOSI, a 9-country tracking average was used which has a margin of error of +/- 1.04 percentage points. Countries within this average include Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Poland, Singapore, UK and the US.

2020 Pre-Pandemic survey results were fielded in August - October 2019, and 2020 Pandemic Pulse results were fielded in July - August 2020.

Digital Trends


Pandemic and Protests Fuel 

Record Rates of Digital Advocacy


ARLINGTON, Va. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 10/10/2020 - As the United States grapples with a global pandemic, civic protests and an incredibly polarized political climate, an unprecedented number of citizens are using digital advocacy to engage with government at the local, state and federal level, according to Phone2Action’s annual State of Advocacy report.

Released on Oct. 7, the State of Advocacy 2020 documents the massive growth in digital advocacy during the first half of 2020 and offers a detailed statistical snapshot of citizen activism.

According to anonymized, aggregated insights from Phone2Action’s user data, more than 14 million actions, including email, phone calls, Facebook messages and Tweets, were taken between January and June 2020, eight times more than the same time period in 2016 (the last presidential election year).

The first half of 2020 also generated 3.4 million new advocates for Phone2Action clients, a 121-percent increase over a comparable period in 2018 and a 306-percent increase over 2016, the last two election years.

“Fueled by fears over the pandemic, frustrations over racial injustice and perhaps the most contentious election in a generation, citizens are making their voices heard in new ways and at a new volume,” said Jeb Ory, CEO of Phone2Action. “These New Citizens, who are embracing technology for social good, have completely transformed the advocacy landscape, using every digital tool at their disposal from advocacy software to WhatsApp—even dating apps and gaming systems—to shape policy when it matters most. The world of Washington influence will never be the same.”

Phone2Action’s State of Advocacy report also found:

  • The volume of advocacy email jumped from 7 million in the second half of 2019 to 12.4 million in - the first half of 2020.
  • During the peak of COVID-19, defined as March 13 – May 30: 52,000 people took action every day — roughly 36 people every minute.
  • The percentage of supporters who took action on an advocacy request almost tripled, growing from 6 percent before March 13 to 16 percent after.
  • Advocacy shares on Facebook grew more than 287 percent over the pre-COVID period from Dec. 25 to March 12. Shares on Twitter jumped 113 percent over that same time period.
  • The number of advocates taking action to influence local government more than doubled, growing 148 percent over the same period in 2019.

“While the boom in 2020 is built upon years of steady growth in digital advocacy, the events of 2020 have accelerated citizen activism at a rate we could never have anticipated,” Ory said. “People want to be heard and to have a say in the decisions that impact them, particularly during this challenging year.”

Associations and nonprofits both benefited most from 2020’s surge in digital advocacy. Associations saw new advocates grow 363 percent between January and June over the same period last year. Nonprofits mobilized 2.8 million supporters between January and June 2020.


The State of Advocacy 2020 report is a data-focused analysis of digital advocacy, drawn from millions of actions taken on Phone2Action’s platform each year. The insights are solely based on Phone2Action’s data and no other data source is used.

When needed, data was normalized to facilitate year-over-year, apples-to-apples comparisons. In other cases, cohort analysis, which involves following a sub-sample of organizations over a period of years to analyze advocacy activity, was used. These two approaches helped eliminate the impact of Phone2Action’s business growth on the data.

Abortion in America

First Online Directory of

Abortion Clinics Marks 25 Years

First Client Was Dr. George Tiller, Murdered in 1995

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (RP News) - 10/5/2020 - Abortion Clinics Online recently celebrated its 25th year of continuous service. The future of abortion access, however, remains perennially mired in uncertainty, a spokesperson for the clinic said, now more than ever in the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the likelihood of a replacement that is far more extreme.

A chart from statista showing a declining rate.
“Abortion Clinics Online will continue to serve as a source of hope and choice without judgment. The hope RBG inspired lives, on,” a Sept. 29 press release announcing the anniversary states.

Through an online directory and hotline, Abortion Clinics Online directs women to reputable abortion clinics, as well as fights back against what are known as fake clinics. The site first went live in September 1995, when the internet was new and only an estimated 14 percent of Americans had an internet connection. Even Planned Parenthood did not have a website at the time.

"Before the Internet, women had barriers to locating an abortion clinic nearby. The internet opened new avenues for women to get good and accurate information about abortion services nearby," founder Ann Rose states.

One of Rose's first clients in 1995 was the now-legendary Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated in 2009 during a morning church service in Wichita, Kansas by anti-abortion extremist Scott Philip Roeder of Kansas. Roeder was sentenced in 2010 to life imprisonment without any chance of parole for 50 years.

As stated in the news release: “The online presence of abortion clinics has since grown into a powerful force. Clinics have nurtured a new generation of activists through social media and blogs. Most abortion-seekers now begin searching for a clinic online, and several abortion directories have followed, providing alternative models. Abortion advocates have always occupied a dangerous world. Clinics have been bombed or burned. Clinic workers routinely face threats and violence. Rose has been the subject of smear campaigns and threats for her entire career. At a time when choice is under attack, keeping abortion legal is not enough. Women must have ready access to safe, quality abortion clinics.”

One of the biggest challenges today, a spokesperson said, are fake abortion clinics -- well-funded anti-choice centers that offer no medical services and may even threaten or stalk women to convince them not to have abortions.

“Because they are not governed by medical privacy laws, they can use patient's private information to humiliate or terrorize them,” the new release states. “They invest in online ads, often outranking real abortion clinics. Rose and her team have fought to have them removed from these searches so that panicked women never have to listen to scare tactics. To make it less confusing, they were successful in getting Google to label fake clinic paid aids with a disclaimer stating they “Do Not Offer Abortion,” and abortion clinic ads with a statement that they “Provide Abortions."

Medical Malpractice

CJ&D Releases Update

On Medical Malpractice Trends


   EDWARDSVILLE - (RP News) - 10/4/2020 - The Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School (CJ&D) released an update to its Medical Malpractice: By The Numbers briefing book in March of this year, a publication that may not have received as much attention as usual given the pandemic and related events.

   The fully-sourced 172-page volume includes the latest statistics and research on issues related to medical malpractice, including over 500 footnotes linking to original sources.

   As in prior editions, topics include: medical malpractice litigation, health care costs and “defensive medicine,” physician supply and access to health care, medical malpractice insurance, patient safety, and special problems for vets and military families.

   There are several new sections including sexual assault by doctors, misdiagnoses (the most prevalent and costly type of medical error), childbirth negligence, plastic surgery, how physician stress and burnout leading to errors, and the real cause of insurance spikes for doctors.

   Among the new findings since CJ&D’s December 2019 update:

  • Between 2007-2016, the number (frequency) of medical malpractice cases dropped more than 25%. For ob/gyns, the drop was 44%.

  • 90 percent of doctors with at least five medical malpractice claims are still in practice.

  • There is no “quality of care” information available for 75% of doctors treating Medicare patients.

  • The federal government doesn’t require hospitals to tell the public how often mothers die or suffer from childbirth complications.

  • When Texas enacted severe “tort reform” measures in 2003, access to medical care grew by “close to zero.”

  • When a state caps damages, rates for cardiac stress tests and other imaging tests, Medicare Part B lab and radiology spending, all rise.

  •  When it comes to preventing deaths from medical errors, out of 195 countries in the world, the U.S. ranks below the top 50.

   “Organized medicine continues to push laws that would reduce the accountability of unsafe hospitals and incompetent physicians. Yet hundreds of thousands of patients die each year due to preventable medical errors at the same time insurance claims and lawsuits are dropping,” CJ&D Executive Director Joanne Doroshow stated in a press release announcing the book. “We have an enormous patient safety problem in this nation. Even sexual misconduct by physicians is going largely unchecked. The last thing we should do is try to solve these problems by increasing the obstacles harmed patients face in the already difficult process of bringing a case against the person or institution that harmed them.”

   A copy of the full briefing book can be found here: