The Advocate’s Recent Article Shows Continued Bias Against Pro-Life Laws on Abortion

New Orleans – In yet another example of pro-abortion bias from The Advocate, the paper ran a front-page article written by Emily Woodruff highlighting data from a new “report from the pro-abortion American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The AAMC is a pro-abortion organization and even published a press release of disapproval after the Dobbs v. Jackson’s decision in 2022. Their published report lacks some of the credentials needed to draw a conclusion, such as credible, clear, insightful, and irrefutable evidence.

The AAMC report alleges that senior medical school students are looking elsewhere for residency programs in states where abortion access is available. The methodology they utilize in their report looks at specialties in which states saw increased or decreased applications for residency programs. Those programs included: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, OB-GYN, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics and Other Specialties.

The report then goes as far as to say that “these analyses allow us to follow the trends in residency applications but do not provide definitive information about U.S. MD seniors’ motivations and reasons for applying to specific programs.” However, they then acknowledge that “states’ abortion-ban status may be correlated with program number and size.” They allege, regardless, that there “may be” a tie to pro-life states protecting unborn babies from abortion.

Even though the evidence is circumstantial and from a pro-abortion perspective, Woodruff goes out of the way to support the pro-abortion findings of the study while ignoring critical information that calls into question the conclusions of the report.

The following examples are of the errors that stem from their bias in the article alone, “Is Louisiana’s abortion ban costing the state future doctors? New data shed light.”:

  • It is blatantly false to state that residents must go out of state to be trained in miscarriage management. All OB-GYN residents in Louisiana receive training on handling miscarriages. Two OB-GYNs and an MFM in New Orleans involved in supervising residents have confirmed that OB-GYN residents at a New Orleans hospital are throughly trained in medical and surgical management of miscarriages. While it may be the case that elective abortion training must be pursued outside of Louisiana, it is incorrect to state that miscarriage management training for residents is not done in Louisiana.
  • A Pro-Abortion Organization Talks with Pro-Abortion Students: While The Advocate’s article admits that the analysis’ author, Dr. Atul Grover, says the data in their study is limited and they only have correlation, not causation. Grover says that when they “talk” to medical students they will say lack of abortion access is a factor. Unfortunately, as of now, neither the study, nor the The Advocate, provides an overwhelming number of students announcing their decision to leave Louisiana because of the state’s pro-life laws.
  • The Advocate Only Provides Proof of One Student: The Advocate’s article focuses on only one student, Hannah Doran, but Doran and the paper claim a “growing number” of students are leaving. The paper fails to provide proof of this claim.
  • In the article, Woodruff quotes Doran in saying, “How almost dead do you have to be for me to provide this service to you?” Unfortunately, Woodruff does not even attempt to determine if Doran’s statement is factual. By including the quote, Woodruff is perpetuating the lie that women have to come to death’s door to receive care. It is no surprise with lies like this in the media that doctors are concerned or confused. State law says that a physician can act to “prevent the death or substantial risk of death to the pregnant woman” or to “prevent the serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ of a pregnant woman.” Nothing in state law says that the patient has to be at death’s door. The law defers to the reasonable medical practice of a physician.
  • The Advocate does quote Louisiana Right to Life in the article about how other pro-abortion states also saw drops in OB-GYN applicants. However, the Advocate did not examine this fact or validate it in their own voice. Woodruff’s position was in support of the findings of the pro-abortion study. The article had two sides: The Advocate, the AAMC, and the medical student against Louisiana Right to Life’s statements.
  • In the same way as the last bullet, The Advocate did quote Louisiana Right to Life that other specialities, such as Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, also saw significant decrease. In fact, Pediatrics fell even more than OB-GYN, having a decrease of 19.6 percent. However, just as above, The Advocate did not attempt to report on this fact themselves. We see this as a critical element of the study. If Pediatrics had a greater decrease than OB-GYN, then couldn’t there be some other reason for the decrease than just the abortion laws? But that information would not fit The Advocate’s agenda.
  • The Advocate Shows No Proof For Why the Residents are Leaving the State: The article mentions that “all four of LSU’s graduating OB-GYN senior residents are leaving for other states” but does not cite the reason for their departure. Those students could be leaving the state for reasons unrelated to abortion. Why would The Advocate include the reference in the article if there was no evident connection to abortion? The reason must be that Woodruff is trying to insinuate that they are leaving because of abortion issues.
  • The Study Is Limited in Time and Does Not Take Into Account the Possibility of a Long-Term Trend: The study is limited in scope by providing data from barely two-years from the reversal of Roe v. Wade, yet the clear message from the article is that up-and-coming doctors are afraid to come to Louisiana or won’t because of our pro-life laws. The study does not show data from before 2020 that may also show that the numbers were decreasing far before laws on abortion came into question. There has been discussion for years how Louisiana has faced shortages of doctors. Unfortunately, The Advocates’s reporting did not examine those reports to determine if the trend has extended further over time.
  • The Advocate further laments that students cannot learn how to perform an abortion past the first trimester, which most Americans disapprove of on a large scale according to polling pre and post Dobbs.
  • Regarding fears that students have about pursuing residencies in Louisiana, The Advocate fails to admit that this could be due to the countless stories in print and on-air that present inaccurate information about Louisiana’s Human Life Protection Act.

It is important to remind The Advocate that our pro-life law allows for doctors to do what is necessary in emergencies to preserve a woman’s health and life. It also does not prohibit doctors from providing miscarriage management.

Sarah Zagorski said the following about The Advocate’s recent vendetta against Louisiana Right to Life:

It is exceedingly disappointing that The Advocate uses its platform, from front page “reports” to misleading editorials, to sway public opinion away from the pro-life position and in favor of legal abortion.

Prior to the time leading up to and since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, there was little in-depth reporting in the paper on abortion, whether on the abuses of abortion facilities, how the public opinion of Louisiana was in conflict with federal law, or more. However, now that the law of Louisiana represents a pro-life perspective, the paper repeatedly presents biased reports and studies from pro-abortion entities as fact with the goal of turning the citizens of Louisiana against the pro-life position. Many of the reporters write the articles to seemingly prove the case for the pro-abortion position, and include brief information from our organization to provide some semblance of fair reporting.

The Advocate goes as far as hiring public opinion firms to poll citizens on their opinion on abortion and then reporting how the citizens of Louisiana are supposedly out-of-step with pro-life laws. We do not recall The Advocate ever doing the same thing in the decades before the overturn of Roe v. Wade to report on how Louisianians did not support abortion-on-demand.

The Advocate should be reporting from a neutral perspective without an underlying agenda to bend Louisiana to supporting legal abortion.

We are encouraging Louisiana citizens to push back against the apparent pro-abortion agenda of The Advocate.

Together with pro-life legislators and citizens, we will not cower down in fear to their malicious rhetoric.


Louisiana Right to Life (LARTL), established in 1970, works through education, legislation, inspiration and service to restore the right to life in Louisiana by opposing abortion, euthanasia, and other life destroying actions.