Friday, December 20, 2019

#2284: Jill Stanek

Jill Stanek is a radical anti-abortion activist and nurse, national campaign chair of the anti-abortion organization the Susan B. Anthony List, and currently affiliated with Newsbusters and regular columnist for the WND. Yeah, “columnist for the WND” should really tell you all you need to know. As for her anti-abortion campaigning, Stanek is the kind of person who compares abortion to the Vietnam War, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the atrocities of the Taliban and says that she won’t be mourning the death of Nelson Mandela because, according to her, Mandela’s pro-choice record means he “engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people” and “has the blood of preborn children on his hands.” But OK: we are willing to write those claims up as a matter of consistent application of some deranged moral principles.

What secures Stanek an entry in our Encyclopedia, however, is her relentless pushing of pseudoscience in the name of ideology. Stanek is for instance one of the main promoters of the utterly discredited idea that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. She does cite studies when she claims that there is a link, though from places like the pseudojournal JPANDS and with complete disregard for the quality of those studes or the fact that good studies on the link overwhelmingly show no link.

And just for the record: Stanek isn’t merely opposed to abortion; she also “opposes contraception, not only because some of its forms may cause abortions, but also – moreso – because the thinking behind contraception makes it the forerunner to abortion.” She bases her reasoning “on several Biblical concepts,” the foremost being “that God is always described in Scripture as the sole procreative decision-maker. To my knowledge, every incident in Scripture describing pregnancy or barrenness gives God complete creditIf that premise is true, who has the right to say no to God? Who can say they have a better grip on timing than God?” Just imagine where parallel reasoning would get you on virtually any other topic (she also fails to notice that if her premises were correct, contraception or not really shouldn’t matter either). She has also claimed that legalizing the purchase of Plan B emergency contraception over the counter would lead to more pedophilia because, well, she perceived the claim to be rhetorically effective, mostly. Stanek has, moreover, designated June 7 as “The Pill Kills Day” in honor of the Supreme Court’s Griswold v. Connecticut decision: According to Stanek, birth control pills can cause chemical abortions (another common myth from Stanek) but “radical pro-aborts don’t want you to know.” The information has been suppressed because “if women knew, some would feel morally obligated to refuse that contraceptive option. And that would mess up lucrative birth control pill sales, which nets pro-aborts hundreds of millions of dollars a year, as well as abortion sales from failed birth control pills.” This is, if nothing else, a good illustration of deranged conspiracy theorizing in action.

Stanek has also at least expressed sympathy with the anti-vaccine movement, having apparently bought into the “aborted fetal tissue” claim – it is nonsensical, of course, but Stanek predictably buys it: in her post “Vaccines made with fetal cells causing autism?” (Yes, Betteridge’s law at work, but Stanek isn’t really asking a question) she claims, based purely on meaningless speculation, that “aborted fetal tissue” in vaccines are a likely cause of autism and asserts that “[t]he conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the same sort of ideological culprits we see covering up the abortion-breast cancer link are also involved here.” The comparison is actually rather apt, but not in the way Stanek thinks, of course. 

Diagnosis: Yes, this is the kind of mockery of reasoning that the term “wingnut science” is supposed to describe. Completely unable to distinguish facts and evidence from what she wishes were facts and evidence to support her agenda. And Stanek is a significant voice in certain wingnut circles.


  1. If contraception is sinful because it usurps God's role in deciding between pregnancy and barrenness, then abstinence is worse. Think of all the babies not born just because selfish people refused to have sex!

  2. Is she related to Robert Stanek, by any chance?