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Adding Value to Reproductive Health Research. Communicating about the moral dimensions of science. The Added Values Project A new initiative from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. ARHP’s Irvin M. Cushner Award. Leading 20 th century public health advocate

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adding value to reproductive health research

Adding Valueto Reproductive Health Research

Communicating about the moral dimensions of science

The Added Values Project

A new initiative from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals

arhp s irvin m cushner award
ARHP’s Irvin M. Cushner Award
  • Leading 20th century public health advocate
  • Reproductive health care innovator
  • Influential leader, educator, policymaker
    • Director, Center for Social Studies in Human Reproduction
    • Professor, Johns Hopkins & UCLA
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, DHHS
wanda jones drph
Wanda Jones, DrPH
  • 1998 Clinton appointment to DHHS
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
    • Director, Office of Women’s Health
  • 1988 – 1997: CDC
    • Associate director for women’s health
    • Associate director for science, HIV/AIDS
    • HIV/AIDS laboratory trainer
wanda jones drph4
Wanda Jones, DrPH
  • Advocacy
    • National leader in women’s health, HIV/AIDS, STIs, health access
  • Science
    • Microbiologist, public health researcher, laboratory practice expert
  • Education
    • PhD public health, lab practice, UNC
    • Masters medical technology, Penn State
wanda jones drph5
Wanda Jones, DrPH
  • Health advocate for patients & providers
    • Eliminating women’s health disparities
    • Preventing violence against women
    • HIV/AIDS prevention & treatment
    • Disabilities
  • Established groundbreaking agencies
    • National Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health
    • National Community Centers of Excellence
    • National Women’s Health Information Center
    • National Minority Women’s Health Expert Panel
moral values malarkey
“Moral Values Malarkey”
  • AP Exit Poll
    • Q: “Which issue mattered most in deciding how you voted for president?”

Dick Meyers, Against the Grain,

November 5, 2004

moral values
Moral Values?


  • Moral Values (22%) 18% 80%
  • Economy/Jobs (20%) 80% 18%
  • Terrorism (19%) 14% 86%
  • Iraq (15%) 73% 23%
  • Health Care (8%) 77% 23%
  • Taxes (5%) 73% 26%
same ap poll
Same AP Poll
  • Abortion
    • 55% want it to remain legal
  • Stem cell research
    • Ample support
moral values9
Moral Values?
  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Freedom
  • Empathy
  • Self-determination
  • Knowledge
ap poll message
AP Poll “Message”
  • Perception
    • “Moral values” equals opposition to abortion, gay marriage
  • Reality
    • “Moral values” equal different things to different people
religious example
Religious Example
  • “Lost Christianities”
    • Gospel of Thomas
    • Gospel of Mary Magdalene
    • Gospel of Judas
    • Carpocratians

Bart D. Ehrman

perception of science professionals
Perception of Science: Professionals
  • “We depend too much on science & not enough on faith”
  • “Scientific research these days doesn\'t pay enough attention to the moral values of society”
  • “Scientific research has created as many problems for society as it has solutions”
perception of science the public
Perception of Science: The Public
  • “We depend too much on science & not enough on faith”
  • “Scientific research these days doesn\'t pay enough attention to the moral values of society”
  • “Scientific research has created as many problems for society as it has solutions”
ideology vs science
Ideology vs Science
  • Preserving Core Values in Science Initiative (ARHP & RHTP)
    • Plan B debacle
    • Inappropriate Federal appointments
    • Declining support for environmental regulation
  • Integrity of Science Initiative (UCS)
    • Successfully raised awareness about the issues
values project
Values Project

“Now is the time to assertively begin

the long-term process that can help

define and incorporate our own moral principles

into reproductive health education and advocacy work”

Felicia H. Stewart, MD

scientific values what are they
Scientific Values: What Are They?
  • Evidence-based science is key to positive health outcomes & a fulfilling life
  • Pursue answers to questions with honesty
  • Encourage curiosity & questioning
  • Use results to promote common good
  • Recognize the importance of diversity
  • and many more. . .
values project goals
Values Project: Goals
  • Make positive values associated with reproductive health science a valued part of everyday life
  • Communicate positive moral attributes of our research to the public
    • Use easily understood language
    • Emphasize shared values
    • Inform health care practice & policy
values project objectives
Values Project: Objectives
  • Professionals
    • Ensure that the positive values associated with reproductive health and science are discussed in every appropriate forum
  • Public
    • Develop solid, carefully refined policy concepts with language & communication approaches that explain reproductive health science & its positive values
values project our challenges
Values Project: Our Challenges
  • Learn to speak the language of nonscientists
  • Appeal to the positive aspects of belief systems outside of our experience
  • Communicate key scientific values to general audiences who can benefit
  • Communicate the positive benefits of change to friends & allies
  • Learn to be political not electoral
why a values project
Why a “Values” Project?
  • Public majority does not understand the positive values of science in their everyday lives
  • Moderate to progressive movement is ready for new directions
  • Informed public has the best chance to initiate change for the better
  • Sustainable change can only happen if it is values driven
why start with reproductive health

Absolute risk reduction (attributable risk)



Why Start With Reproductive Health?
  • Touchstone for heated political debate
  • Target for misunderstanding & scientific assault
  • Affects the majority of people’s lives
  • Has great potential to effect change
  • Can be a model for other moderate to progressive movements
un treaty rejects new rights to abortion euthanasia homosexuality
UN treaty rejects new rights to abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality
  • “The UN meeting on the rights of persons with disabilities was on balance a success for pro-lifers.”, September 1, 2006

who report global promotion of abortion
WHO Report: “Global Promotion of Abortion”
  • “One of the most interminable and vociferous debates at the UN is over the meaning and application of the phrase ‘reproductive health’.”

Douglas Sylva

values project assumptions
Values Project: Assumptions
  • Long-term project (15+ years)
  • No association with election politics
  • Learn from past mistakes & opponents’ successes
  • Identify fresh tactics & new trends
  • Be willing to adapt & change
  • If the status quo is no longer working, seek change
  • Seek change through experimentation
  • Duplication of effort can be positive
values project how will it work
Values Project: How will it work?


  • Review of existing & in-process research
  • Embark on values-based qualitative research
  • Develop written communications & outreach plan
  • Internalize research results
  • Develop a faculty training program & national education project
  • Identify metrics & monitoring tactics
values project how will it work29
Values Project: How will it work?


  • Extend the equity of science as a valued part of life for everyday Americans
  • Train & place expert speakers
  • Advocacy, relationship management
  • Launch marketing plan for paid & earned media.
  • Establish ongoing venues for discussion & change
  • Monitor for success & lessons learned
values project timeframe
Values Project: Timeframe
  • Focus on long-term change
  • A truly informed public must be educated on the full range of reproductive health services
  • the value its adds to their lives
  • the importance of science in determining reproductive health innovations & policies
values project timeframe31
Values Project: Timeframe
  • “. . .and this must be done carefully, over time, in recognition of the true diversity of cultures, values, and belief systems that make up our societies”

Contraception, September 2006

the landscape media influence
The Landscape: Media Influence
  • Positive
    • Widespread dispersion of reproductive health information
  • Negative
    • Misperceptions promulgated
    • Incomplete information (7 seconds)
    • Business of selling news trumps science
    • Risks not put in context
the landscape political influence
The Landscape: Political Influence
  • Positive
    • Debate about health care issues & benefits
    • Platform to express beliefs
  • Negative
    • Mistrusted, not credible
    • Perception of bias
    • Policy sacrificed for elections
the landscape academic influence
The Landscape: Academic Influence
  • Positive
    • Emphasis on value of scientific process
    • Self critical
  • Negative
    • “Out of touch” with everyday life
    • Communication not emphasized
    • Apolitical?
the landscape social influence
The Landscape: Social Influence
  • Positive
    • Comfort with the familiar
    • Trusted sources of information
    • New ways to talk
  • Negative
    • Misperception, myth, indifference about science
    • Junk flourishes
the landscape spiritual influence
The Landscape: Spiritual Influence
  • Positive
    • Reassurance of belief systems
    • Sometimes a marker of self-growth
    • Some religious platforms are pro-reproductive health & pro-science
  • Negative
    • Misperception, myth, indifference about science
    • Morality & religion intertwined
the landscape personal beliefs
The Landscape: Personal Beliefs
  • Positive
    • Personal conviction & experience
    • Reinforced by social interactions
    • We are all sexual
  • Negative
    • Lack of perception of personal biases
    • Easy to feel overwhelmed
    • Environmentally dependent
your challenge
Your Challenge
  • Suspend Disbelief
  • Be political
  • Carpe Diem
  • Lifelong learning
a final thought
A Final Thought

“Viví dentro del monstruo y le conozco sus entrañas, y mi honda es la de David”

José Martí


Let’s talk about the future

To become involved

[email protected]

David Grimes, MD 2006.