Thursday, November 15, 2007

Newsflash: Planned Parenthood's research arm doesn't like informed consent laws in various states

The Alan Guttmacher Institute has a new report out entitled ""State Abortion Counseling Policies and the Fundamental Principles of Informed Consent," regarding the informed consent laws a number of states have passed to provide women with information regarding fetal development, other pregnancy options, abortion procedures, etc. before having an abortion.

The report has the usual pro-choice talking points. Breast cancer? No way! The National Cancer Institute says one thing so we can ignore all those studies which say something different. Negative mental health? Nope. We have an almost 20-year-old review of health literature from the American Psychological Association. Fetal pain? Not until 29 weeks because a bunch of abortion proponents did a biased literature review which was printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Some of the complaints are extraordinarily childish. The report cries afoul that some states distribute materials which list a variety of abortion procedures and have information on various stages of fetal development.
By mandating information about a range of abortion procedures performed at various points in gestation, the materials include information nongermane to individual women....

With nearly 90% of all abortions occurring at or before 12 weeks, information on the development of a fetus after that point is generally not germane to most patients.
The most obvious reason for why a state would distribute materials which have a variety of abortion procedures and information on various stages of fetal development is because they want to create a single brochure/pamphlet which can be given to women considering an abortion as opposed to having a bunch of different pamphlet/handouts depending on what stage of pregnancy a women is in and what abortion procedures she's considering having.

The report also whines about "graphic, inflammatory language" some states use to describe abortion procedures.
Four states—Idaho, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas—take a different tack. Each uses graphic, inflammatory language to describe later abortion procedures similar to that used in Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Carhart.

Let's take a look at that language where we can (I couldn't find Oklahoma's or Idaho's informed consent info online) since the authors provide no examples.

It seems that "unborn child" may part of what the AGI considers to be the graphic and inflammatory language. Texas' informed consent materials describe D & E thus:
The uterus will be scraped and the unborn child and placenta are removed. After 16 weeks, the unborn child and placenta are removed, piece-by-piece, using forceps or other instruments.
Partial birth abortion/D & X is described by saying,
The doctor will grasp the unborn child's foot with an instrument and deliver the child except for the head. While the head is kept in the birth canal, scissors are used to make a hole in the back of the head, a tube is inserted, and suction is applied. The contents of the unborn child's skull are suctioned out, the bones of the head collapse, and the child is delivered dead.
I guess Planned Parenthood would prefer "gentle" be placed in front of suction or for terms like "decompression of the skull" or "reducing the intercrainial contents of the skull" to be used.

South Dakota
Information on second trimester abortion procedures here and third trimester abortion procedures here.

I'm not sure what the authors might find "inflammatory" regarding the descriptions of 2nd trimester procedures. Maybe under "Intra-amniotic instillations" where it says, "Urea kills the fetus." Under 3rd trimester abortion procedures they describe partial-birth abortion by saying,
- this procedure, the physician pulls the fetus feet-first out of the uterus into the birth canal, except for the head which is kept lodged just inside the uterus.
- The base of the fetus's skull is punctured with a sharp instrument such as a long scissors or pointed metal tube.
- A catheter is inserted into the wound and removes the fetus's brain with a powerful suction machine. This causes the skull to collapse, and allows for the expulsion of the fetus.

Conclusion: The Alan Guttmacher Institute finds accurate descriptions of partial-birth abortion to be "inflammatory" and "graphic." I'm sorry but state health departments aren't the ones who invented this disgusting procedure and it's not their job to try to make the procedure sound appetizing.

The authors also don't like language which "personif(ies)" the unborn child. This quote is classic:
But in their descriptions of the fetus, many states use loaded language in an apparently deliberate attempt to "personify" the fetus. For example, the North Dakota materials note that fetus is "a Latin word meaning young one or offspring." The materials also say that at 10 weeks' gestation, the fetus "now has a distinct human appearance" and that "eyelids are formed." At 14 weeks, according to the materials, the fetus "is able to swallow" and "sleeps and awakens."
Nowhere do they say this information is false or misleading. They just don't want women considering abortion to know what an unborn child (there I go again with that "inflammatory language") does because these facts might convince women the unborn are valuable human beings who shouldn't be killed. Why shouldn't women who are 14 weeks pregnant know their unborn child has eyelids or is able to swallow? The only reason I can think of is because you want them to have an abortion.

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