Monday, January 31, 2011

Life Links 1/31/11

Here's more evidence that greater access to morning-after pills/emergency contraceptive doesn't work the way pro-choice organizations have been telling us it will. A policy in England to handout free morning-after pills to teenage girls at pharmacies didn't lower the pregnancy rate and increased the rate of STDs.
They found that pregnancy rates for girls aged under 16 remained the same while the rates of sexually transmitted diseases increased by 12 per cent in those areas where the pill was available free from chemists.

Prof Paton said: "We find that offering the morning-after pill free of charge didn't have the intended effect of cutting teenage pregnancies but did have the unfortunate side of effect of increasing sexually transmitted infections.
Here's the abstract to the study.

Operation Rescue reveals unlicensed abortionist James Pendergraft's most recent foray into late-term abortions. He's set up shop in a secret location in the Washington, D.C. area and will inject chemicals or air to stop the hearts of late-second and third trimester children. He then tells women they can then choose to go to their physician or another facility to have the dead child delivered. From Pendergraft's web site,
We perform the intracardiac injection of medication into the fetal heart in our private facility in the Washington, D.C. area. Once the fetal heart beat has stopped, the patient can elect to return back to her private physician to complete the induction of labor with delivery of the fetus, or they may elect to go to another facility to have the termination process completed. It is unfortunate that patients have to go through this process, but it is legal, safe, practical and sound. The location in Washington D.C. where the procedure is performed is not publicly disclosed to prevent harassment, intimidation, harm, and even possible physical injury to patients, staff, and the physicians who dedicate themselves to performing this much needed service. The staff is protected from any potential day to day harassment of themselves or their families.

An advice column in the Washington Post has a letter with a "grim end to a sordid triangle."
A few weeks ago, my husband told me he had an affair. He came clean only after finding out she was pregnant.

Despite being devastated, I told him I'd be willing to try to work things out - for the sake of our two daughters, at least - if he persuaded her to have an abortion. He agreed and she had the abortion, although I suspect she agreed only because my husband lied to her and told her they'd have a future if she had the abortion. He says he has broken off all contact with her since she terminated the pregnancy.

Now I'm disgusted with myself because I feel like it's my fault she had the abortion, and I can't get past the fact that my husband cheated on me. Sometimes I feel just worthless. Is there any hope?

NAF suspends membership of Delaware abortion clinic that employee Gosnell

The National Abortion Federation has suspended the membership of Atlantic Women's Services, the abortion provider that employed Kermit Gosnell.
The suspension, which had been recommended in a 261-page report by a Philadelphia grand jury that investigated Gosnell, came following a meeting of the executive committee of the federation's board of directors, a federation representative wrote in an e-mail.

The suspension also applies to clinics that are affiliated with Atlantic in Louisiana, according to the statement.

Before the suspension, Dr. Warren Throckmorton wrote about Kermit Gosnell's other abortion clinic.
Less publicized is the fact that Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia was not the only place where Kermit Gosnell performed abortions. Until last year, Gosnell worked one day a week at Atlantic Women's Medical Services in Wilmington, Delaware. In fact, one of the abortions resulting in infant death began in that Delaware clinic. According to the grand jury report, a 17 year old girl came to Atlantic Women's Medical Services with her great aunt and requested a late term abortion.....

According to the grand jury report, at least 6 similar situations began at the Atlantic Women's Medical Services and ended up in the Philadelphia clinic for illegal late-term abortions. The Atlantic clinic was paid for the abortions and then they were performed in Philadelphia.

Unsurprisingly, Throckmorton didn't get much of a response from the National Abortion Federation.
Due to questions about the relationship between the two clinics, the Gosnell grand jury recommended that the NAF "reassess the membership of Atlantic Women's Medical Services." At present, there is no indication that NAF plans to do this. Despite repeated calls over the past two days, the National Abortion Federation has not responded to my questions about Atlantic and the grand jury's recommendation. Atlantic Women's Medical Services referred me to attorney Nino Ntanari, who has not provided comment.

Related: National Abortion Federation attempts to defends itself regarding abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Life Links 1/28/11

Michael New points out some rather glaring problems with the new "Abortion doesn't cause mental health problems" study.
First, this study's conclusions are largely based on the fact that the cohort of women who submitted to abortions experienced similar (but high) rates of mental-health problems both in the months before the abortion and in the months after the abortion took place. However, that does not negate a causal link between abortion and mental health. A number of academic studies find high levels of stress among women considering an abortion. Furthermore, it should be noted that the cohort of women who had abortions were more likely to experience mental-health problems than either the cohort who gave birth or the cohort who never became pregnant.

There exist other methodological shortcomings as well. This study lacks controls for other factors that might affect the likelihood of psychological disorders including pregnancy wantedness, coercion by others to abort, marital status, income, education, and exposure to violence. Additionally, there is also evidence that women with psychiatric histories are at increased risk for post-abortion mental-health problems. However, these women were excluded from the study. Finally, the results follow women for only one year post-abortion or -childbirth. There is significant evidence suggesting that the negative psychological effects of abortion may not surface for several years.

It should also be noted that this research was funded by a grant from the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation. This foundation was formed by investor Warren Buffet and named in honor of his wife after her death in 1994. This foundation has been very active in supporting abortion rights.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden says his office is investigating abortionist Kermit Gosnell's link to an abortion clinic in Delaware.
Because Gosnell has been charged with the murder of "Baby Boy A," a child delivered by a woman who first consulted with Gosnell at the Delaware clinic, there could be a charge of accessory to murder, Haley said.

According to the grand jury report, in 2008, a teenager's great aunt paid Gosnell $2,500 in cash at Atlantic for a late-term abortion that could not be performed in Delaware.

Gosnell started the abortion by administering labor-inducing drugs at Atlantic with instructions the teenager be taken to the Philadelphia clinic the next day to complete the procedure, the report says.

Kansas legislator are looking to pass a variety of prolife bills after years of dealing with pro-choice governors.

Scientists squabbling over patents is slowing the advance of embryonic stem cell research.

A pregnant woman lost her child in Dallas yesterday after her car was hit by a distracted driver. The at-fault driver may face charges.

Undertaker who hid aborted children gets 20 years in Thailand

Suchart Phumee took money to hid the remains of thousands of aborted children in a Buddhist temple and now he's paying the price.
Suchart Phumee was initially sentenced to two months for each of the corpses after pleading guilty to two charges of concealing the bodies and assisting illegal abortion clinics, state prosecutor Rucha Krairiksha said.

The cumulative sentences amounted to 333 years.

But the 38-year-old, who worked at the Phai Ngern Buddhist temple where the corpses were hidden, saw his sentence lowered to 20 years, 10 years for each charge, the maximum penalty under Thai law.

Pro-choice absolutists say "yes" to elective post-viability abortions

William Saletan compiles the posts of pro-choicers who responded to his questions about whether elective post-viability abortions should be legal. The majority of respondents believe killing viable unborn children for completely elective reasons should be legal.

This is precisely and directly where the "Trust Women" mantra and bodily autonomy ideology leads.

On one hand, I'm glad some pro-choicers are willing to accept the obvious conclusions of their ideology.

On another hand, I'm horrified that they would.

Life Links 1/27/11

The San Francisco Chronicle has a short blurb AP article on California abortionist Andrew Rutland and his agreement to surrender his medical license. LifeNews has more details. A little over a year ago he was ordered to stop providing abortions because his negligent actions led to the death of 30-year-old Ying Chen.

A New York woman has pleaded guilty to assault after she tricked her husband's mistress into taking an abortion drug.
Kisha Jones, 40, faces up to four years in jail for trying to forcibly abort the fetus of Monique Hunter, who was having an affair with Jones' husband Anthony in 2009, her defense attorney Barry Turner said.

Jones telephoned Hunter pretending to be calling from her doctor's office and told the woman she needed to take a pill called Cytocec. Jones faked a prescription and sent it to a local pharmacy, the attorney said.

Hunter took the pill, which induced early labor but did not trigger an abortion, he said.

The baby was born prematurely but is in good health, he said.

A Maryland legislator has introduced a bill to prevent interstate abortions after learning of Stephen Brigham's New Jersey to Maryland abortion caravan.

Just a reminder about how out-of-step the U.S. is on abortion with the rest of the world. Norway is considering removing rules which prevent women from getting abortions between 12-16 weeks unless they apply to a tribunal for permission.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life Links 1/26/11

At the Philly Post, Morgan Zalot (who describes herself as being "100 percent pro-choice") examines Kermit Gosnell's abortion business and asks "What About the Mothers?"
As Philadelphians are captivated with the gory details about Kermit Gosnell’s West Philly “abortion clinic,” I find myself with one persistent thought: With an Infant Safe Haven law in place in Pennsylvania, some of the women, mostly viewed as Gosnell’s victims, are just as guilty as the alleged baby butcher himself.

Infant Safe Haven laws, or “Baby Moses laws,” date back to 1999, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The laws allow parents (in some states, just the mother) to surrender their newborns at a designated site without consequence if they are unable to keep the baby. In Pennsylvania, parents can surrender an infant to a hospital or health care facility up to one month after birth, and all they’re asked to provide is some medical history information.

Women who knowingly procured the murders of their babies – the ones carried almost to term, delivered, then brutally killed with scissors – at Gosnell’s “clinic,” then, have no real excuse for doing what they did. In those cases where mothers went willingly, knowing what would happen at Gosnell’s practice, the babies are the victims. The women aren’t.

The Philadelphia Daily News notes the most common problems at the 14 other Pennsylvania abortion clinic who were ordered to make corrections.
The most common recent deficiencies at the other abortion clinics, according to records obtained by the Associated Press, were failures to properly report medical conditions that qualify as "serious events" and not keeping resuscitation equipment readily available.

On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke at a prolife rally in New Jersey.
"What I encourage all of you to do is what I will continue to do, which is to speak calmly and clearly and forthrightly for the idea that this is an issue whose time has come," Christie said.

Christie told the crowd that he has not always been anti-abortion. It wasn’t until his wife Mary Pat Christie became pregnant with their daughter Sarah, who is 14, that he changed his position.

"It was at that moment that it became clear to me that being on the sidelines on that issue was not something that I could live with," Christie said. "That child is a life which deserves protection."
This led the Star-Ledger editorial board to wet their collective pants.

At the FRCBlog, Rob Schwarzwalder points out the contradictions in President Obama's statement on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
On the other hand, Mr. Obama says he remains “committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.”

My question: Why? If abortion is a morally neutral and even beneficial choice (gotta fulfill those dreams, right?), why promote alternatives to it? The rhetorical landscape of the President’s statement is replete with the presupposition that personal choice is the supreme good, meaning that abortion and adoption are merely achromatic options on the palette of ethical choices.

Additionally, if choice is the summum bonum, why be “committed” to alternatives to one of those choices whose exercise involves an activity — the destruction of a life — fundamentally contrary to all the others? The self-contradiction is transparent, startlingly so.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2/3 of Pennsylvania abortion clinics ordered to correct problems

After finally inspecting abortion clinics for the first time in 15 years, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has ordered 14 of 22 abortion clinics to correct problems found during inspections.
The state health department has now ordered corrections at clinics in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown, East Liberty, Upland, York, West Chester, Harrisburg, Reading, Norristown and Warminster.
When I get some more time, I'll check how many of these clinics are NAF members.

Life Links 1/25/11

AUL's Clark Forsythe discusses how Roe v. Wade and federal courts have made it difficult to regulate abortion clinics.
Because the Justices who decided Roe foolishly believed that abortion had few risks and that doctors should have complete discretion to decide how to do abortions in the first trimester, they basically said that state and local officials can’t regulate in the first trimester, when 90 percent of abortions are done, and that they can try in the second trimester—if they dare.

But the Justices then empowered the federal courts and attorneys for abortion providers to thwart every effort by public health officials to regulate. Federal courts across the country spent the next decade implementing that edict, and by the end of the 1980s, the federal courts had struck down attempts by Chicago and many other cities to regulate clinics in the first trimester. As Edward F. King, the Deputy Director of the Chicago Medical Society told the Chicago Sun Times in 1978, “The courts very effectively knocked the Department of Health out of the picture.

We’re not even entitled to cross the threshold of these clinics.”

He doesn't sound too positive about Gosnell's case leading to any kind of permanent change.
If the history of the past 38 years is replayed in Philadelphia, as it has been in Chicago and other major cities, the current furor will die down, some legislative body might pass new regulations, the ACLU or the Center for Reproductive Rights will file suit, the federal courts will strike down the regulations, the state will use tax dollars to pay attorneys fees to the clinics, the papers will turn a blind eye, and the case will never get to the Justices.

Planned Parenthood is seeking an FBI investigation after at least 12 of its clinics were visited by individuals claiming to be part of a sex-trafficking ring. They believe that James O'Keefe was one of the individuals and think Live Action may be behind these visits.
Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man's assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.

However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists.

"Once inside, these people have recorded `undercover' videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos," she wrote. "This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be firmly condemned."

William Saletan is still trying to get likeminded pro-choicers to answer basic questions about late-term abortions. He also slaps down the "all late-term abortions are for medical reasons" meme.
We don't have solid data on elective abortions late in the second trimester, much less the third, but we do have well-informed estimates concerning so-called "partial-birth" abortions. I'm one of many journalists who bought the initial pro-choice claim that these abortions were mostly for medical reasons. Investigative reports subsequently debunked this claim and corroborated the confession of Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, that "in the vast majority of cases" the patient was "a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along."

The Gosnell grand jury report provides no evidence that women who came to him for post-viability abortions did so for medical reasons. On the contrary, the report indicates he was indiscriminate: One of his employees testified that "she rarely, if ever, saw Gosnell decline to do a procedure because a woman was too far along." And the only abortion on which the report offers evidence either way seems to have been elective.
Jill Filipovic takes a stab and says that fetal viability is a "fair place" to limit abortion yet she writes any cut-off time is "somewhat arbitrary." She never seems to think very deeply about why a woman's autonomy should be placed second to the child's life at viability. It's like she would probably prefer it wasn't but she's kinda/sorta okay if it is.

It's so weird to me how some pro-choicers can shout from the mountaintops about a woman's autonomy for 20-week abortions yet barely make a defiant peep about the same righteous autonomy for abortions which occur a mere 5 weeks later.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Did Pennsylvania's prolife laws force women to go to Gosnell?

That's what Amanda Marcotte alleges in a recent piece on the RH Reality Check blog in which she blames the Philadelphia Horror on "anti-choice irresponsibility" along with making a motherload of other unsupported claims.

Apparently, not providing tax dollars for abortions is what allows clinics like Gosnell's to thrive. It's not pro-choice governors concerned that inspecting clinics would lead to less access, it's not an array of lazy, apathetic government bureaucrats.

Nope, it's a lack of free abortions.

Amanda's evidence for this.....well.... let's just say evidence isn't Marcotte's strong suit. I guess this is the closest thing to a case she makes:
Considering that Pennsylvania is one of the least welcoming states for women and their reproductive health, it’s actually pretty unsurprising that a dirty operator would set up shop there. There is, after all, a huge customer base of women who have so many legal and financial obstacles in their way to getting an abortion that they’re desperate enough to go to him.

If this is the case, then you'd think states which don't have a lot of prolife laws and allow tax dollars to pay for abortions would be completely free of Gosnell-type abortionists? Right?

The problem with this is that Steven Brigham, a Gosnell-type abortionist, operated for years in New Jersey and Maryland until he recently got busted after botching a late-term abortion. Brigham, like Gosnell, frequently would perform abortions on post-viable children.

Both states allow tax dollars to pay for abortions.

New Jersey recently got an A- from NARAL while Maryland got an A.

Interestingly, I was unable to find a single Marcotte commentary on Steven Brigham and how his actions were the fault of "anti-choice irresponsibility."

Women who went to abortionist Kermit Gosnell speak out

The Associated Press and Philadelphia Daily News have articles on women who obtained abortions from Kermit Gosnell.

Of note, according to the AP story, Karnamaya Mongar, the woman Gosnell recently killed, was referred to Gosnell by an abortion clinic in Virginia.
Mongar was referred to Gosnell's clinic in the city's impoverished Mantua section by a clinic in Virginia that did not do second-trimester abortions.
I'm left to wonder which clinic that was and how many times had they referred women to Gosnell.

The AP story also notes Gosnell and P.Z. Myers share the same opinion about killing infants who survive abortions by severing their spinal cords. They don't think it should be a crime.
Gosnell, at his arraignment Thursday, said he did not understand why he was being charged with eight counts of murder.

"I understand the one count, because a patient died, but I didn't understand the seven counts," he told a magistrate.

The Daily News story reveals that Gosnell didn't have a problem with forced abortion.
FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Robyn Reid didn't want an abortion. But when her grandmother forcibly took her to an abortion clinic one wintry day in 1998, Reid figured she'd just tell the doctor her wishes and then sneak away.

Instead, Kermit Gosnell barked: "I don't have time for this!" He then ripped off her clothes, spanked her, wrestled her onto a dirty surgical stretcher, tied her flailing arms and legs down and pumped sedatives into her until she quit screaming and lost consciousness, she told the Daily News yesterday.

Reid tried to find someone to help her report Gosnell but abortion hotlines apparently didn't provide any help.
Reid said she tried to report Gosnell.

"I called all kinds of 1-800 numbers, abortion hot lines. Not one person I talked to could give me any advice on what to do about the doctor," said Reid, now 28, of Northeast Philadelphia. "I was 15; I didn't know what else to do."


The National Review editors on abortionist Kermit Gosnell and post-birth killings:
We don’t know that Gosnell has closely followed the Supreme Court’s opinions or the president’s statements. We can say that his actions perfect the logic of the mainstream of the pro-choice movement. He has followed premises shared by the president and by four Supreme Court justices to their unavoidable conclusion.

Life Links 1/24/11

Joe Carter notes the latest P.Z. Myers' abortion post in which Myers writes that he sees "meat" when he looks at pictures of dead babies.

Everysaturdaymorning, the blog of abortion clinic escort attempts to answer what "choice" means.
Jill Stanick wants to ask what does choice really mean. I think it means public funding of abortions at 6 weeks, at 12 weeks at 20 weeks, at 24 weeks.

Why not 28 weeks? Or 32 weeks? Or 36? We aren't told. Apparently a woman's choice ends at 24 weeks for some reason. Why isn't "choice" celebrated past 24 weeks? Does a woman suddenly lose the ability to "decide what's best for her and her family" when she's 24 weeks pregnant?

In the comments section (at 9:31:21 on January 20) of one of her DoubleX posts, Amanda Marcotte shares how evidence isn't something she likes to deal with. Instead, her "moral compass" teaches her that all late-term abortions must be life-of-the-mother/fetal anomaly abortions.
My moral compass tells me women are human beings. Therefore, they behave like human beings, and if they want to terminate a pregnancy by choice, they will do so as early as possible.

Christina at Real Choice is working on creating a wiki for abortionist Kermit Gosnell's crimes.

National Abortion Federation attempts to defends itself regarding abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Here's a statement which the National Abortion Federation sent to its members discussing the case of abortionist Kermit Gosnell and attempting to defend themselves. President Vicki Saporta writes,
The recent arrest of a Philadelphia doctor and his associates has made national headlines and led some women to ask how they can be sure they are choosing a quality abortion provider.

Although stories like this get a lot of media coverage, it’s important that you understand that this particular facility in Philadelphia is an outlier and not typical of the high-quality abortion care provided by NAF members.

The doctor in question, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, was NOT a NAF member. As the Grand Jury Report in this case notes, Gosnell applied for NAF membership in late 2009, but his application was rejected because his facility did not meet NAF’s standards for quality care.
Gosnell wasn't a NAF member but the grand jury report reveals that he did work 1 day a week at a NAF member clinic. Saporta never mentions this or that the NAF reviewer never went to authorities with the dreadful conditions in Gosnell's clinic despite saying it was the worst clinic she'd ever seen.

President Obama committed to protecting abortion

Here's President Barack Obama's statement on the 38 anniversary of Roe v. Wade:
“Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
I'm not sure it's wise to claim that Roe protects women's health the week an abortionist was arrested for killing a woman.

President Obama also apparently believes wholeheartedly that women can't have the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as men unless they have the right to have their unborn children killed.

Watch the ProLifeCon online

You can watch the ProLifeCon live online now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pro-choice delusions on Gosnell's clinic

At Feministe, Jill Filipovic has some more pro-choice delusions regarding Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic.
The Gosnell case shows us the worst of what happens when abortion isn’t accessible. Gosnell’s “clinic” was nothing short of a house of horrors, and he preyed upon women who couldn’t get abortions anywhere else or who were unfamiliar with the American medical system — poor women, immigrants, minors.
Wrong. Fears about access to abortion is what partly caused these horrors. Jill apparently still hasn't taken the time to read the grand jury report and learn that the reason Gosnell's clinic wasn't inspected in 15 years was partly because pro-choice governors Ridge and Rendell created and kept in place policies encouraging the DOH to avoid inspecting abortion clinics. They did this because they had concerns about "barriers" to abortion. Gosnell's case shows us what happens when abortion isn't regulated.

Second, abortion is quite accessible in Philadelphia. Google "philadelphia abortion" and you'll find (on the map to the right of your screen) what I believe are at least 3 abortion clinics within a 15 minute drive of Gosnell's clinic. It's not like there weren't other clinics in the area.

Third, while Gosnell was a lazy, inept abortionist working in horrible conditions who didn't value the lives of women or children, I don't think "prey" is the right word for what he did. He wasn't stalking women or following them around town. These women and girls sought out his services because he was cheap and because he was willing to break the law.

For some reason, pro-choicers think the answer to this problem is less laws.
You’ll hear “abortion is bad” without any recognition that outlawing abortion would have done absolutely nothing to help the women and babies who died or suffered in Gosnell’s care.
What? Well, if abortion was outlawed and policed then maybe some of the complaints about Gosnell's clinic would have been followed up on instead of being brushed under the rug because pro-choice politicians in Pennsylvania didn't want to create barriers to access. Maybe if abortion was outlawed, the physicians who treated the women injured by Gosnell wouldn't have failed to report the injuries he caused.

Should some charges against Gosnell be dropped?

That'a what William Saletan asks a variety of no-limits abortion advocates.
The question for Furedi, Berer, Yanow, Herold, and anyone else who asserts an indefinite right to choose is whether this part of the indictment should be dropped. You can argue that what Gosnell did wasn't conventional abortion—he routinely delivered the babies before slitting their necks—but the 33 proposed charges involving the Abortion Control Act have nothing to do with that. Those charges pertain strictly to a time limit: performing abortions beyond 24 weeks. Should Gosnell be prosecuted for violating that limit? Is it OK to outlaw abortions at 28, 30, or 32 weeks? Or is drawing such a line an unacceptable breach of women's autonomy?

Throwing Gosnell in jail won't solve the problem. The women who came to him at 26, 28, or 30 weeks will show up somewhere else. And if you won't say no to them, you will have to say yes.


Michelle Malkin on abortionist Kermit Gosnell and the abortion industry:
Deadly indifference to protecting life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence – it’s at the core of it. The Philadelphia Horror is no anomaly. It’s the logical, blood-curdling consequence of an evil, eugenics-rooted enterprise wrapped in feminist clothing.

What does Jill Filipovic know about Kermit Gosnell's late-term abortion practice?

Next to nothing.

Instead of taking the time to learn something about the case (like by maybe reading some of the grand jury report) and the hundreds viable infants who were slaughtered and women who were maimed for years at Gosnell's clinic, she ignorantly assumes the numerous instances of post 24-week abortions were all for fetal anomalies.
Also, women don’t get late-term abortions for fun. Seriously. No one is like, “I think I will continue this pregnancy for as long as legally possible before I undergo an invasive medical procedure that is rendered longer, more expensive, and more complicated because I waited six months to have it.” No. It’s actually more like, “I really wanted this baby but now it turns out that there’s a fetal abnormality incompatible with life, and if I continue this pregnancy I risk my own health and/or life to give birth to a baby that either will not live or will only live in extreme pain for a very short while.” Fun stuff like that.
How can people be this foolish? It's like there are all these pro-choice people who have convinced themselves (based solely on the testimony of a few) that all women looking for post-24 week abortions do so because of fetal anomalies or life of the mother.

Live in reality, Jill. Some people who get pregnant want to have their child aborted after 24 weeks for other reasons than fetal anomaly or life/health of the mother. For example, it seems clear that one of murders Gosnell is charged with (Baby Boy A) was the case of a teenager who hid the pregnancy from her family until she was past 30 weeks.

Or the case of anonymous patient of Gosnell's noted in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article.
A 21-year-old neighbor who declined to give her name said she was 61/2 months pregnant when she visited Gosnell, paying him $1,300 in cash for an abortion completed in the middle of the night. She was 16, naive, and was never told that her abortion was illegal under Pennsylvania law, she said.

Gosnell killed hundreds of viable, post 24-week children. Hundreds. And it's not like doctors were referring patients to him or he had a huge advertising budget. Women and girls who wanted to kill their viable unborn children searched him out and found him because he was one of the few abortionists who would do it. But from the case of abortionist Steve Brigham, we know that he wasn't the even the only one in Pennsylvania to offer such services.

What's really noteworthy is that Jill is certain that killing born breathing infants is a crime Gosnell should be punished for. She's dead certain what Gosnell did was wrong.

Yet if Gosnell wasn't so lazy and had used a different technique (say the one used by hero abortionist George Tiller) and killed the children while they were in the womb and before they were born, she'd consider that a perfectly moral and legal procedure.

That is the reality thoughtful pro-choice people struggle with. Unfortunately, Jill isn't one of those people.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life Links 1/20/11

Republican have designated the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" as H.R. 3.
The first bill, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, seeks to establish a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal subsidies for abortion and for healthcare plans that cover abortion. It would make permanent the so-called Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding but must currently be reintroduced every year.

Firestorm ahead: Rick Santurom is discussing Barack Obama's race and abortion.
"The question is -- and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer -- is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no," Santorum said in the interview, which was posted online Wednesday. "Well if that person, human life is not a person, then, I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'"

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto cites abortion as the reason for deranged hatred of Sarah Palin.
To the extent that "feminism" remains controversial, it is because of the position it takes on abortion: not just that a woman should have the "right to choose," but that this is a matter over which reasonable people cannot disagree--that to favor any limitations on the right to abortion, or even to acknowledge that abortion is morally problematic, is to deny the basic dignity of women.

To a woman who has internalized this point of view, Sarah Palin's opposition to abortion rights is a personal affront, and a deep one. It doesn't help that Palin lives by her beliefs. To the contrary, it intensifies the offense.

Blogger P.Z. Myers shows a high degree of thoughtlessness (even more than usual) when he writes that he doesn't think abortionist Kermit Gosnell should be charged with murdering the infants who survived abortion attempts. He's scared it might open the door to charging other abortionists who perform late-term abortions.
He has also been charged with the murders of seven babies, and there I have to disagree. There has to be a difference in degree, or the mothers of those infants would also have to be charged as collaborators (they were all willing volunteers for this medical procedure, and they knew the result would be termination of their pregnancy). They haven't, and they shouldn't. Much noise is being made about the "horrific" killings, but late term abortions, even the ones done in clean, properly maintained facilities with well-trained personnel, are always necessarily bloody and unpleasant affairs, like most surgeries. The important word there is "necessary". Late term abortions should be carried out when it is essential for the life and health of the woman, who is the most important participant in these circumstances, and opening the door to accusing doctors who perform necessary operations as murder is a dangerous precedent.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on abortionist Kermit Gosnell's grand jury report.
Gosnell killed "hundreds" of babies and at least two women during abortions from 1979 to last year at his Women's Medical Society at 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue, according to the grand jury. Further, he and his unlicensed, unskilled staff overdosed patients with drugs, perforated their wombs and bowels, and spread venereal disease by using unsterilized equipment, the report said.....

Williams said he might seek the death penalty for Gosnell in the murders of seven babies born alive and then killed.

"My comprehension of the English language doesn't and cannot adequately describe the barbaric nature of Dr. Gosnell and the ghoulish manner in which he 'trained' the unlicensed, uneducated individuals who worked there," Williams said.
They also have a video of the press conference announcing the charges , a report about the inside of the abortion clinic, and the thoughts of an ex-patient.

Grand jury "bewildered" that only abortion clinics weren't monitored

Page 160-165 of the Grand Jury Report on abortionist Kermit Gosnell reveals the grand jury was "bewildered" by answers from Pennsylvania Department of Health attorneys about why abortion clinics weren't inspected like other ambulatory surgical facilities.

The Grand Jury asked several DOH employees, attorneys as well as those charged with overseeing abortion facilities, why the department does not treat abortion clinics as ASFs when the language of the Health Care Facilities Acts is so clear. Their unsatisfactory answers left us bewildered.

The two attorneys closest to the issue – Senior Counsel Kenneth Brody, who advises the Division of Home Health, which currently oversees abortion clinics; and Senior Counsel James Steele, who advises the division that oversees ambulatory surgical facilities – both testified that they believe that abortion clinics such as Gosnell's fit within the law's definition of an ambulatory surgical facility. Their boss, Chief Counsel Christine Dutton, refused to acknowledge that the ASF definition would cover abortion clinics, but could not explain why it did not. She said she "would have to research that to determine if that were the case."


It was clear to us after hearing these witnesses testify that the decisions not to inspect abortion clinics or to license them as ASFs were not based on any serious interpretation of statutes or legal research. These lawyers were simply twisting and reinterpreting the law to explain policy decisions that changed with administrations, even though the laws did not......

That act gives DOH all the power it needs to assure safe abortion clinics. Yet, instead of applying the law as it is written, and counseling DOH to license abortion clinics as ASFs, these lawyers have used illogical arguments to evade the Health Care Facilities Act. They have insisted that a criminal statute, the Abortion Control Act, provides DOH's only authority to protect the health and safety of women and premature infants aborted alive within abortion clinics. Essentially, they have tied their own hands and now complain that they are powerless.

Fear of less access to abortion clinics led to no inspections

Pages 147-149 of the Grand Jury Report on abortion Kermit Gosnell gets to the heart of why his clinic wasn't inspected by authorities.
Staloski blamed the decision to abandon supposedly annual inspections of abortion clinics on DOH lawyers, who, she said, changed their legal opinions and advice to suit the policy preferences of different governors. Under Governor Robert Casey, she said, the department inspected abortion facilities annually. Yet, when Governor Tom Ridge came in, the attorneys interpreted the same regulations that had permitted annual inspections for years to no longer authorize those inspections. Then, only complaint driven inspections supposedly were authorized. Staloski said that DOH’s policy during Governor Ridge’s administration was motivated by a desire not to be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

Brody confirmed some of what Staloski told the Grand Jury. He described a meeting of high-level government officials in 1999 at which a decision was made not to accept a recommendation to reinstitute regular inspections of abortion clinics. The reasoning, as Brody recalled, was: “there was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [the standards for getting patients out by stretcher or wheelchair in an emergency], and then there would be less abortion facilities, less access to women to have an abortion."


Nevertheless, the position of DOH remained the same after Edward Rendell became governor. Using the legally faulty excuse that the department lacked the authority to inspect abortion clinics, Staloski left them unmonitored, presumably with the knowledge and blessing of her bosses, Deputy Secretary Stacy Mitchell and a succession of Secretaries of Health. The department continued its do-nothing policy until 2010, when media attention surrounding the raid of the Gosnell clinic exposed the results of years of hands-off “oversight.”


Moreover, even if Staloski was instructed not to conduct regular, annual inspections, that does not explain why she failed to order inspections when complaints were received. It is clear to us that she was made aware, numerous times, that serious incidents had occurred at Gosnell’s clinic. These incidents, which evidenced alarming as well as illegal long-standing patterns of behavior, warranted investigation. Yet, in all the years she worked at the department, Staloski never ordered even one inspection.

Gosnell also worked part-time at NAF certified clinic

Page 41 of the Grand Jury Report on abortionist Kermit Gosnell reveals that Gosnell worked one day a week at Atlantic Women's Services, an abortion clinic in Delaware which is certified by the National Abortion Federation (the NAF page calls it Atlantic Women's Medical Center).

Grand Jury Report on Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

I've been reading the overview of the Report of the Grand Jury in the case against abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

It's horrifying. Over the years Gosnell probably killed hundreds of infants who survived abortions but took the records home and destroyed them.
Over the years, there were hundreds of “snippings.” Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the “snipping” was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff. But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all.

Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files. Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant – seven and a half months – when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could walk me to the bus stop.” Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times.
Numerous women were butchered.
One woman, for example, was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus. Relatives who came to pick her up were refused entry into the building; they had to threaten to call the police.
They eventually found her inside, bleeding and incoherent, and transported her to the hospital, where doctors had to remove almost half a foot of her intestines.

On another occasion, Gosnell simply sent a patient home, after keeping her mother waiting for hours, without telling either of them that she still had fetal parts inside her. Gosnell insisted she was fine, even after signs of serious infection set in over the next several days. By the time her mother got her to the emergency room, she was unconscious and near death.

Who's to blame for this man being able to stay in business for decades?

Pro-choicers like RH Reality Check's Amie Newman and Rob from the Abortion Gang have already pointed the finger at "stigma" and lack of access to abortion "care."

What kind of person looks at the horrible things that can happen to women and children at an unregulated abortion clinic and thinks "this proves we need less regulations"?

The Grand Jury report (which Newman discusses parts of but doesn't link to for some reason) completely contracts their assertions. It shares that Gosnell's clinic was able to stay open for so long in spite of numerous complaints because pro-choice politicians and officials didn't want to put up barriers to abortions.
But at least the department had been doing something up to that point, however ineffectual. After 1993, even that pro forma effort came to an end. Not because of administrative ennui, although there had been plenty. Instead, the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

The report also notes how Gosnell attempted to get admitted to the National Abortion Federation after his incompetence killed Karnamaya Mongar (the woman he is charged with killing). He was rejected but the NAF rep. apparently never told authorities about the horrible conditions.
So too with the National Abortion Federation. NAF is an association of abortion providers that upholds the strictest health and legal standards for its members. Gosnell, bizarrely, applied for admission shortly after Karnamaya Mongar’s death. Despite his various efforts to fool her, the evaluator from NAF readily noted that records were not properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused. It was the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected. Of course, she rejected Gosnell’s application. She just never told anyone in authority about all the horrible, dangerous things she had seen.

The moral of this story is not "stigma leads women to bad abortionists."

The moral is that when we allow the dehumanization of some vulnerable human beings, we shouldn't be surprised when some people in power start dehumanizing other vulnerable human beings when its to their advantage.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell charged with killing woman and 7 infants

It's taken nearly a year but infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been arrested and charged with killing a woman in a botched abortion and killing seven infants by severing their spinal cords with scissors. His wife and 8 employees have also been arrested and charged with various crimes.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has the gory details.
"I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic," Williams said. "But as district attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law."

"A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law," the DA said.

Also charged were:

Lynda Williams, 42, of Wilmington. Third-degree murder in death of the patient and murder in the death of live infant.

Sherry West, 51, of Newark, Del. Third-degree murder in the death of the patient, performing illegal abortions, conspiracy, racketeering, tampering with records, hindering prosecution, obstructing administration of law and other related offenses.

Adrienne Moton, 33, of Upper Darby, Pa. Murder for the death of a live infant, conspiracy and racketeering.

Steven Massof, 48, of Pittsburgh. Murder for the deaths of two viable babies born alive, conspiracy, theft by deception, racketeering and other related charges.

Elizabeth Hampton, 51, of the 5000 block of Arch Street, Philadelphia. Gosnell's sister-in-law, she is charged with obstruction, hindering prosecution and perjury,

Eileen O'Neill, 54, of Phoenixville. A medical school graduate who worked as doctor at the clinic without a license or certification, she is charged with theft by deception, conspiracy, racketeering and perjury.

Tina Baldwin, of South 63rd Street, Philadelphia. An unlicensed worker, she is charged with racketeering, conspiracy, and corruption of a minor fir allegedlly allowing her 15-year-old daughter to administer anesthesia to patients.

Pearl Gosnell, 49, of Philadelphia. Gosnell's wife, she is chargd with performing abortion at 24 or more weeks, conspiracy and other related offenses.

Maddline Joe, 53, of the 800 block of Atwood Road, Philadelphia. The office manager she is charged with conspiracy.

Life Links 1/19/11

Randall Terry is supposedly planning to run against President Obama in the 2012 Democratic presidential primary so he can run television ad featuring images of aborted children.
While TV networks occasionally reject ads based on controversial or graphic content, the Federal Communications Act requires broadcasters to provide legally qualified political candidates fair access to ad time and forbids them from censoring ads "in any way, or for any reason." Terry said he's confident he can raise the $2.5 million for a Super Bowl spot and that CBS would broadcast it.

The San Francisco Chronicle has another story on Planned Parenthood's efforts to take back its share of San Francisco's abortion business from its former affiliate.
The phones started ringing Tuesday at San Francisco's Planned Parenthood clinic for the first time since early September.....

Neither the San Francisco nor the Santa Rosa Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion services now, but both centers expect to start performing abortions sometime next month.....

Estes said Shasta Pacific's primary goal is to get full-service Planned Parenthood clinics in all of the four new counties it serves. In addition to the San Francisco and Santa Rosa sites, Planned Parenthood is set to open a clinic next month in Mill Valley and is scouting for sites in Ukiah in Mendocino County.

Thousands of people attended Washington State's annual March for Life.

A pharmacist in New York State recently pled guilty to a violation of the Abortion Control Act after he applied misoprostol to a woman who was pregnant with his child. One of my blog posts from April notes that he did this after the woman canceled an abortion appointment and slipped her the drugs on her birthday.
Tercero was charged by Sayre Police Officer Nathan Ross. Police charged that Tercero, a pharmacist, had applied misoprostol, a drug with abortifacient effects, on a Sayre woman who was pregnant with his child. The woman was not aware that Tercero was applying the drug.....
Oddly, the woman went on to marry him.
In the Tercero case, the mother of the unborn child later married the Defendant, Orbin Tercero. She advised us that she no longer wished to cooperate with the prosecution and wanted it terminated. She could be compelled to testify or the Commonwealth could use her prior testimony, but her attitude might have an impact on the case.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life Links 1/18/11

In the Wall Street Journal, William McGurn asks "Are babies better than abortion?"
So again the question: As a society, does this figure say anything about the choice between a baby and abortion? Even for those who believe the choice for an abortion belongs to a woman alone and ought to be unfettered by city, state or federal law, is there any ratio such a person would say is too high?

The question becomes even more compelling when broken down by race. For Hispanics, the abortion rate was 41.3%—i.e., more than double the rate for whites. For African-Americans the numbers are still more grim: For every 1,000 African-American live births in New York, there were 1,489 abortions.

These numbers can make Roe seem very distant. Years ago, Bill Clinton famously summed up the pro-choice argument as "safe, legal, and rare." What can the qualifier "rare" mean, however, unless it means that in some fundamental sense, a baby is better than an abortion?

In the New York Post, Michael Benjamin (a just retired member of the state Assembly with a pro-choice voting record) notes how the news of New York City's incredibly high abortion rate has been mostly ignored.
Last week, Schools Chancellor Cathie Black's offhand joke about how birth control would resolve school overcrowding elicited a cascade of angry responses flooding news outlets, blogs and Twitter. Before the sun was high in the sky, the usual suspects stood in front of the microphones and sat in front of their keyboards denouncing Black (who has now apologized).

Earlier in the month, news of some truly horrifying health statistics vanished almost without a peep.

First, Archbishop Timothy Dolan and several clergy leaders held a news conference to decry the high abortion rate in New York City. The most recent data are for 2009 -- when 41 percent of pregnancies ended in abortion.....

It is indeed heartbreaking that 60 percent of all unborn African-American babies are aborted.

Just think about it: Black women in our city have three abortions for every two live births. The Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation are giving "fist bumps" all around.

In California, Planned Parenthood has plans to open up a facility in Redwood City.
"We don't have abortion as a service that we're initially providing," Linkin said, adding that the clinic later will "evaluate the need" for the pregnancy termination procedure.
More like "evaluate the local competition" (the former Planned Parenthood Golden Gate affiliate now called Golden Gate Community Health which has a clinic 10 miles away in San Mateo) and see if we can run them out of town.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Prolifers don't care about life birth" myth taken down

Helen Alvare, Greg Pfundstein, Matthew Schmitz and Ryan T. Anderson rightly call the oft-repeated talking point that "prolifers don't care about life after birth" what it is: "lazy slander."
In the United States there are some 2,300 affiliates of the three largest pregnancy resource center umbrella groups, Heartbeat International, CareNet, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Over 1.9 million American women take advantage of these services each year. Many stay at one of the 350 residential facilities for women and children operated by pro-life groups. In New York City alone, there are twenty-two centers serving 12,000 women a year. These centers provide services including pre-natal care, STI testing, STI treatment, ultrasound, childbirth classes, labor coaching, midwife services, lactation consultation, nutrition consulting, social work, abstinence education, parenting classes, material assistance, and post-abortion counseling.....

If pro-life Americans provide so many (often free) services to the poor and vulnerable—work easily discovered by any researcher or journalist with an Internet connection—why are they sometimes accused of caring only for life inside the womb? Quite possibly, it is the conviction of abortion advocates that “caring for the born” translates first and always into advocacy for government programs and funds. In other words, abortion advocates appear to conflate charitable works and civil society with government action. The pro-life movement does not. Rather, it takes up the work of assisting women and children and families, one fundraiser and hotline and billboard at a time.
I think that really hits the nail on the head. I can't imagine how many times I've read accusations on some pro-choicer's blog that this or that prolifer doesn't care about life after birth because he or she voted against the government providing some service. Who knows how much money or effort this prolifer has donated to help the poor or mothers in crisis but if they don't favor the government's providing the service then they're anti-life after birth. At least according to the Marcottes, Filipovics, Valentis of the world.

What's in there?

Justin Taylor shares how the Balloon Boy saga can help us think about abortion.
On October 15, 2009, Richard Heene released a large gray helium balloon that looked like a UFO from a 1950s movie, then called the authorities to report that his nine-year-old son, Falcon, was trapped inside. As the balloon floated some fifty miles across the Colorado sky, newsrooms across America sprang into action. People prayed. Emergency medical teams stood by. Police squads were mobilized. Denver International Airport was shut down. Several National Guard helicopters were in hot pursuit.

As the helium began to leak, the balloon eventually crashed in a field. Rescuers made a mad dash to lessen the blow, then to save the boy’s life—if he was still alive. As it turned out, there was no one inside the balloon! A manhunt was quickly organized, thinking that perhaps Falcon had fallen out earlier. But then came word that Falcon was safe and sound at home. He had been hiding—per his father’s instructions—in the family attic. He got sleepy, had fallen asleep, and awoke a few hours later to a media frenzy.

He went to sleep as Falcon and awoke as Balloon Boy.

This is not a chapter about balloons, hoaxes, and men who use their children as pawns to pitch a reality TV show. It’s a chapter about abortion—one of the most painful and politicized issues in our public discourse. So what exactly does the killing of a baby in the womb have to do with the boy in the balloon? I bring it up for one reason. It helps to focus our attention on a crucial question: what’s in there? If we believe that there is a human being within that balloon, we will stop at nothing to protect and to preserve that life. No amount of money or energy or equipment is too big: we must do everything we can to protect and preserve the life of a fellow human being in distress. Likewise, if we believe that what’s growing inside of a woman’s womb is a living human being, should we not think the same? If the balloon is merely filled with air, or if the womb is merely occupied with a clump of cells, then no action is needed. Knowing what’s inside makes all the difference in the world.

Life Links 1/17/11

An article at, which notes that three New Jersey Planned Parenthood affiliates may start doing abortions, provides more information about Planned Parenthood's new policy that it's affiliate must provide abortions.
The national group wants one abortion site operating in each of its 85 regions or affiliates by the end of 2013, David said. New Jersey has five affiliates, and two operate abortion clinics: The Central Jersey affiliate, at its Shrewsbury center in Monmouth County; and the Mercer County affiliate, at its Trenton and Hamilton facilities. That could mean three more abortion sites in the state, unless the affiliates convince the national office more are not needed.

NARAL's 2011 "Who Decides?" Report gives our nation a "D" with regards to abortion legislation. The report is dedicated to Janet Napolitano who vetoed prolife legislation when she was Arizona's governor. Too bad for NARAL, she didn't stay governor.
After Napolitano was nominated to serve as President Barack Obama's secretary of Homeland Security, her successor, anti-choice Jan Brewer (R), immediately released the flood of anti-choice legislation that Sec. Napolitano had held off. In just under two years in office, Gov. Brewer has managed to sign eight anti-choice bills.'s blog compares NARAL's state rankings with the Guttmacher Institute's state abortion rate data. Unsurprisingly, states with higher NARAL grades (and fewer prolife laws) tend to have higher abortion rates.

A car struck a prolife protester in Florida after a teenage driver took her eyes off the road. The protesters were protesting at the home of abortionist Phillip Waterman.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Life Links 1/14/11

The Iowa Board of Medicine has said that it will not sanction abortionist Susan Haskell for providing telemed abortions.
The Iowa Board of Medicine sent a letter this week to Operation Rescue, saying it would not sanction Dr. Susan Haskell, a Planned Parenthood physician who used the system. As is customary in such instances, the board did not explain its reasoning. “Although this may not be the outcome you were seeking, you can be assured that your complaint was investigated and the board reached its decision after full review of the investigative record,” the board’s executive director, Mark Bowden, wrote to the group.

The New York Times has picked up an article in the San Francisco Bay-Citizen about the after-abortion counseling group Exhale and their experience after the MTV's abortion special "No Easy Decision."
Baker said Exhale’s participation in “No Easy Decision” did not compromise its neutrality. “That’s the way the debate works: people suck you in, and the way they discredit you is by saying you’re one thing or another,” she said. “We’re not pro-choice. We’re very clear about that. Women’s feelings about abortion should not be politicized.”
"We're not pro-choice" but more than half of our national advisory council works for abortion clinics or pro-choice organizations. I'm left wondering why a supposedly neutral organization has a number of prominent pro-choice leaders on its board but not one prolifer. Hmmmmm.....

Planned Parenthood has filed a complaint against a pharmacist who apparently refused to fill a prescription for a drug used to control bleeding because the pharmacist believed the woman requiring the drug had an abortion.
Planned Parenthood officials said in the complaint that the pharmacist inquired if the patient needed the drug for post-abortion care. The nurse refused to answer the question based on confidentiality of health information.

According to Planned Parenthood, the pharmacist then stated that if the nurse practitioner did not disclose that information, she would not fill the prescription.

The upcoming movie Blue Valentine, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, will feature a scene at an abortion clinic where one of the main characters decides to have an abortion and then later changes her mind.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life Links 1/13/11

Both National Right to Life and Americans United for Life have analyzed the Guttmacher Institute's abortion report. Of note regarding the supposedly few abortionists who will perform abortions after 24 weeks,
The report also found at least 1,793 abortion "providers" in the United States. Significantly, among these, it found an increase in the number offering abortions after the midway point of pregnancy (generally considered 20 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period or LMP). Twenty-three percent offered abortions after 20 weeks LMP, compared to 20% in the 2005 report. Eleven percent offered abortions after 24 weeks LMP compared to 8% three years earlier.

Former abortion clinic director Linda Meek got 5 years probation for calling in a false bomb threat at the clinic where she worked. She also wrote fake threats to herself.
By February 2010 the report says Meek felt unbearable stress, which prompted her to write herself “threatening letters."

Vanderbilt University has changed the language in their nurse residency program application after the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit claiming the application seemed to indicate nurses would have to participate in abortions.
At issue was the fact that applicants to the nursing program's women's health track were asked to sign a letter acknowledging that they would be caring for women who are terminating their pregnancies.

The Alliance Defense Fund argued that the letter suggested residents would be required to participate in abortion procedures in violation of a federal law that says recipients of federal funds cannot require someone to perform or assist in abortions if it violates his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Vanderbilt denied the claim. Spokesman John Howser said Tuesday that the letter was meant only to inform applicants they would be expected to provide high-quality care to women receiving a variety of procedures, including abortions, and didn't mean to suggest residents would be required to participate or assist in the actual procedure.

"After consideration and discussion, we decided it would be helpful to clarify the language in the … application package," Howser said Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Abortions up slightly in 2008

According to the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood's former research arm) there were 1,212,350 abortions in 2008 compared to 1,206,200 in 2005.
After dropping for more than a decade, the U.S. abortion rate has begun to rise slightly, according to an extensive new survey of providers by the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute.

The increase was just 1%, to 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age in 2008, from 19.4 in 2005, the last year captured by the group's previous survey.....

The number of abortion providers remained virtually identical, at 1,793 in 2008 compared with 1,787 in 2005—the first survey since 1982 that showed no decline. The flat result partly reflected a fuller count of certain facilities in California that weren't captured in the 2005 total. Without them, there would have been a 3% drop-off.
Here's a PDF of the study.

The Washington Post has a quote from study author Rachel Jones showing how Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute plan on spinning these results.
"It's kind of a wake-up call that we need to increase access to contraceptives services so we can continue to prevent unintended pregnancies and the decline in abortions can continue again," she said.
Maybe it should go the other way.

For example, "Planned Parenthood's family planning funding has continued to increase over the last few years yet the reduction in unintended pregnancies and abortions has plateaued. That's a wake-up call that continuing to give hundreds of millions of dollars to America's top abortion provider isn't a very smart policy. The decline in abortion will be able to continue again once family planning dollars aren't being funneled to an organization which has a clear conflict of interest."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Life Links 1/11/11

At Public Discourse, Christopher Kaczor reviews a supposedly objective book about the abortion debate entitled "The Fetal Position" by Chris Meyers and finds its selection of prolife arguments to be less than objective.
Unfortunately, The Fetal Position fails in its stated goal because it caricatures the most common defenses of the pro-life view. Rather than address the philosophical arguments that all human beings prior to birth should be protected by law and welcomed in life, Meyers misconstrues the mainstream pro-life position as if it were based on a theological belief in the soul......

Finally, Meyers’s book has an uneven quality. Some sections reflect on sophisticated philosophical positions such as various conceptions of the human soul and the implications of these positions for the moral status of unborn human life. Other parts of The Fetal Position extensively critique sophomoric defenses of the pro-life view presented by Meyers’s students, such as that forbidding abortion is the just punishment for women who have engaged in illicit sexual behavior. A rational approach to this debate must engage the best arguments on the opposing side, not caricatures. The contemporary discussion would have been enriched by an accessible, reasonable survey of the various positions in the abortion debate, but this book does not provide that service. By not engaging the best arguments to the contrary, The Fetal Position neither presents both sides fairly nor justifies its own implicit defense of abortion.

SecularProlife's blog writes about an IVF sex-selection case in Australia where a couple aborted twin boys conceived via IVF because they wanted a girl. The couple now wants to select the gender of the next group of embryos they implant except that's illegal in Australia so they might come to the U.S. The couple had a little girl who died a few days after being born.

MercatorNet covers the release of Abby Johnson's book unPlanned.
Abby Johnson’s story spread rapidly back when she went from being a leader in Planned Parenthood and one of their clinic directors, to a committed pro-life advocate, in short order. After witnessing the horrifying sight of one abortion on an ultrasound screen. Now, she tells her compelling and dramatic story in unPlanned, a new book about to be released. Great title, heart-stopping drama. It should certainly be a debate changer.

The blame game

The RH Reality Check's Jodi Jacobson is sadly blaming the Tuscon shootings on political rhetoric.
Clearly, the person immediately responsible for the deaths and injuries is Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old who took a gun to Giffords constituent meet-and-greet in what is now clear was a premeditated act to kill Giffords. Indications are that Loughner, who is now in custody, is a mentally unstable young man who had at some point decided to assassinate Giffords, though full details of his history and his own thinking are yet to be evaluated.....

But we all know the problem is much deeper than one person.
We do? Hmmmm... That's a rather large assumption. Maybe all the fans of the RH Reality Check are of the belief that a young man with obvious mental health issues (a monetary system conspiracy theorist who also thought the government was trying to brainwash people by controlling grammar, etc.) was just a symptom of the underlying problems.

In fact, to some degree Loughner's mental health status is irrelevant because his actions did not occur in a vacuum. He is a perhaps deranged or schizophrenic individual who acted on his own but he is also a perhaps deranged individual whose actions were in fact suggested by a pathologically violent political discourse that actively uses and suggests the use of violence and weaponry as personal "remedies" to political dissatisfaction.
And perhaps it was violent video games. Perhaps it was violent music. Perhaps it was the fluoride in our water. I have no evidence for the above "perhaps" just like Jodi doesn't have a shred of evidence that Loughner's actions were "suggested by a pathologically violent political discourse that actively uses and suggests the use of violence...."

That's just the story she wants to sell to herself.

UPDATE: Here's Glenn Reynolds -
To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

I understand the desperation that Democrats must feel after taking a historic beating in the midterm elections and seeing the popularity of ObamaCare plummet while voters flee the party in droves. But those who purport to care about the health of our political community demonstrate precious little actual concern for America's political well-being when they seize on any pretext, however flimsy, to call their political opponents accomplices to murder.

Where is the decency in that?

Life Links 1/10/11

The Telegraph-Herald has a story on the possibility of telemed abortions coming to Dubuque, Iowa, after the merger of Planned Parenthood affiliates. While a PP spokeswoman says no decision has been made, the Telegraph Herald got its hands on a letter to PP donors which seems to indicate otherwise.
In the letter, June makes direct reference to the former CEO of Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa, Joe Lock.

"One of the natural concerns of any merger is about the people, particularly the leadership," June wrote. "Joe Lock and I have worked together as CEOs these past five years. In fact, it was Joe who sought us out to find a way to expand and provide telemedicine to clients of PPECI."

June went on to write that, "There is no doubt the troubled economy has affected many of our clients. We feel certain that through a newly merged affiliate, patients will benefit from the expanded services we will be able to provide."

Singapore-based TODAYonline features an article on the rising number of abortions in China.
"The moral outrage over having a child before marriage in our society is much stronger than the shame associated with abortion,'' said Ms Zhou Anqin, the manager at a clinic in Xi'an, which performs about 60 abortions each month, mostly on students aged 24 or younger.

The facility is one of five operated in China by Marie Stopes International, a non-profit group that runs clinics globally promoting safe abortions, HIV testing and other services. Marie Stopes frequently sees repeat customers such as Ms Zhang Jie, 22, who recently had her second abortion in as many years.

In an examination room, student Ms Nancy Yin, 20, looks away from the image on the machine: A nearly three-month-old foetus with arms, legs, and a fluttering heartbeat. Ms Yin and her boyfriend never used contraceptives because she "did not feel comfortable with it".......

The Chinese can be brutally frank when it comes to abortion. Beijing sociologist Li Yinhe noted that "people generally feel that before the actual birth, you don't yet have an actual person, so we have cases of induced abortion at seven and eight months along ... China has absolutely no need for the so-called 'right to life' argument, no need to introduce ideas about abortion as murder and so on.''

A woman in Malaysia recently died during an abortion.
According to the daily, she had either died of excessive bleeding or from lack of oxygen during the operation.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Life Links 1/7/11

Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal covered a gathering of religious leaders who called for a new effort to lower the abortion rate in New York City where 41% of pregnancies end in abortion. From the Times:
Archbishop Dolan said abortion statistics in New York indicated that it was unlikely that the practice would soon end. But, he added: “We have to tell people what is happening here. I’m frankly embarrassed to be a member of a community where 41 percent of pregnancies are terminated.”


The gathering of the religious leaders was coordinated by a 2-year-old organization called the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a nonprofit group financed privately by its president, Sean Fieler, an investment banker who supports religious and conservative causes. Mr. Fieler said the event was prompted by the release last month of city health department statistics showing a 41 percent rate of abortion overall in 2009, including a rate close to 60 percent for black women.

Dr. Drew has indicated that MTV's No Easy Decision abortion special made him uncomfortable.
“The topic makes me uncomfortable,” Pinsky admitted Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. “But the paradigm there is I felt the conversation was worth having. You have to let the conversation occur.”

Researchers at UC San Diego and the Scripps Research Institute have discovered that embryonic stem cell lines and induced pluripotent stem cells have more genetic abnormalities than other types of cells.
ES cells tended to have duplications in the genome, while iPS cells were more likely to have deletions. The scientists located specific regions in the genome where the abnormalities were likeliest to arise. In ES cells, the duplications were near pluripotency-associated genes -- the ones that allow the cells to turn into any other kind of cell in the body. In iPS cells, duplications involved cell proliferation genes, and deletions involved tumor suppressor genes.

The danger of such genetic abnormalities? They are often associated with cancers, said senior author Jeanne F. Loring, in a news release.

"We don't know yet what effects, if any, these genetic abnormalities will have on the outcome of basic research studies or clinical applications," said the study's lead author, UCSD professor Louise Laurent. "We need to find out."

Until they do, don't expect an explosion of ES- or iPS-based cures for disease.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Life Links 1/6/11

I just around to reading Ann Furendi's "A moral defence of late abortion" at Spiked Online. The essay was written in response to Frances Kissling's belief that maybe the pro-choice movement should be willing to discuss a rollback in when abortion is allowed. The end of Furendi's essay includes an appendix which lists the ages, gestational ages and reasons for abortion for 32 women who came to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service seeking abortions after 22 weeks gestation during month in 2008. Furendi thinks believes "that these 32 cases provide compelling evidence for why the time limit on abortion should not be reduced – even by as a little as two weeks." I think just the opposite. Tell me if you think this is "compelling evidence" for allowing the killing of unborn children mere weeks from becoming viable.

One women who was 23 weeks pregnant.
Has two children already and feels she just can't cope with a third. Delayed because she found the decision ‘really hard to make'.

A women who was 25 weeks pregnant (over the time limit in Great Britain) and was referred back to her doctor.
Knew she had not had period ‘for months' but ‘stuck [her] head in the sand' for some time before going to GP. Was not aware that there was a legal time limit on abortion so didn't feel the need to act although she knew she could not cope with a new baby and keep up the payments on her house.

There's been a mass long-term contraceptive failure in Great Britain. Implanon, a rod which is implanted in the arm and releases hormones and is supposed to work for 3 years, is coming under fire after hundreds of women have reported the contraceptive failed.
A lawyer revealed that many of the women affected had suffered ‘psychological difficulties', had miscarriages or decided to undergo abortions after the implants went wrong.

One woman who became pregnant and underwent an abortion said the trauma had led to her marriage ending.

The fiasco involving the implant, called Implanon, is one of the worst mass contraceptive failures to hit the NHS in living memory.

A total of 584 women who had the hormone-filled rod inserted in their arms have reported unwanted pregnancies to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency – the Government's drugs and medical devices watchdog.

But the total could be far higher, as many women may not have complained after becoming pregnant and either undergoing abortions or giving birth.

At ProWomanProLife, Jennifer Derwey questions the contraception industry.
The pipeline looks something like this: A projection of $14.5 billion in contraceptive revenue is made, companies push to produce, approve and market the next big drug, Bayer sends out a "Youth Truck" to assess the prospective customers and get Ugandan children familiar with the idea of prescription birth control (while women in the west see more and more ads), and Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes have their clinics, those philanthropic beacons of family planning, write the prescriptions. At what point are we going to realize that women's health may not be at the forefront of their priorities?

Authorities in Zambia have captured a man allegedly responsible for a botched abortion which led to the death a 19-year-old woman.
Mr Lungu said police investigations have so far revealed that Mututwa Mututwa allegedly tried to induce an abortion on the named girl of Meheba High School in the doctor's rest room at Solwezi General Hospital after normal working hours.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

When a mother's intentional pre-birth actions kill her post-birth child, is it murder?

Is it homicide if a woman tries to kill her unborn child while in the womb but the child is born and then later dies from her pre-birth actions? That's apparently what happened recently in Indianapolis when a mother ate rat poison a week before giving birth.
Police said Monday that the infant's death has been ruled a homicide due to poison.

The 34-year-old mother allegedly told friends she swallowed rat poison Dec. 23. Officer Kendale Adams says investigators believe it was intentional. He doesn't know how far along the woman's pregnancy was at the time.

The friends took the woman to a hospital in Anderson, and she was transferred to an Indianapolis hospital where she gave birth Friday.

The baby died Sunday.

Adams says the woman is in a psychiatric ward at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. The hospital declined to immediately release any information.

Adams says the woman could face murder or attempted feticide charges.
I'd be very interested to see how pro-choice individuals view this case since they typically hold that women can do whatever they want to their bodies. "My body, my choice," right? So if a woman wants to eat rat poison or take some abortifacient herb, that's the woman' choice.

Yet, what if that choice leads to the death of a human child post-birth?

Life Links 1/5/11

Jose Ruba provides Ruba's Law in response to individuals who quickly cite Godwin's law.
Often, the person citing Godwin’s Law never judges the merit of the argument or the comparison and uses the Law to not have to think about the claims made, simply assuming that the comparison is illegitimate. The only reason why the claims are considered illegitimate then is because others make Holocaust comparisons without merit or rationale.

Thus, when Godwin’s Law is invoked, Ruba’s Law can be invoked in response, to point out that citing Godwin’s Law does not actually refute the claims of those making the Holocaust comparison. Rather, it has simply become an excuse to not have to think about the comparison and to delegitimize the person making the comparison.

A doctor who works at a Catholic hospital in Virginia is under review because someone has complained that he also performs abortions at Planned Parenthood.
Dr. Richard Willard is an OB-GYN with an office on the fifth floor of the DePaul Medical Building.

There has been a complaint he is associated with Bon Secours Depaul Medical Center which is a Catholic Health Care Ministry while performing abortions at Planned Parenthood on Newtown Road.....

Willard did not return our phone call, but a similar concern was lodged against him in 2005, and he was investigated by an independent moral theologian who determined since the procedures did not occur on property, DePaul was within the Catholic moral teachings.

Pro-choice blogger Amanda Marcotte (language warning) again shows that she knows next to nothing about fetal development.
Fetuses have heartbeats, but so do brain dead people on life support and tissue grown in the lab---which are both closer to what a fetus pre-brain development is.
Does Amanda imagine that a human unborn child at 9 weeks (which is when the fetal period begins) doesn't have a brain?

The Belfast Telegram has an article on Sive McDonald, Ireland's smallest newborn.
“We were told babies don't survive outside the womb unless they are more than 24 weeks. Sive was 23 weeks and five days.”