Monday, October 31, 2011

Does a zip code = a neighborhood?

The Guttmacher Institute apparently thinks so. I came across this "Evidence Check" sheet (entitled "Claim that Most Abortion Clinics Are Located in Black Neighborhoods Is False") from them after reading a Time/Swampland blog post by Steven Gray.

In his post, Gray claims Herman Cain's assertion about Planned Parenthood attempting to put abortion clinics in black neighborhoods is false because a Guttmacher Institute says, "Sixty-three percent of abortion clinics are in neighborhoods where more than half the residents are white."

Ignoring Gray's obviously faulty equation between all abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, let's take a closer look at what the Guttmacher Institute (which Gray deceptively labels as "non-partisan") thinks neighborhoods are.
Neighborhood characteristics are based on information for each U.S. zip code from the 2000 decennial population census.
Maybe it's just me but I tend to think that there can be multiple neighborhoods in a zip code and that equating zip codes and neighborhoods is fallacious.

For example, one of the zip codes in the Grand Rapids area is 49506 (here's a web site which provides zip code maps). According to Zipskinny, this zip code is 73.3% white.

So by Guttmacher standards, there could be no "black neighborhoods" in this zip code, when there is a portion of this area (on the west side near Eastern and Franklin) where a majority of the residents are African-Americans.

Another example in the Grand Rapids area would be 49508. Again Zipskinny says the zip code is 74.7 white. There is an abortion clinic in this zip code, located at the corner of 32nd and Eastern. This abortion clinic is in a neighborhood which is likely predominately African-American (or at least close to it) but because the 49508 zip code includes more area which is mostly white, the zip code is also mostly white.

Instead of zip codes, maybe the Guttmacher Institute could have used county or state population information to decide whether any abortion clinics were in neighborhoods that were predominately African-American.

Discrimination for some but not others?

At the Abortion Gang blog, KushielsMoon is maddened by the story of a couple in the UK who aborted their child with Down Syndrome after a nurse and a consultant continuously pushed abortion on them. KushielsMoon's solution:
"The way to fix this is clear: stop discriminating against people with special needs. Instead, value those with special needs within our society."

But, wait. Don't the unborn happen to be human beings with special needs? And doesn't allowing their intentional destruction discriminate against them?

Overheard: Fred Barnes on the pro-choice movement

From his cover article in the Weekly Standard:
Look across the alley from the fifth floor office of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) in downtown Washington and you’ll see two placards. They’ve been posted on the window of the office of a labor union in the adjacent building—for the SBA crowd to see. One says “Stop the War on Women,” the other, “Don’t Take Away My Cancer Screenings.”

These are the response of Planned Parenthood and its allies to attacks on what PP and the abortion industry actually do. Abortion? Forget it. (PP says it mostly does medical tests, and abortions are a sideline.) The “A” word is almost never uttered now by anyone connected to the abortion industry, which claims merely to support “a woman’s right to choose.” Choose what? They don’t say. Their opponents aren’t “pro-lifers,” but anyone who is “anti-choice.”

The language gymnastics and euphemisms reflect the forlorn condition of the pro-choice flock. They’re worn out. Many are in despair. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Newsweek of her anguish as she watched last year’s March on Washington. “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young,” she said. “There are so many of them, and they are so young.” Today, zeal and confidence and perseverance in the abortion battle are all on the antiabortion side. “There are more pro-lifers now, and they’re more determined,” says Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Overheard - Pro-choice blogger: Women really can't accomplish much without abortion

"I think it's awfully hard for women to really accomplish much if they don't have full control over their reproductive capacities. That includes access to birth control, preventative services, and it also includes abortion."

-Jill Filipovic, blogger at Feministe, speaking on Today with Pat Kenny on October 25, 2011

UPDATE: Also of interest are the kind words Jill has for Feminists for Life when in the past she has written various times about how she doesn't think they are a real "feminist" organization.

Did meeting and getting to know Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster change her mind?

Life Links 10/28/11

The Daily O'Collegian, Oklahoma State's paper, has a piece by Temitope Akande who was planning on challenging the "ignorance and insensitivity" of a group displaying graphic images of abortion. His discussion with a prolife volunteer didn't make him prolife but it helped him think more clearly about the issue.
But after listening to John, I realized that dismissing a fetus as just a part of the woman's body is a very simplistic view; yes it is part of the woman, but it is also an independent life, an existence that is exactly where it is supposed to be. He also made a good point when he said the fact that people will do something anyway is not a good basis for public policy......

Finally, is it silly and a little hypocritical that a lot us are mad at the gruesome graphic photographs of aborted fetus being displayed on campus, but we are not equally appalled by the act that led to those photos?

Two of Kermit Gosnell's employees pled guilty yesterday to third-degree murder.
Andrea Moton, 34, admitted her involvement in the stabbing death of one late-term baby that she pulled from a toilet where it had been delivered.

Sherry West, 52, pleaded guilty in the February 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, a Bhutanese immigrant who was 19 weeks pregnant. Neither worker was trained or licensed for the work they did at the clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, authorities said......

Moton faces up to 120 years in prison. She was one of three employees who were so startled by the size of a nearly 30-week fetus allegedly born alive and killed that they each took pictures of the infant. Moton gave her cellphone photo to the FBI, the grand jury report said.

Kansas abortionists have filed suit against revised health department regulations. At first, the law had requirements for room size, which were much maligned by the pro-abort camp. Those requirements have been removed but the abortionists still don't want the revised regulations which prevent non-physicians from giving prescriptions, require abortion clinics to allow the health department to review their records and require an hour wait in recovery.

Dana Singiser, a key White House aide, has been hired as the Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations for Planned Parenthood.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life Links 10/27/11

Two of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's employees will plead guilty today for their roles in the botched abortion death of Karnamaya Mongar.
Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, are scheduled to plead guilty for contributing to deaths that occurred in the filthy, unlicensed West Philadelphia abortion clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 70.....

Moton, of Upper Darby, was to be tried for murder, conspiracy, racketeering and corruption related to the death of a viable baby born alive at the clinic. She was an unlicensed worker who routinely and illegally administered anesthesia to patients, the District Attorney's Office said at the time of her arrest.

West, of Newark, Del., was to be tried for third-degree murder in Mongar's death and related counts.

Part of North Carolina's informed consent law will take effect but their ultrasound requirement is being held up by a U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles
She said the North Carolina abortion law "goes well beyond" requirements that patients give informed consent to medical procedures. The ultrasound provision could compel "an unwilling speaker to deliver visual and spoken messages to a listener who is not listening or looking," the judge wrote.

Eagles said the provision is "likely to harm the psychological health of the very group the state purports to protect."

Ohio prolife groups are feuding.
Ohio Right to Life has been at odds with Faith2Action since its founder — activist Janet Folger Porter — returned to Ohio in January. She has been pushing the Heartbeat Bill, which would ban Abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected, sometimes as early as six weeks into pregnancy. If passed, it would be the most stringent Abortion restriction in the country.

Ohio Right to Life has remained neutral on the bill out of concern it reaches too far and can't sustain a court challenge. The group is spearheading a coordinated effort among anti-Abortion and pro-family groups that's also linked to the fetal heartbeat. It's advocating informed consent bills in all 50 states requiring women to see and hear the fetal heartbeat before agreeing to an Abortion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life Links 10/25/11

Reuters provides a classic example of poor journalism in this piece by Katy Migiro. Is this an article or an editorial on the legality of abortion in Kenya? Where do those statistics on abortion deaths come from? Migiro doesn't tell us but a quick google search indicates the source is this report from the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights. The report's methodology is extremely shaky. Basically, they think the reported statistics are too low, so they interview a bunch of abortion proponents and make a guess.

It's almost as if Migiro went to pro-abortion groups and asked, "What would you like me to write for you?"

Presidential candidate Herman Cain further clarifies his position on abortion during an interview with CBN's David Brody.
Brody: Are you for some sort of pro-life amendment to the Constitution that in essence would trump Roe v. Wade?

Cain: Yes. Yes I feel that strongly about it. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I'll sign it. That's all I can do. I will sign it.

An abortion protester is planning on running in the primary for Rep. Keith Ellison's seat in Minnesota and using his campaign to display graphic images of abortion on television.
Gary Boisclair announced Monday morning he is running against Ellison in the DFL Primary -- and he made his campaign platform very clear.

"The platform is life, liberty and justice under God," said Boisclair. "Very simply, I am fighting to bring an end to legalized child killing. I will fight in this campaign to bring that to the forefront."
Local television stations, including FOX 9, would have no choice but to run the ads. FCC rules dictate that if the ad comes from a legally qualified and certified candidate for federal office, the TV station must run it uncensored.

Here's how a local ABC News station describes a child found dead on a porch.
The Philadelphia Coroner's Office said on Monday that it was a fetus, not a fully-formed baby, that was found on a porch this weekend.

The fetus weighed less than two pounds, the coroner said, and would not have been from a viable birth.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Complete lack of efficiency at the Michigan Department of Transportation

Oh MDOT. Promises. Promises.
The Burton Street bridge over US-131 will be closed. Bridge work on Burton Street over the Grand Elk Railroad, a City of Grand Rapids project, will be performed concurrently with the closure of Burton Street over US-131.....

One lane will be open in each direction on Burton Street by early September.

It's late October and there are no lanes open. Maybe that's a typo which should say "early November."

Life Links 10/24/11

HBO is apparently developing a medical drama entitled "Wichita" which will be based somewhat on abortionist George Tiller.

The Kansas Department of Health shredded abortion records which could be used to prove that Planned Parenthood broke the law.
The records in question deal with reports that Planned Parenthood must file under state law for each abortion it performs. One copy is kept by Planned Parenthood in the patient files, and another is sent to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Prosecutors wanted to prove the records obtained by Kline were the same as those filed with the state and different from alleged copies provided later by Planned Parenthood.

In its latest filing, made public Friday, the prosecution asked for additional time to find witnesses to establish the authenticity of records obtained by Kline as attorney general.

Reached Friday, Kline said KDHE knew in 2005 that the destroyed records were a key part of a criminal investigation.

"It is greatly disturbing and potentially obstruction for them to have destroyed them," said Kline, adding that he thinks the case can still be made.

Another stone to mountain of evidence showing Amanda Marcotte's inability to do basic research. At RH Reality Check she makes the following absurd claim:
For instance, in Tennessee, they're just straight taking contraception funding and giving it to anti-contraception propaganda centers called "crisis pregnancy centers".
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Shelby County Commission voted to have Christ Community Health Services provide the county's family planning program over Planned Parenthood. CCHS is obviously not a CPC unless CPCs started providing primary and dental care and no one let me know. CCHS is also obviously not "anti-contraception" since they scored higher than Planned Parenthood on their ability to provide family planning services. Maybe Amanda thinks they're anti-contraception because they will refer out emergency contraception requests instead of providing them.

Here's Herman Cain's response to the controversy over his comments over abortion.

At Public Discourse, Michael Paulsen discusses laws banning sex-selection abortions.
Four states—Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and most recently Arizona—have enacted laws prohibiting sex-selection abortion. Those laws have yet to be tested in the courts. At least seven other states have considered bills that would ban the practice......

Are such bans constitutional, under the Supreme Court's decisions creating a right to abortion? The question such laws present is a dramatic one, challenging the underpinnings of Roe v. Wade in the most fundamental and direct of ways: Does the U.S. Constitution create a right to abortion, even when the woman's reason for abortion is that she does not like the sex of her unborn child?

Sadly, the answer, under the Supreme Court's absurd, through-the-looking-glass constitutional law of abortion, is yes......

Even after viability, a woman may abort for any "health" reason, an exception that ends up swallowing the rule: The Court's abortion decisions define "health" justifications for abortion to include any "emotional," "psychological," or "familial" reason for wanting an abortion.

A pregnant woman's (or a couple's) preference for a boy rather than a girl would seem to fit comfortably within the gaping loophole for "emotional" or "familial" reasons for abortion.....

The fact that laws banning sex-selection may fly in the face of the Roe and Casey decisions is no reason not to enact them. On the contrary, it is a powerful reason to enact them: The justices, and abortion supporters generally, ought to be forced to confront the uncomfortable reality of the Court's abortion jurisprudence.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life Links 10/21/11

A piece in the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the effectiveness of two different types of prolife legislation. Demand-side policies (like informed consent) attempt to impact how many women want abortions while supply-side policies (regulations on abortion providers). The study finds that a supply-side policy in Texas was much more effective than a demand-side policy.
If Texas's demand-side policies had an impact, there would have been a decrease in abortions at all gestational stages. If only the supply-side policy restricted access, the decrease would be limited to abortions performed at or after 16 weeks. I found that the supply-side policy had dramatic effects, whereas the demand-side policy had none. The number of abortions performed in Texas at or after 16 weeks of gestation dropped by 88%, from 3642 in 2003 to 446 in 2004, while the number of residents who left the state for a late abortion almost quadrupled, from 187 in 2003 to 736 in 2004. Despite this large outflow, there were 2460 fewer abortions at 16 weeks or later in Texas residents 1 year after the law took effect, a 68% decline. By 2006, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio had ambulatory surgical centers in which abortions were performed at or after 16 weeks of gestation, but the number of such abortions remained well below the 2003 level.4 Over the same period there was no meaningful change in the number of abortions before 16 weeks of gestation (see graphNumber of Abortions Performed in Residents of Texas, before and after 16 Weeks of Gestation, in and outside Texas, 2001–2006.). The demand-side policies had no measurable impact.....

If policies rendering free-standing abortion clinics economically unviable are allowed to stand, a map of U.S. abortion services will probably resemble the blue-state–red-state configuration after the 2004 presidential election. Services will be readily available in coastal blue states, whereas women in the country's vast middle will have to travel large distances for access......

The pre-Roe data illustrate that the farther women must travel for an abortion, the lower the abortion rate will be, and that travel distance is a greater obstacle for less-advantaged women.

The Washington Post has presidential candidate Herman Cain's most recent statement on abortion.
I will appoint judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution. Judges who are committed to the rule of law, know that the Constitution contains no right to take the life of unborn children.

I will oppose government funding of abortion. I will veto any legislation that contains funds for Planned Parenthood. I will do everything that a President can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life."
Didn't Rudy Giuliani promise to do basically the same thing while still self-describing himself as "pro-choice?" Just being opposed to tax-funded abortions and promising to appoint judges committed to the rule of law doesn't make a presidential candidate "prolife."

We still need answers to specific questions like what's Cain's stance on the Mexico City policy, the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, signing prolife legislation which restricts access to abortion like prohibiting the transportation of minors across state lines to avoid state parental consent law. Also, what does Cain think is consistent with the constitutional role of the president? Maybe he thinks it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to restrict abortion.

Broad statements will not do. Answers to specific questions are needed.

Prolife legislation passed in Russia's parliament.
The law passed on Friday limits abortions to 12 weeks of pregnancy — except for women who say they can't afford a child, who may have an abortion up to 22 weeks.

The law also stipulates a mandatory waiting period of two to seven days before the procedure, described as time for a woman to reconsider her decision.

The law does not include restrictions proposed by the Russian Orthodox Church, such as a requirement for a husband's or parents' consent for married women or teenage girls or for a doctor's right to refuse an abortion.

UK's The Guardian is covering the news of a Chinese woman's death after a forced abortion. The story was broken by Women Right's Without Borders.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cain tweets he's "prolife," provides no explanation

I'm sorry but a brief tweet explanation on this issue is incredibly lame after Cain's various conflicting statements.

What does "I'm 100% Pro-Life. End of Story." mean? "Pro-Life" could mean one thing to Herman Cain and quite another thing to prolife voters who want to know if the republican presidential candidate supports and is willing to sign prolife laws.

This is not "End of Story" until candidate Cain further explains what he would do regarding prolife legislation if he were elected president.

Life Links 10/20/11

Planned Parenthood of Indiana is refusing to separate it's abortion services from it's other services in order to retain government funding.
State attorneys suggested in a brief filed in August that Planned Parenthood should just separate its services to ensure no public money goes toward abortion. While officials with the state group say they're open to that, the outcomes of similar battles in Missouri and Texas give them pause.

Texas set up a Medicaid waiver program in 2005 to provide family planning services for low-income women but banned abortion providers from receiving any of the funds. In response, that state's Planned Parenthood formed a separate abortion affiliate.....

Indiana state Sen. Scott Schneider, author of the proposal to defund Planned Parenthood, called the organization's split in Texas a "superficial" one. He said the group simply "moved the abortions to the second floor."

In Colorado, abortion protester Jo Ann Scott has agreed to pay two women $750 each for blocking their way into a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
The agreement signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer states Scott, 59, will not to use "force, threat of force or physically obstructing any person because that person is or has been obtaining or providing reproductive health services."

Her husband, Kenneth Scott, is accused of having "physically obstructed patients and staff," on 10 occasions; a federal lawsuit against him is pending, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Here's the Justice Department complaint against the Scotts which originally sought $5,000 from Jo Ann Scott for each individual and a $15,000 civil penalty for allegedly touching one woman on the shoulder and poking another person (not the abortion client) in the back and pushing them in the chest.

Here's another poor pro-abortion editorial in the New York Times. This one is on the Protect Life Act. As usual, the take their talking points directly from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and provide not the slightest bit of evidence that the legislation would allow hospital to refuse to perform emergency abortions on women whose lives were in danger. The note that the sponsor Rep. Pitts disagrees with this assessment of his legislation but then simply assert they are right and he is wrong.

Evidence? Who needs that when you can just throw out wild accusations?

Is Herman Cain really prolife? Or is he just "personally prolife?"

I'm wondering if presidential candidate Herman Cain is just "personally prolife?" In a variety of interviews (here's a John Stossel interview) when he is pressed to say more than "I'm pro-life," Cain seems to indicate that he doesn't favor government making decisions about abortion. Politico has the latest regarding what Cain said during an interview with Piers Morgan:
His views on abortion, he said, should be seen this way: "I can have an issue on a opinion without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make."
Cain certainly needs to be pressed by prolifers to clarify if he would sign prolife legislation if elected president. Recall that Cain refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's prolife pledge because it asks the candidate to "advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" because Cain felt only Congress could advance legislation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life Links 10/19/11

The Williamette Week has an interview with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

There was one question which wasn't a toss-up.
In the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, a lot was made of your salary—close to $400,000 per year. Planned Parenthood declined to comment on it. Why?

It's public record. It always has been. I work hard for my salary, and I think that's a red herring. Planned Parenthood is the most cost-effective provider of family planning services in this country. The far right has done everything they can to undermine us and to create non-issues, which I think that is.

Kelcie McCrae , the editor-in-chief at North Carolina A & T's paper is opposed to North Carolina's ultrasound viewing law.
Having an abortion was one of the hardest things one of my closest friends has ever done, and to imagine looking at the ultrasound moments before the procedure, according to her, would have been unbearable.
Why would it have been unbearable? If a fetus isn't a human being and killing one should be legal then why would it be so hard to view an image of one?

The Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference is attempting to get their state health department to look into the discrepancy in abortion reporting. The state received 14,442 abortion reports in 2008 while a survey by the Guttmacher Institute has 17,030 abortions reported in 2008 after surveying abortion providers.

A maid in the United Arab Emirates has been charged with premeditated murder after an abortion and then waiting 10 hours for the child to die.
The prosecution accused the 30-year-old maid of premeditated murder by failing to save her own baby who was still alive hours after abortion.

A Chinese man attempted to sue his wife for "violating his reproductive rights" after she had an abortion without his consent.
Liu Gang, 34, divorced his wife and demanded 30,000 yuan in psychological compensation after his partner Li Fenfen, 31, terminated her pregnancy in favor of a job promotion.....

After several rounds of futile mediation, the couple was granted a divorce. But Liu's demand for psychological compensation was thrown out by the judge as China's marriage law stipulates that wives own the right to terminate a pregnancy.

A woman from the UK is claiming she overheard her husband on the phone telling a friend that he had drugged her with an abortion pill. The drugging apparently led her to miscarry and have an emergency trip to the hospital.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Overheard: Pro-choice movement knows motivations matter in how public views abortion

From a Slate article on mothers who abort:
Of course, when it comes to public opinion, it’s one thing for a mother to choose an abortion out of desperation, and another to do it out of preference. Feldt says the motivations behind a mother’s choice to terminate place her on a sliding scale of public opinion. Recalling her days polling voters at PPFA, she describes the American view of who gets to have an abortion like this: “The less in control of a woman’s life she is, the more the public supports her right to make that choice [to have an abortion]. The more she is in control of her life, saying this is the life I choose, the less people support it.” So if a mother who is destitute chooses to abort, we might accept her decision. But someone like me, who could support another child if only I moved to a less expensive ZIP code and got a job with a steadier paycheck? I’d be a moral pariah.
This is why the pro-choice movement has slowly been abandoning the "choice" rhetoric and they often use "need" language when referring to the reasons why women have abortions. It's not because women actually "need" abortions, its because the public is much more accepting of women "needing" abortions as opposed to "choosing" abortions.

No patents for embryonic stem cell researchers in Europe

Poor embryonic stem cell researchers. The European Court of Justice has ruled that researchers can't patent the process of killing human embryos. Now let's listen to poor researchers complain about how they won't be able to make tons of money from patenting the killing of other human beings.
"It will unfortunately make it less likely that companies in Europe will invest in the research to develop treatments to use embryonic stem cells for treatment of human diseases," said Ian Wilmut, the British scientist who led the team that produced Dolly the cloned sheep.

Pete Coffey of University College London said it was the ECJ ruling was a "devastating decision" and Austin Smith, another stem cell expert at the University of Cambridge, said it left scientists "in a ridiculous position".

"We are funded to do research for the public good, yet prevented from taking our discoveries to the market place where they could be developed into new medicines," he said.
Note that this ruling doesn't prevent researchers from killing human embryos for research and doing embryonic stem cell research, it just prevents them from patenting their work and making boatloads of money on it. The winning plaintiff in this case was Greenpeace.

Life Links 10/18/11

A local Oklahoma news station has the story of Stacy Crimm, a woman who refused chemotherapy for an aggressive brain cancer because she was pregnant, and her daughter Dottie.
With Crimm's death imminent, Beo worked with nurse Jetsy Jacob to step up their questioning of the family, healthcare professionals and disease experts about Crimm's condition, including her staph infection. They talked to Neoflight, the medical center's neonatal transport team, about using a capsule-like ICU to safely move Dottie.

When his sister regained consciousness later that day, Phillips asked what she thought about possibly seeing Dottie. Crimm's eyes popped open and she raised her hands as if to ask where was her child.

Nurses wheeled Dottie down the hallway to her mother moments later. Phillips said doctors, nurses and others clad in protective gear gathered as nurses carefully lifted the baby from the incubator under her mother's watchful eye.

They placed the baby on her mother's chest. Mother and child gazed into each other's eyes for several minutes. She smiled at the baby who at last lay in her arms.

No one said a word. No one had a dry eye.

Stacie Crimm died three days later.

In Tennessee, Shelby County commissioners voted 9-4 to give Christ Community Health Services their county's contract for family planning. Planned Parenthood was the previous recipient of this contract.

Yesterday, 20 cities began offering a new test which can detect Down Syndrome in unborn children earlier and easier than amniocentisis or chorionic villus sampling. The test analyzes fetal DNA in the mother's blood.
The results of a study published online Monday by the journal Genetics in Medicine showed that Sequenom's new test picked up 98.6 percent of Down syndrome cases.

The false-positive rate — when the test incorrectly said that a baby would have Down syndrome — was 0.2 percent.....

The test can be used as early as 10 weeks into a pregnancy, though half of the samples tested in the study were from the second trimester, meaning 15 weeks or more.

The Yale Daily News has an interesting article on how the placenta tricks the mother's immune system to get more nutrients and how this doesn't happen in women with preeclampsia.
In order for the invasive cells to circumvent the mother's white blood cells, the placenta secretes the protein PP13 into the mother's blood as a diversion, Kliman said. White blood cells are the foot soldiers of the human immune system and although they would normally defend the arteries in the uterus, the white blood cells instead attack the decoy PP13, leaving the arteries unprotected. The entire area around the PP13 secretion becomes inflamed and filled with the mother's dead white blood cells, while the placental cells destroy the arteries, increasing blood flow and nutrient supply to the baby, Kliman said.

"The finding was completely unexpected," Kliman said. "For such death and destruction to be a normal part of pregnancy is shocking."

In the absence of PP13, the attacking cells are destroyed and the intact arteries prevent enough blood from reaching the baby. In response, the placenta releases signals that increase the mother's blood pressure in an attempt to increase blood flow, causing the mother to develop preeclampsia.

Kliman said uncovering this mechanism may lay the basis for providing diagnosis and treatment options to pregnant women who develop preeclampsia. Doctors may now be able to detect women who are at risk for preeclampsia long before symptoms emerge, he said.

According to Women's Rights Without Frontiers, a woman in China who was 6 months pregnant died during a forced abortion.
"More than ten persons from the Family Planning Bureau came, took off the oxygen mask from her and forced her to induce labor. From the time she was put into operating room at 4:00 p.m., there was no news about her . . . At night around 10:00 p.m., someone came, opened the door of the delivery room and slipped away. We ran into the delivery room and saw that the doctors and nurses all disappeared while poor Jihong Ma's body had already been totally freezing cold, with purple lips and bleeding nose, lying on the operating table without any movement....."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life Links 10/17/11

China is a buzz after a toddler was hit by a van and then at least 18 people passed by the bleeding toddler without doing anything to help the wounded child. The incident was caught on video camera. The Daily Telegraph has the video and various comments regarding the how China is becoming a land without morals. The girl, named Yueyue, is in critical condition.

One of the state of Washington's largest hospital systems will stop performing abortions when it merges with a Catholic-run health organization. However, Swedish Medical Center it will help pay for a new Planned Parenthood abortion clinic opening in 2012.
A secular institution with five hospitals and 11,000 employees, Swedish announced last week that is it seeking an affiliation with Providence Health & Services, a Catholic group. Based in Renton, Providence has 27 hospitals across five states and nearly 53,000 employees. Each organization also has many clinics.....

On late Friday, Swedish announced that it will transition services for elective abortions to a new Planned Parenthood center in First Hill. The company said it will help underwrite the costs of establishing the center.
Another article notes that Swedish will refer women to Planned Parenthood for abortion.
"I'm extremely pleased that this has the potential to work for everybody," said Chris Charbonneau, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. "Our plan is to make sure that not a single woman can't get the services they need."
Planned Parenthood's local CEO even claims abortions at Planned Parenthood are safer than abortions at hospitals because hospitals unneccesarily "medicalize" them.
Both Tizon and Charbonneau said abortions are more often — and more appropriately — performed in a clinic than in a hospital.

"Swedish should never have been doing those things in a hospital, anyway," Charbonneau said. "We have really perfected the office procedure. When you take people into a hospital, you add a level of complications and danger," unnecessarily medicalizing the procedure and typically making it more expensive, she said.

New Jersey's cuts to family planning funding have lowered the number of clients visiting Planned Parenthood.
From June 2010 to June 2011, Planned Parenthood and similar providers statewide saw 16,340 fewer visits to their centers, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey's statewide coordinator Michele Jaker said. She said there were 81,978 visits to centers statewide from June 2009 to June 2010. That number was down 20 percent just one year later, to 65,638.

A doctor in Uganda has been arrested after allegedly performing an abortion on a minor whom who allegedly impregnated. The abortion seems to have been against her will.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Overheard: Wesley Smith on Nancy Pelosi's Demagoguery

Regarding Pelosi untruthful description of the Protect Life Act, Smith writes:
What a demagogue, devoid of intellectual integrity, lying about a bill that would certainly not prevent dying women from being treated medically in an abortion situation.....

This is a prime example of why Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House. What a disgusting and nasty display of political demagoguery.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life Links 10/13/11

What happens when Plan B becomes Plan A?

At XOJane, Cat Marnell writes about (warning: Cat discusses her sex life) how she is using Plan B as her primary form of birth control. Cat believes other women in New York are "abusing" Plan B as well because supposedly pharmacies all over New York City are out of it.

Cat also believes that abortion is murder, has had multiple abortions and thinks she has the right to murder her unborn children as long as they are in her body.

In the comments she writes, "in most ways I am GLAD, so much, that we can all get abortions like we can get oral surgery, and that no one pressures us to dwell upon and consider the hurt inherent in it all. only recently have i thought about them and my own experiences in a way that let them or the trauma of them matter, or register as awful physical/emotional/psychological experiences to have gone through. traumas.. if that makes sense. I definitely have let my pro-choiceness numb out my feelings."

In response to Katie Stack's editorial attack on crisis pregnancy centers, the New York Times publishes a letter to the editor from abortionist Nancy Stanwood which claims CPCs in her area lied to patients.

The New York Times: All the evidence-free attacks on pregnancy centers that are fit to print.

Politico has an article on the Protect Life Act and it's upcoming vote in Congress.
The bill would ban federal funding of abortions. It would also ensure that providers have protections if they believe abortions violate their consciences and prohibit the tax subsidies in the health reform law from going toward a health plan that includes coverage of abortions except in cases of rape or incest or for the safety of the mother.

Planned Parenthood warns that the bill could allow hospitals to refuse to treat a patient whose life depends on having an abortion. The group argues that a hospital would be able to use the bill's conscience clause to escape the federal law — the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act — that requires hospitals to treat all patients.

It's a theory that the bill's backers call "preposterous" — arguing that health care providers would never refuse to do what's needed to save a patient's life. Andrew Wimer, a Pitts spokesman, says Catholic hospitals let their doctors perform emergency procedures even if they could cause the death of an unborn child.
One would think that honest pro-choicers would eventually catch on to these kind of outlandish scare tactics.

Abortions are down in Arizona after legislation restricts nurse practitioners from providing abortion. Let's listen as Planned Parenthood Arizona President Bryan Howard bemoans that abortionists have to actually consult with their patients face-to-face.
He said there are just not enough doctors in Arizona who are both trained to do the work and willing to do it, what with protestors outside the clinics and, in at least the case of one nurse-practitioner in Flagstaff, outside her home.....

"It's 100 percent due to the shortage of providers,'' Howard said. Now he said doctors must perform both surgical and medical abortions as well as be available for those face-to-face consultations.
Planned Parenthood also performed 89.6% of Arizona's abortion's last month.
Planned Parenthood is the state's largest abortion provider. Howard said 653 of the 729 abortions in September were performed by Planned Parenthood.
Howard also ridiculously appeals to the 400 "real children" this month who didn't get killed at his clinics and how their families may not be able to afford child care.

In the San Francisco-area, a rich, old lady named Harriett Hills Stinson told NARAL's Power for Choice luncheon she had an abortion and encouraged other women to talk about their abortions. Another article from the San Mateo Times notes that her ob/gyn husband performed the illegal abortion and has this scary detail.
The lack of sleep from raising three young children was causing her such stress that she had the urge to act out violently toward them whenever her sleep was disrupted.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Life Links 10/12/11

Governor Rick Snyder signed Michigan's partial-birth abortion ban yesterday.

Remember when liberals were all up in arms about "violent" rhetoric in politics after Gabrielle Giffords was shot and six people were murdered? I specifically remember a couple of pieces at the RH Reality Check web site on this issue. I guess that time has passed on as RH Reality Check blogger Robin Marty seems to have no problems with Kathleen Sebelius describing the fight over Obamacare and the funding of Planned Parenthood as a "war."

President Obama has apparently threatened to veto the Protect Life Act, which would place Stupak-Pitts-like regulations on Obamacare's subsidizing of abortion coverage.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Life Links 10/10/11

Secular Pro-life and Gerald Nadal both write on the death of prolife advocate Kourtney Blythe Gordon and her unborn child.
Last night, Students for Life of America field coordinator Kortney Blythe Gordon was killed in a two-car accident in Georgia. Also killed were her unborn daughter, Sophy, and a person from the other car who has not been identified. Several other individuals were injured. There are not many details at this time.

A woman in Milwaukee has been arrested after she allegedly removed a child from another woman's womb. This resulted in both the death of the mother and child. The suspect called the police and claimed she had recently given birth and her child wasn't breathing.
Milwaukee police said the 33-year-old suspect removed the full-term baby from Maritza Ramirez-Cruz' uterus "by force," but did not elaborate.

The suspect called 911 on Thursday saying she had given birth at home and that the baby wasn't breathing, police said. An autopsy and investigation led police back to the suspect's home Friday where they found the 23-year-old mother's body in the basement. The woman was arrested but has not been charged in the case.

Isaac Barchus, a nine-year-old boy with a rare disease called CANDLE syndrome will receive a stem cell transplant, the first of its kind for someone with his condition.
The condition is CANDLE syndrome, an autoinflammatory disease named only last year. So far, his case is one of only nine described in the medical literature, said Dr. Adam Reinhardt, a pediatric rheumatologist at Children's Hospital & Medical Center......

The goal of the stem cell transplant, which will use stem cells derived from a donor's blood, is to stabilize Isaac's condition until specific drugs become available to treat it, said Reinhardt, who has cared for Isaac for the past three years.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Abortion advocate Katie Stack and her friends agree crisis pregnancy centers don't help women, thousands of women helped by CPCs disagree

The New York Times has published an editorial attacking crisis pregnancy centers by Katie Stack. Stack is an abortion proponent who was one of the two post-abortive women who appeared with Markai Durham in a post-interview segment of MTV's No Easy Decision special. Stack was the woman who began crying after explaining how she went to a hotel after her abortion so she wouldn't have to go home and see her sister's baby. During the special, she also said she acknowledged her child as "a baby" and saw her decision to abort as a "parenting choice."

The editorial has the kind of reasoning I used in junior high (me and my friends all think it's true, therefore it must be true).
Since then I've talked with dozens of women, including my best friend and my younger sister, about their own experiences with these centers. Regardless of our views on abortion, our conclusion about crisis pregnancy centers is the same — they don't help women.
Yes, no women have ever been helped by the approximately 3,000 CPCs across America because an abortion advocate and her friends agree. No woman has ever received diapers, baby food, prenatal care referrals, etc. Come on.

I guess Katie at least knows her audience. Only someone whose sole knowledge of CPCs comes from the New York Times and Planned Parenthood mailings would believe that.

I also seriously doubt the veracity of this claim.
My sister fully intended to raise her own son, who is now 2, but when she was pregnant and went to a center for advice, all she got was a lecture about the joys of adoption and a pamphlet on eternal salvation. She had to turn to Planned Parenthood to receive any actual prenatal health care or referrals.

Life Links 10/6/11

Rebecca Taylor and Wesley Smith discusses the human cloning/stem cell breakthrough that wasn't. Taylor writes,
These researchers went beyond just cloning human embryos and destroying them. They intentionally created human embryos with triploidy, a genetic condition where a person has 3 copies of each of the 23 chromosomes instead of two. While triploidy is often fatal, some children with triploidy do survive to birth and beyond. I cannot emphasize this enough. These scientists intentionally created human lives that they knew would have a devastating genetic condition and then destroyed them for cells that they knew could never be used to treat anyone. This is beyond morally offensive, it is downright evil.
Smith notes how the researchers had to pay women for eggs.

Clearly, this is another case of scientists who could care less about curing disease or treating patients. They just want to be the first ones to do something and could have cared less about the morality of what they were doing or the usefulness of their experiment's results.

Justice for All is displaying graphic images of abortions at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The ignorance of pro-choice students who were interviewed or who've commented on the article is saddening.
"I feel like this is incredibly disrespectful," she said of the display.

(Elena) Schmeising said the gruesome images were a flawed argument because partial-birth abortion is already illegal.

She also said the group was deploying scare tactics and said she worried that it could be upsetting to young women who were considering abortions or have had the procedure.
Apparently, Elena is so ignorant of abortion techniques she thinks all of the photos used by Justice for All are of children aborted by partial-birth abortion. She also accuses prolifers of scare tactics for showing images of something which is happening on a daily basis while the group of counter demonstrators she joined held "posters that included warnings that outlawing abortion would lead to dangerous, back-alley procedures."

Here's some horrid humor from the Abortioneers blog as Desembarazarme discusses how she joked about the possibility of aborting her friend's planned pregnancy.
Her pregnancy was incredibly planned, and I knew it was in the works. When she disclosed her expectant status, I screamed and hugged her, and she told me, "I'm scared. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy." And I hugged her again and made a bad joke about how she has until the third trimester to change her mind (she smiled), and I told her I understand, because I do.
I guess if your job is helping to kill unborn human beings, you'd find it funny to joke about the possibility of aborting your friend's child.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Life Links 10/5/11

Florida abortionist Michael Benjamin had his medical license suspended indefinitely over the weekend because he failed to report a 12-year-old's pregnancy. The girl was 6 months pregnant in 2009 when her mother and her mother's boyfriend brought the girl to Benjamin for an abortion. The mother's boyfriend is now spending 15 years in jail.

According to LifeNews, Benjamin worked at the National Abortion Federation affiliated Presidential Women's Center.

Various Illinois media outlets are reporting the Northern Illinois Women's Center abortion clinic in Rockford will be closed at least "several weeks" but no one is reporting Operation Rescue's belief that the clinic will be closed for good.

A message on the clinic's web site says they are "temporarily unable to take appointments...."

An Indiana man will serve extra time in jail because when he killed his wife, he also killed his unborn child.
Second was the doctor who performed Amy's autopsy, Dr. Scott Wagner. While performing the autopsy he said he found a male fetus. It was at approximately 12 weeks gestation. Dr. Wagner believes the baby died due to Amy's internal bleeding from when Tyler shot her twice. He handed out pictures of the fetus inside and outside of the womb to the jury. NewsChannel 15 has also learned Amy died because she went into shock.

It took the jury no longer than 15 minutes to deliberate. They said Tyler's actions caused the death of Amy's fetus.

This will add 6-20 years onto his sentence.

In the UK, local health commissioners are being attacked for their decision to stop performing abortions at a hospital in South Tyneside.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Rockford abortion clinic closed for good??

According to Operation Rescue, the receptionist at Northern Illinois Women’s Center in Rockford, Illinois is closing for good.
A woman answering the clinic’s phone this morning told the caller that the clinic had permanently stopped providing all services, including abortions. She offered referrals for pregnancy tests to the Health Department.
Apparently, this abortion clinic is unable or unwilling to bring itself into compliance with Illinois health laws.

UPDATE: Illinois media outlets are reporting the clinic will be closed at least several weeks.

Life Links 10/4/11

Apparently, the slow economy has also struck The Atlantic's fact-checking department. In her Planned Parenthood promoting piece, Lindsay Miller apparently doesn't understand there are differences between resources/budget and "services."
Every time a new attack of this nature makes the news, I can't help but wonder: Do these people have any idea what Planned Parenthood does? Yes, they provide abortions or referrals to medical practices that offer abortions, but that accounts for about three percent of their resources, and none of their federal funds; abortions are paid for by the patient, or by donations from people like me, who believe that a woman who doesn't even have the disposable income to terminate a pregnancy should absolutely not be forced to carry one to term. The other 97 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget goes toward a variety of services having to do with reproductive health. They provide birth control, STD testing, Pap smears, breast exams, cancer screenings (for men as well as women), and much more. So why have they become such a boogeyman to the anti-abortion right?
Ummm....maybe because they're America's leading abortion provider (25% of America's abortions) and people who are anti-abortion are.....against abortion. But the better question is: So why should prolifers listen to someone who doesn't take the time to do basic research about an organization she's promoting?

In the Washington Post, Sarah Kliff writes about the Hyde Amendment and health care reform and how abortion proponents seem to be fighting an uphill battle.
"Unfortunately, this idea that there shouldn't be public insurance coverage for abortion got cemented in the public's mind," says Jessica Arons, director of the women's health and rights program at the Center for American Progress. "Politicians have gotten used to saying that."
"The persistence of the Hyde Amendment also created a series of disastrous roadblocks to inclusive reproductive health coverage in other legislation," Fried, a professor at Hampshire College who both studies and supports the abortion rights movement, wrote. "Compounding this specific policy loss was the profound ideological loss of normalizing the exclusion of abortion from health insurance."

Kansas' state medical board likely won't make a decision regarding former abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus status until next year. Nehaus rubber-stamped second opinions for George Tiller's late-term abortions.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Share your abortion story but don't say anything about the actual abortion

That's the theme of 1 in 3 campaign share your story "My Story" videos. One woman mentions the doctor and says he was nice but there's no description of what happens in the clinic or during the procedure.

Isn't odd that a campaign designed to get women to talk about their abortions, starts with a bunch of videos of women not really talking about their abortions but rather talking about the circumstances in their life when they had abortions?

There's also continuous use of "choice" rhetoric despite some of testimonies including claims that abortion was the "only thing" the woman could do.

In the pre-Roe stories, however, we hear how abortions were performed, including details.

If post-Roe abortions are so much better than pre-Roe abortions, then why avoid describing what happens in a post-Roe abortion?