Friday, July 30, 2010

Homicide added to the list of list of complaints against abortionist Andrew Rutland

From the OC Register:
The Medical Board of California has expanded its list of accusations against an Anaheim Hills doctor to include homicide in the death of an abortion patient last summer.....

After an autopsy, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office listed the death as accidental. But on June 21, 2010, the chief medical examiner reclassified the death as a homicide. Rutland responded by sending a letter to a long list of people, including the U.S. Attorney General, California's two senators, various U.S. House members and even Oprah Winfrey, claiming that he's being persecuted because he's an abortion provider....

According to the board's current complaint, Ying Chen was 16 to 16 ½ weeks pregnant when she went to Rutland's San Gabriel office seeking an abortion on July 28, 2009. Rutland later told the board he gave the patient a diluted lidocaine solution as an anesthetic. Shortly afterward, the patient began having a reaction. Rutland and two other doctors at the office, one of them an acupuncturist, began performing CPR on the victim. Paramedics arrived and found Chen in full cardiac arrest. She was taken to a hospital, where she died six days later.

The board determined that a "significant delay" had passed between Chen's adverse reaction and the 911 call. It also said Rutland had "failed to recognize lidocaine toxicity," didn't begin resuscitative measures quickly enough, and that the facility was inadequately equipped to deal with an emergency.

Life Links 7/30/10

In Colorado, prolifers are protesting a Catholic hospital where an OB/GYN who also performs abortions at Planned Parenthood is on staff.
Reached at home following the protest, Grossman said he was "very happy" he lives in a country where we can speak our minds."

He said that, as a Quaker, he objects to depictions of abortions as sinful. He said licensed medical professionals provide greater care than "garage mechanics" or people who care only about money.

"The reason I perform abortions is because I'm a Christian," he said.

He denied that he performs "late-term" abortions, a term which he said has no medical definition.

When asked when life begins, he said, "Personally, I believe in the strength, intellect and fortitude of women. When a woman says a fetus is a person, I think it is one. I believe the woman empowers the fetus."

There's an article in Politico about how pro-choice groups were caught off-guard and unprepared to deal with the recent abortion coverage in high risk pool fiasco.
Abortion rights advocates were caught completely off-guard.

Planned Parenthood and NARAL didn’t publicly petition HHS until after the new ban was imposed. And it took sympathetic Democrats on the Hill a full 10 days to write a letter expressing disappointment with the HHS — and even then, they were so squeamish about the issue that they never even used the word “abortion” in their protest....

“This is not the outcome we expected,” said Laurie Rubiner, Planned Parenthood vice president for public policy. “We now know we need to be vigilant to make sure there aren’t other areas of the law where there is silence. There is a whole host of areas that we’re going to be watching like a hawk.”

How much does Planned Parenthood love Barbara Boxer? Enough to spend a cool million to help her keep her job.
Kathy Kneer, president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said most Californians recognize that women should be able to make their own decisions. She said Fiorina's views do not take into account unintended pregnancies, such as those from abusive relationships.

Kneer said Planned Parenthood hopes to raise and spend about $1 million to help get Boxer re-elected to a fourth term.
If Boxer loses, who else will get up and make such a fool of themselves defending partial-birth abortion?

A trial is set for a lawsuit where a mother is suing her child's school district for forcing her to remove her prolife T-shirt.
According to earlier Sun-Star reports, a McSwain Elementary School sixth-grader said she was forced by school administrators to remove her abortion opposition T-shirt in 2008.

The student's mother, Anna Amador, filed a lawsuit against McSwain Elementary School. The lawsuit claimed that the district violated her daughter's free speech rights, right to due process, conducted an unreasonable seizure of her property and committed battery by forcefully grabbing the girl's arm.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life Links 7/29/10

The UK's Daily Mail has a story on Jessica Phelan, one of Britain most premature babies who recently turned 21. She was born at 23 weeks and 4 days, weighing one pound 3 ounces.

A local news station in Ohio has a story on billboards educating the public about the high number of African-American abortions.

Donald Hertz has pleaded guilty to threatening abortionist Warren Hern over the phone. He faces up to 6 years in prison.

Wesley Smith writes about a couple in France who allegedly killed 8 of their newborn infants.

Abortionist William Harrison set to close clinic

According to a local news station in Arkansas, abortionist William Harrison is planning to close his Fayetteville Women's Clinic where he has been performing abortions for decades.
Tuesday, 5NEWS confirmed Dr. William Harrison is in the process of closing the Fayetteville Women's Clinic, due to health problems. Patients will soon be getting a letter in the mail explaining why the clinic will shut down at the end of the month. According to an employee, the letter will also explain how patients can pick up their medical records.

As recently as February of this year, Harrison had wrote an e-mail to 40 Days for Life leaders thanking them for protesting because he thought it would show people where they could get an abortion.

For years, Harrison has been on outspoken abortionist (he has a Daily Kos blog) who admits abortion ends a life, has compared aborting children to making women "born again" and described Bill and Hillary Clinton as his good friends.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tiller associate could be disciplined over late-term abortions

Ann Neuhaus, a former associate of abortionist George Tiller, might be disciplined by the state medical board. An 11-count complaint was filed against her by Kansas Board of Healing Arts over her "second" opinions which allowed Tiller to abort viable unborn children.
An evidentiary hearing on the petition is set for Jan. 11. The hearing officer then will make recommendations to the board on how Neuhaus should be disciplined. Disciplinary action could range from fines to license restrictions to suspension or revocation of her medical license, said board spokeswoman Lisa Corwin.

"Anytime you get abortion as an issue, you are dealing with a highly emotional subject anyway," Corwin said, noting that the board has found an independent hearing officer to hear the evidence.

The 30-page petition against Neuhaus takes issue with the medical care of 11 patients whose ages ranged from 10 to 18. All of the abortions cited involved fetuses with gestational ages of 25 to 29 weeks in 2003.

The petition alleges she failed to do adequate patient interviews, failed to perform adequate reviews of patients' history, failed to perform adequate evaluations of the impact of the patient's condition and failed to perform adequate mental status examinations.
Basically, she took $250-$300 per girl to green-light extremely late-term abortions.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"I’m not sure how much more I can tolerate."

A young woman describes her struggles after having an abortion in September of 2009.
I had the abortion and for the first few months I felt terrible, how could I kill my own child? All that kept going around in my head was “MURDERER”. It got to the point where I wanted to kill myself. All I could think about was ending it all. I ended up contacting the Samaritans and after getting everything of my chest I started to feel better and was finding it easier to cope and to continue with my studies.

Since about May (when it would have been due) I’ve been gradually becoming more depressed and have started having suicidal thoughts. I’m quite a shy person and find it had to talk to strangers which is why I haven’t gone to a councilor and I don’t want to tell my friends, I feel like the fewer people who know what I did, the better.

I was just wondering if things get better over time or will they just keep getting worse? I’m not sure how much more I can tolerate.

Life Links 7/27/10

A teacher in Swaziland has been arrested for allegedly performing an abortion on herself in a teacher's bathroom.
The bizarre action of Gugu Dlamini has left pupils, teachers and community shocked. It is alleged that she committed the abortion at a communal teachers’ toilet and took the foetus with her, which she hid in a cupboard of her house.

The incident occurred at Mconcwane Primary School premises.

She was arrested after two pupils came home with uniforms full of blood. The pupils told their parents that they had been instructed by the principal to clean the communal toilet which had a lot of blood.

As a result, the pupils lost their appetite and are even today having difficulty eating anything because of what they went through. The teacher is out on bail.

Prosecutors in Texas have charged Bernard Cunningham with the murder of his pregnant girlfriend and are planning on asking a grand jury to include murder charges for the death of her unborn child. According to this article in the Houston Chronicle, doctors attempted to save the child via c-section but discovered a bullet had pierced the child's neck.

Michael New reviews Clark Forsythe's book "Politics for the Greatest Good."
In his book, Forsythe diplomatically tries to engage those pro-lifers who are either hostile or skeptical toward an incremental strategy. He ably shows that many leading philosophers and theologians find nothing objectionable about incrementalism. Practically speaking, Forsythe also demonstrates that incremental gains helped bring about the end of both the slave trade in Great Britain and slavery in the United States.

Former Cathlolics for Choice leader Frances Kissling has a post at the RH Reality Check blog about a conference in October she helped organize entitled, "Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words: A Conference on Life & Choice in the Abortion Debate.
Are there new ways or even different ways to think about these issues? Do we have anything to learn from people who disagree with us about abortion? What’s good in their arguments? Weak? Are the people who think abortion is simply one of those intractable issues where no one ever changes their mind cynics or realists?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Life Links 7/26/10

At the RH Reality Check blog, Robin Marty recounts what occurred at a pro-choice panel discussion at the 5th Annual Netroots Nation conference. It's amazing how down pro-choicers like Kate Michelman are considering Obama's in White House, both houses of Congress have Democratic majorities and another pro-choice woman will soon be seating on the Supreme Court.
Michelman, who was with NARAL for two decades, responded with fury to recent developments to eliminate abortion coverage altogether from the high-risk insurance pool. "How are we going to protect our fundamental rights if we allow our friends, our so-called friends to undo those rights? This week the administration took aim at the most vulnerable of Americans. Excuse me! This is from OUR friends?"

According to Operation Rescue, two of abortionist's Stephen Brigham Pennsylvania abortion clinics won't be allowed to performed abortions anymore but two will stay open after he transferred the ownership to "Rose Health Services," a newly created business in which he supposedly has no controlling interest. An update notes that the two clinics not allowed to perform abortions hadn't been performing abortions recently and may have just advertised that they did in order to funnel business to Brigham's other clinics.

A young man in India has been arrested after allegedly forcing his girlfriend to get an abortion.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is trying to decide if he will allocate the necessary resources towards defending Nebraska's abortion health screening law.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Life Links 7/23/10

Cassy Fiano responds to a post by Chloe at Feministing in which Chloe attacks Nick Cannon and his "Can I Live" music video.
Chloe at Feministing found this video, and proceeded to blast it as “anti-woman”… and cruelly mocked it, sneering that his mother chose life and ended up with a “C-grade celebrity”. I guess if babies don’t grow up to become A-list celebrities, then they aren’t worth the hassle — in Chloe’s world, anyways....

It’s interesting that this is part of her argument. If he had been the star of, oh, Avatar, would she still be mocking him? Is it about the level of celebrity for her? I’m pretty sure that Cannon’s mother doesn’t love her son just because he’s a celebrity, and the point Cannon makes is a good one, whether a parent is considering an abortion or not. All parents wonder what their child will grow up to be, and how far they might go in life. And while Nick Cannon might indeed be a C-grade celebrity, he’s still more well-known than Chloe is, so does she really have much room to be sneering at him for his lack of fame?

And, believe it or not, even babies destined to grow up to be C-grade celebrities deserve a chance to live. notes that prolife groups had good reason to be concerned with abortion being covered in high risk pools.
We can see what caused abortion opponents to be concerned. An official solicitation issued by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department specified that abortions "will" be covered if they are legal under Pennsylvania law. And according to news reports, a similar document in New Mexico listed "elective" abortions under "covered services."

State and federal officials have since scrambled to clarify their intentions. Pennsylvania officials issued a statement on July 15 saying that for any abortions performed because of reasons other than rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s life, women "will have to pay for them out their own pocket." And New Mexico backed down just as quickly, issuing a July 15 statement saying "elective abortion is not and has never been intended to be a benefit."

The legalization of abortion could be debated in Argentina next year.
Campaigners are hoping that an abortion bill launched two years ago calling for the legalisation of abortion will be debated in Congress this year before the start of presidential election campaigning in 2011.

The depth of feeling over the issue of abortion came to the fore on 20 July when reports emerged that the health ministry was about to issue new guidelines on when abortion would be permitted.

Doctors would be allowed to perform an abortion if a woman could produce a sworn statement, rather than proof, that she had been raped.

Anti-abortion campaigners argued that this amounted to legalising abortion without a debate in Congress.

Research in New Zealand has found that women wait an average nearly a month to have abortions.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Packages with dead animals left at Chicago Planned Parenthoods

According to WGN, 3 packages containing dead animals (one possum, one skunk and one unidentified animal) were discovered outside of different Planned Parenthood clinics in Chicago. One contained the message, "For all the doctors for all you do for women" and another contained a similar message.

Missing post about rude abortionist

For some reason, a post by Sparky entitled "Dr. Rude" was removed from the Abortioneers blog. The complete text of the post is below.
Within the field of abortion it can be very challenging to have conversations about the difficulties we face, because there is a fear anti-abortion radicals will take our words and misconstrue them. Once an anti took one of my blog posts about being burned out, posted a few sentences about it and turned my point into their own point. It's a fear based on experience.

One of the doctors where I work is rude. Sometimes doctors are rude no matter what they specialize in. It's challenging because doctors who will do abortions are so few and far between that we have to accommodate doctors even when they are inconsiderate. It feels like we have to be thankful they are willing to provide safe abortion care and just put up with their ugly attitudes. This doctor is one of the few who will provide abortions in my area, and he will do second trimester procedures. I am thankful he is willing to practice and provide safe care.

Abortion care is under such attack in this country that there is limited space for us to figure out how to keep improving services, because we are constantly fighting just to keep our clinic open. We are constantly defending our very existence rather than putting our energy towards perfecting the care we provide. I don't feel like I have any answers, but I wish that abortion care providers had space to work through the daily challenges that could come up in any old job without being under the constant scrutiny of anti-abortion activists. We try to do some of that right here on the blog, but as you've probably noticed it often gets crowded out by posts about anti-related stress. Same problem.

Virg Bernero: The abortion candidate

The Genesee County Democratic Party has a new ad out which touts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero as the abortion candidate and attacks fellow candidate Andy Dillon as "anti-choice." This ad has angered a couple of prolife Democrats who represent parts of Genesee county.
The crux of the complaint comes from Senator John Gleason and Representative Jim Slezak, both Democrats from Genesee County. They argue that the county party is overstepping its purpose by using donor funds to attack a candidate that many of its members are supporting in the Governor's race.

"To be honest, I think the people running the Genesee County Democratic Party are completely out of touch," Gleason told MIRS News in Lansing. "They don't care who's the next governor, just that Virg Bernero is the primary winner."


Gleason added that a number of Democrats in Genesee County are against abortion, including himself and Congressman Dale Kildee.

The issue raises an important question of party funds being used to attack a candidate during a primary race. By targeting a particular stance on an issue, the ad clearly goes against what a certain percentage of the party's own members believe, and potentially results in using members' donations to argue a position that contradicts their own.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life Links 7/21/10

Constantly troubled abortionist and abortion clinic owner Stephen Brigham is in more trouble. This time for employing unlicensed nurses and failing to pay his taxes. The state of Pennsylvania has ordered abortions to be halted at all the abortion clinics he owns in Pennsylvania.
Stephen Chase Brigham, a physician whose medical license has been revoked, relinquished or temporarily suspended in 5 states, is now facing regulatory and tax troubles that could jeopardize his chain of 15 abortion clinics.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health this month ordered Brigham to permanently shut his four clinics in the state for repeatedly employing unlicensed caregivers.
He also owes the IRS nearly a quarter of a million dollars for failing to pay income taxes from 2002-2006.

Cassy Fiano has a post which summarizes the latest video from Live Action and the Rosa Acuna project.
When the woman, purportedly 10-weeks pregnant, asks the clinician, named “Sarah,” when her baby’s heart begins to beat, Sarah replies, “It’s around I think the 8th or the 9th week that you can hear the heartbeat.” The heart actually begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day after conception, according to Moore and Persaud’s well-known textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. The Planned Parenthood clinician also insists, “It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus,” which, she claims, is “not like a person.”

Women in Uzbekistan are accusing the country of forced sterilizations. Guess the motive behind it? That's right. Population control.
Human rights advocates and doctors say autocratic President Islam Karimov this year ramped up a sterilization campaign he initiated in the late 1990s. In a decree issued in February, the Health Ministry ordered all medical facilities to "strengthen control over the medical examination of women of childbearing age."

The decree also said that "surgical contraception should be provided free of charge" to women who volunteer for the procedure.

It did not specifically mandate sterilizations, but critics allege that doctors have come under direct pressure from the government to perform them: "The order comes from the very top," said Khaitboy Yakubov, head of the Najot human rights group in Uzbekistan.

The Daily Mail has an article on the UK's youngest premature twins to survive. Amelia Hope Burden was born ten days before her brother Arthur and before the UK's 24-week abortion limit.

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a margin of 13-6. Lindsey Graham was the only Republican to vote in favor of her.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Life Links 7/20/10

A minister in North Carolina named Ronnie Wallace was recently arrested for preaching on a ladder outside an abortion clinic.
Wallace, 67, of Charlotte, N.C., was arrested on July 17 after beginning to preach from atop a ladder to several people waiting outside the Family Reproductive Health Abortion Clinic in Charlotte.

Wallace begin preaching in the parking lot across the street from the clinic about eight years ago and said he never had any trouble until he added racism to his teachings.

"I get there about 7:30 a.m. every Saturday, and the police are already there waiting for me, but I started speaking about racism and how it is coming back to this country, and I guess the police didn't like to hear that," Wallace said.

A man in Great Britain wants the state to give his wife permission to kill him. Tony Nicklinson has locked-in syndrome and communicates by blinking his eyes and nodding his head.
Coccola conceded universities should welcome free speech, but insisted there are limits.

"There are ways of phrasing messages that don't come across as negative to people," he said.
Previously, prosecutors in England issued guidelines stating that individuals who help assist in suicides won't be prosecuted if they were motivated by compassion and the victim clearly wanted to die. The guidelines didn't include euthanasia.

In a victory for prolife student clubs in Canada, the University of Victoria's Youth Protecting Youth settled a lawsuit they had filed against their university after they were denied funding and lost their club standing.
Under the agreement, the anti-abortion group received more than $700 it should have been paid over the last two years. Youth Protecting Youth was also formally reinstated as a club, and the students' society revised its policies to expunge the sections that targeted anti-abortion groups.
The group had its funding cut after posting what I believe were some Feminists for Life posters (shocking, I know) and hosting a debate. Weak-minded pro-choicers complained and the student society declared the debate harassment. James Coccola, the student society chair, wouldn't admit any wrongdoing and he shows that he has no understanding of free speech.
Coccola conceded universities should welcome free speech, but insisted there are limits.

"There are ways of phrasing messages that don't come across as negative to people," he said.

There are pro-choicers who are mad about the Obama administration's decision on high risk insurance and then there's Rebecca Sive. She's really mad.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life Links 7/19/10

At First Things, Mary Rose Somarriba dissects Emily Bazelon's "The New Abortion Providers" article and discusses how abortion will always be in the back alley of public life.
They embody the single biggest indicator of delusion, which is this: In order to see things working out their way, they have to imagine the world different than it is. Bazelon describes one Planned Parenthood director who "looked out the window, at all the people who she wished could feel the urgency she does, and pointed out that change in medicine comes slowly."

And abortion supporters need this to keep going—they need to keep looking forward to the vision they have in mind. But what they lose along the way is a deeper understanding of why abortion isn't accepted in public and medical life. Rather than trying to understand why support for abortion dwindles, they turn away, they cover up, they try to hide the discomforting part of abortion from patients, from nurses, from themselves.....

Somewhere in these women's stories lies the reason why abortion still causes hesitation for much of the American public; the reason why many women who support the availability of abortion in the abstract say they wouldn't do it themselves; the reason why many doctors who support abortion in polls don't perform them in their offices. But abortion supporters, like those quoted in Bazelon's article, find it hard to look closer to understand these reasons and grapple with them.

The Associated Press has an article on the now-apparently-removed abortion coverage from states' high risk plans.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, acknowledged that his side had won a round.

"If they now do what they say they are going to do, that would be good," Johnson said of the Obama administration. "But in our view they are doing it because the spotlight has been put on them and we blew the whistle."

Unions in Michigan plan on spending millions of dollars on advertisements to inform the public that one Democratic candidate for governor is opposed to abortion.

Here's the latest on induced pluripotent stem cells.
A study by Hochedlinger published in the journal Nature in April found that in most mouse iPS cells, a cluster of genes known to be important in development was not activated. In the most stringent test, those iPS cells did not perform as well as embryonic stem cells. But he also found a small portion of iPS cells in which those genes were active, and the cells had the full development potential of embryonic stem cells.

He is now repeating the experiment using human cells, and says his work suggests that it may be possible to optimize the reprogramming process or to use the genetic differences to sort good iPS cells from bad.

A bus driver in Texas is suing his employer after he was fired for refusing to pick up a woman and take her to Planned Parenthood.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Baby Blogging

Chowing down

"Can you turn the screen away, please?"

The magazine Elle has a piece by Bettina Paige entitled. "Fertility Treatments: Would You Get Selective Reduction" in which the author discusses her and husband's decision to abort one of their twins after using artificial insemination to become pregnant. It's amazingly honest for the most part, Paige knows her "selective reduction" decision was completely selfish. Her reasons for deciding to kill one of her twin children could easily have been used to rationalize killing both children (small apartment, don't want to move, don't have the money, limited career advancement etc.). She recognizes that the child she decided to have killed had "an identity," "could be a life" and that the "selective reduction" terminology is Orwellian. Yet she does it anyway after her husband responds negatively to the news they had twins.
During my weekly visits to Dr. H.’s office over the next month, I watched the two little sacs on the sonogram darken and grow, develop heartbeats and vaguely human outlines. “Can you turn the screen away, please?” I asked, tears pooling in the corners of my eyes. “I don’t want to get attached.”

Dr. H. turned it toward me and said sternly: “Start getting attached.”

I’d already asked him about selective reduction. A colleague of his had told me that many women do it, and that it was no more dangerous than amniocentesis. But Dr. H. contradicted her: The odds of losing the entire pregnancy were about 10 percent, he said, and he didn’t do reductions himself.

I kept telling myself I should be happy to be pregnant at all: After wanting another child for the better part of two years and trying and failing for 12 months to have one on my own, I’d conceived! But I grew increasingly despondent as the deadline for terminating one of the pregnancies loomed. My husband was convinced that twins would radically change our lives for the worse. We’d have to leave our beloved neighborhood for a place with cheaper rents and better public schools—there was no way we could afford private education for three kids. We’d kiss goodbye any hope of career advancement, at least for the foreseeable future. To his list, I added the loss of my income, necessary to meet our expenses. I couldn’t see how I’d be able to resume working after the birth since we could never afford full-time help, and—no matter how well they napped—two infants wouldn’t leave much time for anything else.

Reported Abortions in Michigan down in 2009 to record low

The number of reported abortions performed in Michigan dropped 13.9% in 2009 to 22,357. This is the lowest number of reported abortions since the state required abortionists to file reports.

I am concerned that the actual drop in Michigan's abortions isn't as large and this large drop of reported abortions has more to do with an abortionist (or abortionists) failing to follow state law and deciding not to report all their abortions. The number of abortions performed in Macomb county dropped dramatically (over 30%) while abortions performed in neighboring counties Oakland and Wayne didn't increase dramatically. The majority of counties where abortions occur saw drops in the number of abortions performed but nothing resembling Macomb's huge reduction. I think it would take the closing of a rather large abortion mill to see the kind of location specific decrease that Macomb county saw and I'm not aware of a large abortion mill which closed up shop in Macomb county during 2009.

Abortion organizations peeved at Obama, want high risk insurance plans to cover abortion

In response to National Right to Life showing that the federally subsidized high risk insurance plans in both Pennsylvania and New Mexico would cover elective abortions, Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Jenny Backus tried to squelch the fire.
"In all our PCIP plans, abortions will not be covered except in the cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother would be endangered," said Jenny Backus. The department is working on guidance to make those restrictions explicit to states and insurance plans.
This hasn't made Planned Parenthood and NARAL happy campers. Planned Parenthood issued a press release statement from President Cecile Richards stating,
“Based on the Obama administration’s statement, we are deeply disappointed that the administration has voluntarily and unnecessarily decided to impose limits on private funds used to purchase health insurance coverage for abortion care in the new high-risk insurance pools....

This decision has no basis in the law and flies in the face of the intent of the high-risk pools that were meant to meet the medical needs of some of the most vulnerable women in this country."
Nancy Keenan and NARAL were also upset that elective abortion apparently now won't be included.
Abortion is the most common surgical procedure women receive," Keenan said. "At a time when the country is on the cusp of implementing nationwide health-insurance coverage, it is unacceptable to treat abortion care differently in the new high-risk pools.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life Links 7/15/10

The New York Times has a long article by Emily Bazelon on abortion providers and efforts to make abortion more mainstream in the medical community. Efforts to provide medical schools with seed money for abortion training are being funded by Warren Buffett.
The tax records also show that most of the foundation’s spending goes to abortion and contraception advocacy and research. According to Access Philanthropy, a research institute that focuses on the giving preferences of foundations and corporate donors, family planning is one of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation’s main purposes. The foundation’s nonprofit 990 tax form shows that in 2008, Planned Parenthood and its affiliates in the U.S. received about $45 million; the international arm of the organization got about $8 million. There is no line item for the Ryan program or the Family Planning Fellowship. But the foundation paid out around $50 million to universities with one or both of the programs.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has allowed an ultrasound bill in Missouri to become law without his signature.
Missouri abortion clinics will face new mandates to offer women ultrasound images and heartbeats of their fetuses as a result of legislation allowed to become law Wednesday by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The Democratic governor, facing his first decision on an abortion bill, sidestepped a direct endorsement of the new requirements by citing a Missouri constitutional provision allowing bills to become law without the governor's signature.

Police in Manilla are investigating how abortion pills are being smuggled into the Philippines from another country.

Jesse Reynolds (a proponent of embryonic stem cell research) comments on the ridiculousness that is Robert Klein's boostering of CIRM.
But Klein's arguments ring hollow. First, he cites an economic study that concludes the program has generated significant tax revenue. But that study's conclusions were controversial, and in any case $100 million is far less than the billion dollars the CIRM has already spent. The program is certainly not paying for itself, as he suggests now and as he claimed before the vote on Proposition 71.

Second, Klein cites reduced health care costs. He goes so far as to say, "First of all, we're saving lives." While I sincerely hope that embryonic stem cell research leads to therapies, that is not yet the case. Clinical trials are yet to begin. (Maybe next year? (1, 2)) Until there are genuine therapies, such savings remain hypothetical.

What's an Obama executive order on abortion worth?

Probably less than the change I can find in my couch.

While promising that Obamacare funds wouldn't be used to cover abortion, the Department of Health and Human Services has already approved Pennsylvania's and New Mexico's high risk insurance pool plans, both of which cover abortion.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nebraska abortion screening law blocked

Via the AP:
U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp on Wednesday granted Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's request for a preliminary injunction against the law, which was supposed to take effect Thursday. The injunction keeps the law from being enforced while the lawsuit is decided.

Life Links 7/14/10

U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp will issue a ruling today on Nebraska's abortion screening law. Another story about the case has this quote from Jill June, President of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland:
There was no evidence whatsoever that there's any inadequacy in the existing informed consent law. As a matter of fact, I think it's widely understood that Nebraska has a very sound informed consent law in place protecting the citizens," June said.
That's interesting considering that abortion proponents are typically opposed to informed consent laws like Nebraska's. For example, here's NARAL's web page on Nebraska's "biased counseling and mandatory delay" law.

A group of Canadian prolifers recently displayed pictures of aborted children on the streets of Guelph and received some news coverage.
Connell, who started Show the Truth’s Canadian movement 11 years ago, said she understands why some people find the images offensive, but she thinks they’re necessary to get across the reality of the act.

“There are no pretty pictures of abortion,” she said. “They’re realistic. They show little, decapitated mutilated babies because that’s what it is.”

Researchers at Oxford with take skin cells from Parkinson's patients and create induced pluripotent cells from them in the hopes of turning them into nerve cells to learn more about how Parkinson's effects these nerve cells.

Another group of British researchers will use adult stem cells and cartilage cells to try to treat patients with arthritic knees.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Life Links 7/12/10

Another day, more bad reporting on stem cell research. Katie Worth has an article in the San Francisco Examiner about the spending habits of CIRM, California's stem cell agency. Unfortunately, she didn't do her research. She writes,
It was approved at a time when President George W. Bush had banned federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and universities and other research institutions were forced to carefully separate their federally funded adult stem cell research from their privately funded embryonic stem cell research.
I wonder what textbooks in 50 years will say about Bush's 2001 decision to limit the federal funding of embryonic stem cells to embryonic stem cell lines created before August of 2001.

The New York Times has a piece about a last week'sFriday Night Lights episode in which one of the characters has an abortion.

The LiveAction blog embeds a video of young Lia Mills explaining how abortion isn't a personal preference issue.

Abortion advocate Joyce Arthur attempted to respond to Andrea Mrozek and Rebecca Walberg's piece about the incredible amount of guesswork and estimations involved in worldwide illegal abortion statistics. Here's a portion of Mrozek's and Walberg's response to Arthur response.
Citing surveys of schoolchildren about whether they know someone who's had post-abortion complications, as Ms. Arthur did in her piece, is baffling. We feel sure that a sizeable number of Canadian schoolchildren might claim to know a friend of a cousin whose stomach exploded after combining Coke and Pop Rocks. Shall we launch a worldwide campaign against junk food on the strength of those numbers?

Is it me or are the results of Planned Parenthood of California's 2 year undercover operation to expose CPCs incredibly weak.
* CPCs tell women, incorrectly, that abortion leads to serious immediate and long-term complications including mental disorders, breast cancer, and future infertility.
* Over half of the CPCs investigated highlighted mortality as a claimed complication from abortion.
Here's the entire report.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Life Links 7/9/10

Wesley Smith on a case where an Australian woman is traveling to Thailand to have a sex-selection IVF procedure to ensure she has a girl.
Increasingly, IVF is not about treating infertility, but about reducing reproduction to a crass consumer activity akin to choosing a breed of dog or model of flat screen television. This is objectification pure and simple. When we believe we are entitled not just to a child but to the kind of child we want, it strikes a body blow against unconditional love–because by definition, it isn’t.

An Abortion Gang member thinks the best argument against abortion restrictions and in favor of taxpayer funding for abortion is that the less restrictions and the more government funding women get for abortions, the sooner they'll have them.
This is where the “trust women” phrase comes into play. You, me, the government, everybody, needs to trust that women will do the right thing. Women who want abortions will get one done as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in the US, a woman will often have to pay for an abortion out of pocket. This means she has to spend time raising money, which can lead to her being later in the pregnancy at the time of the procedure. In Canada, where most abortions are covered by health insurance, many women are able to have an abortion as soon as possible, since they don’t have to spend time raising money towards the cost of the procedure. This means that more Canadian women have abortions in the first trimester. That is the best argument for why abortions should be publicly funded.
Besides not understanding what a good argument is, Not Guilty also might want to check out U.S. abortion stats which show that some states with numerous abortion restrictions have low percentages of late term abortions while other states with zero or limited abortion restrictions and the government funding of abortion have higher percentages of late-term abortions.

Traveling abortionist George Klopfer has contacted the FBI after receiving a death threat at his unpublished home phone number. Klopfer believes the individual who threatened him discovered his information after he filed a lawsuit against the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health. Klopfer is fighting a local ordinance which requires non-local physicians who don't have admitting privileges to "provide contact information to area emergency rooms and the local health department."

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Keep your beliefs to yourself while I tell you what to do

At the Abortioneers blog, Sparky has a post in which she tries to equate "hands" in the saying, "keep your hands to yourself" to "beleifs(sic), morals, and laws."
It seems so simple when I tell a 3 year old to keep their hands to their self, yet somehow people are unable to transfer this very simple concept to broader arenas such as laws and beleifs. All we ask is that people remember one simple lesson: Keep your hands to yourself. In the world at large your hands might include your beleifs, morals, and laws. Regardless of what you call it, please keep them to your self. When you pray to your God, I would never try to stop you. So please just let us live our lives as we see fit.
It seems Sparky also has a problem keeping her hands/beliefs to herself and she doesn't even see it. She believes (supposedly because she thinks people should keep their beliefs to themselves) that prolifers shouldn't share their beliefs but she has no problem sharing her belief that prolifers should be quiet about their beliefs.

Maybe somebody is a little touchy-feely.

Life Links 7/7/10

Pro-choice blogger Jessica Valenti calls her unborn child "a baby" during a post about how some people can do annoying things (like touching bellies without permission) to pregnant women.
I am an interesting person outside of carrying this baby – I promise!

Rebecca Taylor points out how a Presbyterian columnist at the National Catholic Register named Bill Tammeus seems to be been completely fooled about what human cloning is and what somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) creates. He says this in an aptly named column entitled, "It's easy to be misled on stem cell research." Below is great quote from someone who thinks SCNT therapies are still in development (amazing considering scientists haven't yet extracted embryonic stem cells from cloned human embryos) and doesn't think a cloned human embryo is a human being.
I also know it's easy to be misled on stem cell research if you don't name and understand things properly.

The Washington Post has published a personal story piece by Gillian St. Lawrence about how her and husband have used IVF to create and freeze embryos, which they may implant if they decide they want children at some point in the future. Both are perfectly fertile.
First, I looked online for clinics that did embryo freezing. Then I called them up and said, "I am 30 and my husband is 32, and we don't have any fertility problems, but we are wondering if your clinic would do IVF for us so we can create embryos and just freeze them; just skip the part where you transfer the fresh embryo into the uterus. We don't want to use any of them right now, but we want to save them for later."

Some doctors seemed to think I was crazy. ("Why don't you just wait a couple years and get pregnant at 32?" one said.).....

Our five frozen embryos, which we call our baby blastocysts, will remain in storage until we are ready to use them. Since study after study has indicated that the age of the uterus at the time the embryo is implanted is almost irrelevant to the success rate of achieving a healthy baby, we can wait 10 or 15 years: The chief consideration may well be how old I want to be when I'm raising a teenager

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed prolife legislation.
Women getting abortions in Louisiana will be required to get ultrasounds, and doctors who perform elective abortions won’t be covered under medical malpractice laws under bills Gov. Bobby Jindal signed Tuesday.

Also signed by Jindal was a ban on coverage for elective abortions in the insurance purchasing pools set up by the federal health overhaul legislation.

At BioEdge, Michael Cook notes that George Daley, a former embryonic stem cell researcher and proponent has focused his attention on induced pluripotent stem cells. Cook does get something wrong though, Daley certainly didn't "immediately" stop campaigning for embryonic stem cells once iPS cells were created. Daley continued making a variety of silly claims for a while after iPS cells were created.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Life Links 7/6/10

Slate's William Saletan believes the biggest lesson from the Kagan/partial-birth abortion controversy is that the courts should stop treating position papers from medical organizations as if they somehow less politicized than papers from other organizations.
But the larger problem is the credence subsequently given to ACOG's statement by courts, including the Supreme Court. Judges have put too much faith in statements from scientific organizations. This credulity must stop....

All of us should be embarrassed that a sentence written by a White House aide now stands enshrined in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, erroneously credited with scientific authorship and rigor. Kagan should be most chastened of all. She fooled the nation's highest judges. As one of them, she had better make sure they aren't fooled again.

In Omaha, a woman is suing her former employer because she claims the company's CEO said her unborn child was projecting a negative energy and creating a hostile work environment.

The New York Daily News reports that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy doesn't plan on retiring until after 2012.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Life Links 7/2/10

Spain's conservative Popular Party is suing to prevent the implementation of Spain's new liberal abortion law.
In challenging the 14-week clause as unconstitutional, the Popular Party cited a 1985 ruling from the Constitutional Court that said a woman's rights could not automatically take precedence over those of an unborn child, but rather only in cases of rape, fetal malformation or when the mother's health is in jeopardy.

To establish a period for unrestricted abortion "violates the balance between the rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn," Popular Party lawmaker Sandra Moneo said.

Planned Parenthood affiliates in New Jersey could suffer a huge blow if Governor Christie vetoes a family planning provision.
Clinics in Englewood, Hackensack, Garfield, Paterson, Passaic and Pompton Lakes will be affected if the cuts are implemented. Two Planned Parenthood chapters with a total of 16 clinics in northern New Jersey face the loss of a combined $2.4 million, and the North Hudson Community Action Corp., with eight sites providing family planning, will lose $550,000.

Planned Parenthood's clinics in Englewood and Hackensack could face closure or cutbacks. "I've got two centers in one county," said Triste Brooks, head of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey. "Can I make do with one?"

Abortionist Malachy DeHenre's appeal for a mistrial has been rejected by the Mississippi Supreme Court. In 2008, DeHenre was convicted for manslaughter in his wife's 1997 death. During the trial, a prospective juror called him an "abortionist" during jury selection.
"Despite the incendiary nature of abortion, we cannot say that the isolated comment with respect to DeHenre being an abortionist was so irreparably prejudicial as to warrant a mistrial," the court said in its written opinion.

Induced pluripotent stem cells have been created from frozen blood samples.
These iPS cells have in the past been made from plugs of skin, but blood is much easier to take from people and to store, the researchers reported in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

"Blood is the easiest, most accessible source of cells, because you'd rather have 20 milliliters of blood drawn than have a punch biopsy taken to get skin cells," Judith Staerk of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Massachusetts, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Killing for feminism

Yesterday's UK Times had an editorial by Antonia Senior entitled, "Yes, Abortion is Killing" in which Senior admits that the unborn are alive yet argues that the approximately 200,000 abortions a year in Great Britain are the "lesser evil" when compared to not allowing women to control their fertility. The article is filled with a dose of honesty that abortion proponents in the US rarely come close to. I guess when you aren't fearful of your country restricting abortion in the near future, it becomes easier to say things like this:
What seems increasingly clear to me is that, in the absence of an objective definition, a foetus is a life by any subjective measure. My daughter was formed at conception, and all the barely understood alchemy that turned the happy accident of that particular sperm meeting that particular egg into my darling, personality-packed toddler took place at that moment. She is so unmistakably herself, her own person — forged in my womb, not by my mothering.

Any other conclusion is a convenient lie that we on the pro-choice side of the debate tell ourselves to make us feel better about the action of taking a life. That little seahorse shape floating in a willing womb is a growing miracle of life. In a resentful womb it is not a life, but a foetus — and thus killable.
Despite recognizing that the unborn are living human beings, Antonia believes killing them is the lesser evil because she believes abortion plays a central role in the liberation of women.
But you cannot separate women’s rights from their right to fertility control. The single biggest factor in women’s liberation was our newly found ability to impose our will on our biology. Abortion would have been legal for millennia had it been men whose prospects and careers were put on sudden hold by an unexpected pregnancy. The mystery pondered on many a girls’ night out is how on earth men, bless them, managed to hang on to political and cultural hegemony for so long. The only answer is that they are not in hock to their biology as much as we are. Look at a map of the world and the right to abortion on request correlates pretty exactly with the expectation of a life unburdened by misogyny.

As ever, when an issue we thought was black and white becomes more nuanced, the answer lies in choosing the lesser evil. The nearly 200,000 aborted babies in the UK each year are the lesser evil, no matter how you define life, or death, for that matter. If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.
Besides the sexist idea that women aren't able to succeed in their careers without being able to kill their unborn children, the obvious problem with this line of thinking is:

If abortion is simply a lesser evil then why isn't infanticide a lesser evil as well? What if a woman who has a 3-year-old decides she wants to start a business but thinks her daughter will prevent her from being successful? Should she be able to kill for her dream? If not, why not?

Senior's position can provide no reasonable explanation for why killing any child (born or unborn) which is presumed to be in the way should be illegal. If it's justified to kill living unborn human beings because they could get in the way, then women should be just as justified in killing their born children when they get in the way.

Maybe American pro-choice feminists are smart enough to realize this and that's why they so often cling to the belief that the unborn aren't living human beings.

HT: Albert Mohler

Life Links 7/1/10

Shannen Coffin replies to Elena Kagan’s response to questioning about her ACOG statement re-write. It’s amazing how Kagan was able to absorb the opinions of the ACOG experts without meeting with them and then re-write the ACOG statement in such a manner that helped President Clinton and encompassed their unspoken opinions.

As always, the RH Reality Check has a hilarious response to this controversy. Apparently, Kagan has such a big heart, she really didn't want the ACOG to release a statement which didn't contain an opinion she wrote for them because her statement reflected what the experts thought even though she had no contact with them.

Via, Mary Meets Dolly, is news that the book Never Let Me Go has been made into a movie. She's embedded a long trailer. The book is about a group of cloned human beings who eventually have their organs harvested.

The UK's Sun has a piece on a mother who decide to keep her child after she found out her RU-486 abortion failed.
It was there stunned medics dropped a bombshell.

"I thought being sick was a side-effect to the pills," she recalls, "but they gave me a scan.

"And there on the screen, the doctors could see the baby, with his heart still beating strongly.

"In fact, I had morning sickness. For some reason, the pills hadn't worked.

"I was distraught. It had been a very emotional decision to have the abortion in the first place. Now I just felt numb with shock. I couldn't believe it."

And worse was to come.

"I was told to come back the next day for another abortion. But, as the pills hadn't worked, this time I would need an operation under anaesthetic. I was so upset I burst into tears."

Later that night, Lucy realised she could not go through with it.

"Although I hadn't seen my baby on the scan, just knowing his heart was beating made him a baby," she says.

"I began thinking how hard he was fighting to stay alive. And I knew I couldn't go through with it."