Thursday, December 29, 2011

Selective reduction abortion statistics from the UK

The propensity to kill one of your unborn twin children is not just an American tragedy though I would guess the numbers in the U.S. would be much higher.
Department of Health statistics found that more than 100 babies were terminated by women expecting twins, triplets or quintuplets, the Daily Telegraph said.

The statistics, released under the freedom of information law, revealed that in 2010, 85 women aborted at least one foetus while going on to give birth to another baby. This compares to 59 women in 2006.

Of the 85 women undergoing selective reductions last year, 51 were reducing a pregnancy from twins to a single baby, up from 30 four years before.

The data showed that there were 20 abortions to reduce triplets to twins and nine procedures to take a pregnancy from triplets to a single child.

GOP attacks women by trying to save girls from sex-selection abortions?

Oh Alternet. You rarely disappoint. Here's Tanya Somanader piece entitled "The GOP's 10 Most Extreme Attacks on Women." One of those extreme attacks on women is legislation which hopes to outlaw sex selection abortions in the U.S.
Race/Sex Abortions: Taking their queue from Arizona, House Republicans introduced the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) — a so-called "civil rights" bill that bans physicians from performing abortions based on the fetus's race or sex. The problem of selective abortion is virtually non-existent, as not one state official or independent research offered any evidence of race-based abortions. Only 5 percent of abortions occur after the point when a fetus's sex can be determined. Arizona's measure, now law, sends doctors and clinicians to jail for three years if they knowingly provide such abortions. The federal bill PRENDA allows for civil suits against the physicians.
Tanya never explains how this legislation, which would deal with a supposedly "virtually non-existent" problem, is extreme or an attack on women.

I guess I supposed to take it as a given that for Alternet readers any legislation which restricts abortion (even abortions performed solely because the child is a girl) is an extreme attack on women.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Life Links 12/28/11

Rick Perry dropped his rape/incest exception to abortion after attending the abortion forum in Iowa, watching Gift of Life and discussing abortion exceptions with a woman who was conceived in rape. The Hill has the video of him discussing his change of heart.

The Detroit Free Press has an AP story on China's one-child policy and those who defy it.
It's impossible to know how many children have been born in violation of the one-child policy, but Zhai Zhenwu, director of Renmin University's School of Sociology and Population in Beijing, estimates that less than 1% of the 16 million babies born each year are "out of plan."

Robocalls are bad enough but now we've got robotexts.
During Tuesday's edition of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," correspondent Peter Alexander said that some Iowans received text messages Tuesday morning urging them to call an in-state phone number.

When they did so, they heard "a recording of Mitt Romney's comments from 1994, where his convictions on the pro-life, the abortion, debate have really been in question."

In California, Willie Hines Jr. has pleaded not guilty to murdering Tatjana Cruz and her unborn child.

A Texas man has been arrested for a stem cell scheme in which he made $1.5 million for injecting stem cells into patients with diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis. His scam was featured on 60 Minutes in 2010.
According to a 19-page indictment filed in Houston's federal courthouse in November, Morales oversaw the purchase umbilical cords and placentas from a maternity clinic in Del Rio, Texas.

Morales allegedly had the genetic materials shipped to a lab in Arizona where they were forwarded into the hands of a South Carolina pathologist who harvested the stem cells.

According to the 15-count indictment, Morales would use the stem cells in Mexico as medical treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis and procedures that are not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

New research is showing that performing an autopsy on the remains of stillborn children can provide information about a possible or probable cause.
In fact, the study of 512 stillborns -- a fetal death in the second half of pregnancy -- found the most common causes were obstetric complications, including preterm labor and premature rupturing of the amniotic sac, accounting for 29 percent of the deaths.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Life Links 12/22/11

One of the Planned Parenthood clinics which is closing in Washington provided RU-486 chemical abortions. Herald writer Sharon Salyer gets how RU-486 abortions work completely wrong.
The Oak Harbor clinic, which operated three days a week, served a little more than 1,000 patients, said Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.

While surgical abortions were not performed at the site, women could prevent a pregnancy by getting from the clinic RU 486, the so-called abortion pill.

State Representative Margo Davidson, one of the Pennsylvania legislators who voted in favor of the new abortion clinic regulations, was related to Semika Shaw, one of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's victims.
"I honor her memory by voting for this bill," Davidson told her colleagues Wednesday after the controversial measure was approved. "So women will no longer walk into a licensed health-care facility and be butchered as she was."
Shaw's death, which led to a $900,000 insurance settlement, was central to the grand jury's conclusion that state officials had failed to inspect the clinic for two decades and repeatedly ignored complaints of possible criminal activity there.

Davidson, 49, who grew up in same Mantua neighborhood where Shaw lived and the Gosnell clinic was located, said her young cousin probably sought an abortion because she had two young children and realized that as a single woman, she could not support a third. The grand jury report said Shaw had four previous abortions.

Little wonder the clinic wasn't inspected in those days, Davidson reasoned. "The regulations regarding inspection were only policy," the legislator said. "It was not mandated by the law."

In Australia, a 42-year-old woman died after undergoing an abortion at the same abortion clinic where abortion clinic anesthesiologist James Peters infected dozens of women with hepatitis C. The clinic is run by Marie Stopes International.

A woman in the UK spent the last 3 months of her pregnancy in a tilted hospital bed to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Donna Kelly, 29, was told five months into her pregnancy that her baby was just an inch from the top of her cervix and at risk of "falling out".

So doctors made her lie in a hospital bed tilted at 45 degrees to reduce the pressure.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Georgia abortionist charged with Medicaid fraud, billed abortions as new patient visits

Georgia-based abortionist Tyrone Malloy has been indicted on Medicaid fraud. He and his former office manager allegedly billed the federal government over $100,000 for abortions over a nearly 3 year period. They also allegedly billed the government for ultrasounds they didn't perform. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The alleged fraud occurred at Malloy's Old National Gynecology, a medical practice in the 6200 block of Old National Highway in College Park, whose website says it specializes in first-trimester abortions.

According to the indictment, between Dec. 9, 2007 and Aug. 9, 2010, the defendants billed the Georgia Medicaid program approximately $131,615 for new patient visits when, in reality, the visits were for elective abortions.

The Georgia Medicaid program is funded jointly by the state and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Under federal law known as the Hyde Amendment, federal funds cannot be used for elective abortion services; nor are abortions covered by Georgia Medicaid, the indictment states.

Malloy and Warner also are charged in the indictment with billing Georgia Medicaid about $255,024 for detailed ultrasounds that actually were never performed during the same period from 2007 through 2010.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Life Links 12/19/11

In the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen discusses Newt Gingrich's various statements on when life begins and embryonic stem cell research.

The Guttmacher Institute has published new research which looks at the demographics of women who have abortions after 12 weeks. The studies findings include that black women and teens were more likely to have later term abortions than other segments of the population and that later term abortions were more likely to be paid for with health insurance.

Here's abortion advocate/journalist Sarah Kliff's write-up.

A California woman, whose name has not been released, has died after being beaten by her unborn child's father. She was 20 weeks pregnant and her child died immediately after the attack and she died a couple of days later. Police are now looking for Willie Davis Hines Jr.
San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies received a report of a domestic disturbance at 4:44 p.m. They discovered the victim, a 24-year-old woman, was knocked unconscious by Hines during a fight. The unnamed victim was flown to a hospital for treatment of critical head and upper body injuries. Doctors discovered the woman's 20-week-old fetus had died.

St. Louis Today has the story of Melinda Star Guido, a child who was born at 24 weeks, weighing nine ounces. She now weighs over 4 pounds.
Melinda was just 270 grams at birth — roughly the size of a soda can. When a baby is that small, doctors say it is anybody's guess what will happen. There is little research about long-term survival. Doctors across the nation often let babies weighing less than 400 grams die, Ramanathan said.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Planned Parenthood resumes abortions at two Arizona facilities

Planned Parenthood of Arizona has announced that they will resume providing abortion at two clinic as they either found another abortionist to provide them (they were using nurse practitioners until Arizona law squashed that) or their current abortionists have become more willing to travel.
The organization halted abortion services at all but three clinics statewide in late August after several state laws went into effect requiring that only physicians dispense medication abortion pills or perform first-trimester surgical abortions. Before, a nurse practitioner or physicians assistant could perform those duties. Planned Parenthood at the time was unable to find enough doctors to continue providing abortions at all of its locations, particularly those in the more rural areas of Flagstaff, Yuma and Prescott Valley.

The only three clinics that continued to provide abortions were in Tucson, Tempe and Glendale.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona CEO Bryan Howard said they now have enough doctors to serve five locations in the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas. He said they are still trying to find doctors in the rural areas so they can re-open those clinics.
Bryan Howard again restates that 20% of Planned Parenthood of Arizona's patients are looking for abortions.
According to Howard, about 50,000 Arizona women seek care from Planned Parenthood's 13 clinics each year, about 10,000 of them for abortions. The rest are for a variety of health-care needs, including birth control, vaccinations, cancer screenings and annual gynecological exams.
Howard also notes that the abortion restrictions have likely lowered the number of abortions performed on women from rural communities (which undermines the pro-choice talking point that abortion restrictions don't prevent abortions).

Life Links 12/15/11

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article on Katie Sharify, the last patient in Geron's now-canceled study, who was recently injected with cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. It's tragic the false hope this young woman has been given. While doctors tell her that the cells aren't likely to help her, she seems to not know about adult stem cell research into paralysis and her expectations of what embryonic stem cells are going to do in the future is completely unrealistic. At first she wasn't convinced, then a surgeon talked her into it, likely citing a first-of-its-kind-must-be-super-important kind of reasoning and downplaying possible risks.
Sharify said she wasn't immediately sure she wanted to participate in the study. She didn't know a lot about embryonic stem cells other than that they were controversial. She knew she'd be getting a treatment that was considered fairly safe, but was also experimental. Her parents were even less enthusiastic.

The entire family debated the treatment up until the night before the surgery. In the end, it was the surgeon from Stanford who would be injecting the actual stem cells who convinced her.

"After talking to him, I knew this was a really big deal," Sharify said. "I'd been trying to find the reason all of this happened to me."

National Right to Life PAC and Nebraska Right to Life PAC will be working against Senator Ben Nelson in 2012 if he seeks re-election because of his vote on health care legislation.
"Ben Nelson cannot win in Nebraska without pro-life support and he won't have it. No pro-lifer should even consider supporting Ben Nelson for re-election," David O'Steen, the national group's director, said in a statement.

Whether or not Nelson will seek reelection is one the biggest open questions in the race for control of the Senate. Democratic leaders have kept mum about their conversations with Nelson, who told The Hill on Tuesday that he could make a decision as early as next week.

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been indicted for his illegal prescription business, which was the only reason his house of horrors abortion clinic got raided in the first place.
Authorities said the doctor wrote hundreds of prescriptions a month, topping out at 2,300 prescriptions in January 2010, the month before federal drug and FBI agents raided the clinic.....

According to prosecutors, patients paid $115 to $150 for the prescriptions and received cursory, if any, examinations. They were allowed to purchase multiple prescriptions under different names, authorities said.

Gosnell and his staff dispensed some of the medicine over the 20 months covered by the indictment, including more than 900,000 pills and 19,000 ounces of cough syrup with codeine, authorities said.

USA Today, CNN and MSNBC covered last night's abortion forum in Iowa.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, trailing in Iowa polls, won the biggest applause from the crowd tonight – and aimed his remarks at his competitors.

"I have some problems with some of the folks who running for office these days when they say, ‘I believe life begins at conception.' That's like, I say, ‘I believe the sun rises.'" Santorum said, to laughs.

"Why would you say you believe something that's a fact?" Santorum added.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Abortionist's wife pleads guilty

Pearl Gosnell, the wife of infamous Philadelphia abortion Kermit Gosnell, has pled guilty to a variety of charges related to her helping him abort children at the Women's Medical Society abortion clinic. She won't testify against her husband at trial.
Pearl Gosnell, 50, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to performing an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy, two counts of conspiracy and participating in a corrupt organization, according to court documents.....

Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner set Pearl Gosnell's sentencing for Feb. 15. He warned Gosnell that she faces up to 54 years in prison, but that her actual sentence would not be "nearly that long," according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The lawyers in the case are under a gag order. However, defense attorney F. Michael Medway confirmed to the Inquirer that Pearl Gosnell would not testify against her husband at trial, which is her legal privilege.

Life Links 12/13/11

The federal government denied a request from the state of Texas which would have prevented Medicaid patients from using family planning money at abortion clinic.
As for the state's request to ban clinics that perform abortions from getting money through the Women's Health Program under a separate Medicaid waiver, Mann said it violated federal law.

"Medicaid does not pay for abortions and will not pay for abortions," Mann said. "The issue here is not whether Medicaid funding is involved, but whether a state can restrict access to a qualified health provider simply because they provide other services that Medicaid doesn't pay for. The law does not permit this."

"We are disappointed in the decision, which is inconsistent with federal law that gives states the authority to establish qualifications for Medicaid providers," said Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for Texas Health and Human Services.

The Wall Street Journal's William McGurn writes about Kathleen Sebelius' plan to impose a contraceptive coverage mandate on employers, including Catholic employers.
Whether you approve or disapprove of contraception or sterilization is beside the point. Today nine out of 10 employer plans offer what Mrs. Sebelius wants them to. The point is whether it is right or necessary for Mrs. Sebelius to use the federal government to bring the other 10% to heel.

There was a day when liberals and libertarians appreciated the importance of upholding the freedoms of people and groups with unpopular views. No longer. As government expands, religious liberty is reduced to a special "exemption" and concerns about government coercion are dismissed, in the memorable words of Nancy Pelosi, as "this conscience thing."

Another study with iPS cells out of Stanford shows how their potential to be used to model genetic diseases far outreaches embryonic stem cells due to the ease of obtaining them from patients with genetic disease as opposed to attempting to find embryos with genetic diseases, then kill them and obtain their embryonic stem cells.
Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have shown that iPS cells, viewed as a possible alternative to human embryonic stem cells, can mirror the defining defects of a genetic condition — in this instance, Marfan syndrome — as well as embryonic stem cells can. An immediate implication is that iPS cells could be used to examine the molecular aspects of Marfan on a personalized basis. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, can't do this because their genetic contents are those of the donated embryo, not the patient's.

This proof-of-principle regarding the utility of induced pluripotent stem cells also has more universal significance, as it advances the credibility of an exciting approach that's been wildly acclaimed by some and viewed through gimlet eyes by others: the prospect of using iPS cells in modeling a broad range of human diseases. These cells, unlike ESCs, are easily obtained from virtually anyone and harbor a genetic background identical to the patient from which they were derived. Moreover, they carry none of the ethical controversy associated with the necessity of destroying embryos.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life Links 12/12/11

Newsweek's The Daily Beast has a long story on Jennie McCormick, the woman in Idaho who aborted a later-term pregnancy using RU-486 and then put her dead child in a box on the back porch.
McCormack, who thought she was about 12 weeks along, took the pills (the protocol involves two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol) the afternoon they arrived. The drugs are FDA-approved only for ending early-stage pregnancies; McCormack had no complications, but the pregnancy turned out to be more advanced than she thought—perhaps between 18 and 21 weeks, experts later speculated—and the size of the fetus scared her. She didn't know what to do—"I was paralyzed," she says—so she put it in a box on her porch, and, terrified, called a friend. That friend then called his sister, who reported McCormack to the police.
The author, Nancy Hess, includes this absurd claim about fetal pain with no source given.
(Virtually all research on the subject shows that fetuses cannot distinguish pain until as late as the 30th week of gestation.)

ABC News has a report from Elizabeth Vargas on sex-selection abortion and infanticide in India.

Hilarious Amanda Marcotte quote of the week (my emphasis):
But don't take my word for it. David Dayen at Firedoglake quoted respected and non-ideological pollster Celinda Lake on the issue:

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said she could "not even remotely" understand the political calculus of the decision, saying it "alienates the base, causes conflict with women in the base, [is] bad for key groups of women like younger women and unmarried women, and doesn't win the swing independent women."
It's one thing to ignorantly claim Celinda Lake is non-ideological. It's another to say she's non-ideological and then post a quote which the author identifies Lake as being a Democratic pollster.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Pro-choice advocates: Back-alley abortions? Who cares?

Among the numerous foolish claims in this RH Reality Check piece questioning why self-inducing a post-24 week abortion should be illegal, Steph Herold and Susan Yanow claim:
In spite of ever-increasing restrictions, abortion is legal through the second-trimester throughout the United States, although it is inaccessible to many women.
Yet the arrested woman self-aborted her child in New York City, the abortion capital of America where tax dollars pay for the abortions of poor women and 41% of pregnancies end in abortion.

How is abortion inaccessible in New York City?

It's not as Herold and Yanow admit later noting the woman had virtually unfettered access to abortion.
Women in New York City have much better access to abortion care than Ms. McCormack did. New York State allows state Medicaid funds to cover abortion services, and there are a number of clinics in New York City that provide abortion care through 24 weeks. New York also does not have the restrictions, such as waiting periods and parental consent, that are insurmountable barriers for women in many other states. So why would a woman in New York City decide to end her pregnancy by herself?
What's interesting here is that if the woman in question had self-aborted in a state with abortion restrictions, pro-abort individuals and organizations would be screaming from the mountaintops about how draconian prolife laws forced this woman into a dangerous situation where she felt she had to self-abort. But since the incident took place in America's abortion capital, we're informed how safe self-abortion supposedly is (at 24+ weeks - are you kidding me!) and told it shouldn't be a crime.
We do not have enough information to guess whether or not this woman fell through the gaps in the social support and health net, or made a conscious choice to end her pregnancy in a way that she felt most comfortable. But why is self-treating an unwanted pregnancy a crime?

We certainly should do everything possible to provide excellent information to women about services and fight to keep abortion care widely available and accessible. But if a woman decides that the best thing for her to do is to self-induce an abortion, she should have access to the best information available on how to do this safely (ie with medicines, NOT herbs) and know where to go in case of a complication.

Reason pro-choice Canadian won't debate: "We already won" yet we still have lots to do

Try to make sense of these two posts from Abortion Monologues writer Jane.

First, she claims the reason pro-choicers in Canada are unwilling to debate prolifers is because they've "already won." While it's true that abortion is legal in Canada that hardly means pro-choicers have won the debate over abortion.

In her next post, Jane claims her time is better spent advocating for abortion (but wait - I thought you already won?) as opposed to trying to provide a defense of abortion that doesn't get completely destroyed in a minute of cross-examination.

I would wager $100 that for any other cause where the law isn't on Jane's side, she wouldn't be claiming that the other side has already won and debating was pointless.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Life Links 12/8/11

On Wednesday, authorities arrested a man enlisted in the Navy named Joseph Devia for allegedly killing Omoyeme Erazua, a pregnant woman he had apparently impregnated, after see refused to have an abortion.
Erazua's body was discovered on a Houston street. An autopsy showed she had been stabbed in the neck about 20 times.

A purse found with the body contained a cellphone that showed calls and text messages between Erazua and Devia indicating Devia believed he was the child's father. The messages also indicated Devia wanted Erazua to have an abortion and that she had refused, according to a complaint filed by the Harris County district attorney's office cited in the Houston Chronicle.

At least 4 presidential candidates (Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum and Perry) have signed up to attend an abortion forum in Iowa.

Former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson has been hired as Senior Policy Advisor by Americans United for Life.

Michael New reviews a recent study on abortion legislation in Europe which, as he notes, "shows nothing."
Methodological shortcomings aside, the findings themselves should cause pro-lifers little concern. The only restrictions the study analyzes are country-wide requirements that a woman must demonstrate 1) a physical-health reason, 2) a mental-health reason, or 3) a socio-economic reason before having an abortion. The study finds that five EU countries that require that women demonstrate a reason for obtaining an abortion (Spain, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Finland, and the U.K.) have similar abortion rates to EU countries where abortion is available on demand. However, the findings support what pro-lifers have been saying for years, that health exceptions (and other exceptions) are too broad and fail to provide any real protection to the unborn.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Life Links 12/6/11

Newt Gingrich's communication director Joe DeSantis has clarified to prolife bloggers that Gingrich believes life begins at fertilization.

I still haven't seen any defense or reasoning for Gingrich's comments to ABC's Jake Tapper in which he specifically said he thought life began at implantation and provided his reasoning for that belief. It seems rather far fetched to believe he got implantation and fertilization confused. I'm not buying this at all.

British abortion provider BPAS is encouraging women to stock up on emergency contraception during the Christmas season and promoting a new service which allows women to get the pill for free with a phone call.

The trial of the Australian abortion clinic ananaesthetist who infected more than 50 women with Hepatitis C is under way.

The Daily Caller has a piece on embryonic stem cell research by Neil Munro which discusses the intentional hyping of embryonic stem cell research by scientists and Democrats. It has these interesting quotes by bioethicist Art Caplan who recently did a 180 on embryonic stem cell research.
"By hyping stem cells, the Democratic guys could accuse [conservatives] of being anti-science," said Caplan. "Those deals were wink-wink deals, but they were going on," he said.....

The mass media aligned with the Democrats "because the science community and the patients' community was on the pro-[embryo stem-cell] side," said Caplan. "They tended to listen to those voices more than the political [conservatives] and religious [advocates] and few scientists" pushing the rival technologies, he said.
Caplan was one of those guys accusing conservatives, especially President Bush, of being anti-science. He was one of the key voices on the pro-embryonic stem cell side the mass media turned to for an opinion which invariably promoted embryonic stem cell research while downplaying alternatives.

I welcome converts to the "embryonic stem cell research was completely hyped" tent but converts like Caplan should admit they were among the hypers and apologize for their attacks on prolifers who were right about the science.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Life Links 12/5/11

After his odd and competing statements on when life begins and embryonic stem cell research, Newt Gingrich's campaign has gone into damage control and published a statement on their web site which says Gingrich believes that "life begins at conception." It never notes what Gingrich means by conception. Unfortunately, the definition of conception (which should by synonymous with fertilization) has been manipulated to where some people think it means the same thing as implantation. Clarification needed.

The New York Times features on article on the prolife factions in Ohio and the heartbeat bill.

A former abortionist at Marie Stopes abortion clinics in the UK has been disqualified from practicing medicine. One of the patients whose care Phanuel Dartey botched was a woman seeking an abortion.
One of the five cases involved an unidentified Irishwoman whose uterus was perforated. The patient was also left with parts of her fetus inside her during the 2006 procedure.

The woman had to be rushed to hospital on her return to Ireland and was in a critical condition for two months before eventually recovering.

Defending prolife legislation can be expensive. In Kansas, for example:
After about six months, the state has tallied $392,520 in legal bills stemming from attempts to restrict abortion that were pushed during the legislative session earlier this year.

The state spent $237,834 on private lawyers defending efforts to strip Planned Parenthood of federal family planning funds. It has laid out $94,380 defending new rules for abortion clinics.

New York NOW is upset a New York woman has been arrested and charged for self-abortion.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Gingrich's position on implantation/embryonic stem cell research is nonsensical

Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich talked with ABC's Jake Tapper about abortion, when life begins and embryonic stem cell research. While Gingrich is supposedly the intellectual candidate in the field, his answers are far from thoughtful.
I think that if you take a position when a woman has fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life. because otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions.
So instead of basing when he thinks life begins on something like....I don't know... science, Gingrich appears to base it on his desire to avoid difficult questions.

Tapper seeks clarification:
TAPPER: So implantation is the moment for you.

GINGRICH: Implantation and successful implantation. In addition I would say that I’ve never been for embryonic stem cell research per se. I have been for, there are a lot of different ways to get embryonic stem cells. I think if you can get embryonic stem cells for example from placental blood if you can get it in ways that do not involve the loss of a life that’s a perfectly legitimate avenue of approach.

What I reject is the idea that we’re going to take one life for the purpose of doing research for other purposes and I think that crosses a threshold of de-humanizing us that’s very very dangerous.
If life begins at implantation (as Gingrich asserts) then why would he think that the killing human embryos who haven't implanted would "involve the loss of a life" and would cross "a threshold of de-humanizing us"?

His views make absolutely no sense. He completely contradicts himself in the span of a few sentences.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

New York woman charged with self-abortion

Yesterday, I linked to a story about the body of an approximately 24-week-old unborn child being found in a Manhattan dumpster. Now authorities have charged 20-year-old Yaribely Almonte with performing an abortion on herself.
Yaribely Almonte was charged with self abortion in the first degree, a misdemeanor which carries a punishment of up to a year in jail.

It was initially unclear how police connected the fetus to Almonte, but a law enforcement official said that she admitted to police that she had purposefully induced an abortion. It was not immediately clear how Almonte is alleged to have done this.

Under the state law, it's illegal for a woman who has been pregnant for 24 week or more to commit or submit to "an abortional act upon herself which causes her miscarriage." The exception to the law is if a licensed doctor performs the abortion after determining that the mother's life would otherwise be in danger.

Life Links 12/1/11

Slate's William Saletan (a pro-choicer who favors some abortion restrictions) describes his debate with Ann Furedi regarding limits on late-term abortion and while his conclusion (cognition, interaction and viability make humans valuable) is wrong, he still points to some major flaws in her beliefs:
If, as Furedi says, viability makes no particular difference, then why stop at birth? In our debate, I pointed out that the neural development trajectory outlined in "The Emergence of Human Consciousness: From Fetal to Neonatal Life" doesn't end at birth. It runs through the first three years of life. If a child's ability to survive on its own makes no difference, and if neural development adds no binding significance to the fetus's original dispensability, then who are you to impose your values on Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, or Marilyn Lemak? If a woman feels that eight, 18, or 28 weeks after birth isn't too late for her, shouldn't we trust her judgment?
Interestingly, Salean is unable to see that his own arbitrary criteria for limiting abortion could also lead to the killing of some born human beings.

On Tuesday, Circuit Judge William Gowan entered the default judgment in favor of Daschica Thomas who sued longtime Mississippi abortionist Joseph Booker in 2005 after a botched abortion in 2003 put her in a coma for a week. Booker didn't show for the hearing and his former lawyer doesn't know where to find him. He no longer works at Mississippi's lone abortion clinic.
The lawsuit claims that Booker wasn't the doctor originally scheduled to perform the abortion, but the other doctor was out that day. When Booker was performing the abortion, he allegedly stopped abruptly, said he couldn't finish it and told Thomas to come back so it could be completed by the other doctor.

The lawsuit claims a "reasonably prudent" physician would have treated Thomas with antibiotics because of her diabetes, but Booker didn't. Thomas allegedly came down with a blood infection, went into a coma and needed blood transfusions. The lawsuit also claims, among other things, that Thomas couldn't have children after the abortion and that her husband lost his job for missing work while caring for her.

Booker performed abortions in Mississippi for years and found himself in controversial situations before.
Here's an interview Booker did after the death of George Tiller.

The Illinois Supreme Court will take up Illinois' parental notification law which has been in limbo since 1995.

At the NY Times Opinionator Gary Gutting discusses personhood, abortion and logic.
The basic problem is that, once we give up the claim that a fertilized egg is a human person (has full moral standing), there is no plausible basis for claiming that all further stages of development are human persons. The DNA criterion seems to be the only criterion of being human that applies at every stage from conception to birth. If we agree that it does not apply at the earliest stages of gestation, there is no basis for claiming that every abortion is the killing of an innocent human person.

Trent Franks has introduced a bill to ban sex-selection abortions on the federal level. The usual suspects are opposed to the bill as they favor ensuring access to "culturally competent medical care."
n a letter to Congress co-signed by over 30 pro-choice groups — including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Center for Reproductive Rights — laid out their case, explaining that Franks' bill was "simply more of the same from the anti-choice extremists choice extremists in the House" and urged Congress to oppose the initiative.

"[T]he bill will effectively exacerbate already existing disparities by limiting some women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care and penalizing health care providers," they wrote. "Instead of addressing health disparities and ensuring accessible and culturally competent medical care for all women, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act will further isolate and stigmatize some women — particularly those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander and African American communities — from exercising their fundamental human right to make and implement decisions about their reproductive lives."