Saturday, December 30, 2017

Planned Parenthood Unveils New Nebraska License Plates. Yawn.

LifeNews notes: Nebraska Planned Parenthood has unveiled their new vague abortion-rights license plate:

One wag commented on FaceBook that this could be construed to apply to seat belt laws. This could be both good news and bad news for Planned Parenthood: Good news if people misconstrue the meaning of the plate, pony up the extra $70, and put money in your coffers. Bad news if the goal of spreading love of Planned Parenthood gets lost and you just end up with people unbuckling their belts.

The design also leaves a lot to be desired. There's just nothing there to connect to, no emotional content. Of course, when what you're pushing is abortion, it's tough to find a positive emotional connection to make with a casual observer.

This seems like a good time to revisit the old Choose Choice plates theme by critiquing what's there. Please let me know if there is any update in the status of these plates. And please note that I'm not going to address any of the assumptions behind the plates, just the plates themselves.

To be fair, all of these designs start at a disadvantage. Abortion is not exactly an upbeat thing, like the birth of a new baby, so it's hard to come up with a cheery graphic.

Massachusetts. They seem to be struggling pretty hard with the inherent downer that most people find abortion to be. They just drag out the standard non-approved fetus-dislodger, the coathanger. This is the only plate that in any way acknowledges that the topic in question is abortion rather than the market-tested "choice" that everybody else sticks with. As a result, the plate is simultaneously militant and depressing.
Florida. Adorable! Look how the little aborted baby stars fly up to Heaven while the one little lucky "chosen" star ... floats .....  Um.... Mom? You're not even holding that baby. That's a bit disturbing. I'll push that thought away by assuming that Junior is in a snugli. After all, there's no point in getting your hands all tied up with even a chosen child.

Alaska. Like Florida, they go for the floating-baby theme, though it's hard to say if these parents are throwing the baby or trying to catch him as he flies away. Are they letting him go or trying to hold on? Either way, it strikes me as a bit unsettling in the abortion context. Just as an aside, the people also look a bit like sleds, particularly against the snowy background. This is the only plate I've seen that graphically acknowledges the existence of the father.

Virginia. This seems to still be in the proposal stage and not gracing the Prius yet. Featuring minimalist art like the Florida and Alaska plates, this one is utterly childless. It's hard to tell if the checkmark-woman is fleeing or celebrating. Maybe she's not sure herself. Is that elongated arm holding her back or is she unable to let go?

Hawaii. A ballot graphic with the ambiguous word "choice" is dull and boxy. Placing it atop the rainbow background that's on all Hawaii plates leaves the meaning even more ambiguous. Is it a gay rights plate? What's the driver trying to say? Where did the extra money for the plate go? Maybe it's best not to ask too many questions.

Montana. They're not content with mere ambiguity and are going for a total message-flip. They might actually be hoping to sell these plates to people who like the mother-and-child design and who would never dream that they're taking a stand for abortion rights.

Pennsylvania. The straightforward Planned Parenthood logo lets people know up front where their money will be going. Kudos for the honesty in that, PP, especially considering how little honesty your organization is known for overall. Pennsylvania plates typically have much more dynamic designs, so this one took zero effort, as if they just couldn't be bothered.

These are the only plates I've been able to find. I'd love to list more.


This last plate is totally unrelated to the  post but I spotted it and found it amusing, if somehow darkly ironic, considering the search that produced it:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fetal Body Parts Harvesting: Go, TEAM!

This wins the Ghoulish Email of the Year award: A StemExpress team leader letting the tissue collectors know their game plan for the upcoming week closes out with this little pep talk:


That's meant literally. Make sure you tag and bag every thymus, eyeball, brain, liver, spine, arm, kidney, and spleen. Waste not, want not!

Watch the video in which former StemExpress employee Holly O'Donnell discusses employee incentives:

At least they're not making lampshades from the skin. Yet.

Monday, September 25, 2017

An Open Letter to Penn Jillette

Dear Mr. Jillette:

I want to pound through your thick skull the level of betrayal being imposed on the women and girls of America by people I get the feeling you're dumb enough to trust because they share your love of all things sexually licentious as long as it's consensual. (Though they're not nearly as picky about the consensual part of that as you probably are.) I want you to get as pissed off as I am that these people are getting away with this betrayal. Not just getting away with it, but being applauded as champions of honesty and professionalism and respect for individual rights.

They're as devious as any Three-Card Monte hustler, and more dangerous because people only trust the con artists with their money. Women are trusting these bullshit artists with their bodies and their lives.

I'm flat out challenging you: How big are your balls? Are they big enough for you to really look at what kind of shit the National Abortion Federation really does, and to call them out on it? Or are you a pussy who only pays lip service to honesty and basic human decency? Are you willing to give them a pass because they facilitate sexual licentiousness?

You present yourself as curious, as wanting to learn new things all the time. Learn something you most certainly do NOT want to know. Take twenty minutes of your life to watch this documentary (linke here, embedded below) and one hour of your life to watch this follow-up (link here, embed below) and ask youself, "What kind of scum bucket would refer women to that place?" Then wrap your head around this fact: Not only did National Abortion Federation members refer women to Dr. Kermit Gosnell, one clinic actually had him start abortions on their patients in their clinic, then finish them in his Philadelphia "house of horrors."

And ask what else they're willing to turn a blind eye to.

Are you willing to call bullshit on people that you want to think well of?

People will listen to you. You can speak out and be heard. Or you can just write off the women NAF betrays as so much grist for the abortion mill. Your choice. Stay silent and I'll know that the biggest bullshitter of all is you.

Christina Dunigan

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Put it in a gift bag

This undercover video of an abortion clinic owner lamenting the problem of disposing of all those dead fetuses is very educational.

For all the callousness of her "put it in a gift bag" comment, I would be totally behind making disposition of fetal remains the mother's problem. If she takes abortion drugs and expels the fetus at home, it's her problem. What do they do with the remains? Flush them? Bury them in the back yard? Bring them back to the clinic? Is there a disposal fee if they bring the fetus back to the clinic for disposal?

Here's an article regarding a study done in the UK regarding women's thoughts and experiences relating to what happens to the aborted baby's body: Q&A: Disposal of fetal tissue after abortion.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Abortion Providers: No Place to Share

Every year, the National Abortion Federation -- sort of an abortion provider's guild, if you will -- gathers for an annual meeting in which they share with one another the trials and triumphs of their business. A recently released video looks at a topic they've brought up before: Nobody understands what it's like to be the person actually doing the abortion. Those who actually do the abortions feel marginalized and shut out even by their own political allies.

"Our stories don't really have a place in a lot of pro choice discourse and rhetoric, right?," laments Dr. Lisa Harris, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Michigan, during a panel discussion.

She delves into the details of what her audience clearly appreciates. "The heads that get stuck that we can't get out. The hemorrhages that we manage. You know, those are all parts of our experiences. But there's no real good place for us to share those."

Indeed. Most of us, when we go home to our families and friends, can complain about the difficult day we've had at work. A cashier can share the story of a rude customer. A truck driver can lament about the idiot in a Camaro who cut him off. An attorney can grouse about the troublesome ruling a judge made.

Even people with jobs that tend to be yucky can find time to vent with family and friends. A trash collector might not discuss the maggots over dinner, but he could bring it up with friends on a fishing trip. A surgeon wouldn't bring up a huge tumor at a cocktail party, but she could bring it up over yard work, perhaps.

But under what circumstances could one discuss fishing around inside a woman's body with forceps, trying desperately to pull out a human head?

Dr. Uta Landy, founder of the Consortium of Abortion Providers, relates another experience common to them all, judging from the chuckle it elicits: "An eyeball just fell down into my lap, that that is gross!"

Nobody's going to want to hear at all. Not even people who are adamantly pro choice. Perhaps especially not people who are adamantly pro choice. Loose eyeballs and stuck heads aren't the sort of things one wants to be thinking about when asserting abortion as a mere exercise in bodily rights.

Imagine if you will, a pro choice rally regarding late-term abortion laws. What's being discussed? Women's circumstances. A teenager who put off admitting that she was pregnant. A mom learning that her unborn child has a serious illness or disabililty. A family facing financial hardship.

Imagine that Dr. Ann Schutt-Aine, Director of Abortion Services for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, puts her two cents in. It's tricky to avoid breaking the law against doing "partial birth abortions," defined in the law as pulling the living fetus out feet first past the umbilicus (umbilical cord), and then killing the partially-birn fetus.

She wants to explain how she manages to avoid breaing the law when a live fetus starts to come out whole. "If I'm doing a procedure, and I'm seeing that .... it's about to come to umbilicis, then I might ask for a second set of forceps, hold the body at the cervix, and pull off a leg, or two, so it's not PBA."

Her fellow activists aren't exactly going to gather around her and express their sympathy for how hard it is to stop in the middle of delivering a live baby in order to yank off a limb or two.

Talking about the real flesh-and-blood fetus being dismembered, and the real flesh-and-blood mother hemorrhaging on the abortion table, tends to turn people off of the whole idea of abortion.

Tends to.

Talcott Camp, Deputy Director of the ACLU Reproductive Health Freedom Project evidenly found the NAF event eye-opening but not off-putting.

"I'm like -- Oh my God! I get it! When the skull is broken, that's really sharp! I get it! I understand why people are talking about getting that skull out, that calvarium."

And at some level, Dr. Lisa Harris hopes that there are lots of folks out there like Ms. Camp, who can hear the gory details and still retain an enthusiasm for the abortion-rights cause.

"Given that we actually see the fetus the same way," Dr. Harris says, "and given that we might actually both agree that there's violence in here, ask me why I come to work every day. Let's just give them all the violence, it's a person, it's killing. Let's just give them all that."

She speaks with the confidence that comes from believing that the violence is justified. No doubt her fellows at the NAF meeting agree with her that the violence of abortion is justified. If they weren't able to convince themselves of that, very few of them would be able to stomach doing a second abortion after looking at the mangled human remains produced by the first.

I'd love to see the discourse move in that direction. The entire prolife movement would love to see the discourse move in that direction. Let's by all means look squarly at the violencd that is abortion and ask if it's justified. But there are two groups of people who will never get onto that bandwagon: Those who need to maintain public support for abortion-on-demand, and those who need to keep their businesses afloat by convincing as many women as possible that abortion doesn't involve the destruction of a human being.

NOTE: YouTube keeps yanking the video, so please let me know if I need to go grab another link.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fatal Abortions in Different Eras

Scanty Info on Safe-and-Legal Death

Little is known about Sharon Margrave, but on May 21, 1970, she died following a safe and legal abortion in Los Angeles County, California. She was 25 years old, a native of Oregon.

Third Known Death of a Gertrude Pitkanen Patient
A B&W portrait of a middle-aged, plump white woman with round eyeglasses and short, curly, dark hair.
Gertrude Pitkanen
On May 21, 1939, 37-year-old widow Hilja Johnson of Butte, Montana, died at Butte's Murray Hospital from septic complications of an incomplete abortion. Since her death certificate says, "Infection from gas producing bacteria," she most likely died from a Clostridium perfringens infection, most commonly known as gas gangrene.
A surgical nurse, Gertrude Pitkanen, admitted at the coroner's inquest that Hilja had come to her office, and that she had later visited Hilka at her home and advised her to go to a hospital. Pitkanen was charged with murder in Hilja's death.

She fled, but was located about a year later, living near Columbia Gardens. She was brought to court in a wheelchair, pleaded innocent, and was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bond. The charges were dropped in 1940, for reasons not reported.< Pitkanen had earlier been charged with the abortion deaths of Violet Morse (August, 1929) and Margie Fraser (October, 1936). The fact that Pitkanen had married a former Butte police detective might explain the lack of prosecution in spite of the multiple deaths.

Mystery Abortion in Pittsburgh

According to her husband, Baptist, 26-year-old Pittsburgh homemaker Mary Jane Douds had been in ill health for four years. When he'd come home from work on the morning of Monday, May 18, 1900, he found her sick in bed. He wanted to call a doctor, but “she would not have it.” Baptist figured that his wife must be menstruating, since she always had difficult periods.

When he came home on Saturday, he found Mary Jane in even worse condition. He sent for Dr. Staub, who treated her four or five times before recommending that she go to the hospital on Sunday. Mary Jane refused, asking for her old doctor, Dr. Heurits of Turtle Creek, who came to the house at about noon.

Heurits examined Mary Jane, and said “there was no danger for her to keep quiet and she would be all right in a few days.” He prescribed medication for Mary Jane, but she couldn't keep it down.

Baptist sent for another doctor, J.J. Green, who arrived at about 8:30 on the evening of May 20, then sent for his assistant, who stayed to provide care to Mary Jane under Green's supervision until about 3 a.m. She got weaker and finally lost consciousness a few minutes before her death at around 9:00 a.m. On May 21.

Green diagnosed her cause of death as septic peritonitis from an abortion performed by an unknown perpetrator.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Claim of Medical Necessity and Other Pre-Legalization Deaths

A Claim of Necessity

Dr. Claude C. Long ran a rather fishy medical practice in San Francisco. He, his wife Isabel, and a relative named Ann Fisher, were charged with the May 20, 1937 murder of 26-year-old Genevieve Arganbright. Genevieve was, according to her husband, Perry, about 2 1/2 months pregnant at the time of her death. She had been in good health, athletic, and in the habit of taking long hikes, dancing, swimming, and playing tennis.

On the evening of Genevieve told her husband she going for her abortion, which she had scheduled by phone the previous day. She brought with her $50 that she had borrowed to pay for the abortion.  That was the last time Mr. Arganbright saw his wife. Nobody at Dr. Long's practice called to tell him that his wife had died on the operating table.
Dr. Long did, however, have Mrs. Fisher make a phone call to a Dr. Goldsand, who verified that Genevieve was dead and refused Long's request that he sign a death certificate.  The next call made from Long's office was to an undertaker's office. When two employees arrived to collect Genevieve's body at about 2:30 the morning of the 21st, Dr. Long wasn't present. Mrs. Long and Mrs. Fisher said that Dr. Goldsand had been the attending physician and that he would sign the death certificate in the morning.
The men took Genevieve's body to the mortuary, where the embalming was done in the morning. But when no relatives called to finalize arrangements, and nobody produced a death certificate, the undertaker notified the coroner.

While things were getting squirrely at the mortuary, Dr. and Mrs. Long were making tracks to a hotel.

While all this was going on, nobody had even tried to contact Genevieve's husband. It wasn't until later that day, when the police arrived, that Mr. Arganbright learned that his wife was dead.
Dr. and Mrs. Long were arrested at the Cecil Hotel on May 22.

The prosecution argued that the abortion had not been medically indicated by Genevieve's heart condition, and that even if it had been, Long's lack of due diligence had caused her death anyway. If the abortion had been elective, and thus illegal, Long was guilty of murder in Genevieve's death. If the abortion had really been to try to prevent Genevieve's death from pregnancy stress on her heart, but had been negligently performed, Long was guilty of manslaughter. And if the abortion had been medically indicated and properly performed -- if Genevieve had died from her pre-existing heart condition -- then Long was not guilty of any crime.

Long did not deny that he treated Genevieve on May 20. He said that she had not come specifically for an abortion, but was certain that she was pregnant, and that she was constantly tired, with chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath, all indications of heart problems. Long said that he then informed Genevieve that her heart was in very bad shape and that he recommended an immediate therapeutic abortion to prevent her death.

Expert testimony agreed that Genevieve did indeed have mitral stenosis, but there was no agreement on whether or not it warranted an abortion. The surgeon who performed the autopsy, and a pathologist from the coroner's office, both testified that Genevieve's heart was not at all enlarged. Her mitral stenosis seemed stable, and their expert testimony was that Genevieve would have likely tolerated pregnancy and delivery quite well.
Dr. Carr, the pathologist, testified that a patient sick enough to require an abortion would also have been too sick to simply perform one on the spot; a conscientious physician would have sought a consultation with a cardiologist, and would have hospitalized the patient for some time before the abortion in order to ensure that she was strong enough to survive the surgery. He also noted that the agony of having one's cervix ripped off would be enough in itself to cause shock in a patient with a weak heart.

All of these factors were indicative of lack of due diligence on Long's part in performing the abortion, regardless of his reasons for performing it. At the very least, if he really was performing the abortion due to concerns about Genevieve's heart problems, he was guilty of manslaughter for performing an outpatient surgery and ripping his patient's internal organs so badly.

Long was granted his request for a new trial, and his conviction overturned, on the grounds that the judge had improperly instructed the jury, placing the onus on the defense to prove the abortion had been medically indicated, rather than on the prosecution to prove that it had not been.

One of Three Dead Patients of Dr. Justin Mitchell
A middle-aged white man with dark hair and a high forehead, wearing a light colored suit and dark tie
Dr. Justin Mitchell
In May of 1934, 22-year-old Mary Schwartz asked Marie Hansen, a coworker at the Illinois Meat Company in Chicago, to help her arrange an abortion. Marie took Mary to Dr. Justin L. Mitchell's office south of Chicago's meatpacking district. Marie had undergone an abortion at Mitchell's hands three years earlier, and, telling him that her friend “wants to get fixed up,” she negotiated a discount from the usual price of $50 to $30. Marie co-signed on a $25 loan, and lent Mary $5 “in dimes” from her own money.

The next morning, the two women again went to Mitchell's office. Marie waited outside during the abortion, then took Mary home with her to recover. That evening, Mary took ill, so Marie called Mitchell and told him that Mary “was bad sick.” Mitchell told Marie to give Mary castor oil, and place warm towels on her abdomen to help with the pain. This did not alleviate Mary's pain, so on Marie took her back to Mitchell's office on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

At 4:00 Saturday morning, Marie was very concerned and called Mary's lover, Joe Henja, who was a foreman at the meat plant. Joe complied with Marie's request that he come right away and get Mary. He called his own doctor then rushed Mary to a hospital, where Mary died on May 20, 1934.

 Mittchell was later implicated in the abortion deaths of Alice Haggin and Mary Nowalowski in 1936.

Two Deaths in One Month

On May 20, 1870, Matilda Henningsen died at No. 182 East Seventh Street in Brooklyn. Matilda's sister, Henrietta Henningsen, testified that she recognized clothes and other items belonging to her sister. Matilda had been sick about two months earlier, and had been treated by Dr. Herzog and Dr. Kennerer. Shortly after having taken ill, Matilda told Henrietta that she'd gotten an invitation to go to Williamsburgh, and that was the last Henrietta had seen of her sister.
Dr. Joseph B. Chshman testified as to the post-mortem examination he had performed. He said he found all the evidence of uterine infection and resulting peritonitis, resulting from an abortion.
Mr. A. A. Wolff, from Denmark, purported to be a physician, but is not identified as such in the source document. Six fetuses, along with various instruments, were found in his office. The jury determined that Wolff had performed the fatal abortion.

Wolff was also implicated in the abortion death of Henrietta Ullman less than a month after Matilda's death.