Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Remember: Spring Adams, Sent Home to a Murderer by Prochoice Helpers

With all the news coverage of the New Hampshire law going before SCOTUS, it's a good time to remember Spring Adams, a girl who died because the people she turned to for help saw the pregnancy as the problem, and sent her home to her rapist father. He shot the girl dead in her bed. She was only 13 years old.

From an ACLU pamphlet:
Where a pattern of sexual abuse already exists, parental reactions to a daughter's pregnancy can be even more extreme. One notable example occurred in Fruitland, Idaho, where 13-year-old Spring Adams became pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by her father. Although the young woman decided to have an abortion and arranged for an appointment, she could not afford either to pay for the procedure or to travel to the abortion provider, who was more than six hours away in Portland, Oregon. The local social services agency would have refused to pay for her medical care because abortions are not covered by medical assistance -- even in rape or incest cases. Two Portland organizations arranged for a free abortion, a ride to Portland, and a place for Spring to stay overnight. But the morning before she was to leave for the clinic, Spring's father shot her to death with a .30 caliber rifle while she lay sleeping.
According to this site, the Idaho Health Department set the ball in motion for Spring's abortion, contacting an the Portland abortionist. Spring was returned to her abuser for two weeks while her self-appointed helpers worked to arrange the abortion. And then they have the unmitigated gall to blame parental involvement laws for her death!

Let's look at some other facts the abortion rights people gloss over:
  1. The murder took place in the family home, where Spring was still living under the same roof with her father.
  2. Rocky Adams had admitted to the incest in a written statement made to the police on June 16 -- two months before he murdered his daughter. Child abuse charges were filed on June 20. Yet Rocky Adams was neither incarcerated nor committed to a mental institution, in spite of a plea he made for treatment for psychological and substance abuse problems. 
  3. It was two weeks after Rocky confessed before any arrangements were put in motion for an abortion, and even while prochoice professionals were arranging an abortion, they did not arrange for her to stay in a safe place while they worked out the details.
If Spring Adams had walked into a prolife pregnancy center, the first order of business would have been protecting the girl from further abuse. Her abusive father, not her unborn baby, would have been identified as the threat to her well-being and no effort would have been spared to deny him access to his victim.

But somehow, through some convoluted twist of thought that only abortion zealots can understand, the murder of Spring Adams was caused not by multiple failures to remove her from a dangerous situation, but by "lack of access" to an immediate abortion -- as if killing the fetus would have assuaged Rocky's guilt and stayed his murderous hand.

New in the sidebar: Calendar of Choice

Click on the icon in the sidebar to go to the Calendar of Choice. You can learn more about the women and girls killed by abortion, and ask for email reminders prior to the anniversary. This is a good way to remember to write a letter to the editor or hold a memorial service for women who died in your area. Let's not let these deaths be swept under the rug by people who gain political clout by pretending that legalization eliminated horrible abortion deaths.

An excellent resource

Michael's Feat was founded by parents of a child who died soon after birth. This program is a model for what can be done to help families faced with a grave prenatal diagnosis or a seriously ill newborn.

Another study verifies high death risk after abortion

Another Finnish study, linking medical records with death records, finds a significantly higher risk of death after abortion compared to women who have given birth, miscarried, or not experienced a pregnancy.

Remembering that correlation isn't causality, this may be because women who choose abortion are living a high-risk lifestyle. But if that's the case -- if abortion is a symptom of a high-risk lifestyle, rather than a cause -- public health officials still ought to do something to help women to break out of these risky lifestyles.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How's this for creepy?

Thanks to Free Republic for alerting me to this article in the LA Times.

It's a profile of one of those kind, grandfatherly abortionists that is so popular among abortion activists. He offers the women "rebirth" by slaying their fetuses. And the article pulls no punches, even though it's heavily slanted toward admiration of this guy. Here's a snippet describing an abortion about to take place:
Harrison glances at an ultrasound screen frozen with an image of the fetus taken moments before. Against the fuzzy black-and-white screen, he sees the curve of a head, the bend of an elbow, the ball of a fist.

So at least they're not pretending he's not killing a baby for this girl.

The patients don't come across as very sympathetic. Here's one:
A high school volleyball player says she doesn't want to give up her body for nine months.

Or Amanda:
Amanda, a 20-year-old administrative assistant, says it's not the obstacles that surprise her -- it's how normal and unashamed she feels as she prepares to end her first pregnancy.

"It's an everyday occurrence," she says .... "It's not like this is a rare thing."

Amanda hasn't told her ex-boyfriend that she's 15 weeks pregnant with his child. She hasn't told her parents, either, though she lives with them.

"I figured it was my responsibility," she says.

She regrets having to pay $750 for the abortion, but Amanda says she does not doubt her decision. "It's not like it's illegal. It's not like I'm doing anything wrong," she says.

Or Sarah:
His first patient of the day, Sarah, 23, says it never occurred to her to use birth control, though she has been sexually active for six years. When she became pregnant this fall, Sarah, who works in real estate, was in the midst of planning her wedding. "I don't think my dress would have fit with a baby in there," she says.

Or Stephanie:
The last patient of the day, a 32-year-old college student named Stephanie, has had four abortions in the last 12 years. She keeps forgetting to take her birth control pills. Abortion "is a bummer," she says, "but no big stress."

And the staff don't always come across as very honest:
The 17-year-old in for a consultation this morning assures the nurse that she does not consider the embryo inside her a baby.

"Not until it's developed," she says. "That would be about three months?"

"It's completely formed about nine weeks," the nurse tells her. (Eight weeks - CED) "Yours is more like a chicken yolk."

The girl, who is five weeks pregnant, looks relieved. "Then no," she says, "it's not a baby."

Well, according to The Visible Embryo, at 27-29 days post-ovulation (3-4 weeks), "The brain differentiates into the three main parts: the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain." "Primitive mouth with a tongue is recognizable." "Gall bladder, stomach, intestines, pancreas continue to form and the metanephric bud appears in the chest cavity." So much for the chicken yolk.

How does our grandfatherly abortionist feel about all this?
He has learned to focus on the facts he considers most important: This woman does not want to be pregnant.

In a nutshell -- her preference trumps the life of that little person.

Well, the honesty is refreshing, at least.

Monday, November 28, 2005

More of Achieving Peace - Chapter 6

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Now let's start on Chapter 6, Making Them Fit, No Matter What.

Dr. McNair examines the way the South, with its pushing of the slavery issue past its own borders, forced Northerners queasy about slavery out of ignoring the issue and into action. She quotes John Noonan,"Why did the slaveholders act as if driven by the Furies to their own destruction? . . . Why did they take such risks, why did they persist beyond prudent calculation? The answer must be that in a moral question of this kind, turning on basic concepts of humanity, you cannot be content that your critics are feeble and ineffective, you cannot be content with their practical tolerance of your activities. You want, in a sense you need, actual acceptance, open approval. If you cannot convert your critics by argument, at least by law you can make them recognize that your course is the course of the country."

McNair points out that the abortion lobby is doing the same thing now: "The sweeping nature of Roe v. Wade has been likened to the Dred Scott case before. A gradual approach of opening up abortion was working, and may have continued to work. Roe brought a backlash which is still going strong over two and a half decades later."

We're seeing this anew in the abortion lobby's unwillingness to tolerate bans on "Partial-Birth Abortion." Much of the public support of abortion rode on the perception that abortion was done only early in pregnancy. By vociferously defending late-term abortions, the abortion lobby undermined its own power base. And the abortion lobby has one problem the slavery-apologists never had: they've lied to their own support base. People who identified with the "pro-choice" movement because they thought it was permitting "hard-case" abortions in early pregnancy are being forced to confront the fact that they have, in fact, been supporting on-demand abortion for the first two trimesters and "hard-case" abortions right through the third trimester. There is bound to be a backlash, politically, for the abortion lobby. Yet they defend late abortions, parental involvement, and informed consent as if pursued by the Furies.

Lack of enthusiams? Perish the thought!

Telfer: Young women have different outlook toward abortion
Polls show declining support for abortion among college women. The bad news is that fully 28% want no restrictions on abortion. The good news is that this is an improvement over 12 years ago, when 49% wanted no restrictions. Just over half -- 54% -- want abortion to be legal, meaning that nearly half want abortion recriminalized. So there's good news. Of course, not everybody's happy about young women's declining support for abortion.

Alexander Sanger, grandson of noted racist and elitist Margaret Sanger, called the poll results "absolutely shocking" and lamented, "It's not just the numbers that are down ... It's the enthusiasm."

Young women lacking enthusiasm for abortion -- Perish the thought! What kind of twisted mind wants young women to be enthusiastic about abortion?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another one I just don't get

This article in The Australian tells of a doctor being prosecuted after starting an abortion which resulted in the live birth of a baby that died after a few hours.

Dr. Suman Sood allegedly gave a 20-year-old patient abortion drugs and instructed her to return the following day to have the fetus finished off. But the patient expelled a live 23-week baby into the toilet at home. The baby lived about five hours.

Sood, of course, insists that she did nothing wrong, and in a paradoxical way I have to agree with her. If the mother had a right to have the fetus snuffed, how much of a difference can it really make whether the fetus gave up the ghost in the uterus, in the commode, or anyplace else?

The charges are mere illegal abortion charges, on the grounds that Sood had failed to properly assess the patient's physical, emotional, and social health and well-being prior to starting the abortion. Sood has done, by her own reckoning, about 10,000 abortions in Australia. So there was a glitch in this one. What's the problem?

We need to make up our mind whether or not women are entitled to a dead baby or not. It's just too bizarre to say that Sood would have done nothing wrong had she merely been more efficient.

Disturbing on so many levels

This article in The Sunday Times is disturbing on so many levels I hardly know where to begin.
A GOVERNMENT agency is launching an inquiry into doctors' reports that up to 50 babies a year are born alive after botched National Health Service abortions. The investigation, by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH), comes amid growing unease among clinicians over a legal ambiguity that could see them being charged with infanticide. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which regulates methods of abortion, has also mounted its own investigation. Its guidelines say that babies aborted after more than 21 weeks and six days of gestation should have their hearts stopped by an injection of potassium chloride before being delivered. In practice, few doctors are willing or able to perform the delicate procedure.

Note that the dismay isn't that babies that could live are being killed. It's that sloppy doctors are failing to make absolutely sure that they emerge dead. Why is it a "right" to snuff an organism in one location, but "infanticide" to snuff the same organism in another location? The very fact that the RCOG guidelines require the docs to make sure they snuff the baby before inducing labor indicates that it's not the killing they have a problem with, but where the killing takes place. If the mother is entitled to a dead baby, why perform the tricky procedure of injecting the fetal heart? Why not just wait until the baby comes out then drown it? If she's not entitled to a dead baby, why allow the abortion in the first place? Why the whole charade?
Abortion on demand is allowed in Britain up to 24 weeks -- more than halfway through a normal pregnancy and the highest legal limit for such terminations in Europe. France and Germany permit "social" abortions only up to the 10th and 12th weeks respectively.

Gosh, you mean that enlightened, secular France oppresses women by limiting abortions after 10 weeks? Where are the headlines about all the coathanger-impaled French women "forced" to do self-induced abortions after 10 weeks due to poor "access"? American abortion activists pitch a fit when you try to place limits on abortions done after viability! But here are all these French women managing just fine with abortion-on-demand only up to 10 weeks. Maybe we need to launch an intensive study into how those poor pitiful French women manage to cope!
It is not known how many babies who survive attempted abortions go on to live into adulthood.

It'd be nice to know.

To his credit, Stuart Campbell, former professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George's hospital, who describes himself as "not anti-abortion," thinks the cut-off for elective abortions needs to be moved to 18 weeks, so that nobody in the UK is aborting what could be live-born babies. That would be a start. How about keeping in mind that any fetus that doesn't have a terminal condition could be born alive if you don't kill him or her in-utero?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Safe and Legal Anniversaries - One Before Roe, One Recent

"Monica" is one of the women Life Dynamics identifies on their "Blackmun Wall" as having been killed by a legal abortion. Monica was a 31-year-old mother of five. She requested an abortion when she was 8 weeks pregnant, but the abortion was delayed about a month in order to address "some health, personal and administrative problems."

Her doctor decided that it was best to simply remove Monica's uterus with the fetus still in it. The hysterectomy was done under general anesthesia with no apparent complications. On the second day after surgery, Monica developed fever and nausea, and had no bowel sounds. The next day she felt unwell and had a distended abdomen. The day after that, she felt better and resumed eating, but still had not had a bowel movement.

Six days after the surgery, November 26, 1971, Monica began to scream and vomit. She reported severe abdominal pain and couldn't see. Within an hour of the onset of these symptoms, Monica died.

The autopsy revealed grim findings. Monica had a severe infection that had interfered with her bowel function. As she continued to eat but not to have bowel movements, her bowels backed up, allowing gastric juices to enter her lungs and begin to digest them. She also had bacteria in her brain, which may have caused her blindness in the final hour of her life.

Leigh Ann Stephens Alford, age 34, underwent an abortion at the hands of Dr. Malachy DeHenre at Summit Medical Center of Alabama on November 25, 2003. Leigh Ann was discharged from the clinic 20 minutes after her abortion, according to a lawsuit filed by her husband. Within six hours, he said, he called the facility to report that Leigh Ann was suffering pain and fever. She died about 18 hours after the clinic had sent her home. Death was attributed to hemorrhagic shock from an unrecognized uterine perforation.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Achieving Peace in the Abortion War

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Lately we've been discussing Chapter 5, When Ideas Don't Fit. We'll look at more of this chapter today. Links below are all mine.
People who are still doing abortion counseling will insist that they use non-directive techniques and have the client's best interest in mind. At a conference called "Meet the Abortion Providers," a far different picture was painted by those who had done counseling in the past.

McNair includes several quotes from former abortion workers, such as this one:
I was trained by a professional marketing director how to sell abortions over the telephone. This man came into our clinic and he took every one of our receptionists, all of the nurses, anyone that would be on the phone, and he took us through an extensive training period where we learned how to sell abortions over the telephone. So that when the girl called, we hooked the sale. So she wouldn't go down the street and get an abortion somewhere else, and so that she wouldn't adopt out her baby, or so that she wouldn't change her mind. We were doing it to get her money. It was for the money. --Nita Whitten

McNair goes on to explore the conflict between a movement that espouses "respect for women" and facilities that are contemptuous of their patients.
Luhra Tivis reports that the person in charge of the escort service organized by the local NOW at Dr. Tiller's clinic "stopped the escort service because she went with him while he did some abortions, accompanied him, and didn't like the way he treated the women. Real rough, and arrogant, and not respecting their privacy." That NOW chapter still refused to run an article against him in their local newsletter, however. There was no warning to women of what they were facing to come from them.

McNair also contrasts the idea of "service" with the business end of abortion:
Some readers will have objected to our use of the words "industry" and "business" for abortion provision, on the grounds that it's a primarily a medical service. .... A perusal of any reasonably-sized Yellow Pages would show that the term "business" is completely appropriate. The large display ads, used to get business away from competitors, make an interesting contrast with other doctors. Discount coupons are not uncommon, and toll-free 800 numbers are prevalent.

....

There are also reports of performing "terminations" on people whose urine pregnancy tests came back negative. This has been reported in many of the newspaper series on scandals. Major examples include the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, and Los Angeles Times. People who do that can't even pretend to be providing a medical service.

Finally, McNair raises the specter of racism:

Much of the advocacy for abortion is done by left-wing people who find racism appalling, and steadfastly neglect the racists that applaud the consequences of their abortion advocacy.

....

Edward Allred specializes in abortion and does it in many clinics. He was featured in a 1980 newspaper article, stating: "Population control is too important to be stopped by some right-wing pro-life types. Take the new influx of Hispanic immigrants. .... I'd set up a clinic in Mexico for free if I could. . . . The Aid to Families With Dependent Children program is the worst boondoggle ever created. When a sullen black woman can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to all of us it's time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry the people have."

....

Racist attitudes are not merely outrageous remarks. The consequences can be much more ominous. The following letter shows this: "I am the mother of Belinda A. Byrd, victim of abortionists at 426 East 99th Street in Inglewood. I am also the grandmother of her three young children who are left behind and motherless. I cry every day when I think how horrible her death was. She was slashed by them and then she bled to death, taken from this world on January 27,1987.... and nobody cares. I know that other young black women are now dead after abortion at that address -- Cora Mae Lewis and Yvonne Tanner. Where is [the abortionist] now? Has he been stopped? Has anything happened to him because of what he did to my Belinda? Has he served jail time for any of these cruel deaths? People tell me nothing has happened, that nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young black women dead. I'm hurting real bad and want some justice for Belinda and all other women who go like sheep to slaughter."


Another interesting point to abortion-related racism: Black women comprise 12% of the population, are sold 25% of abortions, and account for 50% of known abortion deaths.

We found abundant examples of the kinds of abuses McNair describes when researching Lime 5. See examples such as Competing for the Abortion Dollar, "Act Now!", The Voodoo Abortionists

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Abortion, Law, and Real Choice

The following are real questions I've been asked about how legalization actually narrowed women's choices.

"How does prohibiting abortion encourage women's choice??"

The question springs from my frequent assertion that legalizing abortion actually reduced women's choices by funneling them into the one option that's easiest for everybody but her: abortion.

As abortion advocates are so fond of pointing out, women who really want abortions will get their fetuses killed one way or another. They're not helpless or stupid, all mythology to the contrary. So making abortion illegal isn't going to stop the gung-ho woman who really wants that fetus dead. She's going to pursue her own self-interest and find somebody to do the job for her, or she'll consult herbalists and find a way to snuff the fetus herself. The rare woman who really wants her fetus dead will make sure that her fetus gets killed, no matter what the law says.

It's the women who are distressed and ambivalent that I'm worried about. They don't want to have their fetuses killed so much as they want a way out of their bad situations. By keeping abortion illegal, society puts pressure on the people around the ambivalent woman to offer her real help. It's not a simple, risk-free, easy thing to point her to the nearest abortion mill.

So the woman who really wants abortion gets her dead fetus regardless. The woman who just wants a way out gets an abortion if abortion is legal, and gets real help if abortion isn't readily available.

Next question: "How does legalized abortion encourage pro-choice advocates to browbeat pregnant women into choices that they don't want?"

It's not so much pro-choice advocates as two groups:
  • People who make money from abortion as a practice
  • People who don't want to be bothered helping a frightened woman to find a better way out of her bad situation.


First, there are the abortion profiteers. Since the early days of legalization, any investigators who cared to look closely have found the abortion industry to be rife with corruption. They've found "counselors" who were actually salespersons, who were paid on a commission basis for each abortion sold. They've found marketing consultants brought in to teach abortion staff how to take advantage of the pregnant woman's vulnerability during her period of intense crisis. They've even found abortions being sold to women who only thought that they were pregnant. After all, what does the legal abortionist really have to lose? It's not like he's going to be sent to jail for any of this. There will be some bad publicity, perhaps a few legal fees and some glib words of contrition to the medical board, and then it's back to business as usual.

What of the people around the pregnant woman? A lazy person is going to be lazy, regardless of the law. But if the lazy person has no abortion clinic down the street, no medicaid abortion, no referral network set up to protect the lazy person's option of shoving the woman off to be vacuumed out, then the lazy person can't just say to her, "Go fill out a form and get an abortion." The lazy person has to point the pregnant woman to somebody, and if there's nobody obviously doing abortions, they'll point her to somebody providing real help.

The easier abortion is to sell, and to hold up as an "option," the more likely those who benefit from the woman getting an abortion (the profiteers, deadbeat boyfriends, et cetera) are to shove her into the nearest abortion mill. If it's going to cost the boyfriend personally -- if he's risking going to jail, if it's not just her body on the line -- he's not going to be so adamant about "getting rid of it." We have to put some of the risk back on the people around the pregnant woman. Before legalization, everybody who took part in an abortion was taking a risk. They all could go to jail if something went wrong and the woman got hurt. Now the only person taking a risk is the woman. If she gets hurt or killed, everybody else is in the clear. I don't see how asking her to bear all the risk alone is an improvement.

The last question: "Why would you encourage an indecisive, easily influenced, easily brow-beaten pregnant woman to have a child, and try to cope with all the decisions involved in parenting?"

There are several issues buried in this question.

First of all, we're not talking about pregnant women being "indecisive, easily influenced, easily brow-beaten." We're talking about the normal human reaction to intense stress. A woman who gets pregnant at a difficult time is in crisis mode, and her problem-solving skills are compromosed. This is not a phenomenon unique to pregnant women. Counselors advise bereaved persons to put off major life decisions, such as quitting a job or selling a house, until a year or more after the loved one's death. This is because the bereaved person is in a state of crisis and shock, and therefore his or her problem-solving skills are not operating at peak performance. And you surely know this to be true in your own life: How sound have the decisions been that you've made when you were in a crisis, emotionally overwrought, frightened, confused, and despairing? The first days and weeks after discovering an unintended pregnancy are not going to be a woman's best time for making major, life-altering decisions.

Second of all, to be influenced into making a purchase based on faulty information given by salespersons disguised as disinterested third-parties doesn't make one "indecisive, easily influenced, easily brow-beaten." If you were considering buying a car, and you called an organization that presented itself as a consumer's organization, and you bought a car based on their assessment, would that mean you were "indecisive, easily influenced, easily brow-beaten?" The pregnant woman who calls a "family planning" facility is duped by their advertising, and by abortion advocacy rhetoric, into thinking that she is consulting with a dissinterested third party who only wants to help her make an informed choice. The most important fact of all -- that she is actually talking to a trained abortion salesperson -- is kept from her. Does falling prey to slick consumer fraud make the pregnant woman "indecisive, easily influenced, easily brow-beaten?" I don't think so.

But there's one more important point: I'm not asking anybody to have a child. Overall, I encourage chastity and practice it myself. It's a healthy lifestyle and I wish it didn't get the bad press it gets. I also support the availability of life-affirming, healthy methods of fertility control. But once a woman is pregnant, the baby already exists. She's already a mother. Then all I can do is encourage her to be the best mother she can be. And since, as even abortion fanatics point out, "nobody wants to have an abortion," it's clear that the vast majority of women really do want to nurture and care for their unborn children. What's wrong with demanding that society conform to the woman's needs, rather than insist that she conform to society's preference that she get rid of the problem and not bother anybody else about it?

Legalization has been a boon to abortionists, abortion profiteers, politicians, and lazy people who don't want to be bothered with pregnant women's real needs. But it has not been a boon to the pregnant women themselves.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More on the RU-486 deaths

Dawn Eden has really done her homework on the RU-486 deaths, and Planned Parenthood's lackadaisical attitude. Hey, as long as the fetus is dead, right?

Chemical Abortion Victim Named

Recent news articles have released the name of the 4th California woman to die after a chemical abortion. Hoa Thuy "Vivian" Tran, like Holly Patterson, got her abortion drugs at a Planned Parenthood. Vivian was 22 years old, and died December 29, 2003, six days into the abortion process. She'd been given the drugs on December 23 at the Costa Mesa Planned Parenthood facility. The autopsy showed that she died of sepsis.

Vivian's husband is suing the drug company, Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernadino Counties, and The Population Council Inc., in Orange County Superiour Court.

Planned Parenthood spokesperson Kimberlee Ward said that PP has "absolute confidence in this method of abortion," which is hardly surprising. After all, Vivian's fetus died, leaving PP with nothing to complain about.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:



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Achieving Peace, End of Chapter 5

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. For the past two days we've been discussing Chapter 5, When Ideas Don't Fit. We'll look at more of this chapter today.
Deliberately keeping information from someone is in direct contradiction with the doctrine of helping women to take control of their lives. Raising consciousness is a technique that, among other things, helps to locate, and thereby helps to eradicate, any self-destructive behavior.

Dr. McNair then contrasts the concept of consciousness-raising and empowerment with points raised in pro-choice writings. First she quotes abortion nurse Sallie Tisdale:
I describe the procedure to come, using care with my language. . . . It is when I am holding a plastic uterus in one hand, a suction tube in the other, moving them together in imitation of the scrubbing to come, that women ask the most secret question. I am speaking in a matter-of-fact voice about "the tissue" and "the contents" when the woman suddenly catches my eye and asks, "How big is the baby now?" These words suggest a quiet need for a definition of the boundaries being drawn. It isn't so odd, after all, that she feels relief when I describe the growing bud's bulbous shape, its miniature nature. Again I gauge, and sometimes lie a little, weaseling around its infantile features until its clinging power slackens.

Here, Tisdale openly admits to "dumbing down" information about the embryo or fetus in order to protect the women and keep them ignorant of what it is that they are about to do. A Toronto abortionist, at a National Abortion Federation session, admits to hiding the ultrasound screen from the patient. Warren Hern, in Abortion Practice, writes, "[M]ost professionals in the field feel that it is not advisable for patients to view the products of conception, to be told the sex of the fetus, or to be informed of a multiple pregnancy."

McNair continues also quotes former abortion worker Luhra Tivis, about George Tiller's notorious late-term abortion facility in Wichita:
"I was required to falsify the medical records. But not just that, related to that, I was required to lie to the women over the phone. And the way he'd explain it to me was, without coming right out and saying it, these are really third trimester abortions, but we're going to tell them they're only in the second trimester. They would say, well, I've already had a sonogram, and my bpd was 7.8 or 8.3 or whatever. He said, when they tell you that, don't turn them away as being too far along. Tell them to come in, and we'll do our own sonogram, and it will show they're not that far along. Tell them that sonogram reading is an art, not a science. He explained to me that the bpd is a measurement of the angle of the baby's head, where at that angle, the baby's head is roughly egg-shaped. The usual way that you measure the bpd is from the top of the egg to the bottom of the egg, which is at the widest point. But we measure it from side to side, at the narrowest point."

It's hard to reconcile these behaviors within the abortion clinic itself with the slogans such as "Trust Women."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Achieving Peace, More of Chapter 5

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Yesterday we started Chapter 5, When Ideas Don't Fit. We'll continue with that chapter today. (Links added to Dr. McNair's work are my own.)
The boldest incongruity with the idea of choice is when women are pushed unwillingly into the clinic, or when they change their minds once there and their pregnancies are aborted anyway. Accusations of this have been made in malpractice suits all over the country. Having a lack of choice this blatant is a very small portion of cases, but having it happen is troubling.

I think this may be troubling for rank-and-file prochoice citizens, but I've not seen a shred of evidence that professionals, be they activists or clinic workers, really care if the woman is being forced or coerced.

When Joy Davis, former employee of Dr. Tucker, said women were sometimes held down after trying to back out. "We would medicate the patient before the doctor ever came in the room. I have seen cases where, when the doctor came in the room, the patient would scream, 'I can't do this. I can't murder my baby. Don't do this. I can't.' And I have actually seen Dr. Tucker slap that patient and tell her to lie down and shut up, and order the nurse to give her more medication and knock her out. I've certainly seen it more than twenty times."

Perhaps the reasoning in that kind of case would be that the woman had actually made a decision, but was getting cold feet, and therefore needed a firm hand to go through with the commitment to the plan. In the case where the abortion was clearly someone else's idea, and she was being literally pushed to the clinic, possible reasoning could be that she was deciding to go along with her current relationships, and that was her choice. ....

Again, total denial from activists and staff. I've actually had a Planned Parenthood administrator defend behavior like this by saying, "If she doesn't already know she wants an abortion, she has no business walking into a Planned Parenthood." A prochoice co-worker, when told of my how my babysitter had been coerced and tricked into an abortion, kept saying, "But she was able to get an abortion." The fact that she didn't want the abortion didn't strike them as relevant. That the abortion was obtained was all that mattered. I realize that this attitude isn't universal among prochoice citizens, but it's prevalent enough that I'm not taken the least bit aback to encounter it.
Planned Parenthood put out The Complete Guide to Pregnancy Testing and Counseling in 1985. One section (pp 24-25) presents the hypothetical situation of a married woman who has agreed to have an abortion, but is having difficulty accepting the decision. The suggested responses included:

Tell her that no one makes the decision to have an abortion easily or ever feels really "good" about it. Acknowledge that feelings of discomfort and sadness are normal. Ask about the reasons for which she and her husband decided on an abortion. Help her to reaffirm that this is the best decision for them right now. (Italics mine -- CED) Remind her that feelings of guilt, sadness or loss do not mean that a wrong decision was made.

Note the striking absence of responding with the possibility that they may wish to change their minds. It is the counselor's job to "help her reaffirm," not work it through any further. ....

Again, the PP administrator, when pushed into a corner about unwanted abortions taking place at PP, told me, "If she doesn't already know she wants an abortion, she has no business walking into a Planned Parenthood." That attitude seems common: Facilities advertise "options counseling" but operate on the assumption that if she calls, she wants to go through with the abortion regardless of any doubts or reservations she's expressing.
Consider the bringing together of these two cognitive elements: choice, and ignorance about what is chosen. Or another set: women's ability to control their own destiny, and a patronizing attitude about what information they should be given, and who should decide if they get it.

There's more to Chapter 5, but it's meaty so we'll pick up the rest tomorrow.

Tragic holiday anniversary

Eighteen year old Michelle Madden, a coed, sought an abortion from O.B. Evans at Family Planning Medical Center of Mobile, Alabama in November of 1986. Michelle had been taking medication for epilepsy, and a doctor had told her that her baby would have birth defects.

When Michelle's parents arrived at the college to take her home for Thanksgiving, the house mother had sad news for them. Three days after the abortion, Michelle had collapsed. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a leg bone, two pieces of skull, and some placenta still in Michelle's uterus. The surgery to save her life was too late. Sepsis had already set in, and Michelle died three days after she was admitted.

Her parents sued Evans and the facility, and in 1991 a jury awarded them $10 million in damages.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Why So Many Repeat Abortions?

Almost everybody, prolife and prochoice alike, is dismayed or disgusted with the high rate of repeat abortions in the United States. The Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change, comprised of prolife researchers, put out a special issue of their periodical, addressing the issue of repeat abortions. In addition to the moral and ethical qualms many people feel about abortion in general and repeat abortions in particular, there is also the problem of physical damage done to women's reproductive organs by the repeated intrusion of abortion instruments.

The dynamics that lead women to make repeated trips to the abortion clinic are debated hotly, ranging from a cavalier attitude to pathological re-living of an original abortion trauma. What is known is that each abortion that a woman undergoes leaves her statistically more likely to abort again. But it's a chicken-and-egg situation. Does the woman's lifestyle pattern lead to the repeat abortions, or do the abortions cause a downward spiral into an ever more chaotic life situation that leads back to the abortion clinic?

Some repeat aborters also seem to often come from families for whom abortion is common. Their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and female partners of family members will also have a history of repeat abortion.

The most recent data from the CDC is in their 2001 Abortion Surveillance Summary, released in 2004. Their table indicates that 25.5% of women undergoing abortions had already had one induced abortion, 10.8% had two prior abortions, 7.5% had three prior abortions, and 1.4% (8,795) had four or more prior abortions. Only 54.6%, slightly more than half, were undergoing a first abortion. This is a far cry from the situation in 1973, when about 12% of aborting women reported prior abortions.

For further reading, both prolife and prochoice, on repeat abortions, I've gathered these links. I don't necessarily agree with the author's opinions or conclusions, but I present them as a broad range of thought on the issue:

Adult stem cells heal hearts

From Life News:
Adult Stem Cells Derived From Heart Cells Can Repair Heart Damage
Baltimore, MD (LifeNews.com) -- Stem cells derived from human heart tissue develop into multicellular, spherical structures called cardiospheres that express the normal properties of primitive heart tissue, smooth muscle and blood vessel cells, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers. In a related study, cells grown in the laboratory from these cardiospheres and injected into the hearts of mice following a lab-induced heart attack migrated straight to damaged tissue and regenerated, improving the organ's ability to pump blood throughout the animal's body. Results from both studies were presented Nov. 14 at the American Heart Association's annual Scientific Sessions in Dallas. "The findings could potentially offer patients use of their own stem cells to repair heart tissue soon after a heart attack, or to regenerate weakened muscle resulting from heart failure, perhaps averting the need for heart transplants," says Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of both studies and professor and chief of cardiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute. "By using a patient's own adult stem cells rather than a donor's, there would be no risk of triggering an immune response that could cause rejection."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Achieving Peace - Chapter 5

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, and Chapter 4. Now, let's look at Chapter 5, When Ideas Don't Fit. (Links added to Dr. McNair's work are my own.)
For abortion personnel, we need to look not merely at whether they might have some conflicting thoughts, but whether those are way above average. Does the actual practice of abortion differ from its defenders' ideas of how it's supposed to be? Does the knowledge of those differences cause tension in the minds of those involved?

Now we got to the real meat of the matter, to me:
Increasing safety was one of the major justifications for legalizing abortion. .... That being the case, the relative safety of legal abortion is a cognitive element that is absolutely essential to anyone working in the abortion field.

The record immediately after Roe v. Wade did not show the back alley butchers being yanked out of business. An example from the beginning is given by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who had been ... given the assignment of improving a New York clinic. A staffwoman is giving him a list of all the tasks he must do:

".... You got to get those doctors shaped up. I mean half of them don't even wash their hands anymore before doing an abortion, let alone scrubbing. They refuse to use masks or caps, and their moustaches are dragging into the suction machines. I swear, one of these days we're going to lose one of those guys right into the suction trap and the lab is going to tell us the tissue is pregnancy tissue and the abortion is complete."

This facility went on not only to kill a young abortion patient, but to chart the dead patient's condition as "pink, alert, responsive." And it was this clinic's review of its own records that convinced the US Supreme Court that abortion could be safely performed on an outpatient basis.
How do people who advocate legalization for safety reasons deal with the dissonant information that safety problems are, in fact, widespread under legal abortion? Why does NAF, which is the obvious choice for watchdog over the clinics, feel little or no obligation to get these places cleaned up? Why would they leave all efforts at cleaning up the safety records of abortion clinics to the opposition?

Good question, Dr. McNair! She goes on to examine the cognitive dissonance:
We have two cognitive elements:

(1) legalization of abortion is necessary to make it safe for women; and
(2) there are a lot of places where abortions are performed where it's not safe for women.

It may seem logical that the best way to resolve this one is by changing number two. If watchdog efforts can be applied, that second point could be either eliminated, or at least brought down to the level that it can be accounted for by noting that nobody's perfect

Again, good point. Why is it the prolifers, who supposedly hate women so much, that are always the ones dogging on the abortionists to quit botching abortions? Why aren't prochoice groups -- NAF in particular -- staying on top of these guys?
Ignoring the second point, and deliberately sweeping it under the rug, is certainly a way of dealing with the dissonance it creates. But since abortion defenders have a strong urge for the public to believe the first point, it would seem that ignoring the second point would be an odd way of dealing with it. But the theory of cognitive dissonance would predict such a reaction as a possible way of dealing with it.

Can you say, "Whistling past the graveyard"?
Judith Fetrow, a former Planned Parenthood worker, summed up the tension at a pro-life conference. "It is extremely difficult to watch doctors lie, clinic workers cover up, and hear horrifying stories of women dragged out of clinics to die in cars on the way to the hospital without beginning to question the party line. I began to wonder if we were really caring of these women, or if we were just working for another corporation whose only interest was the bottom line. But these are questions that one does not voice at Planned Parenthood."

This is far and away enough for one post. We'll deal with the next part of Chapter 5 tomorrow.

Abortion Survivor: Baby Grace

From The Survivors

On August 4, 1999, a woman came to Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. She was 26 weeks pregnant, and had gone to Martin Haskell's abortion facility for a D&X or "partial birth abortion." Haskell had inserted laminaria to dilate her cervix so that the fetus could be extracted and killed. However, the woman had gone into labor before the final appointment.

The child, dubbed "Baby Grace", was born alive, weighing in at 1.5 pounds. She survived and was placed in foster care. Doctors at the hospital established a trust fund for her future medical care.

After the birth, Haskell's clinic issued a press release stating that "one of our patients miscarried at a Dayton hospital. Hundreds of women miscarry during the second trimester in the United States each week." How they manage to describe a live birth as a "miscarriage" boggles the mind.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Baby Claire, Abortion Survivor

Big sister Carissa with Baby Claire



From The Survivors

Little Baby Claire is also missing her right arm. Like Ana Rosa Rodriguez, she lost the arm when an abortionist twisted it off trying to abort her. Her Korean mother was unmarried and considered abortion to be the only solution to her problem. Claire, considered unplaceable in Korea, was adopted and brought to the United States by an American couple whose family already included four biological children and a severely disabled, adopted daughter from Taiwan named Carissa.

Claire was one year old when she came to America. She had hip surgery when she was two years old. For six weeks the energetic two-year-old was immobilized in a body cast. As her adopted grandmother, Dr. Jean Garton, says, it could have been a 42-day-long "Maalox moment" for the whole family. But that's when sister Carissa came to the rescue. Carissa was born with severe head deformities: She has a severe cleft palate, and no lower jaw, making speech difficult, and difficult to understand. But there's nothing wrong with her loving heart. With infinite patience, she took care of her little cast-bound sister. "What could have brought chaos to the family turned into something wonderful," Dr. Garton relates. "Carissa became Claire's missing hand and Claire became Carissa's voice." When others in the family can't understand what Carissa is saying, Claire pipes up with the translation.

Read Dr. Garton's own words about Claire and Clarissa here

Friday, November 18, 2005

Continuing: Making Peace in the Abortion War

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, and 3. Today we'll look at Chapter 4, When Ideas Don't Fit:
Up until 1957, a lot of psychological research had been done on why and how people make decisions. Much work had looked at decision making, but little had been done on the mind after decisions were carried out. Leon Festinger took an interest in this, with a special curiosity for why some people acted in ways that didn't seem exactly logical. How did they rationalize those decisions? That year, he formally introduced the theory of cognitive dissonance.

....

Strategies for dealing with cognitive dissonance vary from person to person. But this dissonance is a strain, and people do try to get relief from it. ....

If people have no hint that commitments might have negative consequences, then they don't cause the inconsistency, and are less likely to feel a need to explain it. But if people are responsible for deliberately doing something that has foreseeable negative consequences, then the strain to explain will be greater. ....

For a lot of people, basic self-respect is one of the cognitive elements that is most highly resistant to change. Any idea that boosts their self-esteem is more likely to be accepted and any idea that threatens it is more likely to be rejected. ....

Those trying to reduce dissonance, by any strategy, are going to be able to do it better if they can find other people who agree with them. The more people that can be found who see it as reasonable to ignore the point, or find the alternative explanations plausible, the more it makes sense to the individual. ....

If you've taken action on a belief, then the belief is more resistant than if you haven't. The more important the action, the more resistant the change. An opinion that you've expressed in a letter to the editor is harder to change than one that you've kept to yourself. An opinion you've based a career on is even less changeable. ....

Three sad anniversaries

Today, November 18, is the anniversary of three tragic, needless deaths.

Virginia Hopkins Watson had been on a record-setting relay swimming team with Esther Williams in 1939, and had herself set the world's fifty-meter record in 1938. Virginia was 32 years old and pursuing a Hollywood career when she became pregnant in 1954. Deciding that a baby would hurt her career, Virginia arranged to have an abortion on November 18. Her husband learned of the pregnancy and the abortion a few hours before Virginia's death from peritonitis at General Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

On November 18, 1942, 26-year-old Madeline McGeehan died at Prospect Hospital in New York after an illegal abortion. Arrested were Dr. Joseph Nisonoff; his nurse, Camille Ewald; his receptionist, Pearl Tense; and Dr. Max J. Weinstein, who was thought to have referred Madeline to Nisonoff. Nisonoff was out on bail after being charged with performing another abortion, which the woman survived. A man identified as Madeline's friend, Henry Elters, was held as a material witness. Nisonoff was sentenced to 5 years in state prison, and Weinstein was sentenced to the city penitentiary.

Joyce Chorney, age 25, died Wednesday, November 18, 1953. An autopsy was performed at Bellevue Hospital. It showed that she had died of an induced abortion. Fifty-four-year-old Dr. Alfred Joseph was charged with criminal abortion in her death.

All three women died because they believed abortion was an acceptable answer to their problems, and because somebody who agreed with them took instruments in hand and did the deed.

Virginia and Madeline might have survived their abortions had antibiotics been available at the time. The introduction of antibiotics after WWII is credited with the plummeting maternal deaths -- including deaths from induced abortions -- in the middle of the 20th century.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A few choice examples of Planned Parenthood badness

Folks wonder why prolifers oppose such a reputable organization as Planned Parenthood. After all, isn't Planned Parenthood all about providing reproductive health services to all women, especially low-income women in need?

Well, aside from the fact that Planned Parenthood is the single largest purveyor of abortion in the United States, let's look at a few examples of treatment women have gotten at Planned Parenthood.

Holly Patterson, age 18, died of infection after a California Planned Parenthood gave her abortion drugs in an unapproved manner.

Diana Lopez, a 25-year-old mother of two, bled to death after her taxpayer-funded abortion at a California Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood referred Andrea Corey for an abortion at a facility that sent her home with retained tissue, resulting in a fatal infection.

Nichole Williams died after an abortion at a PP-owned clinic. Her abortion was performed by Planned Parenthood physician Robert Crist, whose ministrations had already led to the deaths of abortion patients Latachie Veal and Diane Boyd.

Sandra Kaiser, a troubled 14-year-old, killed herself after Planned Parenthood allowed her sister to sign an abortion consent form in lieu of a parent or guardian.

Planned Parenthood referred 17-year-old Christi Stile for an abortion at a clinic that lacked emergency equipment. Christi was left in a vegetative state.

Abortion patient "Lauren" sued Planned Parenthood after they misinformed her and aborted only one of her twin fetuses.

Sherry, age 16, was tricked into an unwanted abortion by a Planned Parenthood that told her that her 8-week fetus was "just like a blood clot."

Planned Parenthood referred women to the notorious and dangerous Inglewood Women's Clinic.

Planned Parenthood hires questionable abortionists such as Leroy Carhart, whose own clinic administrator reported him to the medical board for bizarre and dangerous behavior.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation sent Harvey Karman (pictured) to Bangladesh to perform abortions on rape victims -- with balsa wood and plastic springs. Many women were seriously injured, and some nearly died.

These are just the examples I found by doing a search for "Planned Parenthood" on my main RealChoice site. There are far more in my files.

Common sense wins a round in Missouri

SoCalPundit lets us know that parents in Missouri can sue the busybodies that bring their daughters for secret abortions. Yay!!! WI Catholic Musings posted on the ruling as well.

Achieving Peace in the Abortion War, Chapter 3

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1 and 2. Today we'll look at Chapter 3, Dealing With It:
Dr. Hern and Nurse Corrigan reported on their own staff. "Reactions to viewing the fetus ranged from 'I haven't looked' to shock, dismay, amazement, disgust, fear, and sadness." .... "We discerned that the following psychological defenses were used by staff members at various times to handle the traumatic impact of the destructive part of the operation: denial, sometimes through literal distance from viewing the procedure itself; projection, as evidenced by concern or anguish for other staff members assisting with or performing the procedure; and intellectualization. Popularly, the latter took the form of discussing the pros and cons of performing the D & E procedure and rationalizing its value."

....

The later the pregnancy and the larger the fetus, the harder it becomes to distance. Joy Davis gives another explanation, "When you did a suction procedure, it would come out in pieces, it would go in the jar, it would go in a stocking, it would go in a cup. You didn't actually see the baby. When you did a second and third trimester, if they come out in pieces, we were better. It didn't bother us as bad. If they come out intact, we had a dead baby there. So all of us would cry a lot, and all of us would hurt over that."

....

Putting the tasks into different divisions is needed and used, but putting the responsibility into different compartments is also quite necessary as a defense. Nurse Sallie Tisdale explains, "I couldn't be here if I tried to judge each case on its merits; after all, we do over a hundred abortions a week. . . For me, the limit is allowing my clients to carry their own burden, shoulder the responsibility themselves. I shoulder the burden of trying not to judge them."

....

The best way to counter a fantasy is to show the reality. With the wonders of modern technology, we are now able to show photographs of embryos and fetuses. We're able to do sonograms to show the movement and actuality of them at the very time it's occurring, although in shadowy form. A strong dose of reality should put a fantasy to rest. Curiously, this technique seems to be counter-productive. Former abortion doctor Joseph Randall, for example, said, "I think the greatest thing that got to us was the ultrasound. At that time, the ultrasound, or the sound wave picture which was moving, called 'real-time ultrasound,' showed the baby on TV. The baby really came alive on TV and was moving. And that picture, that picture of the baby on ultrasound bothered me more than anything else. . . . We lost two nurses. They couldn't take looking at it."

Christelle Morrison, Abortion Survivor

From The Survivors, and others linked to below.

On the night of November 14, 1979, a two-pound baby girl of 28 weeks gestation was found in a Nevada field, wrapped in an old, wet, dirty shirt. Her umbilical cord was still attached. The baby was blue and unresponsive, which is hardly surprising since the temperature that night was only 15 degrees. The baby was rushed to a rural emergency clinic, where a doctor immersed her in warm water. She revived and was transferred to Medical Center in Reno. Registered Nurse Susan Walker was among the staff that tenderly cared for the little girl. When she was three months old, weighing in at three pounds, the baby underwent heart surgery.

Susan Walker and her husband adopted the discarded miracle baby, who they named Christelle. According to Mrs. Walker, Christelle is "bright, beautiful, strong and healthy, and probably the most loving person you could ever meet! She is a living testimony of God’s tremendous power and love and of the value of each and every unborn child."

Wise as Serpents, Innocent as Doves

A visitor at my old Pro Life Views forum wrote to me:
All that I have to say is some people deserve to die. If you think that instead of killing the murders that kill our children should just stay in prison, then you are really stupid.

Although I sent this particular person a direct response, I think that a more global response is in order. After all, there is a tiny, frustrated minority of people who are coming to think that those who live by the sword need to die by the sword (or, more accurately, that those who live by the canula need to die by the .22, but that's just being technical). By and large, these folks aren't bloodthirsty. They're just plain fed up. It's hard to watch abortionists slaughter women and children for a quarter of a century, and listen to them gloat about it, without sometimes thinking that maybe the world would be a better place if somebody just took these folks out of it.

Most of them struggle with the issue; after all, the Bible says "Rescue those who are being led to slaughter." Does this mean that believers have an obligation to use whatever worldly means are necessary to stop abortionists in their tracks? Since I personally have been a Christian for 5 of my 15 years of pro life activism, and since those tempted to become violent often think that God might be calling them to harm abortionists, my primary approach will be from a Christian point of view. But those of other faiths, or of no faith, or those who are confused, will still find food for thought.

There are many angles from which to approach the question, "Is violence justified in dealing with abortionists?" The one that I think cuts to the quick is Jesus' admonition to "Be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves." Examining whether or not killing abortionists is wise and innocent can provide insights for people of all faiths.

Is killing abortionists wise?

The professed goal of someone who shoots an abortionist is to "rescue those who are being led to slaughter." Superficially, it might seem wise to simply shoot the person who plans to slaughter the babies. But is that what is really accomplished?

Let's not forget that every baby scheduled for death by abortion is being carried to the death house by his or her own mother. The abortionist is the instrument that carries out the death sentence she herself, for whatever reason, has imposed on the child. Unless her heart and mind are swayed, she will simply select another executioner. Although some women might take the shooting of the abortionist to be a sign against aborting, others will be hardened in their resolve. Insiders who have fled the abortion industry tell us again and again that direct confrontation only tends to make the woman more stubborn -- she now has an additional reason to go through with the abortion, if only to show those hateful busybodies that they can't push her around. The most anyone will accomplish by shooting an abortionist is that they will delay some scheduled abortions. On the other hand, peaceful pro life efforts such as running alternative centers, sidewalk counseling, and peaceful pickets, have been shown to be effective in turning women away from abortion and helping them to choose life for their unborn children. Is it wise to turn from a method with a proven track record to one that is dubious at best?

Let's also step back and look at the big picture. There are more babies scheduled for death in the United States every day than just those at a particular abortion mill. Roughly 4,000 women will walk into abortion facilities on any given day and have their children put to death. Assuming that the gunman chooses a high-volume mill, he will at most delay the 50 or so abortions schedeuled for that day, leaving 3,950 other abortions to go on as scheduled. What of the 3,950 mothers going into other abortion facilities? On a peaceful day, many of them will be swayed by the peaceful pro life presence outside. Sometimes just looking out through the waiting room window at all those people willing to help her is enough to give a woman the courage to have her baby. But if an abortionist gets shot, you can be certain that word will get out quickly, and that the staff at clinics nationwide will be exploiting the news. They will use it to convince the women that the peaceful prolifers outside are actually violent, ready to shoot people who disagree with them. Instead of being open to approach by pro life counselors, the women will be frightened and driven straight into the waiting arms of the abortionists.

And what of the 4,000 women scheduled for abortion the next day, and the day after that? Again, abortion advocates will use the shooting of the abortionist to drive a wedge between the women and the people who are tying to reach them. Proven effective peaceful efforts will not have a chance if the women are too frightened to approach pro life activists.

Let's look at some of the ripple effects of shooting abortionists: demonization of pro life activists, increased sympathy for abortionists, draconian laws passed to keep peaceful and effective pro lifers away from abortion facilities. None of these effects is positive. So is shooting abortionists wise? Not at all. It simply feeds the pro abortion propaganda machine.

But that's a physical examination of the problem. What about the spiritual impact? Let's start with the abortionist himself. He was shot on his way to kill babies; he dies unrepentant. Another soul is firmly won for Satan, with no chance of redemption. Peaceful efforts, on the other hand, have been shown to win abortionists over to Christ. Now, which does Satan the greater harm -- giftwrapping an abortionist and leaving him on Hell's doorstep, or stealing him into the Kingdom of God? Which does God the greater service, reaching out to a lost sheep, or delivering an abortionist to Satan, all trussed up and ready to torment?

And what of the surviving abortionists? Won't shooting one of their own at least put the fear of God into them? Hardly. As we've seen before, it hardens their hearts and makes them harder to reach.

What of the other unrepentant souls? The associates of the slain abortionist, and the other abortion defenders? Again, they harden their hearts. Those who might have been receptive to the Gospel want no part of God, if God means people shooting their friends. What about the unbelievers not directly involved in abortion? All they see is a man or woman gunned down in the name of God. They decide, "If that's what God is about, I want nothing to do with it." So unbelievers -- even those with no great love for abortion -- are turned away from Christ. I'm sure Satan chuckles when that happens.

So what does shooting an abortionist do? It thwarts efforts to rescue babies from death, and drives more souls away from Christ and toward Satan.

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, wise.

Is shooting abortionists innocent?

There are those who advocate shooting abortionists since the Bible contains examples of God instructing His people to smite the wicked. Since the abortionists are clearly wicked, these people rationalize, killing them isn't covered under the Commandment to refrain from killing.

They're overlooking quite a few things.

First of all, God gave very specific instructions to very specific people about exactly which wicked folks to smite, and when, and how. There have been far more wicked people that God did not give orders for anybody to smite. I doubt that this was an oversight on His part. If He had wanted His people to smite these particular wicked folks, I'm sure He would have said so. God is many things, but He's no shrinking violet. Unless you've received a direct order from God, "On such-and-such date, take such-and-such weapon and shoot such-and-such abortionist," your actions don't fall under some sort of global instruction to smite the wicked. And even if you think you have received such an order, you're instructed to "test" the message by consulting with your brothers and sisters in Christ. All the abortionist slayers to date have neglected this vital step, or have ignored the council of their brethern who warned them that their plans were not Godly. Jesus warns us that the Devil can quote Scriptures. Considering the great service done to Satan when an abortionist is shot, it's pretty clear where those instructions are coming from, and they're not from God.

Secondly, we can not see into anybody else's heart. Our many brothers and sisters who have fled the abortion industry tell similar stories of the final days before they left. Many of them reached out to their fellow employees, trying to reach them. Others helped women to leave the clinic instead of going through with scheduled abortions. A human being standing outside the abortion mill has no way of knowing what is going on inside the hearts of those walking in. The gunman has no way of knowing if that abortionist is going in to kill babies, or to tell his staff he's had an epiphany, or to walk out with records he's planning to turn over to the authorities about crimes committed at that clinic. Because we can not know, shooting the abortionist is not innocent, either.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Continue the prayer and education and peaceful efforts that have saved lives and souls.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Interesting Prochoice Reflections

Thanks to Emily at After Abortion for sharing these provocative articles from Nerve.

Point of No Return. "As a pro-choice woman, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I think second-term abortion is wrong."

Trouble in Numbers. "On the stigma of the second abortion."

Who Are the Feminists for Life? "In a word, dangerous."

Achieving Peace in the Abortion War, Chapter 2

I've invited all my readers to join me in reading and discussing Rachel McNair's excellent Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. Yesterday we read Chapter 1, The Well-Kept Secret. Today, let's look at Chapter 2, On The Front Line. Here are some excerpts:
Some scholars have proposed that women who undergo abortion have a variant of PTSD which they call Post Abortion Syndrome. .... Over 300 studies with varying outcomes have been done on this matter, and it is subject to intense debate. However, incredibly little study has been done of the doctors, nurses, counselors, and other staff in abortion clinics and hospitals. Such studies exist, but they are very few and hard to find. In fact, if it is narrowed down to scientific studies done by researchers who don't work in the abortion field and that look at a large number of people, there are really only two.

One feature of those two studies is that they were done by people with a bias in favor of abortion availability. Yet in contrast to the studies of post-aborted women, they both note the high prevalence of symptoms that fit under posttraumatic stress disorder.

....

Dr. Hern, an abortion specialist, gave a paper to the Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians in 1978 in which he had studied his own staff. "We have produced an unusual dilemma. A procedure is rapidly becoming recognized as the procedure of choice in late abortion, but those capable of performing or assisting with the procedure are having strong personal reservations about participating in an operation which they view as destructive and violent.... We have reached a point in this particular technology where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one's eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current."

....

The American Medical News reported this from the National Abortion Federation workshop: "They wonder if the fetus feels pain. They talk about the soul and where it goes. And about their dreams, in which aborted fetuses stare at them with ancient eyes and perfectly shaped hands and feet asking, 'Why? Why did you do this to me?'"

....

"We don't have conversations," said Joy Davis, a former employee of Dr. Tucker. "Sometimes, the employees faint. Sometimes they throw up. Sometimes, they have to leave the room. It's just problems that we deal with, but it's not talked about."

Abortion Survivor Jim Kelly

From The Survivors
Unlike Sarah Smith and Gianna Jessen, Jim Kelly is largely unknown, even to the pro-life community. Although he is the oldest abortion survivor we are aware of, he has only told his story publicly once, to a pro-life rally on the steps of the state capitol in Sacramento, California. Like Sarah Smith, Jim Kelly is a surviving twin. His twin sister, Katherine Marie Kelly, was killed by his mother in a self-inflicted abortion ... in 1949.

Jim's mother is described as "troubled." She had eight children by five different men, only one of whom she ever married. Jim was 27 when he learned of the prenatal attempt on his life. The abortion had killed a female fetus, but had spared Jim.

He'd become a Christian several years earlier, and was working through the effects of growing up in an unhealthy family. Jim said that he was abused by one of her mother's live-in boyfriends, who broke Jim's ankle and burned his hands. Jim was placed in foster care and various instutions, where he suffered more abuse, including sexual abuse. But he still was struggling with feelings of anger, rejection, and loss. He was making progress in building healthy bonds with his siblings, but not with his mother until she was on her deathbed.
Does Jim Kelly ever wish that he had been spared his tumultuous and painful life, that he had also been aborted with his sister? Although he did try to commit suicide once as a teenager, while in an institution, he says he is glad to be alive. And, he adds, "Thank God there were no Planned Parenthood abortion clinics at the time I was born or I wouldn’t have survived; they would have finished the job."

According to Jim Kelly, his life is proof of the truism that God works in mysterious ways. "As negative as so many of my life experiences have been, I wouldn’t trade any of them now," he says. Those experiences have given him compassion and psychological insights that are invaluable to his vocation as a social worker. "I can build bridges, I can reach people who can’t be reached by your so-called ‘professionals,’ because I’ve been there, I know what they’re going through. And they can see that I’m not just relating something I read in a psychology textbook."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Achieving Peace in the Abortion War

Recommended reading. Here are a few excerpts from Chapter 1:
Having gone through the exercise of listening to the real-life experience of doctors and nurses involved in providing abortion in the United States, I have come to the conclusion that the abortion business is too fragile to last. .... Though more study and the passage of time will tell whether this is right, I will risk making the following prediction: the abortion business is weakening, this downturn can't be stopped, and the American public for the most part will not be sad to see it go. Politics won't settle the issue. Achieving peace doesn't mean scoring a victory over opponents. Only when everybody's well-being is realized will we get peace. And peace is coming.

....

The reaction to the work itself is examined in an article written in the American Medical News ... which reports on a meeting of the National Abortion Federation. It says that the discussions "illuminate a rarely heard side of the abortion debate: the conflicting feelings that plague many providers . . . The notion that the nurses, doctors, counselors and others who work in the abortion field have qualms about the work they do is a well-kept secret."

....

If abortion is the taking of a human life ... then certain psychological consequences could be expected among those who perform abortions. .... If we find no such aftermath, the case that abortion is not violence at all is strengthened. If those reactions can be found, what then? Can the United States, with its abundance of abortions, provide evidence for such a problem? Are there other negative emotions that also interfere with the smooth functioning of the practice, and account for its oddities? If so, it could help to explain a decline and predict an eventual fall. The rest of this book will be making a case for the prediction that this has started to happen, will continue to happen, and probably can't be stopped.

I hope that my readers will follow along with reading and discussing this important book, available in full online.

An example of malpractice

Anne S., age 32, made the following allegations regarding an August 10, 1998 abortion performed at A Lady's Choice, possibly by Bruce Steir, the abortionist who performed the fatal abortion on Sharon Hamplton.

Anne had undergone previous abortions at this place in December of 1994 and August of 1996, and had three daughters. After the abortion, she had pain, and called Dr. Joseph Durante at the clinic at 4PM. He prescribed Tylenol 3 (a Tylenol with codeine). Anne called again at 11PM, still in pain, and Durante told her to take two doses of Tylenol 3.

Anne couldn't sleep, so she called the Victor Valley ER, and a nurse said to try milk and toast. Anne called Durante at 4AM, he said he'd see her in the morning.

The abortionist who'd done Anne's abortion had called Durante and told him that her abortion had taken longer than normal, that he'd had to penetrate deep into uterus, and that he might have perforated her uterus.

Late in the morning of August, Durante performed a D&C to remove possible retained tissue. Anne's pulse was 118 and her hemoglobin 17.1, which are alarming symptoms. Nevertheless, Durante sent Anne home, and told her see Dr. Albano at the hospital for further problems. Anne couldn't reach Albano, so her boyfriend called Durante on August 12 to report that she was vomiting "green stuff." Durante said to give Anne food but not to bring her to the emergency room.

Anne went to the ER on the 13th. The doctor performed an endoscopic examination and saw "fecal exudate." Anne required 4.5 hours of surgery to repair her uterus and small bowel and remove feces from her abdominal cavity. Anne spent 8 days in the ICU and ten additional days hospitalized.

Ut turned out that the abortionist had used a #12 canula, indicating that he thought Anne was 11 weeks pregnant, rather than using a smaller one appropriate for 8-9 weeks. He made no notes of abnormal symptoms on Anne's chart. Dr. Makala Reddy, who treated Anne, testified before a state judge, “I noticed the overwhelming infection inside the abdomen. I decided I wouldn't be able to take care of her problem through a scope, so I decided to do a laparotomy, which is opening up her belly from above the navel down to the pubic bone by slicing through the layers of the abdominal wall. .... When we peeled off the omentum that was adherent to the bowel lobes and the uterus abdominal wall, we discovered there was a hole in the uterus and there was a lot more fluid collection in the pelvis, which again was bowel contents mixed with pus and exudate, and then we noticed the hole in the lower part of the small intestine."

Clinc worker may be quitting -- PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!

Conversation for a Clinic Worker. She wants to leave. Pray for DJuana.

Abortion Survivor - Yamile Munoz


Yamile in the lap of her mother, Maggie Munoz, with Mrs. Magaly Llaguno, Latin America Coordinator for Human Life International

When Maggie Munoz learned that she was pregnant, she thought her only option was abortion. She was already an unmarried mother of four, and her friends and relatives told her that she already had "too many children" and that abortion was the "suitable solution." Ultrasound prior to the abortion revealed a normal 11-week pregnancy. Maggie underwent an abortion by D&C. After returning home, she was ill and depressed. Two weeks later, staff at the abortion facility called Maggie to tell her that the pathology report showed that the abortion was incomplete. Maggie returned to the clinic, where an ultrasound revealed a healthy fetus, still very much alive. But the employee told Maggie that there was "retained tissue" and gave her an appointment to return in a week for a second abortion procedure. Maggie didn't trust the clinic staff, and decided to go to her own doctor, who ordered an ultrasound showing a healthy 15-week fetus. Maggie was born May 18, 1992, perfectly healthy. Every day Maggie thanks God for her perfect daughter. (Source: Abortion Survivors [translation by Babelfish], from Right to Life League of Southern California, Fall 1992)

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Quality of the Debate

Not to say it's always like this, but too often it is:

Prolifer: Look. Here's a quote from an abortion clinic worker saying that they withhold information from women.

Abortion Advocate: YOU LIE!!! LIAR!! YOU DIRTY STINKING )(*)(*&(*)(!!!!!

PL: Here's the source. See?

AA: YOU STINKING )(*)(&#)(S ARE ALL ALIKE!!! You want to impose your will on women!!!!

PL: I was just pointing out this quote. If you're for choice, wouldn't you be opposed to withholding information?

AA: ITS' YOU EVIL STINKING )&^%$&^^(*&^S WHO DO THAT!

PL: In this instance, it's the abortion clinic staff. What do you think of that?

AA: GET YOUR MIND OUT OF MY VAGINA, YOU )(*(*^&)(*&ING )(*(*^&()*&!

PL: Huh?

AA: You (*&)(*&U$#s are always bombing clinics and besides abortion's safer than childbirth and you want women to die form coathanger abortions you *$)&$#$ing )*$#)(*$#)*$!!!!

PL: I agree with you that bombing abortion facilities is wrong. And I don't want women to die from any sort of abortion. But that's another issue. What I was trying to show you was this quote.

AA: IT'S MY BODY AND YOU )*$#)(*$#ING )(*$#)(*$##ERS JUST WANT TO BE INSIDE WOMEN'S VAGINAS!!!

YIKES!

Prochoicers group offering birth help!

Diamondsoul over in the Delphi Forums answered my challenge to tell me about a single prochoice group that actually offers any kind of help to women who don't want to abort. She sent me to Young Mommies Unite. I'm adding this one to the sidebar! I'm particularly excited about their Operation Baby Bag.

This is an answer to a prayer for me -- that prochoice women would start an organization that offers help for women who want to carry to term. Praise God!

Sad Anniversary: Twila Coulter

On November 13, 1972, 21-year-old Twila Coulter traveled from her home in Colorado to California for a saline abortion.

Twila was injected with the saline on November 13, then expelled the dead fetus and the placenta the following day. Twila had no blood pressure and was bleeding from IV sites -- signs of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, a clotting disorder. She was given oxygen and three units of blood and transferred to a fully-equipped hospital.

Upon arrival, Twila was comatose and bleeding heavily. Doctors removed some retained pregnancy tissue and sutured numerous uterine injuries, but were unable to address her clotting problems. Twila died of cerebral hemorrhage.

Other women who died of safe-and-legal abortions before Roe include:

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Where's the blind rage come from?

I was just looking for some interesting abortion-related discussions at Delphi Forums, when I stumbled into this. (WARNING: VERY crude and nasty language)

What's with these people? Where does the blind, impotent rage come from?

The only underlying thing I can pick out is the idea that their sense of self is so constricted that there's simply no room for anything else. It's like, "If the fetus exists at all, then I AM NOT REAL!" And they have to deny the very existence of the fetus in order to assert their own existence. It's really creepy and sad.

Abortion Survivor Lauren Pulliam


"Destined to be born" (Scroll down; translation by Babelfish)
Tiny Witnesses (Scroll down)

Seventeen-year-old Kristen went to Birthright for a pregnancy test. When the result was positive, she cried. Her mother spent the next few days reassuring Kristen that she'd help with caring for the baby, or with an adoption plan, but not with abortion. Kristen became withdrawn, and her mother became concerned. She learned that a friend had encouraged Kristen to go to Planned Parenthood.

After speaking with Planned Parenthood staff, who assured Kristen that she didn't need her parents' permission to abort, Kristen decided to schedule the abortion. Her parents pleaded with her. The day of the abortion, Kristen left the house in silence. Kristen's mother, Pat Pulliam, said, "Our home seemed a tomb."

Four weeks after the abortion, when Kristen returned to Planned Parenthood for a checkup, she learned that she was still pregnant. The staff recommended that she schedule a second procedure, but Kristen instead rushed home. Her mother called Planned Parenthood, but nobody would speak to her.

Kristen then went to an obstetrician for a checkup. He performed an ultrasound, and told her that the baby was a girl. Kristen and her mother looked at the ultrasound and everything seemed fine to them, but the doctor told them that the baby had abnormalities. He asked Kristen to reconsider abortion, but after having heard the baby's heartbeat, Kristen refused.

Kristen's mother took her to a pro-life obstetrician, who told them that the baby was "destined to be born."

Lauren Pulliam was born one month early, weighing six pounds. She was perfectly healthy. "Our daughter was in labor only twenty minutes," says Kristen's mother. "The baby was six pounds and absolutely perfect in every way.... Our daughter has been chosen to know the fullness of Christ’s love, care and forgiveness. Our lives will never be the same."