Monday, December 22, 2008

Abortion deaths 1910-1919

This is the picture the CDC paints in Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Healthier Mothers and Babies of maternal mortality at the beginning of the 20th century:

Maternal mortality rates were highest in this century during 1900-1930. Poor obstetric education and delivery practices were mainly responsible for the high numbers of maternal deaths, most of which were preventable. Obstetrics as a speciality was shunned by many physicians, and obstetric care was provided by poorly trained or untrained medical practitioners. Most births occurred at home with the assistance of midwives or general practitioners. Inappropriate and excessive surgical and obstetric interventions (e.g., induction of labor, use of forceps, episiotomy, and cesarean deliveries) were common and increased during the 1920s. Deliveries, including some surgical interventions, were performed without following the principles of asepsis. As a result, 40% of maternal deaths were caused by sepsis (half following delivery and half associated with illegally induced abortion) with the remaining deaths primarily attributed to hemorrhage and toxemia.


Note, please, that with issues such as doctors not using proper aseptic techniques, lack of access to blood transfusions and antibiotics, and overall poor health to begin with, there was likely little difference between the performance of a legal abortion and illegal practice, and the aftercare for either type of abortion was probably equally unlikely to do the woman much, if any, good.

Maternal mortality rates for the 20th century, according to the CDC, looked like this:



This is all maternal deaths, from abortion, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, complications of childbirth, and so forth. You can see that the 20th Century got off to a good start, improving maternal health, but that trend would later level off, and then reverse itself temporarily, before taking the downward trend that would continue for the rest of the century.

Note also the total lack of even the faintest blip on the trends with the legalization of abortion in the beginning of the 1970s.

With that established, let's look at the sample of cases I've been unable to uncover during the second decade of the 20th Century. Please note that these cases are chosen purely because I could find information about them, and not because I thought a particular woman's story made a particular political point. I found these cases by searching Westlaw, online historic newspaper archives, and the Homicide in Chicago Interactive Database. My criminal abortion samples also include cases I stumbled across in my other reading. Unlike the people at the Centers for Disease Control's abortion surveillance, I don't need to get beaten over the head with an abortion death case to notice it. I actually stay alert and notice without anybody belaboring the point. And it's not even my job to be paying attention. Unlike the stellar professionals at the CDC, I'm doing this on my own time and my own dime.
  1. 1910: Eva Swan died after an abortion by "Dr. Grant", who then had an assistant help him bury her body in his cellar. "Dr. Grant" turnd out to really be Dr. Robert Thompson.

  2. June 25, 1911: Anna Mueller died after an abortion performed by Dr. George Lotz.

  3. 1913: Emma Chandler died after an abortion performed by Dr. J.A. Richmond.

  4. October 23, 1913: Emily Nohavec died after an abortion performed by midwife Emma Bickel.

  5. April 26, 1914: Florence Lindquist died after an abortion performed in the home of Dr. Arthur Schulz.

  6. October 1, 1914: Lillie Giovenco died after an abortion performed by professional abortionist Dr. Eva Shaver.

  7. May 26, 1915: Anna Johnson died after an abortion performed by Dr. Eva Shaver in her home. Shaver then shot the dead woman in the head to try to make the death look like a suicide.

  8. Ocotber 15, 1915: Anna Anderson died after an abortion performed by Dr. A. A. Ausplund in his office, despite the assistance he'd sought from two other doctors after Anna started to hemorrhage.

  9. February 20, 1916: Bertha Carlson died from an abortion performed at an unknown perpetrator at an unknown location.

  10. February 25, 1916: Alda Christopherson died after an abortion performed by Dr. Lillian Hobbs at her Chicago practice.

  11. July 21, 1916: Elizabeth Radcliffe died after an abortion by an undetermined perpetrator.

  12. September, 1916: Etta Gardener died after an abortion by an undetermined perpetrator.

  13. 1917: Ada Williams died after an abortion perpetrated by Dr. Noble O. Hamilton.

  14. April 30, 1917: Ruth Lemaire implicated Dr. Lillian Hobbs on her deathbed.

  15. August, 1917: Elise Stone died after an abortion by Dr. A. H. Yates.

  16. August 9, 1917: Mary Park died after an abortion performed by Dr. Nicholas J. Phelan.

  17. October 10, 1917: Katherine Cross died after an abortion performed by Dr. A. H. Yates.

  18. December 3, 1917: Grace Wolf died after an abortion perpetrated in the office of Dr. C. Allen Snyder.

  19. November 18, 1917: Ellen Matson died after an abortion performed by Dr. Lillian Hobbs.

  20. November, 1918: Mary Lareau died amid a flu epidemic that knocked her death to the back pages. Two women whose professions were not given were arrested in Mary's death.

  21. 1919: Inez Reed died after an abortion by unidentified perpetrators, who then tossed her body off a cliff to cover up their crime.

  22. February 20, 1919: Viola Parr died after an abortion blamed on W. G. Waters and M. T. Summerlin, whose professions were not given.

And here is a breakdown of who performed these fatal abortions:



  • Doctors: 68.18%
  • Unknown perpetrator, or perpetrator's profession undetermined: 27.27%
  • Midwife: 4.55%

    This is the breakdown of cases in which I was able to determine the profession of the perpetrator:



  • Doctor: 93.75%
  • Midwife: 6.25%

    I realize that these numbers will be skewed by the small size of my sample, however they do support the findings of other researchers that pre-legalization abortions were mostly the work of physicians.

    For more about abortion deaths in specific years, see this post.



    For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion

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  • 53 comments:

    SoMG said...

    Is this all you do? List the names of women who died from abortions?

    What a waste of time! You must really be targetting stupid readers.

    What are you hoping to prove???

    GrannyGrump said...

    I told you, but evidently you weren't paying attention: I look at the searches that bring people to my blog. I have found may searches looking for information about abortion deaths in particular years or decades. So I provide what data I have, both statistical and anecdotal.

    And I've found gathering the information myself to be very informative. I've learned that both the prolifers and the prochoicers are mistaken about the effects of abortion laws. Prochoicers tend to assume that laws against abortion mean that every pregnant woman is reaching for a coathanger, and that when the laws are abolished it's all Dr. House on call. The prolifers tend to assume that criminalizing abortion is more of a deterrent than it is.

    It can only benefit society to have BOTH sides gain a more realistic picture.

    Of course, information doesn't seem to be of much value to you, personally, but others aren't so prone to the Semmelweis Reflex as you.

    GrannyGrump said...

    And, SoMG, if you think it's such a dumb blog, you are cordially invited to go find someplace more interesting and less prone to present actual information that people might not have encountered elsewhere.

    SoMG said...

    How do you expect to "inform yourself" by listing individual cases? I mean unless you use them to illustrate a point which is supported by numbers, which you are NOT doing. You are listing individual cases for their own sake.

    Are you planning to inform yourself equally well about what happens when childbirth goes wrong?

    Yes, you said that you answer the searches that bring people to your blog. But of course, which searches bring people to your blog depends on the content of your blog, so that's meaninless. If you had a blog about rotten eggs, people would come to it by searching for rotten eggs.

    Actually there's one type of case I'd like to see more about, since you are good at finding this stuff. How about women misusing misoprostol and getting defective babies in places like the Philippines? This can happen if it fails and you don't follow up.

    SoMG said...

    OK, point your browser here, it's a long url:

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/309/6957/757/a?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=brazil+drug+birth+defects&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

    SoMG said...

    Two money quotes:

    "The problem that faces both studies is the understandable reluctance of women who have committed a criminal offence to admit to taking the drug."

    AND:
    "Nearly half of all women who attempt abortion in Brazil are believed to use Cytotec; possibly one third fail to abort. Rough projections based on the known cases indicate an 8-10% risk of disability among those who continue their pregnancies."

    Nice.

    If the link doesn't work, here's the reference:

    BMJ 1994;309:757-758 (24 September)
    Brazil investigates drug's possible link with birth defects
    J Rocha

    SoMG said...

    More:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9620717?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=3&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

    SoMG said...

    Here you go, your kind of thing, a detailed description of a specific case. This sounds like the patient didn't follow instructions, which are, if your period doesn't come back within two months you go back to the doctor. ESPECIALLY if you're only six weeks pregnant when you do the medical abortion.

    "We report a case of a fetus with shortened proximal long bones, ambiguous genitalia, intrauterine growth restriction and abnormal umbilical artery Doppler velocities observed on antenatal ultrasound exam. At 34 weeks the patient revealed methotrexate/misoprostol exposure at 6 weeks gestational age in attempted medical termination of pregnancy. On newborn exam, the baby had dysmorphic facial features, a short torso, scoliosis, a micropenis (phallus <1 cm) and shortened proximal long bones both upper and lower extremities. X-ray exam revealed a hemivertebra at T10 level, rib abnormalities, shortened proximal long bones, an absent pubic bone and bilateral knee ossification centers. With methotrexate exposure, improved counseling and surveillance could potentially avoid these significant abnormalities and prevent psychological distress."

    Now: if abortion were banned, do you think this sort of thing would be more common or less common?

    J Perinatol. 2006 Oct;26(10):645-7.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17006526?ordinalpos=18&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    SoMG said...

    Yeah, I can see how you could get into this individual cases thing. On this question though there's at least an excuse for it--where abortion is legal and available, very few women fail to follow up if their medical abortions fail, so it's hard to find subjects. Where it's illegal, it's hard to get women to admit to it and impossible to do anything systematic. You're pretty much reduced to hunt-and-peck.

    On your question, how dangerous is abortion, there's no such excuse. All the CDC's counting-failure mechanisms you've presented would make a difference in the estimate of less than say a factor of three. That means instead of knowing it's less than one per hundred thousand we know it's fewer than three per hundred thousand. Well cry me a river.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Ah, SoMG.

    How do you expect to "inform yourself" by listing individual cases?

    Not by listing them. By RESEARCHING them. That's what I meant when I said, "I've found gathering the information myself to be very informative."

    I mean unless you use them to illustrate a point which is supported by numbers, which you are NOT doing. You are listing individual cases for their own sake.

    You haven't noticed the pattern, have you? I give background on overall abortion mortality, then give the anecdotal examples I've found, do a brief statistical analysis of my sample, juxtapose it to what Nancy Howell Lee and Mary Calderone found, and -- fancy this! -- expect my readers to draw what conclusions they may.

    Are you planning to inform yourself equally well about what happens when childbirth goes wrong?

    You didn't evidently read my response when you asked what I proposed we do to address overall pregnancy mortality. Clearly I looked into it. You just didn't pay attention. Sometimes I feel like Richard talking to Hyacinth.

    Yes, you said that you answer the searches that bring people to your blog. But of course, which searches bring people to your blog depends on the content of your blog, so that's meaninless. If you had a blog about rotten eggs, people would come to it by searching for rotten eggs.

    Yes, and this is a blog about abortion mortality. If you find it dull, I'm sure there's a whole world of other blogs out there for your amusement. I'd suggest one by like-minded people who chatter on about how wonderful and beneficial and above all safe legal abortion is.

    Actually there's one type of case I'd like to see more about, since you are good at finding this stuff. How about women misusing misoprostol and getting defective babies in places like the Philippines? This can happen if it fails and you don't follow up.

    I guess I need to restore the subtitle to make it plainer that my focus is the United States, not the Philippines. If I did comment on such things it would be to point out that the solution is to combat the mindset that pregnancy ambivalence is an abnormal condition to be treated with abortion. It's self-limiting. I've cited sources to that effect before. Perhaps you weren't paying attention.

    "Nearly half of all women who attempt abortion in Brazil are believed to use Cytotec; possibly one third fail to abort. Rough projections based on the known cases indicate an 8-10% risk of disability among those who continue their pregnancies."

    And they'll hardly be discouraged from injuring babies that it turns out later they really DID want by listening to people like you encouraging them to abort early and abort often. If you don't try to kill them, you won't injure them. And a public health campaign to let women know that early pregnancy ambivalence and rejection are normal and self-limiting is something I've been advocating for. I can't get anybody on either side to listen. The prochoice are too absorbed with the idea that once the thought of abortion enters her head, the world owes it to her to swoop in and immediately eliminate the fetus before the mother has second thoughts, and the prolife are too wrapped up in assuming that women are having abortions because they're baby-hating trollops.

    On your question, how dangerous is abortion, there's no such excuse. All the CDC's counting-failure mechanisms you've presented would make a difference in the estimate of less than say a factor of three. That means instead of knowing it's less than one per hundred thousand we know it's fewer than three per hundred thousand. Well cry me a river.

    Ah, SoMG, it's nice to know how much you deeply care for women.

    SoMG said...

    The funniest thing you wrote is this: "I give background on overall abortion mortality, then give the anecdotal examples I've found, do a brief statistical analysis of my sample, juxtapose it to what Nancy Howell Lee and Mary Calderone found, and -- fancy this! -- expect my readers to draw what conclusions they may."

    Hee hee! Very cute. You should be working for Carl Rove. Newsflash: a collection of anecdotes is not a "sample" and cannot be correctly made the subject of "statistical analysis" (brief or otherwise) and does not justify drawing any conclusions.

    You wrote: "...the solution [in the Philippines] is to combat the mindset that pregnancy ambivalence is an abnormal condition to be treated with abortion."

    Newsflash: they've already been maxing out on that strategy. Something like eighty percent of the country is Roman Catholic. Crossing the RCC equals instant political suicide. The constitution gives the unborn the right to "life". They jail abortion patients as well as providers for up to six years. How much more can they do to "combat the abortion mindset"???

    So said...

    Oh, and childbirth kills one in TEN thousand.

    SoMG said...

    Here, I'll help some more: here's my evaluation of Operation Rescue's Top Ten Stories of 2008:

    "1. Collapse of An Abortion Empire – Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy CLOSED!"

    This is about "Doctor" Bugarin who was practicing medicine without a licence. Going into someone's bodily orifice under a fake licence is a violent crime. See the movie THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE. She should do hard time. I don't know how much OR had to do with bringing her down but this is something for pro-choicers to celebrate. Among her victims are the doctors she tricked into working for her. They should all sue her. No matter what other problems some of them may have had.

    "2. Massachusetts Abortionist Involved in Smith Death Surrenders License, Closes Clinics, And Is Criminally Indicted"

    This was an interesting case. There was no public evidence that the death was anything other than a rare reaction to anaesthesia, and no public claim that Dr Osathanondh's complication numbers were bad. It seemed like the Board might have agreed to conceal something about him in exchange for his licence. Or, he might just have had a non-rational reaction to the experience--everyone is vulnerable to rare events but knowing this doesn't help you if you dread going to work because of one. Again, this looks like oversight functioning correctly. If anything, being overprotective. Makes abortion safer. Good for pro-choice.

    "3. Election 2008 - Truth Trucks Dog Obama Campaign Trail!"

    For those voters who both care about abortion and didn't already know Obama is extremely pro-choice.

    "4. OR Releases Photos Showing KS Gov. Sebelius Partying With Abortionist Tiller At Governor’s Mansion"

    For those Kansas voters who care about Dr. Tiller and don't know that Gov. Sebelius is his friend.

    "5. OR Moves Into National Headquarters In Redeemed Abortion Mill"

    Congratulations.

    "6. OR Exposes Botched Abortions And Other Problems At Abortion Mills Around the Nation"

    Again, that's good for pro-choice.

    "7. Operation Rescue’s Investigations Expose Tiller"

    The charges against Dr. Tiller are based on the ambiguous meaning of the phrase "financially affiliated". If your high school refers my tutoring pupils to me, but no money (the parents pay) and no resume-listable association, are we "financially affiliated"? Is there a difference between "affiliated" and "associated"? What should the penalty be for getting the answer to that wrong? A small fine--way less than the State of Kansas has spent on this garbage. Dr. Tiller's gonna retire soon anyway because of his age.

    "8. Late Abortions in KS Decrease by 54% Since Operation Rescue’s Arrival"

    How much did they increase elsewhere?

    "9. Tiller Prosecution Moves Forward"

    More Tiller. See above.

    "10. Operation Rescue’s Involvement In Abortion Grand Juries"

    Two grand juries. One was Tiller (see above). The other was the equally meaningless thing aginst Planned Parenthood.

    A lot of conservatives are saying social issues weren't important in 2008. That's goofy. Anyone who cared knew that Roe/Wade was one uncertain justice away from going down. In a different year the "Infantacide"/Born-Alive govno would have stopped the normally-cagey Dems from nominating him. To the extent that OR publicized the lunatic core of American Right-to-Lifism and reminded the Mixed-Feelings Majority Middle how extreme the past eight years have been, they helped Obama.

    SoMG said...

    And you wrote: "Sometimes I feel like Richard talking to Hyacinth."

    Funny, I feel like Hans Sachs talking to Beckmesser.

    GrannyGrump said...

    I've wearied of talking to you, SoMG, and you've been lamenting how stupid you find my blog, so I'll tell you what -- I'll just start nuking comments I don't feel like letting stand unchallenged but also don't feel like wrestling with you over, and you start looking for a blog of like-minded people. Then we'll both be happier.

    SoMG said...

    But you won't learn anything that way.

    GrannyGrump said...

    I've learned that I've passed the point where a visit from you is a pleasant thing. LONG since past. It's like the in-laws came for Christmas and they're still there when the crocus come up.

    Look, the information on the cytotec abortions and resulting birth defects is interesting. But that's one piece of actual information in scores of comments about how dumb you think my blog is and what a clueless moron you think I am. Why would I want to continue to carry on a conversation with you?

    SoMG said...

    You wrote: "Why would I want to continue to carry on a conversation with you?"

    Maybe in order to become better informed about abortion? You seem to care about the issue and I have forgotten more about it than you will never know (unless you become a professional). How many abortion insiders do you think would be willing to exchange info with you?

    GrannyGrump said...

    SoMG, you don't present new information very often. Certainly not often enough to be worth the aggravation of your near-constant attempts to get me onto the "Abortion is the greatest boon to humanity ever" bandwagon.

    Look, here is what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm not here to convince people like you to try to ban abortion. But you don't return the favor, do you? You're constantly trying to convince me that everything I believe in -- that relationships are worth protecting, that the strong have a duty to protect the weak, that truth can triumph over lies, that love can triumph over fear -- is wrong. Why would I want to have that constant harping?

    If you were in here just exchanging information, that would be another matter. But you're always telling me that I'm stupid, that my blog is stupid, that everything I believe in should be abandoned on the alter of "abortion rights". Go take it to somebody who wants to hear it.

    "Abortion rights" nearly took my son from me. "Abortion rights" took many of my friends' children from them. You're asking me to stop caring about my own son, about my friends' grief, about anything that makes life worth living. Fuck that. My son has inherent worth. My friends' children had inherent worth. I'm not about to betray any of them because you come in with some new dressing on an old argument. And in over a quarter century of this, I've heard them all.

    SoMG said...

    You wrote: "You're constantly trying to convince me that everything I believe in -- that relationships are worth protecting, that the strong have a duty to protect the weak, that truth can triumph over lies, that love can triumph over fear -- is wrong."

    When have I ever denied any of these propositions? Never. You're projecting something onto me.

    When I say that some aspect of your blog is stupid, I'm trying to spur you to improve it. It's constructive criticism. Americans are too used to being overpraised.

    It's just a fact that the strategy of listing individual cases and then pretending your list is a "sample" is both dishonest and easy to see through. Don't you think you might be more persuasive for right-to-lifism if you didn't begin by insulting your reader's intelligence with such a cheap, debator's-trick strategy?

    When I suggested you should acknowledge the obvious benefits of abortion and then set about trying to persuade the reader that it shouldn't be chosen anyway, I wasn't kidding. That would make your blog special. As it is, you're just one of many parrotters of the same misinformation.

    GrannyGrump said...

    You wrote: "You're constantly trying to convince me that everything I believe in -- that relationships are worth protecting, that the strong have a duty to protect the weak, that truth can triumph over lies, that love can triumph over fear -- is wrong."

    When have I ever denied any of these propositions? Never. You're projecting something onto me.


    If, as you assert, abortion is a good thing, a boon to humanity, then might makes right and love has no place in the world. Where is there room for love in a world where a mother killing her own child is a positive good? Where is there room for truth to triumph if you're in here shouting down information?

    When I say that some aspect of your blog is stupid, I'm trying to spur you to improve it. It's constructive criticism. Americans are too used to being overpraised.

    I'm not asking for praise. I'm just wondering why you come someplace you're constantly dissing for being dumb and pointless.

    It's just a fact that the strategy of listing individual cases and then pretending your list is a "sample" is both dishonest and easy to see through.

    Tell me, SoMG, do you go to prochoice blogs and chastise them for picking, say, Clara Bell Duvall or Geri Santoro, painting her as representative of all pregnant women prior to the Age of Abortion Enlightenment?

    The cases I present ARE a sample. They're not in and of themselves a scientifically or sociologically sufficient sample from which to draw all your conclusions, but they ARE instructive.

    Take the deaths I found for 1932.

    I'm not saying that we can conclude from this sample that all illegal abortions were performed by two doctors in Oklahoma City. I'm not even saying that we can conclude that all illegal abortions were performed by doctors. But this sample is nevertheless instructive. It illustrates that criminalization wasn't enough to keep these guys off the streets. They were killing women one after the other and still able to keep at it. And this is a pattern I noticed repeatedly in doing this research -- that a revolving-door justice system kept freeing abortionists.

    Now, can we assume that the deaths were necessarily due to quackery? Well, if you assume (as I do) that abortion is in itself a form of quackery, yes. But if you're assuming (as I'm certain you are) that the decision to proceed with an abortion can indeed be a reasonable one for a doctor to make, you're still left having to find out if these women's deaths were due to sloppy practices, or if they were due to simply the poor state of medical care and overall health at the time.

    Both the prolifers and the prochoicers want to prevent abortion deaths. (The prolifers want to prevent the death of the child as well as the death of the mother; the prochoicers typically only the death of the mother, though there is a wide range of opinion as to whether the death of the child is desirable or regrettable but unavoidable.)

    The prolifers need to learn that just criminalizing isn't going to be enough. I've said that before. I'm not sure you've heard it. The prochoicers need to learn that simple legalization wasn't enough. I've said that before. Again, I'm not sure you heard it.

    Don't you think you might be more persuasive for right-to-lifism if you didn't begin by insulting your reader's intelligence with such a cheap, debator's-trick strategy?

    I'm presenting INFORMATION, SoMG. Information people have come looking for. And I'm sure that there are a lot of them that come in looking for the information to bolster an abortion-rights argument. I've seen people do it. I don't hide the information or make choices about what I include or exclude based on how politically expedient I find it. You could easily argue that I'm doing the antiabortion side a great disservice by reminding people of illegal abortion deaths from the "bad old days." I don't pick and choose.

    When I suggested you should acknowledge the obvious benefits of abortion and then set about trying to persuade the reader that it shouldn't be chosen anyway, I wasn't kidding.

    And here you are again telling me that motherhood is pathological and that it should be "cured" with the death of the baby.

    That would make your blog special. As it is, you're just one of many parrotters of the same misinformation.

    Yeah, the internet is full of prolife blogs that lament criminal abortion deaths in the 1930s. If there's anything we prolifers never shut up about, it's illegal abortion deaths before Roe.

    SoMG said...

    GG, you wrote: "Where is there room for love in a world where a mother killing her own child is a positive good?"

    Giving life WILLINGLY is a GREATER act of love than giving life in order to avoid breaking a law against abortion. I don't understand why this is not totally obvious to you--I've now pointed it out twice.


    "Where is there room for truth to triumph if you're in here shouting down information?"

    When have I shouted down any piece of information you have posted??? I have explained limits on what your information means, and I have pointed out that it is one sided. That's not "shout[ing] down".

    You wrote: "I'm just wondering why you come someplace you're constantly dissing for being dumb and pointless."

    Because I believe you can improve. (Henry VIII would say, triumph of optimism over experience).

    You wrote: "Tell me, SoMG, do you go to prochoice blogs and chastise them for picking, say, Clara Bell Duvall or Geri Santoro, painting her as representative of all pregnant women prior to the Age of Abortion Enlightenment?"

    That's different, because systematic info from that time is not available. But yes, when I catch pro-choicers attempting to generalize from these examples, I do call them on it.

    You wrote: "The cases I present ARE a sample."

    Nope. Take it from a former Stats and Prob teacher, a collection of anecdotes is NOT a sample.

    You wrote: "And here you are again telling me that motherhood is pathological and that it should be "cured" with the death of the baby."

    Only FORCED motherhood.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Okay, SoMG, we'll get away from the whole "forced motherhood" thing, because you're clearly incapable of grasping that if she's pregnant, she's already a mother, and that's not something that happened because prolife insemination squads wrestled her to the ground and assaulted her with a turkey baster loaded with Flip Benham's sperm.

    Let's address your claim that you're only making constructive criticism. You keep coming in and bitching that all I post is lists of the dead. Well, THAT'S WHAT I DO! I blog abortion deaths. I throw in other posts that are of interest to me and I hope to my readers, but the entire thrust is ABORTION DEATHS. Which you have made it plain that you think it is an appallingly stupid topic. So WHY THE HELL DO YOU HANG OUT HERE, in a blog that's about abortion deaths? More to the point -- SPECIFIC ABORTION DEATHS? If you think it's a dumb topic, go find a blog about happy abortions or wretched childbirth or such. That's clearly your area of interest.

    SoMG said...

    GG, forced continuation of pregnancy is just as much forced motherhood as forced initiation of pregnancy. You enter the web willingly but you're still stuck.

    SoMG said...

    Regarding your other question: here's what I don't understand. Why do you claim in your header that your blog shows the side of choice the pro-choicers don't want the reader to see? We are very proud of some aspects of our disasters--for instance the small number of them and how many more there would be if we weren't around to prevent them. And we very much want the public to know what can happen when abortions get done wrong.

    As you say, much of your info is persuasively pro-choice. Including the revolving door for criminal abortionists. Also the fact that most illegal abortions in USA were done by physicians illustrates the near-unenforcibility of abortion bans and likely danger of a properly-enforced one.

    Here's an idea you might like, since you liked the birth defects from misuse of misoprostol: do some research and tell me whether letting certified physicians' assistants do manual suction abortions under doc's supervision and prescribe medical abortifacients is a good idea or a bad idea.

    GrannyGrump said...

    SoMG, I think I'm just going to start nuking your more idiotic posts. Starting with some of the ones you made today. If you can't grasp that people who think it's wrong to kill babies are NOT going to jump on the abortion bandwagon.

    You might as well be in here asking, "Well, with, say, Andrea Yates. That woman was CLEARLY nuts. Ought we not to have given the kids lethal injections, to spare them the horror of having their mom chase them around the house to catch them and drown them?" I AM NOT GOING TO ENDORSE KILLING BABIES. This is a simple concept.

    I'm not asking you to do a 180. I'm not asking you to say, "Oh, gosh, you're right -- abortion is a heinous evil!" I"m only asking you to get behind something like maybe getting the National Abortion Federation to actually ENFORCE their standards or stop CLAIMING that they do. In other words, I'm asking you to hold them accountable for false advertising.

    I'm not asking you to abandon everything you think is right and just -- and clearly you think abortion is a great boon to humanity. I just want you to do something like ask NAF to clean up their act, and for prochoice groups to actually CHECK THE BACKGROUND on facilities before they refer women there. Is that in any way asking you to change that you believe abortion is right and good?

    I'm not asking you to think abortion is evil. I'm just pointing out that there's a whole lot of room for accountability that nobody outside the freaking PROLIFE movement is demanding. That until PROCHOICERS start demanding it, it ain't gonna happen. I don't want to CONVERT you to anything other than demanding what you already say you believe in -- SAFE abortion, FREELY CHOSEN. Which is all too often NOT what women are getting.

    SoMG said...

    "Nobody outside the ... pro-life movement is demanding"

    That's dumb and wrong. Abortion has its watchdogs and monitors like any other speciality. You never know when the Licencing Board is gonna send someone to check you out.

    And I'm not asking you to endorse abortion. I'm pointing out that you'd be more effective if you acknowledged its obvious advantages and worked on explaining why it should be rejected ANYWAY. Your acknowledging that a ban would likely be ineffective is a good start.

    To the extent that RTLs expose bad docs, that's good. Unfortunately they also try to mess with good docs like Dr. Tiller. Someone being dunned by RTLs does NOT justify suspician against him/her.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Abortion has its watchdogs and monitors like any other speciality. You never know when the Licencing Board is gonna send someone to check you out.

    How about Braxton Tabb in Colorado? He got caught sending women home with retained fetal heads. When the medical board slammed him for it, he had some of his fellow abortionists come forward and say, "Well, WE send patients home with retained heads, too!" PRESTO! Deliberately performing incomplete abortions became the standard of care in Colorado, since the medical board there uses a "community standard" -- meaning that if enough quacks do it, it's okay.

    And it's not just the medical board -- it's prochoice organizations. NAF and the ACLU both have projects that exist purely to provide malpractice defense for abortionists. Kitty Colbert was at a NAF meeting, chewing them out for their quackery, telling them to start listening to Warren Hern when he chewed them out for sloppiness, that she was sick to death of -- her words "beating the shit out of" women to get them to drop lawsuits that she'd not be stuck defending if they weren't quacks. It's very interesting to compare what they say behind closed doors to what they say when they reassure the public that all is rosy in NAF-Land.

    Don't give me any bull about how nobody's standing up for quackery. Bruce Steir had a LEGAL DEFENSE COMMITTEE spring up to defend him after he sent Sharon Hamplton home to bleed to death -- something that even the abortion gurus at the CDC said there was NO EXCUSE FOR, given modern means of detecting and treating hemorrhage.

    And I'm not asking you to endorse abortion. I'm pointing out that you'd be more effective if you acknowledged its obvious advantages and worked on explaining why it should be rejected ANYWAY.

    BECAUCE THE ONLY "ADVANTAGE" IS THAT THE BABY IS DEAD. And you've yet to convince me that a dead baby is preferable to a live baby. If you can come up with an abortion that doesn't kill babies, you'll have an innovation I can see the upside of.

    Your acknowledging that a ban would likely be ineffective is a good start.

    I didn't say it'd be ineffective. I said it'd be insufficient. That it HAS been insufficient.

    To the extent that RTLs expose bad docs, that's good. Unfortunately they also try to mess with good docs like Dr. Tiller.

    He keeps women in MOTEL ROOMS, attended only by their own chosen companions, when supposedly they're so endangered by their pregnancies that they need third-trimester abortions to prevent death or serious and permanent incapacitation. If they're sick enough that it's a medical crisis and you need to get that baby out, they're sick enough that they need to be hospitalized. If they're not sick enough to need to be hospitalized, they're not so sick that they need abortions.

    Look what he let that quack Carhart do to Christin Gilbert. I read that girl's autopsy report. There had been absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH HER prior to the abortion. But she ended up dead. Tiller's staff called 911 and told them that they were transferring an alert, conscious patient when they were being called to deal with a patient in full cardiac arrest. Carhart was doing such a crappy, ineffectual job of trying to resuscitate her that the medics didn't realize he was the doctor; they thought he was a bystander who had no training but had taken it upon himself to revive the patient. What kind of "good" doctor hires somebody without even knowledge of how to resuscitate a patient?

    On what grounds do YOU call him a "good doc"? Other than that he does abortions and that alone makes him a hero?

    SoMG said...

    You wrote: "BECAUCE THE ONLY "ADVANTAGE" IS THAT THE BABY IS DEAD. "

    You don't think avoiding labor-and-delivery is an advantage???

    Regarding Dr. Tiller: I admire him because

    1. He's very good at his job. If you have a patient who needs an abortion late in pregnancy, you can pretty much count on him to get it done without hurting her, with minimal stress to her cervix and vagina. There's a reason people fly into Kansas to be treated by him--he's the best at what he does in the Western Hemisphere.

    2. He's a multiple terror survivor who continues to defy his terrorists. Love or hate what he does, ya gotta admire his guts!

    3. He has overcome an horrific addiction to the most addictive substance in the world, and now serves on the addiction branch of the medical board, and could practice addiction medicine if he wanted.

    You wrote: "If they're sick enough that it's a medical crisis and you need to get that baby out, they're sick enough that they need to be hospitalized. If they're not sick enough to need to be hospitalized, they're not so sick that they need abortions."

    Even if this were true (it's not), how would YOU know?

    SoMG said...

    You wrote: "How about Braxton Tabb in Colorado? He got caught sending women home with retained fetal heads. When the medical board slammed him for it, he had some of his fellow abortionists come forward and say, "Well, WE send patients home with retained heads, too!" PRESTO! Deliberately performing incomplete abortions became the standard of care in Colorado, since the medical board there uses a "community standard" -- meaning that if enough quacks do it, it's okay."

    Fetal heads! Sounds awful. But let's get a little perspective. The large majority of abortions are done when the fetus is three inches (crown-to-rump) or smaller. Your typical retained fetal head fits on a quarter. Retention is just a special case of retained tissue, and retained tissue is very common and not at all dangerous except rarely, if it gets infected. Ninety-nine percent just pass during the patient's next period, which may be a little "chunky-style".

    Anyone who gets sued can set up a legal defense committee.

    Lots of professional medical associations help members against lawsuits. This is because (drum roll, please...) NOT ALL LAWSUITS HAVE MERIT! We live in an age of ambulance-chacers. (Actually in the high-risk specialities, the top of the profession gets the most lawsuits, because they take on the difficult, probable-bad-outcome-no-matter-what-you-do cases.)

    You may find this hard to believe, but there actually are some organizations that exist JUST to bring lawsuits (meritorious or not) against abortion docs! I know, it's hard to believe someone would waste their time on such a thing.

    SoMG said...

    You wrote: "How about Braxton Tabb in Colorado? He got caught sending women home with retained fetal heads. When the medical board slammed him for it, he had some of his fellow abortionists come forward and say, "Well, WE send patients home with retained heads, too!" PRESTO! Deliberately performing incomplete abortions became the standard of care in Colorado, since the medical board there uses a "community standard" -- meaning that if enough quacks do it, it's okay."

    Fetal heads! Sounds awful. But let's get a little perspective. The large majority of abortions are done when the fetus is three inches (crown-to-rump) or smaller. Your typical retained fetal head fits on a quarter. Retention is just a special case of retained tissue, and retained tissue is very common and not at all dangerous except rarely, if it gets infected. Ninety-nine percent just pass during the patient's next period, which may be a little "chunky-style".

    Anyone who gets sued can set up a legal defense committee.

    Lots of professional medical associations help members against lawsuits. This is because (drum roll, please...) NOT ALL LAWSUITS HAVE MERIT! We live in an age of ambulance-chacers. (Actually in the high-risk specialities, the top of the profession gets the most lawsuits, because they take on the difficult, probable-bad-outcome-no-matter-what-you-do cases.)

    You may find this hard to believe, but there actually are some organizations that exist JUST to bring lawsuits (meritorious or not) against abortion docs! I know, it's hard to believe someone would waste their time on such a thing.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Here are my notes on Tabb and sending the patient home with a retained fetal heads:

    Medical board documents allege regarding Patient A, Boulder Valley Clinic: estimated pregnancy at 13 weeks by LMP and pelvic exam; inserted laminaria June 23, 1983; started suction curettage abortion next day; "realized that the patient was in excess of his 14 week LMP gestational age limit, based upon the difficulty of the procedure and the amount of tissue;" told counselor that there was trouble getting all tissue, "obtained a fetal foot measurement of 18 millimeters, indicating a fetus of 15.6 weeks," stopped procedure, examined the tissue and noted that fetal skull was not seen; "explored with ringed forceps without obtaining additional tissue;" on patient chart, "noted that no complications had occurred," tissue not sent to pathology lab, patient not given documentation of potential complication; "Respondent's explanation for not sending the tissue to pathology was that there was no need to since he knew the calvarium [fetal skull] had been retained;" in recovery room Patient A reported passing clots, which respondent examined and determined to be small; Patient A discharged after approximately 1 hour 20 minutes in recovery, noted as in "good" condition, instructed to return in 3 weeks for follow-up; about 4.5 hours later, called complaining of heavy bleeding, told to return; seen by medical director, Ronald Kuseski, who removed 30-gram fetal skull and 50 cc blood clots; Patient A testified that she had never been informed of retained skull and possible risks thereof; clinic failed to arrange for follow up before three weeks. Medical board found that sending Patient A home with a retained fetal skull did not constitute deviation from standard of care, but that failure to notify Patient A and to formulate a treatment plan did constitute deviation. (Colorado Board of Medical Examiners Case No. ME 86-07)

    Medical board document alleged in case of Patient C, Boulder Valley Clinic: estimated pregnancy of 13-14 weeks by pelvic exam; laminaria inserted July 5, 1983; during procedure next day, "respondent realized that this patient, like patient A two weeks earlier, was beyond his 14 week LMP limit;" "obtained a fetal foot measurement of 20 mm, which equals 16 weeks;" reaspirated Patient C, examined tissue, confirmed retained clavarium [fetal skull]; tissue not sent to pathology lab; Patient C not given written instructions regarding retained tissue, written instructions to return for follow-up in 3 weeks; chart noted "no complications had occurred;" Patient C verbally instructed to return later that day; at that time counseled regarding complication and options by medical director Ronald Kuseski, but Patient C refused treatment because she smelled alcohol on his breath; clinic arranged for her to see Warren Hern at Boulder Abortion Clinic following day; Patient C did not keep appointment, passed a quantity of tissue at home; board could not ascertain if Tabb failed to adequately plan and arrange responsibility for treating complications in Patient C. (Colorado Board of Medical Examiners Case No. ME 86-07)

    So we're looking at ACTUAL abortions here, SoMG, not your hypothetical abortions. If you think sending the patient home with a retained 16-week fetal head is a trivial matter, please state so plainly. And is it true you're a practicing abortionist?

    And the fact that it was QUACKERY she was defending was Kitty Colbert's complaint. SHE was the one telling them to start following standards, that she was sick to death of "beating the shit out of" the women to get them to drop their lawsuits. Now, if YOU think this is perfectly normal and acceptable, then that tells us something about you, doesn't it?

    SoMG said...

    Yes, when you describe the details this sounds like two cases of questionable-to-bad practice. That's what oversight boards are for. Three problems: getting the gestational age wrong, leaving too much inside the patient, and failure to arrange for follow-up. I notice he didn't use ultrasound. I guess it was more expensive in the early eighties. Almost everyone uses it now; mistakes about gestational age are pretty unusual.

    BUT it is also true that retained fetal calvarium is not by itself an unusual or particularly alarming complication. You can't do abortions for a professional lifetime without getting hit that way sometimes. Even if it happens several times it's not a reason for a medical board to ding a doc. Like I said, they mostly pass unnoticed and the more you go after it the more you might puncture the uterus or have any of those also-not-very-dangerous-but-still-worth-sparing-the-patient subclinical complications. So it's not necessarily a bad decision to leave the calvarium for nature. What makes the cases you describe worth examining is the age and size. It's not particularly dangerous but why let your patient in for an avoidable follow-up?

    What does or did the law say the doc should do if (s)he starts what is believed to be a first-trimester abortion and discovers the true gestational age after partially dismembering junior? Back when ultrasound was expensive that situation was inevitable. Not a question of whether it would happen but of when and how often. GG, since you're so into particular cases, find out what they were supposed to do.

    If I were on the medical board I would want to know that he had gotten ultrasonic diagnostic capabilities (if it were today), and fixed his protocol for dealing with emergency follow-up, and developed an acceptable written protocol for dealing with misdiagnosis of gestational age and added it to training, and arranged to test his partners for alcohol at work. If he complied and arranged for compliance to be verified, I think I'd go with the Board's decision--ding him with the failure to respond properly to complications in Patient A. Based on just those two cases. I would at least bring up and discuss the possibility of also dinging him for leaving a skull that big inside in both cases, but if the board decided to cut him a break on that I'd go along. The board's job is to hit stuff that's a serious danger to the patients. Bad urgent follow-up is, always. Leaving a somewhat bigger skull than desirable is yucky but not particularly dangerous. In the case of Patient C it sounds like she was getting adequate follow-up but became non-compliant. There's no reason to think that's the doc's fault. Patients can think they smell alcohol on you for lots of reasons. In all kinds of contexts. The converse is also true: it is very easy to drink a great deal and avoid being detected on the wards. You drink Everclear, a lot at once, followed by water and a mint. Some of the best clinical performers use alcohol to stay awake. Then again where I went to school alcoholism was kind of a regional sport. You know how it is some places.

    You wrote: "And is it true you're a practicing abortionist?"

    Wherever did you get that idea?

    SoMG said...

    How did it end up? Did Dr. Tabb get into more trouble afterwards? That's the important question to understanding the story. If all you've got on it is what you posted, it sounds like oversight did exactly what they should do. Not hit him but flag for if it becomes a pattern.

    GrannyGrump said...

    1. I bet that just informing the patient, "I might be sending you home with your baby's head floating around in your uterus, but that's okay. We'll just watch to see if it falls out" would go a long way toward reducing abortions.

    2. I don't know what happened to Tabb; since I don't work for Crutcher anymore, I don't have a full-time job chasing down information on these guys, nor somebody else covering the costs of phone calls and faxes and docket searches and so forth. Which is why I wish that people would pick up the ball locally. The prochoicers ought to be keeping tabs on the local guys so that they're giving INFORMED referrals, and the prolifers ought to be keeping tabs on them so they can expose quackery.

    SoMG said...

    Reply to 1. You could probably reduce a lot of surgeries by telling the patients more about what can go wrong.

    Reply to 2. If the info you posted is all you have about Dr. Tabb, what it shows is oversight working exactly as it should work. Like Crutcher with LIME 5, your effort to tar us actually makes us look good to informed readers. Keep it up!

    I'm curious, what's Crutcher like? LIME5 and the "Bottom Feeder" story indicate an utter fool. Maybe his real agenda is to make money off right-to-lifers rather than to help them win. Does he really care about the unborn or is LDI a cynical scam? Please post your impressions as I am very curious.

    SoMG said...

    Reply to 1. You could probably reduce a lot of surgeries by telling the patients more about what can go wrong.

    Reply to 2. If the info you posted is all you have about Dr. Tabb, what it shows is oversight working exactly as it should work. Like Crutcher with LIME 5, your effort to tar us actually makes us look good to informed readers. Keep it up!

    I'm curious, what's Crutcher like? LIME5 and the "Bottom Feeder" story indicate an utter fool. Maybe his real agenda is to make money off right-to-lifers rather than to help them win. Does he really care about the unborn or is LDI a cynical scam? Please post your impressions as I am very curious.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Crutcher is an interesting character. He's not in it for the money; he was making far more as a car dealer. He's ideologically driven, very much so. He does what he does to end abortion, and believes that the fact that he's able to get donors to float his efforts are a gift from God to enable him to do so. But this leads to some ego issues.

    I'd say my biggest beef with him is his David Complex, or Does Not Play Well With Others. He's bound and determined that his will be the sling that looses the stone that brings the Abortion Goliath down. He won't support other people in their efforts at all if he thinks their results might upstage him. Every effort he undertakes is intended to be The One Thing That Ends It All. Which is why he's willing to undertake things that might seem nuts -- they've not been tried before, so they might break with established pattern enough to do the trick.

    I'd say the worst part of the David Complex is his willingness to let horrible things continue so that he can get better documentation on them. This was best exemplified in the Dean Alberty situation, where he had a man coming to him telling him that an abortionist was killing viable infants that had survived abortions, in order that Alberty could cut out body parts for sale for medical research. Instead of instructing Alberty that next time he was presented with a live infant he was to call 911 and save that child's life, Crutcher sent Alberty back into the abortion mill to continue to observe the killing and forward information secretly to Crutcher.

    I went to the FBI with this, trying to get them to arrest Crutcher as part of a criminal conspiracy to commit infanticide as part of interstate commerce (thus giving the FBI legal jurisdiction) but nothing came of it. The FBI said that it was a local matter, even though the body parts from the murdered children were being shipped out of state. My sense was that they didn't want to get entangled in it.

    Alberty being able to save just one baby slated for strangling or drowning so his organs could be harvested BY FAR trumped any real or perceived need Crutcher might have had for "dirt" on the abortionist. At least in my not-so-humble opinion. Crutcher should have sent Alberty back on a RESCUE mission, not an espionage mission.

    That said, Crutcher really does care about the injured women, and the families of the dead women. He would often set aside work with pressing deadlines to try to get an injured woman to medical care, or to comfort grieving parents. He has been a very good and true friend to many families, all very quietly, without fanfare, and without any visible reward.

    SoMG said...

    GG, thank you very much for your description of Crutcher. It's more or less what I expected.

    You did a good deed without knowing it. An FBI agent's job is very serious, not much to laugh about. But I'll bet whichever agent you went to laughed himself silly after you left.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Yeah, SoMG, gutting a live baby to sell his organs is fucking HILARIOUS!

    And it's much more "green" than just wrapping them in a towel and sticking them in a closet to die. Far better to recycle.

    SoMG said...

    I understand it feels very important to you. I'm just saying, if I had to bet on the FBI agent's reaction and I'd gain or lose money according to the time-machine reading on it that would be my bet.

    And going back to what you said earlier, I agree with you that if Warren Hern is yelling that someone's abortion practice needs improvement, he's probably right. That guy is serious. I definitely don't mean to defend Dr. Tabb unconditionally. Like I said, I'd go with the Board, ding him for bad urgent follow-up. That's critical for everyone and should not be difficult to fix.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Hern's an interesting individual. He goes to Peru on his own dime every year and lives among the Shipibo Indians, providing medical care gratis. He even learned their language. Highly admirable. Something I can't get to jibe with the man's obsessive passion for abortion. The guy's dream is of mandatory abortions for all women who can't convince him that they're the exception to his default "When in doubt, abortion is best" rule. Very respectful of the Shipibo, very disrespectful of women closer to home. Not to mention I wish the guy would be as honest in other venues as he is at NAF meetings.

    SoMG said...

    When has Warren Hern ever done or said anything dishonest???

    Or disrespectful of women?

    GrannyGrump said...

    He's published quite a few op-eds in which he claimed that there were no problems with abortion malpractice -- in rather start contrast to what he's saying to the other NAF members at meetings! If he were honest, his op-eds would admit to the malpractice issues but propose another solution besides the regulations he was opposing.

    And he has the said that it's wrong to simply "allow" women to continue pregnancies. They should, in his opinion, have to demonstrate that they got pregnant on purpose AND that they're in what he considers optimal health for the pregnancy AND that they're prepared to raise the child the way Hern thinks it ought to be raised. (Funny, he doesn't think the Shipibo women ought to have to run their pregnancies past a committee!) He has proposed that ALL doctors should simply "treat" all diagnosed pregnancies with abortions -- regardless of the woman's wishes -- unless she meets his criteria for being a suitable candidate for carrying to term. ANYBODY who is a champion of "choice" ought to find that nearly as disturbing as abortion opponents do.

    SoMG said...

    (* Sigh *) GG, there's no inconsistancy or dishonesty in saying that generally there isn't a problem with abortion malpractice, (ie no worse than in other specialities) and also talking about exceptions with his peers. There are always some exceptions no matter how good your oversight is and talking about them makes it even better.

    And there are almost always good reasons to oppose "pro-life" regulations, even reasonable-sounding ones. For instance, take GWB's new "conscience protection" policy. Sounds ok, you shouldn't have to do abortions if you think it's murder, right? Reasonable accommodation for religion in the workplace and all that? But now any cuckoo-bird stealth right-to-lifer can get a job at an abortion clinic, work there a while, then refuse to "participate in" abortions, demand to get paid anyway, and cut off the clinic's access to Federal funds when refused. Gotcha! Why do you think GWB didn't do this earlier? He's been Prez for eight years, right? Because if he had, this obvious flaw would have been fixed by now, and Obama wouldn't need to toss the policy. Clinton did something similar on his way out--tightened arsenic-pollution standards way too much, so his successor had to reverse his policy and look like he was pro-arsenic-poisoning. GWB timing the "conscience protection" policy this way gives RTLs a chance to whine about being "forced to do abortions" when Obama tosses it. I wish it were so--in my view, being forced to participate in providing abortions would be appropriate payback to RTLs for scheming to overturn Roe/Wade. You messed with our basic freedoms so we'll mess with yours and let it motivate you to never again dare to oppose reproductive freedom in USA! Sounds good to me. But it's not so. Even FOCA won't force anyone to do or even refer for abortions, so long as the patients can get abortions elsewhere. The governments are forbidden to discriminate against (or for) abortion, not the providers paid by the governments. If I'm a government and I offer my insurance clients an equal choice between a birth-center that doesn't do or refer for abortions, and an abortion clinic that doesn't do or refer for live births, I'm not discriminating, right? So ok with FOCA.

    Variants of the opinion you attribute to Dr. Hern about restricting who may reproduce, including extreme variants, are surprisingly common among medical people, more so the more the field has to do with the patients' families--primary care, especially peds, pediatric ER, adolescent medicine. You see endless variations of the addict-mother-with-six-crack-babies-and-no-desire-to-change theme. You cease to be surprised by new moms you wouldn't trust to take care of a fish tank. You see forms of child abuse you could not have imagined. You treat a woman repeatedly for regular incidents of moderate-to-severe physical abuse and then learn she's pregnant by the perp and all excited about having the kid. Everyone has a "maybe the right to reproduce shouldn't be absolute after all" moment--it's part of the whole health-profession-training-rite-of-passage--when you realize that government-mandated abortions could prevent some outrages that seem at least as horrible as the violation of basic freedom. You forget that the ease with which the power to mandate abortions could be abused, and the fearsome spectrum of possible abuses, rule it out no matter how compelling the reasons in its favor may be. After that it's just a question of degree. I've seen people get into p*ssing contests about it at parties, to see who can profess the most extreme pro-forced-non-pregnancy position (hypothetically) and back it up with stories from personal professional experience. I don't agree with the opinion you attribute to Dr. Hern but I am no longer shocked by it.

    Anyway, if you're worried about the government acting along those lines, requiring certain pregnancies to be aborted on pain of cutting the patient off from government health-care money or whatever if she grows the pregnancy, your number-one line of defense against this will be ... (drum roll please) ... (just shout out the answer if ya know) ... (yes, folks, you guessed it!) ... FOCA!! I keep telling you RTLs will be grateful for FOCA, just as you are now grateful for FACE, and I'm not kidding. In THE LAST BATTLE, Aslan muses on how fiercely humans fight against that which would do them the most good.

    GrannyGrump said...

    FOCA protecting the right to give birth: fox guarding henhouse. It was drafted by the abortion lobby for the express purpose of protecting their own interests. What next? A bill by R.J. Reynolds protecting people's right to a smoke-free environment?

    They put "childbirth language" in to quell people's uneasiness and make the bill appear neutral, but given the way the courts have been interpreting abortion law, the bill is NOT neutral. After all, Roe contains language indicating that it is the physician who has the ultimate say about whether or not an abortion is indeed in the patient's best interests, from a medical standpoint, after reviewing the risks and alternatives with her. But there's no consult with a physician in most abortion practice -- he's merely the technician. Abortions are self-referred with no more medical consultation than goes into an execution.

    But for you, it's not any big deal if a woman who doesn't want an abortion ends up on the abortion table, since the loss of the child is something you don't consider a downside. You've compared abortionists to oncologists. How can somebody who sees pregnancy as a cancer possibly have a shred of empathy for the woman who doesn't hate her baby and want it dead?

    SoMG said...

    You wrote: "FOCA protecting the right to give birth: fox guarding henhouse."

    Newsflash: Foxes have brains. Laws don't. They do what they say.

    You wrote: "It was drafted by the abortion lobby for the express purpose of protecting their own interests. What next? A bill by R.J. Reynolds protecting people's right to a smoke-free environment?"

    There's no need for you to speculate on what the Act might do, based on the interests of its sponsors. You can read the text of the act and SEE what it will do, dummy.

    You wrote: "They put "childbirth language" in to quell people's uneasiness and make the bill appear neutral, but given the way the courts have been interpreting abortion law, the bill is NOT neutral."

    In what way is it not neutral? It never mentions the right to choose abortion without also mentioning the right to choose non-abortion. Not even once! How could the courts possibly interpret that as other than neutral?

    Bah. This was interesting for a while but now you're just yapping obvious falsehoods about FOCA which anyone can check by googling. Also, obvious falsehoods about me. What's the point??? Do tell.

    Creativepowerhouse said...

    110th CONGRESS

    1st Session

    S. 1173

    To protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman's freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.

    IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

    April 19, 2007

    Mrs. BOXER (for herself, Mrs. MURRAY, Ms. STABENOW, Mr. BINGAMAN, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. SCHUMER, Mrs. CLINTON, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. BAUCUS, and Ms. CANTWELL) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

    A BILL

    To protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman's freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Freedom of Choice Act'.

    SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

    (1) The United States was founded on core principles, such as liberty, personal privacy, and equality, which ensure that individuals are free to make their most intimate decisions without governmental interference and discrimination.

    (2) One of the most private and difficult decisions an individual makes is whether to begin, prevent, continue, or terminate a pregnancy. Those reproductive health decisions are best made by women, in consultation with their loved ones and health care providers.

    (3) In 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut (381 U.S. 479), and in 1973, in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113) and Doe v. Bolton (410 U.S. 179), the Supreme Court recognized that the right to privacy protected by the Constitution encompasses the right of every woman to weigh the personal, moral, and religious considerations involved in deciding whether to begin, prevent, continue, or terminate a pregnancy.

    (4) The Roe v. Wade decision carefully balances the rights of women to make important reproductive decisions with the State's interest in potential life. Under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the right to privacy protects a woman's decision to choose to terminate her pregnancy prior to fetal viability, with the State permitted to ban abortion after fetal viability except when necessary to protect a woman's life or health.

    (5) These decisions have protected the health and lives of women in the United States. Prior to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, an estimated 1,200,000 women each year were forced to resort to illegal abortions, despite the risk of unsanitary conditions, incompetent treatment, infection, hemorrhage, disfiguration, and death. Before Roe, it is estimated that thousands of women died annually in the United States as a result of illegal abortions.

    (6) In countries in which abortion remains illegal, the risk of maternal mortality is high. According to the World Health Organization, of the approximately 600,000 pregnancy-related deaths occurring annually around the world, 80,000 are associated with unsafe abortions.

    (7) The Roe v. Wade decision also expanded the opportunities for women to participate equally in society. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (505 U.S. 833), the Supreme Court observed that, `[t]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.'.

    (8) Even though the Roe v. Wade decision has stood for more than 34 years, there are increasing threats to reproductive health and freedom emerging from all branches and levels of government. In 2006, South Dakota became the first State in more than 15 years to enact a ban on abortion in nearly all circumstances. Supporters of this ban have admitted it is an attempt to directly challenge Roe in the courts. Other States are considering similar bans.

    (9) Further threatening Roe, the Supreme Court recently upheld the first-ever Federal ban on an abortion procedure, which has no exception to protect a woman's health. The majority decision in Gonzales v. Carhart (05-380, slip op. April 18, 2007) and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America fails to protect a woman's health, a core tenet of Roe v. Wade. Dissenting in that case, Justice Ginsburg called the majority's opinion `alarming', and stated that, `[f]or the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health'. Further, she said, the Federal ban `and the Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court'.

    (10) Legal and practical barriers to the full range of reproductive services endanger women's health and lives. Incremental restrictions on the right to choose imposed by Congress and State legislatures have made access to reproductive care extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many women across the country. Currently, 87 percent of the counties in the United States have no abortion provider.

    (11) While abortion should remain safe and legal, women should also have more meaningful access to family planning services that prevent unintended pregnancies, thereby reducing the need for abortion.

    (12) To guarantee the protections of Roe v. Wade, Federal legislation is necessary.

    (13) Although Congress may not create constitutional rights without amending the Constitution, Congress may, where authorized by its enumerated powers and not prohibited by the Constitution, enact legislation to create and secure statutory rights in areas of legitimate national concern.

    (14) Congress has the affirmative power under section 8 of article I of the Constitution and section 5 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution to enact legislation to facilitate interstate commerce and to prevent State interference with interstate commerce, liberty, or equal protection of the laws.

    (15) Federal protection of a woman's right to choose to prevent or terminate a pregnancy falls within this affirmative power of Congress, in part, because--

    (A) many women cross State lines to obtain abortions and many more would be forced to do so absent a constitutional right or Federal protection;

    (B) reproductive health clinics are commercial actors that regularly purchase medicine, medical equipment, and other necessary supplies from out-of-State suppliers; and

    (C) reproductive health clinics employ doctors, nurses, and other personnel who travel across State lines in order to provide reproductive health services to patients.

    SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

    (1) GOVERNMENT- The term `government' includes a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, or official (or other individual acting under color of law) of the United States, a State, or a subdivision of a State.

    (2) STATE- The term `State' means each of the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each territory or possession of the United States.

    (3) VIABILITY- The term `viability' means that stage of pregnancy when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular medical facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the sustained survival of the fetus outside of the woman.

    SEC. 4. INTERFERENCE WITH REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROHIBITED.

    (a) Statement of Policy- It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.

    (b) Prohibition of Interference- A government may not--

    (1) deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose--

    (A) to bear a child;

    (B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or

    (C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or

    (2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.

    (c) Civil Action- An individual aggrieved by a violation of this section may obtain appropriate relief (including relief against a government) in a civil action.

    SEC. 5. SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to which the provision is held to be unconstitutional, shall not be affected thereby.

    SEC. 6. RETROACTIVE EFFECT.

    This Act applies to every Federal, State, and local statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice, or other action enacted, adopted, or implemented before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act.

    GrannyGrump said...

    Yes, SoMG. You'll note that it goes on and on and on about the need to protect abortion, with not a single mention of women being pressured into unwanted abortions. How can the real intent be made more clear, without tipping off the public as to the real intent, which is to protect abortion while paying only lip service to a woman having any right to reject abortion?

    Creativepowerhouse said...

    FOCA does way more in the way of explaining exactly why a woman should have the right to kill her unborn child than it does in its brief acquiessence of a woman's right to bear a child. You will have to concede that upon reading the document above. By sheer volume of words, you can see that.

    There is a clear problem here in this blog exchange and it's one that will not go away. Your annoying pro-choice commenter does not believe in the inherent value of human life. If one does not value human life, one has no qualms about destroying it at any stage of gestation. You gave yourself away when you said, "You don't think avoiding labor-and-delivery is an advantage???" and when you reasoned that a fetal head the size of a quarter is nothing to worry about -- just wait till next month's chunky style period.

    So here is the real issue. Some people who do not value human life wanted our government to offer them the option of murdering their unborn children. They want to call this a right and a freedom, so that it looks like a good thing to the masses. But the bottom line -- and why mince words here -- the bottom line is that many Americans do not value human life. We may not be able to legislate the right to life, but we really should and I intend to die trying. We DO legislate morality in this and every country when we outlaw murder, theft, and rape. So we can't refuse to outlaw abortion solely because it's a moral and personal issue. We free the rapist from all responsibility and kill the baby born to his victim as if it's somehow the child's fault. We choose convenience over financial hardship and nausea and saggy boobs and stretch marks. But in doing so, we are choosing death. Clearly, your commenter believes murdering a child is not only okay but a basic human right, so you will never convince this person it's wrong to abort the unborn. Pedophiles believe it should be okay to have sex with ten year old boys, and somehow our government finds the inner moral strength to stop them. Yet when it comes to murdering the unborn, they fall short.

    Your comenter's thinking is fatally flawed by his very existence. You live, sir or madam, because someone did NOT abort you! Be thoughtful in your remarks. I, too, have heard it all. Not just what's been said here, but much, much more. From people with PhDs to moms picketing outside clinics. There are nuances to the argument that you haven't begun to cover here. And I do think there is common ground and solutions can be found. The truth must be told first. And money must be spent to support impoverished moms on fixed incomes who would like nothing better than to have children but feel they can't. Both sides need to give. Free contraceptives should be distributed. We all give a little and fewer abortions take place. But putting FOCA in place will only serve to further polarize the population. I'm not even sure Obama will do it. I hope not.

    I have to go put my four children to bed now. Happy chatting to you all...

    Creativepowerhouse said...

    I meant the child who is *conceived* through rape is murdered, not the child *born*

    Creativepowerhouse said...

    And Granny, I've seen statistics squeezed every which direction to prove a point. I find it refreshing to actually read the names of real human beings who lost their lives because they made a desperate choice at a time when they were emotionally vulnerable and their government should have protected them. I see abortion rights legislation as confusing to young women. They think "Well, it's legal, so it must be okay." They make assumptions and moral judgments about this issue because they believe their government knows better than they do. They trust their government. But their government has let them down. Women make bad decisions when they're vulnerable. Decisions they later regret. You can never bring that child back from the dead. And it's so true that MOST women aren't happy in early pregnancy. They're scared and in fight or flight. It is NO TIME to make life and death decisions.

    Robyn Lewis said...

    I was lead to this blog after I started researching whether or not the founder of what is now known as Planned Parenthood was a racist. That came from an article I read and the comments on it. I read some of the comments here but gave up. I'm not starting a debate about my opinions on the abortion "debate". The reason I wanted to comment, was I was very interested in the repeated persons listed as the person responsible for the woman's death. Dr. Eva Shaver & Dr. Lillian Hobbs both come to mind, and Hobbs has two instances roughly 18 months apart. If these doctors were performing abortions, and abortions were illegal at the time, why where they not in jail at the time the second death occurred? Makes you kind of realize that this country has been corrupt for a lot longer than most of us would like to admit. Thanks for the interesting blog!