Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's not too late to join Red Envelope Day!

If you click here, you can use your credit card or PayPal account to pay for one envelope to be sent to the White House today as part of Red Envelope Day.

So far, estimates are that the White House has received one million red envelopes, each stating on the back, "This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception."

The goal is to cause Obama to have pangs of conscience, but it has struck me as far more likely that White House aides and postal workers will be the ones to notice and to ponder. Pray that each person whose hands touch one of these red envelopes in getting them to the White House has his or her heart touched.

Today's devotion email - and Bud Feldkamp's investment strategy

These were the Scriptures in the devotional email I got this morning:

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your
bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

The first thing that flew to mind was abortion investor Irving 'Bud' Feldkamp, who lost two daughters, their husbands, and their five children in the plane crash in Montana -- in a Catholic cemetery near the Tomb of the Unborn. He gave death (invested in it actually, by buying out Fast Eddie Allred's abortion empire four years ago) -- and gave it abundantly to the families of California. And death came back to him, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

I realize that this isn't something that happens all the time. The Bible itself recognizes this:

Jeremiah 12:1 “You are always righteous, O Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?”

Job 21:7 “Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?”

Psalm 73: 3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Job, who was a righteous man, suffered even more loss than Bud Feldkamp, when he had done nothing to invite tragedy. And we can think of examples of other good and decent folk who had horrible tragedy befall them. What evil did that family in Boston do, to come home to find that their son had murdered two of their daughters and was trying to murder the third when the cops shot him dead? Why do these things happen to some and not to others, with no pattern that we as ordinary human beings can discern?

One writer pointed out that if God simply punished all wickedness and rewarded all righteousness, we'd become nothing but rats in an enormous Skinner box. We'd be doing good because it was rewarded, as a kneejerk reaction, and not because we chose, out of our will and character, to do good. We'd be avoiding evil not because we had chosen, out of our will and character, to shun evil, but as a kneejerk reaction, the way a rat avoids running down the part of the maze where he gets a shock. There could be no true virtue in a world where good was always rewarded and evil always punished.

Why did Bud Feldkamp reap what he sowed, while Fast Eddie Allred - who had built that abortion empire in the first place - thrived and prospered?

Greater minds than mine have wrestled with this. But I suppose there is one simple lesson: You have no cause to grouse when your own evil comes back and bites you in the ass. You were warned. You might get away with it for a long time. Maybe even for a lifetime. But ultimately you'll be held accountable.

We have no idea what these two men will face in the world to come. Maybe Bud Feldkamp is actually getting off light.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Missing by a mile

Single, pregnant and panicked starts off well enough, looking at the complex dynamics that lead smart, well-educated 20-something women to get cavalier about their birth control. But it ends with beating the "More contraceptives education" drum -- completely dismissing out of hand the dynamics of relationships.

And of course we have the sidebar courtesy of Planned Parenthood:

Not ready to be a mom? Follow these rules to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.


3. Watch for interactions. [Not between you and other people -- between other substances and your Pills]


4. Learn to love condoms. [Again, ignoring human dynamics. One of Robert A Heinlein's characters once dismissively characterized condoms as "making love without touching". And it is a bizarre idea. "I love you enough to want you inside me -- as long as we don't have any actual physical contact."]

And, my personal favorite:

5. Find “the one.”

Not "the one" as in "the one man you want to build a family with" but "the one" as in "the Pill you want to avoid a family via".

I'll close with this one:

6. Get smart.

How about getting smart enough to drop the hubris? The drive to reproduce is powerful -- one of the most powerful forces in the universe. And we think that we can throw pharmaceuticals at it and tame it.

HT: The Dawn Patrol

1924: Fatal Chicago abortion

On March 29, 1924, 30-year-old Etta Marcus died at Chicago's Francis Willard Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed that day. The coroner concluded that Dr. William J. Wick had performed the fatal abortion at his office. However, on April 10, Wick was acquitted.

Etta's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was attributed to a physician.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

What's better than an abortion? 40 days of love... and counting...

HT: The Anchoress

The Story of Faith Hope

A diagnosis of anencephaly has not stopped this young single mom from embracing every day, every moment, of her child's life. A life that an abortion would have stolen from the child, the mother, and the entire family.

1975: Safe and legal and dead

On March 25, 1975, 18-year-old Sharon Floyd went to Associated Concern in Chicago for a safe and legal abortion. Three days later, she died of pelvic infection and blood poisoning.

Fortunately for other women, on July 1, 1975, public health officials closed Associated Concern, which was one of the abortion mills featured in the Chicago Sun-Times "Abortion Profiteers" series.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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1942: Prosecutor's golfing buddy acquitted in abortion death

On March 28, 1942, 19-year-old Cleo Florence Moore died at New Rochelle Hospital in New York from peritonitis from an illegal abortion.

Upon admission, Cleo told authorities that she had taken some pills to induce the abortion, but before her death she changed her story and said that Dr. Frank F. Marino had performed the fatal abortion.

According to Cleo's roommate, Alice Petersen, Cleo met a man through her work, and discovered that she was pregnant in January.

On March 5, Cleo visited Marino to arrange an abortion, which he performed at his home office on March 9.

By March 11, Cleo was ill and summoned Marino, who sent her to the hospital with instructions not to inform anyone that he had operated on her. Alice also said that Dr. Marino's wife told her to protect her husband, lest "you and Miss Moore...go to prison."

Marino testified that he had examined Cleo on March 5, refused the requested abortion, and did not hear from Cleo again until the 11th, when he was summoned to her home and sent her to the hospital without reporting the abortion.

Marino, who had been a member of the County Board of Supervisors, the New Rochelle Board of Education, and the New Rochelle Zoning Board of Appeals, was also a golfing buddy of the prosecutor of the case. Marino was acquitted.

Cleo's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

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

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Tiller jury: Evil, stupid, or both?

George Tiller Jury Finds Him Not Guilty of Violating State Late-Term Abortion Laws

I could cry. Basically they have established that this man can do anything he damned well pleases, and will never in this world be held accountable for it.

Kansas is entirely the Land of Abortionists, where there's no point even passing a law, because you can blatantly break it and get a jury to shrug it off.

What would this man have to do before anybody will hold him accountable?

1929: The death of a NOW poster child

According to the National Organization for Women web site, Clara Bell Duvall was a 32-year-old married mother of five, aged 6 months to 12 years. She and her family were living with her parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to financial problems. NOW says that Clara attempted a self-induced abortion with a knitting needle. Though she was seriously ill and severe pain, NOW says, Clara's doctor delayed hospitalizing her for several weeks. Her death, at a Catholic hospital on March 27, 1929, was attributed to pneumonia.

I'd welcome any verifying information on Mrs. Duvall's death. After all, NOW also claims that Becky Bell died from complications of an illegal abortion, when in fact she died of pneumonia concurrent with a miscarriage. (There was no evidence that Becky's pregnancy had been tampered with in any way.) But if people who think abortion is a good idea want to blame Clara's death on abortion, I'll let them claim her as somebody their ideology killed.

Clara Duvall seems to be the woman described in the chapter, "Marilyn," in The Worst of Times by Patricia G. Miller. Marilyn was Clara's daughter. There are differences in Marilyn's story and in the story NOW relates, but so many other details match that it is unlikely that they're describing different women.

Marilyn gives her mother's name as Claudia, and her age as 34. The difference in ages may be attributed to people taking the years of the woman's birth and death and calculating her age without taking the months into account. Marilyn also said that her mother sang with the Pittsburgh light opera company, so it is possible that Marilyn might be using a false name for her mother to preserve the family's privacy.

Clara/Claudia's association with the opera company may also explain the elegant portrait on NOW's site -- a portrait that a poverty-stricken and desperate woman would have been unlikely to afford.

The following facts match:
  • Five children, from an infant to a 12-year-old
  • Living in Pittsburgh
  • Died in March of 1929
  • Death originally attributed to pneumonia
  • The woman used a knitting needle
  • Was at home for several days before being hospitalized
  • Died in a hospital
  • Cared for until her death by her usual doctor who seemed at a loss as to how to care for his moribund patient

Marilyn said that her brother Gerald was the oldest, twelve years old when Clara died. Eileen was ten. Rose was eight, Marilyn was six, and Constance was 18 months. Marilyn describes poignantly the difference between her life before her mother's death and her life after losing her mother. The loss was truly shattering for the entire family.

Marilyn said that her mother had gotten help from a friend for a successful abortion between the births of Marilyn and Constance. Marilyn didn't have any details of the first abortion, and got what she knew about the fatal abortion from her sister Eileen, who had spoken at length with their mother when she was hospitalized -- though it seems odd that a dying woman would be explaining to a 10-year-old girl how she performed a knitting-needle abortion on herself.

NOW's story differs from Marilyn's in many aspects, however. Aside from the different age and name, the following aspects do not match:
  • NOW has the family living with the woman's parents; Marilyn said that they were living in a large house owned by her mother's parents.
  • NOW indicates that the family were too poor to afford a home of their own. Marilyn said that they lived in a large house, and that her father was an editor of one of Pittsburgh's daily newspapers, and that he did freelance public relations for sports events. Marilyn also said that one of her mother's friends was the wife of a well-known Pittsburgh industrialist. This is not a likely friendship for a destitute woman forced to move her family of seven into her parents' home. Marilyn also said that her mother was laid to rest in a magnificent mahogany casket with a satin lining, hardly the sort of burial a poverty-crushed widower could afford for his dead wife. Marilyn also said that the casket lay in the parlor, not a room that poor people were likely to have. In fact, Marilyn describes how shocking it was, after her mother's death, to go live with poor relatives. Poverty was a new experience for the child. In fact, Marilyn describes a riverboat outing the family took before her mother's death. She described how the girls were dressed in matching navy blue coats with red satin linings, and her brother had a jacket and tie.

So there are two possibilities:
  1. Clara Bell Duvall and Claudia are two different women, both with five children, both of whom lived in homes owned by their parents, who both performed knitting-needle abortions in the same city in the same month, and who both died in hospitals and both had their deaths wrongly attributed to pneumonia.
  2. Clara and Claudia are the same woman, and but NOW turned her from a prosperous matron and opera singer into a wretched slum mother in order to make her situation seem more desperate.

All I could find of Clara's story in Pittsburgh papers is a death notice verifying that she died at Mercy Hospital on March 27, 1929. Her husband was Grafton Duvall, her parents Joseph H. and Sadie E. Bell, nee Cain. It also verifies that services were held at the family home.

If what NOW and Marilyn describe is accurate, then Clara/Claudia's abortion was unusual in that it was self-induced, rather than performed by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

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

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1926: Fatal abortion by midwife

On March 27, 1926, 24-year-old Louise Maday died at Chicago's West End Hospital from complications of an abortion performed that day. Midwife Amelia Becker was held by the coroner on April 27.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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1940: Abortion by doctor proves fatal

On March 27, 1940, Mrs. Mary Ann Maria Page of Alton, Illinois, died from a botched criminal abortion. She was 20 years old.

The Coroner's jury identified the perpetrator as 69-year-old Dr. C.E. Trovillion, also of Alton, former managing officer of Illinois state hospitals.

Mary Ann's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a doctor.

During the 1940s, while abortion was still illegal, there was a massive drop in maternal mortality from abortion. The death toll fell from 1,407 in 1940, to 744 in 1945, to 263 in 1950. Most researches attribute this plunge to the development of blood transfusion techniques and the introduction of antibiotics. Learn more here.

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

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another ringing endorsement

Still so sad:

No amount of reasoning seems to work in convincing myself that my arguments were sound. It's way, way, WAY past time I realized that my life has moved on. ...

I spent the entire [recent] pregnancy just thinking about the last time I was pregnant (before the abortion). And how that time I had felt so excited even though I new what I was going to do. I spent this entire pregnancy hiding it from friends, family, work and avoiding talking about it, avoiding anyone with babies or anything on tv with babies or children or pregnant women. Even when I got to the point where it wasn't feasible to hide it I still forbade the father to be excited about it around me. .... Even now, whenever I have a quiet minute, on almost a daily basis, my head is just reliving the abortion. ....

Just hating every minute of being alive and wanting to undo everything. I'm punishing myself, but in aid of what I don't know. I thought that giving birth and deciding 'the other way' would help me think about something else but it hasn't.

This woman is in too much pain to realize that by continuing to embrace "choice" -- the idea of abortion as palliative -- she is assuring other women that they won't suffer what she's suffering. She's letting other women walk through that door without any forewarning.

Post-abortion women out there -- does knowing that your testimony is a warning to other women, that it might spare them the anguish you live with, help any?

1986: Septic abortion death

Gail Wright was 29 years old when she underwent a legal abortion. She was 20 weeks pregnant. After her abortion, she developed sepsis. She died of adult respiratory distress syndrome on March 26, 1986, leaving behind a husband.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tiller defense: Larry said I could

George Tiller Testifies, Says State Medical Board OKd Him Doing Illegal Abortions

Tiller pointed to his 1999 conversations with [then-Medical Board chief Larry] Buening and claimed he said it would be alright for Neuhaus to sign off on the abortions in a potential violation of state law.

"He said, 'Why don't you use Kris Neuhaus and that will take care of all of your problems,'" Tiller testified.

Larry supposedly is gonna take the stand later in the trial. Moe and Curly are waiting in the wings.

UPDATE: Tiller Admits He Personally Profited Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Due to Neuhaus’ Consultations:

At one point, Tiller began to refer to his relationship with Neuhaus saying, “When she was working for me,“ but quickly issued a correction stating, “when she was providing consultations for patients.”


Another dramatic moment regarding how Tiller actually viewed his affiliation with Neuhaus came when he discussed how long it took to make arrangements for Neuhaus to begin consulting for him.

“When someone new was going to join your organization, it would take time [to set up],” he said.

Tiller testified that he approved the amount of Neuhaus’ consulting fee. She charged $250-300 per consultation.

Tiller admitted that he profited financially by Neuhaus consulting with his patients. He estimated that he did 250-300 post-viability abortions in 2003 at an average cost of $6,000. He said that without Neuhaus’ help, he would not have been able to do those abortions.

He told the court that his overhead is 62% of the fees generated by his clinic. His salary is 38% of the gross income of his clinic. Tiller never said how much money he made from abortions prior to viability.

“Doing the math, Tiller personally made at least $684,000 killing viable babies in 2003, and we don’t know how much he made killing non-viable babies,” said Newman. “But we do know it would be a huge blow to the Tiller income if he were unable to do the late-term abortions for lack of a second Kansas referring physician.”

Obama nixes funds for ADULT stem cell research.

  • President Obama Claims to Back Adult Stem Cell Research, His Order Stopped It. Actually, his order stopped federal funding. On the heels of pouring federal funding into all manner of research involving the destruction of human embryos. Evidently to Obama "science" is not "science" unless you sacrifice a few innocent lives.

    How many people you can actually provide treatment for is clearly irrelevant -- since it's ONLY adult stem cells that have been providing anything that actually works in real life.
  • 1962: Something too trivial to hold against such a great guy

    Want an interesting exercise? Google "Dr. Henrie abortion". You'll get sites like these:

  • Professors profile Grove doctor who performed 5,000 abortions:

    GROVE, Okla. - In 1953, a strapping 17-year-old broke away from the small-town life he had known to join the U.S. Navy, fulfilling a duty to which he said he felt called.

    More than 50 years later, Hank "Buster" Henrie returned to the town of his youth to learn about a father he wanted to know better. His father, Dr. William Jennings Bryan Henrie, was Grove's only physician for many years. The doctor also operated an underground abortion clinic and performed 5,000 abortions over a 23-year period, according to a claim the doctor himself made at his 1962 trial.

    This past week, Dr. Henrie's son sat down with two professors from Pennsylvania's Gettysburg College, Jennifer Hansen and Kristen Eyssell, who are filming a research documentary about the doctor's life, his practice and the impact he had on Grove.

    "I learned that Dad was loved by the community," said the younger Henrie. "I didn't know the intensity of the love for my father, and I was surprised at the level of protection (against the law) he was given by the community."

  • Missives from the Grove:

    You want to know what the difference between Grove 1956 and Grove 2006 is? In 1956 abortions were illegal, but you could get one from Dr. Henrie and no one thought much of it. .... In 1956 when abortion was illegal, you could count on getting a safe, compassionate one from your local doctor and not necessarily have to pay a dime.

    What a swell guy!

    But they're forgetting someone. There's one name you won't find in these hagiographic articles: Jolene Griffith.

    On March 3, 1962, kindly Dr. Henrie, an osteopath, performed an abortion on Jolene Joyce Griffith at his clinic in Grove, Oklahoma. Jolene developed an infection, and, according to her survivors, Griffith abandoned her and provided no care to treat the infection.

    On March 10, Jolene was admitted to a hospital in Tulsa. She died there on March 25, leaving behind a husband and three minor children.

    Henire was conviced, and served 25 months of a 4-year sentence. Upon his release, he went right back to doing abortions.

    Much to the applause of people who don't even care enough about Jolene Griffith to learn her name.

    How is it that to the self-appointed champions of women's lives, the life of Jolene Griffith is beneath their notice?

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

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  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Tiller Trial: The Plot Thickens

    A Hostile Neuhaus Begrudgingly Admits Details Of Affiliation

    Kristin Neuhaus, the disgraced erstwhile abortionist who rubber-stamped post-viability abortions for George Tiller, was on the stand again today.

    Neuhaus had politely and succinctly answered questions all morning during cross examination by Tiller’s attorney, Dan Monnat. However, her attitude abruptly changed when Disney began to question her from Monnat’s podium.

    Disney told the court that he would be questioning her from that podium since Neuhaus seemed to have a better memory of questions asked from there.

    “Thanks for the smart remark,” Neuhaus responded.


    Disney did manage to establish through Neuhaus’ testimony that she was recruited by Tiller, who consulted with her about the amount of her fee. He then set up a situation where she could only see patients at his request, at times of his determination, in an environment that he controlled. When she did the consultations by telephone, patients paid Tiller’s staff, and they held the cash for Neuhaus until the next time she came to the clinic. The form letter that she signed, referring patients to Tiller for late-term abortions was drafted by Tiller’s attorneys and provided to her by Tiller’s staff.

    Disney also established that patients were not free to choose their own second physician, and that Tiller controlled the fact that each patient saw Neuhaus, and only her.


    After Neuhaus’s testimony, the prosecution rested.

    That seems to establish pretty clearly that the second opinions weren't provided by an independent physician.

    Neuaus was declared a hostile witness. This means that the attorney who called the witness may question her in a different manner than usual, as if he were cross-examining the witness.

    Larry Buening, the former Medical Board head, was also present but not called on. Tiller's defense claims that Buening gave him the green light to have Neuhaus do all of the second opinions on Tiller's post-viability abortion patients, telling Tiller that “all of his problems would go away.”

    Buening resigned in disgrace after a scandal involving reluctance of the Board to discipline dangerous physicians, and allegations of incompetence. Buening was an appointee of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. His wife, Vicki, is Sebelius’ head of Constituent Affairs.

    Buening is a long-time associate of Tiller’s and was involved in Tiller’s case with the KSBHA when Tiller was disciplined for drug and alcohol abuse. Buening is expected to offer testimony for the defense.

    He'd better hope Tiller walks, because otherwise he's implicated in some crimes himself.

    “The more we hear in court, the more shady these people appear. Neuhaus didn’t do herself any favors with her surly attitude. She appeared to be a hyper-paranoid person who lives in constant fear of criminal prosecution,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Please continue to bathe this trail in prayer.”

    And when the economy recovers, the baby will still be dead

    Economic Problems Causing Potential Record High Abortion Figures Nationwide

    Some abortion mills are reporting an increase in women who can't see any way out of a financial crisis but aborting their babies.

    Of course, instead of helping the women see the big picture, these facilities scrape them out and send them home.

    My father had just gotten laid off from work when Mom found out she was pregnant with me. Thank God there was no sympathetic abortion "provider" to "help". Mom would have been alone when Dad died. That ill-timed baby was the adult daughter who was able to move in and help her adjust to widowhood.

    We'd sold our wedding rings to buy food when I found out I was pregnant with my son. Thank God that my husband's best friend was a prolife Catholic who helped us to solve our real problem -- our apartment -- and not some well-meaning prochoicer who would have held my hand at Planned Parenthood and deprived my family of my son.

    Other families clearly aren't as fortunate. For abortionists, booming business is a good thing. The women's personal tragedies? Well, who's there to see the aftermath? Nobody but the prolifers.

    Must-watch video: Kids don't wake for fire alarms

    Every parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or other caregiver of children should watch this:

    1947: Slimebag boyfriend's abortion plan proves fatal

    On March 21, 1947, Ilene Eagen was brought to Mankato, Minnesota, to the dental office of W. A. Groebner for an abortion. Court records indicate that Ilene was pressured into the abortion by her paramour, Raymond Older, who refused to marry her and threatened her with bodily harm if she refused an abortion.

    After the abortion, Ilene became violently ill and lost consciousness. Groebner and Older failed to seek or provide proper care for the sick woman. Instead, Older took Ilene to his service station in Granada, Minnesota and kept her there through the remainder of the night, into the morning of March 22.

    Older allowed Ilene to languish without medical care. She died March 24.

    Ilene left a seven-year-old daughter motherless.

    Older tried to escape civil liability on the grounds that despite his refusal to marry her, and the threats, Ilene had consented to the abortion and that therefore she was responsible for her own sickness and subsequent death.

    It seems the current aims of the abortion lobby are to provide more options and fewer barriers to creeps like Raymond Older, and to shut down the pregnancy centers that would provide support and help to women like Ilene.

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

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    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Did Medical Board chief give nod and wink to Tiller's law-breaking?

    George Tiller Attorneys Give Preview of Late-Term Abortion Defense During Trial

    It's a little unclear to me, but Tiller's attorney seems to be putting forward one or both of the following defenses:

    1. He got permission from the medical board's then-director, Larry Buening, to have disgraced physician Kristen Neuhaus rubber-stamp all his post-viability abortions.
    2. The medical board didn't bitch-slap him for getting Neuhaus to rubber-stamp Christin Gilbert's fatal abortion, so he figured it was okay.

    Will bigger heads than Tiller's roll?

    1979: Antiquated abortion method leaves two children motherless

    Life Dynamics lists 24-year-old Lynn McNair on their "Blackmun Wall" of women killed by legal abortions. LDI notes that Lynn was 23 weeks pregnant when she was injected with saline by Dr. Edward Rubin at Jewish Memorial Hospital. The first injection of saline failed to kill the fetus, so Lynn was given a second injection. After this second dose, Lynn went into contractions and slipped into a coma. She died March 23, 1979 of a pulmonary embolism of amniotic fluid -- amniotic fluid that got into her lungs through her bloodstream. She left two children motherless.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Two early 20th Century deaths

    On March 23, 1905, Mrs. Ida Pomering died in Chicago from an abortion performed earlier that day. A midwife named Apollonia Heinle was held by the coroner's jury for Ida's death.

    On March 23, 1907, Mrs. Dora Swan, age 24, died at Englewood Union Hospital in Chicago from the effects of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Louise Achtenberg, whose profession is not given, was held responsible by the coroner, but there is no record that charges were filed.

    Note, please, that with ordinary public health 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. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

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

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    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Special Olympics bowler can kick Obama's ass

    B.O. and bowling...

    The top bowler for the Special Olympics looks forward to meeting President Barack Obama in an alley. (You can bet it would never be televised. Too bad!)

    "He bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily," Michigan's Kolan McConiughey (KO-lahn Mc-KAHNA-he) told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.

    Of course, the MSM will turn this into a sappy story about how much B.O. just LOVES them inferior retard types. He even condescends to bowl with one of them! What a great guy!

    Although this might be a chance for those around B.O. to learn that people with developmental disabilities are -- fancy that! -- people. Somehow I can't see B.O. being able to catch on to that little fact.

    UPDATE: See Kolan in action at Newsbusters.

    9-year-old Brazilian rape victim apparently pawn in pro-abortion machinations

    International Pro-Abortion Group Conspired With Hospital to Kill Unborn Twins in Famous Brazilian Case

    The girl, 9 years old, was 4 months pregnant as a result of being raped by her stepfather. The first hospital her family brought her to has publicly stated that her life was not in danger at the time of the abortion. The girl was, for some reason, transferred to another hospital. Her illiterate mother, who was opposed to abortion in general and for her child and grandchildren in particular, was given forms to "sign" via fingerprint. The family's priest was denied a chance to visit the girl. The girl's father was called into a meeting with hospital staff, and he also opposed the abortion, but was told that it had to be carried out because the girl's mother had already "signed" the consent form. The father was then told that the child's life was in danger and that without the abortion she would die.

    The whole thing is fishy. But it always was fishy. Abortion advocates are always looking for a desperate "hard case" they can use as a wedge to establish abortion as a good thing that they then argue should be made available for the benefit of everybody. And the doctor? He got a standing ovation from a gathering of abortion enthusiasts. Why not? He had given them their "wedge case" to try to open the door to unfettered abortion:

    "The fact that I was excommunicated will not keep me from going to Mass, praying, conversing with God, and asking him to illuminate me and my colleagues in our medical team to help us take care of people in similar cases," one doctor said.

    It wasn't about "helping" this girl. It was about giving abortionists a sympathetic appearance in the public eye. And it's deplorable that they used an abused child to achieve this evil end.

    1927: Doc, midwife implicated in fatal abortion

    On March 21, 1927, Nancy Dawson died on-site in Chicago from a criminal abortion performed that day. That same day, Dr. J.F. Peck and midwife Christine Sedwig were booked for murder. They were indicted for felony murder on April 1.

    Nancy's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

    Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. For more about abortion in this era, see Abortion in the 1920s.

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

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    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Why condoms aren't the answer.

    From Saint Peter’s Square to Harvard Square:

    "We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”

    So notes Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this week.


    “The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments. He stresses that “condoms have been proven to not be effective at the ‘level of population.’”

    “There is,” Green adds, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

    This is why throwing contraceptives at people isn't reducing unintended pregnancy.

    UPDATE: Thanks to John Jansen for pointing out that people need to stop using the Bullwinkle Approach to STD prevention.

    Mom forces abortion pills on daughter, throws baby in trash

    Evidently Florida is the Land of the Trashed Babies.

    HT: Life News, Woman Forces Daughter to Have an Abortion, Dumps Body of Baby in the Trash

    Woman Accused Of Tossing Newborn In Trash

    Tonuya Rainey reportedly didn't want her 16-year-old daughter to have her baby, so over the girl's objections she got abortion drugs at a clinic and made the girl take them. The girl was about six months pregnant. She gave birth to a child who was described as "moving his hands and breathing." Rainey put the baby in a trash bag and threw him away.

    She's facing a number of charges, none of which is murder.

    How the "Raise Your Hand" baby got that way

    Here's the new ad from Priests for Life:

    The story of this particular child is here.

    How come the arm isn't attached? Read Dr. Leroy Carhart's testimony, in which he was questioned about how he performs his extraction abortions. Carhart indicates that he tried to grab the baby and get it positioned to where he can suck out the brain without taking the baby apart first. But sometimes, he indicates, the baby sticks a limb out through the cervix, and it's just easer to pull that part off and go from there:

    Carhart: My normal course would be to dismember that extremity and then go back and try to take the fetus out either foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first.

    Question: How do you go about dismembering that extremity?

    Carhart: Just traction and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get a hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus, pulling down on it through the os, using the internal os as your counter-traction and rotating to dismember the shoulder or the hip or whatever it would be. Sometimes you will get one leg and you can’t get the other leg out.

    Question: In that situation, are you, when you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?

    Carhart: Yes.

    Question: Do you consider an arm, for example, to be a substantial portion of the fetus?

    Carhart: In the way I read it, I think if I lost my arm, that would be a substantial loss to me. I think I would have to interpret it that way.

    Question: And then what happens next after you remove the arm? You then try to remove the rest of the fetus?

    Carhart: Then I would go back and attempt to either bring the feet down or bring the skull down, or even sometimes you bring the other arm down and remove that also and then get the feet down.

    Question: At what point is the fetus...does the fetus die during that process?

    Carhart: I don’t really know. I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.

    This is how a normal second trimester abortion is done. D&E.

    1906: Home abortion proves fatal

    The year was 1906. Anna Gosch's boyfriend, Mr. Edwards, admitted that he knew Anna, that they'd had a sexual relationship, and that she had called him to tell him that her period was late. He admitted that he went to Kearney, and got a hotel room with the intent of performing an abortion. While Anna and her boyfriend were in the room, a bellboy came and objected to the presence of a woman in Edwards' room.

    The next day, Edwards said, he took her to her home, and using a speculum he tried to insert a catheter into her uterus, but was unsuccessful. He said that Anna went upstairs and returned with a catheter with a wire in it. He said that he used this on Anna, and then bent the wire and threw it away.

    A witness said that Edwards denied having done the abortion himself. He said that Anna had gone upstairs, then come down and told him that she thought "she had done it." But a speculum and three catheters were in Edwards' valise when he was arrested.

    A physician, Dr. Cameron, was called on Thursday, March 15. He saw her twice a day until the Monday before her death, at 2 or 3:00, consulted with another physician, and concluded that Anna was going to die.

    Dr. Cameron testified,"I asked her what had been done to make her sick, and she said there had been a man had passed an instrument into her with a wire in it, rubber with a wire in it. I asked her when that had been done, and she said Monday; she thought it was Monday night." When asked about who the man was, "She said he was a man who traveled for rubber goods or instruments of some kind, said he was a traveling man."

    Anna Gosch died on Tuesday, March 20, 1906, at 6:10 PM.

    Edwards was convicted of homicide.

    Anna's death is similar to the death of "Daisy" Roe, a systems analyst who died in 1990 after allowing her boyfriend to attempt to perform an abortion on her with a piece of aquarium tubing.

    It was also unusual in that it was performed by an amateur, rather than by a doctor, as was the case with perhaps 90% of criminal abortions.

    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. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

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

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    1926: Legal or illegal? Outrage or not?

    On March 20, 1926, 19-year-old Alice Annalora died at the County Hospital in Chicago from complications of an abortion performed that day. Dr. Wilford Vine was booked for Alice's death, as was her husband, Joseph Annalora. Vine was indicted for felony murder.

    Ultimately, the coroner was unable to determine the legal status of the abortion that killed Alice, so Dr. Vine and Mr. Annalora were released.

    Alice's abortion was typical of criminal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

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

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    AbortionInfo - a fascinating read

    I stumbled across this LiveJournal community while checking out searches that brought people to my blog. Where else did it bring folks? I came in on their "recommended clinics" page. But I was drawn to Multiple abortions. Here's a sampling:

    so I've got records for 3 of my abortions. one place agreed to fax them to my doctor, too- this accounts for five procedures. [whew]

    one place I went to twice has closed down since I went there. I have no idea how to get those records!

    I'm hoping to try to get all of them; I want ammo for my appointment, I'm about fed up trying to get the tubes tied.

    This has been a very familiar theme in talking to prochoice women who have had multiple abortions. They are -- I think justifiably -- angry that they can't simply get their tubes tied, that there are so many obstacles.

    Now don't get me wrong -- I think that vasectomies and tubal ligations are mutilating healthy bodies. I guess you could say I'm "personally opposed" to vasectomies and tubal ligations. But they're a wrong you choose to do to yourself. Unlike abortion, vasectomy and tubal ligation really are just a matter of what you do to your own body. Why is it so much harder for a woman who knows she doesn't want children to get a tubal ligation? Yeah, it's (usually) irreversible mutilation of a healthy body. But abortion is utterly irreversible destruction of a healthy body. Why should it be easier to take action to kill somebody else in order to prevent yourself from parenting than it is to do something to your own body to prevent yourself from parenting?

    Here's a puzzler -- why aren't the "prochoice" lobbying groups screaming bloody murder about barriers to tubal ligation? They say they're all about women making choices about their own bodies. They vehemently oppose informed consent and waiting periods for abortions. But they don't have equal outrage about virtually insurmountable barriers to tubal ligations. Shouldn't they be beating this drum? Because women might later regret their tubal ligations? That can't carry much weight -- women often later regret their abortions to the point where there's a culture of post-abortion support and counseling. I don't see any similar thing for tubal-ligation regret.

    Something very fishy there.

    I've had more than 10 abortions. I'm 36.

    I had my first when I was 16, and my most recent just two weeks ago. I've had two 2nd trimester abortions, one at 19 weeks, and the most recent one was at 18.3 weeks. all the rest were fairly early first trimester. (i can't remember all the specifics and don't want to make this post too too long.)


    I've been pregnant twice while using the pill, once on the patch. I wasn't forgetting anything or doing anything wrong, apparently hormonal methods don't work very well for me. with one of these I was taking antibiotics and wasn't told it'd interfere with my birth control. thanks doc!

    I've gotten pregnant once on the shot- I forgot my appt date and went in a week late for my third installment...bingo.

    I've gotten pregnant using condoms (every single time I've been pregnant!) and once with an IUD!


    I am apparently a baby machine...except I have never wanted children. I have tried several times to get a tubal, and been refused because I'm childfree and single...and "might change my mind". also, the cost...it's more than I usually have available. (ive been without insurance for fifteen years.)


    I don't regret any of my abortions. I have never, and still don't, want children.
    I do get mad that I was unable to prevent pregnancy even by trying many different methods, and I get angry at the patronizing tone I've gotten from gyn.s when I've asked for more reliable birth control (sterilization)

    1. So much for the idea that throwing contraceptives at people will prevent abortions. Would this woman have been as sexually adventuresome if she'd internalized that any act of intercourse could result in a pregnancy? Especially if it could result in a pregnancy she couldn't just pop down the street and get scraped out?

    2. So much for the idea that nobody aborts cavalierly.

    3. Here again we visit the theme, "Where are the 'choice' people screaming bloody murder when women who want tubal ligations can't get them?" This woman chose more than ten times to end somebody else's life -- with no barriers to that choice whatsoever -- largely because the "choice" lobby isn't as averse to barriers to sterilization as they are to "barriers" to abortion.

    There was no broken condom or bad vasectomy; I got pregnant because I was an idiot with a strong sex drive. I was having a lot of sex with a dear friend of mine, and we usually used condoms. One night, we were having a really, extraordinarily wild time out on the couch, far from the nightstand with the condoms in it. He stopped just before pushing himself inside me and said, "wait, is this ok?"

    I lied.

    "Yes," I whispered; "I can't get pregnant right now." In truth, I had no idea where I was in my cycle or even what day of the month it was; what I wanted was for him to fuck me until we both screamed. I didn't want to stop the momentum to get up, go into the bedroom and laboriously put on the loathsome condom. Also, the man in question had only one testicle; how fertile could he be?

    The sex was amazing.

    I got knocked up.

    No comment.

    Well, I have to leave for work now.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Who sent the troops to Sampson, Alabama?

    Army Investigating How and Why Troops Were Sent Into Alabama Town After Murder Spree

    The U.S. Army has launched an inquiry into how and why active duty troops from Fort Rucker, Ala., came to be placed on the streets of Samson, Ala., during last week's murder spree in that tiny South Alabama community. The use of the troops was a possible violation of federal law.

    We are being reassured that all the troops did was help direct traffic and keep people out of a massive crime scene. The cops were short handed.

    Then you call in the fire department. It's a whole crew of trained local folks who are accustomed to directing traffic and keeping people away from areas where they don't belong.

    Somebody is trying to get us used to the sight of soldiers patrolling the streets. I don't like it.

    1907: Doc's work fatal for Chicago woman

    On March 19, 1907, Mrs. Bessie Simons, age 30, died at her Chicago home from complications of a criminal abortion performed there that day. Dr. C. D. Hughes was arrested in the death. Bessie's abortion was typical in that it was performed by a physician.

    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. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909.

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

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    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Another one bites the dust: Joseph Durante

    HT: Deacon for Life

    License to Kill: Infamous abortionist Joseph Durante dead at 80

    Durante launched into his career as an abortionist when California legalized abortion in 1970.

    His license was revoked by the Medical Board in 1978, then stayed the decision and suspended him for 30 days for acts of negligence in his care of female patients.

    In 1981 when Durante was performing abortions at Indio Community Hospital (now JFK Hospital), he injected a late term pregnant mother with saline solution and her son, ‘Baby Boy Sanchez,’ was delivered alive by nurses. The next morning, when Durante finally came to the hospital, he went alone to see the baby, pronounced the baby dead and had the body incinerated immediately in the hospital lab. After the incident, hospital personnel, including doctors and nurses, signed a petition that they would never again have anything to do with abortion. The hospital announced it would no longer be able to allow abortions.

    He was dismissed from the staff of both JFK Hospital and Desert Hospital because of complaints from other doctors about cases Durante had botched, and it was determined that he had no malpractice insurance.

    In 1992 while Durante was working part time in San Diego at the Feminist Women’s Clinic, he attempted to abort a very late term baby. The baby survived and a malpractice case was filed on behalf of the baby for inflicted scars on the head.

    Durante wasn't disciplined by the medical board until 1996, when he was given five years of probation for his negligence in the case of the surviving San Diego baby. But evidently Riverside County considered him good enough to hire to provide care to female inmates.

    Durante opened abortion centers in Moreno Valley, Victorville and Palm Desert. He hired Dr. Bruce Steir of San Francisco as a “fly-in” abortionist. Steir was already on strict discipline with the Medical Board for injuring women during abortions in Sacramento and he was supposed to be acting only under a Medical Board appointed monitor. But Durante never told the Medical Board that Steir was working for him in Southern California. Sharon Hamptlon [pictured] ... went to Dr. Durante’s office and had an abortion performed by Steir. Riverside County criminal court records state that Steir left the office while Hamptlon was in shock. Hamptlon died on her way home in the back seat of her mother’s car. One of Durante’s employees came forward and testified that Steir knew he had perforated Hamptlon’s uterus, but ran out the door to catch a plane to San Francisco, leaving Hamptlon to bleed to death. Steir was later convicted of manslaughter and sent to jail.

    In 1998 the Medical board again disciplined Durante for falsifying his Medi-Cal application for provider privileges. Medi-Cal authorities revoked his privileges and the Medical Board placed him on another five years of probation.

    In 2001 the Medical Board ordered 10 days of actual suspension against Durante’s license.

    What did the abortion lobby think of all this? According to California Catholic Daily, "The National Organization of Women (NOW) of the Desert honored Durante as their doctor of the year."

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Stem cell success the MSM doesn't want you to see

    HT: Mary Meets Dolly

    From Medical News Today:

    DaVinci Biosciences, in collaboration with Luis Vernaza Hospital in Ecuador, announced today the publication of study results demonstrating the safety and feasibility of its acute and chronic spinal cord injury treatment platform in issue 17(12) of Cell Transplantation, a peer-reviewed journal focused on regenerative medicine. ....

    The study documents eight patients (four acute and four chronic) who were administered autologous bone marrow derived stem cells using a multiple route delivery technique. A two-year follow-up was performed on all the patients in the study who received the treatment. .... Participating spinal cord injury patients experienced varying degrees of improvement in their quality of life, such as increased bladder control, regained mobility and sensation. Most importantly, the study demonstrated no adverse effects such as tumor formation, increased pain, and/or deterioration of function following administration of autologous bone marrow derived stem cells. ....

    .... The study published by DaVinci Biosciences and Luis Vernaza Hospital in Cell Transplantation, which used stem cells derived from the patient's own bone marrow, documents the restoration of significant movement, sensation, and bladder function in patients suffering from a spinal cord injury.

    THIS is what opponents of embryonic stem cell research want to see more of:

    Ask yourself why the MSM is keeping this from you. Ask why politicians and activists are keeping this from you.


    Tiller getting favorable jury

    As Jury Selection Continues, Operation Rescue Calls Pro-lifers To Wichita For Prayer

    Pray, pray, pray for justice in the Tiller case -- because it's looking more and more hopeless. Jurors are being dismissed for being too pro-life, but not for being too prochoice. Which means that they're getting a jury that is strongly slanted to find Tiller innocent purely because of their ideology and not because of the evidence -- which is frankly incontrovertible, for two reasons:

    1. It's nonsensical on its face that any situation could meet Kanas law. If the baby is past viability, the treatment of choice for over half a century has been to induce labor or do an emergency c-section, to get the pregnancy ended as quickly as possible. Just ask yourself this -- what possible severe health problem can a pregnant woman have for which any responsible physician would prescribe three days at the Wichita LaQuinta with her mother? If her health is in danger, she belongs in a fully-equipped hospital, attended by doctors and nurses.

    2. It's nonsensical on its face that Tiller had independent physicians verifying a medical justification for abortions -- mainly because of point #1. Add to that the fact that the same doctor signed off on every single one, a doctor that Tiller provided space for in his facility.

    Tiller is so patently guilty that if he gets acquitted, the precedent will be clear: If an abortionist does it, it is by definition legal. And don't think that the National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood, and independent quacks don't have their lawyers watching this case and getting ready to break the law with equal impunity.

    "House of David, this is what the LORD says: 'Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done-burn with no one to quench it.'" (Jeremiah 21:12)

    This jury will have to answer to God if they let this man walk.

    Oh -- and watch this Discovery Channel video of a fetus crying in response to being startled by a loud sound. Tell me what Tiller's doing isn't killing babies.

    1907: Doctor implicated in deathbed statement

    On March 17, 1907, Paulina Schneider died at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, Illinois, from complications of a criminal abortion.

    Paulina gave a deathbed statement implicating Dr. Robert Emery in her abortion. Paulina's mother had also fingered Emery.

    For reasons not given in the source document, Emery -- identified as "Old Doctor Robert Emery" -- was found not guilty.

    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. For more about abortion and abortion deaths in the first years of the 20th century, see Abortion Deaths 1900-1909

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

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    A patient's death and an abortionist's idea of a fun Florida vacation

    Cycloria Vangates underwent a safe and legal abortion on March 13, 1976, performed by Dr. Paul Glassman.

    She suffered a cervical laceration. The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine found that Glassman failed to adequately treat Cycloria's injury. She died on March 17.

    Glassman's license was finally revoked for three years beginning in 1981. He later recovered his license on the condition that he undergo close supervision and not perform any more abortions.

    Glassman moved to Missouri, but his attorney revealed to the Florida Board that Glassman performed 17 abortions while visiting in Fort Lauderdale, in an effort to prove that the ban against Glassman performing abortions was unnecessary. (Don't you have to wonder what goes on in somebody's head, that while they're vacationing in Florida, they decide to do a few abortions? Aside from the idea that you can show people that they can trust you by doing sneaky things behind their backs. Tell me abortionists aren't nuts.)

    Glassman also faced a 1978 Florida conviction for felony grand larceny involving filing insurance claims for a faked automobile accident.

    Glassman paid out $386,875 to Cycloria's survivors, according to a malpractice liability search.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Historic abortion case brings change in law

    On March 16, 1869, Magdalena Philippi died of complications of an abortion performed on her, evidently by a Dr. Gabriel Wolff.

    Although Magdalena was four or five months pregnant, prosecutors had no way of proving that she had felt movement in the fetus, so they could not prosecute Dr. Wolff.

    The next day, a bill was introduced in Albany to eliminate the quickening distinction in prosecuting abortion cases. This would make it easier to prosecute abortionists like Wolff.

    Magdalena's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

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

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    1899: Doctor implicated in criminal abortion death

    Harriet "Hattie" Reece was a 25-year-old primary school teacher in Browning, Illinois. Her husband, Frank, was also a teacher and principal at the school where Hattie taught. They had been married two and a half years in 1899, when the events unfolded that ended Hattie's life on March 16. And the finger pointed at Dr. James W. Aiken, who seemed to be a bit of a George Tiller precursor -- somebody who would find a "life of the mother" case in any pregnancy. But unlike Tiller, Aiken couldn't just buy his way out of trouble. He was found guilty and sentenced to fifteen years.

    News coverage in The Quincy Daily Journal gives us two perspectives -- Frank Reece's and James Aiken's -- with a bit of other folks' input scattered about. See whose testimony seems more credible to you.

    Frank's Story

    Frank testified to the coroner's jury that he had been unaware of his pregnancy, but then testified that they had suspected pregnancy two months earlier and had consulted Dr. Blankinship, who was not certain but believed that Hattie was indeed pregnant. Hattie, Frank said, reported severe pains. Frank said that "Dr. Blankinship said it would be best for her health if such was the case." The "it" to which Blankinship referred seemed to be continuing the pregnancy.

    But Frank evidently had some concerns about his wife's plans after they spoke to Blankinship. "In talking with her I learned that she did not want to have a child, as she wished to continue teaching. She said if there was any way out, she did not want the burdens. We called Dr. Blankinship in again. She was feeling blue and despondent and I asked him in her presence if he had any medicine for despondency. He said that there was a medicine that would relieve her but that he had no right to give it. Neither of us asked him for it. That was a month ago."

    This seemed to have been a roundabout way to request an abortion to remove the underlying cause of Hattie's "despondency".

    Frank indicated that he wrote to Dr. Stremmel of Macomb, Illinois, at his wife's request. Stremmel, Frank said, also recommended continuing the pregnancy because, Frank said, "an operation would ruin her health."

    "She then said she was going to write to Dr. Aiken of Tennessee. I told her as far as I was concerned I would have nothing more to do with it. I knew Dr. Aiken only by heresay and had no conficence in him."

    Hattie wrote to Aiken and showed her husband the letter she got in response, indicating that "such an operation would be a delicate one, but that he could take her through it safely and have her on her feet in ten days. .... I said I would not listen to such a proposition nor tolerate it." Hattie continued a correspondence with Aiken, over her husband's protests. "I said to her, 'If you do what you contemplate it will result in death and disgrace.'" He would only consent to an abortion if it was a legal abortion, necessary to protect her health. Hattie proposed going to Aiken for a consult. Frank thought a consult was a good idea but was opposed to Aiken. He offered to pay for the expenses if she went to see doctors in Macomb, but would not underwrite any involvement with Aiken.

    Hattie went anyway, paying the expenses from her salary, leaving on the 24th and planning to stay somewhere under Aiken's care. She sent Frank a letter "in which she said she had done nothing but what clear conscience would approve and that I would when she saw me." She sent several other letters to Frank, saying she was not well, concluding with a telegram -- which was later presented as evidence at trial. Frank finally went to Tennessee to speak to her.

    When Frank arrived, Hattie said that Aiken had examined her, told her she would not survive childbirth but that he could "safely take her through it" -- presumably meaning an abortion. Aiken told Frank that "the danger was not over and that the trouble was with her stomach."

    Frank went back to Hattie's room, begged her forgiveness for having been harsh with her, and returned home.

    He got a telegram from his wife saying that she was worse and to come at once. When Frank arrived, Aiken told him that Hattie was dying and that he'd sent for her father. The prosecution was able to present this telegram to confirm that Aiken had contacted Hattie's family:

    Tennessee, Ill., March 15, '99 -- Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy -- Your daughter Hattie is here quite sick from tympanus of stomach and bowels. In all probability she can't get well. Come at once, as there is no time to lose. Yours, Dr. J.W. Aiken

    This missive had been sent to Hattie's parents the day before her death.

    Then Aiken told Frank that "he had told the people Mrs. Reece had died of peritonitis. That was the story he had been telling and we must both stick to it as I was in it as deep as he." Frank told Aiken that he'd tell the truth, and went to speak with his wife.

    She told Frank that the abotion had been performed on Saturday (most likely March 4) with blunt instruments, and that she had expelled the dead baby on Wednesday (most likely March 8). Aiken had put the baby in his pocket and left with it.

    The coroner's jury concluded that Hattie had died of peritonitis caused by an abortion performed by Aiken. Aiken told the coroner's jury that he was innocent and would reveal the real culpret.

    The Trial

    Aiken's trial was held before a packed courtroom in Macomb, Illinois.

    When the defense cross-examined Frank, they brought out that he had met John Shippey on the evening train the first time he'd gone to see Hattie. Shippey had said, "How is this, are you not teaching at Browning?" to which Frank had replied that there would be no school that week. He told Shippey that Hattie had gone to Colchester to see a sick aunt, and had herself come down with tonsilitis. I'm uncertain as to the significance of this testimony; perhaps it was meant to discredit Frank as a liar, or perhaps it was intended to show that Hattie had been sick from something other than an abortion.

    The defense also asked Frank if he had paid Mrs. Ellis (on whose premises Hattie had died, and who had witnessed Hattie's statement exonerating Aiken) $15. This question related to supposed efforts to cover up the real cause of Hattie's death. The prosecution objected.

    The defense questioned the telegraph operator who had supposedly sent the telegram to Frank from Hattie; he said he had no such telegram in his files. A different telegraph operator said that he had sent a telegram from Aiken, summoning Frank, on March 15.

    Anna Aiken, Aiken's niece, testified for the defense that she had gone through her uncle's office and had found no letters from Frank or Hattie Reece.

    Aiken's Story

    Aiken took the stand in his own defense. He admitted that he had corresponded with Hattie, who he had known since before her marriage and had treated earlier for tonsillitis. He could not produce the letters in question. He said that she had written complaining of being run down, suffering from hemorrhiods and "suppressed menses". She had asked, he said, if he could either treat her without seeing her or if he could come to her home in Browning and treat her there. He denied there being anything in the letter about "being in a delicate condition" or requesing an abortifacient -- odd claims, since "suppressed menses" was at that time coy way of referring to pregnancy while not outright admitting it, and a woman with severe hemorrhoids would hardly want to undertake a long train ride to get treatment when there were any number of doctors closer to home.

    Aiken said that his reply had been that he could not come to her, but that if she came to him he could treat her, but that "some rectal troubles required delicate operations" but he could have her okay in a week or two, or maybe ten days, and that this care might cost as much as $35. She had, he said, replied, "If nothing happens I will come to Tennessee March 3rd." She had also, he said, indicated that she didn't want her friends to know she was there until she had recovered and could visit them. He had, he said, secured accomodations for Hattie at Mrs. Ellis' place. He also said that he'd gotten a letter from Frank indicating that Hattie was coming to him for care.

    Aiken said that he met Hattie at the train station, took her to Mrs. Ellis, introducing her as "the lady who came to saty with you for a short time; you may call her Hattie for the present." He said that he left her, and returned on Saturday morning to find her in bed with a fever. He examined her, he said, "for piles and also for female trouble". Twice during the examination, he said, Hattie asked him to stop. She also, he said, asked him if she was pregnant. He asked her if she had taken any drugs. She said that she had. Aiken said that he then treated her for constipation, fever, and "nervousness".

    Frank arrived on Thursday night, which would have been March 9. Aiken met him on the sidewalk and took him to Hattie. Aiken said that he told Frank that Hattie's period had started on Tuesday and that she'd caught cold. The coverage gets confusing at this point -- it says "he did not tell Reece then that he had performed the operation". Whether this consistutes Aiken admitting that he had performed "the operation" but not telling Frank, or a denial that Aiken had performed "the operation" at all I can't discern.

    At any rate, Aiken said that Hattie's condition worsened, so he told her to send for her mother, but Hattie declined. He then suggested that she hire a nurse and get a second opinion. She agreed to this. Aiken first telegraphed Dr. Bolles, but couldn't get him. He then telegraphed Dr. Lewis.

    Mrs. McKenzie (another witness to Hattie's statement) arrived at "the hotel" before Dr. Lewis did. Lewis and Aiken consulted briefly, then Lewis examined Hattie. Lewis testified about his examination, which involved instruments for "cleansing the organs". The details of his testimony were not reported. After Lewis left, Aiken telegraphed Hattie's parents and husband. He then asked Hattie if she wanted to leave any message for her parents in case she died before they arrived. Aiken said that Hattie told him, "I want to make a statement that you did not perform an abortion on me, and have always treated me like a gentleman." He then wrote up the statement as dictated by Hattie, Miss McKenzie copied it. Hattie by then was too weak, he said, to sign it, but the witnesses signed it. The defense presented it as Exhibit B:

    Tennessee, Ill., March 15, '99 -- I want to make this statement before these witnesses. Dr. Aiken has not produced an abortion on me. I think I took cold. The doctor has treated me kindly for which I am thankful. Signed in the presence of these witnesses. Hattie Reece. Witnesses -- Willia McKenzie, S.E. McKenzie, Lydia Ellis

    Miss Willia McKenzie testified before the coroner's jury, corraborating evidence given by her mother and by Mrs. Ellis. They indicated that Hattie had indeed signed the statement exonerating Dr. John W. Aiken.

    Hattied died Thursday at around 4 p.m. Her father had arrived Wednesday evening, her mother the next morning. Aiken expected to be arreseted. He consistently held that he had never performed an abortion on Hattie or given her an abortifacient, and denied that she had miscarried wile under his care. His defence brought forth about twenty character witnesses who said that he'd been practicing for over thirty years and had a good reputation.

    Aiken was typical of criminal abortionists in that he was a doctor.

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

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    1973: Safe and legal in Chicago

    Reports on death of Evelyn Dudley, age 38, alleged that she was treated at Friendship Medical Center in Chicago on March 16, 1973. Later, at home, she collapsed in the driveway. She was taken to a hospital, where attempts to save her failed.

    Her death was due to shock, due to hemorrhage from a ruptured cervix and vagina, from "remote abortion." T.R. Mason Howard stated that Evelyn was treated at Friendship for infection sustained in an abortion in Detroit. But Evelyn's brother stated that she had come to Chicago specifically to have the abortion.

    Julia Rogers and Dorothy Brown also died after abortions at Friendship Medical Center.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    Tiller trial: Will Dr. McHugh testify?

    Late-Term Abortion Provider on Trial for Allegedly Aborting Fetuses Illegally

    First of all, I'd like to know how the "Fox news as right-wing mouthpiece" theory jibes with the fact that the article lamented every time Tiller faced opposition, while ignoring the lawsuits against him, the death of Christin Gilbert, and the utterly nonsensical idea that any woman could face a life-threatening or health-threatening pregnancy complication for which the safest course of action is to strenuously avoid all inpatient care at fully-equipped hospitals and to instead spend three days at the La Qunita attended by your mom or boyfriend.

    That said, let's look at exactly what justification there was for these abortions.

    Kansas law only allows third-trimester abortions (post-viability abortions done on fetuses who could have been delivered alive) for two reason:

    “(1) The abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman; or (2) a continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”

    Now, these reasons are clearly bogus in the first place, since a pregnant woman whose life or health is in danger in the third trimester would need care in a fully-equipped hospital, not in the La Quinta. There's no medical reason not to do an emergency c-section or delivery in a hospital, where the mother will be attended by medical professionals. There can be no medical reason to have her spend three days in a motel attended by her husband, partner, sister, parents, or friends. But the Supreme Court, in Doe v. Bolton created a "health" need for post-viability abortions. The "need" is a judicial one, not a medical one, invented by men in black robes, not doctors in white coats.

    Dr. Paul R. McHugh, who reviewed the redacted medical records on George Tiller's post-viability abortions, explores the reasons given as justification:

    Highlights: Interviewer reviews Dr. McHugh's impressive qualifications. Dr. McHugh explains that Attorney General Kline asked him to review the records to "confirm or reject the idea" that the women were "in danger of suffering a substantial and irreversible impairment if the pregnancies continued -- impairment of a psychiatric kind." He did not think those records supported the claim that the women would suffer any substantial and irreversible impairment, as spelled out in Kansas law. The question he was asked was did he, an independent psychiatrist, concur with the idea that an abortion was necessary to prevent substantial and irreversible psychiatric damage.

    Dr. McHugh indicated that he looked for evidence of the following: Where the records adequate to develop a diagnosis? Did the diagnoses represent a substantial and irreversible impairment? Would an abortion resolve the problem? Were these adequate psychiatric justifications?

    He pointed out that the records were redacted, since names and identifying information were removed. He was to look at the quality and adequacy of the examinations done to determine a psychiatric justification for abortion. The interview establishes that Dr. McHugh was the state's expert witness, and that he wrote an affidavit of his findings.

    Paul Morrison, who replaced Phil Kline, never contacted Dr. McHugh to follow through on the case.

    What were some of the reasons given by the mothers for these late-term abortions? These abortions were done at 26 to 30 weeks. I address the issue of accuracy in estimating gestational age, and the potential these babies had for survival, here. In a nutshell, assuming that Tiller's estimates of these babies' ages were 100% accurate (odds are against that but we'll assume), they had at least an 80% chance of survival if delivered live via emergency c-section or labor induction, as is the standard of care for treating women with third-trimester pregnancy complications.

    So what did Dr. McHugh find were the reasons for these compelling, health-preserving late term abortions?

    "The mothers were expressing ... great senses of distress and worry about their future. They were tearful, and preoccupied that only an abortion would help them. They said that they were sad and frightened, and they spoke about fears that their future life would be changed. They expressed ideas that they were not being given adequate support, and that they felt that the abortion would help them."

    The interviewer asks him to summarize his findings. Dr. McHugh says these records were "very inadequate psychiatric records." He described them as being very brief, lacking a patient history, lacking detail. "There was no clear work of -- in those records that would be construed of capable of giving you a full picture of the mental condition of these women. They highlighted certain kinds of things that .... were sometimes of a most trivial sort, from saying that 'I won't be able to go to concerts' or 'I won't be able to take part in sports'" to a reluctance to surrender the child for adoption or concern about the child's future. "At no time could you see and understand the future of these individuals and in what way they could be seen as full people, people capable of being helped in this situation. Rather, they were highlighted for certain kinds of -- well, preoccupations and concerns." Dr. McHugh pointed out, "I could pick out only bits and pieces of this. This is not a -- None of them represented a full psychiatric history."

    Highlights: Interviewer asks for Tiller's justifications. "He had mostly social reasons for thinking that the late term abortions were suitable. That the children wouldn't ... that the offspring would not thrive. That the woman would have her future re-directed. That they wouldn't get a good education after they had a child. That they would be always guilty in some way about having that child. That they had been abused already and that this -- to have the baby would be another form of abuse. These ... are not psychiatric ideas... These were social ideas. .... There was nothing to back these things up in a substantial way."

    Dr. McHugh also stressed the lack of follow-up planning, no follow-up care of any sort, including a lack of a psychiatric aftercare plan. There were also no explorations of alternative treatments other than abortion. "You couldn't even begin to try to get a true picture of the person." He noted again that some of the justifications included concerns about attending the prom, or concerts, or sporting events. Dr. McHugh also noted that attending concerts and sporting events, or pursuing an education, are things many people pursue after having a baby.

    "Occasionally you would hear someone say their suicidal ideation would increase." Dr. McHugh noted that "being pregnant and being the mother of a child up to age one actually reduces the suicide risk to women from three to eight-fold." He also noted that abortion and miscarriage are known to increase suicide risk. There was nothing in the records to indicate why Tiller felt that these women's situations ran so far contrary to the established patterns of suicide risk.

    He again noted the paucity of information on these cases, and the lack of proper psychiatric work-ups. "These cases have not been studied thoroughly. And the diagnoses that have been made, such as depression, adjustment disorder and the like -- those are not substantial and permanently impairing conditions. Those are conditions we psychiatrists deal with all the time." He points out that most psychiatric practice involves helping patients to overcome these diagnoses "and restoring people to their mental health. We do that all the time."

    Dr. McHugh says, "I think that these young women were all in a demoralized state of mind. You -- These diagnoses become almost interchangeable, at least on the evidence that's produced here. They're all fundamentally demoralized young women and what they needed was support, help, care, and long-term treatment for the situation that they had, in which they felt abandoned, so that they could once again feel, as they should feel, that their future is rich."

    The interviewer asked if it wasn't a breach of medical care to lack follow-up plans. Dr. McHugh says, "It relates to my concern about these records as not being adequate, either in what they brought to the case, or what they propose for the case other than the abortion. And I had to ask myself, looking at these records, is any person who comes to this clinic ever found not to be appropriate on psychological or psychiatric grounds for abortion?"

    The interviewer asked if Tiller ever rejected a patient. He said he'd seen no such records. "I'm saying that looking at these records, and what they were employed to do, I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't satisfy those criteria." He added, "From these records -- anybody could have gotten an abortion if they wanted one."

    "When I look at the records, as far as I can tell, all these young women were very similar in the sense that they were all demoralized. And what other diagnostic term you wanted to give it was almost interchangeable on the basis of these records. They were discouraged -- fearful, worried young women who needed support, and would express a variety of ideas in that context to win what they were looking for. And that's -- that's the way to understand these people in my opinion. And a thorough psychiatric examination, and a thorough and adequate psychiatric plan was needed by them, and was not received -- here, anyway."

    Highlights: She asked about Tiller's training in psychiatry and psychology. Dr. McHugh says he doesn't know, though he does understand Tiller worked in pathology for a while and is not a psychiatrist. And he stresses that he wasn't called upon to judge Tiller's qualifications, just to review the records and their adequacy as far as psychiatric evaluations and psychiatric treatment planning.

    The psychiatric assessments justifying the abortions evidently were being done by Tiller, and each file included a letter from a second doctor who expressed "her" opinion -- indicating that it was always the same doctor (Likely Dr. Kristen Nuehaus) -- seconding Tiller's opinion that the woman would indeed suffer a substantial and irreversible impairment of a bodily function, psychiatrically, should they not have abortions. Dr. McHugh noted, "that letter did not come with the kind of pages of psychiatric study, evaluation, biographical details, understanding of the person on which -- from that record you could confirm that opinion." He noted, "At least from the record,that second opinion ... rested upon an encounter with the young woman and a statement of her present state of mind. So it was an opinion derived in much the same way, from the statements of the patients themselves of how distressed they were." He noted that the letters were not highly detailed, but a letter was "brief, symptom-only based, and unsubstantiated in its prognosis on the basis of a rich detailed study of the young woman and her potentials."

    He looks at the lack of any review of the woman's situation, or her resources. "One wonders looking at this why some consideration isn't being made to employ them for the benefit of these patients." He notes that the impression one gets from reviewing the cases is, "These young women came here for an abortion, and the effort on the part of the psychiatric assessment was to support that -- that idea that an abortion is appropriate rather considering the alternatives, the risks and benefits of this to this person in a life."

    The interviewer asked if any of the files showed sufficient psychiatric evidence to justify an abortion. Dr. McHugh saw none. They were all based on the "present state of mind of being distressed" and the social idea that the patient's opportunities might be lessened if they bore their children.

    Dr. McHugh felt that the records were inadequate to perform a diagnosis, and very inadequate to understand the women in question. He picked up that they were "discouraged" and "demoralized" and "disheartened" and a psychiatric diagnosis of depression seemed very inadequate to him. The records were so inadequate that they did not, in his opinion, support the diagnoses given, nor of any other diagnosis. He felt that no psychiatrist would consider them adequate records to make a diagnoses or make a psychiatric plan. And, he noted, despite the paucity of information on which to base a psychiatric plan, these files were in fact being used to make a psychiatric plan -- to perform an abortion as a treatment for the diagnoses in question.

    The interviewer went through the diagnoses given and asked did they constitute permanent and irreversible impairments, and Dr. McHugh indicated no, and that furthermore these conditions, if the diagnoses were correct, are treatable in pregnancy.

    Highlights: "How would you summarize ... Tiller's findings that justify these late term abortions?" McHugh noted, "All I can carry away from this is that by these criteria, is that no person that would want an abortion -- a late-term abortion --would be turned away from that. So I presume that the idea here is to justify that surgical procedure. That -- And these records on a psychiatric basis do not justify that."

    The interviewer asked about the social reasons Tiller used. Dr. McHugh referred to his notes. Tiller claimed that a patient would end up uneducated -- which is a social prediction, not a medical prognosis. That the patient feared occupational setbacks or family disapproval.

    Dr. McHugh said, "I don't mean to say that if you do lose out in your education that that's not harm, but it's a social harm, and those kinds of things should be treated in a social fashion. And by supporting the individual, re-moralizing her, giving her her strengths ... she then, as we know, independently can demand the kinds of support ... that she would be entitled to!"

    Dr. MrHugh quoted one of Tiller's notes justifying one of these third-trimester abortions: "If she was forced to carry to term, she would end up as an uneducated person without occupational skills and have multiple other pregnancies. ... All of those things are social predictions! .... I'm saying, and we psychiatrists would say, will be avoided if you can get this person once again to feel what she's entitled to feel, that she is an independent individual with rights.... If you teach her that the only thing that can be done here is that this viable human being has to be killed in order for her to have anything in her future, that's a lesson, that's a social lesson, that may well... take from her the sort of sense that she can overcome hurdles that life brings her."

    He points out that this sort of defeatist attitude toward women in any other context would be treated with the appropriate scorn.

    Dr. McHugh expressed a sense that Tiller was reinforcing the patients' views of themselves as powerless and incapable, with no promise and no strengths, that Tiller was underscoring and reinforcing a sense of hopelessness.

    Dr. McHugh says, "Doctors are supposed to give hope to people, and give support to people, and they have to believe that there is such hope to be found in them. And usually ... that kind of hopeful attitude comes out of taking the full history of the person, noticing not simply what life has imposed upon her, but what she has brought to life, what her strengths are. If we approach a psychiatric problem as though there are only deficits rather assets for a person, we will never have an optimistic and future-oriented therapy for people. We've got to see their assets as well as their vulnerabilities.... And those don't come across in these records."

    He adds, "By the records, anyway, what is being looked at is the state of mind of the woman right at the time, in which the issues of the stressing aspects of her present context are emphasized, and her strengths, her assets, the things that she brought, and, by the way, our capacity to open up for her and broader her horizons as to what can happen in the future for her is neglected. It's as though, from the records .... one has the idea that the purpose of this visit is to justify an abortion, rather than the purpose of this visit is to have a full psychiatric understanding of this person and see all of the alternative ways that she could approach her life."

    The interviewer then reinforced that these are viable fetuses, late in pregnancy. "These are the very kinds of little babies that are being taken care of in ICUs all around our country. .... To eliminate them is a serious business. .... There's no psychiatric reasons for that."

    Dr. McHugh notes that "There is no psychological condition for which abortion is the cure."

    The interviewer asked why Dr. McHugh chose to speak out. He noted that he was invited to this situation by an attorney general, and that psychiatry was being called in to justify these abortions. "This is not a full psychiatric practice that we are seeing here. Rather, psychiatric terms are being employed to justify doing a procedure." He sees speaking out as "speaking out for my discipline."

    Dr. McHugh said, "These records are not adequate records for the support of a serious decision for abortion, and that they do not represent psychiatry at its best, and psychiatry at its best should be employed when serious decisions are being made."

    "The people of Kansas have written these laws," Dr. McHugh stressed. "'Viable fetuses should not be aborted unless there is a substantial and irreversible condition that the pregnancy will produce.' Well, when a psychiatric diagnosis is brought forth, I think that the people should understand that that requires a heck of a lot more than I found in these records. That's what I' here and that's what I'm trying to report."

    And the narrator recaps.

    The things Dr. McHugh brought forth are in keeping with what investigators found when they researched abortion lobby claims that late abortions are done only in desperate situations where either mother or baby had a terrible diagnosis. In fact, what Dr. McHugh describes being done in Kansas to get around laws against post-viability abortions is highly reminiscent of the rubber-stamping psychiatrists used to do to enable women to get around laws banning elective abortions prior to legalization.

    As this woman's testimony bears out that these abortions are not being done to address women's critical health issues, and also, Tiller is not reporting statutory rape. She was only 14 years old.

    She describes pushing her baby out into a toilet, which was the standard way the abortions were being done.

    You can hear Michelle Arnesto's unedited testimony about her illegal late-term abortion at Tiller's mill here. And there are summaries of other cases here. The cases, in a nutshell, are 26 weeks for Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified or Adjustment Disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood; 29 weeks with no reason given for declaring the fetus "non-viable"; 28 weeks for Major Depressive Disorder Single Episode, 28 weeks with no note on the mother's medical condition, 28 weeks for Major Depressive Disorder Single Episode, etc.