Thursday, May 09, 2013

MSNBC's S.E. Cupp: Why Aren't We Trying To Stop Gosnell From Happening Again?

A call for more legislation is pointless. There were already laws in place to shut down mills like Gosnell's mill. What we lack is people in positions of public trust that have the will to enforce them. The abortion-rights movement is hell-bent on making sure that we continue to lack the will.

Ms. Cupp then mentions that the CDC counted a dozen women dead from abortion complications in 2008 and asks if those numbers are insignificant. It's not a matter of numbers. As abortion-rights activists are wont to point out, abortion is, after all, surgery, and all surgery has risks. The question we need to ask is whether those deaths are the normal complications of surgery or if they are indicative of the kind of slovenliness that allowed Kermit Gosnell to thrive.

 I have no way of knowing anything about the dozen deaths the CDC noted, but I can look at the death I've learned about.

Some time in 2008, a 29-year-old woman I'll call Carmen began a regimen for an RU-486 abortion. She was given 200 mg of mifepristone orally and 800 units of misoprostol vaginally at 5 weeks of gestation. Despite the documented infection risk, she was not provided with antibiotics. Four days after starting the abortion, Carmen experienced severe cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. The next day she was admitted to a hospital; her heart was racing and she had abnormal blood test results indicating infection.Exploratory surgery was performed, showing a massive amount of greenish-brown fluid in her abdomen. Parts of her uterus and surrounding tissue were dead and rotting, so a complete hysterectomy was performed. However, in spite of the surgery her blood pressure dropped. She died on the sixth day after the start of the abortion, of massive infection and respiratory distress syndrome.

Was Carmen's death a flukey thing, or caused by quackery? She was given the misoprostol vaginally, which is known to have the potential to send even a healthy woman into a rapidly-developing and deadly infection. Administering the misoprostol vaginally was bad medicine, but I'd say it's unjustifiable risk taking rather than flat-out quackery.

It appears that I'll have to look at deaths for the years 2007 and 2009 to get a bead on the quackery vs. just a complication situation.

In 2007, Edrica Goode went to a Planned Parenthood. Even though she showed clear signs of an existing vaginal infection, a nurse practitioner initiated the abortion by inserting organic dilators into Edrica's cervix. This wicked the infection into her uterus, killing her. That certainly seems like a quackery death to me rather than an ordinary risk.

Also in 2007, Laura Hope Smith, 22, stopped breathing while attended by a "hand holder" at a Massachusetts abortion clinic that lacked resuscitation equipment. The staff were not properly trained in CPR. Again, this seems far more like quackery than just an ordinary risk of surgery.

In 2009, Ying Chen, age 30, was given anesthesia in an unsafe manner and then was not resuscitated properly after she went into respiratory arrest. I'd chalk that up under quackery.

A woman I call Belle suffered a death similar to Carmen's death after a chemical abortion, so that's a case of increasing the risk, but doesn't rise to the level of quackery.

Antonesha Ross,  age 18, started coughing up blood and wasn't properly resuscitated. This one also belongs in the quackery column.

So of the six deaths I've documented in the three years 2007 - 2009, two were due to questionable practices and four to flat-out inexcusable quackery. This does not exactly justify blithe confidence in the quality of mainstream abortion practice in America.

Ms. Cupp then turns to the issue of born-alive infants, and cites a doctor who concluded that in 2010, 1,270 infants were born alive during abortions. Ms. Cupp asks why anyone would oppose legislation requiring that proper care be given to those infants. This is a no-brainer. If you resuscitate the baby, there you are, stuck with an injured baby and a mother who is probably going to sue you. Why ask for trouble? Of course, there's also the terrible emotional discomfort for abortion clinic staff if they stand by properly prepared to resuscitate a newborn. That would involve admitting that what they're doing is killing babies that could survive outside the womb. That's not something they're going to spend money reminding themselves about.

In closing, she hits the nail on the head: We as a society need to have hard discussions about why Gosnell's actions are so appalling, and what we're going to do about it.

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