Monday, May 31, 2010

1986: Woman dead, family faults anesthesia

The survivors of Dorothy Brant filed suit against Dr. Robert Prince in her death.

The suit claims that Prince failed to perform a proper pre-operative evaluation before performing an abortion on Dorothy at Dallas Medical Ladies Clinic on May 27, 1986.

Dorothy hemorrhaged during the procedure. In the lawsuit, her family said that Prince was negligent in his administration of drugs, anesthesia, and in his administration of a blood transfusion.

Dorothy was transferred to a hospital, where she died four days later of pulmonary fibrosis.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Are women really so protective of life?

HT: Deacon for Life

Is Abortion Murder? contains some of the most fatuous reasoning ever presented in favor of abortion.

Daniel C. Maguire starts with a selective bit of "This religious figure said fetuses weren't fully ensouled until X point," so therefore it's hunky dory to slaughter them. He then moves on to display what seems to be a willful ignorance:

Only when [the fetus] is formed could God infuse a spiritual soul. Catholic philosophers Daniel Dombrowski and Daniel Deltete from the Jesuit Seattle University say that modern science would put that at around six or seven months.

Earth to Maguire: The fetus is fully formed at 8 weeks. That's when it officially passes the embryonic stage and enters the fetal stage. Every major structure is present.

He goes back into the "personhood" argument, without any substantiating evidence for why humans, alone of all organisms, aren't fully members of their own species until some arbitrary point.

But here's where he wanders into the realm of the truly asinine:

There may be serious and justifying reasons for killing pre-personal, fetal life. The decision on that belongs naturally to the woman who carries that life. Women have a far better track record than men when it comes to cherishing and protecting life.

The very fact that so many women are undergoing, seeking, advocating, and facilitating abortions is enough to show a pathetic track record for cherishing and protecting life. In the United States, for example, these life-cherishing and life-protecting women kill fully a fifth to a third of the children conceived. The violent men fighting WWII -- including the Nazis, who were slaughtering Jews, Gypsies, and the disabled -- killed fewer than 10% of the people they were bombing, shooting, and gassing. Women are less protective of their own unborn children than an army in wartime is of the freaking enemy.

And even if you don't count the unborn as "life" -- which, by the way, Maguire does -- one writer said very aptly, "That wasn't exactly a candygram that Janet Reno sent to David Koresh." Women are perfectly capable of violence.

Abortion simply proves it.

1929: Fatal abortion by unknown perp

On May 30, 1929, 19-year-old Amelia Stumbras died from complications of a criminal abortion. Though the coroner pushed for prosecution, the guilty party was never identified or apprehended.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future when Ameila died. 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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Will Mississippi become the first abortion-free state?

Jill Stanek posted about a fundraising letter begging for money to keep Mississippi's last abortion mill open. The subject was "Urgent: Mississippi clinic threatened".

I think the "threat" is the threat of bankruptcy.

While looking up abortion rates in Mississippi, I found this interesting map showing what percentage of babies in each county get aborted. Clearly, the further a woman is from the abortion center, the less likely she is to snuff her baby.

Here is a summary of info. CDC info says Mississippi reported fewer than 3,000 abortions in 2006, and tied for #44 of 48 reporting areas in abortion rate (meaning that fewer than three reporting areas had lower abortion rates). Guttmacher Institute reports just over 3,000 abortions, but ranks Mississippi #49 out of 51 for abortion rate. But that was when there were still 2 abortion mills. Only 6% of pregnant Mississippi women choose to kill their unborn babies.

There is, however, no shortage of pregnancy help centers in Mississippi. Pregnancy Centers Online lists nine. Rhama International lists 28. (Likely some are listed on both sites.)

So evidently there's all this alarm, trying to maintain a presence in a state where the women, by and large, just aren't interested in abortion. They're being given the choice they want. What's the big problem?

In a way, they have a point....


Ulrich George Klopfer and the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, abortion mill he owns and practices in are seeking an injunction against a county ordinance that requires Klopfer to provide contact information for physicians to contact him if his patients experience complications.

Leonard Goldstein who opposes the Patient Safety Ordinance says, “The hospitals are available to them, their family doctors are available, and I'm not sure what the, the...this requirement on Klopfer and others, um, helps.

He kind of has a point. I'm not sure how much help Klopfer would be. He's been sued for, among other things, telling an obstetric patient that her fetus was dead, leading her to consent to the removal -- and hence the death -- of what had actually been a healthy, viable unborn baby.

Klopfer first came into public scrutiny during the Chicago Sun-Times expose, "The Abortion Profiteers". Klopfer and Ming Kow Hah, both working at the now-defunct Chicago Loop Mediclinic, competed to see who could do the most abortions. Hah kept tally on his scrub suit. An investigator reportedly was told by staff, "When Hah is here, Klopfer really zips. Hah marks the patients on his leg, and if Klopfer sees that Hah's got a legful, he goes like wildfire to catch up." Chicago Loop Mediclinic was a tremendously seedy abortion mill. The expose also alleged that undercover investigators discovered Loop paying kickbacks of $46 to $60 for public-aid patients referred for abortions. John Seplak, a dropout from mortician school, reportedly took over Loop when it was an outpatient surgical center, "six figures in debt and starving for patients," and converted it into an abortion specialty clinic "to keep from going broke."

So yeah, a guy who would work in a place like that, racing another abortionist to see who can scrape out the most women in an afternoon, might not be all that much help.

1988: Top notch facility kills teen abortion patient

Denise Montoya was fifteen years old when her parents brought her to Women's Pavillion in Houston for a safe, legal abortion on May 13, 1988. Denise was 25 weeks pregnant.

The abortion was performed by Douglas Karpen, an osteopath.

Denise suffered severe bleeding, and was admitted to Ben Taub hospital. Her condition deteriorated, and she died on May 29.

Her parents filed suit against Karpen and the clinic, saying that they had faied to adequately explain the risks of the procedure, and had not provided consent forms, or had the parents sign any informed consent document, prior to the fatal abortion.

According to their 1991 Annual Report, Women's Pavillion was a National Abortion Federation member.

NAF tells patients, "NAF is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. .... In order to become a member, a clinic must complete a rigorous application process. Member clinics have agreed to comply with our standards for quality and care.... NAF periodically conducts site visits to confirm that our clinics are in compliance with our guidelines."

So either their standards aren't all that high, or the site visits aren't very effective in seeing what's really happening.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Deaf baby hears for the first time

HT: NewsBusters

The little guy's cochlear implant was just activated. What's really amazing is that he immediately realizes that the sound is coming from Mommy, and how he responds.

An experiment in compassion

HT: Mommy Life

Josh is an actor. So are the people heaping abuse on him. See how the ordinary shoppers respond.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Doc offers hope to expectant moms with heart ailment

Doctor Gives Hope To Pregnant Women With Heart Condition

Dr. Dianne Zwicke coaches ob/gyns through providing care to the highest-risk of obstetric patients: those with pulmonary hypertension. With a maternal mortality rate of 40-60%, most women are advised to immediately abort. But Zwicke has seen 40 patients and their babies safely through. By conventional medical wisdom, between 16 and 24 of her patients (and all of their unborn babies) should have died. Zwicke's management has saved between 56 and 64 lives.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MSM not ignoring Hodari story, forced abortion lawsuit

Mainstream media fairly investigates accusation of forced abortion

NBC TV 25 in Flint, MI, ran a remarkable 2-part, back-to-back exposé on May 24 fairly detailing the merits of a lawsuit filed against late-term abortionist Alberto Hodari by former patient Caitlin Bruce, a story we've been following for some time.

In Part I, note how the story opens with an interesting turn on words, that Hodari "violated [Bruce's] right to choice" - by forcibly aborting her. Also note, as Citizen for a Pro-Life Society's Monica Miller wrote in an email, "The child is never called a "fetus"!

Jill notes that Hodari has pulled a Polanski in that he's conveniently out of the country when he's in deep doo-doo. But he did talk to the news people over the phone. His excuses sound pretty lame to me, though I'm sure OC is pumping his fist and shouting, "Preach it, brother!"

For example, in this next news clip Hodari tries to claim his now infamous "license to lie" quip made during his 2007 Wayne State University speech was only about life or death situations: "Never tell a patient, especially a woman, you're going to die. And in that respect, yes, we lie," he told the reporter.

So many things wrong with that, where to start?

First, the sexism: "especially a woman"? Excuse me? And that coming from an ob/gyn? 2nd, just how much experience does Hodari have treating dying patients? 3rd, as a matter of fact, medical professionals are typically not supposed to lie to dying patients about their status, particularly if they are asking.

4th, the original context of Hodari's "license to lie" statement indicates it had nothing to do with dying patients: "My wife says we doctors have a license to lie [audience laughs], and it's true, it's absolutely true. Sometimes you need to lie to a patient about things they want to do or no, much less now than in the past."

Jill closes with an excerpt of an email she got from a woman who reports a similar experience at Hodari's hand -- changing her mind and being held down and forcibly aborted anyway. These stories aren't unique. I have a page of tales of unwanted abortions, including:

  • Being Pro-Life Will Not Protect You From Abortion...: Suzanne tells how a doctor misinterpreted her sickness and scars, and induced an abortion on her when she was too weak and drugged up to resist.

  • Abortion Whether You Want it or Not: Roe vs. Wade has certainly made it easy to get an abortion. As these women discovered, you don't even have to know that you're pregnant.

  • : Expectant mother who screamed 'stop' will petition Supreme Court

    The news coverage also ignores Hodari's background, including the deaths of Tamiia Russell and Chivon Williams, as well as his membership in the National Abortion Federation.
  • 1950: Young mother bleeds to death

    On May 26, 1950, Annis Whitlow Brown performed an abortion on Joy M. Joy, the unmarried mother of a six-year-old daughter. Brown botched the job, causing hemorrhage and failing to properly treat the patient. Joy died quickly from blood loss.

    I have not determined what Brown's profession was.

    During the 1950s, we see an anomaly: Though maternal mortality had been falling during the first half of the 20th Century, and abortion mortality in particular had been plummeting, the downward trend slowed, then reversed itself briefly. I have yet to figure out why. For more, see Abortion Deaths in the 1950s.

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

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    1915: Chicago abortionist shoots dead patient

    Dr. Eva Shaver was involved in one of the most spectacular and bizarre abortion cases of the century.

    A young Chicago woman, Anna Johnson (pictured), was found dead with a bullet hole in her head on May 26, 1915, in Shaver's home. Shaver told police that she had hired Johnson as a maid, and that the girl had committed suicide. But investigators concluded that Anna had died after Shaver had botched an abortion on her. They tore up the floorboards in the house, searching for the remains of aborted babies.

    Anna's "sweetheart", Marshall Hostetler, told the coroner that he had known Anna for a year, since they'd met at a dance hall. They'd planned to marry. When she discovered that she was pregnant, Hostetler had purchased abortifactient pills for her from Shaver's son, Clarence. The fetus survived this chemical assault, so Hostetler arranged for Shaver to perform a surgical abortion.

    Hostetler reportedly "sobbed" and "collapsed" at the inquest into Anna's death. News coverage painted him has having been misled by Dr. Shaver and her son, though he had gone into hiding upon the girl's death at one point been a suspect.

    Shaver was tried for Johnson's death and the abortion death of another patient, Lillie Giovenco, in 1914.

    Interestingly enough, Anna Johnson's death sparked a crackdown on midwife-abortionists rather than physician-abortionists, even though the corner's records showed both professions to be responsible for a roughly equal number of deaths in Chicago during that era. Part of this, Leslie Reagan believed, was due to the public perception that female practitioners were all midwives, and part was due to the political clout that physicians had but midwives lacked.

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

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    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    The selective power of "antichoicers"

    Why I Blame the Antis

    This writer was wracked with grief and anguish after her abortion. Rather than buck up and admit that she feels bad because she violated her own conscience, did wrong, killed her baby, she argues that the only reason she felt bad was that the mean old right-to-lifers made her feel guilty.

    The few friends to whom I disclosed early on wept for me or told me that my “shocking” confession momentarily stopped their hearts. I recoiled each and every time the abortion debate surfaced on my television screen, in my inbox, in the overheard conversations of friends and acquaintances. I’d burst into tears at inappropriate moments for no apparent reason. I felt closeted, alone. Suicide crossed my mind on more than one occasion as I contemplated my “selfish” decision to abort a child.


    I’ve never associated the guilt, shame, isolation, anxiety, or depression that I endured in the wake of the procedure with the procedure itself. In my experience, PAS represents a flawed causal model which conflates abortion (the alleged cause) with aggressive anti-abortion sentiment, sexism, and pervasive cultural stigma (the actual cause).

    If having absolute strangers disapprove of what you do could cause suicidal guilt and anguish, there'd be dead bodies outside every Burger King and KFC, the bodies of those who offed themselves due to PETA-imposed guilt for having killed cows and chickens. Every Long John Silvers and Red Lobster would be the scene of carnage as guilt-wracked diners dispatched themselves in their anguish over having ended the lives of all those "sea kittens".

    And if the prolifers had such a strong influence over women that we could inadvertently make them feel suicidal after abortions, why are we so unable to influence them before the baby is dead?

    It's utterly irrational. But it's predictable. It's called displacement. To accept that her anguish is an appropriate response to having killed her child would be to own up to her own actions. But passing the buck -- "I only feel this guilty because those nasty antichoicers are judging me!" -- allows her to cope by pretending that her guilt and anguish have nothing to do with having caused the death of her baby.

    Lady, you killed your baby. The fact that you felt awful about it is good. It means you have a conscience. Only psychopaths kill without remorse.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Following the little Belly Buddy

    My former pastor has announced that he and his lovely bride have spawned their own little Belly Buddy. I looked up this site with amazing intrauterine video so they can follow Belly Buddy's progress.

    Here are a few short snippets. Though I'm sharing this information in a "Hooray!" context, we'd do well to remember that abortion is readily available on demand in all states in the US through the following developmental milestones:

  • Heart and circulatory system
  • Brain waves
  • The rapidly growing brain
  • Response to touch
  • Hand movement
  • Hiccups & startle response
  • The developmental period
  • Ovaries identifiable
  • RIght- and left-handedness
  • Spontaneous movement
  • Reflexive movement
  • The embryonic period
  • End of embryonic period
  • Kidneys produce urine
  • Breathing motions
  • Motion and sensation
  • Uterus is identifiable
  • Sucking and swallowing
  • Fingernails and toenails
  • Unique fingerprints appear
  • Intestine absorbs glucose and water
  • Taste buds
  • The rooting reflex
  • Response to touch
  • Tooth development begins
  • Quickening
  • Hormonal stress response
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Responds to sound
  • Skin and hair
  • Age of viability

    This is the point of development in which some states begin to restrict the availability of abortion. You can find a lot of information about why these abortions are performed in Late abortions: A retrospective of posts.

  • Blink-startle response
  • Sense of smell
  • Eyes produce tears
  • Flavor preferences

    Belly Buddy is safe in Becky's welcoming womb, with Daddy Dave to look after them both. Other babies aren't so fortunate.
  • Late abortion: A retrospective of posts

    A lot of folks are being drawn to my blog looking for information on third-trimester abortions in the wake of the murder of George Tiller.

    This is a topic I've blogged a lot about, so for your convenience I'll pull together a retrospective of those posts. I'll also bring in posts about Tiller. They're grouped by topic, with posts in multiple categories if they fit in more than one.


  • What proportion of Tiller's late abortions were for fetal indications?: Tiller himself indicated that the number was 8%.
  • An analysis of those "medically necessary" Tiller abortions: Dr. Paul McHugh is interviewed about his review of Tiller's patient files.
  • The measure of a "hero": An overview of Tiller and the late abortions he did.
  • The Death They Didn't Mourn: Christin Gilbert, mentally disabled teenager, loses her life thanks to Tiller's bad habits and worthless staff.
  • Which is safer for the mother?: A side by side comparison of late abortion versus obstetric care for pregnancy complications
  • Which is safer for the mother?: A side by side comparison of a Tiller late abortion versus obstetric care for pregnancy complications
  • Tiller's Defense: Larry Said I Could: A look at what Tiller admitted on the stand in his trial
  • Tiller Trial: The Plot Thickens: Words from Kristin Neuhaus, the disgraced erstwhile abortionist who rubber-stamped post-viability abortions for Tiller
  • Tiller Getting Favorable Jury: Jurors were dismissed for being "too prolife" but not for being "too prochoice"
  • A Credible Claim?: A complaint filed by a Tiller patient
  • One That Got Away: A child that had been scheduled to die at Tiller's facility returned to plead for other children's lives
  • Them mean old prolifers help woman avoid unwanted abortion: Prolifers brought Tiller patient next door for real help
  • Read Complaints Against Tiller and Associates: Including a summary of the 30 illegal abortion charges based on his own patient records

  • Why are women having third trimester abortions?: Examples of women facing pressure from health care professionals to abort when the women themselves don't want to.
  • An analysis of those "medically necessary" Tiller abortions: Dr. Paul McHugh is interviewed about his review of Tiller's patient files.
  • Examples of late abortions: Mostly fatal cases from my files.
  • What proportion of Tiller's late abortions were for fetal indications?: Tiller himself indicated that the number was 8%.
  • Obama, McCain, and "Health": A look at the real "health" reasons behind most late abortions

  • Post Viability Abortions in Your State: A look at who is advertising late abortions online
  • Planned Parenthood Admits to Live Births: Which means they're doing post-viability abortions
  • 1988: NAF Member Kills Teen: Note Karpen's response to the fact that the prolifers outside were helping patients who'd changed their minds
  • Accountability at Last for Pendergraft?: Florida's notorious late term abortionist faced criminal charges
  • Parents Lied to Save Preemie: With list of abortion mills that would gladly have killed a baby that age or older
  • New (to me) Article on Midtown Hospital: An infamous Georgia abortion hospital with a history of routinely performing illegal third trimester abortions

  • Response to the Tiller Murder: Is somebody who kills an abortionist being "wise as serpents, innocent as doves"?
  • Abortion Vigilantism Worksheet: Link to an excellent teaching tool in Biblical ethics

  • Excellent article, sure to send the kind and loving abortion fanatics into an apoplexy: Link to an article about women who rejected abortion after a grave prenatal diagnosis
  • Why are women having third trimester abortions?: Examples of women facing pressure from health care professionals to abort when the women themselves don't want to.
  • 93 Days of Love: Link to the story of Baby Faith, a little girl with anencephaly
  • One That Got Away: A child that had been scheduled to die at Tiller's facility returned to plead for other children's lives
  • Them mean old prolifers help woman avoid unwanted abortion: Prolifers brought Tiller patient next door for real help
  • Joyful Anniversary for a Happy Mommy: It wasn't the end of the world after all
  • Parents had to Fight for Baby's Short Life: The gymnastics of avoiding an unwanted abortion

  • Which is safer for the mother?: A side by side comparison of a Tiller late abortion versus obstetric care for pregnancy complications
  • Applauding a Child's Death: Audio from Dr. Martin Haskell's presentation on how he does late abortions, with video by Priests for Life illustrating what he's describing
  • Tools of the Trade: Sopher Forceps: A description of a specialized tool for taking apart fetuses in the second and third trimester, and how that tool is used by guys including Tiller abortionist LeRoy Carhart
  • Too Cruel for Killers, Just Right for Babies: A drug used by many late term abortionists is considered "cruel and unusual" when used to execute murderers
  • Just For Comparison: VERY GRAPHIC, with photos of a living preemie, then aborted babies of similar size

  • This Baby Won't Stop Breathing: William Waddill strangles a baby in front of multiple witnesses -- then beats the murder rap
  • Why the Sudden Interest: The killing of a liveborn infant after an abortion seizes public attention
  • Planned Parenthood Admits to Live Births:
  • A Fetus With Attitude: A survivor of a late abortion speaks out
  • A Question About Born Alive Babies and Criminal Charges: Why aren't these cases always prosecuted?
  • Another Born-Alive Baby: A baby was injured for life by a post-viability abortion attempt
  • Another Fetus With Attitude: Melissa Ohden tells her story
  • More Born Alive Babies: Links to stories about abortion survivors
  • More Born Alive Babies and their Fates: Further examples of babies that survived attempts to kill them in-utero
  • Obama and the Born Alive Babies: A graphic look at live births following late abortions
  • More on Baby Rowan: His mother's story

  • Shanda's Abortion Nightmare: Sent to the hospital in a car with her fetus hanging out of her vagina
  • Data Collection Suggestion: How to fill in the gaps in our knowledge about post-viability abortions
  • Can We Really? Tell Me the Truth: Reflecting on a Dostoyevsky quote and third-trimester abortions
  • Obama Comments, I Respond: A response to Obama's contention that late term abortionists simply never make mistakes
  • Third Trimester Abortions and the Law: Where they're legal and for what reasons
  • Answering a Question: A reminder that Martin Haskell made a video of himself doing a partial-birth (D&X) abortion, and that Mark Crutcher will pay any disgruntled abortion clinic employee big bucks if they fork one over
  • Where Does Obama Say He Supports 3rd Trimester Abortion?: At Planned Parenthood
  • Jill Stanek and FactCheck's Faulty "Facts": Was FactCheck ill-informed, or deliberately misleading>
  • Search: Abortions for Health Reasons: Explores how ill-defined "health" is in statistics about why women abort
  • Obama, Babies, and the Benefit of the Doubt: A look at Obama's assumption that late term abortionists never make mistakes
  • Who Needs Hope When You Have These Guys?: Abortion for "fetal indications" -- shutting the door on all hope
  • One That Got Away: A child that had been scheduled to die at Tiller's facility returned to plead for other children's lives">Astonishing new levels of abortion advocacy cluelessness

    Finally, courtesy of Spanish TV, see what these late abortions look like in real life:

    The difference between these abortions and Tiller abortions is that Tiller's staff chased the patient off to the bathroom to push her baby into a toilet and leave it there for staff to either clean up for photos, or dispose of in the crematorium that Tiller had on site. Or both.
  • 1985: Another victim of NAF flagship

    Documents indicate that Josefina Garcia, age 37, mother of 2, died after abortion at a Family Planning Associates Medical Group (FPA) facility. Josefina's survivors filed suit against FPA owner Edward Campbell Allred, and 5 other doctors: Kenneth Wright, Leslie S. Orleans, Earl Baxter, Soon Sohn, and Thomas Grubbs.

    The family said that staff failed to determine that Josefina had an extopic pregnancy before proceeding with a routine abortion procedure by D&C on May 23, 1985. After her abortion, Josefina was left unattended in a recovery room, where she hemorrhaged. She died the day of her abortion. Her death certificate notes "acute bronchopneumonia due to anoxic encephalopathy following cardiopulmonary arrest due to ruptured tubal gestation with hemorrhage" as the cause of Josefina’s death. Mention is made elsewhere on the death certificate of "status post uterine suction curettage."

    Though in theory women who choose abortion should be less likely to die from ectopic pregnancy than women who intend to carry to term, they are actually more likely to die because sloppy practices lead them to believe that they had normal uterine pregnancies that were termianted. Thus, they ignore symptoms that would ordinarly lead them to seek prompt, life-saving medical care.

    Because the abortion is noted only as a suction curettage, and is mentioned in a supplementary box rather than in the cause of death box on the death certificate, a data run on California death certificates did not identify Josefina as an abortion death.

    Josefina is one of many women to die at this NAF facility after the National Abortion Federation was founded. Others known to have died after abortion at Allred's facilities include:

    1982: Abortion causes fatal pulmonary embolism

    In May of 1982, 29-year-old Rhonda Ruggiero underwent an abortion. She suddenly died of an abortion-related pulmonary embolism on May 23.

    1929: Sentenced to the electric chair, freed to kill again

    On May 10, 1929, 24-year-old Elizabeth Palumbo submitted to an abortion, evidently performed by Dr. Amante (or Amenti) Rongetti. She was taken to West End Hospital afterward, and she died there on May 23.

    I was amazed to see Rongetti tied up in this case, because only the previous year he had been sentenced to die in the electric chair for the abortion death of Loretta Enders. Rongetti's attorney evidently had been successful in his bid for a new trial. Elizabeth Palumbo and her family no doubt would have been better off had this bid failed.

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

    Update: Photos of Rongetti are published at Getty Images, but I can't afford the licensing fee and they won't enter the public domain until 2017. So if you want to see Rongetti in court, on trial for the death of Loretta Engers, click on the Getty Images link. (So much for us rich prolifers who get paid handsomely to do this work.)

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    "40 Days" reports a total of 35 abortion worker conversions

    Abby Johnson, et al: "Abby is just one of 35 abortion workers who have quit their jobs at 40 Days for Life locations."


    Intertitle: On October 5, 2009, the director of the Bryan, TX Planned Parenthood took steps that would change her life.

    Intertitle: What I Believed

    Abby Johnson: If places like Planned Parenthood weren't around, then -- abortion would be really unsafe, and we would just be sending women to places that would be unsafe, and they would be dying -- by the thousands. And Planned Parenthood's goal is about preventing abortion, and it's about making abortion safe, and making it rare. And that really -- sounded -- about what I believed in.

    Intertitle: What I Saw

    Abby Johnson: I looked at the ultrasound screen, and I saw the whole profile of a baby on the screen. And, I was pretty excited when I went in the room, and as soon as I saw that baby on the screen, that excitement kind of left. I suddenly felt pretty anxious and was thinking that this could be a really horrible -- image.

    The canula made its way to the baby and, started poking the baby in the side and, you know, the baby wasn't moving. And I thought, "Okay, well, of course not. Of course it's not moving because -- babies at this stage don't feel anything." That's what I tell women all the time. When they'd ask me if my baby's gonna feel pain or gonna feel anything, I tell them, "No."

    All of a sudden, the baby woke up. It seemed to just wake up. And the baby started moving and the arms and legs started -- moving, and it appeared that the baby was trying to move away -- from the canula. And I just -- I couldn't believe what I was watching. And -- then the doctor had to keep moving the canula closer to the baby because it was making progress, moving away.

    The last thing that I saw on the screen was -- this perfect little backbone of the baby. And, on an ultrasound the backbone is really bright white. And that was the -- the very last thing that I saw, twist and then -- and go into the tube.

    We finished up the day, I went home. I called my friend -- Laura, who had also worked at the Bryan clinic with me, and was no longer working at Planned Parenthood anymore, and told about her what I had witnessed. And -- she -- when I started describing it, she'd never seen anything like that either, and she made me stop. And she just said, "I can't -- I can't listen to any more. To any more."

    And then I started thinking about all the women that I'd lied to -- unintentionally, but, you know, Planned Parenthood had told me, that their baby's not gonna feel any of that, and their baby's not gonna feel any pain. And so -- and so when the women asked me that, and they asked me that all the time. I mean, women asked me that probably hundreds of times. And every time I would just immediately answer, "No! Absolutely not!" Because that's what Planned Parenthood had told me to say, and that's what I believed. And I just thought, "What if these women had known the truth? You know -- Would they have made that choice?" They asked the question because it mattered to them -- and I had just given them a lie.

    Intertitle: What I Did

    Abby Johnson: Monday I went back to work and I was just -- hating it. I was just dreading it. And they were doing medication abortions that day. And I was sitting in my office, and I was looking at these women coming in and out of the clinic, and they were walking to their car, and they were holding these brown bags, and knew that in the bag was the medication abortion -- pills, the regimen. And I just sat there and I was thinking, "I'm still doing it." I started to cry, and I -- I just thought, "Where am I gonna go?" Because all of my so-called friends were either working at Planned Parenthood or affiliated with Planned Parenthood in some way.

    I looked out the window and I saw these two women -- praying outside of the clinic, and I -- I felt like God was telling me to go.

    You know, the day that I saw the abortion procedure, I didn't know that I would one day be here. I didn't know that I would be working in the pro-life movement. Because I wasn't angry. I wasn't disgruntled. I just -- didn't want to work at Planned Parenthood any more. I just didn't want to -- take part in any more abortions. I didn't want my hands to be involved in that work any more. And, you know, God had different plans. And, you know, I heard somebody say one time, "You want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." And -- and that's definitely been the situation for me through all of this.

    I was never sure that I would feel comfortable going and praying out in front of the clinic that I ran. I didn't know how uncomfortable that would feel.

    I know it works. And, you know, I didn't leave because I wanted attention. I left because I was following God's will. And, you know, every time you're out there in front of the clinic it is stirring up the conscience of the men and women going in, and it's stirring up the conscience of the clinic workers who are there. Every time you're out there, people are watching what you're doing. People are watching you pray.

    I've gotten several calls from other Planned Parenthood directors, and other Planned Parenthood workers, who have left the abortion industry, because they felt like God was calling them out, and-- you know, they haven't gone public like I have, but they left, and now they're reaching out to me, because they want to talk to somebody about it. They want to talk to -- you know, about the things that they witnessed. And so -- You never know how much impact the work that you're doing will have on another person. And so that's why we have to keep up what we're doing. And we have to be willing to say to Planned Parenthood, and those that support Planned Parenthood, "As long as you're there, as long as your doors are open, as long as you are continuing to provide abortions, we will be there. And not that we're gonna be there fighting you. But we're going to be there bringing hope, to the people that work in that center. And we're going to be there to bring hope to the men and women going in there, who feel like they have no hope. We're going to be there to bring them hope."

    But giving them condoms would have been TOTALLY appropriate...

    Anti-abortion fetus dolls handed out to Norfolk students

    Plastic human fetus dolls - soft, in pink and brown, and about 4 inches long - have been handed out at Oakwood Elementary School by an employee who was put on administrative leave Thursday over the situation.

    Had this employee arranged for a 12-year-old to have a secret abortion, he or she would be applauded for respecting the reproductive rights and autonomy of the "woman". But to actually provide them with a model of an unborn baby? Appalling!

    We're supposed to be teaching them to masturbate, encouraging them to make out, and referring them for contraceptives, not giving them information that is actually age appropriate! After all, a kid who has known since elementary school what a 12-week fetus looks like will be notoriously hard to feed into the abortion mill a year or two down the road.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    1870: Mystery death in Brooklyn

    On May 20, 1870, Mrs Matilda Henningsen, aka Matilda Hunt, died at No. 182 East Seventh Street in Brooklyn. Authorities investigated her death.

    Matilda's sister, Henrietta Henningsen, testified that she recognized clothes and other items belonging to her sister. Henrietta said that Matilda had been sick about two months earlier, and had been treated by Dr. Herzog and Dr. Kennerer. Shortly after having taken ill, Matilda told Henrietta that she'd gotten an invitation to go to Williamsburgh, and that was the last Henrietta had seen of her sister.

    August Herman Rauffes testified that he'd known Matilda for about twelve years. She had worked for several families as a live-in governess. In October of 1869 she had rented a room from him above his store. She had been treated by Dr. Herzog for sickness. She told Rauffes that she was going to the country, and left a forwarding address. After her departure, Rauffes found a card with the names of Dr. Wolff and Dr. Grindle written on it.

    Dr. Max Herzod testified that he had treated Matilda on March 12 for abdominal pain. After three weeks of care, the pain continued, and Matilda also reported nausea. He examined her and determined that she was pregnant. Afterward she told him she was going to Germany. That was the last he'd heard of her until learning of her death. Dr. Krammerer, who had also treated Matilda, concurred with Dr. Herzod's testimony.

    Dr. Joseph B. Chshman testified as to the post-mortem examination he had performed. He said he found all the evidence of uterine infection and resulting peritonitis, resulting from an abortion.

    The Dr. Wolf whose name was on the card Matilda's landlord found, was Mr. A. A. Wolff, from Denmark, purported to be a physician. However, he is not identified as such in the source document. But he clearly was an abortionist. Six fetuses, along with various instruments, were found in his office.

    The jury determined that Wolff had performed the fatal abortion.

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

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    1937: Abortionist tries to retrofit fatal abortion to make it legal

    Dr. Claude C. Long ran a rather fishy medical practice in San Francisco. He, his wife, and a relative named Ann Fisher, were charged with the 1937 murder of Genevieve Arganbright. Long admitted -- once he'd been caught -- that Genevieve had died while he'd been performing an abortion on her. The jury acquitted Mrs. Long and Ann Fisher, but found Dr. Long guilty of manslaughter.

    The story was twisted, and the trial hinged on Long's supposed justifications for the unorthodox things he did.

    Long had an office on Valencia Street, and another on Haight Street.

    The one on Valencia Street was in a middle flat of the building, with his name on the window and a telephone listed in the city directory. Ann Fisher, who was in some way related to Long and his wife, managed this office for him, scheduling appointments for patients who had walked in or telephoned. Mrs. Long's sister-in-law, Mrs. Spence, who lived in a flat upstairs of this office, reported that Mrs. Fisher lived at the rear of the Valencia Street office. However, no medical or surgical equipment was found at the site during the police investigation. Long said that he seldom saw any patients there at all. Mrs. Spence said that she had in fact never seen Dr. Long at the premises.

    Long actually saw his patients at the Haight Street location, in premises rented by his wife under the name of Young. There was an unlisted telephone at that location. Long made a habit of parking his car at a garage about seven blocks away, often having the garageman drop him off about a half-block from the Haight Street office. When he was arrested, Long had keys to the back doors, but not the front doors, of the Haight Street building. When they searched the building, police found every evidence that Long was practicing medicine there, with "various medicines used in connection with operations on women" found there, and abortion instruments found in a closet. The actual instruments used in the fatal abortion had been hidden by Long the night of the death, but he eventually turned them over to the police.

    Genevieve was, according to her husband, about 2 1/2 months pregnant at the time of her death. She had been in good health, athletic, and in the habit of taking long hikes, dancing, swimming, and playing tennis. She worked for the W.P.A., and kept house for the couple and their child. She had not shown any overt symptoms of having a bad heart.

    On May 19, 1937, Mr. Arganbright heard his wife make a phone call to Dr. Long's Valencia Street office and make an appointment to go there between 2 and 4 that afternoon. The couple arrived and were let in by Mrs. Fisher, who took down Genevieve's name and asked her who her companion was. Mrs. Fisher then took Genevieve into another room, where Mr. Arganbright overheard Fisher asking his wife how long she had been pregnant and instructing her not to bring her husband with her for her appointment the next night.

    The next day, May 20, Genevieve went to work and returned home as usual. At about 6:45 that evening, she left, telling her husband she going for her abortion. She was planning to go by streetcar to the Valencia Street office, where a driver was to take her to somewhere on Haight Street for the actual surgery. She brought with her $50 that she had borrowed to pay for the abortion.

    That was the last time Mr. Arganbright saw his wife. Nobody at Dr. Long's practice called to tell him that his wife had died on the operating table.

    Dr. Long did have Mrs. Fisher make a phone call: to a Dr. Goldsand. Some time about about 10:25 p.m., she called him and asked him to come to the Haight Street office to help with a very sick patient. He arrived in a little under ten minutes. Mrs. Fisher met him and brought him upstairs to a bedroom where the body of Genevieve lay in bed, dressed in street clothes, partially covered with a blanket. Both Dr. Long and his wife were there. Long asked Goldsand to examine Genevieve. He did so, confirming that she was dead. He administered drugs to try to revive her, to no avail.

    Long asked Goldsand to sign a death certificate, but he refused, noting that since Long had been treating Genevieve, it was his duty to prepare and sign a death certificate. Long did not respond, and Goldsand left the premises. Long later testified that he was left with the impression that Goldsand would sign the death certificate, a claim the jury clearly didn't believe.

    The next call made from Long's office was to an undertaker's office. When two employees arrived to collect Genevieve's body at about 2:30 the morning of the 21st, Dr. Long wasn't present. Mrs. Long and Mrs. Fisher were there, and identified themselves as "very dear friends" of the dead woman. They said that the woman's relatives had left, but would contact the undertaker in the morning to complete the funeral arrangements. They said that Dr. Goldsand had been the attending physician, caring for the patient for at least half an hour before she died of a heart attack. The undertaker's men wanted a phone to call Dr. Goldsand and verify this, but they were told that there was no phone, and the Dr. Goldsand said that everything was in order and that he would sign the death certificate in the morning.

    The men took Genevieve's body to the mortuary, where the embalming was done. But when no relatives called to finalize arrangements, and nobody produced a death certificate, the undertaker notified the coroner. The employees at the undertaking establishment didn't notice anything about Genevieve's body that would lead them to believe that she had died from any reason other than a heart attack.

    While things were getting squirrely at the mortuary, Dr. and Mrs. Long were making tracks. They registered at the Chancellor Hotel under the names of Mr. and Mrs. C. Young of Sonora, California. But when they were told they'd have to vacate the room by 4 p.m., they went to the Cecil Hotel and registered there under assumed names.

    Nobody had even tried to contact Genevieve's husband.

    Late in the afternoon of the 21st, Mr. Arganbright called the Valencia Street office and spoke to Mrs. Fisher. She said that she knew nothing of Genevieve's whereabouts, and that Dr. Long had left town. It wasn't until later that day, when the police arrived, that Mr. Arganbright learned that his wife was dead.

    Dr. and Mrs. Long were arrested at the Cecil Hotel on May 22, where they were found registered under their proper names this time. In the mean time, Mrs. Fisher fled, and was later apprehended in Nevada City.

    Neither Mrs. Long nor Mrs. Fisher took the stand during the trial, and both were acquitted. Dr. Long testified, and the jury didn't find his testimony particularly credible.

    Long argued that Genevieve had died of a heart attack brought on by her long standing mitral stenosis, and that the abortion he'd been performing had only been intended to save her from the risk of death from the stress of continued pregnancy and labor. The abortion, he contended, had been perfectly legal, and had been performed with all due care.

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

    The autopsy performed on Genevieve did note that she had mitral stenosis -- a heart valve constricted due to previous infection. Medical witnesses testified that as mitral stenosis progressed, it would cause the heart to work harder and faster and to become enlarged. After a while, the heart is unable to compensate, and the patient dies. However, they noted, before a patient dies from advanced mitral stenosis she will show signs of a heart condition, such as shortness of breath and discoloration of the skin.

    Long testified that Genevieve had first come to him in March, and he had diagnosed the mitral stenosis. He said he had considered her condition to be borderline, that her heart was adequately compensating for the restricted valve, but that she could decompensate and die at any time. He was unsure if she was pregnant, and told her to return in two weeks so that he could determine if she was pregnant and if she was, perform an abortion to prevent her death from the mitral stenosis. She had not returned until the 19th, when she'd made the abortion arrangements. There was no record of this March office visit; Long held that he'd made a record and implied that it had vanished when the police had raided his office.

    Genevieve's husband stood by his testimony, that the visit of the 19th was the first time his wife had gone to Dr. Long's practice.

    Long did not deny that he treated Genevieve on May 20. He said that she had not come specifically for an abortion, but was certain that she was pregnant, and that she was constantly tired, with chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath, all indications of heart problems. Long said that he then informed Genevieve that her heart was in very bad shape and that he recommended an immediate therapeutic abortion to prevent her death. The defense also pointed out that Genevieve had sought a consultation at the Mt. Zion Hospital Clinic in 1933, believing that she might be pregnant, and that doctors there found that she was not pregnant but would have recommended an abortion had she been.

    Long described the abortion as he performed it, and indicated that Genevieve's heart simply stopped during the procedure and he had been unable to revive her. He gave excuses on the stand -- not noted in Westlaw documents -- about the reasons he didn't document the pre-abortion examination that supposedly verified a dangerous heart condition, about why he'd fled with his wife and assumed a false name, about why he kept one dummy office with a listed phone separate from his actual practice where there was an unlisted phone, why he'd tried to get Goldsand to sign the death certificate, why he'd not contacted the widower, and other actions that would not have been undertaken by an innocent man.

    Expert testimony agreed that Genevieve did indeed have mitral stenosis, but there was no agreement on whether or not it warranted an abortion. The surgeon who performed the autopsy, and a pathologist from the coroner's office, both testified that Genevieve's heart was not at all enlarged. Her mitral stenosis seemed stable, and their expert testimony was that Genevieve would have likely tolerated pregnancy and delivery quite well. Several other physicians testified that there was nothing in Genevieve's autopsy or medical history to indicate that the mitral stenosis posed any threat to the young woman's life. Mr. Arganbright, other family members, and Genevieve's co-workers all testified that she had been in good health, showing none of the shortness of breath or other signs that would indicate that her heart was in poor shape.

    In fact, the pathologist and several other doctors testified that Genevieve's heart had stopped not due to heart disease, but due to excessive blood loss. Expert testimony also pointed out that Genevieve already had the mitral stenosis since childhood, well prior to the birth of her child in 1932, and that she had tolerated pregnancy and labor quite well. A cardiologist testified that Genevieve's mitral stenosis was well-compenstated and stable, not posing any threat to her life.

    Though expert witnesses conceded that some doctors simply recommended abortion for all patients with mitral stenosis, abortion would only be properly recommended if a heart specialist examined the patient and concluded that she was decompensating and in danger.

    All of this would be germane to a murder conviction, which depended on Long proceeding with an abortion not necessary to try to save the woman's life. But there was also the matter of the real cause of death. Genevieve's cervix was lacerated and torn away from her uterus, with additional damage to the vagina and portions of the placenta torn loose and hanging out through the tears. Expert testimony indicated that a proper therapeutic abortion for a patient with heart troubles would involve hospitalizing her and performing the surgery under general anesthesia so as not to cause undue stress to the heart from excessive pain. Performing an outpatient abortion on an ailing patient meant performing a risky procedure without access to emergency facilities. In fact, Dr. Carr, the pathologist, testified that a patient sick enough to require an abortion would also have been too sick to simply perform one on the spot; a conscientious physician would have sought a consultation with a cardiologist, and would have hospitalized the patient for some time before the abortion in order to ensure that she was strong enough to survive the surgery. He also noted that the agony of having one's cervix ripped off would be enough in itself to cause shock in a patient with a weak heart. All of these factors were indicative of lack of due diligence on Long's part in performing the abortion, regardless of his reasons for performing it. At the very least, if he really was performing the abortion due to concerns about Genevieve's heart problems, he was guilty of manslaughter for performing an outpatient surgery and ripping his patent's internal organs so badly.

    Long reminds me very much of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, who claims that he only does post-viability abortions on patients whose lives or bodily integrity are so threatened by pregnancy that those pregnancies must be terminated -- but who keeps these supposedly horribly ill patients in a motel room for three days instead of hospitalizing them and caring for them under constant medical supervision.

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

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    Amazing 4-Fingered Pianist!

    Lee Hee Ah has only four fingers -- two on each hand -- and her legs end at the knee. Yet she is an accomplished pianist.

    I wish I was still in Korea so I could go to one of her concerts.

    1974: Prochoice icon kills teen

    Milan Vuitch was a hero among abortion advocates. He had deliberately been arrested performing criminal abortions so that he could challenge the Washington, DC abortion law, and he succeeded in changing the way the law was enforced, effectively nulifying it.

    On June 15, 1974, seventeen-year-old Wilma Harris of West Virginia went to Vuitch's Laurel Clinic for a safe and abortion. Five days later, she was dead.

    During interrogatories, Vuitch said that anesthesiologist Strahil Nacev described Wilma as "so quiet" during the abortion. Although he had begun a vacuum abortion, Vuitch said that the fetus had been too big to pass through the suction tube. He said he used instruments to remove the remaining fetal parts.

    Although the abortion was done at around 2:00 PM, Vuitch didn't trasfer Wilma to a properly equipped hospital until after midnight. Wilma's family sued, claiming that Vuitch and his staff had allowed Wilma to lapse into a coma and lie unattended for 12 hours before transferring her to the hospital. The suit also claimed that Vuitch and his staff falsified records to cover their tracks.

    The family won a judgment on December 23, 1976, but the settlement was sealed by court order.

    Georgianna English also died after an abortion by Milan Vuitch.

    Vuitch isn't the only aborionist who kept his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, only to kill two patients after legalization. Jesse Ketchum managed to kill Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner in a four-month period after New York put out a welcome mat for carpetbagging abortionists in 1970. Benjamin Munson of South Dakota killed Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    The nun that okayed the abortion

    Nun at Phoenix Hospital Rebuked for Allowing Abortion

    A woman was 11 weeks pregnant and had pulmonary hypertension. An ethics committee at a Catholic hospital -- which included a nun -- approved an abortion.

    I'm googling "pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy". So far I've found:

  • Primary pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy; a role for novel vasodilators: Patient was 28 weeks pregnant. Both mother and child saved.

  • Primary pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy: Complication presented at 24 weeks; managed for 4 weeks. Child delivered by c-section, both survived. A review of pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy indicates a rarity -- a maternal condition for which medical journals actually mention considering abortion. Risk of death ranges from 30% - 56%, with deaths typically taking place in the third trimester. (Leading me to wonder if "termination" can't take the form it took in this patient's case -- deliver of a live newborn as soon as the baby seems viable, rather than "termination" taking the form of pulling the baby out in bloody chunks so as to cause his death.)

  • Pulmonary hypertension and pregnancy: "Pulmonary hypertension carries a significant risk to mother and child during pregnancy and pregnant women with pulmonary hypertension require careful monitoring within the framework of a multidisciplinary team. Specific targeted therapy for pulmonary hypertension may be required during pregnancy. Many agents are contraindicated because of risks of teratogenicity or secretion into breast milk. The optimum mode of delivery is not clear but early input from the high-risk obstetric anaesthesia team is essential." So this article indicates that doctors might hesitate to use a non-abortion treatment for fear of risking birth defects or making it unsafe to breast feed. I don't see killing a patient (in this case, the baby) as prophylaxis against possible injury or inability to adhere to the preferred diet as making much sense. ER doctors don't just euthanize trauma victims because they might lose a limb or be left unable to eat fresh veggies.

  • Pregnant Patient with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension: General Anesthesia and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support for Termination of Pregnancy: For some reason, they decided to do a hysterotomy abortion -- a c-section with the intent of delivering a dead baby rather than a live one. The patient died later. Perhaps a doctor can understand the terminology and explain why, if they were going to kill the baby anyway, they chose such an invasive and high-risk procedure for this patient. In the mean time, I need to add her to the Cemetery of Choice.

  • Case 6--Pulmonary Hypertension in a Pregnant Woman: Patient with PPH in addition to other cardiac problems presented with sudden alarming symptoms. They delivered a healthy baby stat, but the mother subsequently died. Can't see how having killed the baby before or during delivery would have improved this woman's chance of survival, since killing the baby would have delayed delivery and involved additional invasive procedures. Perhaps OC can explain how sending this woman to Kansas to spend three days in a motel room would have improved her chances of survival.

  • Severe Pulmonary Hypertension during Pregnancy: Mode of Delivery and Anesthetic Management of 15 Consecutive Cases: A total of four of the babies and five mothers died. (Two of the pregnancies involved the same woman.) So these doctors saved 11 babies and 9 mothers out of 15 babies and 14 mothers. Had all these babies been aborted, we know there would have been 100% mortality among the children -- 15 dead. Unclear if more or fewer mothers would have survived. Many of these women presented after 16 weeks, the earliest cut-off point at which abortion is, at least in theory, safer for a healthy woman than continuing to term. Has anybody ever done a study comparing the mortality rates of these women when the babies are killed versus when the babies are saved?

  • Pulmonary Hypertension: Recommends tubal ligation for women with PPH, so as to prevent pregnancy entirely.

  • Pulmonary Hypertension and Pregnancy: Why Women Die: A Power Point presentation. I would love to attend this lecture and get what the gist of it was.

  • Pulmonary Hypertension in Pregnancy: Treatment With Pulmonary Vasodilators: Four patients, five pregnancies. "At the time of diagnosis, each had severe, life-threatening pulmonary hypertension...." The first patient died 8 hours after diagnosis, having neither aborted nor delivered her baby. The other patients and their babies survived. Patient 1's poor outcome was linked to a delay in diagnosis.

    So we have that extremely rare situation -- a case where pregnancy actually threatens the mother's life. (Typically, maternal deaths are flukey things that develop suddenly, and there's no real evidence that abortion improves outcome.)

    I've written about these situations before:

  • When Pregnancy Threatens a Mother's Life: A guide for prolifers.

  • Abortion to Save the Mother?: Worth reprinting in part here:

    From a Christian perspective, is abortion okay to save the mother's life? So asks a poster in the Pro Life Forum.

    Here's where we get to the difference between simple social justice and imposing one's religion on others.

    The law can require us to refrain from killing, but it can not deprive us of life without due process, which requiring a woman to continue a life-threatening pregnancy would do. Although one's own religious faith might require one to sacrifce one's life for another, the law can not force this.

    The best way to handle it legally is to attempt to protect both mother and fetus from being deprived of life without due process. Because of the emergency nature of most life-threatening pregnancies, the doctor would have to make a call that ending the pregnancy (and therefore, if the fetus is too young to survive, the life of the fetus) is necessary, just as a policeman often must make the decion that a suspect has to be shot dead to protect the public.

    The way to handle these emergencies isn't to grant broad judgment to doctors (or cops) to just kill people at their descretion; rather, it is to allow for the prosecutor to not pursue the case if it appears that the doctor (or cop) proceeded on good faith, believing that such a drastic measure as killing was necessary to protect the innocent life of the mother (or public).

    A Christian mother would reflect on Biblical principles:

  • Jeremiah 7:6 - ... do not shed innocent blood in this place...
  • Matthew 19:19 - your neighor as yourself...
  • Matthew 25:40 - ...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
  • Romans 12:1 - ...offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God...
  • 1 Corinthians 10:24 - Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
  • James 2:26 - As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

    A Christian mother would demonstrate love for God and trust in God by doing everything in her power to save her child. She would not use abortion to reduce her own risk. Likewise, she would not shed innocent blood -- have the child directly killed. If ending the pregnancy became the only way to prevent both mother and child from dying, she might then consent to have the unborn child removed from her body. But she would not sign the unborn baby's death warrant. But these are the requirements Christian faith puts upon a woman. These are not principles that can be forced on unbelievers, or people of other faiths, who can not be expected to put faith and trust in Christ.

    To require that the woman risk her life for the unborn child is no more just than to require that a man risk his life to save his child from a burning building. We would hope that parents would love their children that much, but we can not legally require anybody to die for somebody else.

    This means that we can not prosecute the mother or doctor if abortion is resorted to as a desperate measure to save the mother's life. But it also means that we can't write a "life of the mother" exception into abortion law, because then we would be legally requiring the fetus to die to save the mother -- again, depriving someone of life without due process.

    The brave mother who puts her life on the line for her child should be supported and admired, as we admire those who rush into a burning building to rescue trapped children. But we can't legally require it.

  • Now, what do you do with a nun that okays an abortion?

    Good question.

    Certainly it should deserve at least as much deliberation -- if not more so -- than a situation in which a police officer kills somebody in the line of duty. We don't just let cops say, "I thought there was a danger so I shot him" and let it go at that. They can't just let the nun say, "I thought the mother's life was in danger so I okayed the abortion" and let it go at that.

    You'd have to look not just at this situation, but at the nun's history. Is she a rebellious nun who clearly has just been looking for a justification for an abortion because she wants to challenge the Church's pro-life stand? Or has she been faithful, and only cleared this abortion as an act of desperation? Did she consult with others in the Church? Did she consult with specialists who had brought women in similar circumstances safely through pregnancy before?

    That rare instance -- an abortion decision that's not just black and white. Have at it, kids.
  • Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Drawing a closer parallel with the "kidney donor" argument

    A common argument in favor of abortion goes something like this:

    A stranger needs a kidney transplant, or he will die. You are the only tissue match. Should you be forced to give up your kidney to save the stranger?

    The attempted parallel fails on several levels:

    1. A fetus in the womb isn't a stranger.
    2. Pregnancy isn't some flukey thing that happens out of the blue; we know what causes it.
    3. Pregnancy isn't permanent.
    4. Abortion isn't letting somebody die who was moribund anyway; it's causing the violent death of somebody who would likely have lived a long life otherwise.

    If we want to make the imaginary situation more akin to abortion, the scenario would have to go more like this:

    You and your boyfriend/husband have a hobby that involves use of toxic chemicals that are fairly safe for adults, but can cause fatal kidney problems in children. Knowing this, you nevertheless pursue this hobby, exposing your child to the toxic chemicals. Your child ends up suffering kidney failure as a result. Should you be required to submit to a temporary transplant of one of your kidneys for the nine months it will take his kidneys to heal, or should it be perfectly legal and socially acceptable for you to hack him to death with a machete so you don't have to deal with any of this situation?

    Does it look just a tad different now?

    UPDATE: My resident troll evidently has NEVER encountered the "kidney donation" parallel. He/she/it has only heard the "Unconscious Violinist" parallel. Which is, in a nutshell:

    You wake up one day in a hospital bed, forced to live the rest of your life in that hospital bed, hooked up by tubes to the Famous Violinist who has suffered kidney failure and can only be kept alive by using YOUR kidneys to filter his blood through your body. Is that right? Should they be allowed to do that to you?

    1. Your unborn child is not a stranger. Your child is somebody that you have obligations toward that you do NOT have to total strangers.
    2. You don't just wake up pregnant one morning. You do something to bring it on.
    3. Pregnancy isn't permanent.
    4. You're not bedfast for an entire pregnancy (except in VERY rare circumstances. We're discussing abortion on demand, not rare cases.)
    5. Abortion isn't simply allowing somebody else to die of natural causes. It's choosing violent death for that person.

    So! To make the case fit:

    You and your main squeeze indulge in the hobby that can cause fatal kidney damage in children. You know this but choose to expose your child to the risk. He suffers kidney failure as a result. Can you be made to serve as a dialysis machine for your child for the nine months it takes his kidneys to heal -- we have the technology that allows you to go about most of your normal activities of daily living while doing so. You'll be inconvenienced because of the cumbersomeness of the arrangement, but you can work, socialize, make love, etc. with the same degree of privacy you'd ordinary ahve. Or should you be allowed to demand that the child's doctor hack him to bits so that you don't have to deal with it?

    As for the machete, Lil, look at the results of a typical abortion. The baby is in pieces. The cause of death is dismemberment. I can change it to "run through an industrial shredder" if you like. The cause of death is still dismemberment. Basically supporters of abortion are saying that it is perfectly just and right for mothers to have done to their own helpless, defenseless, and innocent unborn children what Saddam Hussein did to political enemies.

    Question: Was it okay when old Saddam did it, as well? Or is it only okay when the shredded person is a baby and the person ordering the shredding is his mom?

    Sunday, May 09, 2010

    What real care for life-threatening pregnancy complications looks like

    I Chose Life – Had Emergency C-Section at 32 Weeks

    This 19-year-old mom, dealing with a surprise pregnancy, experienced the reason third trimester abortions are required to be legal -- her life was in danger.

    As you read her story, imagine that her doctor had responded to her crisis by packing her off to Wichita with a friend, where she'd have spent three days in a motel room while her life-threatening problem was dealt with. You'll pretty quickly see what a bogus crock the whole "Third trimester abortions to save the mother's life" thing is.

    As soon as my doctor called me in the room and took my blood pressure. Immediately I could see something was wrong. She instantly called an ambulance to take me the one block to the hospital. I was scared and did not know what was happening, I just knew it was bad. At the hospital, I was informed that I was having complications and at 32 weeks they were going to delivery my baby. I called my sister and told her what was going on! I needed her to be my rock. It took hours to get my blood pressure manageable. It had previously been 215 over 180, which easily can be deadly! I was going to have my baby in the next 24 to 48 hours. The doctors would give me 12 hour notice so my family can be here for the birth, my parents lived 7 hours away. My mom was ready to leave as soon as the doctor gave me my twelve hours notice. So, I sent my sister home to get sleep and I tried to rest and prepare myself for my baby. Unfortunately, two hours after sending my sister home, my condition had gone from stable to deadly. Both my baby and I were in trouble and there was NO to wait! I had to have the baby now. If not neither of us would make it. I called my sister and she rushed to get back. I was alone and in serious trouble. I had begun vomiting, and was in severe pain. The doctors did there magic and worked on settling me down. They gave me a shot for the pain and nausea! Somehow, Seven minutes later, my sister was at my side and suiting up for the C-section. I was taken into a room and was tied down to the table. My sister was with me in the room. The doctors were moving fast. There was no time to waste. It took about 5 minutes, my beautiful 3 pound 7 ounce baby boy was born! But, before I got to hear him cry or even see him the doctor had to put me under because I was becoming gravely ill! I was out for three days.

    Yeah, clearly when a woman's life is in danger late in the pregnancy, it's perfectly reasonable to avoid sending her to the nearest fully equipped hospital. It's perfectly reasonable to have her travel past any number of hospitals to another state, to spend three days in a motel room with her freshly-killed baby rotting inside her, under the care of whatever friend or relative she brought with her. Clearly mothers with life-threatening late pregnancy complications don't need nurses or blood banks or operating rooms or any of that stuff. Just a fetus-killing jab through the abdomen on Day 1, packed repeatedly in the cervix with seaweed sticks, and then squat over the toilet and push! SO much safer than being taken straight to a properly equipped hospital!