Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bet this won't get as much airplay as Angie's Twitter Abortion

Embedding is disabled, so you have to go to YouTube to see this graphic video. I'll share the text:

Are you thinking about having an abortion?


After deliberating for hours at Planned Parenthood, I hesitantly decided to go through with the procedure at 9 weeks -- MEDICAL ABORTION.


The Planned Parenthood nurse had assured me that at 9 weeks all I'd pass would be blood clots & fluids.

After taking the second dose of Misoprostol, what I lost changed my life forever.





WARNING! The images you are about to see are very disturbing! These photos have not been retouched or altered in any way. What you see IS EXACTLY what I saw!


She shows us photos of her intact 9-week fetus.

She placed a dime next to her baby for scale. Her baby's torso would fit on the dime.

In profile, you can see the eye, ear, arm, hands, legs, feet, and toes.

She uses a bobby pin to lift up the tiny hand and tiny foot to show you the fingers and toes.

I'm not sure why she put her baby in a teaspoon, except perhaps to show how tiny he or she is.

I decided to lay the baby to rest.

I know that it sounds a little crazy to say that I buried my unborn 9 week old fetus.

It just seemed like the right thing to do. The least that I could do after making this horrible mistake!

My best friend gave me a little white box that was the perfect size for my baby to rest in.

I buried my baby February 9, 2009, at my favorite spot Near three trees



She'll never get the attention Atheist Angie got for tweeting a chemical abortion. But she does a thousand times more to really demystify it.

PP censors embarrassing video

I blogged earlier about a video showing prochoice activists displaying a rather embarrassing ignorance of, and vicious hostility to, science.

Well, it turns out that the ignorant and hostile folk were members of the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains student group Advocates for Choice. Yes, they were trained in their ignorance and hostility to science by Planned Parenthood. And somebody had the gall to post their public statements on the internet.

And Planned Parenthood was not amused.

They complained, and of course, YouTube complied and forced the person who uploaded it to make the video "private" so that the ignorance and hostility the PP trainees exhibited in a public forum could be covered up.

The issues here:

1. Planned Parenthood, which gets our tax dollars, is spending them promoting ignorance of, and hostility to, measurable scientific facts.

2. Planned Parenthood, which gets our tax dollars, spends them pushing for censorship in order to keep taxpayers from finding this out.

You don't have to oppose abortion to oppose censorship and ignorance.

Here are samples of the things PP doesn't want YOU to know they taught young people:

We are not gonna try to use science, or evidence.

Yes. These youths, trained by PP, express that science and evidence are not part of their toolbox. In fact, they express hostility to science and evidence.

We need to focus on the birth control issue, and that's what you need to be thinking about, rather than any of the photos or scientific evidence...

Again, simply expressing a hostility to the idea of introducing science into the picture.

All of us women out there, we shed fertilized eggs pretty much every month.

Read my original post, in which I explain how nonsensical this statement is.

It's two cells! Two cells! Not -- what you saw -- I didn't look at it because I didn't want to.

The embryo is way past two cells long before the woman even suspects that she's pregnant. Again, my original post explains in detail exactly how ignorant and ill-informed this woman's statement is.

There's no consensus in science.

I'd say there's consensus in science about a lot of things! Humans are bilaterally symmetrical carbon-based life forms. Absolute zero is the temperature at which all molecular activity ceases. The earth orbits around the sun.

There's people on this side, for their researchers say that the heart beats in -- 21 days. There's people on our side, researchers, that says that the heart doesn't beat until 24 weeks.

How many of you, during a planned or otherwise wanted pregnancy, had to wait until 24 weeks to hear your baby's heart? Probably you heard it at about 8 - 12 weeks, when the Doppler can pick it up and amplify it. But it's been beating since about 18 days. And no credible embryologist or doctor says otherwise.

Your Tax Dollars At Work, people.

Oh, and one final thing that I think is a real hoot. Jill Stanek shared this:

One person present at the debate told me today the A4C group apparently came prepared for a different sort of debate, noting that at the top of their stack of resources was a paper entitled, “Amendment 62 and the Bible.” Sorry.

You don't need a Bible to study science. You don't need a Bible to be possessed of basic human decency. The Personhood USA folks are out there armed with science, and trusting in basic human decency to do the rest. And A4C isn't prepared to deal with either.

An October abortion suicide

I don't have a specific date of death for this young woman; I just know that she died in October.

A woman I used to picket with in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, told me of a day she was outside one of Harrisburg's two safe and legal abortion facilities. The clinic was set back from the street by an expanse of lawn, with a parking lot to the side and back. Sidewalk counselors would stand in the alley, where they could call to the women as they got out of their cars. The picketers would stand on the sidewalk in front, where patients could see their signs from the waiting room.

The woman saw a middle-aged white couple get out of a car. They opened the back door and pulled out a teenage girl who appeared to be Filipino. The girl was crying. The sidewalk counselors called out to her, and she tried to move toward them, the picketer said, but the middle-aged white couple took the girl by the arms and led her toward the front of the building.

The picketer called out to the clinic escort. "Can't you see she doesn't want to do this? I can't step on your property, but you can help her. You're pro-choice, right? Can't you help her?"

According to the picketer, the escort smirked at her, then held the facility door open, to make it easier for the couple to propel the girl into the clinic.

The next time she saw that girl's face, the picketer told me, was on the news.

It was October of 1992, and the news story was about the suicide of 19-year-old Arlin Della Cruz. She had disappeared from her home. A search found her hanging from a tree in a nearby woods. "Under her shirt, the coroner found Arlin's favorite stuffed animal -- a rabbit." Arlin's mother said that Arlin had left a suicide note saying that she wanted to go be with her baby.

One of Arlin's friends reported that Arlin wanted the baby, but chose abortion to try to salvage her relationship with her boyfriend.

If the picketer's observations are correct, Arlin had serious second thoughts the day of the abortion.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Helping women who've changed their minds after the abortion is begun

Dr. Tony Levatino, former abortionist, describes how to provide women who've changed their minds after starting a second or third trimester abortion.

Of course, many abortionists avoid this by deliberately killing the baby on day one, before inserting the laminaria.

Funny, they don't try to do better counseling so that they're not starting abortions on women whose minds really aren't made up yet.


  • Of all the things Korean women can get their knickers twisted up about, why be protesting the sudden, sporadic enforcement of the laws against abortion? This is a country where women already think they need massive amounts of plastic surgery to be acceptable to men. Why embrace yet another "women need surgery to be good enough" movement? In Korea, if you're female, you're either a sex toy or a house drudge. Both roles are facilitated by ready access to abortion. It's just bizarre that they don't start the fight for equality with moving out of their parents' homes and living independently while single, refusing to sleep with other women's husbands, demanding that their own husbands come home every night instead of drinking and carousing, and abolishing the plastic surgery craze. "We want to keep killing our babies so we can perpetuate the woman-subjugating status quo" seems to be a really dumb move, apart from the fact that rallying for dead babies hardly gives you moral high ground.

  • Some clueless clods have brought back the old "wanted posters of abortionists". Guys, it doesn't work. It just makes you look like a wack job.

  • Rape and abortion:

    A book I read recently was Room. The story is written from the perspective of a 5-year old boy who lived with his mother in one room where they were captives. The mom had been there for many years, and the boy was the result of the mother’s rape by her captor. In that one room the mother had created a world for herself and her son.

    When they finally escaped, the mother’s father had a hard time even looking at the boy because the boy was the product of the rape of his daughter. .... A news reporter asked her if she felt her captor had ever cared for his son. The mother said, “Jack’s nobody’s son but mine.”

    I believe it was Rachel McNair who pointed out that the way people talk about women "carrying the rapist's child" really treats the woman like nothing more than the soil in which the man sows his seed. How much power are we giving to the rapist if we allow him to override and negate the woman's bond with a child who is just as much hers as his -- more so, since it is she who can, through her love and nurturing, shape the person that child grows to be.

  • Pro-Life Action League has its "Meet the Abortion Providers" DVD on sale through the end of November. I tried to find some samples on YouTube, with no luck.

  • Is abortion the moral equivalent of refusing to donate an organ to a sick person? I debunked this one myself a while back.
  • A great article on abortion and conscience clauses

  • Abortion, Conscience, and Doctors, by Christopher Kaczor:

    Now, no one believes that all doctors have a duty to provide all possible legal and beneficial services (bracketing for the moment the disputed question about whether abortion is really beneficial care). .... For example, a particular doctor may choose not to perform cosmetic surgery, though legal and in some cases beneficial, even though this means that a patient must visit another doctor to get the requested service. If a mere lack of personal interest (in learning the required procedure) justifies not offering a service (despite the inefficiency for the patient), then a more weighty interest like personal integrity certainly justifies not providing the procedure.


    It is theoretically possible that some patients denied abortion by their doctors will end up not getting abortions at all. However, practically speaking, given that there are 1.2 million abortions performed per year in the U.S. alone, it is apparent that the current law protecting the right of conscientious refusal is not generally impeding the availability of abortion, which remains one of the most common medical procedures worldwide.

    However, let’s suppose that in a given situation a doctor’s refusal to perform an abortion did in fact lead to a particular woman’s not getting an abortion. Has this woman been denied what she is entitled to or what she should have received?

    Um, I thought that any woman who requests an abortion and is denied an abortion will reflexively reach for a coathanger and ream herself out. It turns out that no, she won't. She'll get past the normal ambivalence of early pregnancy and, if Dr. Alec Bourne is to be believed, will be likely to thank the doctor who spared her baby's life:

    Those who plead for an extensive relaxation of the law [against abortion] have no idea of the very many cases where a woman who, during the first three months, makes a most impassioned appeal for her pregnancy to be 'finished,' later, when the baby is born, is thankful indeed that it was not killed while still an embryo. During my long years in practice I have had many a letter of the deepest gratitude for refusing to accede to an early appeal.

    Back to Kaczor:

    Even supposing that abortion is morally permissible, we would then need to identify whether the right to abortion is a liberty right or a claim right. A liberty right allows a person to do a certain action, but implies no duty for others to assist in that action. The right to free speech, an important liberty right, means that an agent may speak, but there is no duty for others to help the agent to speak, say by giving the agent air time on television.

    Mull over that one a while, those of you who hold that abortion is something other people are obligated to provide the woman with, not merely something you want us to stay out of the way of.

    Finally, Savulescu offers what can be called the “commitments of the doctor” argument against conscientious objection. Doctors take on commitments to patient well-being. “To be a doctor is to be willing and able to offer appropriate medical interventions that are legal, beneficial, desired by the patient, and a part of a just health care system.” ....

    At issue, ultimately, is whether abortion really is an appropriate medical intervention compatible with the medical commitment to preserving life and health rather than taking them, whether abortion really is beneficial to women, and whether there is only one or really two patients involved in pregnancy.

    In other words, doctors who are opposed to abortion do not see abortion as an appropriate treatment, but as a harm done to both the mother and child. Why would anybody want to compel a physician to do something he considers harmful to his patient? Should a patient have a presumed right to demand a treatment that the doctor, in his medical judgment, sees as contraindicated? For example, if a doctor refused to prescribe narcotic pain medications to a patient with a history of addiction, instead sending that patient to physical therapy, would the patient's demand for the drugs trump the doctor's medical judgment that this would place the patient at an unacceptable risk of becoming addicted to the painkillers in question?
  • Thursday, October 28, 2010


  • Big Blue Wave slams an abortion supporter for setting up a strawman to knock down: Atheist in Canada assumes, first of all, that prolifers are uniformly okay with Jehovah's Witnesses letting their kids die for want of blood transfusions. BBW tears apart all the unspoken, and thoroughly bogus assumptions, of AiC's lame argument.

  • Abortion in Washington provides links to interesting stories. My Hour With an Abortion Doctor", in which Dr. Oyer explains, “We take the [embryo], we float it and backlight it and…dispose of it the same way we would dispose of your tonsils.” How about bigger babies?

    “People who are 19 weeks or above…on day one, they will get an interfetal injection, meaning through the woman’s abdomen, into the fetus. A heart medication called… potassium chloride then stops the fetal heart. Ok? So that you do not have to worry about a fetus being born alive, and then do you resuscitate or not, and at some hospitals you can have an abortion later than the mandatory resuscitation requirements, so it gets complicated.”

    Also from Abortion in Washington: Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion:

    When she signed a consent form, Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.


    "We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus," said Jill. "They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility."

  • I have to wonder what made this guy think it would be easier on his wife to spend the rest of her life knowing her ailing baby was torn limb from limb while it was still alive, rather than have the baby stillborn. What sick bastard would refer this woman to an abortion clinic, to spend her wanted baby's last day surrounded by women aborting healthy babies? Is having your baby dismembered while it's still alive the closest thing to "comfort" we're willing to offer these women?

    Why not perinatal hospice? Why this insistence on making the child die a violent death rather than be loved for the remainder of his or her short life? Which is a better memory -- knowing your baby left this world like this, or knowing your baby left this world like this? And why not give your baby the chance, however remote, to know even a short time of being held and loved?

    Why must we bring violent death to the baby to head off natural death? Why, for our unborn children, is the violent death the preferred death?

  • A tale of hope from 40 Days for Life:

    A 40 Days for Life coordinator received a call from a woman who was in tears. She is pregnant with her sixth child and her husband had been laid off from work. They’re struggling financially, trying to care for their five children in a two-bedroom apartment.

    “She felt like her only option was to have an abortion,” said Wynette in Sacramento, “but her husband lovingly encouraged her to call the number he found on our 40 Days for Life flier, which had been given to him at church the previous Sunday. He did not want his wife to abort their child.”

    This woman immediately connected with the 40 Days for Life volunteer — who also has five children … and her husband hasn’t been able to find work lately, either. “This turned a challenge into a mutual blessing,” Wynette said.
  • Today's third anniversary

    Fifteen-year-old Sarah Jane Beaver lived with her mother, Mrs. Sarah Beaver Spencer, and her two brothers, Andrew and William, on a farm owned by Shepherd Cox in Ursa Township, near Quincy, Indiana.

    Sarah Jane and her brothers were the children of their mother's first marriage, prior to the Civil War. Sarah Jane's father was a soldier who had died at Vicksburg. The family went north after the war. They were poor and illiterate.

    In April of 1876, Mrs. Spencer sent Sarah Jane and one of her brothers into town for some medicine. The two parted ways in town, and the boy was later unable to find Jane. He went home to his mother alone. Sarah Jane remained at large until late July, though there were sightings of her with Cox in Texas.

    About four weeks after her return, Mrs. Spencer "discovered that the daughter was in an interesting condition". Sarah Jane named Cox, who was there during the conversation, as the responsible party. Shortly after this conversation, Mrs. Spencer said, she discovered a bottle with a few drops of oil of tansey -- a popular abortifacient -- in it. When confronted, Cox reportedly admitted that he had bought it for Sarah Jane.

    Shortly after this confrontation, Cox reportedly came to the house indicating that he had two tickets to the Centellian, and he wanted to take Sarah Jane with him so that he could "take her to a doctor who would make things all right". Mrs. Spencer said that she objected to the plan. Sarah Jane did not go with Cox to the Centellial.

    On about Tuesday, October 17, Mrs. Spencer said, Cox came to the house with something rolled up in a small parcel. Mrs. Spencer said that she went outside to do chores for about 20 minutes, and that when she returned she found her daughter with a broom in her hands and a flushed face. She denied that Cox had said anything to offend her. She was taken sick that night, and the next night expelled her dead baby.

    Mrs. Spencer said she sent for Dr. Duncan, who could not come until the next Wednesday, October 25. Duncan said that Sarah Jane had not miscarried but had undergone an abortion caused by instruments of some sort, used with force. Mrs. Spencer was able to show the fetus to Duncan. It was about three and a half months old.

    When Cox came to the house, Mrs. Spencer told him that he had killed her daughter. Cox pointed out that Sarah Jane wasn't dead, and said he expected her to survive her illness.

    Dr. Duncan continued to provide care to Sarah Jane, at first expecting her to recover, but her condition deteriorated. He asked her repeatedly to tell him who had gotten her pregnant and who had injured her. She made a statement to him that was not admissible in court because she didn't then believe she was dying.

    On the evening of Friday, October 27, Sarah Jane called her brothers to her bedside, told them she was dying, and asked their forgiveness.

    She then spoke again to Dr. Duncan, telling him that she knew she was dying. He asked her again who had injured her. Mrs. Spencer was there, telling Sarah Jane to tell Dr. Duncan who had done the deed, but shaking her head all the while as if to warn Sarah Jane not to speak. Sarah Jane told Dr. Duncan, "I did it." After her mother left the room, Duncan again asked Sarah Jane to name the guilty party.

    Dr. Duncan: Who did it?
    Sarah Jane: I did.
    Dr. Duncan: But who helped you?
    Sarah Jane: My God, I have done wrong.
    Dr. Duncan: Tell me who helped you?
    Sarah Jane: I did.
    Dr. Duncan: You could not have done it alone. Who helped you?
    Sarah Jane: He did it, with instruments.

    Sarah Jane died the following morning.

    On Sunday, Cox came to the house, crying and lamenting Sarah Jane's death. Mrs. Spencer said Cox told her to keep quiet about the death, since if she said anything about it she would get into trouble. He pointed out that she had no money, but he had money and would help the family and pay the doctor's bills.

    Dr. Duncan corroborated that Cox promised to pay the $56 medical bill, although he quibbled about the price.

    Andrew and William corroborated their mother's testimony about Sarah Jane's April disappearance, her return, seeing Cox at the house the night before Sarah Jane took ill, and his visiting twice during her illness. The boys also testified that they'd heard Cox say he'd help with the medical bills. They also testified to Sarah Jane's deathbed plea for their forgiveness.

    Cox was indicted for murder in December, 1876. He fled to avoid prosecution. Eventually his attorney negotiated a deal for him to return for the trial but remain free on bail of $3,000. He was also able to negotiate a change of venue, so that the trial took place in Hancock County.

    During the trial, several witnesses placed Cox at a distance from the farm on October 17 -- the day the abortion allegedly was performed.

    Dr. Parks, another area physician, testified that Mrs. Spencer had showed him a catheter and a probe asking if they could be used to cause an abortion and lamenting that her daughter was pregnant. Parks told Mrs. Spencer that the instruments would not produce an abortion. Afterward, he testified, he saw the instruments in the possession of Dr. Springer. Springer said he'd bought them from Mrs. Spencer.

    Another witness, Mrs. Arnez, stated that while she and Mrs. Spencer were in jail together, Mrs. Spencer had told her that Shep Cox had nothing to do with her daughter's death.

    It took the jury a full day of sparring to come back with a verdict of not guilty. Whoever was responsible for Sarah's death, therefore, was never identified and held accountable -- at least, not in this life.

    I have no information on overall maternal mortality, or abortion mortality, in the 19th century. I imagine it can't be too much different from maternal and abortion mortality at the very beginning of the 20th Century.

    Note, please, that with overall 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 on this era, see Abortion Deaths in the 19th Century.

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

    Two of today's anniversaries

  • 1993: Safe, legal abortion turns fatal for New York woman: On October 28, 1993, 25-year-old Giselene Lafontant lost her fight for life. She had been on a respirator since October 9, when she'd been taken to Good Samaritan Hospital after going into cardio-respiratory arrest less than 20 minutes after her safe, legal abortion. She had been 9 or 10 weeks pregnant. The abortion had been performed by Dr. Scher at Gynecare in Monsey, New York.

  • 1947: Abortion kills baby, heiress, doctor: At 11 AM on October 17, 1947, Dr. Paul Singer, a gynecologist, called police and reported that a woman had come to his office suffering from an incomplete abortion. He said that he had taken 22-year-old Jane Ward, heir to the Drake Bakeries fortune, to Park East Hospital, where Dr. Oswald Glasberg, a plastic surgeon, had helped him to complete the abortion. Jane died on October 28, and the autopsy confirmed the cause of death as criminal abortion.

    Singer was convicted of manslaughter in Jane's death, and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Glassberg was also convicted, but was never sentenced because six hours after the verdict on June 14, 1948, he committed suicide in his cell, having poisoned himself.
  • Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Mom's names, babies' bodies, tossed into the dumpster

    HT: Jill Stanek

    On February 27 pro-lifer Chris Veneklase found the aborted remains of 17 babies in medical ziplock bags, with the names of their mothers labeled on the outside, in a dumpster at the Womans Choice abortion mill in Lansing.

    According to Michigan law, nobody did anything they can be charged with. Because those abortion facilities aren't properly incorporated, and there's no licensed physician on the incorporation papers, there's no physician liability for the privacy violation. The facilities are owned by Richard Redmund of Florida, and the two abortionists, Lewis Twigg and Ronald Nichols, evidently are contract workers with no legal responsibility for the privacy of the patients.

    And as long as the babies were dunked in a preservative, it's perfectly legal to chuck them in the dumpster.

    I think that each baby needs to be kept in the bag with his or her mother's name, and his or her date of death, in a proper crypt, so that if family members later want to claim them for a decent burial they can. There might be a grandparent, father, aunt, or uncle who is sorry that the child was put to death and even more saddened that he or she was treated like a used Kleenex. A marker on the crypt can note "Baby Boy Smith" or "Baby Girl Jones" with the date of death for each child. And publicize how they can claim their children's remains. A single crypt will certainly be big enough to hold the tiny bodies.

    Here's the video showing some of the remains, along with the way they were disposed of:

    What really gets to me is the ultrasounds. The only photographs ever taken of these children were done with the express intent of sizing them up to kill them. It's just so creepy to see the little profile of a human being who was about to die a violent death, torn to pieces and thrown in the trash.

    If the mothers' names are on those ultrasounds, those, too, need to be put into the crypt with the children.

    A death before Roe

    Sixteen-year-old Natalie Meyers was pronouced dead at 9:35AM on October 27, 1972, at County-USC Medical Center. She had been transferred there from San Vicente abortion hospital in Los Angeles on October 22.

    Her mother has brought her to San Vincente Hospital for a safe and legal abortion on October 21. Milton Gotlib had injected saline into Natalie's uterus that day. The strong salt solution was intended to kill Natalie's unborn baby and cause labor.

    At first, everything went as intended. On October 22, Natalie expelled the dead baby. But there were immediate signs of trouble. She retained the placenta, had trouble breathing, and suffered abdominal pain, so San Vicente staff transferred Natalie to County-USC Medical Center just before midnight.

    Natalie was in shock when she arrived at County-USC. She underwent a D&C there, but remained in shock from infection in her uterus. On October 26, a hysterectomy was performed to try to control the infection, to no avail.

    The autopsy found most of Natalie's internal organs swollen and hemorrhagic. Death was attributed to hyaline membrane disease brought on by the abortion.

    Natalie is one of many young mothers to die at one of Edward Allred's facilities. Others known to have died after abortion at Allred's facilities include:

    Despite these deaths, and the fact that Allred has admitted in a deposition that he's never done any sort of review of procedures to prevent further deaths, his Family Planning Associates facilities were welcomed into, and remain part of, the National Abortion Federation.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    1929: "Back alley" death

    On October 26, 1929, 33-year-old Agnes Johnson died from the effects of a criminal abortion performed October 12 at the Chicago office of Dr. Joseph Stern. Stern was arrested the day Agnes died. On November 1, he was indicted for felony murder by a grand jury. Agnes'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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    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Chicago abortion death from 1922: Midwife implicated

    On October 25, 1922, 24-year-old Lillian Hulbert died at Chicago's St. Anne's Hospital from complications of a criminal abortion performed on her there that day.

    The coroner identified a Mrs. M.C. Anderson as responsible for Lillian's death.

    Anderson's profession is given as nurse or midwife.

    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.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Safe, legal, lingering death for teens

    Today is the anniversary of the day Deloris Smith, just turned 15, died of lingering complications of abortion. She was the second of two teens to be fatally injured on June 2 of 1979, at National Abortion Federation member Atlanta Women's Pavillion, in less than an hour.

    It all began when 19-year-old Angela Scott stopped breathing in the recovery room. A nurse-anesthetist was administering anesthesia to 14-year-old Deloris while Dr. Jacob Adams was performing her abortion. The nurse-anesthetist ran to assist in efforts to revive Angela, leaving Deloris unattended with her anesthesia drip still running.

    After staff had resuscitated Angela and loaded her into an ambulance, they returned their attention to Deloris, who had gone into cardio-respiratory arrest. Adams had accompanied Angela to the Grady Memorial Hospital, and staff refused to release Doloris to an ambulance until the physician had returned to discharge her. This resulted in a 30-minute delay, during which the ambulance crew was unable to attend to Deloris or begin transporting her.

    Angela lingered for a week in a coma before dying on June 11. Deloris never regained consciousness and eventually was admitted to a nursing home, where she died of adult respiratory distress syndrome on October 24, 1979, some time after her fifteenth birthday.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Prochoicers express hostility to science

    A prolifer puts forth the scientific evidence that a human embryo is a separate human organism. She then urges people to vote based on this science. Then the abortion defenders respond.

    Some choice (ha!) quotes from the friends of abortion/foes of science.
    "We are not gonna try to use science, or evidence."

    She stresses opinion again and again. Her point seems to be that her opinion trumps science.
    "We need to focus on the birth control issue, and that's what you need to be thinking about, rather than any of the photos or scientific evidence..."

    Again, simply expressing a hostility to the idea of introducing science into the picture.
    "I didn't look at it because I didn't want to."

    She chooses ignorance so that she can continue to support abortion. At least she's honest in her embrace of deliberate ignorance.
    Science was used to defend slavery.

    Actually, no. Typically they used economics, and misused morality and religion. When they did turn to physical evidence, they relied upon psuedoscience,based on a popular conception of evolution, to say that since people of African descent looked like monkeys (in their opinion), the Africans must be more like monkeys, not humans. Much the way the abortion supporting woman uses psuedoscience to argue that a fetus is like a virus, since to her the fetus (which she carefully did not look at) seems to her more like a virus than like a human being.

    I've noticed that a lot of prochoice defense of abortion has the "don't look human to me!" flavor of slavery apologetics.
    Science is not ultimate truth.

    I'd guess that science gets closer to reality than just forming an opinion based on your personal preferences, then flat out and proudly refusing to even see anything that is contrary to what you happen to prefer to believe.
    Science can not be applied to my body to force me to do something against my will. So that's why it's not science.

    Honey, try telling science that it can't force you to do something against your will if you're in a car wreck. Try saying that inertia has no right to force your brain to slam against the inside of your skull against your will. See how it works for you.

    And I notice that she has no problem whatsoever using opinion to cause a fetus to die (I'd presume against its will), so she's pretty selective about whose opinion matters, and when.

    Now let's move into the pure falsehood, which accompanied the general and overwhelming hostility to science:
    All of us women out there, we shed fertilized eggs pretty much every month.

    1. Humans are viviparous. We don't lay eggs. So there's no such thing as a "fertilized egg" in human biology. The term she should use is either zygote or blastocyst.

    2. A woman would have to be sexually active in order to conceive and thus "shed" a zygote. So the "we" she refers to would only include women who were sexually active that month.

    3. Sexually active women don't conceive every month. There'd be a lot less infertility if they did.

    4. Even if every sexually active woman did conceive every month, and the majority of those zygotes died natural deaths, we all die eventually. Using a high mortality rate to justify deliberate killing is a pretty slippery slope.
    It's two cells! Two cells! Not -- what you saw -- I didn't look at it because I didn't want to.

    The embryo is way past two cells long before the woman even suspects that she's pregnant. The zygote has about 16 cells as it leaves the fallopian tube and enters the uterus. When the embryo is finished implanting, it has two layers of cells. All this before the woman has any reason to think she is pregnant. Is this woman confusing two layers of cells with two cells? Is she just spouting "two cells" because she heard it from another abortion proponent? Did she just make it up? Or does she know better, but she's lying?

    At about the time the woman's period is a week late, the primitive eye cells have moved into place, as have the cells of the ears. The neural tube has closed. The heart has formed an S shape and the cardiac muscle is active.

    It's at this stage, with the foundation of the brain, eyes, and ears laid and the heart pulsing, that the woman is four weeks pregnant and might be able to get a chemical abortion.

    At five weeks post-ovulation -- still too early for surgical abortion -- the brain is demarcated into midbrain, forebrain, and hindbrain. The esophagus forms and is visible separate from the trachea. The four major subdivisions of the heart are clearly defined.

    At six weeks post-ovulation -- the earliest a surgical abortion can be performed -- the brain has well marked cerebral hemispheres. The intestines are in place, as are the ureters that bring urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

    And at eight weeks post-ovulation -- six weeks into life -- the brain is sending messages to the muscles and the embryo makes spontaneous movements. Ovaries or testes can be distinguished. Fingers and toes are distinguished from one another.

    It is that period, between six and eight weeks past ovulation, that roughly 50% of abortions are performed. And the other half are performed on fetuses more mature and developed than this.

    Hardly a matter of "Two cells! Two cells!"
    There's no consensus in science.

    I'd say there's consensus in science about a lot of things! Humans are bilaterally symmetrical carbon-based life forms. Absolute zero is the temperature at which all molecular activity ceases. The earth orbits around the sun.
    There's people on this side, for their researchers say that the heart beats in -- 21 days. There's people on our side, researchers, that says that the heart doesn't beat until 24 weeks.

    Name one researcher, a single embryologist, who says that it's 24 weeks into pregnancy before the fetal heart starts beating!

    How many of you, during a planned or otherwise wanted pregnancy, had to wait until 24 weeks to hear your baby's heart? Or is your experience more like what's described at this site on prenatal care:
    Your baby's heart begins beating around 22 days after conception, about 5 weeks after your last period. At this stage, the heart is too tiny to hear even with an ultrasound. However, it may be detected as early as 4 weeks after conception as a flickering in the chest via ultrasound.

    After 9 or 10 weeks of pregnancy, you might be able to hear your baby's heartbeat. Typically your physician will use a Doppler instrument to do this. A Doppler instrument bounces sound waves off the fetal heart. These sounds return, affected by what they bounced off of, and the changes in these waves are picked up by the receiver in the Doppler. This may not be possible until around 12 weeks of pregnancy, depending on the position of your uterus and your own weight.

    At around 20 weeks of pregnancy, the heartbeat can be heard without the Doppler amplification.

    Now, is this claim that the heart doesn't beat until 24 weeks a misunderstanding of reality -- that you probably can't hear the baby's heart with a stethoscope until about 24 weeks -- or did she pick 24 weeks because that's the beginning of the third trimester, when abortion is no longer just readily available on-demand in outpatient settings?

    As the prolifer says at the end, "I would encourage you guys to maybe take a science class. It doesn't sound like you like science a whole lot."

    Today's Anniversaries

  • Emilie Nohavec: Emilie was 19 years old when she died on October 23, 1913, from complications of an abortion eventually attributed to midwife Emma Bickel.

    You can visit Emilie's memorial at Find-a-Grave.

  • Katherine DiDonato: On October 16, 1936, 26-year-old Katherine was admitted to Roosevelt Hospital to be treated for complications of a criminal abortion. Katherine's husband reported that three days earlier, Katherine had bought pills from drug clerk Hyman Kantor, who had then recommended Dr. Aloysius Mulholland to perform an abortion. Katherine died at 2:00 a.m. on October 23. Both Mulholland and Kantor were arrested and charged with homicide.

  • Diane Boyd: Diane, age 19, was pregnant after being raped at the institution where she lived due to her mental retardation. An abortion was arranged for her at National Abortion Federation member Reproductive Health Services. There, on October 22, 1981, high-profile NAF member Robert Crist administered medications that reacted with Diane's usual medication, thorazine, causing her to stop breathing. Diane's mother said that the clinic lacked heart monitoring equipment or resuscitation equipment. Diane was pronounced dead the next day.

    Diane was not the last woman to die after abortion by Crist. Seventeen-year-old Latatchie Veal bled to death after an abortion by Crist in 1991. Twenty-two-year-old Nichole Williams died of DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy) after an abortion by Crist in 1997.

    As for RHS, they performed an abortion on fourteen-year-old Sandra Kaiser in 1984 without her mother's knowledge or consent. Sandra's already fragile mental health deteriorated further, and she committed suicide shortly thereafter by throwing herself into traffic.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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  • Friday, October 22, 2010

    Common cause rather than direct causality?

    Numerous studies (anybody have links handy) have found that women are significantly more likely to commit suicide after an abortion than they are either after carrying to term or if they haven't been pregnant.

    I haven't read the whole article (it's a pay article, with just a teaser freebie), but this bit in the sidebar got my attention:

    A motivation to die, often fueled by mental illness, is only part of the problem. To intentionally end their own life, people need the will to carry out their plans. This resolve depends on factors such as fearlessness and being able to tolerate pain and to act impulsively.

    Abortion is encouraged as a comparatively impulsive act, with staff pointing out that delays in deciding mean increases in price and risk. The same woman who signs for an abortion, then later turns out to still be pregnant, can choose to carry that same pregnancy to term after having had the additional time to reflect (albeit on a pregnancy she thought she'd ended).

    Does poor impulse control contribute to both abortion and suicide?

    I'd love to see some research.

    At least Al Jazeera cares about the plight of Chinese women

    Aljazeera infiltrates Chinese hospital to report on macabre forced abortion of 8-mo-old baby

    The couple believed they were exempt from the draconian Chinese one-child policy. Their daughter was all excited to be expecting a new brother soon. But officials seized the woman and forcibly aborted her 8 month baby while her husband struggled in vain to protect them.

    As Jill pointed out, NPR has picked up the story, noting that "the Al Jazeera report has many of the same sad details as a 2007 story from NPR's Louisa Lim, who spoke to a couple who had just undergone a similar experience. In that case, Wei Linrong of Guanxi Province said she was seven months' pregnant with her second child when family planning officials came to her house and demanded that she report to the hospital for an abortion."

    Why is it only prolife groups, and not prochoice groups, here in the US who are outraged by this? The only prochoicer I've even noted that expressed dissatisfaction was Hillary Clinton.

    It would be nice if she weren't standing alone.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    A question for my resident troll

    Hey, OC! You claim that abortion deaths are a big yawn, just 1 per 100,000. (The number's bogus, but let's for the sake of argument claim it's accurate.)

    Grayco is recalling 2 million strollers due to four infant deaths.

    1 death per 100,000 is 10 deaths per million deaths your admitting to caused by abortion

    4 deaths per 2 million is 2 deaths per million, which is just 1/5 the death rate you claim for abortion.

    So, is Grayco going overboard? Should the infant deaths be shrugged off and Grayco strollers touted as safe? Or should women considering abortions be told that the procedure is at least five times as dangerous as a product that was recalled because it was causing deaths?

    Just curious how you would spin this one.

    Anniversary: Carpetbagging abortionist leaves second woman dead

    Carole Schaner was 37 years old when she traveled from Ohio to Buffalo, New York, for a safe and legal abortion. Dr. Jesse Ketchum performed a vaginal hysterotomy abortion on October 20, 1971. Carole was 14 weeks pregnant.

    After the abortion, Carole went into shock, and was taken to a hospital. She was in shock when she arrived. Despite all efforts, Carole died before doctors could even fully asssess the extent of her injuries. She left behind four children.

    The autopsy found that Carole's cervix and uterus had been cut open, and an artery outside her uterus had been cut. It also noted sutures that had evidently been put in by Ketchum in an attempt to repair the damage. The sutures, however, completely closed Carole's cervix, allowing her to continue bleeding from the injured uterus and artery.

    Carole was the second woman to bleed to death after an outpatient hystertomy abortion performed by Ketchum; Margaret Smith had died four months earlier.

    Another former criminal abortionist, Milan Vuitch also had kept his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, then went on to kill two legal abortion patients. Wilma Harris and Georgianna English both died under Vuitch's care. Likewise Benamin Munson had a clean record of a criminal abortion but went on to kill two women -- Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth -- after legalization.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    1877: Midwife arrested for abortion death

    On October 20, 1877, Nellie Ryan, an unmarried 21-year-old white woman from Turner Junction, Illinois, died in Chicago during a criminal abortion. Midwife Amelia Spork was arrested for Nellie's death.

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

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    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    1910: Chicago death

    On October 19, 1910, Pelagia Usorowski, age 32, died in a Chicago residence from an abortion that had been performed on October 13. Rosalie Tomajoski, whose occupation is given only as "abortion provider", was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder in Pelagia's death.

    Note, please, that with overall 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 information about early 20th Century abortion mortality, see Abortion Deaths 1910-1919.

    1954: A death and a prompt, decisive response

    Sylvia Redman, who had a license to practice naturopathy, signed a written confession on October 20, 1954 regarding the death of Betty Ladel. Redman said that Betty came to her on October 8, saying that she thought she was pregnant. Her period was about a week late. Redman said Betty asked her "if I could help her get rid of the baby. I told her the danger of everything and she said she was not afraid. I told her I would rather her to go somewhere else and have the baby stopped in twenty four hours, because my work is slow. I do it by shooting a little air up into the womb. (uterus) By going through the cervix into the uterus, where the embryo is carried. She told me she wanted me to do it."

    Redman said that she used a speculum and syringe to shoot some air into Betty's uterus, though she wasn't really sure if Betty was pregnant. She told Betty to return every other day. Each time Betty returned, Redman shot a little more air into her uterus, asking her if she felt anything. Sometimes Betty responded in the affirmative, sometimes not.

    On October 19, Betty again went to Redman, who took her upstairs, "laid her on a table used for females," and inserted a cannula into Betty's uterus. She pushed five syringes full of air into Betty's uterus and asked Betty if she could feel it. Betty said that she could, a little. "And she looked up at me and said I feel choky, and then she passed out."

    Redman said, "I used artificial respiration. I picked her up in my arms and laid her on the floor. And I slung water at her to try to revive her, and then I had a lady downstairs to call an ambulance. The ambulance came and got her and took her to Harris Hospital. After this happened I called a friend and asked her what to do and she said throw all that stuff away. So I went upstairs to get the instruments that I had used, and I had just come downstairs when Mr. Howerton and Mr. Armstrong and another detective walked in. I told them I'd be with them in a minute and I kinda hid the instruments that I had used on Betty Ladel behind me, and I stepped into the back and put the instruments in a garbage can. Then I came back out to talk to Mr. Howerton and I admitted to him what I had done and he asked me what I had used on Betty Ladel, and I took him out (to) the garbage can and showed him exactly where I had hidden them and what I had used. He asked me if I had performed an abortion on her and I told him no, but I wasn't telling him the truth. And I gave these instruments to Mr. Howerton and Mr. Armstrong and the other detective. After she had told me that she felt choky, and after I laid her on the floor, I noticed she was bleeding from the vagina."

    An autopsy verified that Betty had indeed been pregnant, and blamed her death on the introduction of air into her uterus to produce abortion. The six or seven week old embryo was intact and undamaged. Betty's blood vessels had air in them, and she had died from an air embolism.

    The testimony of the authorities who investigated the case supports the confession. The police indicated that upon questioning, Redman showed them the table she'd used and retrieved the instruments from a garbage can.

    Redman was convicted of murder by attempted abortion, and was sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary for four years.

    What I find interesting is that this abortionist, who knew she could go to prison, called an ambulance for her patient. Which is more than Hachamovitch did for any of his.

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

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    1990: A death, and a less than galvanic response

    Nineteen-year-old Christina Goesswein, ("Patient A" in medical board documents) was almost 23 weeks pregnant when she went to the office of Dr. Braz Bortot to get an abortion. Dr. Bortot referred her to Dr. Moshe Hachamovitch in Bronx, New York.

    Christina went to Hachamovitch's office on October 17, 1990, and the first part of the three-day abortion procedure was started that day. She was sent home and told to return the following day to have her cervix dilated even further for the abortion, which would take place on the 19th.

    She came back on the 18th and had more laminaria inserted then returned home. That evening, her boyfriend called the doctor’s office because Christina was having cramping. He was told to give her pain medicine.

    Christina's boyfriend called again several hours later because he felt that she was running a fever, but Christina told Dr. Hachamovitch’s employee who was taking call that evening that she was okay.

    Early in the morning of the 19th, the boyfriend called the employee again because Christina was experiencing heavy bleeding, cramping and vomiting. Christina stated that she felt that she was in labor. The employee instructed Christina to go to the doctor’s office where she and the doctor would meet her.

    They all met at the office some time between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. After arriving at the office, Christina lost control of her bowels. Hachamovitch then delivered her 24-week fetus in one piece.

    Because Christina was not recovering as she should have, Dr. Hachamovitch decided to admit her to an area hospital, but before this could be done, Christina quit breathing and her heart stopped.

    Somebody called 911 at about 4:20 a.m., and Dr. Hachamovitch began CPR. Christina was taken to a Bronx hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. on October 19, due to an amniotic fluid embolism.

    Hachamovitch's license was suspended over his false documentation regarding administration of oxygen, and Christina's blood loss.

    In its documents, the medical board notes that Hachamovitch failed to record "identity of the individual who performed and interpreted a sonogram of Patient A;" "failed to record the size and type of laminaria;" "failed to properly address the possibility that Patient A might require emergency medical care near her home in the course of the two days between the insertion of laminaria on October 17 and the scheduled performance of an abortion on October 19;" "made no effort to provide for more local and immediate medical care for Patient A at or about 3:05 a.m. on October 19, when he learned that Patient A was experiencing heavy bleeding, vomiting and severe cramps."

    The board faulted Hachamovitch for doing an abortion "in the face of heavy bleeding, severe cramps and vomiting and involuntary bowel movements." "Respondent failed to arrange for Patient A to be taken to a hospital before performing any procedure on her so that her condition could be properly managed;" "performed the abortion and D&E without proper monitoring and resuscitative equipment;" "failed to adequately prepare the patient for foreseeable complications;" "failed to have a licensed physician or certified nurse anesthetist present during the surgery'" "inappropriately sedated Patient A."

    "Once Patient A went into cardiopulmonary arrest Respondent failed to properly attempt her resuscitation." The board also found fault with Hachamovitch because he did not "describe adequately the procedure used to terminate the pregnancy;" "failed to perform and/or record the findings of a gross examination of Patient A's uterine contents immediately post-abortion;" "intentionally represented in his record for patient A that she received continuous oxygen by mask despite knowing that this was untrue;" "intentionally represented in his record that Patient A had no bleeding at all despite knowing that this was untrue."

    My resident troll has argued that legalization made it far easier to shut down quacks like Hachamovitch, because their practices aren't underground and difficult to find.

    Well, Hachamovitch was right out in the open. The medical board had already slapped him down for letting Luz Rodriguez bleed to death in 1986. He was allowed to continue to practice, and to cause Christina's death. Even then, he wasn't stopped. He let Tanya Williamson stop breathing and die in his recovery room in 1996.

    Not only did Hachamovitch kill patients directly with his own quackery. He owned and oversaw abortion mills elsewhere in the country, and they were just as poorly run as the one in New York.

    In Texas, Jammie Garcia died of a massive infection in 1994 after a botched abortion in Hachamovitch's filthy mill. And in Arizona, Hachamovitch gave free rein to John Biskind, who let two patients bleed to death: Lisa Bardsley in 1995, and Lou Anne Herron in 1998. (Biskind's license wasn't revoked until 1998 -- after he was convicted of manslaughter in Lou Ann's death.)

    As for Hachamovitch, he simply let his New York and Texas licenses expire in the late 1990s -- when he was already in his 60s and due for retirement anyway. His Arizona license wasn't revoked until 2004, over the New York disciplinary actions (which hadn't been enough to get his New York license yanked) and the way he allowed his Arizona mill to be operated. The situation had originally been brought to the attention of the board in 1998.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Worth reposting. How's this for a look at how abortion advocates think?

    Here is a segment from "The most remarkable abortion story ever told" -- a tribute to the Jane abortion syndicate in Chicago. "Jane" was a group of laywomen who set up an abortion ring. In this segment, there is much rejoicing. Why?

    Because they screwed up an induction abortion and ended up doing a D&E (The author calls it a "D&C" because the terminology for D&E hadn't been coined yet.) extemporaneously, without their "doctor" present:

    Four counselors were working at the apartment one Thursday, breaking water bags and inserting Leunbach paste for long-term miscarriages. [Primitive induction abortions - ed.] The fourth and last patient for the day was a 19-year-old black woman, about 14 weeks pregnant fully counseled and prepared for a labor and miscarriage.

    .... We dilated the patient and reached in with a forceps to break the membrane. Two other counselors were talking to the patient and watching.

    There was the usual gush of water slightly pink with blood—and in the teeth of the forceps the arm of a 14-week fetus.

    The counselor who was doing the abortion looked silently at the forceps and its contents for a full ten seconds. The other counselors were silent... watching.

    Finally the woman asked, “Is anything wrong.”

    “Not at all,” the counselor replied. “In fact, I think we’ll do you direct and get the whole thing over with today.”

    Suddenly the room was charged with energy again. One counselor began talking animatedly to the woman, explaining a D&C, while the other stood ready to help. The patient remained calm and confident.

    “Okay—this is one of those times when there is no choice but to... so go.

    . . . Remember... be cool... we’ve seen it done a thousand times.. . reach in again with the forceps. .. gently explore the wall of the uterus ... feel for loose material . . . twist ever so gently to make sure it’s loose . . . pull slowly through the cervix.

    ...Another arm and hand...a big piece of placenta . . a leg . . . an endless length of tiny intestine . . . a large bone that comes with a stronger tug—a shoulder . . .

    . . . The woman winces as a hip bone is pulled through the cervix . . . the other leg . . . the ribs . . . a two inch length of backbone.

    . . . Now with each tug, there’s a small gush of blood. Only the head is left. Forget that for now and get the placenta off the wall so the bleeding will stop— switch to a curette and scrape the placenta down towards the opening.

    Now . . . back to the forceps—in and out, in and out—pulling the loose placenta out. The bleeding stops almost entirely.

    Now feel with the forceps, find the head, crush it and pull. Harder. The patient moans softly as a piece of skull is pulled out, then the next piece, and finally the last piece.


    “There. All done.”


    Suddenly the room is in bedlam. One counselor is jumping around and yelling, “We can do it ourselves! From now on, we can do it ourselves!”

    What a thing to be proud of. Put that on your resume: I can take apart a baby. And dance a jig with my friends afterward to celebrate.

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  • Moms Who Chose Life Over Abortion Become Activists on Capitol Hill: As pregnancy resource centers again come under attack, women who were helped by them speak out.

  • "I don’t know why I didn’t leave." Jivin' J looks at a series of blog posts by a prochoice woman in total agony over the death of her baby by abortion, and how she's trapped without help:

    Searching for counseling I’ve found two main schools of thought in the majority of practices. First is the more religious approach. Ask god for forgiveness, name your baby and have a funeral for it, return to the church an enlightened “forgiven” pro-lifer. Um no. The second is the non-apologetic approach. I should be happy I had an abortion. I did the right thing by not being selfish, I should feel empowered by my decision and shouldn’t regret it. Well, that’s not me either.

    So much for the idea that abortion facilities only perform abortions on women who actually want them. Prayers that she finds help.

  • Teen's Abortion Caused Drug Abuse and Cutting:

    The following six months after my abortion were the most unbearable of my life. I cried constantly; but the thing that I wanted the most was to have my baby back inside me, growing and moving. After the sharp intense pain came the dull numbness that I felt. Over the next few years I experienced drug abuse, anxiety, and became involved in self mutilation, more commonly referred to as “cutting.”

    It has been four years since the day of my abortion, and the pain is not the same sharp stabbing feeling as it was before, but it’s never completely gone.

  • Leading anti-abortion activist dies in Mass. at 84: "Mildred Jefferson, the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and a nationally recognized leader of the anti-abortion movement, has died at age 84."

  • NYC Considers Requiring Anti-Abortion Centers to Disclose Lack of Services: How about requiring that "reproductive health" facilities advertise that they offer only abortion and not any other choices?
  • Two Anniversaries: New York Abortion Deaths

    According to a December 17, 1940 article in the New York Times, Miss Alice Corbett died October 18, 1939, from complications of a criminal abortion. Dr. Allen F. Murphy was sentenced to 2-10 years in Sing-Sing for Alice's death.

    Another New York Times article, this one from October 28, 1942, notes that on October 18, 1942, 23-year-old Harriet Lichtenberg of Brooklyn died in Royal Hospital, the Bronx, from suspected criminal abortion complications. Dr. Henry Katz was indicted for first degree manslaughter in Harriet's death.

    These fatal abortions were typical of pre-legalization abortions in that they were performed by doctors.

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

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    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    1927: Auna Arola of Chicago

    On October 5, 1927, 31-year-old Auna Arola underwent a criminal abortion in Chicago. She died on October 17. On October 29, Dr. Vincent Tonavena was arrested. He was indicted for felony murder on November 1.

    Auna'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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    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Hope for Southern Sudan?

    Sample coverage:

  • World Evangelical Alliance Pledges Support for Sudan Referendum: “The people of Sudan have suffered for many years,” the evangelical leader noted during last week's government-church forum. “Now is the time for a new future that will bring peace, wholeness, dignity, freedom of belief and freedom from extreme poverty. The people of Sudan deserve nothing less.”

  • U.S. Steps Up Efforts on Sudan Vote: With Sudan barely 100 days away from a referendum that is likely to split the country and that could even reignite a war, the Obama administration has begun a multifront diplomatic offensive built around incentives to keep Sudan from obstructing the vote.

  • Analysis: Post-referendum fears for Southern Sudan : The January 2011 referendum in Southern Sudan will mark a turning point for the region and could see the formation of Africa's newest state, but how will the south fare after the vote?

  • Churches Celebrate Start of ’101 Days of Prayer’ for Sudan : On September 21, the International Day of Peace, the Catholic Church of Sudan officially kicked-off its 101 Days of Prayer toward a peaceful referendum. Throughout the country parishes celebrated by holding large church services which promoted the importance of peace, non-violence, collaboration, and community prayer. (Let us all join them!)

  • Sudan 'too slow' on referendum: Norway: Sudan's progress on organizing a key referendum in January is "too slow," Norway's diplomatic chief has warned about the vote over whether the south will break off from the rest of the country.

  • Free Campaigning Needed in Sudan Referendum: In less than four months, southern Sudanese living throughout the country - including 1.5 million southerners in Khartoum, the capital, and other northern states - are to vote in a referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede and become a separate country.

    What can we, as individuals do? Watch and pray and spread the word. Only God can sort out such an intractable mess, but that doesn't absolve us of doing our part.
  • Cui Bono?

    On October 2, 1923, 16-year-old Lauretta Schranz underwent a criminal abortion somewhere in Chicago. On October 16, Lauretta died at Chicago Hospital from complications of that abortion. Ethel Davis and Lena Rumenstein were held by the coroner in Lauretta's death. Davis was indicted by a grand jury for felony murder on November 15.

    Fast-forward 51 years. Maria Lira, age 19, was a college student when she went to Riveria Hospital on October 14, 1974, to undergo an abortion. After she'd been discharged, Maria had problems and returned. Staff perfromed a D&C, then discharged her again. That night, she went to the emergency room due to excessive bleeding. She was sent to Torrance Memorial Hospital for treatment. Maria died at Torrance Memorial on October 16. The autopsy found a decomposing fetus in her uterus, which had caused infection and DIC (disseminated intravacsular coagulopahty). The DIC prevented clotting, causing the hemorrhage that killed Maria.

    We need to ask: Who benefitted from the legalization of abortion? Maria Lira? Or her doctor, who didn't have to fear going to prison?

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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    Friday, October 15, 2010

    An interesting exercise

    An interesting exercise.

    I'm going back through CDC abortion reporting data, looking at how they calculated abortion mortality, and what they concluded. We'll start with the oldest one I can find, 1971, which is in my files here at home. When an online version is available, I will provide a link (even if only to a summary or abstract).

  • 1971: No national mortality data.

  • 1972: "In 1972 CDC initiated a surveillance system to determine the number of abortion-related deaths occurring annually in the United States. Data were collected through the cooperation of personnel in charge of vital statistics in the state health departments. Reports were received from all 50 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia." They investigated and tallied 19 legal abortion deaths and 35 illegal abortion deaths, but did not explain how they distinguished between legal and illegal abortions.

  • 1973: CDC notes the addition of "state medical or hospital associations, CDC investigation, published case histories, and records from other federal agencies." They also noted, "The delay in reporting abortion deaths to CDC has ranged from 1 to 33 months." This resulted in the discovery of an additional two legal abortion deaths, and five additional illegal abortion deaths. For 1973, they noted 24 legal abortion deaths and 19 illegal abortion deaths. And now, for the first time, they indicate how they distinguish between the two: Legal abortion deaths are deaths from abortions performed by licensed physicians; all other induced abortion deaths (including those for whom the perpetrator or his license status is unavailable) are counted as illegal. Thus, if a woman keeps a legal abortion secret from her family and then dies, her death is counted as an illegal abortion death, since the CDC would be unable to verify that it was indeed performed by a licensed physician.

  • 1974: Missing

  • 1975: Missing

  • 1976: The data collection method seems unchanged since 1973; however, how each individual death is investigated is expanded upon. The distinction between legal and illegal (presumed illegal unless proven to have been performed by a licensed physician) remains. Delays of up to 37 months in reporting deaths were noted. The tally of legal abortion deaths from 1972 has risen to 24. For 1973, the number of legal deaths tallied rose by 2, while illegal deaths remained at 19. Total deaths reported so far:

    1972: L = 24, I = 39
    1973: L = 26, I = 19
    1974: L = 27, I = 6
    1975: L = 29, I = 4
    1976: L = 10, I = 3

    Why did deaths suddenly fall by about 33% in 1976? There's no exploration and no explanation. Did they fall? Or did something change in the data collection?

  • 1977: No change in surveillance methods noted. Delays of up to 6 years in reporting of deaths noted, with a median delay of 7 months. The definition of "legal" abortion is expanded to include abortions performed under the supervision of a physician.

    Here's where we see something interesting happen. For 1973 and 1974, the number of reported abortion deaths went down from what had previously been reported, with one less abortion-dead woman in 1973, two fewer in 1974, and one less in 1976. Surely these women didn't return from the dead! What happened? (At Life Dynamics, when Mona and I noticed this, we asked if, like Elvis, these women had somehow been spotted somewhere, and thus dubbed this phenomenon "Elvising" the woman, as in "For some reason the CDC Elvised a woman who'd died in 1973.") There is no explanation for why previously confirmed deaths are no longer being counted.

    1972: L = 24, I = 39
    1973: L = 25, I = 19
    1974: L = 25, I = 6
    1975: L = 29, I = 4
    1976: L = 11, I = 2
    1977: L = 15, I = 4

    1978: Missing

    1979 - 80: (Combined) "Of the subsequently confirmed abortion-related deaths for 1972 - 1980, 65% were reported through State health departments. We also obtained reports from medical and hospital associations, maternal mortality committees, NCHS, the Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities, case histories published in professional journals, and private sources." But they also indicate that beginning in 1979, ectopic pregnancy deaths would no longer be counted among abortion deaths unless the abortion attempt directly caused the woman's death. This is mightily convenient for abortion cheerleaders, since women often fail to seek health care for ectopic pregnancies immediately after abortion procedures because they assume that they can't possibly be pregnant, and abortion facilities have often been caught advising women to avoid seeking care they might have otherwise sought. So though the abortion led to the death by preventing timely intervention, the CDC doesn't count these deaths as abortion-related.

    The tally:

    1972 - 1976: No change
    1977: L = 17, I = 4
    1978: L = 7, I = 7
    1979: L = 18, I = 0
    1980: L = 8, I = 1

    It was around the time that this report was published that Willard Cates was demoted and transferred to the Sexually Transmitted Disease unit of the CDC in the wake of a shake-up by the Reagan White House. Though Cates had been aggressive in seeking out and analyzing abortion deaths, he was also a vociferous and unabashed proponent of abortion and published a lot of articles, written at taxpayer expense, calling for public funding of abortion, "educating" all pregnant women about "the availability of safe, legal abortion", excusing bad behavior by abortion doctors and instead blaming safety regulations for patient deaths, etc. His partner in many of these publications, David Grimes, left the CDC about two years later.

  • 1981: This year they looked at deaths by type of abortion performed, rather than by year.

  • 1982 & 1983: Missing

  • 1984 - 85: They no longer describe their mortality collection method. The tally:

    1972: L = 24, I = 39
    1973: L = 25, I = 19
    1974: L = 26, I = 6 (Legal up 1 from before)
    1975: L = 29, I = 4
    1976: L = 11, I = 2
    1977: L = 17, I = 4
    1978: L = 9, I = 7
    1979: L = 18, I = 0
    1980: L = 9, I = 1
    1981: L = 7, I = 1
    1982: L = 11, I = 1
    1983: L = 10, I = 1
    1984: L = 11, I = 0
    1985: L = 8, I = 1

  • 1986 - 87 & 1988: Did not examine mortality. And the fairly large team (Herschel W. Lawson, Hani Atrash, Audrey Saftlas, Lisa M. Koonin, Merrell Ramick, and Jack C. Smith) has been cut to Koonin, her assistant (Ramick), Smith, and Atrash.

  • 1989: Mortality information not available. Atrash has left the team, which is down to Koonin, Ramick, and Smith.

  • 1990 & 1991: Did not address mortality.

  • 1992: "Sources for obtaining such data include national and state vital records, maternal mortality review committees, surveys, private citizens, the media, health-care providers, and medical examiner reports. Clinical records and autopsy reports are requested and reviewed by medical epidemiologists to determine the cause of death and to verify that the death was abortion-related." Note that the aggressive search for abortion deaths is no longer mentioned. The CDC is now, more by omission than commission, admitting to their passive system described to me by Clarise Green (a research fellow at the CDC) when I was researching Lime 5. As Ms. Green indicated, the primary source of abortion deaths for the CDC was death certificates provided by the NCHS. My contacts at state vital records offices indicated that NCHS gets only a sample of death certificates from each state.

    The tally:

    1972: L = 24, I = 39
    1973: L = 25, I = 19
    1974: L = 26, I = 6
    1975: L = 29, I = 4
    1976: L = 11, I = 2
    1977: L = 17, I = 4
    1978: L = 9, I = 7
    1979: L = 22, I = 0 (Legal up from 18 at last count)
    1980: L = 9, I = 1
    1981: L = 8, I = 1 (Legal up from 7, and they still missed at least 1)
    1982: L = 11, I = 1
    1983: L = 11, I = 1 (Legal up from 10)
    1984: L = 12, I = 0 (Legal up from 11)
    1985: L = 11, I = 1 (Legal up from 8)
    1986: L = 11, I = 0 (I know they missed some.)
    1987: L = 7, I = 2 (They missed some.)
    1988: L = 16, I = 0
    1989: L = 12, I = 1
    1990: L = 5, I = 0
    1991: Not reported
    1992: Not reported

    I'm very curious as to why, in this report, they suddenly noted ten deaths that had previously eluded them. This after three years in which they expressed little interest in abortion mortality. The year they worked on this report, however, is also the year research fellow Clarise Green joined the crew.

  • 1993 - 94: Brief mention. The tally:

    1972 - 1990: no change
    1991: L = 11, I = 1 (They missed one that I've verified.)
    1992: Not reported
    1993: Not reported
    1994: Not reported

  • 1995: Mortality not reported.

  • 1996: "CDC has periodically reported information on abortion-related deaths; 1972 was the first year for which such data were available. Sources for such information included national and state vital records, maternal mortality review committees, surveys, private citizens, the media, health-care providers, medical examiners' reports, and, more recently, computerized searches of several full-text newspaper databases."

    The tally:

    1972 - 1991: No change
    1992: L = 10, I = 0
    1993 - 1996: Not reported

  • 1997: Mortality not addressed.

  • 1998: No change noted in mortality collection and analysis.

    The tally:

    1972 - 1992: No change
    1993: L = 6, I = 1
    1994: L = 10, I = 2
    1995: L = 4, I = 0
    1996: L = 9, I = 0
    1997: L = 7, I = 0
    1998: Not reported

  • 1999: No change noted in surveillance methods. No changes in death numbers, just added for 1998: L = 9, I = 0.

  • 2000: No changes noted in data collection methods, however, they identified four more legal abortion deaths for 1990 and one more legal abortion death for 1997, and note 4 confirmed legal abortion deaths for 1998.

  • 2001: No changes noted. The following years are added:

    1999: L = 4, I = 0
    2000: L = 11, I = 0

  • 2002: Mortality not addressed other than an intention to update numbers at some point.

  • 2003: They mention that they counted deaths for 2001 and 2002, 6 legal and 1 illegal for 2001, and 9 legal for 2002.

  • 2004: No change, just 10 legal deaths noted for 2003.

  • 2005: No changes, just 4 legal and 1 illegal death noted for 2004.

  • 2006: Suddenly they find it necessary to add "Since 1987, CDC has monitored abortion-related deaths through its Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System," which they don't describe in any detail. They go into a bit more detail on how they define abortions: "An abortion is defined as "legal" if it was performed by a licensed physician or an appropriately licensed advanced practice clinician acting under the supervision of a licensed physician; an abortion is defined as "illegal" if it was performed by any other person." They add 3 legal abortion deaths for 2004, and also note 7 legal abortion deaths in 2005.

    While I'm at it, I've been doing some data analysis (or trying; I'm not a statistician so I'm learning on the fly here), and found this great article on basic data analysis. I really liked this bit:

    Finally, be aware of numbers taken out of context. Again, data that are "cherry picked" to look interesting might mean something else entirely once it is placed in a different context.

    Consider the following example from Eric Meyer, a professional reporter now working at the University of Illinois:

    My personal favorite was a habit we use to have years ago, when I was working in Milwaukee. Whenever it snowed heavily, we'd call the sheriff's office, which was responsible for patrolling the freeways, and ask how many fender-benders had been reported that day. Inevitably, we'd have a lede that said something like, "A fierce winter storm dumped 8 inches of snow on Milwaukee, snarled rush-hour traffic and caused 28 fender-benders on county freeways" -- until one day I dared to ask the sheriff's department how many fender-benders were reported on clear, sunny days. The answer -- 48 -- made me wonder whether in the future we'd run stories saying, "A fierce winter snowstorm prevented 20 fender-benders on county freeways today." There may or may not have been more accidents per mile traveled in the snow, but clearly there were fewer accidents when it snowed than when it did not.

    I've wondered this myself -- whether there are actually more or fewer accidents during bad weather (due to there being fewer people on the roads), and whether the accident rate per number of miles driven actually drops on holiday weekends because everybody's being hyper-vigilant.