Saturday, June 28, 2014

Diane Sawyer and the Non-Story of Lawson Akpulonu

With Diane Sawyer in the news about leaving the news, I thought it was timely to share the story I think of whenever I hear her name. It's the story what she considered worth reporting -- or rather, not worth reporting. It turned out to be the story of a serial rapist.

Tentative Curiosity

In March of 1995, I was at Life Dynamics and we were  working on Lime 5, a book about abortion malpractice and its enablers. We got a call from one of Diane Sawyer's assistants. Ms. Sawyer, we were told, had heard rumors that some abortion facilities were selling abortions to women who were not, in fact, pregnant; they just thought they were.

We told Ms. Sawyer's assistant that this was a slow news day kind of story that local news stations would often do: send female reporters to abortion clinic with male reporter's urine specimens, and then document being told that they were pregnant and the attempts to sell them abortions.

We supplied the assistant with what he asked for -- a list of abortionists who were still practicing even after having been caught selling abortions to women who were not pregnant. But we also included a list of abortionists who were a serious public health threat and were still practicing, suggesting that these fellows might make a more news worthy project than rehashing something local news organizations across the country had been doing for over twenty years.

The Big Tip

While I was compiling documentation and verifying that certain quacks were still in practice, we got a call from a nurse in California. She told us, "I'd always thought that the stories of seedy abortion mills were just a bunch of bogus stories made up by right to lifers. But I just quit a job at one of those seedy mills, and I want to report this guy before something terrible happens."

Dr. Lawson Akpulonu
This nurse told us that she had answered a help wanted ad placed by Dr. Lawson Akpulonu, and had been hired on the spot on January 14, 1995. After just four hours, she was so appalled that she quit. After wondering what to do, she saw an advertisement for Life Dynamics' abortion malpractice litigation program, and decided that we were the right people to call.

Akpulonu, she told us, had the filthiest clinic she'd ever seen. She saw life-threatening conditions including:
  • rusty metal speculums and forceps
  • instruments cleaned with dishwashing liquid
  • lack of lifesaving equipment or  apparatus for administering anesthesia
  • cockroaches in the operating room
  • rancid blood smell in rooms
  • used needles left on tables in the operating room
  • improper handling of fetal materials
Scott helped her to prepare a complaint for the California medical board. In her complaint, she reiterated what she'd told Scott, and warned the medical board:
    "When Akpulonu began the abortion procedures, he did not allow anyone else in the room with him. There was no nurse or assistant with him.... I truly believe that someone will become seriously injured if something is not done immediately."
We also asked her if she would be willing to talk to Diane Sawyer about what she'd seen. She said absolutely, that she wanted this guy exposed for what he was before something terrible happened to any of his patients. We contacted Diane Sawyer's assistant and faxed him a copy of the complaint the nurse was about to file. Diane Sawyer had, in her hot little hands, the entire story, before it had even been handed off to the medical board.

Averting Her Eyes 

The next day, Diane Sawyer's assistant called us back, told us that Miss Sawyer had reviewed all the material we'd sent her, and had decided that seedy abortion facilities in general and Lawson Akpulonu in particular were "a non-story."

A few days later all hell broke loose.

The medical board in California went public with a complaint from a patient they identified as "A. A." While under anesthesia for an abortion by Akpulonu at his Midland Medical Center on January 28, 1995:

    The patient awoke to find Akpulonu raping her."A.A. awoke to find respondent raping her; he had penetrated her vagina with his penis. Respondent gave patient A.A. a shot and she went back to sleep. When patient A.A. woke up a second time, she saw respondent next to her. She saw his erect penis out of his pants. She tried to push him away. ... Respondent then gave her another shot and she went back to sleep. When patient A.A. awoke for a third time, she found her sweater had been removed and her bra partially pulled down exposing her right breast. Respondent was caressing patient A.A.'s body. ...when patient A.A. tried to scream, respondent placed his hand over her mouth. Respondent told patient A.A. she had a beautiful body. He said she was a very nice girl and a very sexy girl while he continued rubbing her inside her blouse and bra. He kissed her right breast. He then placed his business card inside her bra and said she could call him anytime"
What Diane Sawyer had dismissed it as "a non-story" turned out to be quite a bombshell. More reports of similar abuse started pouring in from other patients once A.A. had the courage go come forward.

An Alarming History

If Diane Sawyer had turned over a few rocks, she would have found an even greater scandal. Just like the Gosnell case in Pennsylvania, California authorities had long known that Akpulonu was a danger to women and had failed to shut him down. Another former employee had told the Medical Board that Akpulonu did not sterilize instruments, used untrained assistants in surgery, and flushed fetal remains down the toilet. She also reported being hired with no medical training or experience, and being required to assist in surgery. She quit after three weeks.

Unlike those in Pennsylvania, California authorities actually did poke their noses inside abortion clinics. Inspections of Akpulonu's clinic dating from 1991 through 1994 had found deplorable conditions including:
  • Filthy rest room with no toilet paper
  • Unsterile instruments being used in operating room
  • No registered nurse at the facility
  • Akpulonu performing abortions alone, with no assistant
  • Employees trained to clean hoses used in medical procedures in running cold water by working the hoses manually to flush out all blood and tissue
  • A stench of rotting tissues
  • A surgery room splattered with blood and other rooms were filled with dust
  • Rat droppings were found in the surgery room and hallway
  • Akpulonu had brought his entire staff into the examination room to observe a patient who had a severe case of genital warts.
  • No on-site equipment for handling emergencies
  • Fetal remains up to 24 weeks flushed down the garbage disposal or toilets
  • Staff re-using single use equipment
  • A dirty autoclave containing rusty, dirty, tissue-encrusted instruments
  • No soap, antiseptic, or towels at hand-washing facilities
So at the time we contacted Diane Sawyer's assistant and sent her the nurse's complaint, Akpulonu already had a four-year history of dangerous behavior posing a threat to women's health and lives. Ms. Sawyer would have quickly uncovered this situation, as did we, with a single fax to the California medical board. But she and her staff either did not bother to investigate, or had investigated and reviewed this four year string of disgusting inspections and had still dismissed it as "a non-story."

 The Sawyer-Akpulonu Legacy

Kermit Gosnell
After the allegations of patient A.A. became public, a warrant was issued for Akpulonu's arrest on charges of rape. He fled. His whereabouts are still unknown. He and his facility remain "a non-story," very much like the way the "house of horrors" Kermit Gosnell was running in Pennsylvania was dismissed by Sawyer-caliber journalists as just "a local story" and not worth a second glance on their part.

Diane Sawyer, if she'd had a shred of journalistic integrity, would have skulked off in vile disgrace after the Akpulonu story broke no thanks to her. Instead, she continued to pick and choose what the public should know about for decades. Her departure from the newsroom is a long overdue good riddance to bad rubbish.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Richard Blumenthal's Poisoned APPL

Feminists for Life once characterized a Maryland pro-abortion law as the "APPL -- Abortionists' Promotion and Protection Act." I believe that this is an apt way to describe the "Womens' Health Protection Act of 2013", sponsored by Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Abortionists determine viability
Viability.--The term ``viability'' means the point in a pregnancy at which, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care professional, based on the particular facts of the case before her or him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained fetal survival outside the uterus with or without artificial support.
This, in short, allows the abortionist to unilaterally declare any fetus he chooses to abort as not being viable, because it would be contingent upon prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the abortionist was not acting on "good-faith medical judgment." The bill later indicates that this law is to be interpreted as liberally as possible. All the abortionist would need to do would be to present any justification whatsoever for believing that the baby was "not viable." He could claim:
  • "Good-faith" miscalculation of gestational age
  • "Good-faith" miscalculation of fetal weight
  • "Good-faith" misinterpretation of any finding that could even remotely be construed as a health issue in the fetus
Abortionists determine threat to the mother's life or health

The bill would forbid:
A prohibition on abortion after fetal viability when,in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating physician, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant woman's life or health.
Since the bill also requires the most liberal interpretation possible, clearly the states would be required to return to the Doe vs. Bolton definition of the woman's "health":
[M]edical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment. And it is room that operates for the benefit, not the disadvantage, of the pregnant woman.
In other words, if the abortionist is unable to squeeze the fetus into a pre-"viability" situation, he can use anything to squeeze the abortion itself through the "health" loophole. All that is necessary under Doe vs. Bolton is that the abortionist write down someplace that he agrees with the woman that the abortion will benefit her. The only post-viability abortions a state would be permitted to ban would be ones the woman won't sign a consent form for.

Medical standards for abortion facilities would be virtually abolished

As far as regulation of abortion practice in any way, the bill limits such regulations to those imposed on "medically comparable procedures.The bill, however, does not define "medically comparable procedures"  All the abortion lobby need do, under the mandated liberal interpretation of the law, is invent the definition in such a way that abortion is not "medically comparable" to any give procedure. This leaves the following ways to weasel out of pretty much all regulation:
  • Chemical abortions could be declared "medically comparable" only to any other prescription of a medication, and thus subject to no regulation whatsoever beyond those dictating who may write prescriptions and under what circumstances.
  • Any abortion involving extraction of the fetus through the cervix could be declared to not be "medically comparable" to outpatient surgery on the grounds that it does not involve a surgical incision. The only procedures the state could try to present as "medically comparable" would be procedures that involve inserting instruments into an existing orifice. The requirement that the law be interpreted as liberally as possible would probably only allow the sort of regulation the state would impose on a facility that performs colonoscopies or similar procedures.
The one possible flaw of the law, from the abortionists' perspective, would be that states might be able to classify labor-induction abortions as "medically comparable" to childbirth and thus regulate facilities that do that to the same standards as birthing centers. An attempt to weasel out on the grounds that "abortion is safer than childbirth" would not fly because even the most abortion-enthusiastic researchers admit that by 20 weeks, abortion is riskier than childbirth. The requirement, however, that the law be interpreted as liberally as possible might force states to classify induction abortions as variations on extraction abortions on the grounds that the intention to deliver a dead fetus rather than a live infant makes the practice more "medically comparable" to an extraction abortion than to the delivery of a live infant.

Pretty much anything the abortion lobby objected to would be forbidden

Sec. 4 would abolish all informed consent laws, waiting periods, or anything else that the abortion establishment found could in any way -- directly or indirectly -- delay an abortion, increase its cost, or be construed as to pose any sort of hindrance. In short, Sec. 4 defers to the abortion lobby and the abortionists themselves as to how abortion shall be practiced in every state in the union.

The entire law is to be construed in the most abortion-friendly way possible
Liberal Construction.--In interpreting the provisions of this Act, a court shall liberally construe such provisions to effectuate the purposes of the Act.
As the law is drafted, especially with this "liberal construction" clause, the abortion lobby could successfully establishing a Catch-22 situation in which no state, city, county, or other agency or entity could so much as investigate an abortion facility or practitioner unless and until the facility or practitioner were already proven to pose a "significant" danger to abortion patients.

In short, a facility would have to have a Gosnell moment, in which an unrelated investigation uncovered egregious circumstances, before the state could so much as peek inside to see what's going on, because, as I noted above, abortion can be "liberally construed" not to be "medically comparable" to any other practice" and thus not subject to the inspections and oversight of outpatient surgery.

Other than, at least at first glance, allowing parental involvement laws to stand and allowing states to ban mandated insurance coverage of abortion, Blumenthal's APPL is an abortion lobby wish-list codified in law.

We need to remind Sen. Blumenthal, and our own Senators, of exactly what happens when the abortion lobby is allowed to determine what's adequate protection of women in abortion practice.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Pregnancy Centers vs. Abortion Centers

The vicious attacks on CPCs, in tandem with the blithe indifference to the palpable damage abortion facilities do with their quackery, demonstrates clearly that the top priority of the prochoice movement isn't women's lives, women's health, women's well-being, or even women's choices.

There's no huge Silent No More movement of women whose souls and bodies were damaged because they trusted CPCs. Most CPC clients are grateful. As for the ungrateful, there's nothing but a sniveling contingent of petulant, spoilt brats who got all whiny because they wanted a dead fetus but got offers of real help instead. And why did they walk into CPCs to begin with, if they knew they wanted abortions? The Yellow Pages make it very clear which advertisers sell abortions and which don't. They can always walk out the door and get what they want. No harm done.

No woman has ended up with a hysterectomy or a colostomy because she visited a CPC. No woman has ended up with her life in a tailspin because she visited a CPC. No woman has ended up in her grave because she trusted a CPC. Many have been helped, a few have been irritated. And that's it.

But terrible fates have met women who trusted abortion facilities. Young girls have had to have hysterectomies before they were out of high school. Women have ended up passing waste through a stoma into a bag for the rest of their lives. They've ended up in mental hospitals, in nursing homes, and in cemeteries. And where is the prochoice movement's concern for these women? There is none. As long as the fetus dies, it's a happy ending. Even if there was no fetus, if the woman only thought she was pregnant, if she gets vacuumed out, mission accomplished. That's all that matters.

Let's illustrate:

All of the Women Who Died Because They Visited CPCs Some of the Women Who Died Because They Visited Abortion Facilities

• Diane Adams
• Eurice Agbagaa
• Leigh Ann Alford
• Demetrice Andrews
• Mickey Apodaca
• Gloria Aponte
• Barbara Auerbach
• K.B.
• Jackie Bailey
• Brenda Banks
• Myrta Baptiste
• Lisa Bardsley
• Junette Barnes
• Deanna Bell
• Brenda Benton
• Rosario Bermeo
• Janet Blaum
• Cassandra Bleavins
• Linda Boom
• Diane Boyd
• Mary Bradley
• Dorothy Brown
• Chanelle Bryant
• Dorothy Bryant
• Belinda Byrd
• Janyth Caldwell
• Geneva Calton
• Marla Cardamone
• Teresa Causey
• Claudia Caventou
• Patricia Chacon
• Colleen Chambers
• Sandra Chmiel
• Gwendolyn Cliett
• Margaret Clodfelter
• Pamela Colson
• Geneva Colton
• Andrea Corey
• Liliana Cortez
• Edith Cote
• Sheryl Cottone
• Twila Coulter
• Carol Cunningham
• Betty Damato
• Mary Ann Dancy
• Angel Dardie
• Barbaralee Davis
• Glenda Davis
• Kathy Davis
• Margaret Davis
• Sharon Davis
• Marina DeChapell
• Arlin della Cruz
• Synthia Dennard
• Alerte Desanges
• Barbara Dillon
• Jane Doe of Newark
• Laniece Dorsey
• Tamika Dowdy
• Gwendolyn Drummer
• Anjelica Duarte
• Evelyn Dudley
• Sherry Emry
• Georgianna English
• Maureen Espinoza
• Gladyss Estanislao
• Erna Fisher
• Bonnie Fix
• Sharon Floyd
• Linda Fondren
• Janet Foster
• Christella Forte
• Glenna Jean Fox
• Jammie Garcia
• Josefina Garcia
• Marie Gibson
• Christin Gilbert
• Josefina Garcia
• Kathleen Gilbert
• Christina Goesswein
• Gaylene Golden
• Maria Gomez
• Rita Goncalves
• Shary Graham
• Doris Grant
• Debra Gray
• Norma Greene
• Carolina Gutierrez
• Angela Hall
• Sharon Hamptlon
• Arnetta Hardaway
• Gracealynn Harris
• Wilma Harris
• L'Echelle Head
• Sheila Hebert
• Donna Heim
• Lou Ann Herron
• Moris Helen Herron
• Rhonda Hess
• Betty Hines
• Shirley Hollis
• Denise Holmes
• Barbara Hoppert
• Mary Ives
• Karretu Jabbie
• Louchrisser Jackson
• Sandra Kaiser
• Patricia King
• Giseline Lafontant
• Minnie Lathan
• Barbara Lerner
• Susan Levy
• Cora Lewis
• Sara Lint
• Maria Lira
• Suzanne Logan
• Diana Lopez
• Linda Lovelace
• Elva Lozada
• Deborah Lozinski
• Dawn Mack
• Michelle Madden
• Sharon Margrove
• Gail Mazo
• Sophie McCoy
• Rita McDowell
• Myria McFadden
• Evangeline McKenna
• Kathy McKnight
• Kendra McLeod
• Lynn McNair
• Dawn Mendoza
• Yvonne Mesteth
• Natalie Meyers
• Sandra Milton
• Mitsue Mohar
• Ruth Montero
• Denise Montoya
• Beverly Moore
• Sylvia Moore
• Maura Morales
• Shelby Moran
• Katherine Morse
• Kelly Morse
• Loretta Morton
• Kathy Murphy
• Dorothy Muzorewa
• Guadalupe Negron
• Kimberly Neil
• Germaine Newman
• Sara Niebel
• Maria Ortega
• Joyce Ortenzio
• Venus Ortiz
• Linda Padfield
• Mary Ann Page
• Mary Paredez
• Holly Patterson
• Shirley Payne
• Mary Pena
• DaNette Pergusson
• Erika Peterson
• Catherine Pierce
• Katrina Poole
• Yvette Poteat
• Vanessa Preston
• Dawn Ravenelle
• Jacqueline Reynolds
• Erica Richardson
• Luz Rodriguez
• Magdalena Rodriguez
• Rosael Rodriguez
• "Amanda" Roe
• "Alice" Roe
• "Amy" Roe
• "Annie" Roe
• "Andrea" Roe
• "Anita" Roe
• "April" Roe
• "Audrey" Roe
• "Barbara" Roe
• "Becky" Roe
• "Beth" Roe
• "Cindy" Roe
• "Colleen" Roe
• "Connie" Roe
• "Danielle" Roe
• "Donna" Roe
• "Dorothy" Roe
• "Ellen" Roe of the CDC
• "Ellen" Roe of New Jersey
• "Faith" Roe
• "Faye" Roe
• "Gail" Roe
• "Gloria" Roe
• "Isabel" Roe
• "Judy" Roe
• "Julie" Roe
• "Kimberly" Roe
• "Lori" Roe
• "Melissa" Roe
• "Molly" Roe
• "Monica" Roe
• "Nancy" Roe
• "Robin" Roe
• "Roseann" Roe
• "Roxanne" Roe
• "Sandra" Roe
• "Sara" Roe
• "Sheryl" Roe
• "Susan" Roe
• "Tammy" Roe
• "Terri" Roe
• "Vanessa" Roe
• "Vicki" Roe
• "Yvonne" Roe
• Julia Rogers
• Rhonda Rollinson
• Allegra Roseberry
• Sharonda Rowe
• Rhonda Ruggerio
• Stacy Ruckman
• LaSandra Russ
• Tamia Russell
• F.S.
• Stella Saenz
• Angela Sanchez
• Angela Satterfield
• Carole Schaner
• Angela Scott
• Oriene Shevin
• Gloria Small
• Deloris Smith
• Diane Smith
• Margaret Smith
• Teresa Smith
• Laura Sorrels
• Kathryn Strong
• Jennifer Suddeth
• Tami Suematsue
• Yvonne Tanner
• Michelle Thames
• Ingrid Thomas
• Magnolia Thomas
• Vivian Tran
• Elizabeth Tsuji
• Cheryl Tubbs
• Iris Valazquez
• Cycloria Vangates
• Latachie Veal
• Brenda Vise
• Cheryl Vosseler
• Gail Vroman
• Pamela Wainwright
• Lynette Wallace
• Debra Walton
• Nicey Washington
• Sheila Watley
• Diane Watson
• Ingar Weber
• Robin Wells
• Chivon Williams
• Ellen Williams
• Nichole Williams
• Sandra Williams
• Shirley Williams
• Tanya Williamson
• Carole Wingo
• Virginia Wolfe
• Darlene Wood
• Gail Wright
• Stacy Zallie

I don't know how to even begin to get the prochoice movement to care about women. I've been trying for over twenty years now. I've seen individuals learn to care more about women than about politics, but they all become converts to the prolife cause. And then, like me, they realize that they're powerless to do anything to protect the women who think that they can trust Planned Parenthood, NAF, and NARAL to look after their best interests.

It's the great paradox of our time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Gearing Up for When the Inevitable Happens

 HT: Jill Stanek

Big Abortion is in a sorry state, with loud lamentations and dramatic hand-wringing such as this Planned Parenthood post. Their cry is that laws setting medical standards for abortion clinics are "restricting and eliminating safe and legal abortion access via technicality and needless regulation."

Their intended-to-be alarming little animated GIF shows both the real and projected closings of abortion facilities due to state requirements that they stop making do with doctors that can't get hospital admitting privileges.

Note that each and every closing is characterized as a loss of "access to safe and legal abortion," with no qualifiers whatsoever. If the place does abortions, the presumption is that it's safe for women to entrust themselves to the care that place provides.

The Lie of "Access"

As we've seen from Planned Parenthood's GIF, the mere existence of an openly operating, presumably legal abortion facility is "access" to "safe and legal" abortion.

mug shot of serial killer / abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell
Abortionist Gosnell
I might remind the reader that this same presumption of "safe and legal" care was made of Kermit Gosnell. In fact, the presumption of safety in Gosnell's case was so powerful that reputable prochoice organizations and abortion clinics referred patients to him -- one of whom later learned that Gosnell had severed her unborn baby's feet and kept them in a jar. Furthermore, a National Abortion Federation clinic hired him part-time and allowed him to take their patients to his Philadelphia "house of horrors" to be doped within inches of their lives by untrained staff then set aside to moan and writhe on torn recliners under blood-stained blankets amid the fleas and cat feces until their living, viable babies would be expelled and then killed by a scissors to the spinal cord. Even more to the point, the paramount value placed on "access" -- and the presumption that any legal abortionist is a safe abortionists -- is the excuse that Pennsylvania authorities used to turn a deliberate blind eye to the goings-on under Gosnell's roof.

Picture of abortionist LeRoy Carhart
Abortionist Carhart.
As the post goes on, Planned Parenthood pooh-poohs the idea that abortionists should be required to provide continuity of care for their hospitalized patients. "Providers," Planned Parenthood assures us, "already have plans in place in case of an emergency to ensure patient safety."

I might remind the reader that the emergency phone number that prochoice "hero" LeRoy Carhart provided to his patient Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli actually rang to Carhart's wife's equestrian-supply business answering machine. Attempts made, first by Jennifer and then by her family, to reach Carhart delayed the treatment that might have saved Jennifer's life. Is that the sort of "plan" that Planned Parenthood has in mind? If this is what one of their heroes provides, what can patients expect at lower-quality facilities?

Cause for Alarm

The abortion business is currently in a downward spiral. Every year there are fewer abortions and more clinic closures. To people who dislike abortion, this is a good thing. But if abortion is your bread and butter, that's a scary thing. It's scary for abortion clinic owners, who are watching their livelihood vanish. It's scary for abortion practitioners, who are finding fewer and fewer places where they can fly in with their pockets empty and fly out with them full. It's scariest of all for professional abortion-rights activists, because the money that keeps their jobs funded all comes from the abortion clinics that are shutting down at an increasing rate.

Thus, the professionals are facing a choice: Go to work promoting something other than abortion, or batten down the hatches and keep the abortion business afloat.

A Two-Part Strategy
Providers already have plans in place in case of an emergency to ensure patient safety. - See more at:

The strategy is two-part, and we need to be ready. Right now we're seeing the groundwork. They're raising the alarm and working to establish two ideas in people's minds:
  1. Legal abortion practices are always trustworthy and safe.
  2. If there is no handy legal abortion practice, women will universally resort to risky methods to achieve abortions.
That the first is false is obvious to anybody who gives it even a moment's thought, but that's the point. It's meant to block any sense of a need to give the matter any thought.

The second takes a bit more than a moment's thought but also becomes clearly false upon examination. Nobody thinks that women are reflexively going to reach for the rustiest coathanger in the closet if there's not an Acme Reproductive Services just down the street. Some women will travel further to arrange an abortion, some will ferret out a doctor closer to home that doesn't advertise but will do the occasional abortion, and the most fortunate will find that the initial panic passes and they come to welcome the new baby.

The point of the abortion lobby's efforts in general, and Planned Parenthood's in particular, isn't to get people to think. The idea is to prevent people from thinking by hammering an idea into their heads before they even have a reason to think about it. There are two techniques used currently:
  1. Keep referring to "safe, legal abortion" as if "safe" and "legal" were two parts of one whole. The constant pairing of "safe" and "legal" together links them in the mind, so that if one is heard, the other is presumed.
  2. Change the opposite of "legal" to "unsafe." Abortion-rights activists now speak only of "legal" abortion and "unsafe" abortion as though that were the natural dichotomy. This is no accident. The intention is to establish an unexamined idea that if "legal" abortion is not available, only "unsafe" abortion is available, and that the only way to eliminate "unsafe" abortion is to replace it with "legal' abortion. It's the biggest PR coup for the abortion lobby since the term "pro-choice" was coined in the 1960s.
Moving in for the Kill.
restricting and eliminating safe and legal abortion access via technicality and needless regulation. - See more at:
restricting and eliminating safe and legal abortion access via technicality and needless regulation - See more at:
restricting and eliminating safe and legal abortion access via technicality and needless regulation - See more at:

Having established the "legal = safe" and that the alternative to "safe, legal abortion" is only "unsafe abortion" and not help addressing the woman's actual problems, the preparations are already in the works for any contingency that they can play to the abortion lobby's benefit. You can be certain they're ready for those states that will soon be without a dedicated abortion facility. We've seen this sort of thing play out before, so we know what's going to happen. 

We need to take a lesson to prevent needless tragedy -- a specific needless tragedy that the abortion advocacy movement desperately needs to regain momentum.

It's important to note up front that it is not the average pro-choice citizen who is gearing up to create and exploit a tragedy. It's Big Abortion -- an unholy alliance of population control zealots, abortion practitioners, eugenicists, and Sandra Fluke-style feminists. They are putting the pieces in place, and average prochoice citizens are being primed to play their part in protecting Big Abortion's interests under the guise of protecting women.

Big Abortion is losing traction. The main thing they need to regain momentum is a corpse. If you think they're not gearing up to produce one, think again. We only need to look back to 1976.

Lessons From the Past

In 1976, the Hyde Amendment went into effect, banning the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions except to save the mother from an immediate threat to her life. The measure was named for its author, Congressman Henry Hyde. Abortion advocates had been keening from the moment the Hyde Amendment was up for vote. They painted a ghastly picture of coathanger-impaled women littering the streets as poor women were driven to desperation by lack of "access," just as today abortion enthusiasts are keening about what will happen if we start actually holding abortion clinics up to standards more rigorous than what you see in a bus station men's room.

When the Hyde Amendment went into effect, abortion advocates ramped up the hysteria and waited for a death, any death, they could hang around Henry Hyde's neck. On October 3, 1977, the Big Abortion vultures got what they'd been waiting for: a dead woman they could use as leverage in the fight to once again force taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

On September 26, 1977, 27-year-old Rosie Jimenez had shown up at the emergency room of McAllen General Hospital in the Texas border town of McAllen, suffering from septic shock caused by an infection from an illegal abortion. She was put in intensive care, but died on October 3.

The initial response of the abortion lobby to news of Rosie's death was little short of euphoric. They had their trophy, their dead woman whose face they could hide behind in order to push for the restoration of tax money flowing into abortion clinics.

An Unexpected Investigation

One voice stood out from the crowd: Ellen Frankfort, author of Rosie: the investigation of a wrongful death. Ms. Frankfort was disgusted with the bulk of the prochoice movement, who seemed content to pounce on Rosie's death and then milk it for political gain. She began an investigation into what had led Rosie to her death, and she found a lot that neither the Centers for Disease Control nor abortion advocacy organizations had been willing to look for, since all they'd wanted was political leverage. Unlike Ellen Frankfort, they weren't looking for the real culprit behind Rosie's death: they'd had a bogeyman in mind even before she'd died, in the form of Henry Hyde.

Off to McAllen Ms. Frankfort went, to learn all she could. She learned:
  1. Rosie had already undergone two abortions at taxpayer expense. (Hence, she had no idea what an abortion would actually cost, and had been taught that it was the government's job, not hers or her lover's, to keep her uterus empty.)
  2. (Thanks to the efforts of the abortion lobby) Rosie's friends and relatives knew that there were no more free abortions, and told her so.
  3. Her regular doctor abandoned her; he simply told her there were no more free abortions, without referring her for any help (either for a sliding-scale abortion or help with addressing her life issues that made her feel like abortion was her only choice).
  4. Rosie's cousin brought her to a lay midwife in McAllen who charged $120 to perform an abortion using a catheter, a procedure once used by doctors but since abandoned because of infection risk. 
  5. The sliding-scale abortions (that Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates pointedly failed to raise awareness about) cost $130 -- only $10 more than the illegal abortion. (This is something Rosie probably would have known if not for the fact that the government, not Rosie herself, paid for the previous two abortions.) 
  6. The day before her abortion, Rosie had spent $8 on a cake for a friend's baby shower. She had a scholarship check for $800 in her purse. (Rosie could have afforded a legal abortion; she just evidently was never told that such an option was available.)
  7. Rosie, predictably, took ill, waited to go to the hospital until she was moribund, and in spite of heroic efforts by the doctors there she died.
There is no evidence that, at any point, anybody informed Rosie of resources such as Birthright that could have helped her to address her problems without resorting to abortion in the first place.

The Reaction

The doctors reported the death to the CDC. The CDC notified their allies in the abortion lobby. Rosie's death was quickly trumpeted nationwide as proof that Henry Hyde was a murderer and that taxpayers should immediately resume funding elective abortions to prevent another such death.

It is worth reiterating, when we look at Rosie's death, that prochoice groups had been very successful in spreading the word that public funding for abortion had been cut -- Rosie's friend and cousin, as well as her physician, were well aware of this fact -- but they had pointedly failed to also pass out the word that Planned Parenthood still referred for abortions on a sliding scale, and that private funds were available. It's almost as if the public-relations departments of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-advocacy groups had deliberately increased the odds of a tragedy like Rosie's death in order to provide the corpses needed in order to prop up a drive to restore tax monies to abortion facilities.

Lessons for Today

Let's start with some simple facts:
  1. As long as people perpetrate abortions, there will be a certain number of women who die as a result of those abortions. This is true whether the abortions are legal or illegal.
  2. Picture of attractive, smiling young Black woman
    Tonya Reaves
  3. If the woman dies from a "safe" legal abortion (Tonya Reaves, Christin Gilbert), the abortion rights machine will minimize the death and wait for any bad press to blow over.
  4. If the woman dies from a quacktastic legal abortion (Karnamaya Mongar, Carolina Gutierrez), the abortion rights machine will do the convoluted routine of "It's all the antichoicers' fault because they regulate and inspect abortion clinics and won't give them money."
  5. If the woman dies from a politically useless illegal abortion (Daisy Roe, Kris Humphrey), the abortion machine will ignore it.
  6. If the woman dies from a nice gory "back alley" style illegal abortion, the full-blown, aggressive Blame Game will begin in earnest. It will be Rosie Jimenez all over again but with the aid of social media.
It all boils down to this: Abortionists are killing women now and will continue to kill women once abortion becomes illegal. It's an inevitable side effect of their trade.

A Crucial Point

Many states have taken steps to make abortion facilities put up or get out. The first woman that an abortionist kills in one of those states will become a martyr to the abortion cause in a way we haven't seen since Ms. published the crime scene photo of Geri Santoro in 1973. But it's not 1973 any more.

In 1973, it was hard to muster a groundswell of fear and outrage because after all Geri had been dead for nearly a decade and Roe vs. Wade had just supposedly put an end forever to women's gruesome abortion deaths.

Abortion rights groups, from the local NOW chapter to the International Planned Parenthood Federation already have established relationships with the mainstream news organizations. The new martyr that the abortion machine creates will become the focus of a campaign that will have all the fury and media hype that Big Abortion can muster. The result will be a well-coordinated assault that will make D-Day look like it was thrown together haphazardly by a bunch of drunken frat boys.

We also need to remember that Big Abortion will find out about the dead woman long before we will. They have connections in public health agencies that we simply don't, because they began planting them there back when Planned Parenthood was still calling itself the Birth Control League. Those connections will give them adequate lead time before allowing the story to break. Public health officials will not be neutral sources of information -- though of course they will pretend to be. They will be a key part of the orchestrated media blitz, just as the Centers for Disease Control was a key player in the media campaign when Rosie Jimenez died. The specifics of which woman Big Abortion manages to get killed, and under what specific circumstances, will be well known to the abortion lobby, and we will be playing catch-up to find out what really happened.

Look at the traction the international abortion movement is gaining in Ireland from the death of a woman who was not promptly given antibiotics during a miscarriage. It took a wild stretch of the imagination to blame that woman's death on lack of "safe and legal abortion," but that hasn't stopped the abortion machine and its media lackeys. Ireland is poised to come under the control of Big Abortion. Can you imagine what hay they can make with a death they have actually engineered and prepared for? The press releases are already drafted, templates for rally signs are awaiting a photograph, and the logistics for "spontaneous" rallies have long since been worked out and are being updated as circumstances change. We know this because we've seen how flawlessly coordinated Big Abortion has always been when a tragedy strikes.

So Now What?

I don't have all the answers, but I have a good starting point: The prolife movement already has everything in place necessary to prevent there from ever being another abortion death. We have pregnancy help centers. No woman needs to be without friends, help, and hope. The abortion machine has recently launched another assault on those who dare to stand in their way.

Our work needs to be two-pronged:
  1. Make sure vulnerable women are fully aware that their choices are not limited to Acme Reproductive Services or a rusty coathanger. There are thousands of prolife centers all over the country, and millions of prolife citizens, ready to lend a hand. No woman is facing any pregnancy alone unless Big Abortion is successful in cutting off her access to real help.
  2. Expose Big Abortion's tactics for what they are: a way to fatten abortionists' purses and give more power to the abortion lobby 
We can't fully prevent Big Abortion from creating and exploiting another Rosie Jimenez. Some women will resort to a seedy abortionist or an online purchase of abortion drugs -- and there are scads of abortion enthusiasts ready to help her to an abortion, any abortion, even one that puts her in an early grave. There are some people who are absolutely determined to make sure that abortions keep happening, and all of our efforts to reach vulnerable women can only reach those who are able to see abortion and its proponents for the trap they are.

Monday, June 02, 2014

How Planned Parenthood Respects Patients' Religious Beliefs

If Planned Parenthood's intention were truly to allow the abortion-minded woman who comes to them to make a decision about her pregnancy in accordance with her own beliefs, Planned Parenthood would present her with a pamphlet containing the official statements of various religions communities regarding abortion. This pamphlet would be provided to her at a time that allows her to make reflection in accordance with her own religious community. In states that have waiting periods, the pamphlet would be provided on her first visit. In states that do not have waiting periods, the pamphlet would be provided to the woman when she checks into the facility so that she can spend her time in the waiting room reading whatever portions she considers relevant, given her own faith tradition

Instead, they present patients with this "Pastoral Letter to Patients." The only reason to present this letter to a patient is because she is having religious qualms about abortion and is seeking appropriate guidance.

Image of the Planned Parenthood "pastoral letter" that lays out only a prochoice religious stand, denegrating a prolife religious stand, and offering patients a referral only to clergy who will "support" an abortion decision.
Click to enlarge.
The letter assures the patient that clergy are "here to support you in your decision." Note that the decision they are there to support is not the decision the woman makes after reflecting on her own beliefs and religious conviction, but only the decision to go through with an abortion in spite of her own qualms.

The letter goes on to specifically take a controversial stand that is often used to overcome religious objections -- that because the Scriptures do not specifically address abortion, it offers no reason to refrain from abortion. This is hardly the case, since many religious traditions have found Scripture to strongly stand against abortion. This statement by a Catholic organization is representative.

The letter goes on to say, "The beliefs of each person are worthy of respect," but the entire letter is based not on what the woman's own personal beliefs might be, but on the beliefs specifically of those who see no religious objection to abortion.

"No one should be allowed to force their faith teachings on anyone else," it goes on, all the while striving to force a prochoice faith teaching on the woman.

It closes with an assurance that "If you'd like to speak with a clergyperson, your local Planned Parenthood health center can refer you to someone who will be supportive of your decision." Note that it is only the decision to abort that this clergyperson will support. There is no offer of a referral to clergy of the woman's own religious tradition who can help her to reflect on her circumstances within the framework of her own faith, or who will provide support should she decide to continue a pregnancy during a difficult time.

Nobody has to rely on what prolifers say to see that Planned Parenthood encourages women to disregard their own moral qualms. We have their own words to say so.

UPDATE: Jill Stanek has noted that PP has removed the offensive letter from their web site. Whether or not they still give it to patients who are struggling to make a choice in concert with their own faith tradition remains to be seen.

Jill also noted:
PPFA’s inexplicably pro-abortion Clergy Advisory Board is comprised of 12 men and only three women, a lopsided 4:1 gender ratio that would draw ire if a board of pro-life pastors.
 And reader Mary left a particularly apt comment:
Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

What Sarah Silverman refers to as "goo" -- alive and responding to touch

I couldn't find an embed code, but you can click to see a short video of a 12-week baby that appears to have been miscarried. The child is still alive and responsive to touch when the video begins, but clearly dies of extreme prematurity by the end of the video.

It's very sad to see -- especially how the baby is treated like a curiosity rather than a baby, poked at rather than comforted -- but people need to understand that these are living children who respond to touch, not "goo."

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which collects the most complete and accurate abortion data in the country, 11% of abortions take place at or after 13 weeks. That means 11% of abortions are done on babies older and  more responsive to touch than this baby. Let me also point out that this baby is oxygen starved and dying, not robustly healthy as a 12-week baby would be in the womb when the dismemberment of an abortion is begun.

There are over a million abortions in the US per year. That means that more than 110,000 babies even more developed and responsive than this baby are killed via methods such as dismemberment or lethal injection directly into the heart or brain.

Diagram of 14-week suction abortion. First the fully-formed fetus is intact in the uterus as the doctor prepares do begin. Next, suction is applied to dismember the fetus and pull it through a narrow tube slightly larger in diameter than the fetal leg. Next, the placenta is suctioned out. Finally the empty uterus contracts.
Medical illustration of a 14-week abortion being performed.
Watch again how the baby pushed the finger away when its hand was touched, even after it had been so long without oxygen. Remember again that the baby in the video is no longer getting oxygen through the placenta and therefore is less responsive than a healthy unborn child still in the womb and still getting plenty of oxygen would be. Now let's imagine that same baby pulled apart alive and unanesthetized using powerful suction.

Let's look at how even older babies are aborted -- say, 16 or 18 or more weeks. Under oath, Carhart indicated that he tried to grab the baby and get it positioned to where he can suck out the brain without taking the baby apart first. But sometimes, he indicates, the baby sticks a limb out through the cervix, and it's just easier to pull that part off and go from there:

Sopher forceps used for abortion.
Sopher forceps, with serrated grasping blades, used to
dismember unborn babies 12 weeks and older
during over 110,000 abortions in the US alone annually.
Carhart: My normal course would be to dismember that extremity and then go back and try to take the fetus out either foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first.

Question: How do you go about dismembering that extremity?

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

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

Carhart: Yes.

Medical illustration of D&E abortion at 23 weeks. Forceps are used to grasp and remove fetal limbs. The fetus is dismembered. Question: Do you consider an arm, for example, to be a substantial portion of the fetus?

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

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

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

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

Carhart: I don’t really know. I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.
This is what happens, day after day, over 110,000 times a year in the United States alone.

It's an ugly truth, but it's one we, as a nation, need to own up to.

UPDATE: I found a downloadable copy: