Friday, July 18, 2014

So Many Whoppers, So Little Time

HT: Jill Stanek

A cheery little web site invites women to Early Options, ta private New York medical practice specializing in abortions -- specifically abortions up to 9 weeks of gestation, or 7 weeks after conception. The web site is a bit high on hype and low on honesty.

First, they talk about their "SofTouch" abortion technique, introducing us gently to the dishonesty that will bloom elsewhere into enormous lies:

They call the method "noninvasive" right before saying that the doctor inserts a tube into the uterus. That's minimally-invasive, not noninvasive.

They describe their abortion technique a method just induces "a natural release" of "your late period."

And, of course, there's the promise that you can always get pregnant again when you're ready -- a promise they can't make because any time you introduce anything into the uterus you're risking infection, which can leave the woman unable to become pregnant in the future.

Let's get to that "late period" that their procedures "release."

I have to first question the ethics of performing a procedure of any kind that they're flat out admitting might be unnecessary to end the pregnancy since it is, they admit, possible that the pregnancy wasn't viable in the first place.

But let's move on. They define "early pregnancy" has having "missed one or two periods." What, exactly, is removed in this early pregnancy procedure?
An early pregnancy consists of tissue similar to your menstrual tissue and a "bubble" of fluid, called the gestational sac. The pregnancy itself is invisible.
The zygote (new organism that comes into existence of conception) is the size of the ovum, which is actually visible to the naked eye. By the time the woman's first period is late, the zygote is 2 weeks into development and has about doubled in size to a tiny but still visible .2 mm. That's the thickness of a small lead in a mechanical pencil. People would have a really, really hard time working their mechanical pencils if the leads were invisible.

Now, let's just skip over to their page on "early pregnancy."

This "educational" information is staggering in its deceitfulness.Before we really dig in, I'd like you to keep in mind something you'll see a screen grab of later. The Early Options web site says:
An early visible embryo begins to form around 10 weeks of pregnancy.
At these stages, early termination of pregnancy is safe and simple. The pregnancy itself has not developed. Ending an early pregnancy is similar to releasing a late menstrual period.
Keep that in mind as I contrast their claims with what embryologists have to say.

Five Weeks.

"At five weeks of pregnancy," they say, "a gestational sac forms. The gestational sac is a thin membrane filled with fluis; this sac would later develop into the amniotic sac. Initially, the gestational sac is the size of a pea."

They're not so much lying as omitting crucial information in their description of what is removed in their procedures, describing it as just a gestational sac and providing a helpful picture of a shredded 5-week (3 weeks of embryonic development) gestational sac. They fail to mention that the embryo itself is so fragile that it is entirely torn apart by the suction.

Five weeks of gestation is three weeks into the embryo's life, at what embryologists call "Carnegie Stage 10." 

I'll admit, the embryo is not very impressive looking at 21 weeks. An untrained person won't even be able to tell if they're looking at the front, back, top, bottom, or side of the embryo. It look a bit like some sort of three-dimensional Rorschach blot. Read into that what you will. Just remember what the web site is telling women:
An early visible embryo begins to form around 10 weeks of pregnancy.
At these stages, early termination of pregnancy is safe and simple. The pregnancy itself has not developed. Ending an early pregnancy is similar to releasing a late menstrual period.
Let's get onto the degree to which "the pregnancy itself has not developed."

At this stage the neural tube, which forms the brain and nervous system, is developing quickly. The cells from which the eyes will develop are differentiated, as are the cells of the ears. The heart, which had originally been just a tube, has folded into an S-shape and has begun beating and circulating blood.

All of this is happening in an embryo so small that it could fit on the tine of a fork. It's tiny. But not invisible.

Seven Weeks.

"At seven weeks of pregnancy," they say, "the gestational sac is the size of a small grape. Cells start to cluster inside the sac, and can be identified on ultrasound but they are too small to be seen with the naked eye."

That's nonsensical on its face. Ultrasound is not nearly as sensitive as the naked eye. though I suppose they could claim they're not lying because the individual cells can't be seen with the naked eye.

Somehow for the illustration they have what they say is a gestational sac -- perhaps passed by a woman who had a chemical abortion, since any mechanical procedure to suction it from the uterus would totally shred it.

Now let's take a look at the "cells" that are starting "to cluster inside the sac." The embryo is now at what embryologists call "Carnegie Stage 14." It is from 5 mm to 7 mm crown to rump.

It looks a bit lumpy, honestly, but the head, abdomen, and limb buds can easily be identified even by an untrained person. I've grabbed a screen shot from The Visible Embryo so you can see for yourself what it is the abortion web site is very pointedly omitting. Remember:
An early visible embryo begins to form around 10 weeks of pregnancy.
At these stages,.... [t]he pregnancy itself has not developed.
Looking at the screen grab, one might say that the lumpy-looking embryo ought not to be too much of a threat to abortion sales, right? There's nothing cute or cuddly about it. Nobody's thinking of an embryo that looks like that when they're knitting baby booties.

It's what is going on inside that blobby-looking body that would be a threat to abortion sales if the potential patients were to get wind of it.Inside that embryo, the brain is dividing into three zones -- hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain. The spinal cord is developing. The eyes are beginning to form. The esophagus and trachea separate and lung sacs are forming. The heart is beating and pumping blood.

All of that going on inside a tiny -- yet quite visible -- body.

Nine Weeks.

"At nine weeks of pregnancy," they now say, "the gestational sac is the size of a half dollar."

And here is from whence I snatched the quote I repeated through the previous sections:
An early visible embryo begins to form around 10 weeks of pregnancy.
At these stages, early termination of pregnancy is safe and simple. The pregnancy itself has not developed. Ending an early pregnancy is similar to releasing a late menstrual period.
Remember, they assure the prospective patient that a "visible embryo" won't begin to form until "around 10 weeks of pregnancy. All the abortion is doing is "releasing a late menstrual period."

Let's get to the matter of what they're carefully keeping from the prospective patient. The goal, clearly, is to convince the woman that all that's being removed from her uterus is something that looks like it washed up on the beach after a storm.

The nine-week pregnancy is an embryo seven weeks into development from the time of conception. At seven weeks of gestation, the embryo is at 5 weeks developmentally, or "Carnegie Stage 19."
The embryo -- excuse me, "late period" -- is 13 mm to 18 mm from crown to rump. For comparison, a dime is just a hair over 18 mm in diameter. A screen grab from The Visible Embryo showing the contents of a "7-week gestational sac" drives home the degree to which this abortion facility is being dishonest.

Though the embryo is small and still a bit alien-looking, the eyes, ears, nose, fingers and toes are all clearly visible. And what's going on inside? The semicircular canals are starting to form in the inner ears. The ovaries or testes are forming. Toenails are developing. The hands, which develop before the feet, already have fingernails.

The embryo has been developing rapidly during the past two weeks. Tiny nipples have formed on the chest. Tiny kidneys are producing urine. The skeleton is ossifying. Tooth buds are forming in his jaws. The miniscule heart already has four chambers. The embryo's brain has already divided into hemispheres, and the olfactory bulb, which provides the sense of smell, has formed.

A Letter from Dr. Fleischman

Think back to the illustrations that the web site uses, and how they differ from what the embryology site has to say and illustrate. Rather than show an accurate illustration of the embryo that the woman is making a decision about, they show nothing but a shredded gestational sac, which is tougher than the embryonic tissues and thus more intact after the abortion.

The Earl Options site offers further reassurance in the form of "A Letter from Dr. Fleischman," in which she beats the claim of there being no developed embryo with a 2x4:

The early pregnancy tissue does not resemble an embryo. It is indistinguishable from a small clump of mucus. You are welcome to look at it. We have found that women who look at the tissue feel tremendous relief. They have often seen photos on the internet that have made them feel like the pregnancy is far more advanced.
In other words, Dr. Fleischman and her staff don't just push falsehood on the web site. They rinse away the blood and the pulverized embryo and show the woman the gestational sac, telling her that this is all that was removed from her womb.

Of course the woman feels a sense of relief -- at the moment. She trusts the doctor, who has told her again and again and again and again that there is nothing in her womb that in any way resembles an embryo, that what's in there "is indistinguishable from a small clump of mucus." The woman feels her sense of relief and goes home.

The question is, how will she feel later when she has a wanted pregnancy and goes to a pregnancy web site and learns the truth? I was with my babysitter when she was finally pregnant with a baby her mother couldn't force her to abort -- when she looked at a prenatal development book from the library and learned that what Planned Parenthood had told her was "like a blood clot" was more like what she considered a baby. Planned Parenthood staff weren't there. I was.

Dr. Fleischman won't be there for the women she had in her office years earlier when they learn the truth. She will have long since collected her fee. And even if they learn the truth juts days later, what are they going to do? You can't return an abortion. You can only live with the reality.

Here's a challenge to the people who get their knickers in a twist about prolife centers supposedly misleading women. Why not hold Early Options up to a reasonable standard of honesty?

Friday, July 04, 2014

"Extreme and Disrespectful"

The HuffPo is being a bit chirked up after the Hobby Lobby ruling by the news that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has vetoed what he calls an "extreme and disrespectful" bill requiring women to take responsibility for their abortions.

The law would have done two things:
  1. Increase the pre-abortion waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours
  2. Require the abortionist to show the woman her unborn baby on ultrasound, and play the baby's heartbeat for her
It is not "extreme and disrespectful" to hold a woman to an adult's level of responsibility. When a judge sentences a convicted murderer to death, he looks the prisoner right in the eye and reads the sentence, and then he signs it. And there's no pussyfooting around. The method of execution is spelled out clearly.

An abortion is not merely ending a pregnancy. It is ending the life of another human being. It is extreme and disrespectful toward that human being to try to pretend she doesn't even exist, that she's nothing more than an unwanted growth.

But even more, it's disrespectful of women to presume that they're not adults capable of squarely facing up to what their choices are. A decision to have an abortion, as I said before, is not a decision merely to end a pregnancy. It is a decision that a particular unique and irreplaceable human being must die at your request. And if you're unable to square up to that, you have no business having an abortion in the first place.

The idea that it's somehow putting an undue emotional burden on the woman is condescending. Frankly, I think she should have to face up to the reality of what she's doing much more squarely. She should have to see the baby and hear his heartbeat, yes. But she should go through a counseling session during which she is presented with all the information about how she could resolve her problems without resorting to the death of another human being. She should then have to first read aloud and then sign a document enumerating the non-violent alternatives that were offered to her and has rejected them in favor of the death of her child. The death warrant should also clearly state the means of execution, and not in some roundabout way like "via a termination of pregnancy procedure." The exact cause of the death should be spelled out -- lethal injection into the heart or brain, dismemberment, withholding of nutrition via chemical means. And she should have to both read out loud and sign a statement very clearly saying that this is indeed what she is freely choosing.

If women are going to take on the decision to end the life of another human being, they should do it honestly and in a straightforward manner. And I think it's time the prolife movement started drafting legislation mandating that women clearly and honestly state that they want their baby to die before they're allowed to have it killed. If she can't stomach that reality, she can't stomach the abortion.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Operation Rescue Verifies: Lakisha Wilson Died from Abortion Complications

Lakisha Wilson
Operation Rescue has obtained the autopsy report of 22-year-old Lakisha Wilson. Lakisha went to Preterm Abortion Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on March 21, 2014. She was 19.4 weeks pregnant.

After the abortion, she began bleeding heavily due to uterine atony (her uterus wasn't contracting and stopping her from bleeding from where the placenta had been attached.

The later in pregnancy an abortion is done, the higher the risk of uterine atony and its associated bleeding.

The Centers for Disease Control has said that with modern diagnostics and care, there is no legitimate reason for a woman to bleed to death after an abortion. Lakisha's hemorrhage left her brain without oxygen, ultimately causing her death.

Several house later she was finally taken to Chase University Medical Center, where she was placed on life support and pronounced dead on March 28.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Misinformation, The Pro-Choice, and Hobby Lobby

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, we've seen a lot of rending of garments by the political Left. Much of this weeping and lamentation (and in some cases downright tantrum throwing) is based on a profound ignorance about what is actually going on.

The Wardrobe Door sums up the situation in "7 Myths (or Outright Lies) About Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court Ruling." In a nutshell, the outraged are either lying or grotesquely mistaken in these beliefs:
1. The Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby to ban all birth control. Actually, before the ruling Hobby Lobby was already covering 16 different birth control methods and will continue to provide coverage for those 16. Hobby Lobby will not (and cannot) prevent any employee from purchasing the other four types themselves.
2. All business owners can now stop covering these forms of birth control. Actually, the decision limited this to closely held companies, basically small businesses or family-owned companies. Although Hobby Lobby is a large, national chain store, they are owned and operated by a single family.

3. Religious owners can now refuse any type of medical treatment based on their beliefs. Actually, the ruling only addresses the four abortifacient birth control methods that Hobby Lobby took umbrage with.

4. The government (or our boss) is now in our bedroom. Actually, as writer Sean Davis put it: "The question is not about whether Hobby Lobby is in your bedroom, making birth control choices for you. The question is about whether the federal government has the right to force Hobby Lobby into your bedroom to pay for every form of birth control you may choose."

5. Hobby Lobby is hypocritical because they do business in China. That's a completely separate issue. I'll also point out that Hobby Lobby is doing business with Chinese businesses, whereas it's the Chinese government that forces abortions.

6. This is just another battle in the War on Women. As previously pointed out, as we already discussed Hobby Lobby covers 16 of the 20 contraceptives for women. They also don't cover vasectomies or condoms. Does this constitute a "War on Men?"

7. The ruling jeopardizes the health of women. Even the White House is pushing this lie. It's an incredible leap from "Pay for your own Plan B" to jeopardizing somebody's health. Plus, Hobby Lobby pays so much above minimum wage that any woman who wants Plan B need only work a single day to earn enough above and beyond minimum wage to pay for a dose of Plan B. She need only work a little under four weeks to pay for the most expensive IUD. But more relevant -- she makes enough more to afford better food, a gym membership, etc. to improve her health. And -- this is an important point to remember -- her ordinary health care is still covered.
So here we are, with the most misinformed people, and those most militant in their misinformation, standing firmly for something they don't even fully understand.  And this is hardly new on the political Left.

In 1990, three massive surveys were commissioned by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Family Research Council, and Americans United for Life and conducted by the Gallup Organization. Those surveys were not designed to produce propaganda for release to the general public. They were intended for in-house use to fully understand the target audience of the pro-life message. James Davison Hunter summarized those findings in "What Americans Really Think About Abortion," published in First Things in 1992.

Hunter made note of something very telling:

Curiously the people most confident in their misinformation about abortion law generally, and Roe v. Wade in particular, were the ones most hostile to the pro-life cause. Those who view themselves as moderately or strongly pro-choice (who are also disproportionately college-educated), for example, are nearly two times more likely than the national average to say that Roe permits abortion only in the first three months.
 So what we're seeing -- the people most confident in their misinformation about the Hobby Lobby case in particular, and all the issues surrounding abortifacients in general, are the ones most hostile to the cause of religious liberty.

This militant misinformation works well for the abortion lobby, the birth control lobby, and the political Left, so we can't expect them to ever stop doing it. What we can do, however, is become as educated ourselves about life-issue news as quickly and thoroughly as possible so we can head the lies off at the pass and prevent the Left from whipping people into a frenzy over things they are clueless about.