Friday, July 31, 2015

The Ghoulish World of Fetal Tissue Harvesting

I have been working to isolate segments from the 4th video in the Center For Medical Progress videos about Planned Parenthood's role in fetal tissue harvesting. I hope to put up something more in-depth soon, but in the mean time, I will let these sections from the transcript of the full video speak for themselves. I will be reposting them later with clarifying information and comments.

I have inset screenshots from the video. Click to enlarge.


Transcript by the Center for Medical Progress
7 April 2015


Savita Ginde, MD, Vice President and Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
J.R. Johnstone, Clinical Research Coordinator, PPRM
Jess, Medical Assistant, PPRM
Two buyers and a nurse


Ginde: Intact. So we do basically D&Es. Intact is less than ten percent.

Buyer: Okay. Less than ten percent..

Buyer: OK. So, if they know that what we're looking for is intact, and gestational age later, are they able to – I'm ignorant of this, so I'm relying on you. Are they able to adjust the technique to provide that?

Ginde: No. Because we're not – It's not like we do inductions or anything where we would have an intact delivery of any type. So, it's really hit or miss on how everything comes out in the cannula.

Buyer: OK, and you can't control that at all? It's just what presents.

Ginde: Sometimes we get – if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then they are intact, but that's not what we go for.

Buyer: … Chemical contamination is the only contamination that we would be concerned with. Which is why, you know, for providers that use dig., they're can't use dig because it nukes the stem cells. ….

Ginde: …. we're planning on going from eighteen to twenty weeks by the end of the year....

(In the lab)

Jess: I just want to see another leg, with a foot.

Ginde: It's a baby. The question is. So –


Buyer: This is the placenta. This part of –

Ginde: This is part of the head.

Buyer: Oh wow. That – This is high quality.

Ginde. Yeah. The nose?

Buyer: Yeah, I see the mouth and everything.

Ginde: Oh look, here's some intestines. Once we take it out of water it will be harder to identify.

Buyer: This is –

Ginde: That's the pelvis.

Buyer: This is pelvis with rib cage.

Ginde: That's thorax

Buyer: Here, right?

Ginde: Exactly.

Buyer: So maybe –

Ginde: Look, something is attached to this.

Buyer: If we flip this over, maybe that's stomach.

Ginde: This is the head, I think. This is the cervical spine, and this is the lumbar/thoracic spine.

Buyer: Got it. This is the beginnings of the – so maybe if I flip it over, we might see heart.

Ginde: Possibly, it looks like a spleen. (Inaudible)

Jess: Usually the organs are cleaner –

Ginde: Oh, look, here's the heart. Is that right?

Buyer: Yeah.

Ginde: Here's the heart.

Jess: I'm trying to get in on it.

Ginde: My fingers will smoosh it if I try to pick it up. The heart is right there.

Buyer: You found the heart right there. I wonder if this is spleen. I'm sorry, not spleen, pancreas.

Ginde: So, what would be – the spear? Is that the best thing to use?

Buyer: Oh, this? This is just to hunt around and look. Then obviously, you'd have tweezers as well, to pick up certain pieces.

Ginde: I was going to get you some as well, but obviously that's not good use because it was possibly stretch out – so I just don't know. We probably have to get some proper instruments.

Buyer: Yeah. We would provide that. What have we identified? So, calvarium, in three pieces. With, this is –

Ginde: So you said they would want the cal?

Buyer: Yeah, they want the cal because they want the brain. This is neural matter over here, because here is the lower part of the law and cervical spine. So this is spinal cord and –

Ginde: So, that's what you want?

Buyer: So, yeah. This is neural matter. I believe this might be thymus and stuff.

Ginde: Let me see if I can rinse that a little more so it's not so bloody. You might be able to see a little better.

Ginde: So, that would be it, because no one ever wants hands or legs, anything like that.

Buyer: Sometimes.

Ginde: Really?

Buyer: Probably from larger gestations though because they want muscle or bome marrow like, from the long bones. And that would – this is very tiny. It would be difficult to extract bone marrow from this. You would want something a little bigger, it's easier to get in there. Oh, we've got a whole – is this long bone, Jess?

Jess: No. I think it's shoulder.

Buyer: It's just shoulder muscle.

Ginde: But sometimes with the residents, I tell them to poke around, and sometimes embryology will come full circle. Find all the parts you know, see what you can see. Especially with the thirteen, fourteen, fifteen weekers, I think it's pretty amazing. We find heart, we've seen kidneys andrenals, sometimes there's a thing I don't know what that is but it's a part.

Buyer: What's this? This is another six or seven –

Jess: This is nine.

Buyer: Oh, this is nine.

Jess: Yes. I think this has a lot of spinal fluid.

Buyer: That's the whole bottom half of the cadaver, right there. You've got two legs and –

Ginde: There's two arms missing. Here's the head, is this spinal column? Because here's her thorax.

Buyer: Must be. Yeah.

Ginde. Interesting. It's so big. Here's her heart.

Buyer: Oh. Wow.

Jess: Here's something. I don't know what it is but it looks like more than two.

Ginde: But, you don't want these, right?

Buyer: Well that's a very intact looking heart.

Ginde: Yeah, it is.

Jess: So fast, it's the twelve weeks and everyone wants to know, is it twins?

Buyer: You've been looking for twins all day.

Nurse: This might be (Inaudible)

Jess: As a trainee m y blood pressure goes up any time I can't find it all right away. I'm like, “Ahh! Where is it?”

Nurse: I found it in there.

Jess: Oh, the other one? OK, great.

Buyer: The other leg?

Jess: Yeah, the other leg. That's why I said think you. It was stressing me out. She said she saw it – oh, there it is. There's a little foot. There's another heart, completely perfect.

Buyer: Is that the cal?

Jess: Yes. The cervical –

Buyer: Yeah, and there's brainstem in there.

Jess: Yeah. I don't see the eyeballs. That looks like an organ of some sort, but I don't know what it is. Maybe – No, that's just placenta.

Buyer: You squeeze to try to find the cal, all the little pieces of it because it will crack.

Jess: There's an eyeball. (Inaudible) enough of the calvarium given how, I should talk to Dr. Ginde and see if she's comfortable with this. What do you think of the size of the calvarium? It looks like we don't have the whole thing in here.

Nurse: I think you do.

Jess: Yes, it just looks weird. There's this part and I saw this part.

Nurse: Sure. And then there's this part right here, too. It's the front and then I saw an eyeball, there's an eyeball. (Inaudible) I thought I saw two. It's in there, the other one's in there. See it?

Jess: This is where the nasal bridge is. See it?

Buyer: Oh yeah. There you go.

Jess: So only one fetus.

Buyer: I think this big thing right here is liver.

Ginde: Yeah. It's so soft though, but I guess maybe it doesn't –

Buyer: No, it's definitely not like an older liver. It's not doing all the same functions. I saw a kidney in here. And the cal. At first there was brin in here but –

Ginde: It got blasted out.

Buyer: It got blasted out with water.

Ginde: Well you know a lot of times especially with the second tris, we won't even put water because it's so big you can just put your hand in there and pick it up, the parts.

Buyer: Right, just pick it up.

Ginde: And so, I don't think it would be as -- war-torn.

Buyer: Ha. War-torn? Oh, dear. Our tech [name] was telling me what I was looking at before and saying it was thymus, he's pretty sure that's what it was. So I want to show him that little one again.

Ginde: This little thing? Want me to clean it off?

Buyer: So that, that definitely looks like brain. I think this is pancreas because the pancreas has that shape. It's got that long corn shape with a head and the tail of the pancreas. Then there’s ducts running through it. If you look closely, it looks like this is maybe half of it. We found the heart in there but – Yeah, I'll bet, because you look at this rib cage here and I bet there was a lot more stuff in there before it got the fire hose. So that's the other thing.

Ginde: I wonder if that was part of this. But is it, you know, do people say, they want twelve-week, I don't know, liver?

Buyer: Yeah. It's a specific request at twelve weeks. Brain is typically a later gestation but I've read plenty of research studies where they were growing plenty of neural progenitors out of seven week brain.

Ginde: I was just wondering if we shuold know ahead of time if we had a twelve-weeker, our goal was to get –

Buyer: Absolutely.

Ginde: If they were going to hose it, they would take the cal out first.

Ginde: I think, my experience at least, anecdotally, if the patients could do something with that, they would donate it. I don't know if they want to know that we are going to pick it apart but –

Buyer: Organ donation.

Ginde: They want to donate organs, they don't need to know the process you go through – the deceased individual to harvest stuff.

Buyer: So, somebody else just did that procedure, right? Because you were out here talking.

Ginde: She did. There's some organs for you.

Buyer: They're all attached.

Ginde: Here's some stomach, a heart, kidney, and adrenal. I don't know what else is in there.

Jess: Head, arms, I don't see any legs. Do you see the legs?

Ginde: I didn't really look but –

Buyer: Yeah, there it goes. Yup, you got all of them right there.

Jess: Another boy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Two Deaths From the 1940s, One From 1985

On July 29, 1941, 34-year-old Agnes Pearson of White Plains, New York died at Grasslands Hospital in New York of peritonitis caused by complications from an abortion. Agnes left two children motherless. Dr. Nathan Schwartz, age 55, and Dr. Samuel Schwartz (not related), age 68, were charged with manslaughter in Agnes' death. The Grand Jury heard evidence from Agnes' husband, four hospital doctors, three nurses, state police, and a laboratory worker. The charges were dismissed in 1946 for reasons I have been unable to determine.

On July 29, 1949 Dorothy Martin went to the home of P.D. Beigun for an abortion. Beigun was not a physician or qualified to practice medicine. Beigun took Dorothy into a bedroom while the man who had arranged the abortion, Virgil Echols, waited in the living room. About 15 or 20 minutes later, Echols heard a sound described as a "slump," and Beigun called for him to come and help. Beigun went into the other room and found Beigun supporting an unconscious Dorothy by the waist. Dorothy made a gurgling sound. Echols helped Beigun lay Dorothy on the bed. Echols tried to revive Dorothy, and asked Beigun what happened. Beigun indicated that he'd packed Dorothy's uterus with gauze. The men summoned police and an ambulance. While they waited, Beigun instructed Echols to say that Dorothy had fainted. When the police arrived, Dorothy was dead. The next day the toxicologist and a physician performed an autopsy. They found that Dorothy's cervix had been dialated, discolored, and abraded, and that her injury must have been very painful. They believed that gauze had been forced into Dorothy's uterus, even though no gauze was present at autopsy, because her injuries were consistent with this scenario. They also concluded that Dorothy had gone into shock and died within a few minutes of her injury. Dorothy had been in good health, with no abnormalities of her heart, lungs, or kidneys and no history of fainting. The fetus appeared to be about three to four months of gestation. In trial, it came out that Echols had previously brought his own wife to Beigun for an abortion, which had nearly killed her. 

Twenty-six-year-old Yvette Poteat had an abortion performed by Dr. Marion D. Dorn Jr. at The Ladies Clinic in Charleston, South Carolina on July 16, 1985. On July 27, Yvette experienced "sudden, sharp, constant lower abdominal pains," and was taken to a hospital by her fiancee. Yvette was admitted to the emergency room, where she informed the doctors about the abortion. She was mistakenly diagnosed as having pelvic inflammatory disease, was given medication, and was discharged after several hours with instructions to seek follow-up care in two days. Throughout July 28, Yvette experienced continued pain. She called the hospital but "was instructed not to return but to give the medication a chance to work." Early in the morning of July 29, Yvette collapsed at home. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She went into cardiac arrest due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that both Dorn and the hospital staff had failed to diagnose, and was pronounced dead 6:15 a.m. A suit Yvette's family filed against Dorn, the clinic, the hospital, and hospital doctors won a small $23,000 plaintiff verdict in 1987.

Planned Parenthood/Body Parts: Human Capital Episode 1

Another video has been released about the relationship between Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue procurement  companies.This one features a woman identified as a former employee a procurement company called StemExpress. This video has the ring of truth to it. What the woman describes happening in the lab is consistent with what is standard procedure in abortion facility labs.

Here is the video. The images become graphic after the wooden door is opened.

I took sets of images to illustrate two issues.

The Tissue in Question

First, I think it's important to get an idea of what's going on when fetal organs and tissues are being harvested. I took screenshots from the discussions about intact kidneys and usable neural tissue. The fetus whose body is being picked through is aged 11.6, which means 11 weeks and six days. I have inserted an image of a miscarried 12-week fetus for comparison. The size and appearance of the identifiable body parts are clearly consistent with a fetus of approximately 12 weeks.

The images are very graphic, so I am posting them in a very small size. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

I am unable to identify the kidneys being discussed in the screenshot, but I've never seen fetal kidneys so I don't know what they'd look like. In the screenshot inset I can only identify limbs and eyes. To get a better idea of what roughly 12-week fetal kidneys would look like, I did some googling. According to Embryology of the Kidney, the unborn human develops three forms of kidneys, the third and final of which begin to develop in the 5th week. This video helps to explain it. According to this video (which is long, technical, and narrated by a fast-speaking woman with a thick accent), the final kidney begins to function in about the 9th week, as the second kidney is regressing. This video shows diagrams of kidney development, and at 12 weeks the kidney is starting to take what we think of as a kidney shape. According to this embryology site, kidney development is completed at about week 15. At week 15, therefore, I'd expect a fetal kidney to be shaped enough like an adult kidney that it could be identified by a layman. I haven't been able to learn if a 12-week kidney would have the distinctive kidney shape. The blood had also drained out of the fetal remains, which might also drain the distinctive color out of a kidney.

It took me a while to see what was being identified in the second screenshot, showing the neural tissue. I have concluded that the white tissue to the left is the brain, with the spinal cord extending into the partial neck and thorax. This conclusion is consistent with the diagram I found which shows the parts of the 11-week fetal brain. I have marked structures in the screenshot that I believe I have identified.

This also makes sense in the context of the discussion about whether this specimen could be shipped out as-is, which was answered in the affirmative. The technician also indicated that some labs prefer to get neural tissue as it is in the image because it is more protected. One could see how the fragments of neck and thorax would protect the spinal cord.

Follow the Money

The issue is that of profiteering. I believe that this video shows compelling evidence. I have captured screenshots of the discussion. The screenshot shows fetal tissue, and I have added an inset of the 12-week miscarried fetus for comparison. Those images are very graphic. Click to enlarge.

Let's look at the exchange between Dr. Savita Ginde of Planned Parenthood and the purported buyer:
BUYER: That 11.6 [week fetus] was pretty  good. There was 9sic) three or four samples we could have taken out of the 11.6.  If we were doing like $50 to $75 per specimen, that'd be like $200 to $300 [total from that fetus], and we'd be comfortable with that.But stuff like this, we don't want to be like just a flat fee of like $200, and then, it's like --
PP: No, and the, I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.
This indicates to me that Planned Parenthood would be motivated to try to find more fetal tissue in order to get an additional $50 to $75. I can't see that the few minutes it would take to find additional tissue would be taking $50 to $75 worth of employee time.

From what I see in this video, Dr. Ginde isn't expressing any desire to provide maximum benefit to medical research. She is not trying to calculate the cost to Planned Parenthood of extracting valuable organs and tissues out of that dish. She is trying to maximize the amount of money that Planned Parenthood gets from the procurement company, well above and beyond anything it can possibly be costing the facility to pick the organs and tissue out of the mangled remains of an aborted fetus. And from the overall context of the video, it's entirely possible that the Planned Parenthood lab staff would be doing nothing at all to harvest the salable tissues; all of that would be done by the procurement company employee at no cost to Planned Parenthood beyond a few minutes of making the light box and pie pans available.


In this third video, I think that the Center for Medical Progress has caught Dr. Ginde engaged in conspiracy to profiteer from fetal tissue.

Final note: Just in case YouTube takes it down, here's a low-res copy of the video:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Mystery Death, Two Safe and Legal

On July 28, 1928, 21-year-old homemaker Maud Thurmond died in Chicago from sepsis from a criminal abortion performed that day. Nobody was ever held accountable for Maud's death.

Charisse Ards is one of the women Life Dynamics lists on the Blackmun Wall of women killed by safe and legal abortion. Life Dynamics indicates that Charisse was 20 years old, single, and a mother of one. According to Life Dynamics, Charisse died July 28, 1989, from a pelvic infection after a legal abortion.

Thirty-two-year-old Mary Ann Dancy was a mother of five when she went to Fleming Center in North Raleigh, North Carolina for a safe and legal abortion on July 27, 1990. The abortion was performed by Clarence J. Washington. He documented no complications. However, after Mary Ann went home, she bled heavily, and the next day, July 28, she was taken to Halifax Memorial Hospital. She died that night during emergency surgery from hemorrhage due to a lacerated cervix.

Monday, July 27, 2015

From Criminal in 1884 to Safe and Legal in 1985

Twenty-five-year-old Lizzie Cook died suddenly on July 27, 1884, in Lockport, New York. Dr. Ira T. Richmond (alias Butler) was arrested. Richmond had come to Lockport a year earlier and opened a sanitarium, "which died for want of patronage." Richmond was charged with first degree murder, and Lizzie's sister, Mrs. W. H. Bowen, was charged as an accessory. Evidently Lizzie's brother-in-law, Mr. W. H. Bowen, had taken her to Richmond's practice, where she was examined in his presence and diagnosed with dropsy and blood poisoning. Two days later, she was put to bed at Bowen's house at about 11:00 at night, and remained there sick for nearly three weeks before her death. Richmond attended to her on a daily basis, sometimes visiting more than once a day, during that time. "The secrecy in getting her body removed to her home created suspicion," so her body was exhumed that afternoon for an autopsy that revealed signs that she had died from a surgically performed abortion.

On July 27, 1920, 38-year-old homemaker Adelaide Fowler died at her Chicago home after a criminal abortion. Dr. Barney Welty was arrested, and indicted by a Grand Jury on August 1, but the case never went to trial.

Headshot of a middle-aged white man with brown hair
Dr. Benjamin Munwon
Eighteen-year-old Yvonne Mesteth was the second of two patients to die of infection after safe and legal abortionsby South Dakota abortionist Benjamin Munson. (The other was Linda Padfield.)  Yvonne was in the second trimester of her pregnancy. The abortion was performed in Munson's office in Rapid City. Yvonne developed an infection, kidney failure, and adult respiratory distress syndrome. She died on July 27, 1985. Munson is the third former criminal abortionist I've learned of who had a clean record -- no patient deaths -- as a criminal abortionist, only to go on to kill two patients in his legal practice. The others are Milan Vuitch (Georgianna English and Wilma Harris) and Jesse Ketchum (Margaret Smith and Carole Schaner). Despite having already killed Linda Padfield, Munson was welcomed into the National Abortion Federation

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Four Anniversaries, Many More Deaths

On July 26, 1877, Mrs. Augusta Boschen was found dead in the Chicago home and office of Dr. Muleck from complications of an illegal abortion. She had left her house the previous night and was never seen alive again. Dr. Muleck fled to avoid arrest. Before leaving, he left a letter for his wife saying that he had not performed the abortion, but had just provided Augusta with the instruments, "she being so bashful and modest as not to allow him to do the work." When Augusta went into convulsions, he said, he'd concluded that she was going to die and skipped town. "The scoundrel of a doctor has not yet been caught, and hence the evidence was meagre."

Lucy Hagenow
On July 26, 1925, Mrs. Lottie Lowy, age 27, died at the Chicago office of Lucy Hagenow (pictured) from an abortion performed that day. Hagenow also operated under the name Louise Hagenow. Hagenow, who had already been implicated of the abortion deaths of Louise Derchow, Annie Dorris, Abbia Richards, and Emma Dep in San Francisco, would go on to be linked to over a dozen Chicago abortion deaths: Minnie Deering, Sophia Kuhn, Emily Anderson, Hannah Carlson, Marie Hecht, Mary Putnam, Lola Madison, Annie Horvatich, Nina H. Pierce, Jean Cohen, Bridget Masterson, Elizabeth Welter, and Mary Moorehead. Hagenow was typical of criminal abortionists in that she was a physician.

On July 16, 1930, homemaker Evelyn Dellorto, age 20, underwent an illegal abortion believed to have been performed at the office of Dr. Frank Psota. Evelyn died on July 25. On August 1, Psota was booked for murder by abortion even though the coroner's verdict was "undetermined." Psota was indicted, and held on $10,000 bond by Judge Lyle. On December 10, he was acquitted of the murder charge.

Mildred Maddalone, age 32, died on July 26, 1944, steadfastly refusing to name the abortionist who had fatally injured her. Her husband, from whom she was separated, told investigators that he hadn't even known that she was pregnant.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Sting: Dr. Mary Gatter and Using Different Techniques

The recently released Planned Parenthood videos have been making the rounds and rousing ire. When the first one was released, I wanted to really dig in and go into detail about how shady Planned Parenthood was being. In the first video however, with Dr. Deborah Nucotela, the only accurate allegation I saw when I watched the unedited version was that Dr. Nucotela really does provide a chipper explanation of how she chooses carefully where to crush the living unborn baby in order to get organs out undamaged. The allegations that she uses partial-birth abortion and that she was observed trying to help her organization to profiteer from fetal tissue harvesting, on the other hand, fell flat. You can find my analysis in these posts:

The Full Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Video provides the unedited video of the entire lunch meeting with Dr. Deborah Nucolela, along with a timeline indicating what is discussed at what points in the video. This enables the reader to verify what I am asserting.

The Shameful Edit of the Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Video examines the allegation that Dr. Nucotela uses partial-birth abortions to harvest the organs and tissues of aborted babies. I compare the edited video, which makes Dr. Nucotela look guilty, with the unedited video, which reveals that she said nothing that can honestly be construed as an admission of perpetrating partial-birth abortions.

Did She Really Say Planned Parenthood Sells Aborted Baby Parts does the same with the allegation that Dr. Nucotela admitted that Planned Parenthood profiteers from the tissues and organs of aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood Derangement Syndrome examines the prolife community's knee-jerk willingness to believe any allegations of evil committed by Planned Parenthood, and the tendency to cling to those allegations of evil even in the light of evidence to the contrary.

In a more recent post I moved on to the second video, recording a lunch meeting with Dr. Mary Gatter, President of the Medical Directions' Council of Planned Parenthood, and Laurel Felczer,  Senior Director of Medical Services of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley. You can refer to the full, unedited video of that meeting and the transcript of that meeting. The first thing I looked at was the allegation that Dr. Gatter was openly haggling and looking to maximize profits from the sale of fetal tissue. Though I found Dr. Gatter to be callous and off-putting, I didn't see any evidence of profiteering as a goal.

Today I'm going to look at the second allegation: That Planned Parenthood is willing to change how they do abortions in order to obtain usable fetal tissue. On this issue, Dr. Gatter expresses a willingness, only shying away from a commitment until she consults with their abortionist.

Here is the video:

The change being proposed isn't a major change, but it still is a change and can carry different risks to the patient. And, as Dr. Gatter points out, changing the technique just to get better fetal tissue is illegal. The image below, which you can click to enlarge, is the relevant section of the transcript of the Gatter video.

The purported buyer approaches the issue of how intact a specimen would be at 10 to 12 weeks.

Dr. Gatter points out that the usual method is suction, which uses a suction machine similar to what a dentist uses to remove extra fluid from your mouth during dental work.

Dr. Gatter suggests that they might use an abortion method she called IPAS.

IPAS is actually an organization, the International Pregnancy Advisory Services. IPAS promotes an abortion method first popularized in the 1960s by a colorful and rather shady character named Harvey Karman. The method is actually called MVA, for manual vacuum aspiration.

As the name implies, manual vacuum aspiration uses manually-generated suction rather than machine-generated suction, and thus does less damage to the fetus.

Dr. Gatter recognizes that using MVA rather than a standard suction abortion for donation patients would be illegal, since MVA is considered a different technique. She even says that the buyer is talkign to her about taking money to do something that's not right. Nevertheless, she indicates a willingness to discuss the possibility of using MVA on donation patients when she talks to Ian, the facility's abortion practitioner.

While this video does not verify that Planned Parenthood as an organization does or would actually change an abortion technique in order to harvest fetal tissue, it does clearly demonstrate that Dr. Mary Gatter personally would have no problem with it. She tells the prospective buyers that she'll talk to Ian about using a "less crunchy" technique.

If a Planned Parenthood doctor wanted to give the patient a choice between a standard aspiration abortion and a manual vacuum aspiration abortion, somehow I doubt that MVA would be described to the patient as "less crunchy." And you can bet your bottom dollar that none of the current consent forms characterize a suction abortion as "crunchy."

Dr. Gatter has put her foot firmly into her mouth on two counts: willingness to try to talk a Planned Parenthood doctor into helping her break the law, and extreme callousness.

Two Deaths in Chicago: 1911 and 1939

Katherine Collins, 23 years old, died on July 25, 1911 at Chicago's Lake Side Hospital from an abortion committed by an unidentified perpetrator.

On July 16, 1930, homemaker Evelyn Dellorto, age 20, underwent an illegal abortion believed to have been performed at the office of Dr. Frank Psota. Evelyn died on July 25, leaving behind her husband, James. On August 1, Psota was booked for murder by abortion even though the coroner's verdict was "undetermined." Psota was indicted, and held on $10,000 bond by Judge Lyle. On December 10, he was acquitted of the murder charge. Evelyn's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was attributed to a physician.

Keep in mind 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. In fact, due to improvements in addressing these problems, maternal mortality in general (and abortion mortality with it) fell dramatically in the 20th Century, decades before Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion across America.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Two Deaths: 1929 and 1931

On July 16, 1929, Dr. Sven Windrow performed an abortion on 19-year-old Emmy Anderson at a Chicago location. Emmy died on July 24. Dr. Windrow was held by the coroner on July 25. Jacque Lagrave, age 67, was held as an accessory. Windrow was indicted February 6, 1929 for felony murder. Emmy's abortion was typical of illegal abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Mrs. Sophie Layton of Raleigh, North Carolina, was sentenced to five years for the abortion death of 20-year-old Miss Celia Roberts of Granville County. Celia had gone to Raleigh in July of 1931 for an abortion, which was perpetrated on July 22. She was taken to a hospital in Oxford, where she died on July 24 after naming Layton as her abortionist. A Justice of the Peace, I. E. Harris, was arrested "on charges of advising and procuring the operation." He turned state's evidence and identified Layton as the abortionist -- though on her deathbed Celia had sworn that Harris had nothing to do with her situation. Another man, whose ties to the events I have been unable to determine, also testified that Layton went into Celia's room the night of the abortion.

Keep in mind that things that things we take for granted, like antibiotics and blood banks, were still in the future. In fact, it was blood banks and antibiotics that reduced maternal deaths from abortion. Abortion-rights advocates who claim otherwise are either misinformed or are wantonly stealing credit for the accomplishments of others.

The Mary Gatter Planned Parenthood "Sting" - Follow the Money?

UPDATE: I have modified this post because I was presented with an anaysis that I think makes more sense. I have concluded that I was being overly charitable toward Dr. Gatter, though I stand by my analysis of the Deborah Nucotela video.

First, a recap of what I wrote about the Nucotela video:

The Full Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Video provides the unedited video of the entire lunch meeting with Dr. Deborah Nucolela, along with a timeline indicating what is discussed at what points in the video. This enables the reader to verify what I am asserting.

The Shameful Edit of the Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Video examines the allegation that Dr. Nucotela uses partial-birth abortions to harvest the organs and tissues of aborted babies. I compare the edited video, which makes Dr. Nucotela look guilty, with the unedited video, which reveals that she said nothing that can honestly be construed as an admission of perpetrating partial-birth abortions.

Did She Really Say Planned Parenthood Sells Aborted Baby Parts does the same with the allegation that Dr. Nucotela admitted that Planned Parenthood profiteers from the tissues and organs of aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood Derangement Syndrome examines the prolife community's knee-jerk willingness to believe any allegations of evil committed by Planned Parenthood, and the tendency to cling to those allegations of evil even in the light of evidence to the contrary.

Now, to move on to the second video, recording a lunch meeting with Dr. Mary Gatter, President of the Medical Directions' Council of Planned Parenthood, and Laurel Felczer,  Senior Director of Medical Services of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley. You can refer to the full, unedited video of that meeting and the transcript of that meeting.

Here is the video:

This second video is more damning than the first, and not only because Dr. Nucotela doesn't engage in the sort of haggling we seem to be seeing Dr. Gatter engaging in. Dr. Gatter is also jarringly flippant. And yes, she does appear very much to be haggling over the prices of fetal remains.

I must give credit to Josh Brahm, who summed it up thus:
It basically comes down to what is the most plausible explanation of the events. Obviously we want to be charitable, but there's a danger of being too charitable if we end up with a less plausible explanation of the events. I think if Dr. Gatter really wanted to make sure the clinics don't profit, then she would have responded to the negotiation very differently. She would have said something like, "You're thinking about this the wrong way. You want me to agree to a number when all we want is to be fairly reimbursed for our time/expenses and NOT A PENNY MORE. Those reimbursements will vary based on the clinic and other factors like whether your people are the ones collecting the parts in the path room or us, etc. Stop with the negotiation tactics. Negotiations only make sense if both parties are trying to get the best possible deal. We don't want a good deal. We just want to be reimbursed."
I can't argue with that. I think that after feeling punked over the Nucotela video, I was being overly cautious in looking at the Dr. Gatter video.

Click to enlarge.

I really think that there's nothing to add to what Josh said. His analysis is far more plausible than mine, and thus I am taking mine down. I will just share the relevant sections of the transcript of the unedited video.

This said, I must add that as for Dr. Gatter's quip that she wants a Lamborghini, I think she was just being callous and flippant. She wasn't actually trying to talk the procurement company into giving her enough money to purchase a high-end luxury automobile. The money wouldn't, after all, go directly into her pocket. Still, between the Lamborghini comment and the "less crunchy" abortion technique, Gatter doesn't give the impression that she's working at Planned Parenthood because she is a decent but misguided human being, as I believe Dr. Nucotela to be.

Thanks, Josh, for setting me straight. And yeah: In Dr. Gatter's case, follow the money.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Two Abortion Deaths Prior to Roe

Both anniversaries today involve abortions done prior to the legalization of abortion-on-demand.

The first abortion was clearly criminal. On July 9, 1915, 26-year-old Mamie Arkins died at 1508 E. 57th Street in Chicago after an abortion committed by an unknown perpetrator.

The second abortion was of the safe and legal variety. Erika C. Peterson, age 28, was admitted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California on July 11, 1961, due to trouble breathing. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and placed in a tank respirator. Erika was at that time in the first trimester of pregnancy. Her physicians made the decision to abort her child as soon as she was well enough to undergo the abortion. Abortion was, at that time, legal only to try to save the life of the mother.

On July 21, Erika's condition had improved, and her husband signed the consent form for the abortion, which was scheduled to take place two days later. The abortion was started as scheduled on July 23. Erika went into cardiac arrest during the procedure and was unable to be resuscitated. The abortion that was intended to save her life ended her life instead. After autopsy, it was concluded that Erika's original illness was caused by a hereditary disease that was exacerbated by the medications she was taking for her schizophrenia.

Erika's was not the only tragic death caused by doctors who recommended (or excused) abortion as a life-saving or health-preserving option for the mother:

  • Allegra Roseberry was pushed into an abortion in order to obtain experimental cancer treatment.
  • Anjelica Duarte sought an abortion on the advice of her physician, and ended up dying under the care of a quack.
  • Barbara Hoppert died after an abortion recommended due to a congenital heart problem.
  • Christin Gilbert died after an abortion George Tiller initiated in Kansas, where third trimester abortions such as Christin's were only legal if justified on grounds of maternal health.
  • "Molly" Roe died in 1975 when her doctors made the dubious decision to perform a saline abortion to improve her chances of surviving a lupus crisis.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

One Illegal, One Legal, What's the Difference?

Very little is on record about the death of 17-year-old Gertrude Wynants. According to the New York Times, Gertrude died on July 22, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret Shott Higgens, age 25, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's death.

On July 22, 1974, twenty-two-year-old Carole Wingo died of a Demerol over dose during a safe and legal abortion at Mercy General Hospital in Detroit. Despite the name, Mercy was not a general hospital. It was an abortion hospital. It was also a hospital in big trouble even before Carole's death. The Michigan Public Department of Health had cited Mercy for 43 violations of nursing standards and 12 violations of physical plant standards in October of 1973, and had withheld their license. Among the violations were that the operating room lacked a cardiac monitor, a resuscitator, and a defibrillator. Carole's mother filed suit against the facility and doctors David Northcross, Chuk Nwokedi, and Robert Wolf.

I find it very telling that Gertrude's abortionist was indicted for manslaughter, whereas in spite of appalling conditions, Carole's abortionist only faced a lawsuit. Clearly it wasn't Carole or her family that benefited from legalization.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Six Wasted Lives, Over More than a Century

On July 21, 1886, Mrs. Fred Winkleman was found dead in her Cincinnati home from a botched abortion. The last survivor of the Miller family, she had a small fortune of $13,000 which she had given over to Fred at their marriage four months earlier. Winkleman was arrested and freed on $5,000 bail. Police believed that Fred, a 26-year-old druggist, had intended his wife's death in order to have free use of the money.

“Phoenix, July 21 [1891]-- Mrs. Alice White, the victim of the sensational abortion case, died this afternoon. Dr. Helm's bondsman immediately withdrew and he was again taken to jail. A warrant is out for the young man interested in the case.” The accused abortionist, Dr. Scott Helm, was described as "one of the best and most prominent physicians in Phoenix."

A headshot of a young woman with short, thick hair
Elizabeth Radcliffe
Late in the evening of July 21, 1916, 21-year-old Roy Hinterliter showed up at a sanitarium in Olney, Illinois with a young woman, Miss Elizabeth Radcliffe, slumped over onto his lap in his buggy. Elizabeth, age 17, was immediately pronounced dead. It was eventually learned that she had died at a rural trysting spot near a bridge, where investigators found imprints of Elizabeth's hands and Hinterliter's feet in the sand. An autopsy confirmed pregnancy, but showed no external signs of violence and all her reproductive organs appeared normal. However, upon cutting open her heart, air escaped. After interviewing two boys who knew Hinterliter, authorities concluded that he had purchased a catheter, which could have been used to empty Elizabeth's uterus using suction. However, Hiterliter had likely blown into the catheter instead, causing an air embolism that would have been instantly fatal. Hinterliter was held without bail, and under guard for fear of a lynching, after the coroner's jury verdict. The case caused a sensation not only for the nature of the crime, but because Elizabeth was the county's first murder victim in 20 years.

On July 21, 1907, homemaker Madeline Paffrath died at German American Hospital in Chicago. She was approximately 21 years old. The coroner's jury determined that she had died from an abortion performed. They held two midwives -- Alice Rastone and Hacrone Schuetner -- responsible. Another woman, Alice F. Gustafson, whose profession is given as "abortion provider" was also arrested.

On July 21, 1923, 28-year-old Mrs. Mary Federowicz died at Chicago's St. Mary's Hospital from complications performed that day. Mrs. Anna Mithnewicz, whose profession was not given, was identified by the coroner as the person responsible, but no arrest was made.

A smiling young Black woman with long, straightened hair.
Tonya Reaves, age 24, was rushed to Northwest Memorial Hospital in Chicago and pronounced dead at 11:20 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2012. She was taken there from the Planned Parenthood facility which advertises abortions up to 18 weeks. To put Tonya's death into context, note that the Centers for Disease Control published back in 1983, "Deaths from hemorrhage associated with legal induced abortion should not occur." In every hemorrhage death they investigated, "Lack of adequate postoperative monitoring or treatment of hemorrhagic shock" was a factor. Tonya's death was no exception. Her abortion was performed at 11:00 a.m., but she remained at the facility for hours until finally an ambulance was called, taking her to the hospital at 4:30 p.m. Doctors performed an ultrasound, followed by another D&E procedure, though it is unclear whether they were removing retained tissue or aborting a second fetus. Tonya had continued pain and bleeding, so a second ultrasound was performed, revealing a uterine perforation. It is unclear whether this was a perforation from the initial D&E at Planned Parenthood or from the follow-up at the hospital. Regardless of the source of the perforation, Tonya was returned to surgery, where “an uncontrollable bleed was discovered.” She was pronounced dead at 11:20 p.m.

Monday, July 20, 2015

One Illegal, Two Safe-n-Legal

On July 20, 1913, Emma Chandler, age 20, died suddenly from complications of a criminal abortion perpetrated the previous day. In a deathbed statement, she named Dr. J.A. Richmond as her abortionist. Her husband, Ora, notified the police immediately after Emma's death. An investigation revealed that a friend had accompanied Emma to Richmond's practice. After the abortion Emma was driven home. When Ora got home he found Emma very weak. Overnight she became more and more ill. Around noon she realized that she was dying and sent for a neighbor, who remained by Emma's bedside, knitting and praying. Some time in the afternoon Emma confessed about the abortion to her husband. Ora sent for a doctor who lived across the street, but there was nothing he could do for her. Richmond was arrested in Denver for her death. During the inquest he said that he hadn't known that Emma was pregnant, but was operating on her, at her request, to relieve gynecological pain that he'd unsuccessfully treated with medications.

Barbara Riley was 23 years old when she chose a safe, legal abortion. She had a history of sickle cell anemia and three previous term pregnancies -- two live births and a stillborn child. She was in her first trimester of pregnancy when she underwent the abortion on July 11, 1970 at Harlem Hospital. The abortion had been recommended by hospital staff because Barbara had a history of sickle cell disease. The abortion would probably have been recommended as beneficial to Barbara's health, under New York's old abortion law; the new law just meant that they didn't need to legally justify going ahead with it. But instead of improving, Barbara's health deteriorated. Her blood started to break down. Nine days after the abortion, July 20, Barbara died. The other women I've identified as dying from sickle cell crisis triggered by an abortion are Margaret Davis and Betty Hines.

Referred by Clergy Consultation Services, 25-year-old Margaret Smith traveled from Michigan to New York for a safe and legal abortion because she had been exposed to rubella. Her abortionist, Jesse Ketchum, had run a criminal abortion practice in Michigan before carpetbagging to Buffalo when New York legalized abortion on demand. Ketchum performed a vaginal hysterotomy on Margaret at 10:30 the morning of June 16, 1971. A hysterotomy was like a c-section, but with the intention of allowing the fetus to die. Margaret was then left virtually unattended until her boyfriend returned at 2:00. He found Margaret unresponsive, and begged Ketchum and his staff to do something. Paramedics were summoned, but they were unable to revive Margaret. She was taken to a hospital across the street from Ketchum's office, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Margaret's vagina had been sutured, but a laceration in her uterus and cervix had not been repaired. She had bled to death. Ketchum was charged with criminally negligent homicide in Margaret's death. Before his case went to trial, he performed a similar abortion on Carole Schaner of Ohio. Carol suffered similar injuries had bled to death in her motel room after Ketchum discharged her. Ketchum was convicted for Margaret's death on October 26, 1973, despite the fact that renowned abortionist Milan Vuitch (who had challenged the District of Columbia abortion law) testified on his behalf. Margaret's parents sued him for $350,000.

Vuitch himself, like Ketchum, had kept his nose clean as a criminal abortionist, then gone on to kill two legal abortion patients. Wilma Harris and Georgianna English both died under Vuitch's care. Benjamin Munson, likewise, had a clean record in his criminal abortionist then went on to kill two women in his supposedly safer legal practice -- Linda Padfield and Yvonne Mesteth.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Planned Parenthood Derangement Syndrome

From C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, "Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that," or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.
I think this is what's happening with the Planned Parenthood baby parts video in which Dr. Deborah Nucotela is recorded discussing setting up a relationships between Planned Parenthood affiliates and a fetal tissue procurement firm.

Click to enlarge.
We start out with the story of a filthy atrocity: There sits a friendly, attractive woman relishing her salad while cheerfully describing how she chooses where to place the forceps to crush the tiny bodies of living unborn babies in order to harvest their organs. It's hard to think of a more filthy atrocity than that. And that atrocity is sufficient unto itself. Why must we search to up the evil ante?

I can't recall who made the comment, but a very astute man postulated that too many prolifers suffer from "Planned Parenthood Derangement Syndrome." If we hear anything bad about Planned Parenthood, we latch onto it with the tenacity of the damned. I must admit, I have a touch of PPDS myself. When the baby parts video first came out, I "fact checked" it and was agreeing about the selling baby parts harvested via partial birth abortion. Then I watched the full, unedited video and realized I had been wrong. I had been, as C.S. Lewis said, indulging in the sheer pleasure of thinking my enemies are as bad as possible.

"But she kills babies!" I'm admonished again and again as I defend Dr. Deborah Nucotela  against allegations of perpetrating partial-birth abortions in order to profiteer from selling the organs and tissues of unborn babies.Yeah, she kills babies, and she's pretty blasé about it. That fact stands alone.

The other allegations -- that she performs partial-birth abortions to get the organs and that she sells the organs for profit -- are simply not true. The original video was heavily edited to make it seem as though that's what she said. The title of the video even makes that allegation. But again, it's not true. And the fact that somehow so many of us want it to be true -- badly enough to ignore and/or dismiss all evidence to the contrary -- speaks ill of us. Repeating false allegations against Dr. Nucotela is bearing false witness against her. There's a Commandment against that. There is no codicil to that commandment adding, "Unless, of course, the person has a besetting sin, in which case all bets are off."

When I watched the full video, I did it looking for the details about how nasty Dr. Nucotela was, to get more specifics. I didn't watch it trying to find reasons to defend her. But there they were.

My blog profile quotes Ephesians 5:11: "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them." That admonition holds true even if it's prolifers participating in a deed of darkness against a Planned Parenthood worker. No matter what she does, it's still a sin to bear false witness against her. And it's my job to defend her against that false witness. She has enough sins of her own without us inventing more. And I have enough sins of my own without adding sins against Deborah Nucotela.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Did She Really Say Planned Parenthood Sells Aborted Baby Parts?

The Center for Medical Progress has made a big splash with a short, heavily edited video purporting to show that Planned Parenthood profiteers by selling the organs and tissues of aborted babies.

The claim centers on a few snippets of conversation during which Dr. Deborah Nucotela discusses that Planned Parenthood affiliates typically charge $30 to $100 "per specimen" and that the national office doesn't want to be "a middleman."

That sounds pretty damning until you watch the entire video. Since it's nearly three hours long, the Center for Medical Progress is probably hoping that hardly anybody will bother to slog through the whole thing. But I did. I also provide a rough timeline so that you can listen to the sections that are of particular interest to you.

What really jumped out at me was that it was the people posing as buyers that kept bringing up money. All Dr. Nucotela seemed to want to talk about was how exciting it was to know how the tissue would be used, what kind of medical research was being done, and how the best way of recruiting affiliates would be to do presentations and hold meetings that address the research that is being done with the tissue. In fact, her enthusiasm about the medical research is so strong that she actually texts the medical director of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, the biggest competitor to Planned Parenthood in California, trying to arrange for her to meet with the buyers.

Dr. Nucotela went into some detail about how Planned Parenthood calculates what to charge for procuring fetal tissue by noting that they use the same calculation that they use when they come up with a fee for training people on their premises. These calculations focus on staff time and whether or not they'd be able to use space for paying patients or would have to use it exclusively for the training during a certain period. The affiliates use roughly the same formula when calculating how to "break even" on providing fetal tissue.The fee depended on things like whether the affiliate would have to use additional staff time to "consent" (do counseling and informed consent) for the donations, and how much staff time might be taken up in the lab or packaging tissues for shipping. The more the procurement company did themselves, the lower the cost per specimen. The more the affiliate had to do, the higher the cost per specimen.

The real clincher, I believe, is in this exchange:

Buyer: If we can offer to a given affiliate that we're gonna -- we'll take care of everything -- the consenting, and the collection, you know -- we don't even need an extra room, really just need, you know, three feet of space in the path lab in the back with a light and everything to do that.

Dr. Nucotela: Which we already have set up, you just have to --

Buyer: Right, right. Is that -- are there affiliates that would just donate the tissues for free? Or --

Dr. Nucotela: Probably.

That simply doesn't sound like profiteering to me.

I don't want anybody getting the idea that I'm a big fan or Planned Parenthood, or that I approve of gutting fetuses for medical science. I would love to see Planned Parenthood go down in screaming flames. One of the biggest reasons that I hate Planned Parenthood is their habitual dishonesty. They lie about fetal development. They lie when they say they provide "non-directive options counseling." They lie about the quality of their doctors. They lie about prolifers. Their lies are despicable.

It is equally despicable to lie about Planned Parenthood.

The way that the short video was edited goes beyond simple lying and into the real of bearing false witness against Dr. Nucotela. The video is edited to make it seem as if she's saying the opposite of what she's really saying. The only thing presented honestly -- and granted, it's gruesome -- is Dr. Nucotela cheerfully munching on her salad while casually discussing how she crushes living unborn babies in order to avoid damaging their organs.

That segment alone is enough shock and  horrify almost everybody, regardless of how they feel about abortion. I really wish that the Center for Medical Progress had simply stuck with that. Honestly bringing evil to light is Biblical and moral and ethical and ought to be done. Espionage in order to bring these things to light is moral and ethical. But lying and trying to make people's motives appear deplorable is not. It's breaking a Commandment. And there is no excuse for that.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Shameful Edit of the Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Video

The internet is abuzz about recently released video that looks very damning for Planned Parenthood in general, and their Medical Services Director, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, in particular.

Not many people will have time to slog through the entire video, nearly three hours of the lunch meeting between two investigators from the Center for Medical Progress and Dr. Nucotela. I embedded it in this post, with a timeline of what is discussed at what point during the video so that my readers can easily find the sections they're looking for.

I myself got sucked into believing the allegations put forth using the edited video. The gist of the edited video is false. The conversation with Dr. Nucotela in no way supports a claim that Planned Parenthood is performing illegal partial-birth abortions in order to harvest fetal organs for profit. Only after taking the time to watch the entire unedited video did I realize how wrong I had been to take the edited video at face value.

In this post I want to discredit the most inflammatory and flat-out false aspect of the editing. In the edited video, Dr. Nucotela is using the first person in a way that seems to indicate how she plays an "Oops! My bad!" approach to pretend she's not breaking the Partial Birth Abortion Ban even as she perpetrates such abortions in order to harvest fetal heads. The editing was done so slickly that I was suckered in myself, and to my shame I even posted an analysis of the adeptly edited video in order to support the false allegation.

Let's examine the edited video.

The Edited Video

The  portion that appears so damning begins at 3:19, in which Dr. Nucotela says, "The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is the calvarium. Calvarium -- the head -- is basically the biggest part. Most of the other stuff can come out intact." After a cut, she continues, "It's very rare to have a patient that doesn't have enough dilation to evacuate all the other parts intact."

At 3:36 she describes how the other structures can be brought out undamaged by careful placement of the forceps during the abortion. This is not related to the accusation that she is performing Partial Birth Abortions.

At 3:53 she says, "And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it's not vertex, because when it's vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have a real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium..So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there's dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end. So I mean there are certainly steps that can be taken to try to ensure -- " Under prompting she reiterates that the fetus can be turned so that the feet, not the head, will be extracted first.

There is then, at 4:28 a cut that compares the feet-first positioning as consistent with Partial Birth Abortion. The edit is implying something Dr. N assuredly does  not say. At no point is she indicating that the entire fetus is removed intact. She says that the head is removed intact. In the context of her other comments during this section of the conversation, as shown in the unedited video, she is describing removing the head last as part of perfectly legal dismemberment abortion. Gruesome, yes. Illegal, no.

At 4:37 the video cuts back to Dr. Nucotela, who explains more clearly what she has already described. Again, gruesome but not illegal. At 4:53 the video cuts to screen noting that partial birth abortion is a felony, and that if the fetus is extracted intact and alive it is a born-alive infant and killing it is homicide. The implication -- a false implication -- is that Dr. Nucotela had just admitted to performing these illegal abortions and delivering live fetuses, since the last step of the partial-birth abortion is puncturing and collapsing the skull, thus killing the fetus but also collapsing the head that she is supposedly extracting for sale.

At 5:07 the video cuts back to Dr. Nucotela describing the federal PBA ban. In the context of the edited video, presented immediately after her description of doing a breech presentation and the misleading cut to the information about PBA, Dr. Nucotela says, "The Federal Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation." There is then a cut to 5:14 where she says what seems to be the most damning part of the entire video: "So if I say on day one, I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn't matter." This edit is clearly intended to portray Dr. Nucotela as saying that she evades the PBA ban by claiming that she didn't intend for the fetus to come out intact, thus enabling her to harvest the fetal head. This is the single most inexcusable use of editing to lie about what Dr. Nucotela was really saying.

The Unedited Truth

In the unedited video, from 23:45 to about 28:13,  Dr. N. addresses the ethics of modifying the procedure to procure tissue. She says that she will keep in mind what tissue is wanted and think about what patients she can get it from, but doesn't do extra dilation to increase the chances of getting the desired tissue out intact. From 28:14 to about 31:00, Dr. N is asked what she might. might do differently if she has in her mind that the researcher wants an intact liver or, more tricky, a delicate and undamaged brain. This is where Dr. N. says that since livers are wanted so much the practitioner would do those abortions under ultrasound guidance. In this section she goes back and forth between the issue of the calvarium and noting that if the practitioner is trying to preserve a specific organ he will crush above or below in order to avoid damaging that organ. She goes back to inverting the fetus to a breach presentation so that there is dilation as the procedure progresses. The preparation, she says, is the same, it's a matter of what order the removal is done in. She is clearly discussing the legal dismemberment abortion.

It is not until nearly an hour later, at 1:20:05 to 1:21:25 that the PBA ban first comes up, in the context of using Digoxin to kill the fetus the day before the extraction is done. The mention of PBA is only brief, and is in a context of which facilities would provide fetuses that had not been killed by digoxin prior to being extracted. (A fetus that had been killed with Digoxin would not be suitable for tissue or organ procurement.)

The topic of the PBA ban is entirely dropped. The conversation doesn't even get close to the topic for about another 20 minutes when one of the supposed buyers asks Dr. N about getting abortion practitioners to change their abortion methods in order to obtain desired body parts at 1:40:22. He ends by flat out asking if a practitioner would refrain from using Digoxin if asked to do so in order to obtain a fetal head intact.

It is here, from about 1:41:05 to 1:43:06, that  Dr. N begins the actual discussion of the PBA ban, and she does it in the context of explaining about why practitioners do or do not use digoxin, and at what stage of pregnancy they use it if they use it at all.. "Providers who use digoxin use it for one of two reasons, she explains. "There is a group of people just who use it so they have no risk of violating federal abortion bans. If you induce demise before you do the procedure, nobody's gonna say say you did a (air quotes) live .... whatever the federal government calls it. Partial birth abortion." She goes on to say, "Others do it because they actually think it makes the tissue softer and it makes it safer and easier to do the procedure." She speaks of the lack of research data, then we finally have the portion in which she says that the PBA ban is a law, "and laws are up to interpretation." She further explains, "So there are some people who interpret it as, 'It's intent, so if I say on Day One I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn't matter because I didn't intend to do this on Day One so I'm complying with the law.'"

Note that the use of the first person is not to describe what she does herself. It is to explain the thinking of practitioners who choose not to use digoxin. The entire context is to explain the use of digoxin, and, more to the point, why she is certain that no abortion practitioner is going to change whether or when he or she uses digoxin at anybody's behest.

Just to reinforce what I'm saying, Dr. N goes on to explain,  "There are other people that say, 'If you induce demise, then it doesn't matter.You're never gonna do it [deliver a live baby] so you don't have to worry about intent." There are others, she explains, who use digoxin because it makes doing the abortion easier, and she's one of them. (This would be a good time to note that she places herself squarely in the pro-Digoxin camp and unwilling to change.) Dr. N continues that they tried to get a randomized control trial going among the affiliates, but those who did use digoxin didn't want to give it up, and those who didn't use digoxin didn't want to use it. This leads her adamantly to believe that any affiliate is going to stick with their usual digoxin use or non-use and will not change that because of a request by a fetal tissue procurement company.

From 1:43:25 - 1:44:00 Dr. N reiterates that if they need an older fetus that hasn't "been diged" (pronounced "dijed," meaning not killed with Digoxin the day before the abortion), they're going to have to work with a facility that doesn't dig. She's very firm about that. From 1:44:01 to 1:47:19 she goes on to explain the lack of adequate studies about whether or not digoxin makes abortion safer or easier.  This takes Dr. N back to her point that nobody to her knowledge would change whether or not they use digoxin at the behest of a fetal tissue procurement company. Dr. N talks about a randomized control trial being started about use of misoprostal during dilation, but gets back to the issue of practitioners having their reasons why they do or don't use digoxin and that's that. If you want no-dig you can go with UCSF or PP of New York City, who all train at UCSF.  Those are the only people she knows who don't use digoxin past 20 or 22 weeks.


The heavily edited video does a quick jump cut to make it seem as if Dr. Nucotela goes straight from describing how some people will turn the fetus to a breach presentation in order to get a head for procurement to a discussion of how to evade the PBA ban. But in the original video, there are over twenty minutes of conversation about other matters before, under prompting, Dr. Nucotela explains how practitioners who do not use Digoxin interpret their compliance with the PBA ban. Her use of the first person is used to explain the thought process of people who do not use digoxin. She is not one of the people who does not use digoxin. She makes this abundantly clear. And, as again she makes it abundantly clear, she would not give up her use of digoxin for the sake of fetal tissue procurement, and does not believe that anybody who uses digoxin would do so.

The unedited video presents no evidence whatsoever that Dr. Nucotela performs partial-birth abortions, or that that she knows anybody who does so. She does not even know of anybody who she believes would change any substantial part of their abortion technique in order to obtain fetal tissue.

I owe an apology to my readers, but even more so I owe an apology to Dr. Nucotela for wanting so badly to believe the worst of her that I failed to adequately fact check before writing a post. After viewing the full video, I found myself liking and respecting Dr. Nucatola, despite our profoundly divergent views on abortion and fetal tissue research. As repugnant as I find abortion to be, as morally unacceptable as I find fetal tissue research to be, I see nothing but laudable motives in this woman. Frankly, I think I would very much like to have her as a friend.