Wednesday, March 25, 2015
by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 3/24/15 12:13 PM
We know unborn babies are not clumps of cells or blobs of tissues and ultrasound photos have long confirmed their humanity. As the pro-life movement has focused on the pain unborn children feel when they are victimized by abortion, it’s helped put an additional spotlight on the humanity of babies before birth.
Now, a new series of ultrasounds shows just how much they can be harmed even though they haven’t been born. A series of ultrasound images reveals how unborn babies adversely react when their mother smokes a cigarette.
Dr Nadja Reissland has studied moving 4-d scan images and recorded thousands of tiny movements in the womb. She monitored 20 mothers attending the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, four of whom smoked an average of 14 cigarettes a day. After studying their ultrasound scans at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks, she detected that babies whose mothers smoked continued to show significantly higher rates of mouth movement and self-touching than those carried by non-smokers.
The image is of a 4-d ultrasound scan showing a sequence of movements displayed by two unborn children at 32 weeks gestation which shows fetal movements in a baby whose mother is a smoker (top) and a fetus whose mother is a non-smoker (below). In the image, the baby clearly looks uncomfortable and covering his or her face.
The London Telegraph newspaper features the images and more information:
The pilot study, which Dr Reissland hopes to expand with a bigger sample, indicated that babies carried by smokers may have delayed development of the central nervous system.
The research, conducted by Durham and Lancaster University, is published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.
Dr Reissland, from Durham’s Psychology Department, said: “A larger study is needed to confirm these results and to investigate specific effects, including the interaction of maternal stress and smoking.”
She believed that videos of the difference in pre-birth development could help mothers give up smoking.
But she was against demonising mothers and called for more support for them to give up. Currently, 12 per cent of pregnant women in the UK smoke but the rate is over 20 per cent in the Durham, Darlington and Tees area.
by Shawn Carney | LifeNews.com | 3/23/15 11:27 AM
We start off the final week of this 40 Days for Life campaign with HUGE news!
Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign in 2007, we have now received cumulative reports of 10,000 babies who are alive today because their mothers rejected abortion and chose life!
To God be the glory … great things He has done!
A young couple had just left Planned Parenthood when a 40 Days for Life prayer volunteer caught their attention. As they talked, they explained that they didn’t think they could afford another child.
It turns out they couldn’t even afford the $75 Planned Parenthood wanted to charge them for an ultrasound.
That’s when the vigil participant said they could get a free ultrasound at a nearby pregnancy help center. When the center’s director heard this couple was on the way, she dropped everything and headed back to arrange the ultrasound.
All this time, the young man and woman smiled as they read a brochure about the development of the baby – and talked about what they were seeing.
As they left for the pregnancy center, the woman said, “We hope it’s a boy.”
The Houston team tells of a woman who was going to Planned Parenthood to schedule an abortion. But when she got there, the place was closed.
But even though Planned Parenthood was locked up for the day, there was a man praying on the sidewalk. She spoke to him, and he gave her a coupon for free services at the Big Blue Bus – the mobile pregnancy help center that spends many hours every week parked outside the abortion center.
A few days later, she returned and told the counselors on the bus she was there to redeem her coupon. She had changed her mind and chosen life for her unborn child!
“When she saw her baby on the ultrasound,” said one of the volunteers, “she called this man an angel sent from God. If we hadn’t been there with our Big Blue Bus, chances are she would have gone into Planned Parenthood.”
The 40 Days for Life vigil in Sharonville takes place outside a business that stopped doing surgical abortions … but still offers chemical abortions.
“From what we understand,” said Mary Jo in Sharonville, “the cost of this is close to what an early-term surgical abortion costs. The abortion clinic continues to make a lot of money even though it is not doing surgical abortions.”
So the volunteers keep praying … and learning that their prayers are being answered.
A young woman who was entering the abortion center accepted some information from volunteers, but went inside anyway. She left … and returned a few days later. But this time, when she came out, she told the volunteers she had changed her mind and was keeping her baby.
“The weather is getting better,” Mary Jo said. “Please consider coming to pray!”
9:23 AM, March 22, 2015| Alexandra Liebl| Live Action News|
Over the years, there is one thing that the abortion movement has mastered; there is one thing at which they are wickedly talented – they are masters of language. The use of language has become their most potent weapon: with it, they have misled seven Supreme Court justices and as a result, entire generations of women and men.
Fifty years ago, in 1965, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists changed the ANALYSIS The language that masks the abortion industry medical definition of pregnancy from the moment of conception to when the zygote implants itself on the uterine lining. How foolish, or rather prideful, are we to think that changing the definition of something can alter its intrinsic state. If the government issued an ordinance stating that to be considered a human being under the law, you must have brown eyes that would not make me, with my blue-eyed appearance, any less of a human.
Therefore, changing the medical definition of pregnancy from conception to implantation can never change the fact that once the egg is fertilized by the sperm, life has begun, whether it has implanted yet or not. Masters of language cannot change unalterable truths; they can only cleverly distort them. Another justification that has built off of the redefinition of pregnancy is that the human zygote – the tiny baby – is just a clump of cells or tissue. This one is rather clever and sneaky: the proabortion side has employed a figurative language device referred to as a synecdoche, which is when you take a part of a whole and use it to define the whole, or vice versa.
So they have taken the cells and tissue that are present in the developing child and used it to define the child’s entirety, reducing its whole to a function of its internal systems; reducing its unique DNA, its growing brain and its eternal soul, its living heartbeat and its receptivity to pain, to a composition of cells and tissue. Inside Planned Parenthood, aborted preborn babies are referred to as products of conception. This language again, while logistically accurate, refuses to acknowledge that the preborn child is so much more than just a product of conception, so much more than just the sum of its parts. I daresay we are all products of conception, yet I am not reduced to a product of a process.
The employment of this deceptive language contributes to the two most prevalent justifications for abortion, which are: this is my body, and my body, my choice. Before the influence of prochoice language and the reduction of the human child to a function of its parts, these statements would have never held any power over the masses or emerged as a legitimate argument. Nobody would have been tricked by the argument: this is my body – because it is so clearly not just her body involved but the body of a living human child. Only two letters separate thisis my body from thisis my baby, yet the meanings they hold are separated by life and death. The only power the abortion industry will ever wield is that of language.
With it, they have destroyed tens of millions of lives and tarnished hundreds of millions more – it is a very powerful thing. But we, the pro-life generation, have something more powerful on our side, which is truth, the truth that all human life has intrinsic value that no words can reduce. We need not manipulate language to aid us in our battle, because truth defends itself – it would not be truth otherwise.
by Andrew Bair | LifeNews.com | 3/19/15 2:42 PM
A recent article published by the Washington Examiner focused on the remarkable pro-life progress being made on the state level.
The article quoted Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, who said, “In terms of the numbers, we’ve had a pretty good run of it these last few years, and this year we will pass substantive legislation as well.”
However, the article missed the mark regarding groundbreaking legislation making its way through the Kansas and Oklahoma legislatures.
The article noted, “The Kansas and Oklahoma Houses have approved legislation banning abortions performed through a method called ‘dilation and extraction,’ in which a fetus is partially removed from a woman’s uterus.”
The legislation has not yet passed the full Kansas House. The measure passed the full Senate. It has passed a House committee.
The bill is not a ban on the “dilation and extraction” (D&X) technique. That is commonly referred to as partial-birth abortion and unborn children are already protected from that horrific method of abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on partial-birth abortion in the landmark Gonzales v. Carhart case in 2007.
Instead, the bill would end dismemberment abortions, a particularly brutal form of “dilation and evacuation” (D&E) abortions.
The Examiner article displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of what takes place during a dismemberment abortion. In no abortion are unborn babies only “partially removed.”
The entire body of the unborn child must be removed in every abortion regardless of method. Otherwise, the mother would be even more susceptible to infection and severe complications.
A dismemberment abortion, as described in the bill, ends the life of an unborn baby by grasping, pulling and twisting off her tiny limbs from her body using sharp metal instruments. This method is used to abort unborn children as old as 24 weeks, or even later. By this time, the baby’s skull has often hardened to bone and the skull must be compressed or crushed to facilitate removal.
Perhaps what the reporter meant to say is that the unborn baby’s parts are removed limb by limb, piece by piece.
Abortionist LeRoy Carhart described dismemberment abortions in this way while testifying under oath in 2000, “My normal course would be to dismember that appendage and then go back and try to take the fetus out whether foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first….Just pulling and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus …”
The further question was asked, “In that situation, when you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?” Carhart answered, “‘Yes.’ …I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.”
The passage of legislation to protect unborn babies from dismemberment abortions is a top priority of National Right to Life in 2015. In addition to saving lives, the bill serves an educational purpose by shining light on the inherent brutality of abortion. Bringing the violent reality of abortion before the public has the power to change hearts and minds in a similar fashion to the successful push to ban partial-birth abortions.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
by Kristi Burton Brown | LifeNews.com | 3/17/15 10:26 AM
As usual, Planned Parenthood and NARAL close their eyes to pro-life women. So much so, this time, that they pretend these women don’t even exist
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act has been debated all over the media these last few days. And not because Americans actually debate whether we ought to help trafficked women and girls. No, the Trafficking Act has been debated because Democrats decided to oppose it late in the game because the Hyde Amendment – which prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions – was included.
The Hyde Amendment was included from the very beginning, but perhaps Democrats failed to read the actual wording of the legislation. Or, maybe they decided to change course when Planned Parenthood and their cronies started yelling about the proposed law.
Adam Peters wrote for Live Action yesterday about exactly how Planned Parenthood handles victims of human trafficking. (Note: It doesn’t help them with “legal” abortions, despite its claims to the contrary. Instead the abortion giant is content to help pimps secure forced abortions for the women they victimize.)
So instead of looking past a pro-life provision that is a normal part of federal legislation, Planned Parenthood and NARAL decided to come against a law that would help trafficking victims. And, in the process, they are blaming pro-life men and pretending pro-life women don’t even exist.
On March 12, Planned Parenthood retweeted a NARAL tweet, claiming that “only men are supporting #antichoice restrictions in a #humantrafficking bill.”
Wait a second, here. Only men?
Are Planned Parenthood and NARAL really claiming that Senator Joni Ernst – who spoke out in support of the pro-life provision in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act that same day at a press conference – is a man?
Are they so desperate to pretend there is no such thing as a pro-life woman? Or even a woman who could support basic, popular pro-life legislation like this? So desperate, in fact, that they hide their eyes from Senators Amy Klobuchar, Dianne Feinstein, Deb Fischer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Heidi Heitkamp, Susan Collins, Kelly Ayotte, Shelley Moore Capito – all women who cosponsored this bill?
According to Congress.gov – an official government website – only one woman took her name off the bill as cosponsor: Senator Barbara Boxer.
So despite Planned Parenthood and NARAL’s insistence that “only men” support the pro-life provision in the Act, basic facts prove them wrong. Of course, when you’re in the business of killing, what’s a little lie? And while some of the Democrats are claiming they weren’t aware the Hyde Amendment was included, Senator John Cornyn – head sponsor of the Act – explains it well:
“You can imagine my surprise when — I think it was yesterday that I got calls, letters, heard speeches that people were surprised, shocked that this provision was in the legislation, when of course it was filed in January, I think January the 13th, and made public to the world,” said Cornyn. “If anybody thought it was hidden, it was hidden in plain sight to anybody who cared to read it. And to me what was so surprising about some of the reaction is that this… maintains the status quo. This doesn’t change anything.”
So even though including a prohibition on using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion is status quo, Planned Parenthood has decided to pick a fight, pretending to stand up for victims of trafficking. Too bad for them that they’ve already been caught on tape helping traffickers victimize underage girls.
It’s time for Planned Parenthood to stop all the pretending. Stop pretending they couldn’t read the bill for themselves. Stop pretending they care about victims of trafficking. And stop pretending that pro-life women – or women who support even the basic, most commonsense pro-life measures – don’t exist.
But I guess, in the end, if it’s so easy for Planned Parenthood to erase the lives of millions of preborn children through abortion, it must not be that difficult to erase the votes, sponsorship, and press conferences of nine women who took a basic pro-life stand.
by Stephanie Krider | LifeNews.com | 3/17/15 9:37 AM
Ohio opinion leaders are sounding off about the appalling fact that our state has the highest black infant mortality rate in the nation — a rate more than twice that for white babies. In Lucas County, African-American babies die at a higher rate than in some third-world countries.
Fundamental to Ohio’s strategies to reduce infant mortality is the recognition that such efforts must begin before babies are born. They must begin in the womb.
Ohio Right to Life’s legislative agenda this year includes defunding Planned Parenthood and redirecting state grants aimed at reducing infant mortality to community institutions that preserve life. Agencies such as the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department can safeguard babies’ lives in a way that an abortion provider never can.
According to Planned Parenthood’s annual report, abortions account for 94 percent of the services it provides to pregnant women. This abortion business claimed 327,653 babies’ lives in 2013. Ohio Right to Life opposes Planned Parenthood because it kills preborn babies. It is an authority on taking lives, rather than saving them.
It is alarming that the State of Ohio is funding Planned Parenthood in the name of fighting Ohio’s black infant mortality crisis. To anyone who knows the history of the organization, this is a grossly offensive revelation. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a famed eugenicist of the early 20th century. She accepted a dozen invitations to speak to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups.
Today, black women have 42 percent of abortions, even though they make up just 12 percent of the population. That is, while black infants in Ohio die at twice the rate of white infants, they are aborted at more than three times the rate.
Yet some leaders express moral outrage at the former statistic, and accuse those of us who also criticize the latter of extremism. This outcry reveals the driving force behind abortion advocacy: discrimination — the arbitrary power to decide who lives and who dies.
Such discrimination decries a child’s death in the crib, but calls it a right in the womb. This bias extends beyond race to touch people with disabilities.
Another item on Ohio Right to Life’s agenda is legislation that would prohibit abortions of preborn babies who are diagnosed with Down syndrome. Today, 99 percent of people with Down syndrome report that their lives are happy. This far outweighs the financial cost or utilitarian value that anyone could put on a human life.
Our agenda promotes and embraces diversity, consistently protecting every human life from conception. It extends empathy to the most vulnerable human beings, seeking to prohibit abortions at the point at which babies can feel pain.
Yet even this proposal evokes the ire of abortion advocates. Surely a culture is debased when it has no apprehension about inflicting pain on others. Wouldn’t a humane society agree to err on the side of caution on the question of whether a 5-month preborn baby can feel pain?
Americans are doing just that: According to a Quinnipiac University poll late last year, 60 percent of Americans support such moderate, bipartisan legislation. Opposition to it reveals the true extremism of abortion advocates.
Planned Parenthood and similar advocates dress up the raw nature of abortion in attractive language that speaks of human rights. But violent discrimination against the innocent, before and after birth, is never a human right.
by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 3/13/15 3:09 PM
When a pregnant woman takes the dangerous abortion RU 486 abortion pill, there is a chance that the abortion drug can be reversed if she changes her mind in time about aborting her baby. Knowing that, legislators in Arizona are supporting a bill to inform women of that fact
Fr. Frank Pavone is praising an Arizona House committee for passing a first- in-the-nation amendment that would call for women to be informed that if they take the first drug of a two-step chemical abortion process, but not the second, they may be able to stop the abortion process and deliver a healthy baby.
“A woman needs to know that if she undergoes the abortion regimen, RU-486, it may not be too late to save her baby,” said Fr. Pavone. “Priests for Life Medical Advisor Dr. Matt Harrison has pioneered a technique that has now been adopted by a whole network of physicians in which such babies have been saved. In 223 documented cases, 57 percent of the women who received the abortion reversal treatment have been able to keep their healthy babies. The Arizona legislature, by adopting this measure, has a chance to save lives and help mothers who change their minds after taking that first pill.”
Dr. Harrison performed the first-ever reversal in 2007. At a press conference in January sponsored by Priests for Life and the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Dr. Harrison said the baby who was saved is now a healthy and happy 8-year-old girl.
As currently administered, a chemical abortion involves taking the drug mifepristone, which makes the uterus inhospitable to new life and starves the baby. One or two days later, the second drug is taken to induce contractions and expel her child. The reversal process, which is gaining in usage as it becomes more widely known, can reverse the impact of the first drug and allow the baby to continue normal development. Time is of the essence, though, in starting the reversal process.
Fr. Pavone said Priests for Life will push for the enactment of similar legislation in other states.
“The abortion lobby says women don’t change their minds about abortion. But most who abort are ambivalent, and when a procedure, whether early or late in pregnancy, takes a couple of days, there is a lot of opportunity for that ambivalence to assert itself,” Fr. Pavone explained. “We need to be there with the tools to help that mom and that baby. That is why we are asking counselors, medical professionals, pregnancy centers, pro-life groups, churches, and all citizens to spread the word about the abortion reversal. Moreover, we ask state legislators to introduce bills like the one in Arizona.”
by Maria Lynch | LifeNews.com | 3/12/15 5:33 PM
A grassroots campaign to turn a vacant building near a flourishing Planned Parenthood abortion clinic into a crisis pregnancy center has just days left to raise the money needed. The campaign exploded to life in mid-February, and organizers have collected $188,000 in donations and pledges in less than a month.
“The momentum behind this is astounding,” said fundraising coordinator Angele St. Hilaire. “And for the most part, it hasn’t been the wealthy and the well-connected who are making it happen. Our donors have been primarily working class people who have the passion and fire enough to donate what they can scarcely afford to give.”
The building is located in such a way that every Planned Parenthood client and clinic worker going by the main route will drive by it mere moments before arriving at their destination. Being close in proximity to the largest abortion provider in southeastern Washington is key to being able to meet women and connect them with services, said St. Hilaire. “Women who seek care from Planned Parenthood are more likely to stop in at an options facility virtually next door than seek out services at another location miles away.”
Organizers see the location as one of the keys to success in reaching out not only to women in crisis pregnancy situations but also the clinic workers themselves. Former abortion clinic director-turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson has credited her conversion in part to the close proximity of a crisis pregnancy center where pro-lifers continually reached out to her. While there is a crisis pregnancy center in Kennewick already, it is three miles from the abortion clinic.
“When a crisis pregnancy center opens near an abortion clinic, many clinics see such a dramatic change in their business that they have to close, or limit services,” said organizer Shira Wise. “When women have options close by, they will stop in, talk, get support… and we can help them to choose life for their babies.”
Another unique aspect of the project is that Wise’s organization, Three Rivers Fertility Care, is planning to offer natural family planning and morally licit fertility care services at the location. Wise and her team of Creighton Model System (CrMS) practitioners teach women and couples to understand their natural fertility cycles, enabling them to plan pregnancies in a morally sound way. CrMS is also used to treat infertility and women’s underlying health issues, and Wise’s organization partners with a network of pro-life physicians trained in the system.
“That’s what makes this opportunity so unique and exciting,” St. Hilaire said. “CrMS is the ultimate antidote to the culture of death. Its principles of openness to life, responsible parenthood, respect for women, and understanding of the meaning, purpose, and value of sex are precisely what all women need to hear. It is the exact opposite of the ‘services’ so often pushed on women in crisis pregnancy situations.”
Organizers have received a pledge of an ultrasound machine, and local nurses and doctors have volunteered to run it. They have just days, however, to secure the other half of the funding needed to make the vision a reality. The building goes up for auction on March 11th, and organizers need about $167,000 more to reach their goal.
To make a donation to the Kennewick Pregnancy Options Clinic, go to: www.trfcinc.org
by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 3/11/15 11:18 AM
Planned Parenthood has a long history of putting women at risk by either doing abortions on teen girls who are victims of rape or failing to report the sexual abuse against them to proper authorities in a timely manner.
Now, Planned Parenthood is again putting abortion above the best interests of women by supporting Senate Democrats who are planning to filibuster a bill to provide more justice for victims of sex trafficking because language int he bill prevents funding abortions.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, added in a statement, “The Senate should protect victims of human trafficking but should not do so at the expense of women’s access to safe and legal abortion. The majority of human trafficking victims are women and girls, and they need access to the full range of reproductive health care services without barriers.”
Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America blasted the abortion giant for its selling out sex trafficking victims.
“Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, agrees with the Senate Democrats and had the nerve to add in a “but” after saying that the nation needs to protect sex trafficking victims,” she said. “Their blind devotion to abortion is astounding. Ms. Richards and the Senate Democrats obviously have no idea what victims of sex trafficking go through. These women and little girls deserve nothing but compassion, love and assistance from this country and for Planned Parenthood and their allies in Congress to hold up a bill that would do just that is extreme, disgusting and abhorrent.”
This isn’t the first time America’s biggest abortion corporation has put its abortion agenda first and sex trafficking victims second.
In 2011, human trafficking experts were appalled by the videos showing officials at various Planned Parenthood centers helping a sex trafficker arrange for abortions for the underage girls he allegedly victimized.
Steven Wagner is the president of Renewal Forum, a nonprofit group combating U.S. human trafficking, and he was the former head of the Human Trafficking Program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In an opinion column he wrote in the Washington Times at that time, Wagner said the sordid tale is not surprising because a quarter of a million children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation every year in the United States. He says the response from Planned Parenthood officials to the man acting as a pimp in the undercover investigation is shocking and disturbing.
“Is this pimp sent away by indignant health care providers – or better, are the police called to investigate these evident cases of felony sexual abuse of a minor? Tragically, no,” he writes. “In each instance, clinic staff members readily describe how they can help facilitate the continued exploitation of his victims.”
Although Planned Parenthood fired one employee at one of the several abortion centers where staff were filmed helping the sex traffickers, he bashed the abortion business for having “dismissed the incident as an aberration.”
Wagner says the young women trapped in the sex trade are not legally able to consent for the abortions Planned Parenthood offered.
“Under the federal anti-trafficking law, any juvenile younger than 18 who is subjected to commercial sexual exploitation is a victim of human trafficking – a victim of modern-day slavery. Under our legal system, no child can consent to engage in prostitution,” he said. “Similarly, no children who are trapped in a situation of commercial sexual exploitation can give informed consent to undergo an abortion or receive a regime of contraception because of the trauma and manipulation to which they are subjected routinely and constantly. Yet the health care providers in these videos appear all too eager to sign up juvenile victims for both abortions and contraceptives.”
Wagner believes Planned Parenthood is not only covering up the alleged sex trafficking by adding to the exploitation of the girls victimized by it.
“To subject a juvenile victim of commercial sexual exploitation to either an abortion or contraception has only one purpose: to sustain her exploitation, and only one beneficiary: the trafficker/pimp. This is why the Live Action videos are so revealing and so shocking,” he writes at the Times. “They show health care professionals, employed by a national organization receiving taxpayer funds, who not only do not fulfill their obligation to report to authorities these potential cases of child abuse, but actually are willing to facilitate that abuse.”
“It is hard to imagine conditions more conducive to the widespread sexual exploitation of American children than those in which health care professionals are willfully ignorant of the sex trafficking in front of their eyes. These videos raise this five-alarm question: If we are just now learning that Planned Parenthood is willing to help actors portraying a sex-trafficking pimp and a prostituted juvenile, isn’t it likely that actual sex traffickers have been using Planned Parenthood clinics for years?” he asks.
Wagner says government agencies are right to consider cutting off taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business because of the harm it does to young women and girls.
“If Planned Parenthood clinics are willing to aid and abet the sexual exploitation of children, Congress has an obligation to cut off the substantial federal subsidies flowing to the organization,” he says.
He concludes: “The commercial sexual exploitation of children is beyond an epidemic in the United States. We urgently need as a society to confront this crisis and undertake every possible measure to find and rescue the victims. We need to stop coddling the pimps and ignoring the “johns” who pay for sex with minors. And any health care provider who is complicit in this exploitation should be held to account.”
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
by Dave Andrusko | LifeNews.com | 3/10/15 9:39 AM
After a lengthy run-up, the issue of webcam abortions will come squarely before the Iowa Supreme Court this Wednesday.
The Des Moines Register’s Tony Leys, who has covered the issue for the state’s dominant newspaper, dropped a new piece of information in his story today:
When Planned Parenthood lawyers go before the Iowa Supreme Court Wednesday, they’ll be asking for more than permission to continue using a controversial telemedicine system for dispensing abortion pills. They’ll also be asking the justices to declare that the Iowa Constitution protects women’s right to abortion.
Such a ruling could give Iowa abortion-rights proponents a stronger hand in future court battles, an independent legal expert said.
“It could call into question almost any limit on abortion,” said Ryan Koopmans, a Des Moines lawyer who writes a blog about Supreme Court cases.
What to say? That while “Wednesday’s hearing is believed to be the first time in more than 40 years that the Iowa Supreme Court will directly consider the issue of abortion,” the state’s highest court does not need to address whether the state constitution “protects” a woman’s “right” to abortion, even if Planned Parenthood of the Heartland wants it to.
Obviously any pro-abortion organization would like a decision that “finds” a “right” to abortion in a state constitution. But the issue before the Iowa Supreme Court is not whether there is a “right” to abortion, but whether the kind of “care” offered by webcam abortions is legal under Iowa law.
Webcam abortions are premised around a system where the abortionist is not present when the woman receives the two-drugs that make up the chemical abortion technique. The Iowa Board of Medicine held a hearing about its proposed rule that abortionists could not dispense abortion-causing drugs via a remote video-conferencing system. According to Register’s Jason Noble
In one especially heated exchange, medical board member and West Des Moines physician Bob Bender grilled Robert Shaw, a pediatrician and Planned Parenthood board member, on physicians’ level of involvement in the examination of patients before an abortion drug is prescribed.
Bender repeatedly asked Shaw whether he had ever relied on a certified medical assistant to perform an initial patient examination – something another Planned Parenthood representative had suggested sometimes occurred in telemedicine abortion situations.
Shaw refused to answer the question, however, arguing that his personal medical experience was irrelevant to questions over the standard of care provided in telemedicine abortions.
The Board of Medicine passed the rule and when Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit, the Board of Medicine responded that under state law, only physicians may provide abortions. Referring to the state’s legal brief, Leys reported
“Abortion-inducing drugs are not over the counter medications,” the state lawyers wrote. “Unless and until such a time when abortion-inducing drugs are no longer required to be dispensed by physicians, physicians must do so within the confines of the standard of care. The Board of Medicine determined the standard of care requires a physical examination prior to dispensing abortion-inducing drugs.”
Currently 16 states have laws requiring that the abortionist be in the same room as the woman when the abortion drugs are dispensed.
And while this rarely gets addressed in media accounts, the dangers of web-cam abortions are not merely speculation.
An April 30, 2011, FDA “Mifepristone U.S. Postmarketing Adverse Events Summary” found more than 2,200 “adverse events” associated with use of the abortion drugs [RU-486 and a prostaglandin], including 14 women in the U.S. who died. Women taking the drug were hospitalized with ruptured ectopic pregnancies, blood loss requiring transfusions, and infections that proved deadly in at least eight cases.
And that was nearly four years ago.