Pro-Life Page

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN Wed Jun 19, 2013 17:21 EST

ALBANY, June 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears determined to expand abortion in the Empire State, making a last-ditch move this week to resurrect what appeared to be a defunct abortion proposal by separating his “Women’s Equality Act” into 10 separate bills.

On Monday, the Independent Democratic Committee (IDC) had introduced Cuomo’s “Women’s Equality Act” with only nine of the ten original points, excluding the highly controversial provision that addressed abortion. 

An IDC spokesman said the coalition’s decision to drop the abortion provision was a political necessity, since with the abortion provisions intact, the bill would fail in the State Senate.

Said IDC member Sen. Jeff Klein, “The IDC would like nothing more than to bring this provision to the floor, but the votes just are not there.”

That wasn’t good enough for Cuomo, who earlier this month described the ten-point plan as “almost as a bill of rights.” Said Cuomo, in refusing to abandon the abortion plank, “We don’t believe you have to give up any of the ten.”

On Tuesday night, Cuomo agreed to break the ten points into ten separate bills, all of which could be ready for a vote on Friday.

It is unclear whether the state Senate will have the chance to vote on the separate abortion bill.  For that to happen, it must be brought to the floor by Senate Majority Co-Leaders Dean Skelos (R-LI) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).  Skelos objects to the bill on moral grounds, while Klein says he doesn’t think it has enough votes to pass.  Neither man can move the bill forward without the other’s approval.

Mr. Cuomo said he especially wants to force a vote on abortion expansion so that voters know where lawmakers stand on abortion, an issue he said he plans to highlight during his own re-election campaign in 2014.

"New York is the last place where women's rights should be held back; it is the place where they must move forward," Mr. Cuomo said in a news release Tuesday night.

New York already has the highest abortion rate of any state in the nation.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion-industry think tank, one-third of all New York pregnancies end in abortion.  Currently, abortions can be performed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy without restriction.  After that, they can be performed only by doctors to save the life of the mother. 

The new abortion expansion bill would allow third trimester abortions for almost any reason, and would open the door to allowing non-medical professionals to perform the procedure.  

Numerous faith-based and pro-life observers have criticized the abortion expansion plan, including Cuomo’s own spiritual leaders, the Catholic Bishops of New York. 

“I am hard pressed to think of a piece of legislation that is less needed or more harmful than this one,”wrote Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in a letter to Governor Cuomo.  “As we have discussed in the past, we obviously disagree on the question of the legality of abortion, but surely we are in equally strong agreement that the abortion rate in New York is tragically high,” he wrote.

“There was a time when abortion supporters claimed they wanted to make abortion ‘safe, legal, and rare,’” Dolan added. “Yet this measure is specifically designed to expand access to abortion, and therefore to increase the abortion rate.”

New York State Right to Life slammed the bill as "a Trojan Horse - a beautifully gift-wrapped package of death and destruction."

Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life (AUL) said that if the bill passes, "New York will be sanctioning unrestricted, virtually unregulated, and taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand, making it the most radically pro-abortion state in the nation."

 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 6/18/13 6:45 PM

The House of Representatives today approved a that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.

The vote for the bill broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 228-196 vote with 7 Democrats voting for the bill and 6 Republicans voting against it. (See end for how members voted).

The bill, if it receives a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate, is not expected to pass and pro-abortion President Barack Obama has issued a veto threat. But pro-life groups hope to use the measure as an election tool in 2014 in an attempt to wrest the Senate from abortion advocates.

Leading pro-life organizations issued statements praising the House for the vote.

“I would hope that stopping atrocities against little babies is something we can agree to put an end to,” Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota said during the debate. “We’re talking about babies who, if they were born and simply given a chance, they could survive outside the womb.”

Congresswoman Wagner of Missouri added: “As science and technology continue to advance, we are changing hearts and mind. It is not only the pain of the child we must consider, but also the pain of the mother. Everyone talks about the right to choose, but no one discusses the implications of that choice. I am for life at all stages. I am

 for the life of the baby, and I am also for the life of the mother. I will continue to work for a day when abortion is not only illegal, but absolutely unthinkable.”

Rep. Chris Smith, the head of the pro-life caucus in the House, spoke eloquently from the House floor.

“The brutality of severing the spines of defenseless babies—euphemistically called “snipping” by Gosnell—has finally peeled away the benign façade of the billion dollar abortion industry” he said.

“Like Gosnell, abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember and chemically poison babies to death each and every day. That’s what they do. Americans are connecting the dots and asking whether what Gosnell did is really any different than what other abortionists do. A D&E abortion—a common method after 14 weeks—is a gruesome, pain-filled act that literally rips and tears to pieces the body parts of a child,” he added. “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old—and pain-capable—from having to suffer and die from abortion.”

One leading expert in the field of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand at the University of Tennessee, stated in his expert report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, “It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older children.”

“Surgeons entering the womb to perform corrective procedures on unborn children have seen those babies flinch, jerk and recoil from sharp objects and incisions. Ultrasound technology shows unborn babies at 20 weeks post-fertilization and earlier react physically to outside stimuli such as sound, light and touch,” Smith continued. “Surgeons routinely administer anesthesia to unborn children in the womb before performing lifesaving surgeries, and this has been associated with a decrease in the baby’s stress hormone levels during the medical procedure.”

A recent national poll by The Polling Company found that, after being informed that there is scientific evidence that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least by 20 weeks, 64% would support a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother’s life was in danger.   Only 30% said they would oppose such a law.

During the hearing, former abortion practitioner Anthony Levatino told members of the committee the gruesome details of his former abortion practice and how he became pro-life following the tragic automobile accident of his child.

Another bombshell dropped during the hearing came from Dr. Maureen Condic, who is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She testified that the unborn child is capable of reacting to pain as early as 8-10 weeks. This is when most abortions in America take place.

The committee also saw graphic pictures of babies who were killed by Douglas Karpen, who is considered the second Kermit Gosnell.

The late-term abortion ban would allow abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization if the mother’s life is endangered, or in cases of rape and incest reported prior to the abortion to appropriate authorities.

H.R. 1797 contains congressional findings of fact regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks “post-fertilization age,” or the start of the sixth month.

The bill relies on the science of fetal pain to establish a Constitutional reason for Congress to ban abortions late in pregnancy. The science behind the concept of fetal pain is fully established and Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into it. He first published reports in the 1980s to validate research showing evidence for it.

He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at “eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier” and that a baby before birth “under the right circumstances, is capable of crying.”

He and his colleagues Dr. Vincent J. Collins and Thomas J. Marzen  were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.

“The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child’s development in the womb,” they wrote.

“Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body,” they continued.

With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.

“The neural pathways are present for pain to be experienced quite early by unborn babies,” explains Steven Calvin, M.D., perinatologist, chair of the Program in Human Rights Medicine, University of Minnesota, where he teaches obstetrics.

Dr. Colleen A. Malloy, Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology at Northwestern University in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in May 2012 said, “[w]hen we speak of infants at 22 weeks LMP [Note: this is 20 weeks post fertilization], for example, we no longer have to rely solely on inferences or ultrasound imagery, because such premature patients are kicking, moving, reacting, and developing right before our eyes in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

“In today’s medical arena, we resuscitate patients at this age and are able to witness their ex-utero growth and development. Medical advancement and technology have enabled us to improve our ability to care for these infants…In fact, standard of care for neonatal intensive care units requires attention to and treatment of neonatal pain,” Dr. Malloy testified. She continued, “[t]hus, the difference between fetal and neonatal pain is simply the locale in which the pain occurs. The receiver’s experience of the pain is the same. I could never imagine subjecting my tiny patients to horrific procedures such as those that involve limb detachment or cardiac injection.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jun. 18, 2013 6:55am 

 

WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — The abortion wars return to Congress in a big way with House legislation to ban almost all abortions after a fetus reaches the age of 20 weeks. The proposal — a controversial one — has fired up both sides of the debate.

The legislation expected to pass the Republican-controlled House as early as Tuesday has no chance of becoming law in the near future: The Democratic-led Senate will ignore it and the White House has issued a veto threat. But the measure gives social conservatives a rare chance to promote their anti-abortion agenda and lays the groundwork for what could be a future challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that confirmed a woman’s right to late-term abortions.

The two sides in the abortion debate agreed at least on the importance of the measure.

National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson said it was the “most significant piece of pro-life legislation to come before the House since the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act” that was enacted in 2003. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said the bill “clearly is an attack on women’s constitutional right to choose and is one of the most far-reaching bans on abortion this committee has ever considered.”

The legislation defies the 1973 ruling which made most abortions legal up to the point that a fetus is viable, generally considered to be at least 24 weeks.

Some 11 state legislatures have passed similar measures. Several have been challenged in court and a federal court last month struck down a slightly different Arizona law that banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Anti-abortion groups said the time frame in the House bill and other state laws, which ban abortion 20 weeks after conception, is equal to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

The sponsors of the bill, named the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, also cited evidence — which opponents say is disputed — that fetuses can feel pain after five months.

House GOP leaders, stymied by a Democratic Senate and a Democrat in the White House, have chosen to focus on economic issues rather than contentious social topics such as abortion. “Jobs continue to be our number one concern,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said last week when asked about the abortion bill. But he said that “after the Kermit Gosnell case and the publicity that it received, I think the legislation is appropriate.”

Gosnell was a Philadelphia abortion provider who last month received a life sentence for what prosecutors said was the murder of three babies delivered alive. The case energized anti-abortion groups, who said it exemplified the inhumanity of late-term abortions.

The original House bill, sponsored by anti-abortion leader Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was aimed only at the District of Columbia, but was expanded to cover the entire nation after the Gosnell case received national attention.

Pro-choice groups argued that the 20-week ban, in addition to being unconstitutional, would affect women just at the point of learning of a fetal anomaly or determining that the pregnancy could put the mother’s life in danger.

As introduced, the bill provided for an exception to the ban only in cases of a physical condition that endangers the life of the mother. In the Judiciary Committee last week, Republicans rejected Democratic attempts to include rape, incest and other health problems as grounds for exceptions.

But Franks, during debate on the rape exception, angered Democrats and drew unwanted publicity to the bill when he stated that cases of “rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

Franks later rephrased his remark, but GOP leaders rushed to impose damage control. A provision was inserted in the bill heading to the House floor including a rape and incest exception, and Franks, who heads the Judiciary subcommittee on the constitution and civil justice, was replaced as floor manager for the bill by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Democrats had pointed out that every Republican on the Judiciary Committee that approved the anti-abortion bill was a man.

With the changes, said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue, “the GOP is desperately trying to hide that the party has a deep hostility to women’s rights and freedom.”

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity has a new president and CEO, following the backlash it has faced after initially stopping funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business and then reinstating funding days later.

However, it’s new president may cause more controversy for Komen, which is facing financial problems and cancelling events in the wake of the Planned Parenthood funding scandal.

From AP:

The breast cancer charity named Judith A. Salerno to replace founder Nancy Brinker, whose promise to her dying sister begat a fundraising powerhouse that invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cancer research. Brinker announced last summer she would step down following an onslaught of criticism over Komen’s quickly reversed decision to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings.

Salerno, 61, is executive director and chief operating officer of the Institute of Medicine, a prestigious independent group that advises the government and private sector about health and science.

“Komen’s commitment has helped countless numbers of low-income and medically underserved women and men get care they might otherwise have gone without, and Komen’s research program is one of the most highly respected in the nation,” Salerno said in a statement released by Komen.

Brinker, 67, announced in August that she would move from the CEO role, which she’d held since 2009, into a new one focused on fundraising and strategic planning.

In late 2011, the Dallas-based charity decided to halt grants to Planned Parenthood, which received about $680,000 that year. News of the move caused a torrent of questions about the decision and calls for its reversal, angering Komen supporters on both sides of the abortion debate.

Three days after the initial disclosure, Komen reversed its course, which led to more harsh criticism, this time from abortion opponents accusing the charity of caving to public pressure.

Karen Handel, the group’s vice president and a conservative, resigned the following week and later wrote a blistering account of the episode entitled “Planned Bullyhood.”

As if the Planned Parenthood funding controversy wasn’t bad enough, Salerno headed the Institute of Medicine, which approved the Obama HHS mandate that forces religious groups to funds birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.

As LifeNews reported in February 2012, the committee that made the recommendation to the Obama administration to adopt its new controversial health care mandate and found the panel is dominated by pro-abortion groups.

According to Human Life International, “Through a search of public records, HLI America has been able to substantiate the claim that members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee who wrote Recommendation 5.5 have ideological commitments that raise serious questions about the supposed objectivity with which they considered the scientific evidence that led to their recommendation that the HHS mandate contraception and sterilization coverage as “preventive care.”

“The IOM members below have strong relationships with both Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and have actively supported pro-abortion candidates for public office,” the pro-life group adds. “This is by no means an exhaustive list of the involvement of the IOM committee members in pro-choice advocacy groups and pro-choice political campaigns. But these eleven members—out of a total of fifteen—demonstrate a more than casual commitment to the furthering of the abortion lobby.”

HLI determined that “not a single member of the committee has financially supported a pro-life candidate.”

The Institute of Medicine recommendation, opposed by pro-life groups, called for the Obama administration to require insurance programs to include birth control — such as the morning after pill or the ella drug that causes an abortion days after conception — in the section of drugs and services insurance plans must cover under “preventative care.” The companies will likely pass the added costs on to consumers, requiring them to pay for birth control and, in some instances, drug-induced abortions of unborn children in their earliest days.

The HHS accepted the IOM guidelines that “require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services” and those services include “FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling” — which include birth control drugs like Plan B and ella that can cause abortions. The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute, which advises the federal government and shut out pro-life groups in meetings leading up to the recommendations.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BY TONY PERKINS

May 28, 2013 (FRC) - Liberals are more than happy to welcome illegal immigrants to America--it's their unborn children they object to. Last week, Democrats tried to defend taxpayer-funded abortion as part of the long list of "perks" that detainees enjoy in Homeland Security's federal detention centers.

The issue boiled over last spring when the office of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tried to slip new guidelines past Congress that would have extended a host of benefits to illegal aliens that rival the average citizens'! And these aren't your garden variety detainees. Most of the immigrants in ICE's care are convicted criminals who were transferred out of prison, where they were serving time for other charges. Even so, the Left has fought to give these detainees the best care that (taxpayers') money can offer. Before FRC drew attention to the issue last March, ICE was even prepared to offer government-sponsored hormone therapy for transgenders!

Under the Carter amendment, co-sponsored by our friends Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Rep. Alan Nunnelee, (R-Miss.), Homeland Security would be barred from spending a single cent of government funding on abortion. The Committee passed a similar rider last year, but--like most appropriations measures--the abortion ban didn't carry over from the 2013 funding bill. A day after Rep. Carter offered the amendment, it passed: 25-21. Now it heads to the House floor--along with the rest of the 92-page budget. "I will always support and remain committed to preserving the sanctity of life," Carter vowed, "and as a committed member of the Pro-Life Caucus, I will continue to defend human life at all stages. The provision in this amendment will continue to ensure that federal taxpayer dollars will not fund abortion."Now, the same Homeland Security that claims it doesn't have enough money for detention beds is ready to finance abortions. As Rep. Hal Rodgers (R-Ky.) pointed out, "These are grim budget times. We don't have carte blanche for even our most important security programs." All the more reason, says Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), to put the brakes on ICE's abortion funding. Last Wednesday, Congressman Carter, Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, introduced language to stop the agency's $46 billion funding bill from getting bogged down with the President's radical social policy.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, who never met an abortion debate it didn't like to distort, criticized the bill for denying access to immigrant abortions. In a press release, the country's biggest abortion cartel intentionally mischaracterized Carter's amendment, claiming that it "prevents immigrant women... from making extremely personal, medical decisions."

False. It only prevents taxpayers from funding those decisions. Women in ICE's custody are not only free to abort at outside clinics--they're assigned government "escorts" for the trip. All House leaders have done is bring Homeland Security in line with the other federal appropriations provisions that block taxpayer dollars for abortion. So it's more than a little ironic when Planned Parenthood complains, "Abortion has no business being debated as a part of a Homeland Security funding bill." We agree! In fact, abortion has no business being debated as part of any government funding bill. That's why FRC supports the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7 and S. 946), just introduced by Rep. Chris Smith and Sen. Roger Wicker. And if Planned Parenthood were sincere about women's health, they'd join us.

 

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 

by Operation Rescue | Austin, TX | LifeNews.com | 5/15/13 10:31 AM

After the conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on murder charges, Operation Rescue has been repeatedly asked if there is any evidence that similar practices exist at abortion clinics elsewhere in the nation. That documentation has now been released.

Operation Rescue arranged to have Life Dynamics, Inc. produce a video interview, released yesterday, with three informants who came to Operation Rescue as the result of our Abortion Whistleblowers Program, which offers a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of abortionists who are breaking the law.

The three informants, Deborah Edge, Gigi Aguliar, and Krystal Rodriguez, have come forward to tell of their horrific experiences working for abortionist Douglas Karpen, at one of three of his Texas abortion clinics, the Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston. A fourth informant has co-operated with Operation Rescue, filing an affidavit about her experiences, but remains at this time anonymous.

As shocking as their stories are, these women did more than just talk; they brought forward evidence of illegal late-term abortions in the form of photos taken on their cell phones at the Karpen’s clinic on Schumacher Lane in Houston.

The photos were scandalous. They depicted two babies aborted well beyond the legal limit of 24 weeks in Texas. Their necks had been cut.

 

“The photos show babies that are huge, with gashes in their necks, indicating that these babies were likely born alive, then killed, just as Kermit Gosnell did at his ‘House of Horrors’ clinic in Philadelphia,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “In fact, there are numerous similarities between Karpen and the Gosnell case, including the disregarding of complaints by the authorities that allowed both men to continue their illegal operations.”

Signs of life

In both cases, the babies’ skin is pink, noting a lack of masceration, an early form of decomposition that happens in babies that die in the womb. Massive bruising on the extremities of one of the babies indicates the baby’s heart was pulsing with life when the trauma was inflicted likely when grasping instruments latched on to bring the baby down into the birth canal. The eyes of the other child are open in a nightmarish expression of pain, revealing development greater than 26-28 weeks. Both sets of photos were taken sometime in 2011.

The video interview of the three informants verified the worst.

 

“When he did an abortion, especially an over 20 week abortion, most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus, in order to kill the fetus,” said Deborah Edge, who worked as a surgical assistant for Karpen for about 15 years until leaving in March, 2011.

“I thought, well, it’s an abortion you know, that’s what he does, but I wasn’t aware that it was illegal…Most of the time we would see him where the fetus would come completely out and of course, the fetus would still be alive,” Edge continued.

How often did this happen?

“I think every morning I saw several, on several occasions,” she said. “If we had 20-something patients, of course ten, or twelve, or fifteen patients would be large procedures, and out of those large procedures, I’m pretty sure that I was seeing at least three or four fetuses that were completely delivered in some way or another,” said Edge, acknowledging that these babies would be alive.

She described how some babies would emerge too soon and would be alive, moving, and breathing. She also told of how Karpen would sometimes deliver the babies feet first with the toes wiggling until he stabbed them with a surgical implement. At the moment the toes would suddenly splay out before going limp. Sometimes he would kill the babies by “twisting the head off the neck,” according to Edge.

Women would be given doses of Cytotec, a drug that causes strong and unpredictable uterine contractions, and would deliver while they were waiting in line to see Karpen, some in toilets, one in the hallway.

“He just picked it up with one of those [chux] pads and put it in the trash bag,” said Krystal Rodriguez of the baby born in the hallway.

“As long as the patient had the cash, he was going to do it past 25 weeks,” she said.

But not all the babies came out intact. When there was difficulty, Karpen would dismember them, a process that was, according to the surgical assistant Deborah Edge, a bloody mess.

“Sometimes he couldn’t get the fetus out” she explained. “He would yank pieces – piece by piece – when they were oversize. And I’m talking about the whole floor dirty. I’m talking about me drenched in blood.”

Undercover investigation and a troubled past

It all began in early 2011, when Operation Rescue was conducting an undercover investigation of several Texas abortion clinics when it discovered that Karpen appeared to be violating the Texas informed consent law that required that abortionists give the state-mandated information personally on patient conference calls set up for that purpose. In addition to the improper use of a recording, he was not on the line to answer questions, as the law required. Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger filed a complaint with the Texas Medical Board concerning this violation.

Sullenger submitted a statement to the TMB noting Karpen’s documented history of problems, including series of botched abortions stretching back to 1988 when 15-year old Denise Montoya hemorrhaged and died after a 26-week abortion done by Karpen.

She told the TMB of a documented incident on February 6, 2005, when a sewer broke at Karpen’s Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center, located at 2421 N. Shepherd in Houston, causing sewage to spill into the parking lot of a neighboring car dealership. Maribeth Smith, an employee of the car dealership said she is convinced she saw human body parts mixed in with the sewage. She took photographs, believing the human tissue came from the clinic.

“Whether it’s legal or not, it’s not right,” Smith said. “This whole area is nothing but raw sewage and bloody pieces. There were little legs coming out from one side.”

A Health Department worker called 911 to report a second spill at the same abortion clinic. When asked who she was with she told the dispatcher, “Health Department…and we handle normal medical waste, but this is beyond us. He says he can see fetuses and fingers and everything.” (Emphasis intranscript.)

Sullenger hoped that the history of documented abuses would help convince the TMB to act swiftly to protect the public.

Whistleblower comes forward

 

The following month, Deborah Edge contacted Operation Rescue with her first-hand account Karpen’s practices after she had smuggled one of Operation Rescue’s Whistleblower flyers out of his clinic, knowing that she needed to call.

In addition to the accounts of the illegal late-term abortions, other abuses Edge witnessed included:

  • Falsification of ultrasounds to produce younger fetal ages of babies over the legal limit or older fetal ages to extract more money out of women.
  • Fraudulent billing practices.
  • Surgical equipment not properly sterilized.
  • Reuse of disposable instruments.
  • Unqualified workers drawing and administering drugs.
  • Late-term abortions done at 28 weeks and later. (Texas law permits only to 24 weeks.)
  • Lack of adequate nursing staff.
  • Concealing poorly kept logs from inspectors to prevent deficiency citations.
  • Hiring nurses through a temp agency to work only on days when inspections are scheduled.
  • Mistreating heavy women and inappropriately touching attractive women while under sedation.
  • Sexual harassment.

Edge explained that Karpen was able to evade detection by having his workers hide sanitation logs and other incriminating documentation from inspectors on the occasions they would come by the clinic.

“Karpen might have a little newer equipment and a little cleaner clinic, but his shoddy practices certainly mirror those of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. Certainly if anyone deserved Board discipline, it was this guy,” said Sullenger.

 

Excel Spreadsheets

Another piece of evidence was an Excel file that contained four months of abortion billing information for 2011. That file was given to Operation Rescue by an anonymous informant. The abortions listed all indicated that several abortion funds, including the National Abortion Federation Fund, the Hershey Fund, the Lilith Fund, and others had been billed for part of the abortion fee. The allegation made by the informant was that Karpen was bilking the funds out of money by over-billing them. While that allegation could not be substantiated by Operation Rescue, the list was revealing as to the price of the late-term abortions that the women all said were done beyond the legal limit and the amount of cash taken in to the clinic.

March, 2011, listed 33 abortions that were partially paid for with abortion funds or other sources. Over $38,000 in cash was paid by patients. The file showed 5 abortions that cost under $1,000, 7 abortions that were between $1,000-2,000, 12 abortions that cost between $2,000-$3,000, and 3 abortions that were over $3,000.

The greater the gestational age, the higher the abortion fee. How old were the two babies whose abortions cost $3,700? The file didn’t say, but the high figure seemed to confirm the allegations that abortions were being done very late — much later than 24 weeks.

Working together

Due to legal issues raised by the former clinic workers, Operation Rescue contacted attorneys atAlliance Defending Freedom, which handled many of the women’s legal concerns. Once the women quit their jobs, finances became an issue. Newman contacted Abby Johnson, whose new organizationAnd Then There Were None, which offers support to former abortion clinic workers. She agreed to help the women with some financial assistance.

Amended complaint

The additional information gathered from Edge and the other women was quickly added to the original Texas Medical Board complaint filed earlier. Sullenger discussed the new information with TMB Inspector, Leslie Coe, who seemed to be conducting an investigation. As the other Karpen employees came forward with similar stories, their affidavits were submitted to Coe along with the video of violations taken inside the clinic and the photos of the huge babies Karpen had aborted.

Everything seemed to be progressing through the investigative process. The women were interviewed and Sullenger spoke on and off with Coe, who seemed cooperative and willing to take more information as it came in.

Settlement conference hearings were scheduled and hopes rose, but the hearings were repeatedly delayed and reset over the course of months until finally they were simply were not rescheduled.

“I thought that the additional information had sent the case back to the investigative phase and that the Board just needed more time to process everything. Medical Boards take a very long time to work through things. After being involved in numerous Board actions against abortionists, the delays seemed normal,” said Sullenger. “But apparently they weren’t.”

Mysterious dismissal

But then something changed.

“It was like someone turned the spigot off. Ms. Coe stopped returning my calls and did not acknowledge my e-mails. I could not account for the change in attitude,” said Sullenger. “Then I got the letter dismissing the case and was completely stunned by it.”

The letter, dated February 8, 2013, stated:

The investigation referenced above has been dismissed because the Board determined there was insufficient evidence to prove that a violation of the Medical Practices Act occurred. Specifically, this investigation determined that Dr. Karpen did not violate the laws connected with the practice of medicine and there is no evidence of inappropriate behavior, therefore no further action will be taken.

“I couldn’t believe what I was reading,” said Sullenger. “How could anyone look at those pictures of the two babies and still say ‘there is no evidence of inappropriate behavior’? No one even bothered to sign the letter.”

Going public

With the TMB out of the picture, Sullenger sought an opportunity to get the women’s stories recorded and evidence released to the public, an effort that required her to negotiate unexpected delays.

Then, while Sullenger was in Philadelphia reporting on the Kermit Gosnell murder trial, Mark Crutcher of the Texas-based Life Dynamics, Inc., a close associate of Operation Rescue’s, was able to make arrangements to get the interviews recorded.

The Gosnell trial and his convictions on 3 counts of first degree murder for severing the spinal cords of babies born alive during abortions at his filthy West Philadelphia abortion clinic has focused the national abortion debate onto the question of whether Gosnell’s behavior was an anomaly. Often in the courtroom conversation amongst reporters, many with very liberal world views, would shift to questions about whether others like Gosnell were out there breaking the law and subjecting women – and their viable babies that the law was supposed to protect – to unspeakable atrocities.

“Douglas Karpen is so like Kermit Gosnell that it is uncanny, from the illegal late-term abortions, to killing babies born alive, to even the sewers clogged with fetal remains,” said Sullenger. “But the most disturbing thing is that we know there are others out there who are maybe even worse than Gosnell and Karpen, who just have not been caught yet. How many? There’s just no way to tell, but that thought should give everyone pause to think. Can we really afford to allow abortion clinics to run amok without accountability? When we do, we get places like Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors” and Karpen’s apparently illicit operation. The ones that pay the price for the lack of enforcement and oversight are those who can’t defend themselves from exploitation by men like them.”

Enforcement elusive

While states continue to enact pro-life laws that are designed to provide greater oversight and accountability to an out-of-control abortion industry, the matter of enforcement still remains the biggest challenge to bringing abortionists like Gosnell and Karpen to justice.

For years, Gosnell evaded accountability, shielded by a political atmosphere that ignored complaints and refused to inspect clinics out of fear of limiting access to abortions. That political climate was one in which Gosnell thrived. Karpen appears to enjoy the benefits of a similar political climate in Texas, which has inexplicably chosen to ignore a total of four former employees and the images of the babies Karpen dispatched in a similar manner that earned Gosnell two life sentences in prison.

Operation Rescue has finally made public Karpen’s identity in order to attempt bypass the stonewalling of the TMB and bring him to justice.

“We are asking all those who were appalled by the details of Gosnell’s behavior that have come out throughout the trial to take action to bring Karpen to justice in a court of law,” said Newman. “We know that it is possible to prosecute him because of the outcome of the Gosnell trial. We just need prosecutors like those in Philadelphia who are willing and courageous enough to enforce the law.”

Please take the time to contact the authorities below and ask for a full-scale investigation into Douglas Karpen’s abortion business.

Mike Anderson, District Attorney Harris County, Texas

1201 Franklin Street, Suite 600, Houston, Texas 77002-1923

Voice: (713)-755-5800

E-Mail: Armand_Stephanie@dao.hctx.net

Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas

Office of the Attorney General

PO Box 12548

Austin, TX 78711-2548

Voice: (512) 463-2050

E-Mail: robert.allen@texasattorneygeneral.gov

Texas Medical Board

333 Guadalupe

Tower 3, Suite 610

Austin, TX 78701

Voice: (512) 305-7010

E-Mail: verifcic@tmb.state.tx.us

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

 

Jurors in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit B. Gosnell began deliberations Tuesday in what will likely be a long process due to the fact he is charged with five murder counts.

 

Closing arguments in the murder trial alternated between the defense's insistence that Gosnell's office was no "house of horrors," to the prosecution's brutal depiction of the deaths of a woman and four viable babies.

 

Gosnell had declined to testify in his defense or even call witnesses at his capital murder trial. Instead, his attorney, Jack McMahon, offered a passionate, often angry defense of his client, blaming the intense media interest in the case and the prosecution for creating a "tremendous rush to judgment."

 

"Never in my life have I seen the presumption of innocence more trampled on, stomped on, than in this case," McMahon said, arguing that the overdose death of the woman at his West Philadelphia clinic was a "tragic accident" and that there was "no scientific evidence" that Gosnell, 72, killed babies after they were born alive.

 

But Assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron, in his closing argument, told a story about taking his sick dog to the veterinarian to be put down, with a shot to induce sleep first. "These babies didn't even get that," he said.

 

"My dog was treated better than he treated babies and women," Cameron said. "And that's because he didn't care. He created an assembly line, with no regard for these women whatsoever."

 

The judge reminded members of the jury to ignore portions of the emotional closing arguments, including charges of racism. 

 

"I attribute that to the emotion of this case. None of that is relevant to your consideration...it's not something you should consider in your deliberations. It's not part of the evidence," the judge said.

A string of former employees have testified that Gosnell relied on untrained staff to sedate and monitor women as they waited for abortions.

Authorities have also said the abortion clinic was operated in filthy conditions, and a grand jury report called it a "house of horrors."

 

But during closing arguments Monday, defense attorney Jack McMahon showed photographs of a relatively neat waiting room and other areas in Gosnell's clinic, saying that pictures don't lie.

 

He said the clinic wasn't perfect, but it wasn't the criminal enterprise that prosecutors claim.

 

Prosecutors say Gosnell killed viable babies born alive after putting a steady stream of often low-income, minority women through labor and delivery. Former employees have testified that Gosnell taught them to "snip" babies' necks after they were delivered to "ensure fetal demise."

Gosnell also is charged in the overdose death of a patient, 41-year-old refugee Karnamaya Mongar, of Woodbridge, Va.

 

The jury must now weigh the five murder counts, along with lesser charges that include racketeering, performing illegal abortions after 24 weeks, failing to observe the 24-hour waiting period and endangering a child's welfare for employing a 15-year-old in the procedure area.

 

A lawyer for 56-year-old Eileen O'Neill, Gosnell's co-defendant, said Monday that prosecutors didn't prove their case against her.

 

O'Neill, of Phoenixville, is charged with theft and isn't licensed to practice medicine, but defense attorney James Berardinelli told the jury in closing arguments Monday that prosecutors failed to prove that O'Neill billed as a licensed doctor.

 

He likened O’Neill’s charge – theft by deception – to a "scam."

 

"There is no criminal charge called 'practicing without a license,'" he said. "It's not their license; it's their experience -- that's what you're paying for."

 

Berardinelli says O’Neill consulted with Gosnell for any patient she saw and she mostly treated geriatric patients and wasn't involved in surgical abortions.

 

Prosecution witnesses say they got prescriptions from O'Neill pre-signed by Gosnell and never knew she wasn't licensed.

 

Berardinelli concluded his statements by going over contradictions in witness testimony regarding the prescriptions, and stressing that the burden of proof is on the prosecution.

 

"This is a decent, law-abiding, honest person. That's her reputation," he said, asking the judge to acquit O’Neill of her charges.

 

McMahon has argued that there were no live births at the clinic, and he found some support from a prosecution witness, Philadelphia's top medical examiner. Dr. Sam Gulino, who examined 47 aborted fetuses stored in freezers at the clinic, said he could not definitively say if any had taken a breath because the lung tissue had deteriorated.

 

The prosecution's other evidence to support the live birth argument comes from former employees, who testified that they saw aborted babies move, breathe or even cry. 

 

McMahon challenged them on cross-examination, questioning whether they had instead seen post-mortem spasms.

 

"You have to have definite, voluntary movement," McMahon argued.

 

The jury has seen a graphic photograph of some of the aborted babies and a worker testified that Gosnell joked that one was so big "it could walk to the bus."

 

Lynda Williams, Adrianne Moton and Sherry West, all untrained clinic workers, and unlicensed doctor Stephen Massof have each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges and testified against Gosnell. And four others have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, including Gosnell's wife, Pearl.

 

Gosnell did not testify, but could take the stand in the penalty phase if he is convicted of first-degree murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

 

Prosecutors say Gosnell is a misogynist for the way he treated female patients while the inner-city doctor described himself as an altruist in a 2010 interview with the Philadelphia Daily News.

 

"I wanted to be an effective, positive force in the minority community," Gosnell said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Friday, April 12, 2013

 

I’ve been writing about media coverage of abortion for many years. And so have many others. If you haven’t read David Shaw’s “Abortion Bias Seeps Into The News,” published in the Los Angeles Times back in 1990, you should. That report also explains why we cover the topic here at GetReligion.

But the thing is that I’m getting kind of sick of pointing out egregious bias only to see things not just remain bad but get worse. Just think, in the last year, we saw the media drop any pretense of objectivity and bully the Susan G. Komen Foundation into funding Planned Parenthood. And then we had how many months of coverage focused on someone calling a birth control activist a bad name? And who can forget every pro-life person in the country being asked to respond to Todd Akin’s stupid remarks about rape?

So our abortion-drenched media would certainly want to cover what is arguably the country’s most horrific serial murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, right? Well, far from the front-page, top of the news, daily update coverage you rightfully would expect, it’s been downplayed. Majorly downplayed.

Inspired by Kirsten Powers’ USA Today column yesterday, I decided to start asking journalists about their personal involvement in the Gosnell cover-up.

I began by asking the AP’s national social issues reporter why he hadn’t been tweeting to AP coverage of the Gosnell trial. I had to ask a few times and then … there it was … finally …. a tweet on the Gosnell trial. Then he told me that the AP was covering the trial (which I knew, as I’ve critiqued it here). I reminded him that I was wondering why he hadn’t been tweeting to coverage of Gosnell. I asked him to correct me if I was wrong about his lack of tweets. He didn’t.

Then I decided, since tmatt has me reading the Washington Post every day, to look at how the paper’s health policy reporter was covering Gosnell. I have critiqued many of her stories on the Susan G. Komen Foundation (she wrote quite a bit about that) and the Sandra Fluke controversy (she wrote quite a bit about that) and the Todd Akin controversy (you know where this is going). In fact, a site search for that reporter — who is named Sarah Kliff — and stories Akin and Fluke and Komen — yields more than 80 hits. Guess how many stories she’s done on this abortionist’s mass murder trial.

Did you guess zero? You’d be right.

So I asked her about it. Here’s her response:

Hi Molly – I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.

Yes. She really, really, really said that. As Robert VerBruggen dryly responded:

Makes sense. Similarly, national gun-policy people do not cover local crime in places like Aurora or Newtown.

So when a private foundation privately decides to stop giving money to the country’s largest abortion provider, that is somehow a policy issue deserving of three dozen breathless hits. When a yahoo political candidate says something stupid about rape, that is a policy issue of such import that we got another three dozen hits about it from this reporter. It was so important that journalists found it fitting to ask every pro-lifer in their path to discuss it. And when someone says something mean to a birth control activist, that’s good for months of puffy profiles.

But gosh darn it, can you think of any policy implications to this, uh, “local crime” story? And that’s all it is. Just like a bunch of other local stories the Washington Postalso refuses to cover — local crimes such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the killing of Matthew Shepard and the killing of students at an elementary school in Connecticut. Did the Washington Post even think of covering those local crime stories? No! Oh wait, they did? Like, all the time? Hmm. That’s weird. But did they cover them in terms of policy implications? Asking politicians for their views and such? Oh they did that, too? Hmm. So weird. Oh, and Sarah Kliff herself wrote one of those stories? Well, gosh, I’m so confused.

And what policies could possibly be under discussion with this Gosnell trial? Other than, you know, abortion clinic hiring practices? And enforcement of sanitary conditions? And laws on abortion practices that extend to killing live infants by beheading them? And the killing of their mothers? And state or federal oversight of clinics with records of botched abortions? And pain medication practices? And how to handle the racist practices of some clinics? And how big of a problem this is (don’t tell anyone but another clinic nearby to Gosnell was shut down this week over similar sanitation concerns)? And disposal of babies’ bodies? And discussion of whether it’s cool to snip baby’s spines after they’re born? And how often are abortion clinics inspected anyway? What are the results of inspections? When emergency rooms take in victims of botched abortions, do they report that? How did this clinic go 17 years without an inspection? Gosh, I just can’t think of a single health policy angle here. Can you?

I mean, God forbid we go big and actually discuss abortion policy in general — something Kliff is usually quite keen to do. (Here’s her 2010 piece for Newsweekheadlined Remember Roe!)

Kliff is hearing from her readers now — mostly I know about this since literally hundreds of them are copying me on their responses. To put it quite mildly, they find her justification attempt stunning, disingenuous, callous, laughable and far, far worse. The most charitable response was this one from Billy Valentine:

 

so who at @washingtonpost SHOULD be covering Gosnell if not you?

She hasn’t responded. It seemed obvious to me that the reporter at the Washington Post who writes so prolifically and passionately about abortion rights would cover this story. She says, however unconvincingly, that a major abortion story suddenly isn’t her beat. OK. Fine. So who at the Washington Post should be covering this major story with national implications? Let me know and I’ll ask them about it.

Journalists aren’t exactly coming to her defense either. In the words of Andrew Kirell:

Yeahhhh, so I’m pro-choice, but this Gosnell story is awful. And oh boy does it look bad for reporters normally on the health/abortion beat.

The Gosnell blackout was working brilliantly for months here. And if this didn’t happen to be the most shocking trial of the century, I think reporters such as Kliff could have gotten away with it. They’d say they couldn’t imagine it being a health policy story. And then they wouldn’t cover it. So no politicians would weigh in. And it wouldn’t become a health policy story. It may be circular logic, but it’s quite effective.

See, the way you get Presidents and others to talk about uninteresting little local crime stories is that you ask them to.

I offered this one up to Kliff earlier but I’ll share it widely:

President Obama worked against the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act back in the Illinois Senate. He said he thought it was unnecessary and that he was worried it would undermine Roe. How has the Gosnell case affected his thinking on protections for children such as the ones Gosnell is accused of killing?

Variations of that would work on any and all pro-choice politicians, particularly the ones that share Obama’s extreme views on this topic. Remember how reporters asked every pro-life individual in America (or so it seemed back in October) to respond to Todd Akin’s remarks on rape? Go ahead and ask just a few prominent pro-choice activists and pols for their take on Gosnell. And try to ask some tough questions. No, like real questions.

In my next post, I’ll tell you how it went when I looked at Politico‘s Gosnell coverage and Atlantic.com’s — it’s also pretty interesting.

The picture above, for what it’s worth, is of the reserved media seats at the Gosnell trial. It was taken by JD Mullane, a news writer and columnist for the Bucks County Courier Times, The Intel and the Burlington County (NJ) Times. He says:

Sat through a full day of testimony at the Kermitt Gosnell trial today. It is beyond the most morbid Hollywood horror. It will change you.

I was surprised by the picture and asked “really?” He responded “Local press was there, Inky, PhillyMag, NBC10 blogger. Court staff told me nobody else has shown up.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013

 

April 9, 2013 (WPVI) -- A local abortion clinic is under fire, facing allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

 

A series of emergency calls made from the Planned Parenthood of Delaware this year are raising concerns about what's happening behind the closed doors.

Two former nurses who both quit are speaking exclusively with Action News about what they saw inside.

Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, former employee said, "It was just unsafe. I couldn't tell you how ridiculously unsafe it was."

 

Werbrich alleges conditions inside the facility were unsanitary.

"He didn't wear gloves," said Werbrich.

Another former employee, Joyce Vasikonis told Action News, "They were using instruments on patients that were not sterile."

The former nurses claim that a rush to get patients in and out left operating tables soiled and unclean.

Werbrich said "It's not washed down, it's not even cleaned off. It has bloody drainage on it."

"They could be at risk of getting hepatitis, even AIDS," added Vasikonis.

Both of these nurses said, they quit to protect their own medical licenses, stunned by what they called a meat-market style of assembly-line abortions.

Vasikonis said, "I felt I could be held liable if a patient was harmed."

"Planned Parenthood needs to close its doors, it's needs to be cleaned up, the staff needs to be trained, said Werbrich."

In Delaware, abortion clinics are not subject to routine inspections. The state only steps in when they have a patient complaint. Planned Parenthood is essentially in charge of inspecting itself.

Mary Peterson from the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services said, "I am not going to lie to you, we don't have the manpower to do routine inspections."

She says, her investigators went into the facility in October of last year after a complaint.

We asked Peterson, did they find any problems with the sterilization of utensils. She told us "no, no." We then asked if blood was being left after one patient had surgery and another one came in, she replied, "absolutely none."

Investigators say, they have not found evidence to support the claims raised by Vasikonis and Werbrich.

Since January 4th, five patients allegedly have been rushed from the facility to the emergency room, again placing the clinic in the spotlight.

Peterson says, it raises concerns and they are in the process of looking into what is causing the issues to occur.

Action News has learned during our investigation that one doctor and two more nurses at the clinic have mysteriously left.

Planned Parenthood would not confirm if they were fired or resigned.

In a statement, the new CEO, Ruth Lytle-Barnaby told Action News:

"Planned Parenthood of Delaware has provided high-quality services for more than 80 years. Each year, we provide confidential, compassionate care that includes breast cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of STDs, Pap tests, sexual health education, abortion, and health counseling to more than 11,000 women, men and teens in all three Delaware counties.

Planned Parenthood's medical standards and guidelines are informed by the most trusted medical knowledge as well as professional and scientific organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

In my role as the new CEO of Planned Parenthood of Delaware, recently my staff and I launched a review of patient services. I determined that we need to take immediate steps to assure our patients of our high-quality care, including enacting immediate personnel changes. We do not tolerate employees that fail to meet our standards for patient care and services.

Ensuring high-quality care and maintaining the valued trust of our community is of the utmost importance. In addition to the significant steps I have already taken, at my invitation, a team of medical experts from our national office is on site to confirm we are addressing every concern. We are confident patient care is high quality, but if we identify any additional issues with our quality of services we are prepared to take swift action. Any employee who does not live up to our standards of patient care will be terminated. Patient health and safety has always been and remains our top priority."

 

(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

 

By Published: April 8

When Rep. Todd Akin made his outrageous comments about “legitimate rape” it was front page news — and rightly so. But when a representative of Planned Parenthood is caught on camera defending infanticide, it merits barely a mention in the mainstream media.

Testifying against a Florida bill that would require abortionists to provide emergency medical care to an infant who survives an abortion, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow was asked point blank: “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” She replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”

Jaws in the committee room dropped. Asked again, she repeated her answer.

Only after a firestorm erupted in the conservative media did Planned Parenthood issued a statement that in the “extremely unlikely and highly unusual” event that a baby were born alive it would “provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.” That is debatable, since a Planned Parenthood counselor has been caught on tape admitting that the organization leaves infants born alive after an abortion to die. But if Planned Parenthood really does provide such care, why was it lobbying against a bill requiring such care in the first place?

The fact is, it is not as unusual for children to be left to die after a failed abortion as some might think. Right now in Philadelphia, abortionist Kermit Gosnell is on trial for the murder of seven infants who were born alive. According to District Attorney Seth Williams, Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord.” Prosecutors said that Gosnell ended hundreds of pregnancies in this way. “These killings became so routine that no one could put an exact number on them. They were considered ‘standard procedure.’ ”

Across the border in Canada, the government reports that between 2000 and 2009, 491 babies were left to die after they were born alive during abortions. There are no similar statistics here in the United States, but according to the Abortion Survivors Network there are an estimated 44,000 abortion survivors living in the country today. How many more did not survive for lack of medical care?

Recently a major motion picture, October Baby, told the true story of one abortion survivor in search of her birth mother and of her struggle to forgive her. The woman depicted in the movie, Gianna Jessen, testified before Congress about why she lived after her mother underwent a saline abortion: “Fortunately for me the abortionist was not in the clinic when I arrived alive... I was early.... I am sure I would not be here today if the abortionist would have been in the clinic, as his job is to take life, not sustain it.”

Amazingly, some argue that killing babies like Gianna is morally permissible. Recently two bioethicists, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, published a paper in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Ethics entitled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” They wrote: “[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. … [W]e propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.”

This is Orwellian. The term “after-birth abortion” is an oxymoron. You can’t kill an unborn child after it has been born.

The fact that Planned Parenthood aggressively lobbies against legislation requiring medical care for such children is appalling. The fact that a Planned Parenthood official testified that killing such children is permissible is shocking. And the fact that most major media outlets — including The Post — all but ignored her comments is distressing.

Our country is deeply divided over the question of abortion. But can we not all at least agree that killing a born child is murder — not a question that “should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician”?

 

Pages