BY JOHN JALSEVAC
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, June 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An abortion worker at a notorious late-term abortion facility in New Mexico tells a 27-week-pregnant mom to “just sit on the toilet” in her hotel room, and not to look down, if she should feel the urge to pass the body of her baby during the multi-day abortion procedure in the latest undercover sting video released by the pro-life group Live Action.
“If we can't catch it [delivery of the dead baby – the final stage of the abortion procedure] early enough, which has happened...then you'll want to unlock the door to the hotel room, get your cell phone, and just sit on the toilet,” the unnamed counselor at Southwestern Women's Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico tells an undercover investigator with Live Action. “You don't have to look at anything...you can stay on the phone with us until the doctor and nurse get there.” This baby was born at 27 weeks.
When the woman asks what the abortion clinic will do with the body of her baby, the counselor responds, “We wrap it up, and we bring it back to the clinic.” The counselor repeatedly urges the woman not to look into the toilet. “Don't look down. Don't look,” she says.
At 27 weeks a baby is fully formed. Most babies born at this age in the United States will survive if they receive medical attention.
Abortionist Dr. Carmen Landau echoes the counselor's advice, telling the Live Action investigator to "sit on the toilet"and "unlock the hotel room."
"Just sit there," Landau says, "and you would not move until we come and get you."
The video is the sixth video in Live Action’s latest undercover investigation series, Inhuman: Undercover in America's Abortion Industry. The videos depict employees at some of the nation’s most notorious late-term abortion facilities describing in graphic detail how late-term abortions are performed.
Previous videos have shown abortion workers at various clinics admitting that they would not work to save babies who are born alive during the abortion process, as has happened in the past. The federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act was passed to ensure that such babies receive medical attention after stories emerged of babies routinely being born alive and then left to die by abortionists.
In one video abortion Leroy Carhart, one of four late-term abortionists portrayed in a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Festival recently, told the Live Action investigator that after he killed her baby it would soften “like meat in a crock pot” before she expelled the baby’s body three days later.
In the lastest video, the abortion workers describe how they will inject the baby's heart with digoxin to ensure "fetal demise," and how the mother will eventually pass a "mass," i.e., her fully formed baby's body.
Live Action President Lila Rose condemned Southwestern Women's Options and what she calls the "abortion ethos."
"If these abortionists truly cared about women's health, they would keep their patients at the facility throughout the horrific multiday lateterm abortion,” she said. “But that would be too expensive for an industry obsessed with making money at the expense of human life, so women are left in a hotel room to endure a grueling, traumatic ordeal alone."
Southwestern Women's Options was a subject of another previous Live Action video in which Dr. Landau likened the lethal injection that kills the fetus to "a flu shot, really."
The new video also presents an abortion counselor offering misleading information on whether the 27-week preborn child will feel the lethal abortion injection. "[If the baby]'s bottom down, it'll insert through the baby's bottom, [and] if it's head down, it'll be inserted through the cranium."
"I don't know if it's developed enough to feel that," she says. "It might be."
The Live Action video references K.S. Anand, an expert on fetal pain, and the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (BJOG), showing that preborn children at 20 weeks and older definitely feel pain – likely more acutely than older children do.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a ban on abortion past 20 weeks based upon the wealth of information suggesting that unborn children can feel the pain fo the abortion by that point.
"Abortion corporations like Southwestern Women's Options and Planned Parenthood will say and do anything to 'close the deal,'" Rose said. "Leaving a woman alone on the toilet in a hotel room and saying, 'Call us and we'll come get you' – at a time when seconds can make the difference between life and death – is profoundly irresponsible and negligent. We must never forget that abortion is a business first and foremost – a business willing to destroy a helpless, voiceless child for literally thousands of dollars.
“We cannot be surprised when they send women off in the middle of a dangerous procedure for 'roomservice abortions.' But we can be disgusted, and we can demand an end to it."
Dr. Curtis Boyd, who coowns Southwestern Women's Options, also runs Southwestern Women's Surgery Center in Dallas, Texas. The facility offers abortions up to 24 weeks, the state's legal limit.
Texas became an abortion battleground in June, with Governor Rick Perry calling a special legislative session to address allegations by former abortion clinic workers that Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen routinely murders babies born alive during abortions.
Live Action said it has sent letters including the complete New Mexico footage to elected officials in both New Mexico and Texas. Recipients include Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and the 20 state representatives who called for an investigation into the Karpen facility.
The pro-life group is demanding investigations in both states of Curtis Boyd and his staff.
"We're hoping prolife officials like New Mexico's Governor Susana Martinez will put an end to the inhuman and brutal practices going on in these facilities," Rose said. "And as Texas legislators seek to vote on a bill that would protect paincapable babies from an agonizing death, we pray that they will put an end to Curtis Boyd's bloody handiwork as well."
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 6/28/13 12:17 PM
During a speech at the National Right to Life convention on Friday, pro-life Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Democrats in the Senate don’t really care that abortionists like Kermit Gosnell kill babies in what is essentially infanticide.
Cruz opened by thanking pro-life advocates for their efforts.
“Thank you for that commitment to those who are most vulnerable among us, despite the ridicule of the mainstream media,” he said.
Cruz recalled the story of when his older daughter was getting ready for her unborn younger sister to be be born. And he remembered how his daughter offered his unborn child her blanket to cuddle with and chew on for security.
“It is amazing that, as a two-year-old, child, Caroline was able to understand something that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid don’t understand.”
“Without life there is no liberty, there is no pursuit of happiness. The ability to take life is the ultimate power and the ultimate deprivation of our God-given rights.”
“I have been honored to have the opportunity to defend life,” he said, recalling his time as Solicitor General of Texas — when he would stand strong in the courts to defend the right to life. Cruz said “Texas led the states” to defend the ban on partial-birth abortions. He also mentioned winning a unanimous battle at the Supreme Court to defend parental notification on abortion.
Cruz applauded the courts for defending Texas’ right to de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Cruz said that in the six months he has been in the U.S. Senate, he has been proud to stand up for life — starting with a resolution concerning Kermit Gosnell and calling for Congress to investigate late-term abortion practitioners nationwide.
“Democrats wanted a resolution that condemned unsanitary health clinics” not specifically related to abortion. “They were fine with any resolution as long as it didn’t mention abortion. A clinic passing on a disease in their minds is morally equivalent to Gosnell killing babies outside their mothers womb.”
Cruz mentioned Douglas Karpen, the late-term abortion practitioner who practices in Houston, Texas who also kills babies born alive and he said Senate Democrats don’t care that someone like Karpen operates like that. He condemned news outlets that ignored Gosnell and said pro-life advocates were successful in pressuring the media to cover his murder trial.
The senator went on to talk about the forced abortions that take place in China and lamented that pro-abortion groups don’t speak up more against the grisly practice that has killed millions of babies in China.
“Democrats stood together embracing the policy of abortion no matter what the consequences,” he said of the inability to get the Senate to vote for a resolution condemning those forced abortions.
He mentioned how he is proud to sponsor the 20-week abortion ban in the Senate and compared it to the Texas battle for a similar bill.
“When Austin Democrats filibustered, they were filibustering to protect late-term abortions,” he said. In the United States you see activists defend abortions all the way up to the day of birth.”
Cruz bashed President Barack Obama for repeatedly voting against the Born Alive bill in Illinois, which would stop infanticides.
He also went after the IRS for targeting pro-life groups saying, “The federal government has no business asking us the content of our prayers.” And he contrasted the attacks on religious liberty and companies like Hobby Lobby with how the founders fled religious persecution.
Cruz received a standing ovation for the line, “In my opinion we need to repeal every single word of Obamacare.”
The senator concluded saying that elections are important but the debate for hearts and minds, when it comes to showing how unborn children have a right to life, is significantly more important is in mind.
by Steven Ertelt | Dallas, TX | LifeNews.com | 6/27/13 11:56 AM
Governor Rick Perry gave a rousing speech to the National Right to Life convention today and urged pro-life activists to continue pressing members of the Texas legislature to ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Perry responded to the mob that shouted down members of the state Senate, who came a few minutes short of passing a bill that would ban late-term abortions and hold abortion clinics accountable for violating the health and safety of women.
“Even if they lose at the ballot box and come up short with stalling tactics, they will resort to mob tactics to force their agenda,” he said. He added: “the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”
He said what the state witnessed Tuesday was nothing more than the hijacking of the democratic process and told pro-lifers to match their intensity but in a respectful and dignified manner.
The pro-life issue is too important and discussed his call for another special session to pass the 20-week abortion ban, saying, ”I am bringing lawmakers back to Austin to finish their business,” he said. “I put pro-life measures at the top of that list.”
Nearly 80,000 unborn children are lost to abortion each year in Texas. “It breaks my heart,” he said. “Abortion is a human rights issue and is a scar on our national conscience.”
“We will ban abortions after 20 weeks. It makes sense because so many children are born prematurely,” the governor added.
Perry also talked about the abortion facility regulations in the bill.
“Any patient should have the expectation that any facilities being used for a medical procedure” should be up to standards, he said. “It is entirely their call” if abortion facilities wold rather close than operate under health and safety laws. We are under no obligation to make things easier for the abortionists. The ideal world is a world without abortion.”
“There are better options than to stop the beating heart of an unborn child,” he said.
Perry noted how pro-abortion legislator Wendy Davis rose from being a daughter of a single mother to go to Harvard and become an elected official. “Just unfortunate she hasn’t learned from her own example,” he said.
The governor said stopping abortion is a “just cause and a way to remember the 55 million who have been robbed of life.”
BY PATRICK B. CRAINE
AUSTIN, Texas, June 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Amidst a mob of shouting pro-abortion advocates, a Texas bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks failed to pass despite securing the needed votes because the voting concluded two minutes after the session’s midnight deadline.
Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis successfully filibustered the bill Tuesday for eleven hours. After that a large crowd of abortion advocates, led by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, took over and interrupted the proceedings by shouting. State troopers were called in and at least one protester was arrested.
On Twitter, the bill’s opponents urged fellow abortion advocates to “rush the floor” in order to stop the vote. Richards herself egged them on, tweeting: “Make some noise -- louder!”
The maneuvering won approval from President Obama, whotweeted Tuesday night that “something special” was happening in Austin.
News organizations such as the Associated Press originally reported that the bill had passed in a vote of 19-10. Then there were several hours of confusion until Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst officially confirmed at 3:00 a.m. local time that the vote was too late.
Dewhurst said "an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics" had blocked the bill. "I didn't lose control of what we were doing," he said, according to the Texas Tribune. "We had an unruly mob."
Texas Governor Rick Perry, a strong supporter of the bill, could still call a special session to hold another vote.
The new law would ban all abortions after 20 weeks, when medical experts say unborn babies can feel pain. Unlike the recent law that passed the U.S. House, the Texas law has no exceptions for rape or incest.
The bill also imposes tighter safety regulations on abortion facilities, requiring abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals and bring their facilities up to par with other outpatient surgical centers. Similar laws in other states have driven multiple substandard abortion clinics out of business. Currently, 37 out of Texas’s 42 abortion centers fail to meet the bill’s standards.
An additional provision requires women who request abortion drugs to take each one of the entire multi-day series of pills in the presence of a medical professional.
Abby Johnson was present at the legislature with her five-day-old baby.
As Davis carried out her filibuster, she said, “I was just thinking, I can’t believe the lives of thousands of children in this state are dependent right now on someone not leaning on their desk or not needing a bathroom break. It was pretty surreal.”
“It’s pretty shameful that these people that are against [the bill] would go to these tactics and do some of these antics … to try to silence the will of the people and the will of the voting body,” she said.
She said she has hope that Gov. Perry will call the special session, but added: “I just tell people, either God is sovereign or he’s not. And we believe that He is and we believe that He is in control no matter what happens.”
Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said this type of behavior should be expected from abortion advocates.
“A lot of people are talking about how the [abortion] movement should be ashamed of its behavior. How shameful it is,” she wrote. “But this is the same movement that champions ripping apart helpless, vulnerable, even pain-capable children in the womb.”
“A movement that's okay with that will have NO SCRUPLES about hijacking the legislative process. We waste time wagging fingers over civility,” she said. “[Gov. Perry], please don't let a screaming mob determine how your state is governed. Please call another session.”
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, thanked the pro-life Texas Senators “for attempting to protect the lives and health of women and girls routinely victimized by a profit-hungry abortion industry, but sadly a large, well-funded, and powerful anti-woman coalition worked to block these much needed legal protections.”
“Since the trial of ‘house of horrors’ Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the nation has focused on what all too often takes place behind the closed doors of abortion clinics across America,” said Dr. Yoest. “The time is now to save lives and protect women from an unregulated, unmonitored, and unaccountable abortion industry.”
A sweeping bill that would effectively shut down most abortion clinics across the nation's second most-populous state has stalled in the Texas Senate, and a Democratic filibuster that will only need to last a seemingly manageable 13 hours Tuesday looks like it will be enough to talk the hotly contested measure to death.
After thwarting two attempts Monday by majority Republicans to bring the abortion bill to a floor vote ahead of its scheduled time Tuesday morning, Democrats are turning to Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, to stage the marathon speech.
"We want to do whatever we can for women in this state," said Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, leader of the Senate Democrats.
The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Also, doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles -- a tall order in rural communities.
Although Texas is just the latest of several conservative states to try to enact tough limits on abortions, the scope of its effort is notable because of the combination of bills being considered and the size of the state.
When combined in a state 773 miles wide and 790 miles long and with 26 million people, the measures would become the most stringent set of laws to impact the largest number of people in the nation.
"If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and daughter of the late former Texas governor Ann Richards.
Outnumbered 19-11 -- with San Antonio Sen. Leticia Van de Putte missing to attend the funeral of her father, who died last week in a car crash -- Senate Democrats held firm Monday to their razor-thin margin of a single vote to block the bill from moving forward.
That's key since the 30-day special legislative session ends at midnight Tuesday, meaning the filibuster Democrats have promised only needs to last the better part of one day, instead of two.
Davis gave a filibuster at the end of the 2011 session to temporarily block $5.4 billion cuts to public schools, and said she was preparing for her upcoming speech but refused to say exactly how.
She will have to speak nonstop, remain standing, refrain from bathroom breaks or even leaning on anything. Other Democrats can give her voice a break by offering questions to keep conversation moving.
"Democrats chose not to negotiate, and we could not get the block undone," said Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a Republican who controls the flow of Senate legislation. He refused to declare the issue dead -- but others were less optimistic.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, said the Democrats never should have been allowed to put Republicans "in a box" and complained that many in the Senate GOP were "flying by the seat of their pants."
But the bill's bogging down began with Gov. Rick Perry, who summoned lawmakers back to work immediately after the regular legislative session ended May 27, but didn't add abortion to the special session to-do list until late in the process. The Legislature can only take up issues at the governor's direction during the extra session.
Then, House Democrats succeeded in stalling nearly all night Sunday, keeping the bill from reaching the Senate until 11 a.m. Monday.
The measure only passed the lower chamber after a raucous debate that saw more than 800 women's rights activists pack the public gallery and surrounding Capitol, imploring lawmakers not to approve it.
While supporters say it will protect women's health, abortion rights groups warn the practical effect of the bill would be to shutter most abortion providers statewide -- making it very difficult for Texas women to have the procedure.
Debate ranged from lawmakers waving coat-hangers on the floor and claiming the new rules are so draconian that women are going to be forced to head to drug war-torn Mexico to have abortions, to the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jodie Laubenberg of Spring, errantly suggesting that emergency room rape kits could be used to terminate pregnancies.
In the end, though, the bill passed by more than 60 votes as Republicans and some conservative Democrats approved it.
Still, Legislature rules prohibit the Senate from taking up a bill for 24 hours after it clears the House. Republicans struggled to find a way to break the Democratic roadblock, but the vote swung Monday on Sen. Eddie Lucio, a Brownsville Democrat who voted for the abortion bill when it first passed the Senate a week ago but pledged not to approve suspending the rule with Republicans unless Van de Putte was able to make it to the chamber.
She didn't show and Lucio voted with his party, despite his support for the bill.
If the abortion restrictions go down, other measures could fall with it. A proposal to fund major transportation projects as well as a bill to have Texas more closely conform with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision banning mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole for offenders younger than 18 might not get votes. Current state law only allows a life sentence without parole for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder.
Watson said Democrats are willing to pass the transportation and 17-year-old sentencing measures but won't budge on abortion.
"Let's get those up, let's get those out of here," Watson said. "Let's not make these victims of red-meat politics."
Patrick said that if the filibuster succeeds, he hopes Perry will summon lawmakers back for a second or even third special session.
"If the majority can't pass the legislation that they believe is important and the people believe is important," he said, "than that's of great concern to me."
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life activists in New York are breathing a sigh of relief after the Senate successfully blocked Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bill that would have radically expanded abortion in a state already plagued by the highest abortion rate in the union.
A last minute attempt to pass the governor's abortion language as a “hostile amendment” to another Senate bill was defeated by Senate Republicans.
The abortion provision, which was introduced by Cuomo as part of a 10-point omnibus “Women’s Equality Act,” would have expanded abortions into the third trimester for virtually any reason and opened the door to non-medical professionals performing abortions.
The New York Assembly passed the omnibus bill, including the abortion language, yesterday. But earlier this week the Democratic Senate leadership had decided to split the Act into 10 separate bills, after acknowledging that they lacked enough votes to pass it with the abortion language intact, to Gov. Cuomo’s intense displeasure.
While the Senate passed the remaining nine parts of the Act tonight, Assembly Democrats have said they won’t vote to consider the bill in its piecemeal form, without the abortion language.
“I don’t think it’s going to be possible today," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan said. "If they pass a choice bill, I can assure you our members will be back here doing it. If they don’t pass a choice bill, the governor and our members will be in dialogue and determine what route to take.”
In a statement today, the state’s Catholic bishops said the defeat of the last-ditch amendment, “is a remarkable victory for unborn children, as well as vulnerable women and girls who so often face unrelenting societal and family pressure to abort.”
The bishops said the very effort to pass the bill “awoke a sleeping giant” in the state, “a silent pro-life majority that had been discouraged and disheartened from living in the state with the highest abortion rate in the country.”
The bishops also vowed to stay strong and fight any future attempt to pass the abortion language.
Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest also commended the Senate in a statement.
“Education, jobs, and personal safety are women’s issues,” said Dr. Yoest, “but removing the few legal protections that women have in New York should they be harmed by an abortionist does nothing to empower women. Today, the New York Senate has recognized this fact.”
“The trial of Kermit Gosnell which exposed his ‘house of horrors’ illustrates why New York women need legal protection from the abortion industry,” said Dr. Yoest. “By removing all restrictions on the Big Abortion Industry in New York, women would be less safe.”
Earlier this week, Cuomo had said he especially wanted 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.
BY JOHANNA DASTEEL
- Thu Jun 20, 2013 19:15 EST
WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – ObamaCare enrollment begins October 1 and Planned Parenthood is already hard at work prepping its 750 facilities across the US to ensure access to the new taxpayer funds.
One of the leading advocates for the passage of the revolutionary bill which includes funding for abortion, Planned Parenthood is poised to reap the financial benefits of its passage.
Even without the boost from ObamaCare, Planned Parenthood receives 45% of its income by way of taxpayer dollars. Last year, that amount totaled $542.4 million.
Using a wide array of educational materials – from magnets to smart phone apps – the nation’s largest abortion chain will be educating its 3 million customers about benefits available under the new health care law, including “free” contraception, and how to enroll in the newly available insurance plans.
Some Planned Parenthood locations will even have “navigators”, who are paid using taxpayer dollars, to sit down with clients and guide them through the entire process of applying for health benefits and government subsidies for those plans.
“Planned Parenthood is among the long list of liberal organizations that are expected to receive taxpayer-funded navigator grants,” Rep. Diane Black told Politico.
“The navigator grants would further enable Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, to continue its misuse of taxpayer dollars to [supplement] their big abortion business.”
President Obama had asked Planned Parenthood to promote his health care law during a speech to the abortion giant in April.
"I'm here to ... ask for your help, because we need to get the word out," he told Planned Parenthood supporters gathered in Washington. "We need you to tell your patients, your friends, your neighbors, your family members what the health care law means for them."
"Make sure that they know that there are plans out there right now that cover the cost of contraception and preventative care free of charge," he said. "We've got to spread the word, particularly among women, particularly among young women, who are the ones who are most likely to benefit from these laws."
Last year, a congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood was launched after allegations of extensive fraud in nearly 20% of Planned Parenthood’s national affiliates. A 23-page report issued by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) found upwards of $99 million in waste or possible fraud, including the illegal taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion-related procedures.
In 2011, Planned Parenthood committed 333,964 abortions for a profit of $173,661,280, which makes up 56.9% of income generated by clinic services.
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."
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.”
Jun. 18, 2013 6:55am Billy Hallowell
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.”