Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly
- The Beatles
Alexa lives in the far east with her son Tyler and their cat Brownie. She can be reached via email here
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|Abortions banned on SD reservation; Fire Thunder suspended
The Oglala Sioux tribal council banned all abortions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and suspended President Cecelia Fire Thunder on Tuesday, charging that she solicited donations on behalf of the tribe for a proposed abortion clinic without the council's approval.
"It was unauthorized political activity," said Will Peters, a tribal council representative from the Pine Ridge district. "It's just a matter of failing to communicate not only with the governing body but with the people that she was elected to serve."
Peters made a motion to suspend Fire Thunder indefinitely, and when that failed, voted to suspend her for 20 days until an impeachment hearing could take place. That motion passed.
Hat tip: Jill Stanek
Alexa swing by at 11:27 PM
A man has been charged in the death of an unborn child
. Jackie Maxwell Brown is facing additional charges of attempted intentional homicide in the death of a 5-month-old fetus. The Kane County man is accused of kicking his 31-year-old pregnant girlfriend, allegedly causing her to miscarry her unborn baby.
Hat tip: Pro-life Blogs
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Texas mother fights hospital's attempt to take her baby off life support in latest battle over Texas futile care law
A Texas mother and her baby are the latest victims in an ongoing battle against a Texas law that allows medical facilities to tell the family of a patient that they have 10 days to find another medical center willing to treat the patient because their doctors think the case is hopeless. More
Doctors at Children's Medical Center Dallas say Dixie Belcher's son Daniel's case is "futile."
Daniel is nearly brain dead, can't breathe without a ventilator and can't eat without a feeding tube. The center's ethics board has ruled that continuing to care for Daniel is inappropriate and they're ready to take his life by removing him from life support.
But, Belcher tells the Dallas Morning News that she's not ready to give up on her 10-month old son.
"Something deep down inside is telling me not to unplug my [baby]," Belcher said. "I know it's going to take him quite a while to pull out of this, but I know he's my little fighter, and he's got to pull through. He's got to pull through."
Doctors say Daniel is showing no response to external stimuli but Belcher said she's asked her son to open his eyes and he opens them as wide as he can.[...]
A judge hears the case on Friday and the odds for Daniel aren't good because Belcher has lost the decision-making power due to allegations of neglect. The state of Texas has Daniel in its custody.
Still, a Dallas district judge issued a restraining order on May 19 preventing the hospital from taking his life two days before that was scheduled to happen.
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North Korea's grisly arms tests on babies
The most shocking evidence centers on Camp 22. An MI6 file describes it as "larger than Auschwitz or Dachau."
"Hundreds of prisoners die there each week, the victims of biological or chemical experiments to test out [chemical and biological] weapons for North Korea's CBW arsenal," claims an MI6 report.
In one intelligence file is the allegation that newborn babies are taken from their mothers and injected with biological agents or given injections of chemicals that blister the skin, leaving huge keloids, the sores seen on the bodies of Hiroshima victims.
One woman, Lee Sun-Ko, who escaped from North Korea earlier this year, eventually ended up in America. She told her CIA debriefing officer that Camp 22's experimental laboratories are buried underground to avoid aerial reconnaissance and bombing.
Lee Sun-Ko's affidavit includes: "I watched guards select 150 prisoners, mostly women. Some had just given birth. Their babies were ripped from them. Some of the babies were laid face down on the ground and a guard injected them at the top of the spine. Other guards carried the babies away. When the mothers screamed and protested, they were severely beaten."
Alexa swing by at 8:49 PM
June Maxam on Michael Schiavo and his new book, Terri: The Truth: Broken vows
Michael Schiavo says in the preface to "Terri: The Truth" that the "point of writing this book was to tell you the truth as I saw it", his version of the truth although his version is provably not true and factual. He says that "you may read things here that confirm your beliefs about The Schiavo Case or you might be confronted with facts and opinions that are at odds with everything you thought you knew. And this may cause you to wonder who was telling the truth and who wasn't".
After reading the book, it's more clear than ever that it wasn't Michael Schiavo who was and is telling the truth. The book serves to establish the total lack of credibility in anything that he says now or has said in the past 15 years, especially about Terri's wish to live and his "clear and convincing evidence". His lies and distortions are written in black and white, indisputable and totally contrary to sworn testimony and undeniable facts, often at odds with what he himself has steadfastly said over the years.
Alexa swing by at 8:31 PM
Had my wisdom tooth removed today. Yay. Not as bad as I anticipated. Dr. Lee is a bloody genius! I got like four? jabs (hell, it's still numb now) and it was over pretty quickly. I went grocery shopping after that. Heh. Dr. Lee said to take it easy and not to do too much with my mouth today *looks over at that box of cheesecake*. Hmph. I guess I'm way too afraid to find out what it would be like after the anesthetic goes off...
Alexa swing by at 8:21 PM
"The doctor should not meddle. The right of the child is equal to the right of the mother's life. The doctor can't decide; it is a sin to kill in the womb.
- St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Alexa swing by at 2:45 AM
Demand for the abortion pill RU486 in Britain has reached an all time high
with 10,000 pregnant women undergoing the procedure last year, the latest figures have revealed...
Alexa swing by at 12:51 PM
Babies in advanced pregnancies aborted because scans showed they had club feet
"It was strongly suggested that we consider abortion after they found our baby had a club foot," said David Wildgrove, 41, a computer programmer from Sheffield, whose son Alexander was born in 1996. "I was appalled. We resisted, the problem was treated and he now runs around and plays football with everyone else." MoreRev Joanna Jepson condemns club foot terminations
Pippa Spriggs from Cambridge, whose son Isaac will celebrate his second birthday in July, was also dismayed when a scan halfway through the pregnancy revealed that her baby had the defect.
"Abortion certainly was not openly advised, but it was made clear to me it was available," she said. "In fact he has been treated and the condition has not slowed him down at all."
Others take a different view and decide not to accept the risk of an imperfect baby. Sue Banton, who founded the group Steps for parents of children with foot disorders, was troubled that a home counties couple last year decided to terminate their baby, despite counselling to reassure them it would have a worthwhile life even with a section of foot missing.
"We gave them other families to talk to, but they just didn't want to know. The baby was aborted just before the 25th week," she said.
Alexa swing by at 12:01 PM
This is the logic of the pro-abortion zealots (aka "the Democratic Party"): Either lift every single restriction on abortion or ... every woman in America will be impregnated by her father and die in a back-alley abortion!
- Ann Coulter
Alexa swing by at 7:25 PM
Some women resist pressure to abort the less-than-perfect..Moms as genetic outlaws
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A Wisconsin newspaper is coming under fire for giving money
to the state's largest abortion provider. The Capital Times
gave $25,000 in donation to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, which will go towards "support of the organization's work on reproductive health," according to the newspaper.
Alexa swing by at 11:43 PM
Abortion advocates in South Dakota plan to file their petitions on Tuesday in their attempt to overturn the ban on most abortions
approved by the state's legislature. If they have filed enough, state residents will vote in November on whether to keep the ban, which prohibits all but abortions to save a mother's life, in place.
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Americans say abortion, human and animal cloning are morally wrong while embryonic stem cell research is morally okay, a new Gallup Poll
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Kansas lawmakers failed to override a veto by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
of a measure that would require more accurate and comprehensive reporting of late-term abortion statistics.
The senate voted 23-13 in favor of overriding the veto, but the vote was four short of the two-thirds majority necessary to override. Lawmakers would have needed 27 votes in the Senate and 84 in the House to override Sebelius' veto.Sebelius shames her Catholic faith by claiming to be "pro-life" in veto statement
Alexa swing by at 9:53 PM
In this sad and tragic story, an Indian girl gulps down acid and kills herself after she was forced to undergo a second abortion
At 20, she had aborted one child and faced the threat of losing another. Shukla Gharami could not take it any more and poured a bottle of acid down her throat on Tuesday night. She died the next morning.
Police said the first blow was dealt by her father-in-law who forced Shukla to undergo an abortion, saying he couldn't afford to bring the child up. When she became pregnant a second time, her father told her to get the baby aborted. Then she committed suicide.
Alexa swing by at 9:43 PM
Lifesitenews' John-Henry Westen to Amnesty International: As a person of colour I oppose the discrimination against the unborn
The child in the womb, with fingers and toes, nose and mouth, who hears and feels pain is every bit as human as you and I, and as deserving of human rights. In Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, the Jewish character Shylock pleas for his personhood saying, "If you prick us do we not bleed?" Indeed, as most have seen in the bloody pictures of abortion, those unborn children do bleed.
If Amnesty includes abortion as a 'sexual right' as they've proposed and asks governments to 'punish' those who would impede those so-called 'rights' then Amnesty would find itself be working to shut down the pro-life movement, and all persons who believe in the right to life for the unborn.
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The Washington City Paper has quite an article on Rock for Life
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Sex-selection abortion in Canada
Western Standard magazine, one of the few conservative publications in Canada, has acquired an internal document from Women's Hospital in Vancouver which shows that abortions are carried out at taxpayer expense when the reason is merely that the parents are not satisfied with the sex of the child. The cover story of the June issue of the magazine, which is arriving in mailboxes this week and is set to hit newsstands next week, reports moreover that similar to countries where sex-selective abortions are rampant, the birth ratio in certain communities in Canada with large Indian and Chinese populations is becoming increasingly skewed against girls.
The memo indicates that a clinic at the hospital held a presentation on February 9 dealing with sex selection, providing a rationale for acceptance of the practice. The one example offered was the case of "Mary" who already has four boys and wants a girl. The memo states, "during her routine 18 week ultrasound was told she is carrying another boy. She would like to terminate the pregnancy and try one more time for a girl."
Western Standard also quotes a doctor who while in medical school was the student of Vancouver abortionist Garson Romalis, who says that Romalis admitted to performing sex selective abortions.
Joyce Arthur one of Canada's most vociferous pro-abortion activists supports abortion regardless of the reason. A position paper on sex selective abortion by Arthur's Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada states "Being pro-choice means supporting a woman's right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy for whatever reason, even if one personally does not agree with her reason."
In her article, Mrozek points out that while hard-core pro-abortion activists such as Romalis and Arthur may harbour no breach in the pro-abortion phalanx, the Canadian public are overwhelmingly opposed to sex selective abortion. She notes that the new law on Assisted Reproduction forbids - with large penalties -sex selection to be used for in vitro fertilization or similar artificial procreation procedures, except in the case of sex-linked disorders.
"Once the resultant fetus is a few weeks old, however, sex selection becomes entirely legal and the couple is free to abort if it doesn't like the gender," adds Mrozek.
Alexa swing by at 2:44 AM
In defense of Britney
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Oklahoma passes parental, informed consent on abortion law
Under the new measure
, parents are required to give their permission for a teen to have an abortion and allows women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound photo of their baby beforehand.
Also under the measure, women contemplating an abortion would be told that their unborn child after 20 weeks of pregnancy will likely feel intense pain during the abortion. They are given the option to administer anesthesia to the baby beforehand.
Alexa swing by at 2:17 AM
Somebody was looking for "unwed teen shelters in San Antonio":Guadalupe Maternity Home
210.476.0707Methodist Mission Home
(if you're considering adoption)
San Antonio, TX 78240
Also, here's a list of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in San Antonio, just in case:
Agape Pregnancy Help Center
3212 Northwestern Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78238
(210) 543-7200Allied Women's Center
1405 N. Main, Suite 239
San Antonio, TX
Birthright, Inc. of San Antonio
215 N. San Saba, Suite 204
San Antonio, TX 78207
2300 W Commerce St, Ste 200
San Antonio, TX 78207
Catholic Family & Children's Services
112 Marcia St
San Antonio, TX 78209
San Antonio Pregnancy Center
7909 Fredericksburg Rd
San Antonio, TX 78229
Hope that helps. Please drop me a mail if you need further assistance.
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Stanek whacks feminazis who claim abortion as "sacred"
Alexa swing by at 3:45 AM
Birth control is selfish
, says "Tommie of the Year" graduating senior and future seminarian Ben Kessler
Alexa swing by at 3:33 AM
A new pro-choice post-abortion community and support group:Been there
Alexa swing by at 3:19 AM
A New York woman makes her statement to South Dakota lawmakers by sending a letter and coathanger to legislators and senators
that voted to ban all abortions in the state.
Monica Beck of New York City sent the letter basically stating that the South Dakota Legislature made the decision that they would rather have women dying while trying to perform illegal abortions than safely having a legal abortions. "History proves that a woman will attempt to terminate a crisis pregnancy even at grave risk to herself," Beck writes in her letter. She continues by saying that a woman and a fetus possess an equal right to life is a matter of faith, not fact. She later explains that the coat hanger she sent was a symbol of compassion for mothers, sisters, wives and daughters in South Dakota.
Alexa swing by at 3:11 AM
Soon you'll be able to pick up 'the pill' in the mall, thanks to Planned Parenthood
Alexa swing by at 3:06 AM
The number of abortions in Scotland reach an all-time high
, new government figures reveal.
The new data comes from the NHS health board, which said Tayside and the Lothians had the highest abortion rates of any areas of Scotland. Argyll and Clyde, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles showed the lowest abortion figures.
According to a BBC report, the government health agency reported there were 142 more abortions last year than there were in 2004. Abortions on teens are on the rise as well.
The figures also showed that 3,304 abortions were done on girls under the age of 20 -- 86 more than last year and 201 more than in 2003.
The BBC said the number of abortions done on teens under 16 also increased to a new record of 341 last year.
Alexa swing by at 2:59 AM
Members of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to protest against
Sioux Tribe President Cecelia Fire Thunder's proposal to build an abortion facility on the reservation
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Doctors who assist suicides suffer "substantial" psychological effects
, study finds
A new study shows that the psychological effects of "helping patients to die" can be severe for doctors participating in euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (PAS). The report by the group Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation (PCCEF) gleans data from a number of sources articles in independent medical journals, legislative investigations and the public press.Full article here
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'None are viable'
In a detailed report on Summit released Friday, Summit's medical director is quoted discussing the fetal viability testing with a state investigator.
"When asked about the viability of the fetus, she responded, 'I guess we don't technically discuss it; none are viable,'" according to the report.
Hat tip: BooBooKitty
Alexa swing by at 3:52 AM
Mary E. in Washington needs your help. Please see her post here
Alexa swing by at 3:39 AM
Grand Jury convenes to begin an investigation of late-term abortionist George Tiller in the abortion death of Christin Gilbert; Operation Rescue asks for public to help keep the investigation honest
The DA's office is missing the entire point of the citizen demand for an independent investigation," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "We have strong reason to believe that the KSBHA investigation was tainted by political influence and cronyism. People who were financially and politically tied to Tiller are the ones who 'cleared' him. Those people cannot be trusted because they owe their jobs and political positions to Tiller's large financial campaign contributions."
"We know that District Attorney Nola Foulston is personal friends with George Tiller, and that should disqualify her from having anything to do with this grand jury. Foulston already refused to even look at this case when it was initially presented in 2005, so there is no reason for us to believe that she will act without bias now," said Newman.
"If the DA's office continues the whitewash of this case, it will only add to the appearance that a cover-up into Christin's death is active and underway," said Newman.
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The American Center for Law and Justice
(ACLJ) has filed a brief in the upcoming Supreme Court case on the national ban on partial-birth abortions for 78 members of Congress
who supported the bill.
"The Supreme Court has a critical opportunity to step in and draw a bright line that would bring an end to a horrific procedure that can only be described as infanticide," said Jay Sekulow, the law firm's chief counsel.
Three more pro-life law firms have also filed briefs
in the upcoming Supreme Court case. They include the National Right to Life Committee, the Thomas More pro-life law firm, and a group organized by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and three other religious organizations signed on to the friend-of-the-court brief filed May 19 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a federal ban on partial-birth abortion
Alexa swing by at 2:49 AM
Catholic Church officials are critical
of an Argentine proposal to legalize abortion under certain circumstances as part of a wide-ranging legal reform.
The proposal was drawn up by a team of legal experts working on draft outlines for a revised penal code. Abortion is illegal in Argentina except in the case of the rape of a mentally disabled woman or when the mother's life is in danger, but human rights groups believe at least 500,000 illegal abortions are performed annually.
Nicolas Laferriere, a bioethics lawyer and professor at the Catholic University of Argentina, said he hoped the proposal was rejected and that "abortion remains a crime."
"The proposal is unconstitutional because I understand that the right to life is protected by the constitution; it's discriminatory because it imagines that these unborn people are second-class citizens, at the mercy of the whim of others; and it's incoherent because the civil code recognizes that life starts at conception," he said.
Father Ruben Revello, coordinator of the bioethics institute at the Catholic University of Argentina, emphasized that the Catholic Church is clear that abortion represents murder.
"We have to do what the gospel said and defend truth. We are convinced that truth is the defense of life," he said.
The jurists proposed that the penal code include the following article: "The woman is not punishable when the abortion is practiced with her consent and within three months of conception, provided circumstances made it excusable."
Media reports said the vague wording reflected divisions among the jurists.
"It was written in that way to establish a break so that a woman should not have total freedom (to abort)," Javier de Luca, a member of the commission that drafted the proposal, told La Nacion newspaper.
Alexa swing by at 2:38 AM
Well.. in light of recent investigative report by Nashville's TV NewsChannel 5 that McD's hire child molesters
To think that the happiest place (I know I love McD's as a child) (Um. That was like before I grew old and got hooked on fancy restaurants) can also be the most dangerous..
Alexa swing by at 2:35 AM
, the MO woman who had her feeding tube removed has passed away
Kelly passed away Sunday May 22nd, at 3:30 am in the 11th day of starvation.Michael Todd
, the 14-year-old who was shot in the neck and declared brain dead, has died
. He was removed from life support
Friday after another doctor agreed with the diagnosis.
A neurosurgeon, whose name was not released, examined Michael J. Todd and confirmed the diagnosis the hospital had made May 10, the boy's family and the University of Kansas Hospital said.
A judge dissolved the temporary restraining order at 3:40 p.m., and a respirator and all tubes were disconnected.
The death certificate will list May 10 as the date Todd succumbed to gunshot wounds suffered a day earlier in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs, Mo., hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said.
Our deepest condolences to both the families of Kelly Meyers and Michael Todd.
Hat tip: Pro-life Blogs
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Women who had abortions at the Alabama abortion clinic that had its license suspended last week say they had complications from their abortions
. Other women report being rushed into and pressured to have the abortion.
See also: Suspened abortion clinic had numerous other violations of state law
Alexa swing by at 2:42 AM
Canadian MP introduces unborn victims bill
that would make it a separate criminal offence to harm an unborn child in cases where a pregnant mother is assaulted or murdered..
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Deep in the thick
a juicy existence.
sipping a delicious wine.
walls that caress,
sudden pink petals
in the lake,
from the clouds, then
a strange discipline:
that firm tug
at the navel.
travels through the cortex
by physical joy.
But the fetus
wants more than this,
the fetus wants
- Joan Baranow, "Six Weeks"
Alexa swing by at 5:11 AM
Doug Wrenn recalls August of '78
Hat tip: Emily
Alexa swing by at 8:13 PM
British parents offered abortion at 35-weeks
Lisa Green could hardly wait to give birth to her second child. The images from her eight-month scans were showing a fully formed baby weighing more than 7lb. With the excitement and anticipation familiar to any expectant parent, she and her husband Tim had already chosen a name for their unborn son. Harrison's parents chose his name when he was a 35-week foetus - then they were offered a termination
"Then the doctor said, 'I have some bad news - your baby has Down's syndrome'," recalls Mrs Green, 35, a part-time administrator from Margate, in Kent.
After a complicated pregnancy, during which the doctors had found that Mrs Green was carrying excess amniotic fluid, the couple had agreed that their baby could be tested for genetic conditions. "We were both in total shock, but this was considerably worsened when he said, 'You can have a termination.' I was 35 weeks' pregnant at this stage. My baby was fully formed and his name was decided. I was appalled.
"He urged us to think about the termination and think about how having a baby with 'mental retardation' would affect our lives. He listed only the potential negatives about Down's syndrome, without giving us any information to read for a more balanced view. The midwife tried to interject and offer us some leaflets, but he talked her down."
Alexa swing by at 6:13 PM
Get ready your hanky:I'm DJ's mommy: How a special needs child saved me
What kind of mother is ashamed of her child? Six years after my son was born, it still hurts to think about my initial attitude. The official term used for my baby's condition was "special needs." But neither DJ nor I found anything special about it.
Prior to DJ's birth I had only one thought regarding special needs children, "Lord, please don't let me have one!" Although I greatly admired the parents of special needs children, I thought I wasn't strong enough for the job. In fact, I could imagine nothing worse. I thought any life less than what I lived wasn't life at all. Then DJ burst onto the scene, turned my world upside down and taught me more than I could ever teach him.
Alexa swing by at 3:32 AM
Gender selection abortion in India
In a tight alleyway in East Delhi, Radhika Devi, a bashful mother of two girls, and Manjula Thomas, a health worker who cares for pregnant women, rush to an ultrasound clinic. Devi is five months pregnant and desperately wants to know the sex of her unborn child.
"It's better if it's a boy," Devi said, her hands shaking nervously. "If it's a girl, we will get it aborted."
Devi, her husband, Radheshyam Devi, and their two daughters share a single room in the congested, mostly lower-class neighborhood of Khichripur. He brings home less than $2 a day as a bus driver -- barely enough to put food on their table -- and they worry about marrying off their two young daughters.
"All girls' parents must pay dowries," Radhika Devi said. "We will take loans and pay it back bit by bit. It might take up to a year's time."
Though dowries are illegal in India, the law is widely ignored and the Devis fear that a third daughter will send them over the edge financially. Instead, they hope for a son to one day provide for the family. He would fetch his own dowry upon marriage, take care of his parents as they grow old (India has no social security program) and carry on the family name.
In India's male-dominated society, especially in the northwest, this logic is one reason parents abort an estimated half-million female fetuses each year. The practice, called female feticide, has been responsible for at least 10 million female abortions since 1985, according to a controversial study published in January in the Lancet, the British medical journal.
"All kinds of famines, epidemics and wars are nothing compared to this," said Punit Bedi, a New Delhi gynecologist. "In some parts of India, one in every five girls is being eliminated at the fetal stage. It is a genocidal situation."
Alexa swing by at 12:58 AM
Oklahoma state Senate backs abortion amendment for Parental, Informed Consent bill
Under the proposal, parents must first give their permission before a minor teenager can have an abortion. Women considering an abortion would be able to see an ultrasound photo of their baby beforehand.
Also, women contemplating an abortion would be told that their unborn child after 20 weeks of pregnancy will likely feel intense pain during the abortion. They are given the option to administer anesthesia to the baby beforehand.
The proposal also includes a measure that would allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they assault a pregnant woman and kill or injure the unborn child and would send state family planning funds to pregnancy centers.
The bill is now on its way to Gov. Brad Henry, who is expected to sign it. The Senate voted 38-8 for the list of new abortion protections.
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I was never told I could feel the life being sucked from my womb. They made it sound easy, simple, painless and made it sound all right ... It is regret. It is feeling dirty.
A young woman shares her abortion story
It felt as if someone was ripping me open. "You'll feel a little prick and numbness" I felt the needle, and still felt the pain. I screamed. I tried to hold the nurses hand, but she had pulled away. I felt every move that doctor made. I heard them vacuum the child from my womb. When it was all over, and too late, they just handed me a maxi pad and a damp cloth and walked out of the room. Having a bad reaction to the Novocain they injected into my cervix, cramping beyond no pain I've felt before, I put my clothes back on, silently. I was then escorted into a recovery room.
I was provided a pill that would shrink my cervix back to normal, and two extra strength Tylenol. Every other woman in the room was in shock. We laid there, heating pads over our stomachs, all regretting what we did. It was a common feeling in the air. Tears were shed. The nurses, they attempted to lighten the room. It made no difference. We killed our children. We gave into this horrible idea that it wasn't a person, that it was ok to murder.
I sit here today, incapable of going to work. I see people walking down the street, I know they have no way of knowing, but I still feel so awful.
If someone would of only gotten to me before I even was pregnant, before I even graduate high school. It would be different.
I wanted that child. It was never a mistake, a child is never a mistake. Getting rid of it was.
Alexa swing by at 4:43 AM
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
- The Declaration of IndependenceA right to life unless you're poor
Alexa swing by at 4:37 AM
Oh give her a break
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Alabama state health department shut down Birmingham abortion clinic after botched abortion
The state suspended the medical license
of Summit Medical Center Wednesday after learning that a non-physician
gave a woman in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy the dangerous RU486 abortion drug and performed other medical treatment on the patient without a doctor.
It resulted in a botched abortion and the woman later delivered a 6-pound, 4-ounce stillborn child at a hospital.
An order from the State Board of Health called the violations by Summit Medical Center in Birmingham "egregious," and the state health officer, Dr. Donald Williamson, said the clinic might not reopen.
"We feel we need to move toward revoking their license," said Williamson.
Williamson said an order issued Wednesday suspending the clinic's license was the result of a six-week investigation into the treatment of a woman who went to Summit seeking an abortion on Feb. 20.
The patient, who was not identified in the suspension order, received an ultrasound examination from a clinic worker rather than a physician, as Williamson said is required by the law.
A staff member then gave the patient RU486, an abortion-inducing drug, and follow-up medications that are supposed to be administered only by doctors, he said.
While the patient was told during the examination that she was only six weeks pregnant, she went to a hospital emergency room six days later and delivered a stillborn infant that weighed six pounds, four ounces, according to the order.
"It was nearly full term," said Williamson.
Alexa swing by at 2:39 AM
HEADS UP: MO woman's feeding tube was pulled last friday
44-year-old Kelly Meyer had her feeding tube removed by her mother last friday. Kelly suffer strokes on both sides of the brain, but she is responsive, sequeezes hands and blinks in response to questions, according to her friend.
She has been without food or water since last Friday. Tonight when I visited she was feverish, fearful, and agitated. I finally found a friend who is interested in stopping this killing. If folks call from all over the country it may send a loud and clear message. Please do not delay, the 9th day is a pivotal day with organs shutting down in the body. She is now going into the 7th day, so time is of the essence. Tim
urged bloggers to contact the States Attorney General
. Please help, all.
Alexa swing by at 2:19 AM
Former Kentucky abortionist, Ronachai Banchongmanie faces wrongful death lawsuit
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Shock, horror, shock, shock, horror:McD's hire child molesters?
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Joseph at Abortion Watch
tells us about the fascinating Pro-Life Promise for Friends
, a contract which is designed to provide young people with the guarantee that their friends will help them choose life should they ever face an unintended pregnancy, and that they will be met with unconditional love rather than embarrassment, judgment or gossip. The contract is designed to give friends the trust and reassurance that's needed to successfully face an unintended pregnancy and welcome new life safely into the world.
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Operation Rescue is calling for a nationwide day of fasting and prayer
on Monday, May 22, 2006
, the day a Sedgwick County Grand Jury will convene to begin an investigation of criminal allegations against late-term abortionist George Tiller in the abortion death of Christin Gilbert
will host a public prayer service outside the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Kansas (see map here
) at Noon on Monday to pray for the Grand Jury investigation.
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The Texas State Health Department has reallocated more than $5 million in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood abortion centers and other facilities
that were denied the funds under a new law that sent family planning money to pregnancy centers..
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Catholic nurses in India are facing intense pressure to assist in abortions
, but they found strength in numbers at a recent conference and hope to fight against the pressure.
Siji K. Mathew, the coordinator of Jesus Youth, a Catholic movement that promotes a Christian lifestyle for younger adults, said some hospital nurses are essentially forced into helping do abortions.
"Some of us had to resign our jobs when we were pressured by the management to assist in abortion procedures," Mathew told UCA News, emphasizing the need for "spiritual strength" to withstand such pressure.
He said the convention was a huge help to nurses wanting to take a "strong pro-life stand" in the face of pro-abortion pressure.
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Louisiana House committee passed a ban on abortion
Wednesday after adding exceptions to protect the woman against serious health problems or "permanent impairment". The House Criminal Justice Committee signed off on the bill and sent it to the full House for a debate and vote.
Rep. Charlie DeWitt, D-Lecompte, during the committee debate offered a more loosely written amendment to allow an abortion to protect the health of the woman, but Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, the main sponsor of the bill objected.
"That would mean abortion on demand," Nevers told DeWitt.
"I resent that right there," DeWitt shot back. "That ought to be a choice made between that family and the woman's doctor" on when to end a pregnancy for the mother's health.
He then refined the amendment to address chronic health problems that could cause permanent impairment or a "substantial risk of death."
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Sen. Hillary Clinton is blaming right wing "ideologues"
for denying women access to contraceptives - leaving them no choice but to end their unwanted pregnancies with abortion.
The move to withhold contraceptives "was started by a small group of extreme ideologues who claim the right to impose their personal beliefs on the overwhelming majority of the American people," Mrs. Clinton declared in an email to supporters on Wednesday.
"They're waging this silent war on contraception by using the power of the White House and their right-wing allies in Congress," she complains, adding, "and so far, they're getting away with it."
So just how are these right wing ideologues driving up the abortion rate? Mrs. Clinton explains:
"Low-income women, denied access to contraception, are having more unwanted pregnancies -- four times as many as those for higher income women. And almost half of all unwanted pregnancies end in abortions."
See also: Sen. Clinton: Abortion is a 'basic right'
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80-year-old Mary Wohlford of Iowa had "Do Not Resuscitate" tattooed on her chest
to express her final wishes
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Politics put RU486 on the shelf, politics keeping it there
, says CWA's president Wendy Wright
"The abortion industry has a lot invested in RU-486, the abortion drug, and that is because their biggest problem is what they call the 'graying' of the abortion industry," says Wright. "That is, there are not enough doctors willing to do abortions. And so their solution is to have abortion in a pill."
The CWA president believes that if the FDA removed this drug from the market, the abortion industry would be forced to own up to something it has denied for years. "[Removing RU 486 from the market] would be a loud and clear message that this drug is very dangerous to women," she says, "and that is something the abortion industry does not want to admit, because then they'd have to admit that abortion itself is very dangerous to women."
The abortion industry, she says, "would rather that women continue to die or suffer life-threatening complications from the abortion pill than to admit that they've been wrong."
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attorneys have filed a brief
in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart, which pits a Nebraska late-term abortion practitioner against the Bush administration in a fight over whether the ban on the gruesome abortion procedure will be upheld.
"Partial-birth abortion is a brutal, gruesome and inhumane procedure that should be condemned by all civilized societies," stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.
"As the Supreme Court has ruled before, no right is without exceptions. Congress rightly recognized this when it passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban as legislation that is necessary to protect our society from barbarism."
A copy of the brief can be found here
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FDA: Not clear that abortion pill increases deadly infection risk
Though scientists told Food and Drug Administration officials at a meeting last week that the abortion drug RU 486 is responsible for the deaths of seven women and explained how it likely killed them, an FDA representative told Congress Wednesday that the agency doesn't know if the drug is responsible for their deaths.
"It is not possible at this time to determine whether the current mifepristone/misoprostol regimen for abortion results in increased risk for C. sordellii infection," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA's deputy commissioner for operations.
Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., convened the hearing to examine whether the drug demonstrated "a low standard for women's health." Souder cited FDA reports of 950 cases of adverse reactions to the pill, including 18 cases of severe infections in women who required hospitalization and antibiotics, in making the case that the drug posed a threat to women's health.
"I would like to ban abortion but this is not about abortion. You can't ban abortion. This is a health question," Souder said in response to criticism leveled by panel Democrats that he was motivated by ideology and not science in convening the hearing.
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Elliot gets the boot. Major bummer. That's it. If Soul Patrol didn't win next week, I'm never watching the show again.
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The Washington Post has an article
up on a new CDC report which recommends new federal guidelines asking "all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon."
Boy, expect lots of reactions from vexed feminist bloggers!Forever pregnant
Hat tip: Suzanne
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Local parents, if you think "back alley" abortions could not happen in this country--think again. This back alley abortionist operates in the eastern part of the island, probably a stone's throw away from your nice apartment.She screamed in pain as doc takes out fetus
She walked into the clinic alone and enquired if they did abortions.
Yes, said a woman at the counter.
Before she could say more, she was quickly ushered into the doctor's room, where she met the doctor.
Jane recalled: 'He asked how many months along I was, but I wasn't sure.
'Then he did an ultrasound scan and said I was about 11 weeks pregnant.'
He told her that the abortion would cost $300, and she would be given pills to take that night to induce the labour and make the abortion easier.
Jane said: 'He said I had to take three pills instead of one as I was almost three months' pregnant.
'He gave me two white tablets and a green capsule, and warned me there would be light bleeding.'
She paid him $150 as she did not have enough money with her.
The doctor put the money into his wallet, and did not issue any receipt.
An appointment was made for 9am the next day.
The doctor scribbled her name in a notepad. Jane noticed that there were a few other names on the same page.
The only question he asked was whether she was a Singaporean or foreigner.
Jane said: 'He said he preferred to do abortions for foreigners as there were fewer problems.
'I thought that was strange, but didn't ask him why.'
When she returned to the clinic the next day, she was worried about the procedure, and asked questions about what would be done to alleviate the pain.
But she was told not to talk. She had to lie down and keep quiet.
Jane said: 'It was very painful when he was using the suction to get the foetus out.
'I screamed in pain and asked for painkillers, but he said no, he would do the procedure while I was awake.
'The woman assisting him told me to stop screaming as there were patients outside.'
It was over in minutes.
But the pain lingered, and she felt weak after the procedure.
Jane asked the doctor if she could rest at the clinic for a couple of hours, but was told to leave after two or three minutes.
She said: 'He gave me back my panties and a sanitary napkin to soak up the bleeding, then told me to pay him the remaining $150 and leave.
'He didn't ask me to go back for any follow-up or tell me what to do if any complications arose.
'All he said was not to go to any clinics or do any blood tests for three weeks.'
when confronted by reporter:
Do you perform abortions?
He looked stunned.
Eyes shifting rapidly from side-to-side, feet tapping non-stop on the tiled floor, he replied: 'No, why?'
Three women have told us that you offer abortions.
Then, he said: 'I stopped doing abortions many years ago.
'When my gynaecologist left, I stopped doing abortions.'
This was about three years ago, he added.
'Those women were talking about the past.'
What was the name of your gynaecologist?
'That's not important.'
And then: 'Why do you want to know?'
How many abortions did you do?
'I don't want to talk about the past. That was a long time ago.'
One of the women said she did an abortion here in February, about two months ago.
He said: 'No such thing.
'Where's the proof? Ask her to show me proof!'
Are you licensed to perform abortions?
'No, I'm not. I don't have a licence to do abortions.
'I'm a GP (general practitioner).
'People come to see me for all kinds of problems, not just abortions.'
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Surgeon stresses abortion/breast cancer link at Ottawa press conference
Dr. Angela Lanfranchi is clinical assistant professor of surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.
"The link between abortion and breast cancer is simply the result of a woman's biology," said Dr. Lanfranchi, citing multiple scientific studies that link induced abortion with a significant increase in breast cancer rates. Breast cancer rates have increased by 40% over the 30 years since abortion was legalized.
"It's the women of the Roe v. Wade generation that account for most of this increase. Dramatic lifestyle changes brought about by the sexual revolution and the women's liberation movement are largely responsible for the rampant breast cancer we see today," she said, reported the Globe and Mail.
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The North Country Gazette has an update on the Venlang Vo caseSt. David's North Austin Medical Center
in Austin, Texas has informed Mrs. Vo's family that they will end her medical treatment (and therefore her life) on June 5th under the Texas futile care statute
. Mrs. Vo who is in her 60's and a patient at St. David's North Austin Medical Center has been diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state but that is disputed by the family. Ms. Vo's daughter, Loann Trihn, an emergency room doctor, says that such a diagnosis is very subjective and involves clinical assessments. Dr. Trihn and her father say they have both witnessed her mother being responsive.
Dr. Trihn says because of the futile care decision made by the hospital ethic's committee, the family is having great difficulty locating a facility to treat her. Although the hospital gave the family more time to find a facility to which they could transfer Mrs. Vo, as of now they have no prospects.
Dr. Trihn and her father are frantically searching for another licensed care facility and a nephrologist who will meet Mrs. Vo's medical needs before the June 5 deadline. Please keep Mrs. Vo and her family in your prayers. If you have information about possible treatment options or know a physician in Texas, please contact the family at email@example.comMore
at Blogs for Terri
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Pro-abortion lawmakers in the New York state legislature are coming under fire for blocking a bill that would help the elderly and disabled
because they object to a provision in the bill that would provide some recognition for unborn children.
Although the bill has nothing to do with abortion it includes a line saying the family members of an incapacitated woman who is pregnant should "consider the impact of treatment decisions on the fetus."
I'm not comfortable voting for it," Assemblywoman Deborah Glick told Hammond, saying she worries how courts may interpret it worries it will give more rights to unborn children.
Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell agreed and said "To garner my support [the bill] has to remove the language about the fetus."
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Fr. Frank: Abortion industry destroying itself
"The momentum is in our direction," he said during his main public address April 29 at Holy Apostles Church. "This is an industry crumbling from the inside."
Father Pavone said that the abortion industry is actually less worried about not having enough doctors to perform abortions. Father Pavone said he knows many doctors who have left the industry.
"It shows that the pro-abortion lobby has not and never will be able to take the stigma away from abortion," he said.
"You show up at these clinics and lives will be changed by your presence. The abortion industry knows this sometimes better than we do."
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The National Abortion Federation is now complaining
that only half
of nursing, physician assistant, and nurse-midwife training programs teach students how to perform or assist in killing embryos and fetuses..
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KU Medical Center defends its diagnosis in the case of Michael Todd
The University of Kansas Medical Center disputes the accusation
that doctors misdiagnosed Michael Todd
, the 14-year-old who has been shot in the neck and prematurely declared him brain-dead. The hospital wants to pull Todd off life support to harvest his organs.
Todd's mother, Cecelia Cole obtained a temporary restraining order
blocking the KU Medical Center from taking her son off life support, accusing the hospital of misdiagnosing her son. She said her son is not brain-dead. Cole said Todd is moving his feet, crying and is trying to open one of his eyes. Relatives also said Todd was responsive to touch immediately following the accident.
The hospital's documents maintain that Todd is legally and medically dead.
"We follow very strict protocols, state protocols, in determining brain death," said Dennis McCulloch, with KU Medical Center.
The protocols include clinical evidence of a "central nervous system catastrophe," which may include coma, no brain stem or pupil reflexes, no expressions, no reaction to touch and very shallow breathing.
Hat tip: Pro-life Blogs
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British doctor under fire for offering to perform an illegal abortion on his mistress
at his house
After Dr. Richard Akinrolabu got his lover pregnant, he proposed doing an abortion himself to hide the pregnancy.BBC report
Update: Doctor denies proposing doing abortion on mistressRichard Akinrolabu cleared
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Aras wins.. WOOO!
Boy, I want to take him home!
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A Catholic school teacher in Wisconsin says she was fired after she conceived through in vitro fertilization
. Administrators, according to her lawyer James C. Jones, allegedly told Kelly Romenesko she violated a provision of her employment contract to act in accordance with Catholic doctrine, which believes in vitro is morally wrong. Romenesko, however, said others in the school system, including a board member, had children through the procedure without repercussions. She has filed a discrimination complaint against the school system and now attends Lutheran services.
Hat tip: Kristin Chapman
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Analysis of negative abstinence report reveals faulty logic
A flurry of news stories proclaiming abstinence education does not decrease unwanted pregnancies among unmarried teens, and that teaching it is dangerous, prompted one group to investigate the source of those claims.The Attack on Abstinence Education: Fact of Fallacy?
The Medical Institute for Sexual Health - a nonprofit organization dedicated to evaluating scientific evidence - examined two recent reports in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The position papers, written by a team headed by John Santelli, maintained that abstinence education is "scientifically and ethically problematic."
The authors claimed that teaching young people to postpone sexual activity until marriage is "inconsistent with commonly accepted notions of human rights." The articles recommend that "children and adolescents (should be ensured) adequate access to confidential sexual- and reproductive-health services."
"Reproductive-health services" is a common liberal euphemism for abortion and condom distribution.
In its analysis titled "The Attack on Abstinence Education: Fact of Fallacy?" the institute examined the methods used by Santelli and found them to be exceptionally flawed.
"We found a significant number of serious omissions, misrepresentations, deviations from accepted practices and opinions presented as facts," the report states. "Logic, if employed, was often faulty."
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Abortion "a moral good
", says retiring executive director of a Seattle abortion clinic
In her years at the forefront, Bloom has fought not only for access to abortions, but to change the way that some people view abortion as either tragic or immoral. She has described it instead as a "normal and common" experience in the lives of women - a "moral good" that saves lives and prevents unwanted children.
Colleagues have called her a hero. Critics have called her a baby killer. Dan Kennedy, of the anti-abortion group Human Life of Washington, described her as just plain misguided.
"You can be sincere, and be sincerely wrong," he said.
Bloom's commitment goes back 35 years to the days when her home state of New York was one of the few to allow abortions. She would show up at the airport wearing a red smock, a signal to women that she was their ride to the abortion clinic.
For Teresa Goepfert, former clinic manager of Aradia, working beside her was an inspiration.
Hat tip: Matt Rosenberg
at Sound Politics
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Roe attorney: Use abortion to 'eliminate poor'
A letter to Bill Clinton written by the co-counsel who successfully argued the Roe v. Wade decision urged the then-president-elect to "eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country" by liberalizing abortion laws.
Ron Weddington, who with his wife Sarah Weddington represented "Jane Roe," sent the four-page letter
to President Clinton's transition team before Clinton took office in January 1993.
OpinionJournal's James Taranto
has excerpts of the letter:
I don't think you are going to go very far in reforming the country until we have a better educated, healthier, wealthier population...
You can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I'm not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can't afford to have babies.
There, I've said it. It's what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged differently as discriminatory, mean-shpirited and...well...so Republican...
I am not proposing that you send federal agents armed with Depo-Provera dart guns to the ghetto. You should use persuasion rather than coercion. You and Hillary are a perfect example. Could either of you have gone to law school and achieved anything close to what you have if you had three or four or more children before you were 20? No! You waited until you were established and in your 30's to have one child. That is what sensible people do...
Having convinced the poor that they can't get out of poverty when they have all those extra mouths to feed, you will have to provide the means to prevent the extra mouths, because abstinence doesn't work. The religious right has had 12 years to preach its message. It's time to officially recognize that people are going to have sex and what we need to do as a nation is prevent as much disease and as many poor babies as possible...
There have been 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery...and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario. We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don't have a lot of time left...
The biblical exhortation to "be fruitful and multiply" was directed toward a small tribe, surrounded by enemies. We are long past that. Our survival depends upon our developing a population where everyone contributes. We don't need more cannon fodder. We don't need more parishioners. We don't need more cheap labor. We don't need more poor babies.
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Leon at Redstate
on a People's Magazine article
in which the mother of a girl who is afflicted with spina bifida has sued her obstetrician for failing to perform an AFP test, which might have detected the spina bifida in utero, which would have allowed them to "make an informed decision about what to do."
(I checked also, not available online. Article is dated May 15, 2006, pp. 123-124 --Go pick up your copy)
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alerts us to a family's fight to save the life of a 14-year-old boy
who has been shot in the neck:
The family of a 14-year-old who was shot in the neck has received a restraining order preventing the University of Kansas Hospital from taking the boy off of life support.
Michael Todd of Kansas City was shot Tuesday at a Blue Springs apartment. Police said a witness told them that the gun might have gone off accidentally.
"Our doctors have determined him to be brain dead," hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said on Friday.
But Michael's family argues that the hospital wants to remove the boy from life support because it wants to use his organs for a donor program.
"It's so quick," said Odette Cole, Todd's aunt. "He's 14 years old. ... You're acting like you're in a grocery store for body parts."
Though McCulloch could not discuss the case specifically, he said a family would be required to authorize any organ donations.
"I can tell you generically that under federal regulations all deaths or imminent deaths are required to be reported to the organ bank," he said. "Beyond that is between the organ bank and a family whether a donation is made."
Michael's family filed for the restraining order in Wyandotte County District Court. McCulloch said the hospital planned to respond to the injunction Monday.
Tim says that he has received information suggesting that Michael's mother feels that he is showing signs of increased brain activity. I'm sure he'll have more updates later. In the meantime, I ask that you keep Michael Todd and his family in your prayers.
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Two members of the Canadian parliament held a news conference with a breast cancer surgeon and a researcher to tell the media
that women are at a higher risk for breast cancer if they have an abortion..
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7th American woman dies from RU486
, FDA meeting reveals
The seventh woman died from a drug-induced abortion but did not use the first part of the two-part RU 486 abortion drug.
Clifford McDonald, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, reported on the latest death and told the FDA officials and scientists at the meeting that the woman in question was given the drug misoprostol.
That's the second part of the RU 486 abortion drug.[...]
According to a New York Times report, the seventh woman who died from a drug-induced abortion was also given a laminaria, a drug made from sea algae that is sometimes used to dilate the cervix during a surgical abortion.
The Times reported that McDonald told the meeting the two most recent women who died, suffered from Clostridium perfringens infections while the four California women who died had Clostridium sordellii infections.
McDonald said the latest death occured in a Midwestern state.
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Pro-lifers filled with hate? Eric
at Generations for Life sets the record straight
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Heads-up: Codeine can turn toxic in nursing mothers
; Gene transformed drug into morphine, which killed infant
*Codeine is commonly prescribed after childbirth to alleviate the pain of episiotomies and cesarean sections.
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Scientists told FDA RU486 may supress immune system, cause death
Dr. Ralph Miech, an associate professor of pharmacology at Brown University, has already done some of the most comprehensive research on the problem. As a panelist at the meeting, he told officials the abortion drug suppresses the immune system and increases the possibility for a lethal infection.
That's also the opinion of Dr. Randall O'Bannon, the director of research for the National Right to Life Committee.
O'Bannon said that suggestions that the presence of the bacteria in a woman's vaginal tract is a cause of the abortion deaths is unlikely because the bacteria is already present in the vaginas of 10 percent of women, and they are not dying from lethal infections.
"The best explanation for this sudden spate of deaths among RU-486 patients appears to involve the immunosuppressant properties of the abortion pill RU-486," O'Bannon explained.
"A woman's immune system is normally capable of protecting her from deadly bacteria like Clostridium sordellii, but RU-486 appears to compromise her immune system, so that it is unable to help her fight off such infections," Dr. O'Bannon explained.
Other researchers, including Dr. Sandra Kweder of the FDA's for Drug Evaluation and Research's Office of New Drugs, had another theory.
She said the second part of the abortion drug causes contractions to expel the body of the dead baby and could increase a woman's susceptibility of getting the bacteria in her uterus.
Dr. James McGregor, an obstetrics professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, agreed that the problems are sufficient to warrant limiting the use of the abortion drug or pulling it from the market entirely.
"I recommend we reduce or eliminate mifepristone, or at least consider that," McGregor said, and indicate that chemical abortions were much more dangerous for women than surgical abortions.
Related: AP dismisses RU486 deaths
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Colombia's top court vote to legalize abortion in specific cases
The long-awaited decision Wednesday by the Constitutional Court, which voted 5-3 in favor of the changes, cannot by overturned by the Supreme Court.
Under the decision, abortions will be permitted in the cases of rape, incest and if the life of the mother or fetus is in danger. Abortion under all other circumstances will remain illegal, punishable by up to three years in jail for the woman and the doctor performing the procedure.
"The Court fulfilled its duty in recognizing the right of Colombian women," said lawyer Monica Roa, who spearheaded the lengthy legal battle to overturn the abortion ban, told Caracol radio Wednesday night.
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Honor your mother
Honor your mother by donating to Maggie's Place
this Mother's Day. Maggie's Place is a home for expectant women who are alone or on the streets. Your Mother's Day donation
of $20 or more provides our mothers with immediate needs of food, prenatal care, shelter and a loving community. Your donation will also serve to empower them to improve their situation via health, goal-setting and education.
In acknowledgement of your gift of $20 or more you will receive a special card designed by two of the mothers at Maggie's Place. This one-of-a-kind card can be sent to you by regular mail or downloaded digitally.
Hat tip: Johnny Amos
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has an article
on young unwed mothers who were secretly sent to maternity homes in pre-Roe days and "coerced" into giving their babies up for adoption. The article is based on a new book by Ann Fessler, author of "The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade
, an oral history that brings to light the dark undercurrent of life in America's postwar middle class. Fessler touched on the meaning of choice, the long-term effects of living a lie, and myths about unwed mothers.The children they gave away
It was the 1960s and Joyce was going to beauty school in Florida when she realized she was pregnant. When her mother found out, Joyce says, she was "dumped" at a Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers in Alabama. "It was an old, old, old house with big rooms," she remembers now. "[And] I had no control ... It was like being in a car wreck or something. Once you start skidding, that's it. [So] I kind of skidded through it."
Joyce is just one of more than a million and a half women who were sent to maternity homes to surrender their children for adoption in the decades between World War II and the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973. They were college freshman working their way through school with two jobs. They were tomboys, sorority girls and valedictorians. They were mothers and they were invisible.
But now, artist and writer Ann Fessler has uncovered their hidden stories. The result of years of research and more than one hundred interviews, Fessler's new book, "The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade," is an astonishing oral history that brings to light the dark undercurrent of life in America's postwar middle class. Denied adequate sex education, shamed by socially conformist parents and peers, and without legal access to abortion, Fessler's subjects emerge as the victims of a double standard that labeled them promiscuous while condoning the sexual adventures of their male counterparts.
Spirited away under the pretense of an illness or a family vacation, the women -- many of them teenagers -- spent their pregnancies away from home and gave birth among strangers. While the maternity homes were billed as a quiet place for women to reflect on their futures, when it came time to sign adoption papers, most of the women Fessler interviewed said they felt intense pressure to relinquish their children. Persuaded by social workers who said they would never be able to provide as well for their babies as a stable couple would, ostracized by families who were shocked by their behavior, and insecure about their own strength and intelligence, most women did as they were told and tried to forget.
Decades later, though, the mothers say the repercussions of those decisions are still being felt, as they struggle with depression, fight to find their lost children, and make peace with their past. "The Girls Who Went Away" is both politically and emotionally charged. Intertwining her spare prose with the mothers' own words, Fessler raises difficult questions about reproductive freedom, women's rights and sex education that seem particularly relevant today as Roe v. Wade is threatened, pharmacists refuse to fill contraception prescriptions, and a conservative administration promotes an abstinence only agenda in America's schools.
Salon spoke with Fessler from her home in Rhode Island about the meaning of choice, the long-term effects of living a lie, and myths about unwed mothers.
You've been working on the subject of adoption for years, first as a visual artist and now as a writer. Was it your own experience as an adoptee that inspired you to reach out to birth mothers?
It really all began in 1989, when a woman approached me at a gallery opening and said that she thought I was the daughter she had given up for adoption decades before. I wasn't, but it was an amazing experience because at that point, I really hadn't thought too much about trying to find my own mother.
The woman told me a little about her story as a surrendering mother. She was sent to a maternity home and said she never felt like she made the decision to surrender her child, but that it was made for her. She asked if I had tried to contact my mother and when I told her that I hadn't, because I didn't want to bother her after all those years, the woman said, "She probably worries every single day about what's happened to you and whether you've had a good life." And that thought had just never occurred to me.
That was the moment I decided that I wanted to start reflecting on my experiences as an adoptee. Through the years, in each of my projects -- whether films or art installations -- I tried to set up areas where other people could contribute their stories. I was trying to be inclusive and to raise awareness of what adoption is like from all different viewpoints. And each time, I was really impressed by the stories I heard -- they started to give me an idea of the complexity of the situation. But what floored me were the stories from the surrendering moms, mostly because I kept hearing the same things again and again -- that the mothers didn't feel like they had a choice. And I just kept thinking, why have I not heard these stories before?
You obviously tried to collect interviews from a range of women, but it does seem like because they were not cheap, the maternity homes serviced a particularly white, middle-class clientele. Did you discover different kinds of stories when speaking with women of different races and classes?
The African-American women I interviewed, of course, were women who had surrendered their children; I didn't interview people who kept them. So they actually had the same kind of experience as most of the white women I spoke with, in that their families had high hopes and aspirations for them and felt that given the time period, if they had a child it would be the end of their education and everything else. Their parents were well-intentioned, but they didn't anticipate the long-term effects -- though it's hard to imagine how anyone who's had a child could not anticipate that surrendering a child would have a lifelong impact.
You say again and again that these stories need to be understood within the context of their time. What was it about the postwar years that made it such a difficult time for young women?
There was a lot of social pressure in the 1950s and 1960s -- the time period I focus on -- and that pressure was partly due to the tremendous rise in economic and social stability in many families after the war. The U.S had a booming economy, so families that had previously been thought of as working-class poor had moved up into the middle class and they didn't want to go back. Having a daughter who was pregnant and not married was -- and sometimes still is -- seen as a reflection of parenting skills, and someone who had a daughter who was pregnant was considered low-class. It was just thought that didn't happen in "good" families, though of course that was because the "good" families were the ones who could afford to cover it up by sending their daughters out of town.
Many of the women I spoke with talked about feeling betrayed because their mothers seemed more concerned about what the neighbors thought than about how they were coping, or what was going to happen to their grandchild.
I was surprised, reading the women's stories, how often it was the mothers who were hardest on the daughters, and it was the fathers who visited them and cared for them when they were sent away.
Isn't that interesting? I think that partly that was because at the time, raising children was really seen as the mother's role, and the father's influence was not considered as central. The idea was that if you were a solid middle-class family, the mom stayed home and spent her whole life with the kids, raising them and shaping them -- so if something went wrong, it was her failure.
You write that the historical silence about maternity homes has helped perpetrate myths about what the mothers were like and what they wanted. What are those myths?
The biggest one is that any baby surrendered for adoption was willingly and perhaps even eagerly given up by the mother. And so the implication is that the women considered all their options -- that they had options -- and made a decision. When, in fact, most of the women I interviewed felt they didn't really make the decision at all. If they were high school age, their parents made the arrangements and said this is what is going to happen, we'll help you through this, but this is the only way.
A few of the older, college-age women did choose to go to the maternity homes, because they were supposed to be places that would shelter you and give you time to think about your decision. But the statistics reveal the truth: If women went into a home, 80 percent would surrender their baby, because once they were there, the pressure to do so was tremendous. The women were told, "This is absolutely the best option. If you love your baby, you will give it up for adoption, so it can have two parents."
There was just no room for imagining other solutions at the time, at least in the middle class. I'm the same age as many of the women in the book -- I came of age in the late '50s and early '60s -- and I can tell you that growing up, I didn't even know anyone who was divorced. It was just such a homogeneous world if you were white and middle-class that you didn't have any other examples to follow as a parent. So the first myth would be that the women made a choice, which implies having options -- when, in fact, the women I interviewed saw no alternatives at all. If their parents weren't going to help them -- which was really the only way that any girls made it -- then they didn't have a choice.
The second myth was that during the time period the book covers, anyone who got pregnant and sent away was considered a slut. It was an extremely hypocritical time sexually, because by the end of the 1960s something like 68 percent of women were having sex before age 20, but everybody lied about it. So all the girls who were having sex but didn't get caught could claim they were virgins, but the ones who got pregnant couldn't deny what they had done. So it was assumed they were either promiscuous or more sexually advanced than their peers, when most weren't. It turns out, actually, that among the women I interviewed, most became pregnant with their first sexual partner, some with their very first sexual experience, and many within only five sexual experiences. So most likely they got pregnant not because they were promiscuous, but because they were naive. They didn't know anything about sex; some didn't even know how babies were born. People just didn't talk about sex during the era; there was no sexual education, and in some families it simply never came up.
The third myth is that a woman who surrenders her child doesn't suffer a loss. The families and the people who ran the maternity homes told the women that they'd go to the hospital and have the baby and the baby would be taken away and life would go back to normal -- as though they just had their appendix removed. The idea was that they could make up a lie about where they'd been for the past four months and no one in the community would be the wiser -- it would be like it never happened.
But you do write that maternity homes weren't always so adamant about making mothers surrender, and that their ideology shifted dramatically after the war. How did they go from being places that may not have been ideal, but were at least supportive, to ones that were focused entirely on adoption?
The difference was that after the war thousands of adoptive families were clamoring for children. The numbers were staggering; at the time, for every child that was placed, there were 10 families still waiting for a baby. So all these lovely, established young couples were coming to maternity-home social workers hoping to adopt and that put the workers in a complicated position. On the one hand, they had a 17-year-old in front of them, who was sort of in a daze, and her baby's not even real to her yet. She's pregnant, but to her, pregnancy is a problem. Everyone is telling her she's bad and that she's shamed her family.
And so you find that more often than not, the social worker ends up agreeing with the girl's family that the best-case scenario would be to get her baby placed with one of the many fine families waiting to adopt. And I don't want to make it sound like I'm down on adoptive families, because, in fact, they were told they were adopting children who were unwanted. The problem was that all the parties were kept apart from one another, and it was a paternalistic system that told these women, "We know what's best for you."
Was there an element of social engineering at work? Were the women seen as less capable of parenting because they had already disgraced their families?
Definitely. The message from social workers was that the baby would be so much better off with an adoptive family than with the surrendering mother because she was already a screw-up -- she'd gotten pregnant, she wasn't married, so how good a mother could she be?
She was seen as unfit because she was unmarried, though, of course, at the time, loads and loads of women got pregnant and then got married so they could give birth six or seven months after the wedding. In those cases, all was forgiven.
Did you talk to any women who, upon giving birth, wanted to change their minds and keep their baby?
I heard again and again from women that once their baby was born, everything changed. They finally realized that what they were dealing with wasn't an amorphous problem, it was their child. Once that happened, quite a few women told me they tried to change their minds, to convince their parents to give them more time to find another solution. The terrible thing was that in some cases they were simply told it was too late. But legally that wasn't true; there was a window of time in which mothers were allowed to change their minds.
So they were lied to?
Yes. Social workers were just so convinced that they were doing the right thing.
Did any of the women you spoke with try to get abortions?
Remember, this was before abortion was legalized, which doesn't mean that there weren't abortions happening, but there were lots and lots of botched ones. And most girls didn't even know who to ask about it, or where to find one. So certainly, some women might haven chosen to terminate their pregnancies, but many of the women I interviewed were actually not pro-choice.
For example, one woman told me about growing up in a very strict Catholic family and, like many of the mothers, she had been in denial for several months, just thinking the problem would go away. Her waistline was expanding, but she just thought, This is not real, it can't be real. For many women, by the time their parents found out it was too late to take them to a secret doctor for an abortion. In this particular case, though, the woman's father, who was extremely religious, to the point that he didn't use birth control, came to her room and actually said to her, "Is it too late for us to do anything about this?" And it was the daughter who said no, that she wasn't willing to go through with an abortion.
You write that the National Mental Health Association recommends that people dealing with grief seek out people who understand their loss. But most of the women you spoke with did exactly the opposite -- in fact, the insistence on secrecy seems like it made that kind of healing impossible.
Yes, secrecy was imperative. There was no reason to send a woman away and give up a child if you weren't going to keep it quiet; the idea was that no one would ever know. That was what the families wanted and in some cases the women too -- they knew what the social stigma was like, and they just felt like they could not deal with it. They knew what the image of an unwed mother was, and it wasn't them.
One of your recurring themes is how damaging the burden of maintaining a lie can be on a life.
Absolutely. First of all, the women suffer tremendously from an ongoing sense of worry about their children -- a feeling that some studies have equated with having a loved one who is missing in action. It's this idea that your child is alive, is out there in the world, so are you going to run into her on the street one day?
The women were told by every authority figure in their lives don't ever tell anyone because people will think less of you, no man will ever want to marry you if he knows you were such a bad, slutty girl -- they heard that over and over. And that perpetuated the secrecy.
Also, many, many women realized only later, when the world started changing around them, that they had been duped. They were told that they had no choice, that the world wouldn't accept them, but then within a few years the world and the culture had changed, and they saw that maybe other options might have been possible. One woman told me that when she was pregnant as a teen she had to drop out of school, but then in the 1970s Title IV made it a law that you could not discriminate against a woman and make her drop out of school just because she was pregnant.
There were also some organizations that started up in the 1970s of women who began coming out of the closet to talk about their experiences as unwed mothers who had been forced to give up their children in maternity homes. But, in general, most of the women still didn't talk about it
So not only were they not talking to their husbands and friends, they weren't talking to each other?
Exactly. Remember, the mothers were all told that they would just move on, so many felt that something was wrong with them when they couldn't forget their children. And not having anyone to talk to, they couldn't compare notes.
They told me how the shame and secrecy affected their self-esteem, how they couldn't relax and were always afraid of being found out -- and I actually began to think it had some parallels to the gay community, to the idea of being closeted. The mothers found themselves driven to incredibly destructive behavior. And like in the homosexual community, things didn't really begin to change until people came out and started speaking up, saying, "I'm queer and I'm proud," the same was true for surrendering mothers. More and more women started speaking up, saying, "I'm a birth mother and this is nothing to be ashamed of." And so gradually women became more aware that they weren't alone. But there are still many, many women who are very distraught and lonely.
In my book, I reproduce a note that was left for me in one of the comments boxes at an exhibition. It was from a woman who had snuck away for the day to come to the show, and she said, "This is the way I live my life, I couldn't tell anyone I came here because my sons don't know they have a half brother." And I think she ended it by simply saying, "I live in hiding."
You say that a lot of pain could have been prevented if parents in the '50s and '60s had been more realistic about the likelihood of young people having sex and had provided them with adequate sex education and contraception. Given the focus on abstinence only sex-ed in the U.S. today, are you worried for the future?
It's scary to see such regression. A lot of things will never change for the women in my book; their lives are set. But one thing their stories can offer is a window onto a time period. And what they show us are the consequences of a sexually repressive, paternalistic, conservative society. And there are many people in the country right now who would like to go back there.
Abstinence-only sex education doesn't allow for even a mention of birth control -- the line is that the only way not to get pregnant is not to have sex. And certainly, that's true and abstinence should be taught. But to focus solely on that is to also be willfully blind to the realities of human behavior. Sex education is incredibly important -- especially realistic, age-appropriate sex education that starts early on -- and it should be coupled with frank talk about relationships and respecting others. Because what scares social conservatives are stories about teen boys keeping lists of all the virgins they have scored. But while that shouldn't be excused, that's really not about sex, it's about conquest. It's a lack of respect for other people.
You say that the voices of the women in your book need to be heard as part of the current national debate over reproductive freedom because the "double standard" is still very much a part of our cultural psyche. Can you explain what you mean by that?
Women and men are both sexual beings, and the onus should not always be on the women to stop the sexual advances of the man. It's a couple having sexual relations. But I think we still have this caveman notion that a man can go around spreading his seed, making conquests, and the woman is supposed to be the one with restraint who holds him back. And if you look at the world in general, outside the U.S., it's quite clear that both sexually and politically women still do not have equal say or power. Look at the Supreme Court right now. We don't know yet what effect their decisions will have on the country, but just the imbalance of representation indicates that on some level we still value men's opinions more, or believe that men can make more rational decisions. So if nothing else, I hope that by uncovering this hidden little part of women's history, I can help build a bridge between two generations, and to show young people today the importance of having a voice, of being participants in their own lives.
Alexa swing by at 6:18 PM