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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|Archbishop denounced proposal to legalize abortion and euthanasia in Mexico
According to the Notimex news agency, at the conclusion of Mass on Sunday Archbishop Rabago said abortion and euthanasia "are considered immoral acts by the Church, and therefore we will not accept such reforms." Life, he added, "is a gift that God has given us and He alone can take it away."
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Does abortion coercion bill trample rights?
No. Women need protection from undue pressure to have abortions
, says Right to Life of Michigan's Suanne Thompson..
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The Times Online chief sports writer Simon Barnes describes life with his five-year-old son Eddie, who has Down's syndrome.. I'm not a saint, just a parent
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What kind of mother would do this
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More women are finding it more acceptable to have an abortion than to drift into an unplanned pregnancy
, says the head of Britain's leading abortion agency
Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), said one women in five was now childless at the age of 45 and an increasing number were making the choice not to have children at all.
Ms Furedi said there had been a shift in public opinion about parenthood. The stigma of abortion had diminished but there was now concern about being a poor parent. "Parenting is considered to be very important and is taken seriously these days," she said. "The idea of just drifting into unplanned motherhood is seen not to be a good thing and you could argue that among many groups of people in society abortion is seen as a more responsible response to being a victim of uncontrolled fertility," she said.
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Congress to hold vote on abortion-fetal pain measure next week
Rep. Chris Smith, a pro-life New Jersey Republican, is the lead sponsor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (H.R. 6099) and 93 members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors.
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Nat Hentoff on ignorance and abortion
In his dissent at the 8th Circuit, Judge Raymond Gruender got right to the palpable point. He noted that this embattled law goes on to define "a whole, separate unique living being" as an "individual living member of the species Homo sapiens, including the unborn human being." That, said the judge, "is nothing but an unremarkable tautology (needless repetition). It is simply a restatement of the definition of 'abortion.' "
Quoting from the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the judge continued, "Abortion is defined as 'the termination of a pregnancy... resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.' " And that departed fetus or embryo, whatever you call it, is unmistakably "an individual living member of the species Homo sapiens."
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San Antonio-based Christian ministry, Vision Forum, promotes biblical feminity
through its newly-expanded girls' doll line
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New Judicial Watch report raises disturbing questions about Hillary Clinton and abortion
Judicial Watch's report includes excerpts of new documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to the report's introduction: "Judicial Watch's research of Clinton Archives has turned-up additional, never-before-seen records detailing Team Clintons' strong support - both politically and ideologically - for attacking the pro-life movement and aggressively expanding the 'culture of death', especially with public funding."
You can read the report here
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Bill O'Reilly: Late term abortions in Kansas, the real human rights violation
There is something terrible going on in Kansas, and you should know about it. A doctor named George Tiller is performing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of late-term abortions using a variety of medical reasons, including a mother's depression.
In Kansas, there is a mental health exception that allows an abortionist to terminate a fetus at any time up until birth. The exception is vague, and so is Tiller's oft-used depression diagnosis, according to documents currently under investigation by Kansas authorities. So the deal is this: If you want to walk away from your pregnancy at any time, just contact Dr. Tiller; he'll help you out.
But only if you have at least $5,000. The doctor, known as "Tiller the baby killer" among some people who object to his practice, lays it all out on his web site. He'll terminate your baby, and even cremate it for you if you wish. He's one-stop shopping.
According to published reports, Tiller injects the fetus with poison while in the womb, removes it and disposes of the body. While it's true that sometimes a mother's health is severely impacted in late term, most doctors agree this is rare. Babies can now live after 22 weeks when removed by C-section. Late-term abortions are almost never necessary.
Unless the mother wants out, that is. And that's what some people believe Tiller is doing: terminating viable, healthy babies because the mother simply doesn't want the child.
While the American media wails about alleged human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay, champions fetal stem cell research in the name of compassion, and hollers aplenty at the atrocities in Darfur, the press is largely ignoring the Tiller story, with the exception of the Los Angeles Times. It has glorified Tiller.
An article by Times reporter Stephanie Simon focused on Tiller terminating babies who are seriously ill. Ms. Simon makes no mention of the "depression" factor. She does, however, report that Tiller is aborting Down Syndrome babies, which, when you think about it, is kind of chilling.
George Tiller could not do what he's doing in ultraliberal France or even in permissive Holland. In France, a baby cannot be aborted after 12 weeks unless two doctors certify a woman's physical health is endangered or the fetus has a serious abnormality.
In the Netherlands, abortion is prohibited at all times once the baby is viable outside the mother's womb.
But in Kansas, if the mom is feeling a bit blue on Tuesday and carries a certified check, Dr. Tiller is willing and able to terminate the baby. Is this what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created the Constitution?
I don't think so, but the secular press disagrees. Just this week The New York Times, whose editorial writers worship at the altar of abortion, called the investigation into Tiller's gruesome practice a "gross assault on privacy and legal rights ..." You see, to the Times' editorial board, no baby in the womb deserves any protection at any time. It's all under the secular-progressive banner of "reproductive rights."
But even the secularists who run France and Holland are not that militant. It is hard to believe that babies have more protections in Paris and Amsterdam than they do in Wichita, Kansas. But that's the truth.
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Wife of a leading attorney who is one of the lawyers for Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese blind activist who exposed China's brutal forced abortions and sterilizations, was beaten by Chinese police
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Alabama abortion clinic, Birmingham New Woman All Women Health Care, suspended over health violations
Some of the violations included patients who were not given medications on time, failing to verify if ultrasound or pregnancy tests had been conducted before abortions, and the administrator's personal use of the abortion center's drugs.
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Scientists conclude there is really no such thing as "normal" in genetic inheritance... Pre-natal screening not as accurate as once thought, normal children killed as "defective
In 2000 the international team of scientists working on the Human Genome project said that there was only a miniscule percentage of difference between people.
At about the same time, genetic screening was introduced as a common feature of prenatal care and as part of artificial procreation in IVF facilities. The new research shows, however, that this screening is not as accurate as previously thought.
In the new study, 270 volunteers from different countries were tested and the researchers found that the genetic continuance from parents to child is not as straightforward as previously thought. In fact, the conclusion seems to be that there is really no such thing as "normal" in genetic inheritance.
This means that screens for genetic abnormality are unrealizable without a reliable standard of "normal". The report, published in the journal Nature suggests that prenatal screening may have incorrectly diagnosed genetic abnormalities as defects.
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highlights media silence on connection to premature births, breast cancer..The inconvenient truth about 'safe abortion'
Abortion industry consent forms admit that abortion is associated with a number of serious health risks. Nevertheless, when it comes to induced abortion, many U.S. journalists and their medical experts "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil." Although the evidence shows otherwise, they continue to represent abortion as a "safe" procedure. More
Planned Parenthood of Australia's website includes consent forms that list 12 serious complications from a first trimester abortion (not counting the risks of anesthesia). It says that some complications include: "infections ... a tear in the cervix that may require stitches ... incompetent cervix/stenosed cervix (too tight or too loose cervix which may impair future fertility), Asherman's syndrome (cessation of periods and adhesions in uterus that may impair future fertility), depression or mood disturbance, suicide. ..."
Although the consent forms do not say so, infection and a damaged cervix are recognized risk factors for premature birth. Impaired fertility - which causes women to have few or no children - is a known risk factor for breast cancer.
These are inconvenient facts for the "safe abortion" lobby. The truth, however, is not an impediment for abortion enthusiasts in the media and Congress - like Rep. Henry Waxman and other Democratic members at the House Government Reform Committee - who periodically accuse crisis pregnancy centers of "misinforming" women about the risks of abortion.
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The west's attitude to issues of reproductive health, especially in the US, causes women's deaths all over the world
We have the US preaching abstinence from sex as the answer to Aids in Africa and refusing funds to any family-planning clinics across the world that provide abortions or even counsel women about them. This head-in-the-sand attitude towards abortion leads directly to women's deaths. Every year nearly 20 million unsafe abortions are carried out on desperate women in ill-lit rooms and illegal clinics. You don't stop that happening by refusing to talk about it.
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Russia sees 1.5 million abortions annually, and as many as 120,000 women maimed
Vladimir Serov, the deputy director of the Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology Center at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, told the Russian media source Regnum that 120,000 women are injured each year from legal abortions.
He said numerous Russian women suffer from sterility, endometriosis and other problems following abortions.
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Fiji abortion practitioner who was found guilty of botching an abortion on a 20 year-old student that resulted in her death wants to introduce new evidence in his appeal
. Former Fiji Medical Association president Sachidar Nand Mudaliar was found guilty in the death of student Poonam Kumar for a botched abortion he did on her in March 2003.
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Abortion's a fact of life in Brazil
Abortion is mostly illegal in Brazil, but you would not know it from the numbers.Full article
Every year an estimated 1.4 million Brazilian girls and women take the law into their hands, and often put their health at risk, to terminate their pregnancies. This gives Brazil an abortion rate much higher than that of the United States, even though one country allows the procedure and the other all but bans it.
Illegal abortion has become a fact of life, and not just in Brazil. Across much of Latin America, even as judges, legislators and activists debate whether abortion laws should be tightened or loosened, millions of women are finding clandestine ways to end their unwanted pregnancies.
For Brazilians like Marta Leiro, the question is not whether to break the law, but how.
There are strong teas and herbal mixes designed to cause miscarriage. There are potent prescription medicines, purchased illegally but easily found.
There are private clinics with willing, if expensive, doctors. And then, if absolutely necessary, there is someone around the corner in most Brazilian communities who will put the girl or woman up on a table and end her pregnancy.
"My first choice was a safe abortion, an abortion done in a special clinic," said Leiro, 38, a community activist and mother of two who was jobless when she became pregnant in September 2004.
"But I was in no condition to pay," she said. "And so I chose this other method, the one that's used the most. And I did it while terrified of dying."
Leiro lives in Salvador, the biggest city in the poorest region of Brazil, and a place thought to have one of the highest abortion rates in the country.
Though no official figures exist, a recent survey indicated that 1 in 5 women under age 20 in Salvador has had an abortion.
Internationally, Brazil's estimated national abortion rate puts it above the United States, which is in the middle of the pack, but below the world leaders in abortion, which are dominated by the countries of the former Soviet Union and their former allies in Eastern Europe.
The vast majority of Brazil's abortions are illegal, as they are almost everywhere in Latin America except Cuba.
Abortion-rights activists are trying to change that, with advertising campaigns, lobbying efforts and court challenges from Mexico City down to Santiago, Chile.
In an article in early November in the medical journal The Lancet, a group of public health experts and obstetricians estimates that worldwide about eight women die every hour from complications of unsafe abortion.
Abortion-rights activists argue that the laws fail to stop abortion: The United Nations estimates the number of abortions at 4 million a year across Latin America, despite some of the severest restrictions in the world.
The activists have had some success: In May, a top court in Colombia made abortion legal in cases of rape or other limited circumstances.
But abortion opponents also have scored victories.
Religious groups opposed to abortion, from traditional powers such as the Roman Catholic Church to growing forces such as Latin America's evangelical churches, wield considerable influence in Brazil and the rest of the region.
Even nations that have elected leftist politicians, such as Brazil and Bolivia, remain socially conservative. Abortion opponents say the strict laws reflect the wishes and the values of the people.
"The right to life is inviolable," said Geraldo Cardinal Majella Agnelo of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.
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John Carpenter directs Masters of Horror abortion-themed Pro-Life
The MASTERS OF HORROR series tackles the abortion issue in the upcoming "Pro-Life" episode directed by John Carpenter, set to premiere Nov. 24, 2006, at 10:00 pm and repeats through the following Tuesday on Showtime.
"Pro-Life, written by Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan, is about a near-accident on an isolated mountain road lands young Angelique (Caitlin Wachs) in a nearby women's health clinic. While her fervently anti-abortion father Dwayne (Ron Perlman) and his well-armed three sons attempt to "liberate" Angelique, she discovers that the only thing more dangerous than her would-be saviors is the demonic seed growing within her. Mark Feuerstein and Emmanuelle Vaugier also star.
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Feminists are 'Ms.'ing the point
, says NRO's KLo
Most well-informed Americans have had little indication since bra-burning days that old feminism's flagship magazine still existed. It does, unfortunately, and its most recent edition is quite a shameful display. The fall cover proclaims "We Had Abortions," as if it were a badge of honor -- as if anyone could believe such a thing.
If abortion really were so conducive to women's happiness and success, seems strange that we have groups and Web sites dedicated to post-abortion healing. We even have the occasional abortion clinic that gives women a time and place to mourn their lost children.
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Chile's Congress rejected a measure to partially legalize abortion with discussion
Lawmakers voted 61-21 not to discuss the measure, which Socialist Party house speaker Antonio Leal called unconstitutional "because our constitution guarantees the right to life."
He said a constitutional amendment, not a law, would be necessary to make abortion legal.
The bill would have permitted abortions when the mother's life was at risk, in cases of rape and until 12th week of pregnancy.
Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in Chile and those performing or receiving abortions can faces prison terms ranging from 3 to 5 years.
Authorities estimate that as many as 130,000 abortions are performed every year and 32,000 cases end up at hospitals due complications.
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The Alan Guttmacher Institute has released a new study regarding repeat abortions
in the United States..
A press release on the report can be found here
Hat tip: Jivin J
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Reject abortion as human right
, U.S. bishops warns Amnesty International
In a Nov. 20 press conference on Capital Hill, Deirdre A. McQuade, director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities Office of Planning and Information, joined with U.S. House Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, to warn the international rights organization to resist diverting it from "its central and urgent mission" and siding against "millions of voiceless human beings".
In 2005, Amnesty International began consulting its some 2 million worldwide members on whether it should drop change its position on abortion.
The rights organization's International Council authorized its International Executive Committee to set policy by the end of 2006 on the questions of "decriminalization of abortion, access to quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion, and legal, safe and accessible abortion in the cases of rape, sexual assault, incest and risk to a woman's life." Representatives from all local chapters presented their findings at the international meeting in Portugal this July. Amnesty International will make a final decision on this issue at its International Council Meeting in Mexico in 2007. Among those chapters, the human-rights group’s branches in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have voted in favor of including a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy in future campaigns. "The policy change is fundamentally incompatible with Amnesty International's own mission to advocate for human rights on behalf of all vulnerable populations," McQuade said, reiterating a position stated by the U.S. bishops' conference president in September.
"Amnesty has traditionally served as a courageous voice for voiceless and ignored populations. It should not now undermine its own mission by, in essence, siding against millions of voiceless human beings."
"The right to life itself is fundamental," she said. "It is the precondition of all other human rights, and its integrity depends on being acknowledged for every member of the human family regardless of race, age, gender, condition or stage of development."
The principle, she stressed, is not just Catholic in orientation, noting that others of diverse faith communities believe in that "insight of the natural law tradition of human rights." She pointed to noted rights activists who opposed abortion, including Indian Mahatma Gandhi, U.S. women's rights advocates Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, Catholic Worker Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
"We find it incomprehensible that these prophets of progress would now have to be seen as enemies of a 'basic' human right," McQuade said
"Endorsing abortion would deeply divide human rights advocates, jeopardize the collaboration between Amnesty and the Catholic bishops, and impair work for social justice both at home and overseas," McQuade said. "If Amnesty International were to assert abortion as a human right, it would inevitably create a rift with its Catholic members and alienate many other persons and organizations for whom the right to life is foundational in the struggle for justice."
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Melanie Mills on Hope Clinic's statutory rape case: When will the lies end?
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The abortion and a husband's perspective
I held Kim's hand when they started and didn't let go. She seemed to feel the pain through the three shots of anesthetic. But I knew that for her it was more of an emotional thing. So I let her squeeze the life from my hand, hoping that at least in some small part that she was comforted by my pressence. I tried to keep my eyes on Kim so that I wouldn't catch a glimpse of any fetus in a tube. I did glance over at one part to see one of the many hoses that dangled from the machine, filled with blood. It worried me that such a large tube could be so filled with Kim's blood with her still alive.
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Support for abortion should not entail the legalised killing of premature babies
A person is a person is a person. And disability is not, cannot be, a ground for preventing life. Abortion as a right and a practice is not a reason to avert every medically-inappropriate existence, yet that is what Nuffield proposes. Cease treatment, "withdraw", and the child dies: in Victorian language, it would count as "a kindness".
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Doctor ordered to pay child support for up to 18 years as compensation for botching a contraceptive implant
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Virginia high school bans pro-life t-shirts, fliers
Andrew Raker, a student at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Va., participated in a national pro-life event Oct. 24 called the "Day of Silent Solidarity" in which he distributed postcard-sized fliers with information about abortion, the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund said.
The next day, school officials pulled Raker from class and told him he could no longer distribute the materials because other students might object or consider them to be religious in nature.
ADF said Millbrook's principal, Joseph Swack, also threatened to force Raker to remove or cover his pro-life clothing if other students complained.
In addition, Swack deferred a decision on Raker's request to form a pro-life club, expressing doubt about its acceptability.
The Alliance Defense Fund responded with a letter to Swack contending the high school's refusal to allow a student to present pro-life speech violates the Constitution.
"Christian students cannot be treated as second-class citizens," said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. "Expressing a pro-life point of view, whether it is considered to be 'popular' or not, does not disqualify an individual from the right to free speech."
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President Enrique Bolanos of Nicaragua signed a bill Friday banning abortion in all cases - including when a woman's life is endangered
Previously, Nicaragua allowed abortions if three doctors certified that the woman's health was at risk. The law signed Friday eliminates that century-old exception.
The six-year prison term for performing illegal abortions remains unchanged under the new law.
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The Bush administration, to the consternation of its critics, has picked the medical director of an organization that opposes premarital sex, contraception and abortion to lead the office that oversees federally funded teen pregnancy, family planning and abstinence programs.
The appointment of Eric Keroack, a Marblehead, Mass. obstetrician and gynecologist, to oversee the federal Office of Population Affairs and its $283 million annual budget has angered family-planning advocates. More
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The quiet war on abortion
For years, the anti-abortion movement has pressed its case with noisy demonstrations that blocked clinics, with high-profile legislation that directly challenged the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and in some cases with violence, including the assassination of physicians. But 28 years after Roe, with public support of abortion rights running high, the movement has adopted what might be called a stealth strategy: to chip away at abortion rights, slowly and discreetly, with low-profile legislation and lawsuits that stop short of trying to outlaw the procedure.
The new tactic is to bombard providers with a barrage of costly rules. In addition to the civil-liability law, Louisiana has tried to slap abortion providers with extra-stringent building codes that regulate everything from the width of hallways in clinics to the angles and jet types for drinking fountains. Abortion opponents want to create small, expensive obstacles that cumulatively make it harder for clinics to offer services - or, in the words of one right-to-life leader, to create an environment "where abortion may indeed be perfectly legal, but no one can get one." Not only does the tactic have the benefit of generating little public attention, but it also allows anti-abortion activists to couch the issue in terms of a woman's welfare - for example, the right of a patient to sue her physician for unlimited sums.
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New Australian study reveal women over 30 more likely to have abortions than teens
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Police in Arkansas say a Granite City abortion clinic is part of a rape investigation involving a juvenile
. Jeffery Cheshier, 41, is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. Officers say he then forced the victim to have an abortion in Granite City.
Police in Bryant, Ark., say Cheshier began assaulting the juvenile last year. In October, he was arrested and charged with rape. The victim told police Cheshier had gotten her pregnant and forced her to have an abortion.
According to records obtained by Bryant police, the abortion was performed at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City.More
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alerts us on a pair of twin babies, one with DS, who need adoptive home
Bryce is three months old and has just left the hospital to stay with a temporary family until he has a permanent home. Bryce was born prematurely and has had some surgery to repair intestinal problems.... There is a possibility that he may need a heart surgery when he has gained enough weight and become strong enough to handle. The tubes you see in the picture are temporarily supplying oxygen to keep his levels up.
Bryce has a twin sister and the birth mother would like an open adoption. They live in Colorado.
The agency handling this adoption is Loving Hands. They are hoping to find an already-licensed family in Colorado. There will be fees involved, but I always encourage families who would like to adopt but are prevented by fees to ask their church for help. Also there is a tax credit of $10,630 for adoption expenses - not a deduction, but an actual credit against taxes you owe).
If you may be able to provide a home for Bryce, please contact Crystal Gerlock of Loving Hands at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Vatican cardinal deplores "cruelty" of euthanasia for newborns in the UK
Speaking with Italian reporters, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan noted that the position of the Church "is unchanged, life does not belong to man but to the Lord. The life of an innocent being cannot be taken either by direct or indirect means. Euthanasia is never permissible. This goes for the terminally ill and for children, including those born with serious problems."
According to Cardinal Lozano, "Ending the life of an innocent person, even if it is a premature baby who is gravely ill, is the equivalent of euthanasia, and this is an illicit action, as well as an act of cruelty."
He also stressed that the "Catholic Church does not impose, she proposes her doctrine," as the "dignity of the human person is based on the primordial principle that is human life and that we defend from beginning to end."
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Frozen embryos have no right to life
, Irish court ruled
Justice Brian McGovern said most agreed frozen embryos resulting from infertility treatment deserved special respect but ruled "the right to life of the unborn" in the Irish constitution did not extend to them.
"I have come to the conclusion that the three frozen embryos are not 'unborn'," the judge said in a landmark High Court ruling complicated by the fact that existing legislation does not define "unborn".
"There has been no evidence ... to establish that it was ever in the mind of the people voting on the Eight Amendment to the Constitution that 'unborn' meant anything other than a fetus or child within the womb," McGovern added.
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Democrats won't allow another Samuel Alito
Sen. Charles Schumer says the biggest mistake on the part of Senate Democrats was allowing the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito. He pledges it won't happen again now that his party has the majority.
"One more justice would have made it a 5-4 conservative, hard-right majority for a long time. That won't happen," the abortion advocate vowed.
Schumer told the New York Observer that, from now on, all of the judges Bush appoints must meet his requirements.
With the filibuster rule in the Senate and a larger number of senators who may oppose a nominee than before, it's more likely that Schumer and his pro-abortion allies can stop Republicans and moderate Democrats from banding together to approve judicial picks.
Manuel Miranda, who heads the Third Branch Conference, which promotes conservative judicial nominees, acknowledged the difficulty the president now faces on judges.
"The Bush presidency is over with regard to judges," he told Bloomberg News.
Schumer's interview expands on comments he made earlier in the week.
He vowed to block any nominee he feels is too extreme on abortion.
"We will do everything in our power to see that that happens," he told Newsday, saying filibusters should be expected. He added that Bush "will have to negotiate with us, because we'll have the majority."
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Abortion advocates are demanding laundry list of abortion measures from new Democrat Congress
Planned Parenthood Federation of America said victories by pro-abortion candidates in conservative states, along with South Dakota voters' rejection of an abortion ban, should lead Democrats to consider the push for increasingly easy abortion access to be a mainstream issue.
The organization is calling for more money to be devoted to promoting contraception use, demanding at the same time that sex education programs promoting abstinence, encouraged under the Bush administration, be scaled back
"I honesty believe there was no bigger winner in this election than Planned Parenthood Action Fund and women's health," said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
See LA Times coverage here
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A new poll finds Canadians are more open to limits on abortions than previously thought and reveals a larger percentage of Canadians want to protect unborn children in both the early and later stages of pregnancy. The poll also finds Canadians are becoming increasingly pro-life
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11/7: Day of disaster for pro-lifers?
The election news could not have appeared grimmer in the immediate aftermath. South Dakota's abortion ban went down. Parental notification lost in California and Oregon. Missourians approved the embryonic stem cell initiative. Kansans condoned child rape and illegal late-term abortions by ousting Attorney General Phil Kline.
Add to that the loss of the GOP Senate majority, which means for starters no more conservative judges, and the loss of the GOP House majority, which means for starters a promised bill within the first 100 hours of the new session to federally fund embryonic stem cell research, and, well ...
But as I reviewed and processed, I became angry.
While Democrats boldly promoted embryonic experimentation, decried parental notification, and argued that privacy ranked higher than rape, Republicans cowered. Missouri's Jim Talent wimped on human cloning. South Dakota's John Thune went silent on the abortion ban.
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Abortion happens to a child inside her mother's womb. With partial-birth abortion, however, the child is not on the inside of her mother when she's killed; she's mostly on the outside.
The baby is delivered feet first until only her little head remains in the birth canal. The doctor then takes a pair of curved Metzenbaum scissors, punctures the base of the child's skull, suctions out the brain tissue with a catheter, then completes the delivery of the baby's corpse.
Picture it. This is not an abortion. The living baby hangs helplessly before our eyes, no interpretation required. No room for weak euphemisms here. This is infanticide with the baby's head covered. That the Supreme Court must consider the legitimacy of a federal law forbidding this barbarism marks the velocity of our moral descent.
Justice Ginsburg, apparently, can't picture it. To her eyes, abortion is imperiled, not a child. "Anything about infanticide, babies, all that, is just beside the point," she said during the hearings, "because what this bans is a method of abortion."
Ginsburg understands what is at stake. If this ban is supported, then late - term abortion rights seem much less credible. Dismembering a living child inside her mother's womb (D&E abortion) seems just as bad as suctioning a baby's brains when she's mostly outside her mother's womb (D&X "partial-birth" abortion).
However, if Ginsburg gets her way and the ban is struck down, then outright infanticide will not be difficult to defend. Since the baby is just one contraction away from full birth, why not give a final push, completely deliver the child, and then take her life? Call it a "post-natal abortion" if you like - arguably the safest procedure yet.
To the morally sensitive, no argument is necessary beyond a clear description of this procedure. To the morally velocitized, though, no argument is adequate. They are content with the thinnest rationalizations to condone this brutality done in the name of "choice."
One woman told a radio interviewer she preferred partial-birth abortion because the baby was delivered whole and not chopped up into pieces. It gave her the opportunity to say goodbye. Goodbye? Others said they held their babies and sang to them after their partial-birth abortions.
Another said it's the most "humane" way for the child itself.
Hmm. Does this
looks "humane" to you?
(Warning: Graphic contents
Alexa swing by at 4:39 PM
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Parental Consent, Ultrasound laws take effect in Oklahoma
Last week, the Oklahoma Board of Health approved the consent form parents must use to allow a teenager to have an abortion. Abortion practitioners are required to keep the forms on hand for five years to prove they obtained the required consent.
Sen. Don Barrington, a Republican from Lawton who authored the bill, told the Tulsa World newspaper the law is necessary to help parents direct their children to make better decisions than abortion.
"I believe that our minor children are the responsibility of their parents until such time as they become adults," Barrington said. "It should be a decision that the parents should be aware of."
The legislation he sponsored also includes a provision allowing a mother to view an ultrasound before the abortion.
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Issues surrounding abortion not just politics, impact real life
Chris and Jane knew each other for about five months, and due to nothing but their own carelessness, Jane, still in high school, became pregnant. Chris was in his first year of college so they decided Jane would have an abortion. Since that day Jane and Chris have never spoken to each other because neither one can bare to think that they killed what they conceived.
Chris still has nightmares. He has a tattoo so that he will never forget what he did to his unborn baby. His grades slipped, Chris started to drink, and eventually his life just became a barren drab existence.
Jane on the other hand was even worse. She turned to drugs and alcohol. She quickly spiraled down into a shell of her old self and eventually felt that life wasn't worth living. She tried to commit suicide and had to be placed in a mental institution. From what I've been told, Jane is still struggling every day with the personal effects of her decisions.
Alexa swing by at 3:21 AM
Child, the current of your breath is six days long.
You lie, a small knuckle on my white bed;
lie, fisted like a snail, so small and strong
at my breast. Your lips are animals; you are fed
with love. At first hunger is not wrong.
The nurses nod their caps; you are shepherded
down starch halls with the other unnested throng
in wheeling baskets. You tip like a cup; your head
moving to my touch. You sense the way we belong.
But this is an institution bed.
You will not know me very long.
The doctors are enamel. They want to know
the facts. They guess about the man who left me,
some pendulum soul, going the way men go
and leave you full of child. But our case history
stays blank. All I did was let you grow.
Now we are here for all the ward to see.
They thought I was strange, although
I never spoke a word. I burst empty of you,
letting you see how the air is so.
The doctors chart the riddle they ask of me
and I turn my head away. I do not know.
Yours is the only face I recognize.
Bone at my bone, you drink my answers in.
Six times a day I prize
your need, the animals of your lips, your skin
growing warm and plump. I see your eyes
lifting their tents. They are blue stones, they begin
to outgrow their moss. You blink in surprise
and I wonder what you can see, my funny kin,
as you trouble my silence. I am a shelter of lies.
Should I learn to speak again, or hopeless in
such sanity will I touch some face I recognize?
Down the hall the baskets start back. My arms
fit you like a sleeve, they hold
catkins of your willows, the wild bee farms
of your nerves, each muscle and fold
of your first days. Your old man's face disarms
the nurses. But the doctors return to scold
me. I speak. It is you my silence harms.
I should have known; I should have told
them something to write down. My voice alarms
my throat. "Name of father-none." I hold
you and name you bastard in my arms.
And now that's that. There is nothing more
that I can say or lose.
Others have traded life before
and could not speak. I tighten to refuse
your owling eyes, my fragile visitor.
I touch your cheeks, like flowers. You bruise
against me. We unlearn. I am a shore
rocking off you. You break from me. I choose
your only way, my small inheritor
and hand you off, trembling the selves we lose.
Go child, who is my sin and nothing more.
- Anne Sexton, "Unknown girl in a maternity ward"
Alexa swing by at 1:54 PM
Japanese hospital sets up "hatch" for unwanted babies
Jikei Hospital in southern Japan said it plans to install what it is calling a "stork's cradle," consisting of a flap in an outside wall which opens on to a small incubated bed.
An alarm bell would ring within minutes after a baby was deposited so hospital staff could come and care for the infant.
"By installing the hatch, we want to rescue both parents and babies," said a hospital official. "Maybe there are some people who are suspicious about it, but we should not pretend not to see them and let them die. Babies are innocent."
Alexa swing by at 1:43 AM
Alexa swing by at 1:17 AM
Baby's 'angelic' face haunts former abortion nurse
Brenda Pratt Shafer witnessed a partial-birth abortion. It was an experience she would rather forget, but cannot.
A registered nurse, Shafer in 1993 worked for three days in an abortion clinic in Dayton, Ohio, under abortion doctor Martin Haskell, who popularized the procedure.
On her third day in the clinic Shafer said she witnessed three partial-birth abortions -- the first on a young mother with a Down syndrome baby, the latter two on healthy mothers with healthy babies.
She described in detail the procedure on the Down syndrome baby, which she said was six months (26 and a half weeks) along. The procedure startled both her and the mother.
"Dr. Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby," Shafer testified. "On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating. As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, the baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen.
"Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms -- everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus.
"The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall."
The abortion was nearly complete.
"The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out," Shafer said. "Now the baby was completely limp. I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched the doctor do these things.
"... Dr. Haskell delivered the baby's head. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw that baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he'd used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just 'reflexes.'"
Shafer said she had been a nurse more than 10 years and had witnessed many graphic procedures, but described this as the most shocking.
"I have been a nurse for a long time and I have seen a lot of death -- people maimed in auto accidents, gunshot wounds, you name it. I have seen surgical procedures of every sort. But in all my professional years, I had never witnessed anything like this.
"The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed the baby to her. She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, please forgive me!' I was crying too. I couldn't take it. That baby boy had the most perfect angelic face I have ever seen."
Shafer concluded her testimony by noting the baby was "only inches, seconds away from being entirely born, when he was killed."
"What I saw done to that little boy, and to those other babies, should not be allowed in this country."
Here is a full transcript of Brenda Pratt Shafer's testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on the Constitution from March 21, 1996
Alexa swing by at 1:36 PM
Alexa swing by at 1:19 PM
Fr. Frank: Half-fetus, Half-child
In one of his few remarks during the two hours of arguments in the Supreme Court today about partial-birth abortion, Justice Scalia responded to Justice Stevens' assertion that we should say "fetus" rather than child.. Justice Scalia said, "half-fetus, half-child."
The point was clear. This is not simply about abortion. This is a hijacking of the delivery process for the purpose of killing the child. This is infanticide. I don't know why Justice Scalia was otherwise so quiet, and Justice Alito completely silent during the arguments, but I know one reason I would be. The barbarity of partial-birth abortion is so self-evidently wrong that it is beyond dispute, beyond discussion, that it should not be legal in our country - or anywhere else, for that matter. Silence in this matter speaks volumes.
In the course of the two hours of oral arguments, the Court considered three key reasons why abortion advocates want the Court to strike down the Federal ban on partial-birth abortion: a) the ban lacks a health exception; b) the ban is too broad, that is, by its wording it actually bans most if not all second and third trimester D&E (dismemberment) abortions rather than just partial-birth abortion, and c) the ban is vague, and because the language is not clear and specific enough, doctors won't know if it really applies to them.
Having listened carefully to the oral arguments and having read all the briefs, I don't think the abortion advocates made their case, and I don't think a majority of the Justices think they did either.
One of the most important admissions made in the arguments by the pro-abortion side was that we really have no measurements about what kind of a health need is met by partial-birth abortion. Their key argument, after all, is that the procedure must be allowed for the sake of women's health. They admitted that the Court could ban this procedure if its health advantages were minimal rather than significant, yet they could not establish, by statistical measurement, the assertion that the health advantages of partial-birth abortion are significant.
In regard to safety, one of the key questions from Chief Justice Roberts was that if, as the abortionists claim, partial-birth abortion is safer because it requires fewer insertions of instruments into the woman's body, why would it not then also follow that the safest method is live birth altogether, with the killing of the child outside the womb? The pro-abortion side did not have an answer to that specific question, which proves the point that Congress and the Bush Administration make, namely, that this procedure must be banned so that society has a clear barrier against infanticide.
Isn't it just amazing that in our highest court in this great nation, this debate occurred today about the legality of "dismemberment" and "pulling the arms and legs off" a child. In the end, it's not a matter of which version of killing should be used. It's a matter of stopping the killing altogether.
Alexa swing by at 3:59 AM
Alexa swing by at 3:52 AM
Judie Brown: It's the babies, stupid
I had to ask myself, why did we lose in South Dakota? But that question provoked a second question. What might have happened if American Life League had been joined in South Dakota by the other major pro-life groups, most notably the National Right to Life Committee? Could our collective efforts, in support of pro-lifers in that state, have delivered a victory? We will never know.
But one thing we do know is this: America wants abortion. America wants to continue its affair with sexual freedom. America wants, even in the heartland, to pretend that killing a baby in the womb is not really an act of murder; it is simply and only a "choice" that one must make when the "accident" occurs after a sexual encounter with someone of the opposite sex. If that sounds a bit offensive to you, you'd better take a hard look at these election results and ponder what they mean. South Dakota is not the liberal West Coast nor is the ultra-liberal East Coast. It is part of America's heartland.
As far as I can tell, the people of that state approve of virtually unrestricted abortion on demand. As sad as that might be for some of us to accept, it is a truth we might be able to turn into a teaching moment.
Did we really lose in South Dakota? Or did we win the ability to examine a crucial question that far too many of us in the pro-life movement are afraid to ask?
The question is this: will the average American ever see the preborn child as a fellow human being if he or she is conceived as a result of an act whose only purpose is sexual gratification?
Alexa swing by at 3:12 AM
Appeals court upheld conviction
of a mother charged with arranging an abortion for her teenage daughter in an attempt to hide evidence she had been raped by the girl's stepfather..
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on Gonzales v. Carhart
Alexa swing by at 2:30 PM
Indonesia's top Islamic authority allows abortion for rape victims
"In rape cases, pregnancy is forced on the victims. It is not a planned or wanted pregnancy," Ma'aruf Amin told AFP.
But he added that the recently issued fatwa also mentioned that abortion was only permitted if the foetus was not yet 40 days old.
"At the age of 40 days after pregnancy, the foetus already has a soul... so that to prevent the taking of life the abortion should be conducted before the 40th day of pregnancy," Amin said.
He said that abortion was also allowed if the situation threatened the life of the mother.
Indonesian state law allows abortions only on medical grounds, if the mother is threatened or the baby could be born with a serious handicap. It also allows for abortion if the pregnancy could lead to mental disorder, such as in cases of incest or rape.
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Alexa swing by at 11:53 AM
The oral arguments in the partial-birth abortion case, Gonzales v. Carhart, as reported by AP
v. the actual arguments
Hat tip: JivinJ
Alexa swing by at 11:50 AM
South Dakota voters rejects abortion ban
See also: Operation Outcry disappointed by South Dakota vote
"Abortion harms women and families. It's destructive to the culture," said Caron Strong, the National Director of Operation Outcry.
"As women who have been hurt by abortion, we are disappointed that the voters of South Dakota were misled by the rhetoric involving the rape and incest provision in the law and failed to support the South Dakota’s ban on abortion," Strong said.
"We know from our own abortion experience that women need help in vulnerable pregnancies, not the empty promise of a quick fix that ultimately brings deep grief and suffering, as well as detrimental physical effects," Strong said.
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A woman talked about how she killed her baby on Oprah
There's a video from the show here
Hat tip: Generations for Life
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Alexa swing by at 12:56 AM
California Planned Parenthood run false ad on Prop 85
The new ad, titled "Bubble", claims the notification measure provides no options for teenagers who come from abusive home situations and want to have an abortion without their parents' knowledge.
"Bubble" is airing statewide as voters head to the polls. It was financed with $3.7 million from the abortion business, the ACLU, the California Teachers Association, and Alternative Energy Prop 87.
In the ad, an unseen man in a whispery, confidential voice claims "Prop 85 would force girls to notify an abusive or violent parent that they are pregnant and this puts them in real danger."
You can view the ad here
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Alexa swing by at 3:15 AM
Seinfeld actor Patrick Warburton endorsed Prop 85
"A California law currently allows someone other than a parent to take a child, a girl as young as 12 years of age, to go and get an abortion without the parents knowing anything about this," Warburton explained in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.
"This means that your neighbor, a teacher, an older boyfriend, a sexual predator -- can legally take your 12-year-old daughter to go and get an abortion, a secret confidential abortion," he added.
Warburton said that notion scares him and he worries about how the state of California denies him the right to protect his daughters and prevent them from having secret abortions to cover up instances of sexual abuse.
"I can tell you, as a father who loves his daughter more than anything in the world, I will vote YES on 85 come Tuesday, November 7th," he concluded. "I hope you do too."
Alexa swing by at 3:09 AM
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Fr. Frank tells us why he's voting pro-life
I'm motivated because voting is part of what I need to do to fulfill my life's dream -- a dream shared by many others -- that abortion, the biggest holocaust the human family has ever known, will cease.This
Some, even in the Church, don't seem to get the fact that there's no problem in society bigger than abortion. But then again, when it's constantly celebrated by many others as a Constitutional right, and when we don't read the descriptions or see the pictures, it's easy for abortion's horror to escape us.
I'm motivated to vote, not because one election will end abortion, and certainly not because I expect our elected officials to be perfect or to do my work for me. The People of God have to do the work of ending abortion -- providing alternatives, educating minds, changing hearts, changing laws.
But part of that work is electing the people who will pose the least obstacle to that mission. We don't elect people to do our work for us, but rather people who will let us do our own work. So often it's a choice between those who will do the least damage, or permit the fewer numbers of abortions.
It may be a choice between those willing to permit all abortions or those willing at least to draw some lines at where it should stop. I'd rather have the line-drawers, because when it comes time for the lines to become laws, at least they won't stand in the way. I don't look for the perfect candidate, but when I have a choice between a mess and a messier mess, I choose the mess.
Alexa swing by at 12:56 PM
Doctors urge 'active euthanasia' for disabled babies
; promoted as a way to end late abortions
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology has put forward the option of permitting mercy killings of the sickest infants to a review of medical ethics.
It says "active euthanasia" should be considered for the overall benefit of families who would otherwise suffer years of emotional and financial suffering.
Deliberate action to end infants' lives may also reduce the number of late abortions, since it would allow women the chance to decide whether their disabled child should live.
"A very disabled child can mean a disabled family. If life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision-making," the college writes in a submission to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
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Hmm. This is how dangerous
Prop 85 is...
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Alexa swing by at 11:31 PM
Tiller wants O'Reilly probed over abortion documents
Tiller said he will ask the Kansas Supreme Court on Monday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and take possession of the records of 90 patients from two clinics.O'Reilly segment, Part OneO'Reilly segment, Part Two
Alexa swing by at 11:22 PM
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that the medical records produced from two Kansas abortion clinics indicate late-term abortions that were done for reasons that Kansas law doesn't allow
According to state law, post-viability abortions are allowed only if the abortion is needed to save the woman's life, or the pregnancy would cause "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
But Kline told O'Reilly the medical records for the 90 abortion cases now under review don't indicate that those exceptions were followed.
O'Reilly reported an "inside source" who provided documentation to Fox showing many late abortions done by Wichita, Kan., abortionist George Tiller and another abortion business were done because of "depression." More
Alexa swing by at 2:10 AM
"I love you whoever you would've been"
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Is a rape exception for abortion consistent with a pro-life position?
If we can accept that the unborn child is in fact a human life, with unique DNA from the moment of conception and a beating heart by about 22 days, and acknowledging that the child is genetically half of the woman--and just as much her child as if the child had been conceived in wedded bliss--and not simply one of her body parts she can discard at will, then does it make sense to punish the unborn child for crime committed by its father? [..]
If you look at the ultrasound of a child conceived in rape and the ultrasound of a child conceived in a consensual sex act, you will see no difference whatsoever.
If you examine the DNA of a child conceived in rape and the DNA of a child conceived in a consensual sex act, you will find no genetic markers that tell you whether their conception was forced or consensual.
If you look at a 5-year-old child conceived of rape and a 5-year-old child conceived in a consensual sex act, you will be unable to identify the one conceived in rape.
A child conceived through rape has unique DNA from conception, a beating heart at 22 days, and is genetically part of the mother.
So I ask you: if an unborn child is a human life, does an abortion exception for rape make sense? Does the child conceived during a rape deserve life less than any other child?
Alexa swing by at 1:43 PM
Bush administration awarded over $12 million
in contracts to stem cell banks that store umbilical cord blood to obtain adult stem cells for research..
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Catholic diocese in Arizona takes on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation over abortion
The Phoenix diocese is asking parishioners to tell Komen to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood. Komen and some of its affiliates across the nation have contributed tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood.
Alexa swing by at 4:05 AM
Sandra Cano (Doe v. Bolton) and 180 women hurt by abortion speak about partial-birth abortion
Alexa swing by at 3:29 AM
An abortion gone bad opens up an unseemly world of low-end medicine
When Tammy met Bill, she was a freshman at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, a pretty girl of medium height with long black eyelashes and pearly white teeth. He was a handsome senior who played basketball. The pair began dating, and a couple of years later, son Robert was born. When Tammy turned nineteen, they got hitched and talked about raising a large family, unaware that a man posing as a doctor would single-handedly cripple that dream.
The newlyweds, whose names have been changed to protect their privacy, rented a modest apartment in Hollywood and settled into family life. "There were definitely some hard times, but we were happy," recalls Tammy, her almond-shape brown eyes glistening. Eight years later, the trio celebrated the arrival of five-pound two-ounce Tanyiah.
At the mention of her daughter, the young mother's face lights up. "She's a fairy princess," she says, beaming a megawatt smile. "That's what her name means."
Then age 27, Tammy spent several months caring for the two kids and working full-time as a supervisor at a Fort Lauderdale Airport gift shop. On Saturday, October 9, 2004, she took a pregnancy test, and two purple lines appeared. She was shocked to learn she was expecting again so soon. Fearful another child would prove too stressful, she convinced a reluctant Bill they should terminate the pregnancy.
"It was not an easy choice to make, but my daughter was only a few months old," she says softly, batting back emotion. "I wouldn't have been able to cope."
Four days later, shortly before 9:00 a.m., Tammy pulled her blue 1997 Mercury Sable into the parking lot at 6161 Miramar Pkwy. It was an abortion clinic - A Gyn of Miramar - she had found in the yellow pages. She walked toward the pale-color building; entered the small, stark waiting room; and approached the taller of two women. Twenty-eight-year-old Miami resident Joselin Collado asked Tammy to sign some consent forms and pay.
So Tammy handed over $225 in cash, which Collado shoved into her pocket. The price for abortions at A Gyn, Tammy knew, ranged from $225 to $1100 for up to 22 weeks gestation. (Twenty-four weeks is the legal limit for most abortions in Florida, and Tammy was approximately seven weeks along.) Collado then escorted her to a room in the rear of the facility for an ultrasound. "I was pregnant with twins," Tammy shrieks, "and when I realized I was having two babies, I knew I was doing the right thing. One would have been hard enough, but two?"
Tammy would endure two procedures at the clinic. The night following the second one (two weeks after the first), she was in so much pain she could barely stand. "I was so scared," she says. "I just knew something was really wrong, and I started to think that maybe this was my punishment from God." She staggered into the bathroom. "I was leaning over the sink, holding onto the front with both hands, when I heard my husband say, 'Oh my God.'"
In a matter of seconds, her knee-length shorts had turned from a pale khaki color to fire-engine red. Glancing down, she watched in terrified silence as a steady stream of blood dripped from her vagina, down her bare calves, and onto the tile floor.
It would later turn out that her abortion at A Gyn was badly botched twice. The doctor who had performed the procedures had no license. One of the nurses, Collado, was actually a dental assistant. The other, Miami Beach resident Adieren Rojas, had been hired as a janitor.
Indeed Tammy is not the only woman to tell of intrigue and incompetence at two Miami-Dade and Broward County abortion clinics linked to three people: Frantz Bazile, Belkis Gonzalez, and Siomara Senises. In December 2004, police raided and closed the facility where Tammy's abortion was performed; Senises was the president and Gonzalez the vice president. Another clinic in Hialeah linked to the two women and Bazile was also shut down this past July after an eighteen-year-old gave birth to what police say was a live 23-week-old fetus. Officers allege the fetus was then killed and stashed on the roof. A third clinic, overseen by Senises, continues to function and bustles with patrons.
While recent public debate has centered on the question of whether abortion should be banned by the U.S. Supreme Court, less has been said of the potential dangers that low-income or uninsured women like Tammy face at centers such as A Gyn. "I hope no other women have to go through what I did," she says. "I had a terrible experience. I just want to put it behind me already."
Relatively little is known about 40-year-old Gonzalez and 42-year-old Senises, the two women who founded the A Gyn clinics. Gregory Iamunno and Regina DeMoraes-Millan, lawyers for Gonzalez and Senises respectively, declined to comment. Public records offer no more information than the dates the women incorporated the facilities.
But numerous documents pertaining to a pair of physicians linked to them - Bazile and 46-year-old Robelto Osborne, whom Tammy contends botched her abortion - offer insight into the facilities and the people who apparently worked there. (Bazile claims he isn't connected to the clinics, though his name appears on at least three public records related to the facilities.)
Police reports, malpractice suits, and information gleaned from various other public records reveal Bazile and Osborne's checkered professional histories. Among the highlights: In 1991, Bazile was placed on three years' professional probation in Illinois for botching an abortion in 1987. And in the wake of a series of malpractice suits, Osborne's license was revoked for his failing to recognize a severely perforated uterus and perform necessary preoperative procedures. Bazile declined to comment about his past. Several calls to Osborne's home went unanswered.
Fifty-nine-year-old Bazile, who hails from Haiti, lives in a 3700-square-foot Miramar home and has a practice at 6464 N. Miami Ave. in Little Haiti. He began his medical career 37 years ago in Europe at the University of Brussels. After graduating with a medical degree in June 1976, he relocated to the United States and accepted a position in Illinois as a resident surgeon at Chicago's Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the Florida Department of Health Website. In July 1979 he began specializing in obstetrics and gynecology and completed his residency three years later. (A Mount Sinai spokesperson recently was not able to confirm Bazile worked there. No current staff member has been at the facility long enough to remember him.)
Details of his professional life from that point on are sparse until September 1987, when he attempted a late-second-trimester abortion on a seventeen-year-old at Chicago's Paulina Surgi-Center, Inc. Illinois Department of Professional Regulation records indicate he "failed to perform an ultrasound" on the girl and "failed to accurately assess [her] gestational age and physical condition prior to attempting to perform [the] procedure."
He began the procedure by removing "spongy material" from the teenager's uterus, failing to recognize it was "mature placenta tissue," the records show. She hemorrhaged, and during his attempts to stop the bleeding, Bazile lacerated both the young woman's cervix and vagina. The patient was eventually transferred by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where doctors performed an emergency blood transfusion and a cesarean section. Her baby was born alive but later died. Shortly thereafter, the clinic where the incident took place was sold. (The current owners claim they never met Bazile.)
Three years after the incident, Illinois's chief of medical prosecutions determined Bazile's conduct was "unprofessional" and he was "likely to harm the public." He recommended Bazile's "physician and surgeon license be either suspended, revoked, or otherwise disciplined." The doctor denied any wrongdoing, but authorities placed him on three years' professional probation.
By that time, Bazile had already relocated to South Florida and founded a company named the Frantz Bazile M.D. Service Corporation in Little Haiti. And he was the defendant in another complaint. Details of the case, which was filed in 1990 in Miami-Dade County, are sketchy - the file has since been destroyed. But attorney Barry M. Snyder says his client, Gwendolyn Bolton, was a patient at the Hialeah Ladies Medical Center. He claims Bazile misdiagnosed Bolton's appendicitis. But Bazile contested the facts, and in 1992 the suit was dismissed. "No negligence was found on the part of Dr. Bazile," Synder recalls.
That same year Bazile fathered a child by a woman named Claudine Sada. (A few years after the birth, the mother filed a paternity suit, and a judge ordered Bazile to pay child support.) The details of when or where Bazile met Belkis Gonzalez and Siomara Senises are unclear, but in May 1994 the trio incorporated an abortion clinic titled A Gyn Diagnostic Center at 3671 W. Sixteenth Ave. in Hialeah. (Gonzalez and Bazile listed the same Pembroke Pines residential address on Florida Division of Corporations paperwork.)
Within twelve months, Bazile was once again under legal scrutiny, according to Judson L. Cohen, a Miami personal injury attorney. The lawyer, who represented a father and his seventeen-year-old daughter, sued Bazile, claiming he aborted the girl's fetus without parental consent at a Miami clinic. The case was dismissed. The lawyer does not recall whether Bazile paid a settlement, and the court records have been destroyed.
In April 1996, Gonzalez, Senises, and Bazile founded a second A Gyn clinic in Miramar, according to Broward County tax records. It was the same place where Tammy's abortion would later be botched. Though Bazile's name did not appear on incorporation papers, he signed the lease, and the facility's occupational license was listed in his name.
How and when the partners met or hired 46-year-old Robelto Osborne to perform abortions at the Miramar center is also unclear, but his medical past is anything but.
Media reports state that in 1996, Osborne, a five-foot eight-inch, 190-pound Trinidadian, botched an abortion on an eighteen-year-old at an unnamed Hialeah clinic. As a result, the teenager was forced to seek treatment at Baptist Hospital, where doctors repaired damage to her small intestine.
Since then, Osborne has been sued in Miami-Dade for malpractice at least five times.
State records reveal that in January 2000 he performed an abortion on a 41-year-old at a Miami Lakes clinic. Following the procedure, the patient (whose name New Times is not revealing to protect her privacy) complained of severe pain and bleeding. Osborne gave her a shot in the leg to help the bleeding subside. She later made several phone calls to the doctor, and he failed to respond, the records show. The woman subsequently hemorrhaged and ended up in a local emergency room, where doctors discovered parts of a fetus still in her uterus and gave her a hysterectomy.
In August 2004, the state revoked Osborne's license. Media reports show he was fined almost $7000 for failing to perform necessary preoperative procedures on his patients and for not treating a severe uterine perforation. He also failed to return calls to his emergency line, and left fetal remains inside patients. Osborne did not dispute the state's action, records show.
Following an anonymous tip three months later, police began investigating Osborne's involvement at the clinic where Tammy's abortion was botched. In December of that year, they raided the facility and issued a warrant for Osborne's arrest. Patients had identified him from a photo lineup as the man who terminated their pregnancies. Five of the women he treated alleged they ended up in the emergency room.
Senises, the clinic's president, denied any knowledge of unlicensed activity. Neither she, Gonzalez, nor Bazile were subjects of the investigation. Nor were they charged with a crime. But Osborne turned himself in to police three days before Christmas 2004 and pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license. In May 2005 he bought a five-bedroom, three-bathroom house valued at $680,000 in the Country Club of Miami. Four months later, a Broward County judge sentenced him to three years' probation.
Even after Osborne's sentencing, almost seventeen miles away at the West Hialeah clinic, it was business as usual. But then, this past July, an anonymous caller phoned Hialeah Police with a disturbingly gruesome story.
Sometime during the afternoon of July 19, an eighteen-year-old Pompano Beach woman arrived at a strip mall on West Sixteenth Avenue and 36th Street in Hialeah. She was an estimated 23 weeks pregnant and accompanied by her boyfriend.
The reason she had come so far for an abortion (her third, according to police) is unclear. She asked that her name not be used and then declined to speak with New Times. But when the young woman stood in front of A Gyn Clinic that day, she likely felt somewhat apprehensive, perhaps even nervous. From north to south, the single-story edifice features a Latin American café, a karate/ballet school, a paintball store, the gynecology center, and a flower shop. Fourteen parking spaces separate the building from the busy four-lane road in front. Across the street is a construction site littered with rubble and trash and surrounded by a barbed wire fence. To the south is a large industrial park.
Below the building's overhang, six-inch black numerals identify the clinic's address, 3671, and pink lettering centered on its heavily barred window spells out the word ginecología. Affixed to the dirty glass double doors are two rusty lock boxes and a series of credit card stickers. Inside, the small reception area is painted off-white. Aside from a sign above the desk that reads "No Checks Accepted," the walls are bare.
When the eighteen-year-old walked in that Wednesday afternoon, she would have signed some forms and then handed over at least $1100 - the minimum A Gyn charges for a late-second-trimester termination.
Next, one of the three workers administered an ultrasound and medication designed to begin dilation of the cervix. The young woman was then told to return to the facility the following morning to complete the procedure. During the hours that followed, the medication likely set to work, expanding her cervix enough for doctors the next day to extract the five-and-a-half-month-old fetus, either in its entirety or in parts, with forceps.
But when the pregnant teen showed up shortly after 9:30 Thursday morning, she complained of excruciating abdominal pain. The doctor had yet to arrive, so one of the workers led the ailing patient to a recovery room and, motioning to a pink recliner, told her to sit and wait, the cops say. She remained there for five hours. Around 2:30 p.m., with still no sign of a doctor, she gave birth to a girl in the recovery room. Police contend at least one clinic worker was present.
"The baby was born alive; it was attempting to breathe," says Hialeah Police Deputy Chief Mark Overton, adding that at least one witness, whom he declined to name, confirmed this version of events.
A search warrant issued by Judge Roberto Pineiro (filed with the Clerk of Courts six days after the incident) reveals more about the young woman's experience at A Gyn. "[She] observed the baby moving and gasping for air for approximately five minutes," the document relays. "The staff began screaming that the baby was alive, at which time Ms. Belkis Gonzalez cut the umbilical cord."
Gonzalez dumped the cord into a red biohazard bag filled with chloride, the warrant states, and "then swept the baby with her hands into the same red bag along with the gauze used during the procedure."
The bag was then allegedly thrown in the trash. Gonzalez's attorney, Gregory Iamunno, declined to comment about the incident.
Shortly before 7:00 that evening, an anonymous female called authorities from a pay phone located near the facility and stated a baby had been born alive and then killed at the Hialeah clinic. By the time detectives arrived, the facility was closed. But the following morning, the unidentified caller gave police the patient's information. Shortly before midnight, they tracked down the young woman, and she corroborated the allegations. So at 6:00 Saturday morning, Hialeah Police executed a search warrant.
"We found thirteen or fourteen biohazard bags filled with the remains of kids, but nothing to suggest a 20- to 26-week-old infant body was in the clinic," Overton confesses. Slightly leaning forward over the long wooden desk in his Hialeah office, the veteran officer shakes his head with disdain: "We did a very thorough search, and that body was definitely not there."
Eight days after the alleged incident, authorities received another anonymous tip. The source said the baby's body had been tossed on the roof while the police searched the facility but had since been placed back inside the West Hialeah clinic. Police obtained a second search warrant and raided the facility again. Sure enough, they discovered a badly decomposed female fetus in a biohazard bag, shoved in a nondescript box on the floor - one they had previously searched.
By state law, fetal remains must be disposed of according to strict sanitary guidelines. Clinic workers might have been expecting a pick-up service to collect the body, which would explain why it was returned indoors.
"I have never seen anything like this in all my years," Overton laments, eyes flashing with sorrow and rage. "That body was so badly decomposed you could tell it wasn't kept in a cool place ... but it was a baby, not a fetus," he says, adding that the corpse measured approximately twelve inches and weighed between two and three pounds.
Indeed Florida law states a fetus becomes a viable baby at 24 weeks of gestation. According to a fetal weight chart published on www.babycenter.com, the average gestation of a twelve-inch fetus is between 24 and 25 weeks. The average for a baby weighing two pounds is 27 weeks.
According to Overton, this case is about rights. "This isn't about a botched abortion; there never was an abortion, and the mother is not the victim ... she was very nonchalant about it," he asserts in a tone that echoes revulsion. "The victim is the baby, and whether that baby had an hour or eight hours' worth of life, she had a right to that," he says, pounding his index finger on the desk. "Palmetto General Hospital is only five minutes away.
"It is our opinion that this is a homicide, an unlawful killing of a human being."
A Gyn in West Hialeah voluntarily surrendered its license to the state July 31. It has been closed ever since. But a third A Gyn clinic, overseen by Senises, is still in operation. That facility continues to attract patients - and plenty of them.
Less than four miles from the now-shuttered West Hialeah clinic is A Gyn Diagnostic Center #3, which Senises opened this past May. And despite the controversy surrounding its sister facility, on recent mornings it was bustling with patrons.
Some of those who journeyed to the dilapidated building located at 267 E. 49th St. arrived with supporters. Others, like nineteen-year-old Maria - who asked New Times not print her real name - made the trek alone.
The slender, young, doe-eyed woman, whose mother and father hail from the Dominican Republic and Panama respectively, pulled off the busy street shortly after 9:30 a.m. in her mom's silver Chevy. She was moving too quickly to notice that the tattered green awning affixed to the front of the clinic seemed to be hanging on by a solitary nail or that exposed electrical wires poked out from underneath it.
She turned into one of the handful of spaces adjacent to the building - barely glancing at the multiple trash bags, used coffee cups, and discarded equipment piled at the facility's back door - and parked.
She was late.
"I told him I would meet him here at 9:15," she said nervously, referring to the man whose eight-week-old fetus she was carrying in her womb.
After hastily checking her reflection in the rear-view mirror and dousing her full pink lips with a coat of gloss, she swung open the driver's door and gracefully hopped out. Her blue shorts, tight pink T-shirt, and pale pink flip-flops gave no hint of her pregnancy. And though her flawless mocha skin glistened under the morning sun, the frown line etched into her small forehead suggested she was anxious.
After glancing at her cell phone several times in only one minute, she raised a perfectly French-manicured hand to her forehead and gazed into the distance, silently willing her boyfriend, Javier (also not a real name), to drive into view. The two met in a convenience store this past June, she explained. He is a 31-year-old married Puerto Rican father of three. She is a recent high school graduate who lives with her parents. "He is just such a gentleman, you know, not like most of the idiots my age," Maria professed in heavily accented English, her huge brown eyes glistening with adoration. "I never meet anyone like him."
Javier, who works in construction, took her out to dinner, and soon they began sleeping together. The first time was in his Ford pickup truck. Later they met at friends' houses and motels. Admitting they were not as careful as they could have been, she rubbed her flat stomach: "This was an accident, and my parents will kill me if they find out. But you know how cute this baby would be?"
Javier, she added, said she must get rid of the child or he would never see her again.
Over the next hour, Maria made several calls to Javier's number. None was answered. Growing more distressed, she sat in the parked Chevy awaiting the man, whom she said had agreed to pay for the abortion. In the meantime, several women ranging from teenagers to a dark-haired lady in her early thirties traipsed up the concrete steps into the clinic. Some looked fearful. Others chatted with their chaperones. From behind the wheel, Maria jealously eyed them all. "I wish he would just show up already," she uttered feebly, toying absent-mindedly with the silver ring on her right hand. Then, after a long and thoughtful pause: "I wonder if it hurts?"
For Maria, as is the case with many of the pregnant women who flock to clinics such as A Gyn, pain is less important than quick and affordable termination of the pregnancy. Maria, after all, couldn't afford to pay for it without her married boyfriend's help. So she waited.
But Javier never showed up, and two hours later, she left the same way she had arrived - pregnant, nervous, and alone.
Unlike Maria, Tammy went ahead with her abortion that horrible afternoon in 2004 at the Miramar clinic. She remembers being clothed in a gown and her personal belongings neatly stacked in a plastic garbage bag in the waiting room.
A wave of nausea had washed over her. Perhaps it was the Motrin and Percocet pills. Or maybe it was the additional $112 she had paid to abort the second fetus. But then, huddled in a room with fifteen or so other girls, she began slipping into a medicated daze. She heard her name called.
"I was led into this cluttered room," she says, recounting the events that led up to her initial meeting with the man she would later identify from a photo lineup as Robelto Osborne. He did not utter a single word, Tammy recalls.
"He was a black man about five feet five inches ... covered in gold jewelry, not cheap stuff - big rings, necklaces, bracelets, a watch," she says. "I had to lie on the table, and he rubbed the back of my hand with alcohol and injected me with something, and I was knocked out."
When Tammy regained consciousness about five minutes later, she was draped in a blanket and sitting in a recliner in a strange room, alone.
"I remember feeling really cold and I just wanted to sleep; I was so weak," she notes. "But I started hearing screams and every not even five minutes a new girl was carried into the room." When the room's eight chairs were full, Tammy says staff members ushered her out with instructions to return in fourteen days for a checkup.
For the next nine days the young mother bled heavily. A second ultrasound on her return visit confirmed Tammy's suspicions that something was amiss. "I was still pregnant," she cries in horror. "[Staff] said, 'Oh, it must be some tissue just floating around in there; we'll just suck it right out.'" Tammy was horrified to learn Osborne would have to perform a second, identical procedure. "He didn't explain what was going on - nothing. He did not say one single word to me."
The next white lab coat she saw was on the back of an emergency room doctor at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. "[He] got really angry and asked, 'Who did this to you? You are really damaged inside,'" she says, her eyes flickering with regret. Hospital staff advised that the abortion was still incomplete and performed an emergency operation to remove fetal remains. They also warned that, as a result of the damage, she might not be able to have any more children.
On September 22, 2005, a judge who sentenced Osborne for practicing medicine without a license ordered him to pay just over $2500 in restitution. Tammy says that amount was to help cover her medical expenses. "I guess I should have been greedy and asked for more money from him," she says. "But honestly I just want to put this whole thing behind me."
The December 2004 Miramar clinic closure in which Osborne botched Tammy's abortion made headlines, but not like the "Hialeah baby on the roof" incident this past July. News of the alleged baby murder spread worldwide, fueling an intense debate about the dark side of legal abortion.
In online chatrooms, pro-choicers argued that such stories are gruesome but rare; they allege thousands of women terminate unwanted pregnancies every year without consequence. They also contend that if the U.S. Supreme Court bans abortion - which during the past few years has become more likely - it will increase the number of potentially harmful terminations performed in substandard clinics. "Thanks to the Roe v. Wade (1973) Supreme Court decision, women today have access to safe abortions by medically trained professionals, under sanitary conditions," wrote Glenn Woiceshyn on www.americandaily.com. "When abortion was illegal in America, women suffered serious problems from either self-induced or illegal 'back-alley' abortions that often resulted in 'punctured wombs, massive bleeding, and rampant infections.'"
Anti-abortionists argue that methods used to terminate late-term pregnancies are inhumane and should be outlawed. "We, as a nation, can't treat people that way, and those who do need to be held accountable," stated Operation Rescue president Troy Newman on www.operationrescue.org.
Indeed the outcome of the Hialeah incident might hinge on the fetus's degree of development. According to the medical examiner, the mother was between 22 and 23 weeks pregnant, within the legal 24-week limit for most abortions in Florida. If so, prosecutors might find this a clear-cut case of natural death. According to state law, a fetus becomes a viable baby at 24 weeks because the chances of survival are greater. Dr. Paul Norris, assistant professor of gynecology at the University Miami Miller School of Medicine, contends the majority of second-trimester-aborted fetuses die before leaving the hospital. "There are some 24-weekers that survive," he says, "but the odds of them suffering brain damage and deformities are phenomenal."
Before moving forward with the case, prosecutors are awaiting autopsy results, which could take several weeks, says Ed Griffith, spokesperson for the State Attorney's Office. Meanwhile, Hialeah Police are pushing for indictments. "I strongly believe charges will be filed," Deputy Chief Overton says.
Whether the West Hialeah clinic will remain shuttered is unclear. In the meantime, women seeking abortions will venture to other area clinics. Perhaps, like Maria, they will go to the East Hialeah A Gyn, which Senises oversees. Or maybe they will head to a clinic opened in May 2005 that occupies the same spot where Tammy had her abortion. Called Miramar Women's Center, it was opened by Natalie Vergara and Mario Diaz. Though the names might not be familiar, the new owners seem to have something in common with Bazile, Gonzalez, and Senises. Vergara lists the same mailing address as Bazile; Diaz uses one also used by Senises. Moreover, the Women's Center lists Bazile on its abortion clinic licensure application. The doctor is also named on the facility's most recent tax records.
But Bazile is not a suspect in the West Hialeah incident, according to Overton, who strongly believes someone should be held accountable. "We have sufficient evidence [for a] homicide," Overton says. "Whether or not the State Attorney's Office agrees with us is yet to be determined ... [but] if we don't agree with the state's findings, I will appeal it all the way up to the top."
Hat tip: Ashli
Alexa swing by at 3:21 AM