Archive for May, 2013

preemie finger (3)In 1979, before giving birth to the first of my five children, I was fascinated by “breaking” literature that encouraged talking and singing to your child in utero. I remember my husband’s puzzlement when I told him the “experts” said he should put his head close to my growing belly and talk to our baby!

I was reminded of how new that concept had been when Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (who is my age) recounted his experience during that era. Gohmert is a member of the federal House Judiciary subcommittee that heard testimony on HR 1797, a bill that bans elective abortions when a baby is capable of feeling pain, which the bill recognizes as existing by 20 weeks fetal age.

During his brief comments at the hearing, Gohmert shared his experience with the premature birth of his first child, Katy. His wife asked him to do whatever he could to assist their daughter’s struggle to survive.

The neonatologist told him how important it was to caress and talk to Katy because, “Her eyes don’t work real well; she won’t recognize you. But she will know your voice, because she’s heard you in utero.”

Gohmert appeared to relive the precious memory of sitting next to the isolette, when his daughter’s “little bitty fingers grasped the end of my finger” and how her vital signs improved within the hour.

The rather novel idea that unborn children can hear their environment–even if muffled–has only been strengthened over recent decades and created (not unsurprisingly!) an industry of products designed to accelerate the child’s intellectual prowess and musical talent after birth.

But more important, science now acknowledges that the tiny unborn child possesses a unique presence that can be altered by human interaction as well as medical interventions.

This has directly affected the evolution of hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), which commonly utilize volunteers to cuddle and coo struggling prematurely born babies (preemies) who lack family members to do so.

Notably, the field of Music Therapy has developed, with special application to preemies.

Medical News Today recently reported on the findings of a study in the May issue of the journal, Pediatrics. MNT headlined its account, “Playing Music and Lullabies Help Soothe Premature Babies.” The most important finding was captured in the sub-headline: “Music– especially lullabies–deliver health advantages to the most vulnerable babies, preemies, who are being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, a new study suggests.”

The study involved 11 hospital NICUs with 272 preemies under 32 weeks gestation. Investigators found that preemies who heard lullabies and live music specifically paired with babies’ breathing and heart rates showed improved blood-oxygen levels and patterns of feeding and sleeping. How’d they figure that out? According to MNT:

“Certified music therapists used devices called Remo ocean discs and gato boxes, which emit ‘whoosh’ and heartbeat womb sounds while matched with babies’ heart and breath patterns, three times each week for two weeks. Therapists and parents also sang lullabies chosen by the babies’ parents, and when parents had no preference, they sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ ”

It’s not just any old sound, according to Joanne Loewy, director of Beth Israel’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine. “Many NICUs are noisy, or people put on random lullabies that are recorded. What we’re saying is, it’s not just any old lullaby that’s recorded, it’s the power of the parent’s voice synchronized therapeutically . . . and the other two sounds that can have a therapeutic benefit.”

Exactly what the neonatologist was telling Rep. Gohmert.

We pro-lifers see that science continues to verify that the unborn child is a special and unique human being who is not only capable of experiencing pain, but has the ability to respond to the care of the human community.

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fetal pain sign (2)Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder, supported by photographic evidence of preterm babies with deep gashes to the neck, applied with sharp scissors.  Gosnell’s associate called the method of their demise “a beheading”.

Fox News reporter and seasoned litigator Megyn Kelly, 6 months pregnant, admitted how hard it was to force herself to look at the photos. Any decent person would get the shivers imagining how such a slashing might feel—particularly on the tender bodies of tiny children.

However, an even more chilling component exists, as revealed in scientific studies developed over the past three decades: that unborn children are “wired” to feel pain MORE intensely than any child or adult ever can!

This is due to the physiology of the pre-term child, reported Emory University professor/ pediatric intensive care physician, Dr. Jean Wright to Congress,“the fibers and structures needed to feel pain are present but the mechanisms needed to modulate and tone down the response are poorly developed.”

“The highest density of pain receptors per square inch of skin in human development occurs in utero from 20-30 weeks gestation,” testified Prof. Kanwaljeet Anand to Congress, based in part on his  seminal work, first published in1987. Anand explains,

“the process of…surgical incision into the fetal cranium / upper neck of the fetus will result in prolonged and intense pain… more intense than [that of] older infants, children or adults to a similar injury.”

Thus, the stabbing of those babies at the Gosnell clinic is more horrific than can be imagined.

Abortion was legalized without the scientific knowledge that pre-term children not only can feel pain, but feel it more excruciatingly; massive medical documentation can be found at  www.doctorsonfetalpain.org. National Right to Life developed a strategy to pass legislation that will reach the Supreme Court and confront the justices with this additional concept.  This allows states to show the High Court that civilized people want abortion banned at least at the stage when children can acutely feel the torture of abortion.
Kansas passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2011, after we informed legislators that the issue of whether aborted children could experience the pain of abortion had not been a consideration of the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling.

At that time, surgery for preemies, infants and toddlers relied on taping the child to the surgical table to immobilize the body so that the needed procedure could be performed! Ill children were considered too frail to tolerate anesthesia, and there was insufficient data on how, and in what amounts, successful pain relief could be administered.

That medical era changed in the 1980s with increasing studies showing the hormonal and cardio-resuscitory responses of unborn children to painful stimuli. With this new knowledge, the specialties of pediatric surgery and pediatric anesthesiology developed, as well as NICU units with special protocols acknowledging the hypersensitivities of preemies.

Physicians now know how to detect and treat pain in the tiniest of patients. In fact, due to advances in pediatric anesthesia techniques, unborn children can be removed temporarily from the womb, endure surgical repair, and be returned to finish gestation.

With some limited coverage by the mainstream media of Gosnell’s vicious murder of pre-term children born alive, the general public has now been awakened. It would be a silver lining if the same public who feel pity for Gosnell’s tiny victims, allow themselves to actively reflect upon the acute pain-capability of the children destroyed during abortion.

The time is ripe for passage of a federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Read more in key articles here, here, and here.

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Kermit Gosnell

Kermit Gosnell

A Philadelphia jury has found abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty of first degree murder for severing the spinal cords of 3 babies born alive during illegal, late-term abortions–a practice believed to have occurred hundreds of times, according to a Feb. 7, 2011 grand jury report.  The 261-page report dubbed Gosnell’s abortion business a “House of Horrors” due to its gross filth, pest-infestation and the storage of fetal remains, scattered throughout in cabinets and freezers.

Eight other former staffers of Gosnell have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and await sentencing. Gosnell was also convicted of hundreds of charges ranging from infanticide to running a corrupt organization, including:

  • manslaughter for the drug-overdose death of a 6-months-pregnant woman;
  • 21 felony counts of illegal abortions beyond the 24 week limit;
  • 211 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law.

Gosnell’s premises had not been inspected for 17 years, beginning under the pro-abortion administration of Gov. Tom Ridge, motivated by a desire not to be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Notably, the grand jury report revealed that complaints about infection, injuries and illegalities at the Gosnell clinic to state authorities were not pursued–including this incident:

“Almost a decade ago, a former employee of Gosnell presented the Board of Medicine with a complaint that laid out the whole scope of his operation: the unclean, unsterile conditions; the unlicensed workers; the unsupervised sedation; the underage abortion patients; even the over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street. The department assigned an investigator, whose investigation consisted primarily of an offsite interview with Gosnell. The investigator never inspected the facility, questioned other employees, or reviewed any records. Department attorneys chose to accept this incomplete investigation, and dismissed the complaint as unconfirmed.”

One significant result of the Gosnell trial is that Congress has sent a formal inquiry to all 50 state health departments concerning abortion clinic regulation and enforcement. KFL executive director, Mary Kay Culp, commented on this development, “When Kansas responds, they will have to answer that we indeed have an abortion clinic licensing law passed in 2011, but that because of a lawsuit by the abortion industry, that law remains enjoined and at the mercy of Kansas courts, despite it having been designed to be fully constitutional. Our hope is that one result of the Gosnell verdict would be to help lift the unfair injunction on the Kansas abortion clinic licensing law.”

Kansas had long attempted to pass an abortion clinic licensing law, particularly when several Kansas abortionists had accrued scores of malpractice filings that were settled without media attention–but then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ vetoed abortion clinic licensure laws in 2003 and 2005. Notably during this time period, Kansas City, Kansas abortionist, Krishna Rajanna, echoed Gosnell’s business model: a filthy, blood-stained, trash-filled clinic using underage and non-trained employees and storing fetal remains in the staff freezer.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts allowed Rajanna to stay open, even with evidence of  improper drug protocols and substandard conditions. The Board did eventually take Rajanna’s license in 2005, as Sebelius geared up for re-election. This ostensibly gave Sebelius some veneer of “clinic safety accountability,” with her vetoing of clinic bills and her involvement in covering up a 2005 late-term abortion death in Wichita.

The Board, now under new leadership, is no longer a pawn of the abortion industry. They have revoked the Kansas license of abortionist Kris Neuhaus for failing to meet the standard of care in evaluating abortion-seeking teens. The Board is taking seriously a complaint filed by Kansans for Life against Kansas-licensee, LeRoy Carhart, for the Feb. 7 death of Jennifer Morbelli, a late-term abortion client from his Maryland office.

Although the Maryland county police closed their investigation Monday without filing criminal charges, the Chief Medical Examiner has declined to release the final autopsy results and no results of an inquiry have been released by the Maryland Mental Hygiene’s Office of Health Care Quality. The Kansas Healing Arts Board can conduct its own investigation into the Morbelli death, and now has stronger legal grounds to pursue disciplinary action–even if Carhart cancels his Kansas license– because the death occurred while Carhart was licensed in Kansas.

Despite limited media coverage of the Gosnell case, the nation may be awakening, not only to the full horrors of killing the innocent, but the corruption of medicine and lack of human decency inside abortion clinics. It is a situation that Kansans have been trying mightily to battle for decades, and are now seeing some improvement.

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