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Archive for April, 2015

SB 95 bill signing in Wichita

Gov. Brownback and legislators with pro-lifers in Wichita (photo by Joseph K. Myers)

It’s no real surprise that abortionists and their supporters are furious about the ban on dismemberment abortions which has been newly enacted in Kansas and Oklahoma. Aside from the fact that legal minds realize this is a true threat to the abortion status quo. what sticks in the craw of abortion supporters is how the entire law targets dismemberment abortions that torture a living, unborn child.

Like the ban on partial-birth abortion method abortions (upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007),  the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act outlaws a particularly brutal process. Dismemberment abortions tear apart living unborn babies “one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments,” as SB 95 spells out.

“I am pleased that Kansas is the first state in America to ban dismemberment abortions,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. “This is extraordinarily important.”  So important, in fact, that he decided to memorialize its enactment by staging four ceremonial signings across the state on Tuesday.

Since this was virtually a never-before-event, one would expect an outpouring of media interest.

Not so.

Instead there was a virtual media blackout on the event. It would appear obvious that any reporter who did turn up had been sent solely to get quotes from the Governor on the state’s budget woes (before the legislature reconvened Wednesday), or to recycle the opinions of angry Kansas abortion clinic directors.

Of the few small stories that were actually published, none quoted the speakers at the four events or interviewed the attendees for their opinions.

Hundreds of people came to the signings—people of all ages —yet more than a few pro-abortion bloggers intentionally misconstrued the events, including Tara Culp Ressler’s coverage which ran under this headline, “In Bizarre Stunt, Governor Pretends To Sign Extreme Abortion Ban For Group Of Teenagers .”

She reminded her readers this was the same governor who was photographed a few weeks ago at the initial bill signing, “flanked by large photos of fetuses.”  [insert “gasp!”] That reminder was supposed to make readers collectively shudder at the thought that photos got out that actually linked innocent unborn babies with this law. This was impolite, because pro-abortionists have worked very hard not to allow any stories to mention “the baby.”

At the events Tuesday, Brownback spoke without notes, from his own conviction about the beauty of life and Kansas’ commitment to defending the sanctity of life. He said,

“Kansans do not support the dismembering of babies. This a major piece of legislation, for the major issue of our day… and hopefully, starting a movement that will spread nationwide.”

That this grassroots movement will spread from state to state is why pro-abortionists are furious SB 95 ever passed. They are determined to put out the flames with lies, distortions, and by omitting the little ones whose lives the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is intended to save.

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SB 95 ceremonial signing in Lenexa

SB 95 ceremonial signing in Lenexa includes pro-life legislators

A special event is happening in Kansas for the first time today, as Gov. Sam Brownback travels to four cities for ceremonial signings of SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act

The model language for the Act was provided by Kansans for Life, from the National Right to Life Committee. It prohibits the barbaric abortion method of dismembering living unborn children and has been enacted in both Kansas and Oklahoma.

SB 95 was technically signed into law April 7, but this dismemberment ban has such significance to advancing the pro-life cause that Gov. Brownback deemed it important enough to mark its signing with a wide public audience.

The governor is traveling with the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) and the bill’s carrier in the House, Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) to school locations in the four quadrants of the state: Lenexa, Pittsburg, Wichita and Hays. Rep. Brunk was lead sponsor of Kansas’ Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2007 and Sen. Love was a lead carrier of Kansas’ Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2011.

The signing events kicked off at 9 a.m. in northeast Kansas at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and elementary school. Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Catholic Conference Director Michael Schuttloffel, and representatives of Benedictine College, were among the special guests. Also in attendance were numerous legislators, including Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee) who assisted in the defense of the bill during floor debate.

Gov. Brownback commended the “outstanding long-term work of Kansans for Life” and for “bringing this measure to ban a horrific abortion procedure.” He told the audience that when the American public learned about partial-birth abortion, they strongly wanted it banned and the Supreme Court said it could be done. “The people of Kansas don’t support dismembering unborn children.”

Archbishop Naumann, who has been involved in pro-life advocacy for many decades, said, “We look forward to many lives being saved by this law; it is an answer to many peoples’ prayers. It will educate and awaken people to the horror that is abortion, which is the civil rights issue of our times.”

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, offered some remarks to the the crowd, which included 7th & 8th grade students.

“The signing of this pro-life law shows Kansas’ deep commitment to protecting innocent life and setting an example for the nation.

Often a formal signing ceremony is done in the Capitol and is witnessed by those most affected by the change in law. In the case of SB 95, those who are most affected, the unborn, cannot be here today. So we stand in solidarity with those unborn children by standing here for them today.

Kansas is a great place in which to be born and to live. We are a state where our top universities are working on unlocking the keys to treating disease by using our own cells, called stem cells. We are a state with specialty care for unborn children with serious health problems. We are a state where every community has a place to help struggling mothers-to-be get the immediate and long-term help they need to become a great parent.

Let us applaud all our pro-life lawmakers and our pro-life governor for achieving this law and pray that Kansas will continue to work to show respect for life.

Pro-lifers in southeast Kansas will be gathering at 11:00 at the St. Mary Colgan high school, and pro-lifers from south central and western Kansas can attend the 1:30 signing at Bishop Carroll High School. Update: Bishop Carl Kemme also spoke at the Wichita gathering,

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is a physician and testified in support of SB 95, will join the final signing event at 3:30 at his alma mater, St. Thomas More Prep- Marian school in Hays.

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comp health PP (2)Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri hates the new ban on dismemberment abortions passed in Kansas. But it is already eagerly using opposition to SB 95– “this atrocious law” in their words–to fundraise.

However, there are two things they have had to tiptoe around in bashing this example of so-called “extreme political measures.” First, is Senate Bill 95’s title in statute–“which shall be known and may be cited as the Kansas unborn child protection from dismemberment abortion act.”

The second is the descriptive definition of what is outlawed:

“’Dismemberment abortion’ means, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

An email solicitation sent to supporters yesterday, signed by PPKMM President/CEO Laura McQuade, read (with their emphasis in bold):

“If Senate Bill 95 goes into effect in Kansas on July 1, 2015, PPKM will need to drastically alter our surgical services. Using inflammatory and non-medical language, this bill bans one of the safest methods of second trimester abortion according to every major medical authority including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the World Health Organization.”

Before dissecting that information, insert the reminder that abortion is never safe for unborn babies.

SB 95 bans one method of abortion: the shredding of a still-living unborn child in which the abortionist reaches into the mother’s womb with an instrument similar to a pair of pliers and grabs onto a body part, ripping a tiny baby apart, piece by piece until she bleeds to death.

It should be noted that McQuade does not write “THE safest,” but ONE of the safest methods. She’s backing off what all abortion chatter, and testimony to committees, has been against this bill–that dismemberment was THE safest method.

(In its partial-birth ruling of 2007, the Supreme Court upheld a ban on that gruesome abortion method. At the time partial-birth abortion proponents said this was THE safest for women.)

PPKMM issued a public statement in opposition to SB 95 on April 7, the day the bill was signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Again, their statement omitted the title of the law and gave not a hint about the abortion method banned.

The statement pledged to protect women’s “decision-making ability” and “ensure that every individual has the knowledge, opportunity and freedom to make informed private decisions.”

In reality, PPKMM wants women to stay unenlightened about the Dismemberment abortion procedure which they describe innocuously on their website as “removal of the pregnancy with forceps.”

This complete lack of candor is in line with court testimony from other abortionists that they are comfortable withholding a straight explanation of dismemberment to pregnant women considering abortion.

Truly informed decisions are those made with all the facts.

I guess the hypocrisy escapes McQuade.

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media abortion biasI came across an article online this weekend in which a media critic from the Los Angeles Times insightfully demonstrated the abortion bias of the media. The article was in-depth, explaining reasons why 82% of reporters supported abortion, and then listing the ways the media shapes biased messages, including how:

  • abortion advocates are quoted more frequently and characterized more favorably;
  • the news media consistently use language and images favoring abortion;
  • newspaper op-eds favoring abortion are 2 to 1 to those opposing it.

The trigger for the analysis had been a complaint from a female reporter that abortion interests were unhappy about her reports that examined advances in the treatment of premature babies. She was told to back off because those reports were undermining support for the abortion-rights movement.

It’s logical that abortion proponents would indeed want fewer glowing reports in which medical practitioners admirably perform surgery to save preemie babies (as in the recent PBS series, Twice Born), because it can only unfavorably contrast with abortion practitioners who brutally dismember living babies in the womb–a practice recently banned in Kansas and Oklahoma. (More on this momentarily.)

But something caused me to stop reading and turn back to the byline. That’s when I got a surprise, because the article I was reading was actually published in July of 1990! The author was the late Pulitzer Prize-winning media-critic, David Shaw.

Shaw’s observations from 25 years ago were as current as when he first wrote them— as borne out in this Friday’s NPR/All Things Considered radio report on the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act and an editorial published Sunday in the Los Angeles Times blasting the same law.

First, the NPR radio report. It was filed by an intern, Eleanor Klibanoff, who taped me talking for nearly one hour (yes, I can speak nonstop on this bill). During that interview, I spoke of the law’s purpose, the Supreme Court’s role and –repeatedly– the gruesome shredding of unborn children while the mothers are anesthetized.

At the reporter’s request I even specifically read aloud the law’s definition of dismemberment, giving me some hope that at least a few words of it would get into the final 4-minute report. No such luck.

In the aired report, NPR gave Planned Parenthood three direct quotes, while I only got one –and not anything dealing with the victim unborn babies.

My quote, unmoored from the source (Justice Anthony Kennedy), said that good public policy required that what really takes place in these abortions not be obscured.  NPR then ignored that admonishment and refused to clarify what exactly does happen during dismemberment abortion!

Also withheld by Klibanoff, or her editor, was the information that at least two pro-choice Supreme Court justices (former justice John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg) had admitted that partial-birth and D&E /dismemberment abortion methods were equally brutal–not to oppose either but to make the case that if the state had an interest in preventing one, it also did in preventing the other. The partial-birth abortion method is banned nationwide and banning dismemberment abortions is long since past due.

Other errors in the NPR report were incorrect assertions:

  1. that there is no alternative abortion method to dismembering a live unborn child, and
  2. that the ban violates a Supreme Court viability standard. (That so-called standard didn’t apply to the partial-birth abortion ban in 2007 when the Court upheld the ban on that method of abortion regardless of viability and it shouldn’t apply to this method either.)

NPR’s storyline was shaped to advance abortion interests just as Shaw described 25 years ago, with comments from a pro-abortion law “expert” and Planned Parenthood stitched together to portray a meme of unfairness to women. The NPR listener heard repeatedly that dismemberment abortion is “common,” “safest,” and “medically-sound,” and how “astonishing” it is that the legislature would “override medical science.”

The Los Angeles Times editorial riffed off of that NPR viewpoint, following up last week’s New York Times slam of the dismemberment ban. Both newspapers want the ban struck down; no surprise there.

Not needing to fake the “neutrality” of NPR news, the Los Angeles Times editorialist grabbed the soapbox, but didn’t have the guts to quote the entire legal definition of dismemberment. Excluded was the essential language about “the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments [that], slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

And while whining about the “drama” of the bill, they ginned up their own drama. They portrayed women as relying on such abortions due to possible fetal disability, miscalculated gestation, or maternal health problems –while deliberately not mentioning that other abortion methods remain available, and that the law has exceptions for protecting maternal health and life.

Then there’s the gratuitous swipe at unborn children, in case readers have somehow learned what this inhumane abortion does to a well-developing baby. The editorial insists that dismemberment abortions are done to “fetuses that are not viable outside the womb and that scientists agree cannot feel pain,” regardless of “the unscientific claims of some anti-abortion groups.” (P.S. With fetal anesthesiology a bona fide medical specialty, how long can fetal pain deniers hold sway?)

Finally, copying a page from abortion guru David Grimes’ recent columns on dismemberment (which I’ve critiqued several times), the reader is advised to, in essence, ‘chill out’ because a D&E/ dismemberment is just an unsavory ‘tissue removal like a mastectomy.’

The media top dogs are certainly collaborating with the abortion agenda, but, despite this–as NPR grudgingly admitted–pro-lifers, “are winning in the court of public opinion.”

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slogan dismembermtAmanda Marcotte is a strident abortion proponent who is in abject misery about the passage of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Her headline reads “Anti-Choicers Are Going to Take Away Second-Trimester Abortion Without Much Notice” and though the actual content of her piece is all over the place, her message is clear; she is

  1. distressed that a significant abortion restriction is now available to reach the Supreme Court, and
  2. frustrated that her side not only has no defense, it can’t even discuss the law’s content for PR reasons.

They have no defense because there is no defense for dismemberment abortions which crush, tear and pulverize living unborn human beings. Marcotte dares not even mention the unborn baby, which is the focus of this new law.

By necessity all state pro-life measures attempt to navigate the landscape and boundaries set out by the U.S. Supreme Court. That includes understanding that with the 1992 Casey decision, the justices have left the door ajar for additional limitations.

Marcotte recognizes that the authors of various pro-life bills over the past decade have taken different approaches. Why wouldn’t they probe and prod, looking to see what the justices will accept?  That only makes sense.

Marcotte tries to dismiss these laws, which is her prerogative, but it is simply foolish to dismiss the fact that there is a  public receptivity to them.

Marcotte does recognize that this dismemberment ban (with language provided by the top experts at the National Right to Life Committee) is a genuine threat to the abortion status quo. The law is a natural follow-up to the ban on partial-birth abortion, upheld in the 2007 Gonzales v Carhart ruling. Let me explain.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has several purposes

  • to educate the public about the gruesome torture inflicted on the living, unborn child in a D&E dismemberment abortion;
  • to stop such abortions; and
  • to present the Supreme Court with a bill that is consonant with what a majority of the High Court held in the partial-birth abortion ruling.

Abortion attorneys themselves anticipated–with dread, of course– this ban on dismemberment abortions after Gonzales. In Gonzales, the justices upheld the public’s right, through duly passed laws, to halt a barbaric abortion method, despite the protests of abortionists that this partial-birth method was “safer” for women and needed.

States have provided a variety of significant pro-life measures that the Court may indeed soon chose to weigh in on, including conflicting rulings on the woman’s full access to viewing her unborn child’s ultrasound prior to abortion.

However, this ban on dismemberment abortions would present the Court with a direct follow up to their last abortion ruling. That is what scares Marcotte.

And it should.

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stop dismembering posterThe ground-breaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is now on the books in two states, signed into law within this past week by Gov. Sam Brownback (Kansas) and Gov. Mary Fallin (Oklahoma). This law forbids a particularly gruesome method of abortion which (for that reason) abortionists do not honestly describe in detail to women.

It is difficult for most of us to imagine how someone, particularly a trained physician, could reach into the womb with an instrument like a pair of pliers and grab onto a body part, ripping a tiny baby apart, piece by piece until she bleeds to death.

Yet that is exactly what occurs in a dismemberment abortion.

To ordinary men and women who have learned about this grisly act –and, no doubt, even to some within the abortion industry who are a party to it–the effect has been profound shock and sadness.

But some, particularly those who have defended abortion for decades, have gone in the opposite direction. They have become so hardened that they will say almost anything to protect dismemberment abortions.

Take for example, David Grimes– a long-time abortionist, abortion promoter, and prolific abortion apologist. While the dismemberment ban was working its way through the legislative process, Grimes championed the dismemberment method as popular and safe for women, without the slightest acknowledgement of the victim of this act, the unborn child.

In a February 19 article written with another long-time abortion proponent, Grimes extolled dismemberment abortion as cheaper and more convenient—for the mother, that is, since the baby is not a consideration.

He characterizes dismemberment abortionists as noble “removers of tissue” [again, denying the baby] who do an unpleasant task but, in so doing, save women from any ‘emotional’ burdens.

Thus, as could be expected, the first passage of a ban on dismemberment abortions sent Grimes over the edge.

In his regular Huffington Post blog spot Tuesday, Grimes blasted the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act with this headline, “Kansas as Medical Misogyny: Kansas Mandates Substandard Abortion Care.”

His rebuke began by defining misogyny as “hatred, dislike, mistrust of women, or prejudice against women.”  Of course abortion is itself an anti-woman act, half the time destroying females, and all the time harming mothers who submit to the abortions. But not to Grimes.

Grimes claims that this new ban on a barbaric abortion method punishes women by denying abortionists the use of that method, leaving only “inferior methods.” And to him, that is ‘anti-women’.

But Grimes is showing the height of hypocrisy about treating women respectfully!

Grimes knows, as well as those of us who followed the partial-birth abortion litigation, that abortionists under oath admitted that they don’t tell the mother the actual procedure of the dismemberment abortion,  merely referring to it as a ‘D&E.’ Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri is equally unforthcoming. On its website it describes the method as “removal of the pregnancy with forceps.”

In what other medical treatment or surgery would that kind of paternalistic/ misogynistic omission of facts even be attempted?

It is the ultimate in disrespect and deception– misogyny–to hide the truth from a mother contemplating abortion that the dismemberment method demolishes her unborn child until the baby bleeds to death! And pity the women who are just now discovering that is the kind of abortion they have already obtained.

Grimes’ wrath is really directed at the U.S. Supreme Court which upheld, in 2007, a ban on another brutal, inhumane procedure —partial-birth abortion. How ironic (but unsurprising) that partial-birth abortion defenders also insisted that delivering all but the baby’s head and then plunging surgical scissors into her skull and suctioning out the child’s brain was ‘safer for women.’

However, the High Court, in that 2007 ruling, wrote (emphasis added):

Any number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety preceding invasive medical procedures become the more intense. …It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State. The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know…” Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 159-160

The dismemberment law now in place in Kansas and Oklahoma exposes what happens in a abortion. Any departure from the truth is misogynistic, and furthers the myth that women need abortion.

What they need is the truth.

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Wall Street Journal photo

Parents care for preemies, photo by Patrick Giles, WSJ

For those who enjoy learning about how the tiniest human “patients” are being ever-better treated, today’s Wall Street Journal
article “What Parents can do to help Preemies” is must reading.

NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units in hospitals) are little seedbeds of research on how to assist babies who were delivered too early. The generous care and dedication that babies have received from NICU staff, especially nurses, is truly commendable.

However, a trial program is demonstrating that daily physical care by the preemies’ parents is not only preferable, it is a win-win, according to the Journal’s Dana Wechsler Linden.

“Typically, babies born prematurely, who might weigh little more than a pound, are considered too fragile for anyone but highly trained doctors and nurses to care for,” Linden explained. But a pilot program at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital (which has spread to 20 hospitals in Canada and 10 in Australia and New Zealand) took a very different approach. Parents took charge of their preemie’s care for at least eight hours a day.

The pilot program showed that 42 premature newborns cared for each day by their parents gained 25% more weight and were nearly twice as likely to be breastfeeding when they went home as those taken care of primarily by nurses.

A potential fear that multiple caregivers would increase infections (that can be so deadly for these tiny 1-2 pound babies) is negated. While 11% of the babies in the nurse-only group had infections, the parent-assisting group had none!

In the pilot  program parents were successfully trained how to handle fragile babies and the medical equipment they use. And though the initial steps were a bit daunting, a wonderful benefit was reaped not only by babies but also by their parents.

For example, parents of preemies are, understandably, concerned about their baby’s fate. By being involved, not only did the preemies greatly benefit, parental stress levels went down.

“This started because parents told me they feel hopeless, helpless,” said Shoo Lee, chief of pediatrics at Mount Sinai, who led the group that developed the new approach.

“Within the first three days I learned everything I needed to do,” Cynthia Schaeffer, whose son, Joshua, was born after 26 weeks of gestation at just over 2 pounds, told Linden. “I started feeling like a mother.”

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