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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.

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.

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.”

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion, at 16 wks gestation

After Kansas passed SB 95, “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” I’ve taken numerous calls from the media about the new law. Those phone interviews inevitably end with a final question to me, “What’s next?”

Mentally, I respond AARGH! This is the kind of question reporters ask a sports team manager after a winning season so he can offer hints about trading players, new game tactics, and other items meant to keep fans interested.

But pro-life advocacy is not a game where we try to keep pro-lifers engaged by teasers about next year’s legislative agenda. Pro-lifers are  keenly interested in what is taking place right now even as they are thoroughly engaged for the long haul–until Roe is undone.

Rather, what I have been telling reporters is that Kansans for Life is focused on pursuing the public education campaign about SB 95 which has been muzzled by the mainstream media.

Our immediate concern is clarifying what exactly this law does by revealing what factually occurs in a dismemberment abortion. Most news reporting has failed to explain to readers that SB 95 outlaws abortions in which living unborn children get torn apart in their mother’s wombs with sharp metal tools until they bleed to death.

There is some surprise when I point out to them that even though the bill was signed into law on Tuesday—no small feat by a long stretch, believe me — the impact of this law cannot fully be appreciated until the facts about it, which have been largely suppressed, become widely known.

With rare exceptions, the mainstream media has partnered with abortion advocates to hide the facts about this barbaric, inhumane “procedure,” and have framed their reporting to talk about anything but what happens and to whom. This is the same obfuscation that occurred in the decade prior to 2007 when the Supreme Court upheld the ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion method.

Do I have examples? Many. Here’s one.

The day after Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill banning dismemberment abortions into law, what was on the front page of the Topeka Capital Journal (the sole newspaper for the capital of Kansas)? News (and photos) about an upcoming local high school play.

On page 2, the headline in the Capital Journal read “Brownback signs abortion bill.” [WHAT abortion bill?] The subhead in small, fainter type did say “Legislation bans ‘dismemberment’ procedure in state.” The continuation of the story on page 3 had a large two- line header, “Abortion: legal action may follow.” This advances the abortion industry’s prized meme—abortion is nothing but politics and lawsuits.

Just imagine if the second headline had read instead, ‘Illegal to tear apart unborn babies.’ Better yet, imagine if thousands of people sipping their morning coffee saw that truth on the front page.

Since its introduction in January, SB 95 has routinely been headlined as a ‘ban on a common form of abortion’ or a ‘ban on second-trimester abortions.’ That inability to convey the crucial point of the law was demonstrated in the Tuesday Associated Press article used by most mainstream TV reports and other international outlets. In that story, the opening sentence read that Kansas had banned, “a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.”

“That critics describe?” Well, what is the average reader to think about that? That the “critics” (assumed to be pro-life advocates) are creating meanings that don’t exist? Accurate news reporting would have quoted the law’s definitional section:“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.”

Note, also, the 2000 Stenberg ruling, where Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted abortionist LeRoy Carhart. In describing this abortion “technique,” Carhart used the terms ‘dismember’ and ‘dismemberment.’ Yet, the public is told that only abortion “critics”— not the law itself, or abortionists, or judges –have chosen the terms. The implication, of course, is that we made it up!

The ENTIRE point of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is to wake up America to the true victim of abortion- the inhumanely shredded unborn child! It is not, as the media prefers to discuss, how abortionists and their spokeswomen feel.

Note to media: once you fully and accurately explain this law and its impact, we might start thinking about next year’s agenda.

 Gov. Brownback signs SB 95, with (l-r) the Kansans for Life Legislative team: Jeanne Gawdun, Kathy Ostrowski and Jessica  Basgall, J.D and conferees Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director  Kansas Catholic Conference, and Barbara Saldivar, State Director for  Concerned Women for America.

Gov. Brownback signs SB 95, with (l-r) the Kansans for Life Legislative team: Jeanne Gawdun, Kathy Ostrowski and Jessica Basgall, J.D., and Barbara Saldivar, State Director, Concerned Women for America  and Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director, Kansas Catholic Conference.

This morning, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law the historic “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,”  SB 95. It will go into effect July 1.

Gov. Brownback commented, “This is a horrific procedure and we are pleased to ban it in Kansas and we hope it will be banned nationally.”

To commemorate this ground-breaking and first-in-the-nation measure, Gov. Brownback will travel across Kansas for ceremonial signings of the bill on April 28. (Locations will be announced in the near future.)

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act generated immediate grassroots support after introduction in January by lead sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma), who remarked, “In visiting with my constituents, many have been stunned that this practice (dismemberment) is going on in Kansas and have demanded that it be stopped.”

Records released on April 1 by the Kansas Health & Environment Dept. show that in 2014 this D&E method was used in 637 abortions, or 8.8% of the total 7,263 Kansas abortions reported.

SB 95 bans a particularly gruesome abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart into pieces by an abortionist using sharp metal tools. Abortionist LeRoy Carhart testified under oath that the unborn child is alive because he is watching him/her on ultrasound during the procedure. In the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the unborn child in a D&E/ Dismemberment abortion, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”

Testimony provided by Kansans for Life emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on the partial-birth method of abortion in 2007 after two cases, Stenberg v Carhart and Gonzales v Carhart. In both cases, the Court closely examined both the partial-birth and D&E/ Dismemberment abortion methods and found them to be “brutal.” The Court noted

 “[it’s] necessary at the outset to set forth what may happen during an abortion.” … and,  “States also have an interest in forbidding medical procedures which, in the State’s reasonable determination, might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life, including life in the human fetus.” Stenberg, 958 & 961

On March 25, the House overwhelmingly passed SB 95 by 98-26 after the Senate had easily passed the measure, 31-9, on Feb 20. (see here and here)

up down arrowsFirst, the good news—Kansas continues to see annual abortion numbers steadily decrease. On Wednesday, we learned there were 3% fewer Kansas abortions in 2014 (7,263) than in 2013 (7,485), according to the annual preliminary report from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.

Also encouraging is that clinics reported 115 women received informed consent certification and did not go through with a Kansas abortion in 2014.

As has long been the pattern, almost exactly half –49%– of Kansas abortions were obtained by out-state residents (3,578). The heavy majority came from Missouri (3,381) which has only one operative abortion facility in St. Louis. That means that women from northwest Missouri, including the populous Kansas City metro area, obtain abortions right over the state line at Planned Parenthood and the Center for Women’s Health in Overland Park, Kansas.

There is one other Kansas abortion business, South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) in Wichita, which opened in April 2013. SWWC is located in the same building that abortionist George Tiller occupied for decades and which closed in June 2009. A fourth abortion clinic, the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, closed in July 2014.

The Kansas annual report shows that most of the abortion patterns as to age, ethnicity and pregnancy history remain unchanged. However, of concern in this report is

  1. the continued rise in abortions by pill to an annual figure of 3,228 —now 44.4% of total abortions– and far above the reported national average;
  2. an unexpected 9% rise in D&E/ dismemberment abortions from 2013 (584) to 2014 (637); and
  3. a troubling rise in abortions obtained by metro Wichita-area women in the past 2 years while abortions have consistently declined in every other metro area.

First, the increase in abortions induced by abortifacients is a national trend, and a 2011 Guttmacher report tabbed it as 22.6 % of all abortions. In Kansas, abortions by pill are available at all 3 clinics, and rose from 2.903 in 2013 to 3,228 in 2014. Only one clinic, SWWC, publishes the cost of such– $600– on its website.

Second, it is very disturbing that the number of D&E/ dismemberment abortions rose last year to 637, after the number had been decreasing.

State data shows the D&E figures as: 932 in 2008,793 in 2009,715 in 2010, 661 in 2011, 640 in 2012, and 584 in 2013.

The SWWC website describes the D&E method as the “removal of the pregnancy with forceps” — similar to the deceptive descriptions from the other clinics. None of their “informed consent” documents reveal that the living unborn child will be painfully torn limb from limb and bleed to death.

SWWC charges $800-$2,000 for a D&E, according to a Feb. 20, 2015 PBS NewsHour story. The other clinics do not post their D&E pricing. All three clinics testified in opposition to SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which passed the Legislature March 25 and awaits the promised signature of Gov. Sam Brownback.

The third trend of concern in the Kansas abortion data is that one county has shown a rise in women obtaining abortions over the past 2 years: Sedgwick– which covers the Wichita metro area where SWWC opened in April 2013. Annual abortions obtained by Wichita area women were down to a historic low of 566 in 2012, but rose to 691 in 2013, and then increased again to 834 in 2014.

PBS gives inside look at top fetal surgery centerI was dog-tired last night, but I had been intrigued by the promos earlier this week for the PBS three-part special, Twice Born. The trailer starts out with this teaser:

“Thirty years ago, a group of pediatric surgeons came up with a radical idea. In the history of mankind the idea had never been proposed. At medical conferences few would take the idea seriously. The idea was this: to treat birth defects while babies were still in the womb.”

I tuned in. This “first-ever look inside the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and its unique Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit” did not disappoint.

The first installment introduces the audience to key physicians and several patients at the Center. The Center specializes in “pregnancies complicated by birth defects” with an impressive claim: “More than 1,224 patients have undergone fetal surgery at our Center, the largest number of any hospital in the world.”

Twice Born focuses on treating serious medical problems detected in the womb, including invasive tumors, spina bifida, and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The first show was well-paced and personalized the staff, particularly one physician whose daughter has a degenerative disease.

But beyond the pathos of the medical conditions depicted, and beyond the admiration for the dedication and compassion of the medical staff, a deliberate feeling kept rising in me: THIS is what medicine naturally aspires to…how marvelous…how noble! This is what physicians SHOULD be doing!

And I got teary-eyed–but not just because of the sad stories. No, my emotion derived from all the horrific things done to wonderfully developing babies in the womb that I’ve had to contemplate and explain as part of our state’s campaign to end dismemberment abortion.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has passed both houses of the Kansas Legislature and awaits only the promised signature of pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback.

As part of the educational campaign, I’ve learned how these D& E/ dismemberment abortions are done: a living unborn child is demolished piece by piece inside the anesthetized mother, who is almost certainly unaware of the cruelly painful death being inflicted on her child. And then the “trained abortion specialist” coldly stares at the shredded body parts and reconstructs the tiny unborn child into a tray.

How did these abortionists get to the place where the unborn baby is reduced to a project to be heartlessly disassembled? How did they stray so far from the integrity of the fetal surgeons at the Children’s Hospital?

At one point they all attended similar medical schools. Ironically, Philadelphia is the very same town where notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell did his grisly business! Yet the two kinds of physicians –fetal surgeons and abortionists– might as well live on different planets.

In the trailer to Twice Born, The Center’s Dr. N. Scott Adzick says

“We’re driven by trying to find solutions to those unsolved problems. It’s a miracle and a privilege to take care of patients. Babies are the future, what can be more compelling than a baby?…gosh!”

We can only hope that the magnificent medicine practiced at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment continues to be a beacon that guides and inspires our nation to throw over the madness that currently justifies abortion.

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