Abortion - Archive

Nov-Dec 2005: Abortion

Conscience Update

Suicide Rates Highest After Abortion

CDC Article in the NEJM Warns of Abortion Drug RU 486 Risks

Abortionist Tiller Killed Woman Procuring Abortion; Not Charged

Multiple Choice: Repeat Abortions

Georgia Abortions Down By 5%

Manitoba Taxpayers to Pay for All Abortions

Australia Will NOT Lift Ban on RU 486

ACOG Supports Planned Parenthood

British Doctors “Increasingly Uneasy” with Abortion “Survival” Rate

Bumper Sticker Saves a Baby’s Life…

GEORGIA ABORTIONS DOWN BY 5% – There is good news on the pro-life front in Georgia. According to the Georgia Department of Health, abortions in the state are down by more than 5 percent.

Georgia Right to Life officials believe the decline is due in part to a television campaign that started three years ago. TV ads provide a phone number for mothers in a crisis pregnancy. Callers are referred to local crisis pregnancy centers.

According to the Georgia Right to Life officials, Atlanta centers received the second highest volume of calls in the nation. Another factor that may further the decline of abortions in Georgia is the passage of new laws that require women to be told about the risks and alternatives to abortion as well as a 24-hour waiting period to give women a chance to digest the material.

Caryl Swift, the Georgia Right to Life president said: “We will continue to reach out to women in need so that they know abortion is not their only alternative. Research tells us that 60 percent of women entering an abortion facility don’t really want an abortion, but believe they have no alternative. Eighty percent regret their decision. We care about saving women from the shame and guilt of abortions as well as saving babies’ lives.”   [http://www.ccbama.com/audio/CCBAMA-112805.mp3 CC; Alabama Citizens Watch Weekly Radio Spots, 11/28/05; 8Dec05]

 

CDC NEJM ARTICLE WARNS OF ABORTION DRUG RISKS.  An article written by Centers for Disease Control officials [1Dec05 edition New England Journal of Medicine] warns women of the risks of fatal infections from the RU 486 abortion drug and asks doctors to be on the lookout for toxic shock related to the abortions. The CDC authors point to the deaths caused by the fatal Clostridium sordellii bacteria that infected four California women who used the Mifeprex abortion drug. The article noted that all of the women used one of the two-part drug process vaginally. FDA guidelines call for oral use, but Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, wanting to use the drug in lower doses, tell women to use it vaginally. All 4 women were found to have the deadly bacterium in their uteruses. Marc Fischer, M.D., and his CDC colleagues said that all 4 women died one day after going to the hospitals with recent symptoms from the infections. The women did not show normal infection telltale signs until it was too late. “The clinical and pathological findings in these cases are similar to those in 10 other cases of C. sordellii infection of the genital tract reported in the literature… Of the 10 previous cases that we identified, all occurred in previously healthy young women, and nine occurred within one week after delivery (8 women) or after abortion (1 woman),” they wrote in the NEJM. One problem they noted is that the initial symptoms of the dangerous bacteria may show as normal side effects from using the abortion drug, such as cramping or abdominal pain. The CDC authors urged doctors treating women with such symptoms to be on the lookout for toxic shock and they said women considering an RU 486 abortion should be informed of the risks. The article is important because it gives a glimpse about the direction the agency will pursue when it conducts a joint meeting with FDA officials early next year to probe how and why the women contracted the deadly infections from the abortion drug. Wendy Wright [Concerned Women for America]: “The drug’s owner [Danco Labs] has only one product, so it has no incentive to pull the drug from the market. That’s why the FDA must act in the best interest of women’s health by pulling this drug from the market.” [The article reference is: Fischer M et al. Fatal Toxic Shock Syndrome Associated with Clostridium sordellii after Medical Abortion. N Engl. J Med 2005; 353:2352-60. Ertelt, LifeNews.com 1Dec05, D.C.]

SUPREME COURT DUCKS ABORTION CASE. On October 17, the Supreme Court decided not to hear a case involving a Missouri inmate who wants the state to transport her to St. Louis for an abortion. A state law bans public financing of abortions. In addition, the state legislature put in place a policy that bars state money for prisoner trips for abortions, to funerals, and to the bedsides of sick relatives. A U.S. District Court judge issued an order requiring the state to transport the wo-man on the grounds that it was denying her rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, allowing the District Court decision to stand. Washington Post, AP, 10-17-05. [EF News & Notes – 10/21/05]

ABORTIONIST TILLER WHO KILLED WOMAN IN FAILED ABORTION NOT CHARGED. Christin Gilbert died after a third-trimester abortion on 13Jan05.  Gilbert’s autopsy report specifically indicated that she died from “complications to a therapeutic abortion.” The KS Board of Healing Arts has completed their investigation and found Tiller not guilty of violating any laws, so his name supposedly has been cleared. However, this was fully expected in light of the pro-abortion make-up of the Board.  The next step is to file a demand for a CRIMINAL GRAND JURY investigation, “different from the flimsy ‘investigation’ they supposedly conducted with all the pro-abort cronies”. Physicians are being encouraged to call the KS BOHA, or members of the Board, and request/demand an investigation.  Please contact them or write them a note encouraging them to investigate the death of Christin A. Gilbert at Women’s Health Care Services. We have also been contacted, asking if any physician(s) would be willing to provide a medical review of this case, with a medical report outlining their opinion. The phone number for the Board of Healing Arts for complaints about physicians is 1-888-886-7205 or e-mail them at [email protected] I will paste the KSBOHA list.  It is time they get enough pressure and stop the “cover-up” of this case.  Also, a website with detailed information on the case:  www.justiceforchristin.com.   Any interested physicians may access the autopsy report by visiting:  www.operationrescue.org and scroll down to the info on Christin Gilbert. Also, in Kansas City, abortionist Rajanna’s abortion site was recently shut down.  Please visit www.kfl.org for pictures of the conditions of this abortion site.
[Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, 235 S. Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS  66603-3068; ExecDir: Lawrence T. Buening, Jr.; President:  Roger D. Warren, MD, 205 S Hanover St, Hanover, KS  66945; Vice President: Carolina M. Soria, DO, 2622 W Central, Wichita,  KS  67203; Michael J Beezley, M.D., 20375 W. 151st Street, Suite 350, Olathe, KS 66061; M.J. “Boo” Hodges, MD, 135 E Claflin Ave., Salina, KS  67401; Mark A
. McCu
ne, MD, 10600 Quivira Rd, Shawnee Mission, KS  66215; Nancy J. Welsh, MD, 4310 SE 101st, Berryton, KS  66409; John P. White, DO, 909 E Centennial Dr., Pittsburg, KS  66762; Ronald N. Whitmer, DO, 308 Kingsley St., Ellsworth, KS  66439]

CONSCIENCE UPDATE. Physicians’ right to follow their conscience in medical practice will be on the front burner for a long time. 

AAPLOG responded to the ACOG letter to “senators” requesting federal law be changed so that it requires doctors who have a moral objection to abortion to refer their patient requesting abortion to an abortionist. We have previously shared with you a letter to ACOG President Mennuti, protesting that outrageous initiative.  

While we are on the topic of physician right to conscience, here is a case that some of you may have heard about or remember, back in the news and in court again:   These 2 physicians actually DID REFER a patient to another physician when they disagreed with doing something for her–AND THEY STILL GOT SUED FOR DISCRIMINATION.    This is really pushing the envelope…

Denise Burke [atty, Americans United for Life]:
     As you may recall, this case involves a lawsuit by a lesbian against two physicians who, because of their religious beliefs, would not artifically inseminate single women (homosexual or heterosexual).  The physicians explained their position, referred the woman to another physician who would artificially inseminate single women, and paid the additional costs that the woman incurred as a result of the referral to another physician.  The woman later became pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby.  She also sued the first two doctors alleging discrimination on the basis of her sexual orientation.  At the trial level and on summary judgment, her attorneys — national gays rights attorneys — successful precluded the doctors from asserting their religious beliefs as a defense to liability and from arguing that their rights of conscience and religious liberty rights should be accommodated and allowed them to refuse treatment. Following a last minute request by ADF for assistance, I (along with a CA counsel) filed an amicus brief on behalf of a medical association in a CA appeals court, arguing that the physicians’ religious liberty rights and rights of conscience must be respected; providing the court with citations to and information from a variety of standards for medical ethics that explicitly allow physicians to refuse certain treatment because of religious or moral beliefs; and arguing that, even though the physicians in this case made a referral, the court should not adopt as a “bright line” rule a position that a physician must treat or refer patients with whom they have religious or moral conflicts.

Oral arguments were heard 11Oct05 and the first thing that the judges referenced (even before they allowed counsel to begin arguments) was the brief filed by the medical association and our argument that the physicians had the right to have their religious beliefs accommodated.  They referenced our brief by name and focused their questions to both counsels on the issues we presented.  Apparently, the judges did not appear to accept the arguments made by the lesbian’s attorneys (typical hyperbole equating homosexuals to blacks, arguing that medical care is akin to public accommodations like hotels and restaurants and arguing that physicians beliefs and rights take a backseat to the patient’s rights). 

We now expect this case to be…remanded with instructions to the trial judge to consider the right of conscience/religious liberty defense and proceed to trial.  [As of 2Dec05, no court decision.]  [AAPLOG, 24Oct05]

The CA appellate court in San Diego ruled 2Dec05 in favor of the doctors, reversing the lower court’s determination that the doctors were not entitled to present a rights of conscience/religious accommodation defense to the charge of discrimination (based on sexual orientation). 
PRESS RELEASE: Court favors doctors: 3-judge panel allows use of religious beliefs in denying insemination
An appeals court ruled 2Dec05 that two North County doctors can be allowed to argue that their religious beliefs prevented them from artificially inseminating an unmarried lesbian. Guadalupe Benitez, with partner Joanne Clark and son Gabriel in August, sued her two doctors, saying they would not perform artificial insemination because she is homosexual.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego said there was a “triable issue of fact” as to whether the refusal by the physicians to inseminate Guadalupe Benitez was based on her marital status and not her sexual orientation. [Press Release By Greg Moran, 3Dec05; JOHN GASTALDO / Union-Tribune]  

Basically, the appellate court ruled that the rights of conscience defense applied and the doctors were entitled to a trial on the issue of why they refused to inseminate the plaintiff.  The plaintiff argues that the doctors refused to artificially inseminate her because she was a lesbian, while the doctors contend their refusal was based on religious beliefs (that would keep them from inseminating any single women, heterosexual or homosexual).  Moreover, at the time of the refusal, CA law permitted “discrimination” based on marital status, but not sexual orientation.
The lower court tried to eliminate a rights of conscience/religious liberty defense for these (and other) physicians and the appellate court refused to go along.  The court adopted the arguments that we advanced in our brief (along with some other points made by the doctors’ counsel).  The attorney for the plaintiff intends to appeal to the CA Supreme Court.

 

CHILEAN SUPREME COURT REVERSE ORDERS SALE OF ABORTIFACIENT MORNING-AFTER PILL. Population controllers, through activist court, have finally breached pro-life nation [2Dec05 LifeSiteNews.com]

MANITOBA TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR ALL ABORTIONS. Manitoba taxpayers are now paying for all abortions committed in the province. Health Minister Tim Sale revised government policy to allow private abortuaries to receive provincial funding for abortion last week. “In a blatant attempt to put pressure on the Manitoba provincial government to fund their killing business, a group of women in Winnipeg turned Henry Morgentaler’s Winnipeg abortuary into a non-profit facility – Jane’s Clinic – in April 2004. Two women then challenged the government last December over its failure to fund their lifestyle choice; Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Jeffrey Oliphant ruled that it was unconstitutional for the government to deny the women taxpayer money to kill their unborn children. Although Oliphant’s decision was overturned on appeal in September, Sale claims he is simply instituting a change already set in motion in 2004. “This regulation is just catching up to a change in policy made about a year ago,” he said, as reported by the Winnipeg Sun. [30Nov05, LifeSiteNews.com, By Terry Vanderheyden]

BRITISH DOCTORS “INCREASINGLY UNEASY” WITH ABORTION SURVIVAL RATE. In a story on “botched” abortions the Times reports on the latest British medical scandal: that some of the intended victims survive. A government agency has published a report titled, “Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH),” that shows, to the horror of the British medical establishment, that up to 50 babies survive abortion every year in Britain. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says the Times, requires that babies whom the mother chooses to kill after 21 weeks and six days of gestation must receive an injection of potassium chloride into the heart “before being delivered.” The article states blandl
y that “in practi
ce, few doctors are willing or able to perform the delicate procedure.” In an unusually frank admission, the Times neglects the standard journalistic euphemisms that soothe public conscience in abortion coverage. Instead of speaking of “terminations” and “foetuses,” the Times refers to “babies.” Instructions to abortionists doing early term abortions in Britain require that the drugs used should “prevent such babies being alive at birth.” While disclaiming that he is not “anti-abortion,” Stuart Campbell [former prof, obstetrics and gynaecology, St George’s hospital, London]  said that abortion botching is “substandard medicine.” “If viability is the basis on which they set the 24-week limit for abortion, then the simplest answer is to change the law and reduce the upper limit to 18 weeks,” said Campbell.[London Times, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1892696,00.html; H. White 28Nov05, LifeSiteNews.com]

AFTER ABORTION WOMEN’S SUICIDE RATES ARE HIGHEST SAYS NEW STUDY. Compared to women who have not been pregnant in the prior year, deaths from suicide, accidents and homicide are 248% higher in the year following an abortion, according to the STAKES 13-year study of the entire population of women in Finland. The study also found that majority of the extra deaths among women who had abortions were due to suicide. The suicide rate among women who had abortions was six times higher than that of women who had given birth in the prior year and double that of women who had miscarriages. While the risk of death from suicide, accidents, and homicide was highest among women who had abortions within the prior year, the risk of death was lowest among women who gave birth within the prior year, who had less than half the death rate of women who had not been pregnant. The risk of death following a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, however, did not significantly differ from the risk of death among non-pregnant women. The new study confirms findings from previous record-based studies carried out in Finland and the United States that have found elevated risks of death among women who have abortions. A 1997 government-funded study in Finland found that aborting women were 3.5 times more likely to die within the next year compared to women who gave birth. In another study, researchers examining death records linked to medical payments for birth and abortion for 173,000 California women [Medi-Cal] found that aborting women were 62 percent more likely to die than delivering women over the eight year period examined. That study also found that the increase risk of death was most prominent from suicides and accidents, with a 154 percent higher risk of death from suicide and an 82 percent higher risk of death from accidental injuries. The lead author of this California study, David Reardon, Ph.D., said that record-linkage studies are vital to getting an accurate picture of pregnancy-associated mortality rates. “In most cases, coroners simply have no way of knowing that the deceased recently had an abortion, which is why these new record linkage studies are so important,” he said. Indeed, another recent study by government health officials in Finland found that 94 percent of maternal deaths associated with abortion could not be identified by looking at death certificates alone. This finding applies to the data published by the CDC in the USA. Previous studies have also linked abortion to higher rates of substance abuse, anxiety, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts, psychiatric illness, relationship problems, and risk-taking behavior, any of which may increase a women’s risk of death by suicide or accident. The authors of the new Finland study also speculated that there might be common risk factors.The epidemiological study, published in the European Journal of Public Health, was conducted by Finland’s National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health (STAKES). The researchers looked at data between 1987 and 2000 on all deaths among women of reproductive age (15 to 49). [1Dec05, http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05120107.html, LifeSiteNews.com]

BAPTIST LEADER: ABORTION, NOT POVERTY, THE GREATEST TRAGEDY. Richard Land [President, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission]:  “As important as poverty is, and we certainly want to alleviate it and I think government does have a responsibility,” Land added. “But there’s not a single day that goes by, for the last 32 years (when Roe vs. Wade, the court case that made abortion legal was passed) that I have not personally grieved and prayed for the 4,000-some odd babies, disproportionately African-American babies, I might add, who have been aborted. I believe that government has a responsibility to protect life, and that includes unborn life. And I personally will not rest until it is protected. Poverty may have diminished the lives of, it may have harmed millions of Americans, but it hadn’t killed 45 million people.” [Tennessean; LifeNews.com  25Nov05]

IN SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS ABORTION INFORMATION LAW. [23Nov05] Requires abortion facilities to give women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives 18 hours before performing the abortion. The court ruled that abortion advocates could not pursue their lawsuit.. The court said their lawsuit would fail because the law “does not impose a material burden on any right to privacy or abortion that may be provided or protected” under the state constitution. The court said it was not ruling on whether the state constitution included a right to privacy or abortion.  Federal courts have upheld the 1995 law, which didn’t go into effect until 2003 because of court challenges. [LifeNews.com  25Nov05]

AUSTRALIA EXPERT SAYS ABORTION DRUG IS RISKY FOR WOMEN. Dr. Renate Klein [biologist, assoc prof, women’s studies at Deakin Univ] says the abortion pills are unsafe for women. Abortions with the RU 486 pill are potentially unsafe, unpredictable and involve a risky chemical “cocktail,” the feminist health academic said. Dr. Klein appealed to federal MPs to maintain restrictions on RU 486. Klein backs abortion but is appalled at the “misinformation” given by RU 486 supporters claiming it to be a simple procedure. Klein cites [now 5] deaths in California of women who suffered a rare and highly lethal bacterial infection from the abortifacient. [LifeNews.com  25Nov05]

AUSTRALIA WILL NOT LIFT ITS BAN ON DANGEROUS RU 486 ABORTION DRUG. Australian health minister Abbott has ruled out lifting the current ban on the sale of abortion drug RU 486. The decision came after a governmental agency advised that the ban should stay in place. The Australian Health Department says lifting the ban would be dangerous for the health of rural women who may take the abortion drug, because a doctor’s supervision is required throughout the abortion process. According to the department, as many as 8% of women might need urgent post-abortion medical care and getting them to a local hospital may be difficult in some parts of the country. Abbott also previously cited the deaths of women in the USA, Canada and elsewhere from the abortion drug. Abbott said the department’s advice “provides no reasons for changing the long-standing practice…in regard to the availability to RU-486…For some women seeking pregnancy termination, a medical abortion may be preferable, but is unsafe in circumstances in which appropriate supervision and follow-up may not be available,” the health department wrote [Advertiser]. [Canberra, Australia LifeNews.com; 16Nov05, AAPLOG]

ACOG  DUES DOLLARS AT WORK.  30Nov, the US Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case of Ayotte (the N.H. attorney general) vs Planned Parenthood-a case challenging the New Hampshire  law requiring  parental notification
before your
underage daughter can have her pregnancy aborted.  AAPLOG, CMDA, AUL, Nat’l Assn Evangelicals, & CLS have filed a Friend of the Court Brief in defense of the law.  “As you might expect, ACOG (along with AAP, and about 10 other abortion rights defenders, have filed a Friend of the Court Brief in favor of Planned Parenthood [PP].  If the US Supreme Court decides in favor of Planned Parenthood, similar parental notification in 30 or so states will be in jeopardy.” ACOG $$ for OH PP:  The Ohio legislature passed legislation requiring the prescribing of RU-486 in their state to stick to the FDA guidelines (in 2003, I think).  PP filed a suit against the state/governor, alleging limitation of access to care, (because PP use the Schaff protocol, which delivers the RU-486 with vaginal misoprostol, rather than oral misoprostol, as the FDA protocol approved.) They call this (Schaff) protocol the “evidence based protocol” since it has been used very extensively within PP.  It works well…probably better than the FDA approved protocol. However, data is severely lacking on the safety of vaginal misoprostol use.  Case in point — there are now 5 deaths and over 400 adverse events reported for this protocol.   The Schaff protocol has not gone through the safety testing that the rigors of FDA approval would require.  And it is quite legal for the state to mandate sticking to the FDA label, especially since RU-486 was approved under special circumstances (subchapter H).  PP is clearly not following the FDA rules regarding RU-486 administration, which have specific guidelines for consent and protocol.  Apparently, since the initial hearing of the case (Nov04), ACOG went to some effort to revise the practice bulletin, specifically concerning the alternative regimen for RU-486 use, and to file a brief with the court in support of Planned Parenthood.

It is interesting to note that the revised ACOG Practice Bulletin (#67) conveniently did not include mention of the FDA warnings of problems with adverse events or deaths from sepsis.  [APPLOG, DeCook, 4Dec05, “ACOG dues at work–for Planned Parenthood”]

MULTIPLE CHOICE.  “[C]lose to half of the 1.3 million abortions performed in the United States each year are repeat abortions… In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 18 percent of abortions were performed on women seeking at least their third pregnancy termination. In contrast, studies have show that rape and incest victims…account for about 1 percent of abortions. …
    “Asked about repeat abortions, a spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America declined several requests for comment. The reluctance of liberals and pro-choice advocates to shine a spotlight on the troubling repeat-abortion phenomenon has obscured a growing public health issue…The sad fact is that …abortion is no longer mainly a tool women use to shape their own destinies, but rather a symptom of larger social problems that ought to be addressed by policy-makers. Realizing this may just mean accepting that there’s some credibility to conservative views on abortion.” [Garance Franke-Ruta, writing on “Multiple Choice,”  5Dec05 issue of the New Republic, http://www.washtimes.com/culture/culturebriefs.htm; N Valko RN 28Nov05]  

A LAWSUIT is pending in Hamilton Co., OH, against PP. PP is alleged to have performed an unlawful abortion on a 14-yr-old girl, who had been impregnated by an adult man, without notifying either parent. There is a call being made for help to defray costs so that PP may be thoroughly investigated to find if they comply with state law. The OH Parental Consent/WRTK law went into effect 10Oct2005. [Women’s Injury Network; cincinnatirighttolife.org/projects, Rt to Life GC, Nov/Dec05]

BUMPER STICKER SAVES A LIFE. An anonymous note from a pregnant woman left on a car with a pro-life bumper sticker [Abortion Stops a Beating Heart] informed the owner that the bumper sticker had helped her decide against abortion. [Rt to Life GC, Nov/Dec05]