Ethics News

News: Abortion


>> = Important Articles; ** = Major Articles


Supplemental Articles in a separate file (click here to read)



>>De-Fund the Predators of Planned Parenthood (, 110211)

>>Poll: Pro-Choice Americans Falling Away (Christian Post, 091002)

>>Twins Save Mom’s Life, Kick Loose Deadly Tumor From Mom’s Cervix While Still in Womb (Foxnews, 080204)

>>How my twins saved my life by kicking loose a tumour while still in my womb (UK, Daily Mail, 080204)

>>In perfect health, the baby doctors said would be born deaf and blind ...and live only a few hours (London, Daily Mail, 080225)

>>Abortion-rights advocate admits lying on key issue (970226)

>>Ex-abortionists rip apart ‘pro-choice’ movement (WorldNetDaily, 021219)

**The Philadelphia Horror: How Mass Murder Gets a Pass (, 110121)

**New Barna Study Explores Current Views on Abortion (Barna, 100614)

**Pro-Lifers Celebrate Recent Victories in Illinois (Christian Post, 100331)

**Poll: Abortion Support Falling among Young Adults (Christian Post, 100313)

**Abortion ideology harmful to health of moms, children (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 100225)

**New Paper Links UN Promotion of “Safe” Abortion to Maternal Deaths (C-FAM, 091217)

**An Amazing Article on Abortion in New York Magazine (Christian Post, 091214)

**Report: Most States Pursuing Pro-Life Agenda (Christian Post, 090923)

**Over 1,000 Clerics Want Abortion Access in Health Care Bill (Christian Post, 091002)

**Report: Abortions Fall; Unsafe Procedures Still Prevalent (Christian Post, 091014)

**Report: Two-Thirds of Abortion Clinics Closed Since 1991 (Christian Post,091209)

**Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Resigns After Witnessing Abortion (Christian Post, 091106)

**Official: Obama to Reverse Bush Abortion Regulation (Foxnews, 090227)

**Ohio Abortion Clinics Required to Provide Ultrasounds, Alternatives (Christian Post, 080327)

**Baby Doctors Said Would Be Deaf, Blind Born Healthy (Foxnews, 080225)

**Report: Number of U.S. Abortions Drop to Lowest Levels in 30 Years (Foxnews, 080117)

**Quiet Decline: The good news about abortion that hasn’t made news. (National Review Online, 080121)

**Aborting the Truth: Deception behind taxpayer funded-abortion clinics. (National Review Online, 071120)

**India’s Millions of Missing Girls (Mohler, 070222)





>>De-Fund the Predators of Planned Parenthood (, 110211)


Thanks to the persistent investigative work of young pro-life journalists, Planned Parenthood’s ruthless, money-grubbing colors are on full, fresh YouTube display. But as shocking as the illicit new videos from Live Action Films are, the routine, parental authority-sabotaging advice the taxpayer-funded abortion racket gives teens every day deserves more front-page headline news, too.


Live Action is a California-based “new media, investigative and educational organization committed to the protection and respect of all human life” led by Internet undercover pioneer Lila Rose. The group’s latest video footage at abortion clinics in Perth Amboy, N.J., the Bronx and four cities in Virginia shows Planned Parenthood officials aiding and abetting individuals posing as criminal sex traffickers seeking abortions for underage girls.


Abortion activists first attacked the videos as “doctored,” then claimed they had already taken steps to rectify problems at the targeted clinics, then fired a worker after the tapes had been released and finally denied any systemic failures while patting Planned Parenthood on the back for ordering new re-training measures for their employees this week.


Those who dismiss the scandal as an anomaly are in denial or abjectly ignorant.


In 2007, while an undergrad at UCLA, Rose visited a local campus Planned Parenthood clinic posing as a 14-year-old minor seeking an abortion after being impregnated by a 23-year-old man. California’s mandatory reporting laws require abortion providers to report statutory rape involving girls under the age of 16. Rose secretly captured video of her visit in which the staff advised her to “figure out a birth-date that works,” to obtain the abortion and avoid getting the man in trouble with the law. Instead of vowing to do more to protect girls from predators, Planned Parenthood threatened to sue Rose to shut her up.


That same year, a teenager came forward in Ohio to blow the whistle on how a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Cincinnati had ignored her cries for help after her father — who had been molesting her for three years from the age of 13 — forced her to have an abortion. She told an abortion staffer, who was required by state law to report suspected abuse to police. But the women’s health provider so beloved by liberals on Capitol Hill did nothing.


Another Ohio teenage victim of sexual abuse filed suit against Planned Parenthood after the soccer coach who abused her at age 14 forced her to undergo an abortion. “Although she used a junior-high school I.D. and the coach, 21, paid with a credit card and driver’s license,” the Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune reported, “Planned Parenthood failed to report the abuse.”


Pro-choice radicals assert that butchers like Philadelphia Horror abortion doc Kermit Gosnell — charged along with his baby-killing death squad last month with multiple counts of murder, infanticide, conspiracy, abuse of corpse, theft and other offenses — are an exception and that young girls and women who choose Planned Parenthood are “safe.”


Tell that to the Washington, D.C., family of 13-year-old Shantese Butler, who was left permanently injured and infertile after a botched Planned Parenthood abortion. Students for Life of America reported that Shantese was left with “severe abdominal bleeding, severe vaginal injury, severe injury to the cervix, significant uterine perforation and a small bowel tear.” In addition, parts of the unborn child were found inside Shantese’s abdomen.


And don’t forget the Nebraska Planned Parenthood clinic that refused to disclose the terms of a settlement with another victim whose botched abortion resulted in a perforated uterus, massive blood loss, an emergency hysterectomy, permanent infertility, seizures and lifelong pain and suffering. According to the suit obtained by Life News, the woman told the abortionist and his assistants to stop, but was told: “We can’t stop.” The Planned Parenthood employees held her down to complete the procedure.


None of this is disclosed on Planned Parenthood’s informational website aimed at teenage girls, of course. Instead, the group aggressively advises pregnant girls under 18 on how to avoid telling their parents about visiting their abortion clinics through a process known as “judicial bypass.”


Through its “award-winning” website Teenwire, Planned Parenthood ideologues normalize teen sexual activity, peddle their “family planning” services, whitewash the physical and moral consequences of abortion, downplay the long-term psychological consequences and circumvent parental authority at every opportunity. What other enterprise receives taxpayer support to entice children to hide their health decisions from their own mothers and fathers?


Planned Parenthood is a $1-plus billion business that rakes in one-third of its budget from government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels. Congress has interrogated banking, energy, health insurance, tobacco and oil execs — treating them like serial killers before the cameras. When will they finally de-fund a corrupt industry that has real blood on its hands?




>>Poll: Pro-Choice Americans Falling Away (Christian Post, 091002)


Support for abortion is slipping among most demographic and political groups, a new poll revealed this week.


In 2007 and 2008, pro-choice Americans clearly outnumbered pro-lifers 54% to 40%. But surveys conducted this year by the Pew Research Center showed that views of abortion are about evenly divided, with 47% expressing support for legalized abortion and 44% expressing opposition.


Declining support for abortion is seen among men and women; whites and Hispanics; Republicans, Democrats and independents; and white Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and the unaffiliated.


Groups that had once clearly preferred keeping abortion legal – such as men, white mainline Protestants, and political independents – are now divided, the Pew report noted.


"The size of the shift is modest, but the consistency with which we see it occurring and the implications it has for the overall dynamics of the debate make it significant," Gregory Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, told The New York Times.


Results from the new survey, released Thursday, contrast with those of other recent polls that have shown little change in Americans' views of abortion. New York Times/CBS News polls and an ABC News/Washington Post poll found the majority of Americans still say abortion should be legal, as was the case over a decade ago.


Another major pollster, however, found a similar shift toward the pro-life camp as the Pew report has documented. In May, the Gallup Poll showed that 51% of Americans identified themselves as pro-life – the first time a majority of U.S. adults stood against abortion since Gallup began asking the abortion question in 1995. Only 42% described themselves as pro-choice.


The Pew Research Center suggested that the election of pro-choice candidate Barack Obama as president may have contributed to the shift in attitude.


29% of Americans think that President Barack Obama will handle the abortion issue about right while 19% worry the president will go too far in supporting abortion rights. Only 4% express concern that Obama will not go far enough to support abortion rights.


White evangelicals are most skeptical about Obama wanting to reduce the number of abortions in this country. Only 29% believe Obama holds that view. Meanwhile, younger Americans, aged 18-29, are most likely to say Obama favors reducing the number of abortions.


Notably, four in ten Americans are unaware of Obama's position on abortion.


The latest survey also revealed that Americans are more likely to say their religious beliefs are the primary influence on their attitudes toward abortion than their educational or personal experience.


And more than half (52%) of Americans say having an abortion is morally wrong.


The Pew survey was conducted Aug. 11-27 among a total of 4,013 adults. The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center's work is carried out by seven projects, including the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.




>>Twins Save Mom’s Life, Kick Loose Deadly Tumor From Mom’s Cervix While Still in Womb (Foxnews, 080204)


Many mothers cherish the first kicks they feel from their unborn babies.


But unknown to one U.K. mother, the kicking she felt from the twins growing inside her actually saved her life, according to a report from the Daily Mail.


Michelle Stepney, 35, said her twins Alice and Harriet, now age 13 months, were a lively pair in the womb. At the time, however, she had no idea that constant kicking she felt actually dislodged a tumor that had formed on her cervix and, according to doctors, saved her life.


Shortly after becoming pregnant, Stepney of Cheam in South-West London was taken to the hospital after suffering what was believed to be a miscarriage. Soon doctors realized she was still pregnant, but had developed life-threatening cervical cancer. Stepney declined to have an abortion and doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London agreed to give her reduced chemotherapy in the hope of stopping the cancer spreading during the pregnancy.


But it wasn’t the chemo that ultimately saved Stepney.


“I couldn’t believe it when the doctors told me that the babies had dislodged the tumor,” she said. “I’d felt them kicking, but I didn’t realize just how important their kicking would turn out to be. I owe my life to my girls, and that’s why I could have never agreed with a termination.”




>>How my twins saved my life by kicking loose a tumour while still in my womb (UK, Daily Mail, 080204)

[KH: poorly written, lacking a sequence, but great news]


Like any thrilled mother to be, Michelle Stepney cherished the first kicks she could feel from her unborn babies. But her lively twin girls were doing more than simply making their presence felt. Each little kick was saving their mother’s life.


Unknown to her, Mrs Stepney, 35, had developed cervical cancer. Her unborn twins’ constant kicking in the womb actually managed to dislodge the tumour.


It was only when Mrs Stepney was taken to hospital with a suspected miscarriage that doctors realised she had cancer.


They told her the babies had saved her life. Without them, the cancer may not have been discovered until it was too late.


Then came another bombshell. In order to treat the cancer, she needed immediate chemotherapy and a hysterectomy, which would mean terminating the pregnancy.


Mrs Stepney refused. “I couldn’t believe it when the doctors told me that the babies had dislodged the tumour,” she said.


“I’d felt them kicking, but I didn’t realise just how important their kicking would turn out to be.


“I owe my life to my girls, and that’s why I could have never agreed with a termination.”


Instead, she waited for her lifesaving treatment until they had been born.


Now the proud mother of year-old girls Alice and Harriet, Mrs Stepney has been given the all-clear.


She and her husband Scott, 36, a civil servant, were told they were expecting twins at a 14-week scan.


The couple, who also have a five-year-old son, Jack, were thrilled. But three weeks later, Mrs Stepney was back at the hospital with a suspected miscarriage.


“I was just in shock when the doctors told me what it was. When they said that the babies had literally kicked my tumour out, I just couldn’t believe it.


“If I hadn’t been pregnant with the twins, the cancer may not have been discovered until it was too late.


“I knew I could have an operation straight away and it would cure me of the cancer, but that would mean getting rid of my babies and I couldn’t do that.


“I had two lives inside me and I just couldn’t give up on them - especially after they had saved me like this.”


Doctors at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London agreed to give Mrs Stepney reduced chemotherapy in the hope of stopping the cancer spreading during the pregnancy.


“The doctors had tried this with women who were pregnant before, but they hadn’t treated a woman with twins before. I knew it was our only hope,” she said at her home in Cheam, South-West London.


She had chemotherapy every fortnight and was constantly scanned to monitor the babies’ development.


“The doctors didn’t know what the chemotherapy would do to the twins, and the first time I had it, I dreaded what it was doing to the girls. But they actually carried on growing well.”


The twins were delivered by caesarean-section 33 weeks into the pregnancy, in December 2006. Alice weighed 3lb 11oz and Harriet 3lb 5oz. “They were born without any hair as a result of the chemotherapy, but other than that, they were healthy.


“When I heard them both let out a cry it was the best sound in the world.”


Four weeks later Mrs Stepney had a hysterectomy to remove the tumour. Tests showed the cancer had not spread. The twins have just celebrated their first birthday and are thriving. Mrs Stepney, an accountant, had a scan in December which showed she was still free from cancer.


She has been nominated for a Woman of Courage award by Cancer Research UK Race for Life and will be honoured at a ceremony in London on February 12.


“I’ve had wonderful support from my husband and I couldn’t have got through it without him,” she said. “I feel so lucky. And one day I will tell my daughters how they saved their mummy’s life.”




>>In perfect health, the baby doctors said would be born deaf and blind ...and live only a few hours (London, Daily Mail, 080225)


A couple who were advised to abort their baby when doctors said he had a rare brain disorder have spoken of their joy after their “miracle son” was born in perfect health.


Little Brandon Kramer was diagnosed with rhomboencephalosynapsis – a condition so rare it affects fewer than one in a million people worldwide – while he was still in the womb.


Doctors warned his mother and father that Brandon would be born deaf and blind and would probably survive only for a couple of hours.


It is believed to be the first time in Britain that the condition has been diagnosed during pregnancy – and Becky Weatherall and her partner Kriss Kramer were offered a termination up to just weeks before the birth.


But the couple defied doctors’ advice and their son was born healthy on October 1 last year.


Now Brandon is teething and attempting to talk, and Kriss, 24, from Pembroke Dock, South Wales, said: “The fact that he is here now, alive and kicking, truly is a miracle.


“The doctors say that he has defied all the odds but it’s really more than that because he wasn’t given any odds at all.


“He was written off completely and we believed he was 100 per cent certain to be handicapped.”


Becky, 23, whose father Paul Weatherall is Mayor of Pembroke Dock, said: “I feel incredibly guilty thinking that I could have killed him – and then I find myself wondering how many other babies are killed who would have turned out to be completely healthy.


“Just two weeks before he was born scans showed that his head was so swollen it was off the scale for normal babies but when he had an MRI scan on Christmas Eve it was confirmed he was completely healthy.


“We had prepared to spend Christmas without him – we thought we’d be planning a funeral. Instead, it was the best Christmas present ever and now we’re having a christening.”


Doctors at the Fetal Medicine Unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff first suspected Brandon had Down’s Syndrome. But finally they diagnosed rhomboencephalosynapsis – a condition in which the brain fuses together rather than being in two halves.


Doctors also diagnosed Brandon with a swollen head and hydrocephalus – water on the brain – which can cause learning difficulties and behavioural problems. They said further tests every two weeks until just before the birth had shown his condition worsening.


Medical notes written by paediatric neurologist Dr Cathy White from the University Hospital of Wales after an examination in August, 2007 read:


“Rhomboencephalosynapsis is an extraordinarily rare congenital abnormality and this, therefore, makes it very difficult to predict the long-term outcome for this baby.


“I have explained to them [the parents] that children with this condition are likely to be profoundly handicapped with severe physical and learning disabilities and will be totally dependent for the whole of their life.


“They often need the level of care given to babies for the whole of their lives.”


But Brandon was born naturally in October and, despite being whisked to intensive care by a team of specialists, was quickly given the all-clear.


An urgent review into the case has been ordered by hospital chiefs because it is unclear if Brandon had the condition and recovered from it – or if the data was misinterpreted by hospital staff.


The couple do not want to claim compensation and just want to highlight their case as a warning to other parents.


Becky said: “Perhaps doctors shouldn’t put so much confidence in scans.


“One of the older doctors we spoke to said a scan is like a fuzzy image of a snowstorm – it cannot be relied upon – and he turned out to be right.”


A spokesman for the British Paediatric Neurology Association said: ‘MRI scans for babies have been a very recent development. But the problem is that it’s hard to go from what the brain looks like to how it’s going to work. Just because you have an abnormality in a scan doesn’t mean your baby will turn out abnormally.”


He said he had seen only about three or four cases of rhomboencephalosynapsis in the past ten years – and that this may be the first case in Britain of it being diagnosed in the womb.


Jane Herve, Assistant Clinical Director and Head Of Midwifery And Gynaecology at Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, said: “Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot discuss the details of individual cases. Although every care and precaution is taken to ensure the most accurate results, ultrasound is not 100 per cent accurate. If any reading or results are missed, be it negative or positive, clinicians will review the case including the scan photographs.”


Comments from Readers:


Scans are a double edged sword; whilst they may offer reassurance to some people, they are sometimes inaccurate- I know several people who were told their babies were deformed, all of whom gave birth to perfect, healthy babies.


We were told that my grandaughter had Edwards syndrome - a chromosomal abnormality. She is now a healthy happy 22 month old - talking walking and very much normal. All this from a scan that supposed shows a cyst in her brain while still in the womb. Thank God her parents did not take the doctors advice to abort.


There are too many cases like this. I wonder how many wanted babies have been aborted because of a supposed defect, and then turned out to be perfectly normal.


I applaud this couple who chose life over some obscure condition. No doubt the doctor will not offer an apology to them and admit that they were wrong.


I know a couple this happened to, after the mother contracted rubella (German measles) during pregnancy and was advised to have an abortion because the baby would be severely impaired. The child was born perfect and is now a doctor. Goes to show they aren’t always right.


With my last pregnancy my baby had various markers for chromosomal abnormalities. I had 17 scans including an MRI of her brain while in my womb. At 32 weeks I opted for an amnio which could have caused pre-term labour and was told we could terminate right up to the due date. My baby was completely normal and is a happy bouncing 8 month old. Fetal medical units will always err on the side of caution but the stress caused to parents is enormous.




>>Abortion-rights advocate admits lying on key issue (970226)


‘Lied through my teeth’


WASHINGTON (Reuter) —A prominent spokesman for the abortion-rights lobby sparked a political furor Wednesday by saying he lied about a type of late-term abortion when he said it was only done to save lives or abort malformed fetuses.


Just as Congress prepared to resume the debate over that procedure, Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, said he “lied through my teeth” in testifying and appearing on television to defend what critics call “partial-birth abortions.”.


In an article in the latest American Medical News, to be published on March 3, and in Wednesday’s New York Times, Fitzsimmons said that the operation was most often done on healthy women with healthy fetuses.


Doctors perform the late-term procedure by partly extracting the fetus from the birth canal and suctioning out its brain.


Admission sparks a furor


“It is a form of killing,” Fitzsimmons said. “You’re ending a life.” He said he lied because he was afraid that telling the truth would damage the abortions rights cause.


He later decided that the issue of whether the procedure remains legal, like the overall debate about abortion, must be based on the truth, the Times said.


His admission sparked a furor among activists on both sides of the abortion issue, who are lining up to do battle again when legislation to ban that type of abortion is proposed next week in the House.


Clinton vetoed ban last April


President Clinton vetoed a similar bill last April that would have made the operations illegal. He argued that it was done in only “a few hundred” cases for women who were in danger or whose fetuses were deformed. Congress failed to override the veto last fall.


Abortion-rights activists called a news conference to insist they have been telling the truth all along about these abortions, which they say are rare and only done for health reasons. They stressed that 99% of abortions are done in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and women’s health was the overriding factor in choosing the operation.


‘We didn’t mislead the public,’ NARAL leader says


Kate Michelman, head of the National Abortion Rights Action League, told reporters:


“We didn’t mislead the public. We told exactly what was happening.” She said that “no one knows” the real number of abortions and the reasons for them since reporting procedures are not strict in every state.


Doug Johnson, the Right To Life Committee’s legislative director, said the problem was that the major news media had accepted Fitzsimmons’ testimony and Clinton used them in deciding on his veto.


“These claims were adopted uncritically and disseminated by the major media,” he said.


The Center for Disease Control estimated that there are about 1.5 million abortions a year in the United States.


Alexander Sanger, president of Planned Parenthood of New York City, said that “abortions —using any procedure —after 20 weeks are extremely rare.”


He quoted figures provided by the Alan Guttmacher Institute as stating that out of all abortions performed in 1994 (the most recent statistics available), 1% were done at or after 21 weeks. [Kwing Hung: But 1% means over 15,000 which cannot be described as rare.]




>>Ex-abortionists rip apart ‘pro-choice’ movement (WorldNetDaily, 021219)


Marking the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s most controversial decision in history – Roe v. Wade – the January edition of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine will focus cover-to-cover on the supercharged subject of abortion in America.


Titled “ABORTION: The 30-year war,” it includes:


* Our interview with Norma McCorvey – the real-life “Jane Roe” plaintiff of Roe v. Wade and long the poster girl of legalized abortion. Amazingly, today she has switched sides and become a pro-life Christian, charges that she was callously “used” in 1973 by uncaring pro-abortion attorneys, confesses her celebrated case was fraudulent in the first place seeing as she lied about being impregnated through rape, and today runs a ministry to persuade people of the evils of abortion.


* Similarly, Bernard Nathanson, M.D., the co-founder of NARAL (the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) and one of the early creators and strategists of the abortion movement, now admits it was all based on lies.


“We simply fabricated the results of fictional polls,” he confesses, while explaining how the abortion-rights movement changed America’s laws. “We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually.”


It was also Nathanson, who personally performed 5,000 abortions and supervised another 10,000, that made up the original abortion-rights slogans of the “pro-choice” movement: “Freedom of choice” and “Women must have control over their own bodies.”


“I remember laughing when we made those slogans up,” recalls Nathanson, reminiscing about the early days of the abortion-rights movement in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. “We were looking for some sexy, catchy slogans to capture public opinion. They were very cynical slogans then, just as all of these slogans today are very, very cynical.”


In this issue of Whistleblower, Nathanson – joined by a host of other former abortionists and clinic personnel – blows the lid off of the extraordinarily deceitful, destructive but lucrative abortion business, long protected by the establishment media’s reluctance to investigate it.




**The Lost Girls of China and India (Christianity Today, 110629)

Why so many baby girls are being killed in the world’s two largest countries.


Across most cultures and throughout time, parents have wanted boys more than they have wanted girls. Recently developed technologies are allowing parents to reject their girl children before they are even born.


In India and China, the world’s two most populated nations, parents have chosen to abort hundreds of millions of baby girls.


According to Samanth Subramanian, writing for The National, “Indians are aborting more female foetuses (sic.) than at any time in their nation’s history, with the practice growing fastest in the more affluent states. . . . There are now 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6.”


Furthermore, the BBC News reports that in India, “activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade.” In addition to a large number of abortions using so-called “sex-selection,” the infant mortality rate is higher for girls than boys in India, probably due to a combination of neglect and infanticide.


This gender disparity has posed social problems for decades. In 1994, India’s legislators made it illegal for ultrasound technicians to reveal babies’ sex in India, yet the disparity between births of girls and boys has only increased in recent years. The laws on the books are rarely enforced and pose minimal consequences, but even for doctors who obey the law, the problem remains. World Magazine recently reported on a hospital in Morena, a rural area with 825 girls to every 1,000 boys. The editors wrote, “The hospital insists it strictly obeys the law against using sonograms to reveal the gender of a baby. . . . The sex ratio at birth at [Dr. R.C. Bandil’s] hospital is as high as 940-945.” In other words, even when baby girls aren’t aborted, they die young: “An exhausted mother who faces neglect, poor nutrition, and blame for producing a daughter is likely to pass on that neglect, social workers say. For an infant, that can mean the difference between life and death.


An even greater gender disparity exists in China, where “the ratio is 837 girls per 1,000 boys.” According to an Economist report last year, “The destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus.” Furthermore, at least in India, parents still often pay a dowry when their daughters get married. Girls cost more and produce less. Ultrasound technology and abortion allow them to be treated as commodities, discarded like defective widgets on a production line.


In addition to the obvious and egregious ethical problems posed by widespread abortion and infanticide of baby girls, the Economist spells out pragmatic problems for such an imbalanced society: “the cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic… In any country rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognised routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity.”


The Economist cites South Korea as the only nation where the rates of sex-selective abortions have decreased dramatically: “In the 1990s South Korea had a sex ratio almost as skewed as China’s. Now, it is heading towards normality. It has achieved this not deliberately, but because the culture changed. Female education, anti-discrimination suits and equal-rights rulings made son preference seem old-fashioned and unnecessary. The forces of modernity first exacerbated prejudice — then overwhelmed it.” In addition to suggesting that China change its one-child policy, The Economist suggests a series of other measures to effect change: “encourage female education; abolish laws and customs that prevent daughters inheriting property; make examples of hospitals and clinics with impossible sex ratios; get women engaged in public life — using everything from television newsreaders to women traffic police.”


A fundamental Christian claim is the inherent worth of every human being. In Roman times, Christians contributed significantly to the end of infanticide. Contemporary notions of human rights alone are not the key to cultural change, nor is an appeal to the social necessity of men and women. Christians and non-Christians agree on the importance of changing attitudes toward women so that sex-selective abortions and infanticide cease, and a combination of governmental programs, law enforcement, and other social measures should help such change occur. Yet Christians have a key ethical foundation to offer to effect such cultural change. From Genesis 1:27 — “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them — “ to Psalm 139:13 — “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” — Christians can attest that every human life is a valuable one with inherent dignity and worth regardless, of gender, race, age, or ability. The foundation on which gender equality lies is neither modernity nor pragmatism, but rather the truth about who we are as bearers of the imago Dei.




**Busting the Abortion Myths (, 110512)

There are two such myths in Canada: One is that there is a general consensus on the issue and the other is that late-term abortions are rare. Both are wrong.

by Margaret Somerville


It’s an oft-repeated truism in ethics: “Good facts are essential for good ethics.” So surely we need the facts about an issue as ethically fraught as abortion. Yet not only do we not have them, but they are intentionally not gathered or, if some are or might be available, access to them is denied.


That allows two myths that favour the pro-choice stance on abortion to be propagated: That late-term abortion is rare and that there is a consensus in Canada on the public-policy regime that should govern abortion (which, at present, is the complete absence of any law).


Margaret Wente, writing recently in the Globe and Mail, articulates both myths in one succinct sentence. She states that “a broad social consensus shapes actual (abortion) practice ... (and) there are virtually no late-term abortions.” But to the extent one can obtain the facts, the evidence is otherwise.


The facts on late-term abortions are intentionally made difficult to obtain. Some time ago, I contacted a staff member at Statistics Canada to ask about the numbers of late-term abortions. She told me they were instructed for political reasons not to collect statistics on the gestational age at which abortion occurs. She explained, however, that hospitals must report the number of abortions and about 45% had continued to report gestational age. From these unsolicited reports, it’s known that at least 400 post-viability abortions take place in Canada each year and the actual number is most probably more than twice that. The Canadian Medical Association sets viability (some chance of the child living outside the womb) at 20 weeks gestation.


In Canada, infant-mortality statistics include the death of any breathing infant. Statistics Canada’s records on causes of death in the perinatal period (defined as after 22-weeks gestation) list a category “Termination of pregnancy, fetus and newborn,” which shows a total of 241 deaths for the years 2000 to 2005, inclusive, the latest numbers available. Because babies born dead as a consequence of abortion are not reported in these statistics as infant deaths, one can only assume that these must be babies who were born alive as a result of abortion after 22 weeks gestation, breathed, but later died. This also raises further ethical questions about how such babies are treated. Are they given medical care or just left to die, as has happened in the past?


In discussion of abortion in classes in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, taught by faculty with relevant knowledge, no one challenges statements that there is a special clinic for post-22- weeks gestation abortion in downtown Montreal and that there is one designated hospital for abortion of 20- to 22-week gestation pregnancies. It’s also been reported in the media that the Quebec government sent a specialist obstetrician to the United States for training in late-term abortion. Although these facts are only circumstantial evidence, they hardly make it seem likely that late-term abortions are truly rare - at least in Quebec.


Anecdotally, as an ethicist, I have been consulted in a professional capacity on two late-term abortions, both of which were carried out. One involved a 34-week gestation pregnancy, where the mother was an unmarried graduate student from a foreign country; the other a 32-week gestation pregnancy, where the married parents did not want to have a “defective child” - the baby had a cleft palate (a relatively minor physical deformity that can be largely corrected with surgery).


As to trying to get specific facts on abortion, in general, two British Columbia hospitals, Vancouver General and Kelowna General, have applied to stop a freedom-of-information inquiry initiated by pro-life activists, John Hof and Ted Gerk. After the hospitals refused their request last year for information on abortion statistics, Hof and Gerk initiated applications for access to the information through the B.C. Office of Information. The province’s Freedom of Information Act was amended in 2001 to specifically exclude access to information about abortion, but they are using a “public-interest-override” clause in the privacy legislation, to argue that the release of the information is in the public interest and should not be withheld. The hospitals have applied for a Section 56 exemption to Freedom of Information rules requiring disclosure, claiming that it was “plain and obvious that the records sought by the Applicant will not be disclosed.” The dispute remains to be resolved.


These situations raise the issue of the ethics of intentionally blocking access to information on abortion.


Such blocking is not neutral, but a strategy to help to maintain the status quo of the complete void regarding abortion law. The unavailability of this information makes the pro-choice lobby’s claims that late-term abortion is rare and that there is a consensus on abortion in Canada, much less likely to be challenged, and, therefore, bolsters its case that we do not need any law on abortion.


It is also a stance that appeals to many politicians who are terrified of an abortion debate for political reasons. A striking example of the lengths to which they will go to avoid that debate are manifested in a motion just passed unanimously by the three parties in the Quebec National Assembly, in favour of unrestricted access to free abortion, with no limitations mentioned. One can only wonder whether they all, or even just some of them, understood that they were endorsing a position that there should be no legal restrictions on aborting viable babies. If they did not understand that, it’s deeply concerning; if they did, in my opinion, it’s horrifying.


And here, too, an appeal to a “broad social consensus,” as Wente calls it, is proffered as a justification. Premier Jean Charest is quoted by La Presse columnist Lysiane Gagnon as saying that “The consensus expressed in the National Assembly reflects the consensus in Quebec society.” Apart from the fact that a consensus does not mean that what is agreed to is ethical, there is certainly no consensus that the situation should remain as it is with no law at all governing abortion. Moreover, even if there were such a consensus, it would not be likely to last if the facts on late-term abortion became widely known and people were willing to face up to the reality they reveal.


The facts on what Canadians believe with respect to using law to govern abortion are, again, difficult to obtain, because depending on the nature of the questions asked in a survey and how the results are interpreted, different claims can be made. One survey showed that about two- thirds of Canadians believe unborn children deserve some legal protection, at the latest at viability. Another said more than 50% of Canadians believe we should leave the abortion legal status quo as it stands.


The strongest consensus that a woman should have the option of abortion, that is, it should not be legally prohibited, exists in relation to pregnancy resulting from rape (Gagnon cites 94% of Quebecers surveyed took this position) or where there is a serious risk to a woman’s life or health in continuing the pregnancy, a very rare situation. Most people also believe that abortion-on-demand should not be available where the baby, if delivered, would be viable, that is, there should be legal restrictions, at this point at the latest.


But between the two poles of a spectrum from unrestricted availability of abortion throughout pregnancy - the present situation - to prohibiting it entirely, there is a wide variety of opinion and certainly no overall consensus on any given approach.


If Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s recent call for a national debate on abortion is heeded, the pro-choice advocates who attacked him and precipitated that call might regret their action. Provided the debate is open and honest, the myths about late-term abortion being rare and that in Canada there is an overall consensus on whether we need some law to govern abortion will be exposed. It would then be up to Canadians to decide what to do. In making this decision, we would need to keep in mind that the law expresses and carries our shared values and having no law to protect unborn children is a choice that reflects certain values and is not a neutral stance.


The likely possibility is, however, that pro-choice advocates and politicians will continue to argue there is no need for a debate.


But if the consensus they claim does exist, they have nothing to fear. And if it does not, then in a democracy a debate is exactly what is required.


Margaret Somerville DCL, LL.D, is the founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University.




**The Philadelphia Horror: How Mass Murder Gets a Pass (, 110121)

By Michelle Malkin


Let’s give the “climate of hate” rhetoric a rest for a moment. It’s time to talk about the climate of death, in which the abortion industry thrives unchecked. Dehumanizing rhetoric, rationalizing language and a callous disregard for life have numbed America to its monstrous consequences. Consider the Philadelphia Horror.


In the City of Brotherly Love, hundreds of babies were murdered by a scissors-wielding monster over four decades. Whistleblowers informed public officials at all levels of the wanton killings of innocent life. But a parade of government health bureaucrats and advocates protecting the abortion racket looked the other way — until, that is, a Philadelphia grand jury finally exposed the infanticide factory run by abortionist Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D., and a crew of unlicensed, untrained butchers masquerading as noble providers of women’s “choice.” Prosecutors charged Gosnell and his death squad with multiple counts of murder, infanticide, conspiracy, abuse of corpse, theft and other offenses.


The 281-page grand jury report released Wednesday provides a bone-chilling account of how Gosnell’s “Women’s Medical Society” systematically preyed on poor, minority pregnant women and their live, viable babies. The report’s introduction lays out the criminal enterprise that claimed the lives of untold numbers of babies — and mothers:


“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”


Echoing the same kind of dark euphemisms plied by Planned Parenthood propagandists who refer to unborn life as “fetal and uterine material,” Gosnell referred to his deadly trade as “ensuring fetal demise.” Reminiscent of the word wizards who refer to the skull-crushing partial-birth abortion procedure as “intact dilation and evacuation” and “intrauterine cranial decompression,” Gosnell described his destruction of babies’ spinal cords as “snipping.” He rationalized his macabre habit of cutting off dead babies’ feet and saving them in rows and rows of specimen jars as “research.” His guilt-ridden employees then took photos of some of the victims before dumping them in shoeboxes, paper bags, one-gallon spring-water bottles and glass jars.


They weren’t the only ones who adopted a see-no-evil stance:


— The Pennsylvania Department of Health knew of clinic violations dating back decades, but did nothing.


— The Pennsylvania Department of State was “repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell” — including the clinic’s unclean, unsterile conditions, unlicensed workers, unsupervised sedation, underage abortion patients and over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street — “and repeatedly chose to do nothing.”


— Philadelphia Department of Public Health officials who regularly visited Gosnell’s human waste-clogged offices did nothing.


— Nearby hospital officials who treated some of the pregnant mothers who suffered grave complications from Gosnell’s butchery did nothing.


— An unnamed evaluator with the National Abortion Federation, the leading association of abortion providers that is supposed to uphold strict health and legal standards, determined that Gosnell’s chamber of horrors was “the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected” — but did nothing.


Meanwhile, the death racketeers have launched a legislative and regulatory assault across the country on pro-life crisis pregnancy centers from New York City to Baltimore, Austin and Seattle that offer abortion alternatives, counseling and family services to mostly poor, vulnerable minority women.


Already, left-wing journalists and activists have rushed to explain that these abortion atrocities ignored for four decades by abortion radicals and rationalizers are not really about abortion. A Time magazine writer argued that the Philadelphia Horror was “about poverty, not Roe v. Wade.” A University of Minnesota professor declared: “This is not about abortion.”


But the grand jury itself pointed out that loosened oversight of abortion clinics enacted under pro-choice former GOP Gov. Tom Ridge enabled Gosnell’s criminal enterprise — and led to the heartless execution of hundreds of babies. Mass murder got a pass in the name of expanding “access” and appeasing abortion lobbyists.


As the report made clear: “With the change of administration from (pro-life Democratic) Gov. Casey to Gov. Ridge,” government health officials “concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”


Deadly indifference to protecting life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence — it’s at the core of it. The Philadelphia Horror is no anomaly. It’s the logical, bloodcurdling consequence of an evil, eugenics-rooted enterprise wrapped in feminist clothing.




**New Barna Study Explores Current Views on Abortion (Barna, 100614)


While the nation’s economy, immigration in Arizona, and the Gulf oil spill dominate the headlines, a recent study from the Barna Group examines a major fault line in American social life: abortion. President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court as well as the upcoming mid-term elections represent settings where the current debate between ‘choice’ and ‘life’ will be played out. The Barna study revealed five insights about abortion-related public opinion.


Abortion continues to split the nation.

The Barna study of 1,001 adults explored Americans’ views on abortion by asking if they believe “abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases, or illegal in all cases.” Given this set of four options, the nation’s population leans toward retaining legal status for abortion: 49% prefer keeping it legal in all or most cases versus 42% who would like to make it illegal in all or most instances.


However, most Americans take a moderate, rather than hard-line, stance.

Only about one-third of Americans take a strong position on one side or the other. For instance, 15% want abortion to be legal in every situation and 19% prefer the practice to be illegal in all cases. Most others hold moderate views – 57% expressed a mildly supportive or unsupportive opinion. Meanwhile, one out of 11 adults simply responded “not sure” or declined to answer (9%). Compared to tracking data conducted in the 1990s and early 2000s, the new research suggests that Americans are more likely these days to take a “middle ground” or “not sure” position toward abortion.


Faith remains a significant dividing line of opinions.

Among evangelical Christians, 78% believe that the practice should be illegal in all or most cases, a proportion which is virtually mirrored by the 72% of atheists and agnostics who support keeping the practice legal. Also, each of these segments was the most likely population group to express unyielding resistance to (evangelicals) or support for (atheists and agnostics) abortion.


Other faith audiences were less polarized, but still had distinct perspectives on the matter, either for or against. Non-evangelical born again Christians favor making abortion illegal (55% illegal versus 39% legal), as did active churchgoers (60% versus 33%) and non-mainline Protestants (58% versus 34%). Those faith segments that prefer keeping abortion legal were self-identified Christians who are not born again (54% legal versus 31% illegal), Catholics (53% versus 36%), mainline Protestants (53% versus 40%), and faiths other than Christianity (54% versus 42%).


Interestingly, when faith and political allegiance are combined, born again Republicans (72%) were among the most ardent critics of abortion. Born again independent voters also favored making abortion illegal (58%), while born again Democrats were split between those who were for (47%) and against (47%) the practice.


Young born again Christians retain similar abortion views to older Christians.

While there has been much discussion about the changing perspectives of young Christians, the research revealed that born again Christians under the age of 45 were not substantially different from older generations of Christians. Overall, 61% of 18- to 44-year-old born again Christians said they wanted to see abortion be illegal in all or most cases, which compares to 55% among born again believers ages 45 and older. (The six-point gap is within the range of sampling error for the two subgroups.) Interestingly, when compared to older born again Christians, the younger set are much more likely to express strong views about the subject (either keeping it legal or illegal in all cases) and less likely to say they are not sure.


Keeping abortion legal elicits more demographic pockets of support than resistance.

A significant number of demographic segments prefer retaining legalized status for abortions, including: whites, Hispanics, and Asians; upscale adults and college graduates; the nation’s two largest generations, Busters (ages 26 to 44) and Boomers (ages 45 to 63); women; unmarried adults and those currently without children; political moderates and liberals; registered Democrats and independent voters; and a plurality of residents living in the Midwest, West, and Northeast.


Those groups most resistant to abortion are residents of the South, political conservatives, Mosaics (ages 18 to 25), and Republicans. A handful of population segments emerged as equally likely to take both sides of the issue:  blacks, parents, married adults, non-college grads, Elders (ages 64-plus), and downscale adults.


Barna Analysis

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and the director of the study, commented that “abortion continues to divide Americans, but the debate over the subject seems to be changing. The data suggest that among some Americans, though certainly not all, the issue has become less polarizing. Perhaps it appears less relevant to Americans because there are so many other urgent issues. Also, the standard debate may seem toned down as both sides of the ideological spectrum have tried to find common objectives – such as limiting the number of abortions and pursuing adoption reform – although some have questioned how serious either contingent really is about these goals.”


“Still, as Americans appear ready to rethink many different issues, it is important to consider new ways of communicating about and addressing the issues of abortion, life and choice. Within that context, it is worth recognizing that a slight plurality of most population groups has settled into the idea that abortion should be kept legal, but that it should be only available selectively. Yet, one of the intriguing counter-trends to public support for legalized abortion is the fact that younger born again Christians specifically and 18- to 25-year-olds in general seem to be embracing, or at least retaining, a conservative viewpoint on abortion.”




**Pro-Lifers Celebrate Recent Victories in Illinois (Christian Post, 100331)


An Illinois county judge has dismissed a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union against the constitutionality of the state’s yet-enforced parental notification law but kept the legislation on hold pending appeal.


“This written decision represents the first time an Illinois court has upheld the Parental Notice Act of 1995 against the ACLU’s challenge,” commented Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel at the Thomas More Society.


“Today’s ruling represents a great step toward ending underage secret abortions in Illinois,” Breen added Monday after appearing as a “friend of the court” during the ruling’s delivery. “We look forward to the day that abortion providers are made to respect the rights of parents to know before their daughters are taken for abortions.”


Since Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion Act was first signed into law in 1995, pro-lifers have fought to see the law enforced. Supporters of the legislation say it will prevent girls from making a decision of great importance “without the counsel of adults who care about them.”


Furthermore, they say, the bill was carefully crafted to recognize the interests of underage girls seeking abortions and their parents.


“[This bill] is less punitive, more sensitive to all circumstances under which a minor could confront an abortion decision, and therefore more likely to accomplish the common goal of these two pieces of legislation,” Gov. Jim Edgar said at the signing ceremony nearly 15 years ago.


Opponents of the bill, however, allege that the new law violates a young woman’s right to privacy and is therefore unconstitutional.


They also argue that the law will do more harm than good – a sentiment shared by Cook County Judge Daniel Riley, who delivered the ruling Monday.


Still, while Riley called the act an “unfortunate piece of legislation,” he nonetheless said he found it to be constitutional and therefore lifted the temporary restraining order on it.


But the judge also said he would grant a stay, or grace period, on its enforcement pending the ACLU’s next move.


Despite the continued delay, pro-lifers hailed Riley’s ruling as another recent victory for their movement.


Last week, new legislation passed in the Illinois House of Representatives without HB6205, the “Reproductive Health and Access Act” (RHAA) bill that pro-lifers say would have made abortion a “fundamental right” in Illinois and required taxpayer funding of Medicaid abortions.


“The fact that we are able to celebrate two recent victories in Illinois, even in the face of the national health care bill that passed last week, shows that the pro-life movement is gaining ground in Illinois,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League.


“We hope to use this renewed vigor to fight for the lives of the unborn and their mothers across the country and put an end to abortion in America.”


As pro-lifers celebrate, the ACLU will be considering their next move but are expected to appeal Monday’s decision to the Illinois Appellate Court.


The ACLU has 60 days to file an appeal.




**Poll: Abortion Support Falling among Young Adults (Christian Post, 100313)


Over the last 20 years, support for legal abortion has continued to drop among young adults, a new Gallup poll shows.


In 2009, only 24% of Americans aged 18 to 29 said abortion should be legal under any circumstances, a drop from 28% in the year 2000 and 36% in 1990.


Even compared to 30- to 64-year-olds, the young cohort is now less likely to support abortion, the Gallup survey on Friday revealed.


Young adults (23%) are also most likely to say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances compared to their older counterparts, including those aged 65 and older (21%) – who have been the most conservative in abortion views.


Gallup notes, “This is a sharp change from the late 1970s, when seniors were substantially more likely than younger age groups to want abortion to be illegal.”


In 1975, only 18% of young adults said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances while 32% of seniors said the same.


Currently, 51% of 18- to 29-year-olds say abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances.


Overall, Gallup found that Americans of all age groups were more supportive of legal abortion under any circumstances in the early 1990s but have subsequently shed some of that support since the late 1990s. Further decline has been seen since then.


The widespread pro-life views among today’s youth and young adults have been documented by a number of organizations. Population Research Institute in 2008 found that the hundreds of thousands of people who walk in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., are getting younger every year. PRI refuted Planned Parenthood’s claim that America’s youth are primarily pro-choice.


A newly released documentary, titled “Thine Eyes: A Witness to the March or Life,” also shows that contrary to media portrayals of marchers being angry and old, the majority of March for Life participants are under 25 years of age and not violent.


The Gallup report is based on annual averages of Gallup’s abortion surveys, from 1975 through 2009. All individual surveys are based on interviews with a random sample of approximately 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older.




**Abortion ideology harmful to health of moms, children (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 100225)


Following is the viewpoint of Brad Trost, Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Humboldt and Maurice Vellacott, Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin.


Re: Don’t let ideology undermine pledge on women’s health (SP, Feb. 22).


As members of Parliament who are deeply concerned about the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in the developing world, we noted your editorial statement that “aid groups have argued for years that real progress (in reducing maternal deaths and complications) can’t be made until women are given the education, resources and support to decide for themselves when to get and stay pregnant.”


While such claims are made by some aid groups such as International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Action Canada for Population and Development, who are pushing for an international “right to abortion,” they provide no evidence to back them up.


They provide no evidence that liberalizing abortion laws will improve maternal health. In fact, evidence suggests the opposite.


Promoters of abortion generally equate “illegal abortions” with “unsafe abortions.”


And when they talk about increasing access to “safe” abortions, they are actually talking about making abortions legal.


For example, on its website IPPF says that, “Where abortion is legally restricted in most instances, harmful, clandestine practices have damaging health effects and claim the lives of thousands of women, particularly poor women, each year.... We seek to increase access to safe abortion services by advocating for changes in restrictive laws and public policies.”


This is IPPF’s real agenda, which may be unknown to most people.


Yet where is the evidence that permissive abortion laws improve women’s health?


As Ian Gentles, research director at the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, noted in a recent National Post article, Poland virtually prohibited abortion 20 years ago. Since then, maternal mortality has decreased by 75 per cent, infant mortality by almost 66 per cent, and the rate of premature births by more than 50 per cent.


According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2009, Ireland, the only other European country where abortion is illegal, has the lowest maternal mortality ratio of any country, with one death per 100,000 live births.


In a letter in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2009, Dr. Rene Leiva cites a 2006 Salvadorian Ministry of Health study. Until 1998, abortion was legal in El Salvador and the maternal mortality ratio was calculated to be 150 per 100,000 births. Abortions were no longer legally permitted after 1998, and by 2006 the maternal mortality ratio had dropped to 71.2, or by more than 50 per cent.


Guyana, with virtually no restrictions on abortions, has the highest maternal mortality ratio in South America. According to the World Economic Forum report, its maternal mortality rate is 30 times higher than in Chile, where abortion is illegal.


There is also research evidence that abortion can have a detrimental impact on a woman’s psychological health. In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, researchers linked abortion to “an increased risk of a variety of mental health problems (panic attacks, panic disorder, agoraphobia, PTSD, bipolar disorder, major depression with or without hierarchy) and substance abuse disorders.”


With respect to infant mortality and morbidity, abortion has been shown to be associated with a “significantly increased risk” of future pre-term birth and low birth weight. Low-birth weight puts infants at higher risk for such things as cerebral palsy, visual problems, learning disabilities, respiratory problems and infant death.


Increased access to abortion has not been shown to improve the health of women and children, and in fact, can be harmful.


Maternal and child health experts from organizations such as MaterCare International, Save the Mothers, and EMAS says what’s required are: Better prenatal and neonatal care; skilled birth attendants at all deliveries; specialist care for life-threatening complications; clean water; better nutrition; affordable transportation; and improved literacy.


We owe it to pregnant women to provide them with compassionate, caring support so that they do not feel trapped into resorting to abortion, regardless of its legal status. We owe it to the most vulnerable citizens of the developing world - pregnant mothers and their babies - to provide the resources they need to survive pregnancy.


We are thankful that our prime minister has seen fit to bring Canada to their aid.




**New Paper Links UN Promotion of “Safe” Abortion to Maternal Deaths (C-FAM, 091217)


By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.


(NEW YORK – C-FAM)  A recent submission to the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) provides evidence of the potentially fatal consequences of “safe” abortion promoted by UN agencies, and includes a list of 113 studies linking abortion dangerous complications such as pre-term birth in subsequent pregnancies.


“The encouragement by [the UN Population Fund] UNFPA and [the World Health Organization] WHO of the use of mifepristone (RU-486, Mifegyne) and misoprostol (Cytotec) as ‘safe’ abortifacients in medically resource poor nations is unconscionable” the paper says, “and a violation of the human right to health of women.”


Submitted by Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) and authored by Donna Harrison, M.D., President of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), the paper calls on the Human Rights Council “to defend the right to bodily integrity of all human beings from fertilization to natural death” and “refrain [from] supporting in law and policy measures…empirically proven to hurt rather than help pregnant women.”


The paper reports that “in the first three years of ‘safe’ mifepristone (Mifegyne) abortions in the United States…one third of the women with adverse events (237) experienced severe bleeding requiring emergency surgery, half of these required hospitalization, and forty two women bled over half of their blood volume.” What is more, a WHO study showed that “one out of every five women who had ‘safe’ misoprostol abortions failed to abort and required surgical intervention.” In poor countries where women do not have access to emergency care or even skilled birth attendants, the paper concludes, “these events would be fatal.”


WHO studies show that the top killers of women in childbirth are bleeding, hypertensive disorders, anemia and sepsis. Abortion – including “spontaneous abortion” or miscarriage – is tenth on the list and accounts for 5% of deaths. The paper says “it is scientifically, medically, and morally unacceptable to divert resources” from what is really needed to save women’s lives: skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care.


The leaders of UN member states explicitly rejected inclusion of “Universal Access to Reproductive Health” in the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit, the paper reports, because it “included a target to eliminate ‘unsafe’ abortion,” which some UN bureaucrats “defined as any abortion in a country where abortion was not legal.”  Even though member states rejected the goal, “the monitoring mechanisms for achievement of [Millennium Development Goal] MDG 5 have nevertheless implicitly incorporated the targets related to that rejected goal” which amounts to “cultural imperialism” that “deprives member nations of their right and duty to evaluate medical and policy effects of induced abortion within their own religious, cultural, and regional contexts” the paper says.




**An Amazing Article on Abortion in New York Magazine (Christian Post, 091214)

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr.


Week by week, New York magazine offers insight into the culture and consciousness of the nation’s trendy population in Manhattan. This magazine, combined with The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker, provides constant insight into the thinking of the New York elites.


The magazine recently featured a major article on abortion, and it just might be the most important article on this issue in recent history.


In “The Abortion Distortion - Just How Pro-choice is America, Really?,” writer Jennifer Senior offers an incredibly insightful and important essay on the moral status of abortion in the American mind. Senior is clearly writing to a New York readership - expected to be overwhelmingly pro-choice and settled in a posture of abortion advocacy. Given the passage of the so-called “Stupak amendment” to the health-care reform bill adopted by the House of Representatives, many in the pro-choice movement responded with amazement that a pro-life minority has been able to muster such support. Jennifer Senior posed the most awkward question for her readers: Is America really pro-choice?


Consider this:


According to a Gallup poll from July, 60% of Americans think abortion should be either illegal or “legal only in a few circumstances.” Only seventeen states pay for the procedure for poor women beyond the standards of the 1977 Hyde Amendment-meaning if the woman’s life is in danger or she’s been the victim of rape or incest. Just two months before the health-care bill’s passage in the House, a Rasmussen poll found that 48% of the public didn’t want abortion covered in any government-subsidized health plan, while just 13% did. (Thirty-two percent believed in a “neutral” approach-though what on Earth that means is hard to say.)


As a matter of fact, Senior went all the way back to 1973 in order to document her assessment that America was never as pro-choice as many liberals had assumed. The legal impact of Roe v. Wade could not overcome the fact that, as Jeffrey Rosen of George Washington University noted, the decision “was one of the few Supreme Court decisions that was out of step with mainstream public opinion.”


Senior suggests that America is “a very ambivalent pro-choice nation.” She acknowledges the numerical data that indicates an increasing pro-life direction for the American people and, speaking to a pro-choice readership, laments that “it sometimes gets lost how truly numerically challenged we are.”


So, just how did the Stupak amendment pass?


The idea that a bunch of pro-life rogue wingnuts have hijacked the agenda and thwarted the national will is a convenient, but fanciful, belief. Even with an 81-person margin in the House, and even with a passionately committed female, pro-choice Speaker, it was the Democrats who managed to pass a bill that, arguably, would restrict access to abortion more aggressively than any state measure or legal case since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.


Along the way, Jennifer Senior makes some fascinating observations. In terms of the motivation to be engaged in the issue of abortion, she quotes Harrison Hickman, a former NARAL pollster, as saying: “If you believe that choosing the wrong side of the issue means spending eternal life in Hades, of course you’re going to be more focused on it.” That is a very powerful affirmation of the fact that one’s worldview really does matter.


She also understands the great generational shift taking place on the issue. She recognizes that the current generation of younger voters “is the most pro-life to come along since the generation born during the Great Depression.” Why? This same generation is the first to grow up with ultrasound images taped to the refrigerator door. Their understanding of the fetus is dramatically different from those who never had to face those images. Furthermore, Senior also raises the fascinating insight that the big technological advance experienced by this generation was IVF - a technology that allowed having babies rather than not having them. This generation understands the issue in terms of infant human life. They do not see a mere fetus. They recognize a baby. Nancy Keenan of NARAL is cited as saying that the biggest defenders of abortion are now a “menopausal militia.”


Senior also deals with the troubled moral conscience of the pro-choice movement and abortion providers with remarkable candor. She reports that abortion counselors “will also tell you that the stigma attached to the procedure is worse than it’s been in years.” She cites Charlotte Taft, operator of a Dallas abortion clinic, who acknowledged to a reporter that women know “abortion is a kind of killing.” Jeannie Ludlow is cited for her uncomfortable experience in seeing repeat-abortion patients. The horror and reality of late-term abortions is documented - even as the continued “right” to such procedures is advocated.


By any measure, Jennifer Senior has written one of the most honest, revealing, insightful, and important articles on abortion to appear in recent history. At the same time, it is one of the most troubling. Once again, we are reminded that the American conscience is not settled on the issue of abortion. We should be thankful that recent events and cultural developments - aided and abetted by technology - have made a real difference, helping and forcing Americans to understand that abortion is the killing of a human life.


In a very real sense, we should be thankful that the American conscience remains unsettled on this issue. A good and honest conversation about the reality of abortion is one of the best means of serving the cause of life. Jennifer Senior’s honest article can serve as an incredibly potent catalyst for such a conversation.




**Report: Most States Pursuing Pro-Life Agenda (Christian Post, 090923)


Pro-lifers have had a good year with the majority of states continuing to pursue life-affirming laws and policies, a new report shows.


In 2009, the states enacted approximately 60 pro-life measures, a marked increase from last year, according to a report released Tuesday by Americans United for Life.


"Clearly, we are making progress at the state level – law by law and state by state – to protect and defend life," commented Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of the national pro-life group. "We are encouraged by the progress that has been made in 2009 and enthusiastically look forward to working with pro-life legislators to advance pro-life legislation and policies in 2010."


Overall, the number of abortion-related measures states considered in 2009 decreased by 33% to around 300 since last year. But given the state legislatures' focus on the economy and President Barack Obama – who some have described as the most pro-abortion president – now in the White House, Americans United for Life say the decrease was less than expected.


At least nine states considered resolutions this year opposing the federal Freedom of Choice Act, which would abolish all federal and state restrictions and limitations on abortion. Obama said last year during a meeting with abortion provider Planned Parenthood that he would sign FOCA into law.


Attempts in five states to enact FOCA at the state level were defeated, the AUL report highlighted.


Many states have given more attention to informed consent, ultrasound requirements, enhanced parental involvement requirements, and comprehensive health and safety regulations for abortion clinics.


At least 16 states considered measured requiring informed consent for abortion or modifying existing requirements and at least 22 states considered ultrasound requirements.


Measures requiring pregnant women to be counseled on the pain an unborn child may feel during an abortion were considered in at least seven states.


Legislators in 31 states considered more than 95 measures to regulate biotechnologies and to prohibit or restrict technologies that destroy nascent life, marking an increase by nearly 20% – the first increase in such legislation in three years.


Also for the first time in three years, measures to protect health care providers' freedom of conscience outpaced measures to violate or compel conscience by a margin of 2 to 1. However, the number of measures related to freedom of conscience that were considered in 2009 decreased by more than 50% compared to 2008.


Nevertheless, the overall life-affirming trends prove to be promising and bode well for the 2010 state legislative sessions, says AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke.


The report comes as the national sentiment toward abortion has shifted dramatically. More Americans now consider themselves pro-life than pro-choice, according to a recent Gallup Poll.


AUL claims to be the first national pro-life organization in the country and the only non-profit law firm dedicated exclusively to nationwide efforts to reinstate respect for human life in American law and culture.




**Over 1,000 Clerics Want Abortion Access in Health Care Bill (Christian Post, 091002)

[KH: anti-life Christians]


More than 1,100 clerics and religious professionals want U.S. Senators to provide women with access to abortion as lawmakers consider new amendments that would cut coverage for the procedure.


The Religious Institute released an open letter that maintains that abortion is a “morally justifiable decision” that should be left to women to decide. The letter is a response to amendments in the Senate that would cut abortion coverage in private insurance plans that receive federal funding.


“Already, federal policy unfairly prevents low-income women and federal employees from receiving subsidized reproductive health services, but the new proposals would mean that even more women and families would lose access to these vital services,” said the Rev. Debra W. Haffner, executive director of the Religious Institute.


Haffner added, “Placing restrictions on private insurance plans that make abortion accessible to women represents a serious moral injustice.”


The letter itself contends that the sanctity of human life is “best upheld” when it is made carefully, not when women are “coerced to carry a pregnancy to term.”


Religious denominations that have endorsed the letter include: American Baptist Churches, Church of the Brethren, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ, and The United Methodist Church, among others.

Supporters of access to abortion call on government leaders to respect religious differences on the contentious issue.


The open letter is a sharp contrast to the more publicized voice of conservative Christians who have demanded that no public funding go towards abortion. Pro-life groups have organized formidable grassroots campaigns that have barraged Congress and the White House with petitions demanding that any health care reform clearly prohibit tax dollars from paying for abortions.


Despite President Obama and some Democratic leaders assuring that no federal funds will go towards abortion, pro-life leaders continue to believe the current health reform bills would allow the government to pay for the procedure.


Pro-life leaders, as well as some Democratic leaders, have accused President Obama of misleading the public about abortion funding.


"President Obama continued to mislead the American people by casually dismissing the concerns of millions of Americans who have deep moral objections to their tax dollars paying for abortions,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, after Obama’s speech at the joint session of Congress in September.


"It's surprising the President continues to claim that 'no federal dollars' will fund abortion particularly after this assertion was widely disputed weeks ago by along with reporters and columnists at the Associated Press, Time Magazine, and The Washington Post,” Perkins said. “Even supporters of the President such as Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, Rev. Jim Wallis, and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren agree that the current health care plans include abortion coverage with federal dollars.”


According to a new Rasmussen survey, nearly half of Americans (48%) believe any government-subsidized health care plan should be prohibited from covering abortions. Only 13% believe such plans should be required to cover abortions and 32% took a neutral approach saying no requirements should be set for either direction.


The Religious Institute, which supports giving women access to abortion, claims to represent more than 4,800 clerics and religious leaders and more than 40 religious denominations and organizations.




**Report: Abortions Fall; Unsafe Procedures Still Prevalent (Christian Post, 091014)


The number of abortions worldwide fell between 1995 and 2003 as contraceptive use increased and more countries liberalized their abortion laws, according to a new survey released by a pro-choice nonprofit.


From 45.5 million in 1995, the number of abortions dropped to 41.6 million in 2003, the Guttmacher Institute reported Tuesday in "Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress."


The institute attributed the fewer abortions to the wide provision of contraceptive services. Globally, the proportion of married women practicing contraception increased from 54% in 1990 to 63% in 2003. Contraceptive use also increased among unmarried, sexually active young women in many developing countries.


The unintended pregnancy rate, meanwhile, declined from 69 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 1995 to 55 per 1,000 in 2008.


Sharon Camp, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, said in a statement that the "progress" made in increasing contraceptive use is good news.


But she lamented the some 70,000 women who die each year from the effects of unsafe abortion, mainly in the less developed countries. While there have been reductions in levels of safe abortions – from 20 to 15 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 – the number of unsafe abortions has changed little from 19.9 million to 19.7 million.


"In almost all developed countries, abortion is safe and legal. But in much of the developing world, abortion remains highly restricted, and unsafe abortion is common and continues to damage women’s health and threaten their survival," Camp noted.


Since 1997, 19 countries have reduced restrictions in their abortions laws and only three countries have substantially increased legal restrictions. The report points out that abortion occurs at roughly equal rates in regions where it is broadly legal and in regions where it is highly restricted.


The report states, "Restricting abortion by law does not guarantee a low abortion rate, nor does permitting it on broad grounds guarantee a high rate. Legal status does, however, affect the safety of abortion."


The Guttmacher Institute calls for expanded access to modern contraceptives and to legal abortion, arguing that there would be "enormous individual and societal benefits – for women, their families and countries as a whole."


But Deirdre McQuade, a policy director with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, told The Associated Press that they need to be "much more creative in assisting women with supportive services so they don't need to resort to the unnatural act of abortion."


She also contended that use of artificial contraception could increase women's health risks and said they would fare better using natural family planning methods approved by the church, as reported by AP.


While the Guttmacher Institute makes the case for contraception and legalized abortion, pro-lifers across the states have found a different way to reduce the number of abortions. Participants in the annual 40 Days for Life campaign have helped save 251 babies from being aborted in less than a month. Since Sept. 23 they have stood outside abortion clinics in prayer and with signs such as "Smile Your Mom Chose Life." They've helped change the minds of hundreds women who were considering abortion.


The Guttmacher report was compiled to assess "progress over the past decade regarding the legality, safety and accessibility of abortion services worldwide." It offers profiles on abortion in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.


Of the estimated 21.9 million safe abortions carried out in 2003, more than two-thirds (15.8 million) took place in the less developed world, predominantly in Asia. In Europe and the United States, 3.9 million and 1.5 million safe abortions were conducted, respectively.


The report comes as more Americans have shifted from the pro-choice position to the pro-life camp. A Pew Research Center survey, conducted in August, found that the percentage of Americans who support legalized abortion dropped from 54% in previous years to 47% this year. Opposition to abortion grew from 40% to 44%.




**Report: Two-Thirds of Abortion Clinics Closed Since 1991 (Christian Post,091209)


More than two-thirds of the abortion clinics in the United States have closed since 1991, according to a new report by a pro-life activist organization.


There were nearly 2,200 abortion clinics in 1991, estimates Operation Rescue. Today, there are just 713 clinics.


“The pro-life movement has made significant strides exposing and closing abortion clinics and shifting public opinion toward the pro-life position,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, in a statement Tuesday. “This has resulted in lower abortion rates.”


Kansas-based Operation Rescue has created a map that shows all the abortion clinics in America and their location. The group claims a general relationship between access to abortion clinics and the abortion rate in each state, with states with greater access having higher abortion rates.


The release of the research project on abortion clinics coincides with the launch of Operation Rescue’s latest campaign, “Project Daniel 5:25.” The campaign is named after the story in the Book of Daniel of the writing on the wall that predicted the fall of a kingdom that turned away from God.


“The days of legal abortion in this nation are numbered,” Newman said. “Pro-life sentiment continues to gain ground as abortion support slips. Abortion clinics continue to close as demand decreases and as abortionists are increasingly exposed and reported to the authorities by pro-life groups.”


Newman encouraged pro-life activists to work within the law and monitor clinics for criminal violations and other “suspicious acts” and report it to law enforcement officers.


“We can do more than simply protest abortion clinics,” he said. “We can document their illegal and dangerous behavior and work within the law to close them down.


“With a pro-life watchdog group at every clinic reporting what they see to the authorities, we will certainly see more abortionists criminally charged and abortion clinics closed.”


The report was released as the U.S. Senate wrangled over adding language to the health care bill that clearly bans federal funding of abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life. On Tuesday, however, the Senate defeated the Nelson-Hatch amendment that would have barred funding of elective abortions.


Pro-life groups lamented the loss and vowed to expand their grassroots campaign to oppose the health care bill. For the past few months, pro-life activist groups have waged media campaigns and urged their members to flood senate offices with phone calls and e-mails asking lawmakers to support an amendment that would ban funding of the procedure.


“As it stands today, there should be no question about opposing the Senate health care bill,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, after the defeat of the Nelson-Hatch amendment. “If you call yourself pro-life and genuinely care about preserving true common ground, you cannot possibly vote for this bill. Pro-Life senators – the sponsors of Nelson’s amendment included – must oppose this legislation.”




**Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Resigns After Witnessing Abortion (Christian Post, 091106)


The director of a Planned Parenthood abortion center in Texas has resigned and embraced the pro-life movement after witnessing an abortion through an ultrasound.


“I left on good terms and simply had a change of heart on this issue,” she told 40 Days for Life, which had been holding prayer and fasting initiatives outside her clinic since fall of 2004. “Over the past few months I had seen a change in motivation regarding the financial impact of abortions and really reached my breaking point after witnessing a particular kind of abortion on an ultrasound.”


According to reports, Johnson had never seen an abortion take place on an ultrasound but happened to be present during one procedure, in which she saw a 13-weeks-old fetus trying to move away from the doctor’s probe


“I just thought, ‘What am I doing?’” she told ABC News. “And then I thought, ‘Never again.’”


Two weeks later, Johnson quit.


“It’s truly been a testament to the power of prayer and the courage of Abby to leave a job she felt she could no longer do in good conscience,” commented Shawn Carney, the director of the Coalition for Life and a 40 Days for Life board member.


“It has been a joy for all of our volunteers who have prayed outside of the clinic for the conversion of the clinic workers to witness that conversion actually happens.”


According to 40 Days for Life, Johnson is one of eight abortion industry workers who left their jobs during the fifth coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign that concluded recently in 212 cities. Johnson was the highest-ranking of the eight, the campaign reported. Others who quit their clinic jobs included nurses, office staffers and security personnel.


In the wake of Johnson’s departure, Planned Parenthood has gone to court to seek a restraining order against both Johnson and the Coalition for Life, the local group that originated 40 Days for Life and continued regular prayer vigils in front of the clinic for the past five years.


Planned Parenthood filed the “restraining order of disclosure” against Johnson reportedly because of fears she may have taken confidential files out of the organization. Johnson, however, has denied those allegations.


A court hearing on the order is scheduled in a Texas court on Nov. 10.


Coalition for Life director Carney has been working with Johnson since she left her job last month.




**Official: Obama to Reverse Bush Abortion Regulation (Foxnews, 090227)

[KH: persecution is coming]


The Bush administration instituted a rule in its last days that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions.


President Obama wants to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions.


A Health and Human Services official said Friday the administration will publish notice of its intentions early next week, opening a 30-day comment period for advocates, medical groups and the public. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the notice has not been completed.


The Bush administration instituted the rule in its last days, and it was quickly challenged in federal court by several states and medical organizations. As a candidate, Obama criticized the regulation and campaign aides promised that if elected, he would review it.


The news that he was doing so drew praise from abortion-rights supporters and condemnation from groups opposed to abortion.


“It would be a horrible move. These regulations were a long time coming,” said Tom McClusky, a vice president at Family Research Council. “What they seek to do is protect patients, nurses, doctors and other health care professionals from being forced to violate their consciences.”


McClusky and other abortion opponents said the Bush regulation clarified federal policies and raised awareness about the rights of medical providers to follow their consciences. But abortion rights advocates said it was vague and overly broad, and could reduce access to other services — allowing a drug store clerk to refuse to sell birth control pills, for example.


“I think it’s a wonderful step,” Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., who co-chairs the Congressional Pro-choice Caucus and has introduced legislation to overturn the regulation, said of Obama’s move.


“That rule was actually a poorly drafted last-minute attempt to, I think, restrict health care access and I think it would have had far-reaching and unintended consequences.”


Federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds. The Obama administration supports those laws, said the HHS official.


The Bush administration’s rule adds a requirement that institutions that get federal money certify their compliance with laws protecting the rights of moral objectors. It was intended to block the flow of federal funds to hospitals and other institutions that ignore those rights.


But the Obama administration was concerned that the Bush regulation could also be used to refuse birth control, family planning services and counseling for vaccines and transfusions.


“The administration supports a tightly written conscience clause,” said the HHS official. “While we are concerned about the Bush rule, we also understand there might be a need to clarify existing laws.”


The administration will review comments from the public before making a final decision. Options range from repealing the regulation to writing a new one with a narrower scope.


The administration’s move was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.




**Ohio Abortion Clinics Required to Provide Ultrasounds, Alternatives (Christian Post, 080327)


Ohio Governor Ted Strickland made into law Friday a measure that requires abortion practitioners to give women ultrasounds of their unborn child and make clear the many alternatives to abortion available to them.


Pro-life groups praised the new bill, noting that ultrasounds would significantly reduce the number of abortions throughout the state.


According to a 2004 study done by A Women’s Concern (AWC), an organization dedicated to “compassionate peer-counseling to women and couples who are making decisions about unintended pregnancies,” less than a fourth of women chose to pursue an abortion after they were given ultrasounds and made clear their available alternatives to abortion.


“This bill is reflective of a national trend that recognizes the ability of ultrasound technology to provide mothers with the opportunity to see the development of their unborn child in real-time,” commented Mary Spaulding Balch, pro-life attorney and state legislation director for the National Right to Life, according to


“The abortion decision is one which cannot be undone and women deserve to have all the facts,” she added.


The Ohio Right to Life chapter also noted the practicality of the new soon-to-be-enacted law.


“Just as patients are often shown X-rays before surgery, ultrasounds provide scientifically accurate information that women should have an opportunity to view in order to make a more informed decision,” Ohio Right to Life told


Last week’s signing of the bill by Ohio’s governor came after the state legislature voted by a 2-3 majority to pass the Ultrasound Viewing Option Bill during two different sessions back in December and March.


With the addition of Ohio, there are now thirteen states that require abortion practitioners to offer ultrasounds to women.


An additional eleven other states have similar laws, including Louisiana which requires ultrasounds “in cases when the mother is considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.”


According to Ohio Right to Life, the new law will take effect in 90 days.




**Baby Doctors Said Would Be Deaf, Blind Born Healthy (Foxnews, 080225)


A baby that doctors said would be deaf, blind and only live a few hours is now healthy and attempting to talk, it is being reported.


According to the Daily Mail, doctors urged Becky and Kriss Kramer of Pembroke Dock in South Wales, to abort their baby saying he would be born with rhomboencephalosynapsis — a condition that affects fewer than one in a million people worldwide.


But the couple defied doctors’ advice and their son Brandon was born healthy on Oct. 1 last year.


The baby is now teething and attempting to talk, it was reported.


“The fact that he is here now, alive and kicking, truly is a miracle,” Kriss Kramer, 24, told the Daily Mail.


“I feel incredibly guilty thinking that I could have killed him, and then I find myself wondering how many other babies are killed who would have turned out to be completely healthy,” said Becky Kramer, 23.




**Report: Number of U.S. Abortions Drop to Lowest Levels in 30 Years (Foxnews, 080117)


The number of abortions in the United States dropped to 1.2 million in 2005, the lowest level since 1974 and down 25% from the all-time high of 1.6 million in 1990, according to report issued Thursday.


The Guttmacher Institute, which surveyed abortion providers nationwide, said there likely were several reasons for the decline, including more effective use of contraceptives, lower levels of unintended pregnancy, and greater difficulty obtaining abortions in some parts of the country.


The institute’s president, Sharon Camp, noted that despite the decline, more than one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2005.


“Our policymakers at the state and federal levels need to understand that behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy, so we must redouble our efforts towards prevention, through better access to contraception,” Camp said.


The Guttmacher Institute supports abortion rights, yet both sides in the debate on the issue consider its abortion surveys the most comprehensive in the United States because they encompass California, the most populous state. California state agencies do not collect abortion data to contribute to federal surveys.


According to the Guttmacher data, the number of abortions declined by 8% between 2000 and 2005, from 1.31 million to 1.21 million. Similarly, the 2005 abortion rate of 19.4 per 1,000 women aged 1544 was down 9% from 2000.


Abortion rates were highest in Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Maryland and California. Rates were lowest in largely rural states: Wyoming, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Idaho and Utah.


However, the report noted that the rates reflected the state in which the abortion occurred, thus including nonresident women who crossed state lines to get an abortion.


By region, the Northeast had the highest abortion rate, followed by the West, the South and the Midwest.


One pronounced trend in recent years in an increase in early medication abortion — notably through use of the RU-486 abortion pill. These types of procedures accounted for 13% of all abortions in 2005, more than double the level in 2001.


The report said 57% of abortion providers now offer medication abortion services, compared with 33% in 2001.


“Currently, more than six in 10 abortions occur within the first eight weeks of pregnancy,” said Rachel Jones, lead researcher for the survey. “Medication abortion, which provides women with an additional option early in pregnancy, clearly reinforces this very positive trend.”




**Quiet Decline: The good news about abortion that hasn’t made news. (National Review Online, 080121)


By Michael J. New


Pro-lifers have been very quietly receiving some good news in recent years. On Thursday, the Alan Guttmacher Institute released data indicating that the number of abortions has fallen by 25% since 1990. These findings are very consistent with data that was released this past November by the Centers for Disease Control. Overall the number of abortions has fallen 13 out of the past 14 years, including every year of the George W. Bush administration. Furthermore, there is a growing body of social-science evidence indicating that legal restrictions on abortion are playing a key role in these declines.


However, one would not know this from listening to the mainstream media. The media continue to largely ignore America’s long-term abortion decline. Instead, they continue provide plenty of favorable coverage to a relatively small number of analyses which supposedly indicate that both the passage of pro-life legislation and support for pro-life candidates does little to affect the incidence of abortion.


The most well-known example of this occurred during the 2004 election cycle. Ethicist Glen Harold Stassen wrote a widely circulated article for Sojourners [KH: liberal “Christian”], arguing that abortions had actually increased after President Bush’s inauguration. This article was reprinted by a number of major newspapers around the country including the Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle, and the Hartford Courant. Furthermore, Stassen’s research was cited in articles that appeared in the the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.


There were a number of problems with Stassen’s analysis. He received his data from state health departments whose data tend to less reliable than the data released by the Centers for Disease Control. Stassen also analyzed data from a very small sampling of states. Furthermore, some states specifically attributed their increases to more rigorous reporting standards. Nonetheless Stassen’s claims have stuck and are still frequently cited by Democrats and supporters of legalized abortion. Interestingly, now that more reliable data from both the Alan Guttmacher Institute and the CDC demonstrates that abortions actually declined during President Bush’s first term in office, not one major newspaper has revisited the issue or issued a public correction.


Instead, this fall, many mainstream-media outlets were busy touting another study which at first glance, appeared to question the effectiveness of placing any legal restrictions on abortion. This study appeared in the British Medical Journal The Lancet. It found that countries where abortion is legally restricted have a similar incidence of abortion to countries with permissive abortion policies. Not surprisingly, this survey has received effusive praise from pro-choice activists.


However, these activists, and much of the mainstream media, misinterpreted the findings. Some background is instructive. Periodically, scholars affiliated with the Alan Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s research arm) conduct a comprehensive survey on the worldwide incidence of abortion. The survey which The Lancet published this October collected data from 2003. Prior to this study, the most recent worldwide abortion survey used data from 1995. As such, it is very important to note that this study that appeared in The Lancet was in no way a scientific study of the effects of legal restrictions on abortion. It was simply a survey of the worldwide incidence of abortion.


So why has this study received so much praise from the media and pro-choice activists? This is because supporters of abortion rights have latched on to two findings which they claim demonstrate the ineffectiveness of pro-life legislation. First is that countries with restrictive abortion laws have approximately the same incidence of abortion as countries with permissive abortion policies. Second, since the most recent worldwide survey, the largest abortion declines have taken place in Europe where abortion is mostly legal.


However, neither of these findings provides any useful information about the effects of legal restrictions on abortion. First, it is true that many countries that place strict legal limits on abortion have relatively high abortion rates. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are often substantial differences between those countries where abortion is legal and those where abortion is restricted. Most countries that restrict abortion are located in Africa, South America, and the Middle East. These countries tend to have very high poverty rates. Furthermore, in many cases these countries have a higher prevalence of other social pathologies which may increase the perceived need for abortion.


Second, the findings regarding Europe are also misleading. It is true that between 1995 and 2003 the largest abortion declines took place in Europe. However, a closer look at the data reveals that much of this decline took place in Eastern Europe. In fact, abortion rates remained relatively constant in Northern, Southern, and Western Europe during this period of time. While many pro-choice activists claim that contraception is the key reason for this decline in Eastern Europe, there are other factors as well. Abortions have become more costly in many Eastern European countries. Furthermore, the strong economic growth and the social and cultural changes that took place after the demise of Communism also probably deserve some credit for this decline.


Now in reality, there exists plenty of good evidence that changes in the legal status of abortion have a real impact on the incidence of abortion. U.S. history should give supporters of abortion rights pause. Between 1973, the year of the Roe v. Wade decision, and 1980, the number of abortions performed in the United States more than doubled. Furthermore, there is also evidence that this liberalization of abortion policy had a significant impact on sexual mores. The years following Roe v. Wade saw significant increases in both sexual activity and the number of conceptions.


Articles that have appeared in peer reviewed academic journals provide further evidence that legally restricting abortion results in reductions in abortion rates and ratios. A 2004 study that appeared in The Journal of Law and Economics analyzed how changes in abortion policies in post-communist Eastern Europe affected the incidence of abortion. This study was particularly interesting because after the demise of communism, some Eastern European countries liberalized their abortion laws, while others enacted restrictions on abortion. At any rate, the authors concluded that modest restrictions on abortion reduced abortion rates by around 25%.


Furthermore, a study that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 found that a Texas parental-involvement law led to statistically significant reductions in the number of abortions performed on minors (both in and out of state) and a slight, but statistically significant increase in the teen birthrate. Finally, my own Heritage Foundation research on state level pro-life legislation which utilizes data from both the Alan Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control provides evidence that informed consent laws, public-funding restrictions, and parental-involvement laws are all correlated with reductions in the incidence of abortion.


Interestingly, even some studies that have appeared in the Alan Guttmacher Institute’s own Family Planning Perspectives provide evidence that pro-life legislation at the state level reduces the incidence of abortion. While Guttmacher typically does not trumpet these findings, they are real nonetheless. As such, before the media and pro-choice activists insist that the incidence of abortion is unaffected by its legal status and attempts to legally restrict abortion are doomed to failure, they may want to consider looking at the trends and reviewing the research — including research published by organizations that support legal abortion.




**Aborting the Truth: Deception behind taxpayer funded-abortion clinics. (National Review Online, 071120)


By Jennifer Giroux


A nationally recognized organization may be intentionally distributing false information while protecting rapists and child predators. And the federal government has given them $3.9 billion since 1987 in taxpayer funds.


Planned Parenthood has been caught in a tangled web. The spotlight is finally being shed on this organization, which has failed to legally report the pregnancies of a 16-year-old who was raped by her father, of an 11-year-old girl who was impregnated by her stepfather, and of a 15-year-old who was sexually assaulted and impregnated by her stepfather’s friend.


Believe it or not, it gets worse. Life Dynamics, a pro-life group that researches the abortion industry, conducted a study of the Planned Parenthood-affiliated facilities across the country to determine if their staff consistently fails to report cases of statutory rape. An adult woman posed as a 13-year-old girl, pregnant by her 22-year-old boyfriend. In over 800 calls to Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation affiliated facilities, she made it clear she wanted to cover up her relationship and pregnancy.


According to Life Dynamics, over 90% of the facilities verbally acknowledged the situation was illegal yet readily agreed to conceal the illegal sexual activity from the police, and gave the caller instructions on how to circumvent the law. This translates to “accessory to crime” in my book.


This isn’t a local issue, but one of severe national concern. Our country sends millions of dollars around the world to encourage safe and legal health care for women, yet within our own borders, we now find out, we may be subsidizing an organization that apparently engages in deliberately ignoring reporting and viability laws. And it’s all happening with the aid of your money. One state, Kansas, is taking exceptional steps in their efforts to protect young women. The Johnson County District Attorney, Phill Kline, recently filed 107 criminal charges against a local Planned Parenthood facility, alleging felony charges of falsifying documents along with charges of performing late term abortions. This is a positive step toward protecting young women and in stopping the illegal practices and lies of Planned Parenthood.


One deception perpetuated by that same Kansas facility, has already surfaced. Peter Brownlie, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s president and chief executive officer, admitted to the Associated Press that his facility does not perform abortions past 22 weeks. However, on the website of the Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, it clearly states the clinic will perform abortions up to 23 weeks gestation.


These charges, filed after a judge reviewed the evidence and found probable cause that crimes have been committed, leads one to inquire about what could be found inside their facilities in Ohio, Florida, or Massachusetts. Every Planned Parenthood need now be accountable.


In a separate action, a citizen’s petition has been filed against that same Planned Parenthood in Kansas asking for a grand jury to be convened in order to investigate cases of unreported suspected child rape, sexual abuse, and failure to comply with parental consent requirements. That grand jury is scheduled to convene December 3.


Let’s hope that the Kansas supreme court does not use their trademark judicial activism to stop this grand jury from convening, like they did in a recent case against the infamous late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kan. The court overstepped its powers and intervened against law in Kansas, which grants the citizens the legal right to properly submit petitions to convene a grand jury. Just days before the grand jury was seated, the Kansas supreme court stopped it.


Are those in the abortion industry afforded “special” rights and protection, when law abiding citizens and district attorneys get too close to revealing that they may be breaking the law?


Planned Parenthood is an enormous operation with numerous facilities nationwide. The examples abound, in which it is evident that Planned Parenthood’s practices go beyond the pale, and even break the law. Any elected official responsible for oversight of these institutions, which are funded with tax dollars, should be calling for and encouraging an investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood in their states. Taxpayers should not be funding illegal late term abortions, the falsifying of documents, or an organization that is aiding and abetting rape in failing to report these cases to law enforcement.




**India’s Millions of Missing Girls (Mohler, 070222)


The Associated Press is out with a rather amazing news report. It seems that India is now ready to raise unwanted baby girls in special orphanages throughout the nation. The practice of female infanticide is so widespread in India that a gender imbalance threatens the future vitality of Indian society.


From the report:


The Indian government plans to set up a series of orphanages to raise unwanted baby girls in a bid to halt the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses, according to a senior government official.


Dubbed the “cradle scheme,” the plan is an attempt to slow the practice that international groups say has killed more than 10 million female fetuses in the last two decades, leading to an alarming imbalance in the ratio between males and females in India, Renuka Chowdhury, the minister of state for women and child development, told the Press Trust of India news agency in an interview published Sunday.


“What we are saying to the people is have your children, don’t kill them. And if you don’t want a girl child, leave her to us,” Chowdhury told the agency, adding that the government planned to set up a center in each regional district.


“We will bring up the children. But don’t kill them because there really is a crisis situation,” she said.


A crisis situation of massive proportions? What else could you say about the fact that more than 10 million baby girls have been killed just because they are girls? As the article explains, “Discrimination against girls stems from the low value attached to females in Indian society. Girls are seen as a burden on the family, requiring a large dowry which many poor families cannot afford. Females are generally the last to be educated or to get medical treatment.”


This is brought about by a worldview that discounts human dignity across the board, but especially with reference to girls and women. Renuka Chowdhury, the minister of state for women and child development, told the press agency:


What we are saying to the people is have your children, don’t kill them. And if you don’t want a girl child, leave her to us. . . . We will bring up the children. But don’t kill them because there really is a crisis situation.


Well, this is a crisis situation by any estimation — and it is a good thing that the Indian government is finally admitting the problem. Why did it take the deaths of 10 million girl fetuses motivate the government to do something?


The Christian worldview holds that every single human life is worthy of protection because every human being is made in the image of God — male and female. But, as the Christian worldview recedes in the West, we see the Culture of Death spreading here as well. More than 40 million of the unborn have been aborted here since 1973. Do we consider ourselves morally superior to India?


Do American abortion rights advocates base that sense of elevated morality only on the reason given for an abortion? Are they against sex-selection abortions only? One must wonder how they can make that argument with a straight face, since the movement insists that a woman should have unrestricted acccess to abortion for whatever reason she chooses — or no stated reason whatsoever.





Supplemental Articles in a separate file (click here to read)