Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Democrats introduce bill to strike down state-level restrictions on abortion

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Is performing an abortion no different than pulling a tooth? The idea that there isn’t a difference is the basis of a new federal bill that would wipe hundreds of state abortion laws off the books–striking down everything from late-term abortion limits to health and safety regulations in many states.

The Women’s Health Protection Act, introduced by Democratic Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, would even invalidate a law used to convict Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier this year, and it could potentially force taxpayers across the country to directly fund elective abortions for Medicaid recipients.

“The basic principle is that there can be no restriction that is not also imposed on a medically comparable procedure. If they single out abortion or reproductive rights, it’s going to fall foul,” Blumenthal said at a November 13 press conference. Blumenthal told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following his remarks that it’s “for doctors to decide” what counts as a “medically comparable” procedure.

Blumenthal specifically condemned health and safety regulations requiring that an abortion “doctor have admitting privileges” at a hospital “or that the hallways in a clinic be a certain width, which has no relation to health or safety.”

Top officials at leading abortion rights organizations joined Blumenthal on November 13 in denouncing such health and safety regulations, which states like Texas and Pennsylvania passed in response to the deaths of women in abortion clinics like the one run by Gosnell in Philadelphia.

[...] In addition to being convicted on three counts of murder for killing infants after they had been born, Gosnell was convicted under the Abortion Control Act for successfully killing 21 infants in utero past Pennsylvania’s gestational limit on abortion (a limit that’s just two weeks later in pregnancy than the limit established recently by Texas).

Republicans have passed huge numbers of restrictions on the abortion business since the 2011, when the Tea Party was so prominent in the 2010 mid-term elections.

Life News explains:

During 2011, state legislators set a record by approving more pro-life laws stopping and limiting abortions than any other year since Roe v. Wade in 1973. A new report issued today shows that last year, legislatures approved the second highest number.

Although some media outlets and abortion advocates say the November presidential election marked a defeat for the pro-life movement, the number of abortions is at its lowest level nationally and states are seeing historic low abortion figures thanks in large part to state pro-life laws. These laws — ranging from parental notification and informed consent to banning abortions later in pregnancy and cutting of taxpayer funds for abortions or the Planned Parenthood abortion business — are saving lives every day.

[...]Many of those new pro-life laws included allowing women to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby before an abortion while others included ensuring abortion facilities follow the same health and safety laws that apply to legitimate medical centers performing outpatient surgeries. In addition, laws adopted in Louisiana and Oklahoma require abortion providers to make the fetal heartbeat audible to the woman prior to an abortion. Arizona, Michigan and Virginia approved such laws on abortion clinics — that have shut down many abortion centers that fail to comply.

Can you imagine what would happen if the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, like they control the Senate and the White House? All these state-level protections for unborn children would be rolled back. As it stands now, I don’t expect that the Republican-controlled House is going to pass this bill, but it does give you something to think about ahead of the 2014 elections.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

Wendy Davis can’t explain how Gosnell murders and late-term abortions differ

The Weekly Standard asked Texas state senator Wendy Davis about her filibuster of the ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

Excerpt:

Texas state senator Wendy Davis spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Monday afternoon about her 13-hour filibuster of a bill limiting late-term abortion, her life story, and her future in politics.

Davis has become a champion for pro-choice activists, but during her recent whirlwind national media tour, she never commented on late-term abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder in May for killing infants moments after they were born.

Following her Press Club speech on Monday, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked Davis to explain the difference between the late-term abortions that the Texas state senator wants to keep legal and the illegal Gosnell killings.

Davis didn’t answer the question. “I don’t know what happened in the Gosnell case,” she told me.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD: The supporters of these bans, they argue that there really isn’t much of a difference between what happened in that Philadelphia case with abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell [killing born-alive infants] 23 weeks into pregnancy and legal late-term abortions at 23 weeks. What is the difference between those two, between legal abortion at 23 weeks and what Gosnell did? Do you see a distinction between those two [acts]?

SEN. WENDY DAVIS: I don’t know what happened in the Gosnell case. But I do know that it happened in an ambulatory surgical center. And in Texas changing our clinics to that standard obviously isn’t going to make a difference. The state of the law obviously has to assure that doctors are providing safe procedures for women and that proper oversight by the health and human services department is being given. It sounds as though there was a huge gap in that oversight, and no one can defend that. But that’s not the landscape of what’s happening in Texas.

In June, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was similarly unable to explain the difference between the Gosnell murders and late-term abortions. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards ducked the question in July.

Polls have consistently shown that solid majorities of Americans, including women, support banning most abortions that occur later than 20 weeks after conception.

Asked what she thinks of polls showing women support limiting abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Davis told me that people “don’t really understand” the issue.

I actually think that it’s pro-abortion people like Nancy Pelosi and Wendy Davis, and their media sycophants, who don’t understand abortion.

Here is the ignorance again, this time on Jezebel, a radical feminist web site, as reported by the American Spectator.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Other examples include a Jezebel article that declares “the concept of fetal pain is bullshit.” It’s a fascinating piece, full of superfluous nicknames and profanities, centered on the astounding assertion that “there’s no evidence that nonviable fetal pain is a thing.” Even more fascinating, however, is that the author, Katie J.M. Baker, doesn’t cite one ounce of scientific evidence to support her claim. Instead, she awkwardly transitions into an incoherent rant against Republicans.

But despite the left’s panic, there is a strong case to be made that unborn children feel pain by 20 weeks.

In a 1999 article published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Vivette Glover and Dr. Nicholas M. Fisk explain a key fact:

The most important evidence [of fetal pain] is anatomical. For the fetus to feel pain, it is necessary for the requisite nociceptive pathways to be developed. This involves neural connections between peripheral receptors and the spinal cord, upward transmission via the spinal cord to the thalamus, and from there to the outer cerebral layers.

Among the scientific jargon lies a key word – “nociception,” which has to do with nociceptive neurons. These “generate trains of action potentials in response to painful stimuli, and the frequency of firing signals the intensity of the pain.” In other words, they are what make pain painful. Glover and Fisk say that “most incoming pathways, including nociceptive ones, are routed through the thalamus and, as stated above, penetrate the subplate zone from about 17 weeks” into a pregnancy.

Now it’s true we might never know for sure exactly when an unborn child feels pain and to what extent. But Glover, Fisk, and others conclude that it is very possible pain is felt by at least 20 weeks. “Given the anatomical evidence, it is possible that the fetus can feel pain from 20 weeks and is caused distress by interventions from as early as 15 or 16 weeks. This sets a limit to the earliest stage that analgesia might be considered,” according to Glover and Fisk. They don’t suggest that abortions should cease, but instead recommend that painkillers be administered to children about to be aborted.

Pro-lifers are very familiar with what a baby can do at all stages of development. We have to be, because we have to be able to debate this issue using the real evidence. We are also the ones who push for informed consent and mandatory ultrasound, whereas the other side opposes both of those. Why is that? It’s because the pro-life side has the evidence and pushes it, whereas the pro-abortion side tries to hide the evidence and appeal to feelings. Abortion supporters don’t know, and they don’t want anyone to know. Their embrace of abortion depends on their not knowing the truth.

Pro-lifer Amy Hall tweeted about an editorial from CNN that makes this point about willful ignorance. The author writes that pro-lifers want to ban abortion after 20 weeks in order to protect unborn children who have a heart beat. Huh? Unborn babies have a heart beat at week 6, according to the well-respected Mayo Clinic. That means that the CNN journalist was off by 14 weeks in her statement.  That’s the level of knowledge that you have on the other side of the abortion debate. It’s a self-serving ignorance designed to give them maximum autonomy and maximum irresponsibility.

For myself, I think that I’ll continue to look up to  pro-life women like Jaime Herrera Beutler and Michele Bachmann. They get it.

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Planned Parenthood must pay $1.4 million in Medicaid fraud settlement

The Heritage Foundation reports.

Excerpt:

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which serves southeast Texas and Louisiana, agreed this week to pay $1.4 million to the state of Texas, settling claims that one of the largest abortion providers in the Southeast had fraudulently overbilled the state’s Medicaid program.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office stated that its investigation into the fraud allegations “revealed that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed the Texas Medicaid program for products and services that were never actually rendered, not medically necessary, and were not covered by the Medicaid program.”

The Texas Planned Parenthood allegedly “falsified material information in patients’ medical records” to bolster fraudulent claims for reimbursement.

Alliance Defending Freedom’s recent analysis of state and federal audits of family planning programs suggests that in 12 states, Planned Parenthood affiliates overbilled Medicaid for more than $8 million. One federal audit of New York’s Medicaid family planning program reported that certain providers, “especially Planned Parenthoods,” had engaged in improper practices resulting in overpayment.

Despite mounting accusations of fraud, the organization that performs roughly one out of every four abortions in the U.S. has continued to ride the waves of taxpayer funding to annual surpluses. During its last reporting year alone, Planned Parenthood received over half a billion dollars in taxpayer government funding, all the while performing a record 333,964 abortions. To solidify its place as the top abortion provider in the country, Planned Parenthood announced that all local affiliates would have to begin providing abortion services starting in 2013.

A one million dollar fine doesn’t seem like much, compared to over $500 million in taxpayer subsidies. But it’s a start. Abortion is a for-profit business. If we make abortion unprofitable, then abortion will go away.

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Obama’s D.C. appeals court nominee equated pro-lifers with Ku Klux Klan

From Powerline blog, a look at the record of Obama’s latest judicial nominee.

She opposed the church invoking the First Amendment as a defense to government intervention in hiring decisions:

Only four Republican Senators out of eight on the Committee asked questions today. Ranking Member Grassley (and later Sen. Cruz) inquired about a statement Pillard made regarding Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC. In that case, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 9-0, found that the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against their churches under the anti-employment discrimi­nation laws, because churches and other religious groups must be free to choose their leaders without government interference.

Prior to the decision, Pillard wrote that the position of the defendant church represents “a substantial threat to the American rule of law.” This statement was the focus of questions by Grassley and Cruz.

Pillard tried to side-step the inquiry by confessing that she is an imperfect predictor of how the Supreme Court will rule (she was referring to a statement she had also made that “the big news will be if the Court decides [the case] for the Church”). This was a cynical evasion.

The problem is not Pillard’s failure to predict how the Court would rule; the problem was her radical position that the church’s invocation of its First Amendment rights substantially threatens the rule of law. Pillard was unwilling to defend this position, so she dodged the question.

The significance of the 9-0 vote in favor of the church is not Pillard’s failure to anticipate it. The significance lies in the fact that she took a position too radical for any of the Court’s liberals to adopt. In fact, according to Cruz, Justice Kagan described the government’s position in the case, which Pillard supported, as “amazing.”

She compared pro-lifers to the Ku Klux Klan:

Pillard did no better with a question from Senator Lee about her argument that anti-abortion protesters are comparable to the members of the Ku Klux Klan who were the subject of the anti-KKK post-civil war statute. Pillard made this argument in the context of litigation trying to use that statute against anti-abortion protesters.

Pillard testified today that the comparison is “not at all fair.” She explained that she had been forced to rely the anti-Klan law because there was nothing else on the books with which to go after militant anti-abortion protesters (Pillard hoped to use RICO, but the Supreme Court had shot theory that down). Pillard assured Sen. Lee that, because Congress has since passed legislation to deal with such protesters, there is no longer a need to use the anti-Klan law.

 

She opposes federalism, one of the biggest causes of American prosperity:

Finally, Sen. Flake questioned Pillard about her “transnationalism” referred to in my earlier report. He asked her about a statement in which, apparently, she indicated that international law provides a promising source of new rights for U.S. citizens, now that recognized domestic sources of such rights may be largely exhausted.

Pillard said she doesn’t agree with this view. She testified that she merely trying to explain to a Swiss audience the difference between our system and the system to which Europeans are accustomed. Specifically, she was trying to explain that we have a federal system.

I don’t have the statement that Sen. Flake was referring to, and thus cannot yet evaluate the plausibility of Pillard’s explanation of it. I can say, however, that Pillard is a less than ideal candidate to be explaining federalism to foreigners or anyone else. For she views “the federalism impulse” as a “sort of demonization of government” and an “effort to impede the ability of government to govern.”

Here’s more on her record from Life News.

Excerpt:

Among some of her greatest hits, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General argues that abortion is necessary to help “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” As if her militant feminism wasn’t apparent enough, she takes the opportunity in some of her writings to slam anyone who opposes the abortion-contraception mandate as “reinforce[ing] broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”

A mother of two, Nina wrote a 2011 paper, “Against the New Maternalism,” which argues that by celebrating motherhood, society is creating a “self-fulfilling cycle of discrimination.” Those ideas bleed into Pillard’s extreme pro-abortion views, which suggest that technology is somehow manipulating Americans to consider the personhood of the unborn. In one of her most jaw-dropping statements, the President’s nominee even criticizes the ultrasound. She believes it manufactures “deceptive images of fetus-as-autonomous-being that the anti-choice movement has popularized since the advent of amniocentesis.”

As crazy and outrageous as her other comments are, this one is a denial of basic biology! She actually rejects modern science on human development because it conflicts with her hard-core ideology. If that doesn’t disqualify someone from the second most prestigious court in America, I’m not sure what does. Except maybe this: Pillard is so fiercely opposed to abstinence education that she has said publicly she would declare it unconstitutional. In “Our Other Reproductive Choices,” Nina argues that abstinence-only curriculum is “permeated with stereotyped messages and sex-based double standards” which, in her mind, makes it “vulnerable to an equal protection challenge.”

Wow, you can really tell a lot about Obama’s views on churches and pro-lifers from his judicial nominees, can’t you?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

Live Action sting: abortion clinic recommends drowning live baby in toilet

Life News reports. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

In a new undercover, investigative video, a staffer at an abortion clinic in Bronx, New York is shown on film telling a customer to flush the body of a baby born alive following a failed abortion down the toilet.

The video shows how the kinds of gruesome late-term and live-birth abortions done at abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell‘s “House of Horrors” abortion clinic are not limited to his abortion facility alone.

[...]In the video, the abortion counselor is caught on tape describing, in gruesomely precise terms, how late-term abortions happen.  She details what is done with a baby after the abortion and advises to “flush” the baby down the toilet if he or she is delivered at home before the final stage of the two- or three-day abortion procedure.

“If it comes out, then it comes out. Flush it. … if anything, you know, put it in a bag or something or somewhere and bring it to us.”

What might Obama say to the abortion worker in this story? Well, he told Planned Parenthood “God Bless You” recently, and they defended the Gosnell view of abortion at a committee hearing.

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