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  • Slicing Spinal Cords With Scissors

    Posted by Shannon Love on January 20th, 2011 (All posts by )

    [Sorry for any typos. I was a bit upset and hurried.]

    I’m mostly pro-choice but this horrific story demonstrates just how utterly extreme and insane the left in general and the Democrat party in particular have become on the matter of abortion:

    A doctor whose abortion clinic was described as a filthy, foul-smelling “house of horrors” that was overlooked by regulators for years was charged Wednesday with murder, accused of delivering seven babies alive and then using scissors to kill them.
     

     
    He “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,” District Attorney Seth Williams said.
     
    Gosnell referred to it as “snipping,” prosecutors said.
     
    Prosecutors estimated Gosnell ended hundreds of pregnancies by cutting the spinal cords, but they said they couldn’t prosecute more cases because he destroyed files.

    How could this go on for over 30 years?

    State regulators ignored complaints about Gosnell and the 46 lawsuits filed against him, and made just five annual inspections, most satisfactory, since the clinic opened in 1979, authorities said. The inspections stopped completely in 1993 because of what prosecutors said was the pro-abortion rights attitude that set in after Democratic Gov. Robert Casey, an abortion foe, left office.

    Again, I am pro-choice but this tragedy occurred because the left violently resisted even the least regulatory oversight of even the most extreme late term abortions. The left has made abortion the highest good that trumps every other concern, and the resulting real-world policies border on the surreal.

    A school nurse cannot give a child an aspirin but any stranger can legally talk a 13 year old into an abortion at almost any term with no oversight whatsoever. The FDA paternalistically denies adults medicines and procedures that the FDA judges “unsafe” but allows children to decide about invasive medical procedures? WTF?

    All prominent Democrats claim to oppose third-term abortion except for cases that endanger the physical or psychological health of the mother. Of course, they leave out who the courts said gets to decide whether a necessary degree of physical or psychological danger existed: the woman and her doctor. So, after all the posturing, in the end the decision to kill a 8-month-and-29-day fetus rests in the same hands and has the same oversight as killing a two-week fetus.

    That’s insane.

    Hell, according to leftists, Gosnell’s only moral or technical crime was in not killing the babies inside the womb. Had he snaked a surgical instrument inside the womb and killed the viable baby there, he would be morally in the clear in the eyes of the left.

    That is insane.

    The most disturbing thing I have read is the Philidelphia DAs statement:

    “I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic,” said Williams. “But as District Attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law. A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”

    He’s apologizing to his deep-blue/far-left constituency for having to prosecute the guy for killing hundreds of live babies! That he feels he needs to apologize for prosecuting this case speaks volumes about the left’s extreme and irrational attitudes towards abortion regulation.

    I get the left’s counter argument, I really do. I have a relative who had a miscarriage in the eighth month. The baby died within her without inducing labor. Owing to all the controversy over abortion, she had to make a long, sad, 200 mile journey to one of the rare hospitals with the surgeons and equipment needed to remove her dead child from her. The blame for that extra tragedy lays on pro-lifers who shutdown such capability in virtually all hospitals in the region.

    I agree that women in the modern world have to control conception and sometimes birth if they are to contribute to the economy and society. We simply need to have women in the workforce. Sometimes, late-term abortions are necessary. Most late-term abortions are probably simply to remove a dead or non-viable fetus.

    However, that is not always the case and the society and government have a compelling interest in seeing that viable, third-term babies are not murdered out of mere convenience. No right is absolute. At some point, a one-cell zygote has developed into a baby even if it is still inside the mother and we have to recognize that in morality and law. The argument that the only thing Gosnell did wrong was kill the babies outside instead of inside the womb should be dismissed out of hand. Women, who are adults, will just have to make sacrifices to protect the lives of innocent children.

    The left has made a fetish out of the pursuit of cosmic equality and fairness. It is a fetish they are literally willing to sacrifice babies to. Modern, capital-F feminism has made selfishness, self-gratification, pathological ambition and staggering narcissism into virtues instead of vices. They’ve basically said that all young girls should aspire to grow up and behave like a Kennedy.

    The left just has to admit that life’s not fair and sometimes not even the violent power of the state can make it so. Is it fair that evolution forced women to assume the great risk of bringing children into the world? Is it fair that a small percentage of women who could reach elite levels of wealth and power are held back by childbirth and childrearing?

    I don’t know. Is it fair that every human society treats males, especially young adult males, as utterly expendable? Is is fair that men die at higher rates at all ages than women? Is it far they live shorter lives? Is it fair that for every high-status elite male that feminists want to emulate, there are hundreds if not thousands of men who labored and died in obscurity? On what scale to balance the sacrifices that evolution has imposed on us?

    (I’m sure all the men down in the mines, out on the fishing boats, crouching in foxholes or dying a decade early from overwork might have been willing to trade part of their lives of constant pain, stress and danger for a percentage chance of an unwanted pregnancy or two.)

    In the end, the hundreds of live babies murdered by Gosnell died because of the left’s attempt to create a world of cosmically perfect equality between men and women. They failed to compromise with reality and children died.

    As in so many other things, it is time for the left to grow up and act like adults. Adults suffer so that children don’t have to. If hundreds or thousands of women have to suffer some emotional distress just to protect the life of one child then so be it. It’s time for capital-F feminists to admit that, as adults, women have an innate responsibility to put the good of children before their own.

    They need to come back down to earth and accept some basic oversight over late-term abortions so this does not happen again.

    [Update (01-21-2010 6:44): I've gotta say, a lot of pro-lifers in the comments aren't doing their side any favors. I spent yesterday angry at idiot leftists. I woke up this morning 2 hours before dawn from nightmares still just as mad and disgusted at leftists. Then I read the comments. About a third of the comments so far (some of which I deleted) are from pro-lifers angrily denouncing me for supposedly lying about my relative's experiences as they were relayed to me. Good job. Now I'm pissed at pro-lifers as well.

    I mean, really? Here we have (1) a horrific story that puts the pro-choice camp in the worst possible light (2) represents a chance for pro-lifers to form practical political alliances with the many American like myself in the middle and (3) could very well lead to some kind of regulation that, while not being perfect in the eyes of pro-lifers, might well save the lives of thousands of children every year. I would have naively thought that pro-lifers would take the chance to offer out a hand instead a shank in the back.

    But no. The pro-lifers have their panties in a bunch because I poked at them the least little bit. Instead of building bridges and finding areas of mutual agreement, they would rather spend time tearing into me for saying the least critical thing about their political movement. All they can see is that they've been blamed for something and they don't like it. It's all about them. They're just as self-absorbed and narcissistic as the leftist.

    A pox on both their houses. -- Shannon]

     

    100 Responses to “Slicing Spinal Cords With Scissors”

    1. Curmudgeon Geographer Says:

      WWPSS? (What Would Peter Singer Say)

    2. 5th Level Fighter Says:

      “We simply need to have women in the workforce.”

      I think one could argue, especially given the current economic environment, that we need good mothers more than worker bees. That’s not to say women aren’t valued in the workforce, but a good society should value motherhood a little more.

      And as you point out, we should value human life a lot more.

    3. Ginny Says:

      Like most, I have complicated feelings about this topic. But I suspect in a hundred years the cavalier attitude of our society and certainly our laws toward abortion will seem barbarous. They already do to many thinking people. The kind of heart-hardening we see in this particular hell-hole is not surprising – I can’t imagine that the doctor didn’t develop strategies not to think. It looks like that is what the local manager of Planned Parenthood did — until one day, having had a child herself, she had to assist and saw what actually happened in an abortion. Her ability to ignore what was going on crumbled and she walked out.

      The central identifying role of abortion in the rise of feminist rhetoric becomes clear in the arguments we see that try to justify – what? His barbarity by saying that that is because of the power of the pro-life lobby? We see the lie to that in the way this facility was not checked.

      My oldest daughter went to some feminist meetings when she was in high school. She would return, ready to categorize some politicians as Pro-woman and some as not. In the end the whole distinction lay in their attitudes toward abortions. Now, pregnant with her second child, I suspect she has come to see that distinction as a bit simple. Our culture is nihilistic, choosing not lilfe but death: we do that in our sympathy for abortion, in our sympathy for those who would destroy Israel, which planted itself and grew in the desert. Perhaps most of all, in our unwillingness to reproduce and to defend ourself. When Ginsberg wrote Howl! he speaks of a society devoted to Moloch. But that was 60 years ago. Now, we denigrate birth and won’t argue against the values of suicide bombers when we look at Israel. We don’t face what was said at Fort Hood.

      And don’t Sarah Palin’s choices give the lie to the vision that has defined women so thoroughly in the last few years? We have Hillary Clinton, arriving on the coat-tails of her immensely more likable and therefore electable husband – and the feminists swoon. We have a woman who has defined herself, chosen as mate an attractive member of an “under represented minority”, and done battle with corrupt politicians and large oil companies – and feminists figuratively (and probably if they could literally) spit upon her.

      Shannon, your are right about the inequality in our society. We forget far too often how much easier it is being a woman – and frankly it seems to me that more life trumps about anything. But young guys have become floaters; it isn’t because our society cossets men as much as devalues and ignores them. We ignore life and its force in many ways. I’m not sure because, first, we convinced ourselves that abortions weren’t just the result of what a pregnant woman saw as a horrible & tragic necessity but rather a “choics” – a “choice” for the self of sexual pleasure and limited responsibility. Or, did we first devalue our culture so that it was only natural we would devalue the life that would continue and enrich it.

    4. newrouter Says:

      “Or, did we first devalue our culture so that it was only natural we would devalue the life that would continue and enrich it.”

      racist!!

    5. saradee Says:

      “Or, did we first devalue our culture so that it was only natural we would devalue the life that would continue and enrich it.”

      A respected professor from my former university ranted today about the “compulsory pro-reproductive ideology” she detected at a conference (though her reasoning was incoherent, the conference also seemed to deal with medieval studies or some such passe subject). Since her view is more often than not the norm in certain academic spheres, couldn’t we suspect that the devaluing is complete? So few in her immediate circle would dare raise any objection to her denigration of those who choose to reproduce, and yes, value the lives of their offspring (and all human offspring) more than their own pleasures and ambitions.

    6. SIV Says:

      I’m mostly pro-choice

      Baby Killer!

      And I mean that in a civil way Shannon;)

    7. flataffect Says:

      Here I thought the benefit of legalized abortion was that women wouldn’t be forced into the butchery of back-alley abortions, but could go to clean, professional facilities. Now it turns out that the thing was really just about killing babies, after all.

    8. Anonymous Says:

      “They need to come back down to earth and accept some basic oversight over late-term abortions so this does not happen again.” This misses the entire point. All abortion kills a child not just late term. Its just that the late term is so dramatically graphic. When you make a pact with evil and murder the horror will not stay in the box. Moloch is laughing uproariously in Philadelphia.

    9. ic Says:

      Well, at least those born alive babies had a quick death. The Illinois law that Obama voted against was to stop letting botched-abortion babies (i.e. born alive babies) die a lingering death and disposed of like garbage.

    10. Suzanne Says:

      Your cousin’s story, while tragic, is also completely false. Every single hospital in America that delivers babies has the capability of delivering a dead fetus, even (and especially) at 8 months. It’s called induction of labor and they do it all the time for live babies as well.

      Unless your cousin had some other underlying condition, or she wanted the baby to be cut into pieces in the womb so she didn’t didn’t have to push it out, this story makes absolutely no sense.

      Fetal demise is common. All obstetricians can handle a fetal demise.

      If her OB was a wimp and didn’t want to deal with it, maybe. But don’t blame the pro-life community for this one.

    11. Ted Joy Says:

      Mostly pro-choice?

      The only difference between what happened in this case and what happens in a million-plus other abortions each year is …

      Well, to tell the truth, I can’t think of any substantive difference.

    12. K T Cat Says:

      Flataffect +1

    13. roger Says:

      I too call bs on your cousin’s story. What year and what region does she claim this happened in?

    14. Anonymous Says:

      A morally defensible middle ground such as “if the baby can live outside the womb killing it is infanticide” can not be allowed to stand. It pisses pro-lifers off because it allows abortion at a certain early stage; it pisses pro-choice advocates because they can’t kill a baby as it exits the woman’s vagina. Therefore, what should be considered valid compromise simply opens the advocate to attack from both sides.

      This, more then any other reason, is why law should not be made in SCOTUS.

    15. Quilly Mammoth Says:

      Sorry, forgot to fill out the fields above.

    16. Georgiaboy61 Says:

      It is a very short step, philosophically and morally, from killing a baby-in-utero to killing the elderly, the mentally ill, and those with birth defects. Indeed, we have nearly reached that point, witness the prominence of “bioethicist”/professor Peter Singer, who proposes that it is ethical to kill so-called defective infants up to one full year after their birth. Witness the hidden provisions of Obama’s neo-Marxist healthcare plan for “death panels,” which may decree when an elderly person muct stop receiving medical treatment. The moral and ethical health of a society can be judged in part by its treatment of its most vulnerable citizens, i.e., the very young, the very old, and the infirm. By that standard, we are in deep trouble indeed.

    17. boballab Says:

      You can read the 261 page Grand Jury Report here:
      http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/PDFs/GrandJuryWomensMedical.pdf

      However from the Report there is this:

      Section I: Overview

      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.

      SNIP

      The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment – such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff – was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.

      SNIP

      We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail
      salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.

      The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed.

      Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.

      Warning: If you read the report be forewarned there is graphic pictures of two of the murdered babies in it, one recovered by the FBI from a staff members phone, the other by the Medical Examiner of the wound in the back of a second baby’s neck. There is also other disturbing imagery.

    18. Al Says:

      1) Allow a woman a complete legal and physical separation from the fetus at any point. (Including, actually, after birth. The ‘no questions dropoffs’ to eliminate babies-in-dumpsters….)

      2) Treat the fetus as a human, even if you can’t believe it is one. If it lives, it was obviously a baby.

      If there’s an overwhelming number of babies, then the pro-life crowd will need to match their actions to their rhetoric.

      The nice piece is: This puts the entire focus on advancing extreme neo-natal care.

    19. Wlly Says:

      Ted Joy’s comment nails it. I’m agnostic, non-religious, and as a young man I was “pro-choice”. Then in my 30′s I started to think on my own. And I couldn’t come up with any difference between killing the baby you couldn’t see, versus one that you could.

    20. Tennwriter Says:

      Someone needs to write the equivalent of ‘The Jungle’ (a more honest version as I’ve heard it wasn’t that honest) based on the abortion mills. This doctor can have a starring role.

      Or perhaps a horror movie where the dead come back to drive the doctor insane.

      Or a time travel movie where the heroes have to go back in time to stop the doc from aborting the one person who might be able to save the future.

    21. Francis W. Porretto Says:

      I am pro-life; indeed, extremely so. And I consider what this “doctor” has done to be the perfect illustration of the savagery of the absolutist pro-abortion position, and of the utter contempt for life it engenders.

      Those murdered babies “differed” from what they had been, say, half an hour previous only by geographic position. That is, they were on the “legally protected” side of their mothers’ vaginas. Anyone who sees this as a distinction that ought to grant the “later” baby a right to life while denying it to the “earlier” one has a very steep hill of reasoning to climb — in my view, impossible.

      But enough of that. Have you seen the first version of the Washington Post’s story on this abortionist?

      PHILADELPHIA—A doctor who provided abortions for minorities, immigrants and poor women in a “house of horrors” clinic has been charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said Wednesday.

      That was the original lede, folks: “A doctor who provided abortions for minorities, immigrants and poor women.” They changed it a few hours later to match what Yahoo published. But why didn’t they go the whole way?

      REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES PROVIDER ARRESTED: Minorities, Immigrants, and the Poor Hardest Hit

      I suppose we’ll never know.

    22. jb Says:

      Francis . . .

      We know.

    23. TheDudeAbiding Says:

      From a liberal point of view, I’m not sure there is a problem here. Abortion has always been about killing babies for the parent(s) convenience, no matter what the circumstances.

      Whether in a hygienic clinic or a pigsty, the result is the same to the child. I doubt liberals are much troubled by this report and probably welcome it as evidenced by their lack of oversight and apologies for having to enforce the law.

      First they came for the babies. Next, they are working on old folks. In the not too hard to foresee future, the disabled. As determined by appropriate government oversight (see above), I’m sure.

    24. Beth Donovan Says:

      I also call bs on the story of hospitals not being able to deliver a baby who dies in the womb. I lost a child at 5 months – it happens, it happens a lot more than people might realize, and I have never heard of a hospital who cannot handle delivering that dead child. This is one of the entirely false stories that floats around “pro-choice” circles.

      That said, I want an investigation on all abortion clinics, nationwide – just how common are these practices? And I also believe that the bureaucrats and/or politicians who enabled this murderer to continue should be tried for manslaughter.

      Don’t forget that the reason Margaret Sanger invented “Planned Parenthood” was to reduce the minority population. Evil begets evil.

    25. Kerry Says:

      Perhaps the abortion extremist’s ire would rise to cacophonous denunciation if instead of scissors he’d used a Glock…?
      “Eliminationist rhetoric=Right to choose”

      “IHS”

    26. JB Says:

      I’m sorry but why is this a “horrific” act from the pro-choice perspective? If one philosophically accepts murder as an option, does the delivery method and the gory details matter?

    27. Joan of Argghh! Says:

      But of course, none of this actually proves that the “slippery slope” argument all those years ago was quite prescient, right?

      We’re not the first society to lust for death or offer children on an altar of superstition; “we NEED women in the workforce!” being the latest iteration of Utmost Social Concern. Says who?

      40 years ago it was about the health of the woman, the whole argument was about back-alley abortions being dangerous; women would abort anyway, so let’s make it safe, legal, and rare.

      All of it is a lie and a cover-up. All of it fies in the face of modern prophylactics that are safe and convenient for the prevention of pregnancy. And the Left knows it. So why do they push and lie to have it? Why do we have a Supreme Court Justice who in a prior capacity felt it necessary to lie and re-write a medical report in order to justify late-term abortion?

      Slope? What slope?

      Lovers of death. Old crones and their warlock doctors snatching babies to throw into the abyss. It’s a wonder we’re not worshiping fire.

    28. Anonymous Says:

      Abortion trumps a good deal of horror. I gather MLK got the Sanger award.
      So abortion trumps the vicious, racist, eugenicist views of Margaret Sanger. MLK’s memory is to be stained with this garbage because…something something abortion.

    29. tehag Says:

      More of the poisonous legacy of Nazism. Aside from the obvious, I wonder if this and similar issues would be more easily debated and have a reasonable compromise reached, were it not for Nazism and its precursors. Too many pro-death (er, pro-abortion) advocates continue to praise abortion as a solution to society’s ills; that is, as a tool for eugenics. (Virginia Ironside most recently.) Society, through laws and custom, allows plenty of tolerable ills; abortion could be one of them, but not as long as the Singer-Sanger-Ironside position represents (as in “is included in”) the pro-abortion side.

    30. el duderino Says:

      “Most late-term abortions are probably simply to remove a dead or non-viable fetus.” I bet not, kindly support this assertion.

      We are confounded by the noise surrounding the abortion issue, when in essence it all boils down to one central question – Are the unborn human? How one answers this question more often than not predicts how they feel about abortion.
      Absent any convincing argument that the unborn are anything other than human, it seems prudent and just to afford them the same rights that any other person would enjoy. And when these rights conflict with the rights of another, decisions can be made that take into consideration the rights of everyone involved. As it stands, the humanity of the unborn is denied, ignored, etc which leads to the horrors detailed in Philly, after all don’t we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    31. Darleen Says:

      Shannon

      With all due respect, please understand that sometimes people will color stories for their own reasons. I don’t know your cousin, I don’t know the circumstances, but as someone with relatives in the medical field, management of fetal death after 20 weeks always involves inducing labor – this is both for physical and psychological health of the mother. In addition, an intact fetus is desireable in order to be examined to see why it died.

      I’m a reluctant pro-choice, not a doctrinare anti-abortion. But the facts of fetal death management are easily obtainable online.

      What you and others may have to come to grips with is that there are women who are of no better character than Gosnell. Sometimes we read of them when they kill their born children and we don’t try to make excuses for them then. Don’t try and explain it away because their decide to have their viable unborn children killed by someone else.

    32. Koblog Says:

      I’m happy for you Shannon.
      With your “A pox on both their houses!” update you can now wash your hands of this unpleasantness and go back to being “mostly pro-choice” with a clean conscience.
      Next up, let’s debate whether murder is actually so bad. It’s an old, outdated concept, not suited to modern scientific amorality.
      If we can’t agree on when we become human, who should care when that humanity ends?

    33. Vivian Louise Says:

      Ms. Love,

      I’m with El Duderino on his questionign of your statement “Most late-term abortions are probably simply to remove a dead or non-viable fetus.” Back that up. The grand jury report on this one clinic calls that into doubt, as the evil Dr. Gosnell performed HUNDREDS of late term abortions, killing HUNDREDS of babies over the course of 30 years.

      Please explain and document where you find proof of that statement.

    34. Vivian Louise Says:

      Ms. Love,

      I’m with El Duderino on his questioning of your statement “Most late-term abortions are probably simply to remove a dead or non-viable fetus.” Back that up. The grand jury report on this one clinic calls that into doubt, as the evil Dr. Gosnell performed HUNDREDS of late term abortions, killing HUNDREDS of babies over the course of 30 years.

      Please explain and document where you find proof of that statement.

    35. Tracy, txmom2many Says:

      I’m mostly pro-life and mostly because this touched me in a very intimate way. I delivered two of my children at 16 and 14 weeks, neither of my own choosing. Both died before birth of a clotting disorder I didn’t know I had . I have seen and held my very own, very small, perfect child, delivered at an age when many babies are aborted. My daughter born at 16 weeks was treated very poorly at the hospital because they were under the impression that this was a voluntary abortion as opposed to a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage in lay terms). I felt as if my choices in my situation were limited by the disregard of life displayed by our very pro-choice hospital.

      That said, I believe it would have been and still is possible that a misguided pro-life hospital or medical staff can make life very difficult for women who have had their babies die before birth. I believe it because I have counseled with them. This is not theoretical for me. I know the names of the parents who have experienced the one of the hardest losses on earth and have had it made more difficult by medical staff with a political agenda, on both sides.

      These circumstances and the above story are why I want the federal government out of it. Dragging this into the political arena has not served the families, which is supposed to be the goal here.

    36. Jim Miller Says:

      Shannon – One minor correction: It is correct, in general, to label Democrats pro-abortion (or, if you prefer, pro-choice) and Republicans anti-abortion (or, if you prefer, pro-life). But Democrat governor Bob Casey was succeeded by Republican governor Tom Ridge, who is pro-abortion. That’s when the change in enforcement began, according to the first news reports.

      So in this case a change in party control had the opposite of the usual effects on abortion regulation.

      (FWIW, I share your mixed feelings on abortion, and said so yesterday:
      http://www.seanet.com/~jimxc/Politics/January2011_3.html#jrm9545)

    37. storkdoc Says:

      Shannon,

      I am an obstetrician. I understand that you are reporting your cousins story as you heard it. I am not here to say that it is wrong, I wasn’t there. Unfortunately your cousins story doesn’t make sense to me.

      In medicine, a miscarriage, or more properly a spontaneous abortion, occurs before 20 weeks of gestation. That’s half way through because in medicine a pregnancy is not 9 months its 40 weeks long.

      When a fetus dies in utero after 20 weeks, it is not a miscarriage at that point. It is what we call a fetal demise. Typically, when this occurs, an induction of labor is performed and not an intact D&C. For patients that have had a previous c-section, a hysterotomy may be performed. Hysterotomy is the term used when the baby is not alive at the time of the c-section.

      So I don’t understand why your cousin had to go someplace special for a demise in her eight month. But without knowing her entire story, I can’t make a great guess.

      I am sorry that she lost her baby. It was probably very hard on her and you.

    38. Jeffersonian Says:

      When one takes an attitude toward life that is so cavalier, so callous, so indifferent that one can simply end it on a whim, does it really surprise anyone that such things are going on in places that make it their business to cater to these whims?

      I’m not one to find much merit with what he espouses, but I distinctly recall Louis Farrakhan exhorting an audience of black women to not abort their babies, saying that the violence that is so rife within the black community is, he felt, the poison fruit of a tree whose roots had grown disrespectful of life because of abortion. I can’t say I disagree.

    39. ob nurse Says:

      Having had 35 years experience in obstetrical nursing, I have a hard time understanding why your relative had to travel to have a dead fetus of 8 months delivered. I have worked in 6 different states and Catholic hospitals and have never seen nor heard of a refusal to induce labor in the event that the fetus has already died.

      In only one case with a live fetus, in a Catholic hospital was the patient transfered (whose life was really threatened) to a secualar hospital literally down the street so that the baby could be delivered by C section and let the chips fall where they may in regards to whether the baby could survive.

      I am pro life because of my experiences. Sexual activity has consequences……but we now have a way to negate all of them. Abortion and pills……except that herpes is forever. I have seen lives destroyed for people who have bought into the new sexual promiscuity. They have intimate bodily exchanges with someone they wouldn’t necessarily trust in any other area of their life. But that keeps the medical profession busy. And, by the way, I am a mother of 4 incredibly responsible and accountable human beings.

      In response to those who felt they were being unfairly treated……those medical personel were not being professional. Medical care should never be judgemental about anything…..an objective approach is the only acceptable one.

    40. Shannon Love Says:

      Storkdoc,

      Thanks for being sane.

      I too was surprised at the story and had previously dismissed claims that hospitals in the region were removing the capability. I don’t know all the details of my relative’s (not cousin’s) miscarriage and I won’t ask. I just know that neither her immediately local hospital nor one in the next larger community could or would handle the procedure. She ended up traveling to a metropolitan area. As I was told the story, she was told that local area hospitals had performed the operation in the past but had stopped doing it. The inference taken was that that the hospitals had stopped because of the procedure’s association with abortion.

      I should add that my relative and everyone else involved in relying that story to me are strongly pro-life. They are the type of women who wouldn’t blink at carrying through a dangerous pregnancy.

      I might have gotten the story completely wrong or its relationship to abortion and the pro-life movement might have been added in the retelling somewhere. In any case, it is at least plausible that hospital administrations, fearing bad publicity from miscommunication, would not perform the procedures. Every political movement, no matter how compassionate and just, has negative externalities.

      Had I known that pro-lifers would act like idiots over the story I would have just left it out altogether. I’m just stunned that people who claim to be pro-life would read a post about the overt and incontrovertible murders of children and then try to shift it to a discussion of how I have maligned the pro-life movement.

      I see this kind of behavior on the left a lot more than on the right. It happens when people ego identify with a political movement. They can’t emotionally separate negative criticism of the movement, no matter how mild, from a direct personal attack. They spend so much time debating with automatic, preprogrammed responses that they can’t even tell when someone is talking about something entirely different. When they read something they’d read before, it just flipped a switch in their heads and off they went. It’s just like when leftists say “racist” in retort to almost everything.

      The pro-lifers didn’t seem to notice that I wasn’t writing to them, I was writing to people like myself with moderate views who are willing to compromise. I wanted to make it explicit that the left has gone way, way over board in the matter of abortion and that the rest of us needed to reel them back in.

    41. Dan Says:

      I really liked your rant – I have made similar ones myself.

    42. Anne Says:

      “They can’t emotionally separate negative criticism of the movement, no matter how mild, from a direct personal attack.”

      This is not fair. You said “pro-lifers” not “the pro-life movement”. The former is, in fact, phrased in the form of a personal attack. Then when people posted unlovely, defensive comments, again in your update it was “the pro-lifers” who have their panties in a bunch, not “the movement” or “these specific individuals who chose for whatever reason to comment on my blog”.

    43. Anne Says:

      “The pro-lifers didn’t seem to notice that I wasn’t writing to them, I was writing to people like myself with moderate views who are willing to compromise.”

      I think they did notice this, and they don’t appreciate the way moderates feel the need to gratuitously insult pro-lifers in some sort of in-group/out-group ritual.

      I mean, look at yourself, you seem to favor some sort of restrictions and regulation of 8th month abortions. So is your relative’s situation your fault? Did you think there’s some way for the government to regulate late term abortion without ever impacting any other pregnant woman elsewhere?

      Or are you unwilling to ever pay the price of coming between a woman and her doctor, like the pre-choice side? In that case is this house of horrors your fault?

      Personally, I think all this ugliness is the fault of a medical profession that won’t police itself (who gave these women the name of a doctor who would perform an 8th month abortion? their own mainstream respectable doctor, that’s who). Being willing to take a stand and draw lines does not make you responsible for what the people on one or the other side you’ve drawn do.

    44. Rabel Says:

      Love,

      Wouldn’t we all be better served if you would elaborate on the sad story of your unfortunate relative. Your post is getting some attention and you have a chance to do some good if anti-abortion politics did indeed cause her undue hardship. That is, if the details of her case bear out your assertion. I don’t understand why she couldn’t get treatment at a local hospital.

    45. Anonymous Says:

      “The blame for that extra tragedy lays on pro-lifers who shutdown such capability in virtually all hospitals in the region.”

      Yo should explain that more, because thast strikes more people than me as being an opaque passage intended to BS us. It doesn’t ring true.

      IOW, prove it.

    46. Anonymous Says:

      “I just know that neither her immediately local hospital nor one in the next larger community could or would handle the procedure. She ended up traveling to a metropolitan area.”

      Ah, I see you did explain to a degree. How nice.

      The problem though is that you don’t see–and describe insultingly–the “extremeness” of the “pro-lifers” as being a reaction to the “extremeness” of those “pro-murder”.

      Which came first, Roe-vs-Wade, or the reaction?

    47. Anonymous Says:

      “and then try to shift it to a discussion of how I have maligned the pro-life movement.”

      What’s to discuss really, about what you wrote? It is self-evidently true to 90 or 80% of the people who will read it.

      Those who aren’t disgusted by the reality of what Roe-vs-Wade has wrought aren’t worth talking to.

      No discussion to be had here.

      Talking about your “a pox on both their houses” attitude as if they really are the equivalent of each other, that’s worth discussing. The sense of false moral equivalancy and the inherent supremacy of compromise which underlies your attitude is part of the reason Roe-vs-Wade has survived as long as it has.

      One side has to lose the argument, that side is the pro-murder side, the side that says convenience is a good enough reason for an abortion at any time. They simply have to be crushed politically, because there is nothing of worth to that view.

      I’m fine with abortions in the first trimester, I’m fine with morning after pills–there’s only one person’s body involved, the prospective baby isn’t yet. I’m accepting of second-trimester abortions as a result of a state-wide political process–although the earlier the less dodgy they are in my view. It’s the proper level of political division to make the judgement at, as opposed to the national level.

      But third trimester abortions are always homicide, and there should always be a legal/criminal inquiry as to whether it was really medically neccessary.

    48. Greywar Says:

      Wonder why pro-lifers haven’t done better in the polls? Just look at the commentary attacking this blogger for daring to breathe a word of criticism in a post that is 90% about a problem with pro-choice positions.

      Well done fellow “conservatives” well done. Ron Paul had this same sort of “support” from the rabid fringe. Worked out great for him too.

    49. TheOldMan Says:

      Life is not fair. In fact, life does not care about being fair. Some women get pregnant through no fault of their own: rape, incest, birthcontrol method failure. Some pregnant women find out that their baby is ill, has genetic defects incompatible with life outside the womb, or has already died. Sometimes an abortion really is the best answer.

      The women who went to this “doctor” waited a long time before deciding to abort their babies. Why?

      I often read about teenagers who “got” pregnant and need free, private abortions. How did this happen? Were they walking down the street when Baam! they became pregnant? Is there an outbreak of Immaculate Conceptions going on? Our schools teach birthcontrol, make condoms freely available, what’s the problem? Should we bring back “shotgun weddings”? Our sons must be told that DNA testing is 99+% accurate. Self-control, self-discipline, those oppressive qualities might not have been such a bad idea after all.

      You cannot tell me that a woman who has an abortion is not psychologically injured unless she is psychotic. You cannot tell me that the father who knows of this is not psychologically injured uless he too is psychotic. I have been there.

      My first son was dealt a bad genetic hand at conception and would likely have died within hours/days of birth. When he was delivered at 23 wks, he was already dead. We mourn his “birthday” every year even 11 years later. We have his pictures, his sonograms, his delivery blanket, his little hat, his ashes. He is and will always be remembered to our dying day. His sister and two brothers know about him. I feel that perhaps he knew of our decision and maybe that caused his death. Yes it’s a crazy thought but then I already told you that a father who loses a child is psychologically injured. I carry the responsibility for my decision.

    50. Shannon Love Says:

      Anne,

      I think they did notice this, and they don’t appreciate the way moderates feel the need to gratuitously insult pro-lifers in some sort of in-group/out-group ritual.

      No, I thought I needed to establish some pro-choice bona fides so that those who are leaning pro-choice wouldn’t just write me off as pro-life extremist. I was trying to make a connection with the people who have to decide to take action if this problem is to be addressed.

      Ironically, I thought I needed to lean on the pro-choice angle because I know that a lot of pro-choice people are completely fanatical and won’t even listen to someone who isn’t in their little club

      Frankly, it never occurred to me that I would have to coddle the fragile egos of pro-lifers. None of the pro-lifers I know are so self-centered and fragile. All my pro-life friends and family are pro-life because they care about… what was it?… Oh yeah, children being killed.

      I wouldn’t be half surprised if half the pro-choice blogsphere links to this post as an example of how just irrational pro-lifers can be.

      I am staggeringly disappointed.

      .

    51. Tatyana Says:

      A pox on both their houses

      Ah, Shannon – now you know how I feel (although not necessarily on this precise topic).
      I wish it was not so.
      But it is.

    52. Lexington Green Says:

      Not a simple random sample, Shannon.

      Also, remember, pro-Lifers are used to being vilified at every turn. It is like a subset of Conservatives who get called racists all the time. You preempt because you expect the lowest, most vicious response to be a first move from most of the people you deal with.

      Question for you: Late term abortions and infanticide strike you as morally wrong. Early abortions strike you as OK, or at least acceptable. Do you have a specific place you draw a line? Is it a matter of “here, at this point it sickens me.” Of course, various people have various nausea thresholds, so you cannot derive any general rule from that. But as a society we need a general rule. How do you propose to draw a principled line. As a hardcore pro-Lifer, I say “unique life, unique DNA strand, living being, unambiguously human, don’t kill that person.” This imposes hardships. All rules propose hardships, and all bright-line rules create hard cases at the margin. But all humans who are not totally self-sufficient impose hardships, and not killing most people in that category (possibly a majority) is not open to much dispute. A totally subjectivized standard cannot work. That is not your usual style or approach, anyway. So, where do you draw the line, and how do you derive that line?

    53. Lexington Green Says:

      Another thing, due to Roe, the abortion question is out of the political marketplace, and into the realm of Constitutional principle. That means no one gets any mileage out of compromise or reaching toward the center. It rewards the most hardcore people who can show perseverance and purity of purpose. One of the many downsides of Roe was that it took this conversation to a place where there is no benefit to a civil conversation.

      I am 100% Pro-life. But I do not find it fruitful to discuss the issue with 99% of the people on either side. We need to get this question back into the democratic and political process where it belongs. We will then reach an unprincipled compromise that no one likes, that will compel both sides to make their case to the middle. I am certain that over time the pro-Life will incrementally make gains and become the dominant view. The availability of ultra-sound images of neonates has had a major impact. Similar developments will continue to push in that same direction.

    54. TMLutas Says:

      In defense of Shannon’s point, I can think of one alternative explanation, who knows whether it’s right or not. My point is to suggest that life could be a bit more complicated than you think. It’s not all about abortion.

      The legal environment surrounding medical malpractice judgments in an area has caused service shutdowns by specialty. I think the most scandalous of these cases was a period during which West Virginia ceased to have any real obstetrics service at all. Women were told to move across the border around delivery time or at least head to a border town where they could quickly hop across and get decent care. If Shannon’s relative happened to live in one of these severe medical malpractice crisis areas and the local plaintiff’s bar had been targeting OB judgments, I can see hospitals ceasing to offer OB services, especially if they were complicated. At that point, you end up with family stories either about the unfeeling hospitals or the %$@#^ lawyers who made it happen.

      I join with those who feel sorry for you and your relative and hope that things have improved.

    55. Acksiom Says:

      Shannon, your criticism of how we treat men and boys in this country draws me towards you and makes me want to help you, but your criticism of how people are responding to you drives me away from you and makes me want to ignore you.

      I really would like to reward you for pulling aside the Media Lace Curtain and pointing at the dehumanization of males in general that has been institutionalized in this country, but not enough to be willing to be exaggeratedly complained at over the kind of normal, everyday type and degree of online feedback that any routinely blogging adult should be able to handle casually.

      So I need an explicit promise that you will step back, take a breath, and get a grown-up grip. Because if you really are “staggeringly disappointed” at the reactions you’ve gotten here — if you mean that literally, rather than more as just another attempt to manipulate us emotionally — it indicates that you’re not ready to deal with the degree of self-examination my assistance would require, and we would just be wasting our time.

      Remember, Shannon, WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS. In fact, we’re SUPPOSED to not care about your personal feelings, as part of a fundamental social responsibility we have to each other to reinforce maturity, self-control, and autonomy. Because these are life skills that will degrade without continuing practice and maintenance. It’s just human nature.

      But like Nolte said in ’24 Hours’, “We ain’t buddies, we ain’t partners, and we ain’t friends.” We might become such, eventually, if we hang out and share enough experiences together and actually build a web of trust together, but you’re expecting far more from us than we’re SUPPOSED to give you as almost complete strangers to each other. You’re trying to push a wholly inappropriate obligation upon us, for no apparent compensation, and we quite naturally resent it.

      Again, I’m hugely grateful for your criticism of how we treat men and boys, and that’s why I’m willing to offer you this opportunity. But I’m not so grateful as to risk wasting my valuable time and energy on the generous application of my hard-earned skills and resources to someone who’ll spend more time complaining about how I’m treating them than actively trying to understand what they did wrong and how to do better in the future.

      I wouldn’t put up with that kind of behavior from a paying client. So it’s grossly ridiculous for you to expect even more than that for FREE, out of nothing more than simple gratitude.

    56. Shannon Love Says:

      Acksiom,

      but not enough to be willing to be exaggeratedly complained at over the kind of normal, everyday type and degree of online feedback that any routinely blogging adult should be able to handle casually.

      You’ve misunderstood the source of my anger. I don’t give a rat’s ass about what internet strangers think of me. I don’t care that they’ve attacked me personally.

      I’m pissed off that those people have put THEIR hurt feelings above solving a problem that I had naively assumed we shared common ground. I am morally repulsed that people who claim to be motivated by piety and compassion responded to a long post MAKING THEIR OWN ARGUMENTS with a cry of “me,me,me!”

      But I’m not so grateful as to risk wasting my valuable time and energy on the generous application of my hard-earned skills and resources to someone who’ll spend more time complaining about how I’m treating them than actively trying to understand what they did wrong and how to do better in the future.

      Ditto. I couldn’t put it better myself.

      I wouldn’t put up with that kind of behavior from a paying client. So it’s grossly ridiculous for you to expect even more than that for FREE, out of nothing more than simple gratitude.

      Okay, let’s get one thing straight: I don’t care what you think and I don’t care if I hurt your feelings. Why? Because I don’t need you.

      My goal in writing this post was to make a contribution towards banning de facto abortion on demand in the 3rd term. Now, who do I need to persuade to make that happen? Hint: It’s not pro-lifers.

      From my perspective, pro-lifers are already bought and paid for. I already have your support for increasing regulation and oversight because you’ve long staked out your position for doing just that. I can and did ignore your tender feelings when composing my post.

      Progress in regulating (and perhaps eliminating) requires persuading people who today are somewhat on the fence about the matter. Gruesome events like the one in Philadelphia are a powerful tool for doing so. That’s why I wrote the post directed at people who are mildly pro-choice. Those are the people I need to reach.

      I’m pissed off that your egocentric whining has disrupted what could have been a highly persuasive argument to just the type of people we need to reach.

      It’s like we’re all in the trenches together about to go over the top to attack a mutual enemy and then you get all bitchy because of some minor perceived insult I made last week. Suddenly, the entire attack and the mutual goal is at risk because of your little snit fit.

      That’s why I’m angry,

    57. Shannon Love Says:

      Lexington Greene,

      Do you have a specific place you draw a line?

      I’ll work up a post on the subject.

    58. Anne Says:

      ” I was trying to make a connection with the people who have to decide to take action if this problem is to be addressed. ”

      And the problem is that your means of making a connection was a dig at an out-group, not a substantive point. Even if all people who currently identify as pro-life are totally declasse and all their internet posts are off-putting, what does that have to do with where you want to draw the line between fostering medical freedom and preventing barbaric medical procedures? Why can’t moderates talk amoung themselves about the issues, and skip the unflattering remarks about people who have already chosen a side?

      And this isn’t just whining “boo hoo, moderates are so mean!” There’s also a substantive point: no moderate is ever going to be convinced of anything as long as he’s more interested in talking about pro-life people than about abortion. You seem to be saying that pro-life people should let moderates make cracks at their expense, appear charming and unself-serious, and then somehow the moderates will then become pre-life. But I bet the more likely course is they’ll enjoy the dig, feel that in-group glow, and never get around to thinking about abortion at all, much less changing their minds.

      It’s hard to change anyone’s mind about anything, but I think pressuring the undecided to focus on issues instead of personalities is not a totally ridiculous place to start.

    59. jaed Says:

      Shannon, when you say something that doesn’t make sense, of course people are going to question it, even if it isn’t the main point of the post. And unfortunately the side note about your cousin’s experience doesn’t make sense.

      As I was told the story, she was told that local area hospitals had performed the operation in the past but had stopped doing it. The inference taken was that that the hospitals had stopped because of the procedure’s association with abortion.

      Induction of labor isn’t an “operation”. It’s not surgical. It doesn’t require special “surgeons and equipment”, just a normally-equipped L&D unit. And pitocin induction is far more strongly associated with birth than with abortion.

      I can think of explanations for this. Perhaps your cousin had health problems that made labor too risky for her, for example. But if you’re going to first tell a story that doesn’t make sense on its face, then use it to make an accusation against part of your audience (“The blame for that extra tragedy lays on pro-lifers”) you really ought to expect some pushback from that audience. Being shocked and appalled that anyone might take exception to your pausing mid-post to slap pro-lifers around seems unreasonable to me.

    60. DC Lovell Says:

      “I am pro-life, however it is my understanding that most of the aborted babies are minorities so maybe it is alright after all”… Huh. I read that post earlier today. Certainly the founder of “Planned Parenthood” agrees as she hated minorities. The left continues to support the position Margaret Sanger took so I assume they are all for the killing of innocent babies (as long as they are nonwhite).

      On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
      “…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.” Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people

      I don’t think Ms. Sanger or the left care how it is done as long as it gets done. And to think minorities support the lefty democrats…GEEZ

    61. karrde Says:

      Shannon, I was gonna ask…

      What was said that triggered your update, with the phrase ‘shank in the back’?

      I must be dense, because I can’t see it.

    62. JB Says:

      “I already have your support for increasing regulation and oversight because you’ve long staked out your position for doing just that. ”

      Is that what pro-lifers want? I thought it was about changing people’s hearts and minds via the democratic process, not process “oversight” or regulatory inspections. Last time I checked this was a right leaning forum. Please go and take Tatyana, her welfare mentality, and her sick father with you.

    63. Tatyana Says:

      Please go and take Tatyana, her welfare mentality, and her sick father with you.
      That’s just great.

      I hope you choke on your hatred, JB. Very soon. And your father, your mother, and all your children.

    64. hanzie Says:

      I’m pro-abortion, and I want to throw up.

    65. DJG Says:

      Shannon,

      I agreed with about everything you said (and said very well). Personally, I can’t tolerate any rationalization for late term abortions. My quite a bit younger sister, was born premature. It was touch and go, but she made it, and after just a couple of years she caught up with the full term kids. She was a absolute blessing to our family. There is no doubt in my mind that at 6 months, abortion is murder. My feelings about the morning after pill aren’t quite as strong.

      The discussion concerning where to draw the line is exactly where you should be seeking the middle ground. How about this, let the course of medical science determine when an abortion is too late. The point of viability is when premmies have a 50% survival rate, it’s currently about 24 weeks. I think that we should use the age at which the fetus has no chance outside the womb – currently it’s about 21 weeks, but either way.

      I say currently because neonatal care gets better all the time. If a child can survive without it’s mother, then she should have no right to end it’s life. If she so chooses (since it’s HER body after all) she can have labor induced after it’s too late for an abortion. She will then be responsible for the cost of the medical care, probably a lot cheaper to just carry it full term. The mother can choose not to carry the fetus any longer, she just can’t choose to terminate (kill) it. Of course, one of these days some laboratory is going to do an in vitro thing and develop a fetus without ever implanting it, after that – abortion would be illegal.

      Some of your readers don’t seem to realise that in Roe v. Wade, the court didn’t say that abortion was moral. In fact the ruling was that, try as they might, they couldn’t determine that one way or another. Absent that, the right to medical privacy needed to be observed. I think that a great majority could agree that killing a baby that could survive outside the womb is immoral. We`should legally deem it so. Weighing the privacy right of the mother against a viable baby’s right to life is a no brainer (one would think).

      BTW, I’m a man, and I must say that as I’ve gotten older (and more responsible) and as the chances that I would accidently impregnate someone became slimmer and slimmer (zero once I got married), any support that I had for abortion seemed to reduce at about the same rate. Many young men are strongly for “woman’s right’s”, how noble of them.

    66. LisaM Says:

      Ms. Love:

      I live in the Philadelphia suburbs and am pro-life. I could have written your post. Dr. Gosnell’s Clinic had not been inspected since 1993. There had been many, many instances when his actions had been brought to the attention of the authorities, but nothing was done. This circustance exists because of the conditions you describe. Thank you for a thoughtful well reasoned post from the pro-life side.

    67. Acksiom Says:

      No, actually I haven’t misunderstood the source of your anger. Because I haven’t attempted to understand it at all. It never even occurred to me to attempt to understand it. Because I’m not supposed to. I’m not a member of your close friends or family. We don’t have that kind of relationship. In fact, in terms of the relationship we DO have, YOU are supposed to REFRAIN from trying to burden ME with them. Because that’s the default courtesy for complete strangers in a civilized environment: one in which we keep our personal feelings to ourselves. Which is why I’m not and haven’t been talking about my personal feelings. I’m have been and am talking about how your behavior affects my willingness to invest my time and energy in something that matters more to you than it does to me. That’s not because of my feelings. That’s because of my experience with other people who respond to entirely reasonable criticism the way you have. It’s a rational, objective decision about the return on the investment of my valuable time and energy, not an emotional, subjective one.

      Because, y’see, I AM one of the mildly pro-choice people on the fence whom you’re trying to reach. And while this horrifying news does persuade me more towards the pro-regulation side, it doesn’t do so enough to activate me on the subject. That’s because there are so many other issues competing for my particular attention with yours, most of which are pro-male. But because of that, in turn, your criticism of how we treat men and boys did activate me enough to get me to post.

      But ultimately and OTGH, your behavior towards people giving you useful feedback — not just me, but in general — tells me that I don’t want to work with you. Because based on my experience I can’t trust you to behave rationally when I point out where you’ve made a mistake. Which means that my time and energy are better spent elsewhere, in relationships where they won’t be wasted on, well, handling YOUR egocentric whining and snit fits.

      Because when you accuse me of that, Shannon, you’re projecting. The egocentric whining and snit fittery here are all yours. I can tell by how you’re completely avoiding my actual points as actually made, and are instead responding to some made-up conversation that’s taking place inside your own head. It’s like you didn’t read my post at all, or suffer from some kind of reading comprehension disability. I know what that kind of behavior means, because I’ve seen it over and over and over again. You’re not addressing my other points because they invalidate your self-serving POV, and you’re not willing to make the minimal effort necessary to listen to other people’s feedback, look at your own behavior critically, and improve it.

      The one element in this whole system over which you have the most and best control, by far, is your own behavior. But rather than changing YOUR behavior so that you get the reactions from others that you want, you’re insisting that everyone else should change their behavior — just so that you’ll get the reactions you want. Well, what exactly is supposed to be in it for us, Shannon? What possible payoff could be both so wonderful and likely that it’s worth putting up with your insults and your Precious Princess Privilege ‘tude?

      We’re not in the trenches together. You’re trying to get me to come over and give the folks in your trenches some of my firepower and/or supplies, instead of expending them on the fronts where I’m already fighting. But when I — and other people — point out a flaw in your tactics, and make it clear that we’re not going to join or support your attack unless and until you demonstrate the ability to take valid criticism and improve your battle plans, because we already have good uses for the firepower and supplies that you’re requesting, and just your evidence of enemy atrocities alone isn’t enough to motivate us, you get defensive and start projectively accusing us of egocentric whining and characterizing our entirely reasonable requirements as a little snit fit.

      That’s not how you win allies, Shannon.

      If anything, that’s how you isolate yourself from the allies you already do have.

    68. Christina Dunigan Says:

      I am so sorry you got totally pounced on by snarling moonbats of the Right. I’m prolife and I get attacked sometimes for just not being nasty enough. Yeah, like you really win over anybody by snarling at them.

      I admit to being a bit perplexed by the story of your relative. I think the moonbats were knee-jerk reacting to the fact that pro-abortion lobbyists will often take stories of women whose babies have died in-utero and present them as women who would be denied “abortions”, when abortion law simply doesn’t apply to them. Removing a dead fetus has never been illegal, and I’m always trying to figure out if these folks really don’t get that it’s not the “evacuation of the uterus” we object to, it’s the killing of the baby.

      Having explained (perhaps) the reason for the spittle-spewing you’ve been subjected to, I remain curious as to why she had to travel so far. I literally can’t imagine why.

      At any rate, I found you while I was out searching for interesting things people had to say about Kermit Gosnell. I’m in the process of wikifying the Grand Jury report — breaking it down into sections, cross-linking, adding supplemental materials, etc. When I found your post, I blogged on it myself. And I’ll add a scolding to the spittle spewers.

      If you want to see the Gosnell wiki, it’s KermitGosnellCrimes at wiki spaces dot com.

      And I would absolutely love to have an exchange of ideas with you. My main blog is RealChoice at blog spot dot com (Can’t give you a link; your Spam filter doesn’t like my blog host.)

      And sorry if I multipost — I’m just not seeing my posts and I’m trying to elude your spam filter.

    69. B. Durbin Says:

      “I already have your support for increasing regulation and oversight [...]”

      The tragedy of this situation is that the regulations were there. The oversight was literally in place. And yet, nothing was done.

      Women went to hospitals to be treated for botched abortions. The hospitals either reported this and were ignored, or chose not to report it. Failure. Lawsuits were brought, but not connected to other cases. Failure. “Annual” inspections were done five times in thirty years, and violations were not cleared before the license was restored (when it was taken away at all.) BIG failure.

      Incident after incident after incident, with dozens if not hundreds of people turning away, because apparently we’re not $%^&(*ing ADULT enough to have a rational conversation about abortion. Women and children DIED because of politics.

      This is evil.

      Flat out, cold, evil.

      P.S. I am sorry for your cousin’s loss, and I am sorry that people who do not know the circumstances are in doubt about it.

    70. Trent Telenko Says:

      >No, I thought I needed to establish some pro-choice
      >bona fides so that those who are leaning pro-choice
      >wouldn’t just write me off as pro-life extremist. I
      >was trying to make a connection with the people who
      >have to decide to take action if this problem is to
      >be addressed.

      Shannon,

      That was your mistake in all of this.

      The “Pro-Choice bona fides” you used are part of a disinformation campaign the Pro-choice side has used on the Pro-Life side for decades that have very little to do with Pro-Life protests and everything to do with the legal litigation environment.

      That there are people who are Pro-choice who believe Pro-Life protests are the cause of the service shut downs is more a matter of Pro-choice activists rattling the money tree with a tall tales than the truth, which has to do with money decisions by risk adverse administrative suits running hospitals and health care systems.

      TM Lutas covered the lack of new OBGYN doctors to start with.

      That is not the whole story.

      Like Abortion, there are other OBGYN procedures that are disappearing from the American medical system. Try and find an OBGYN who is trained and has delivered via forceps procedures.

      You can usually find them by seeing the OBGYN’s Cee-section delivery rates (the national average is 30% and climbing) and whether they deliver “VBAC” (Vaginal Birth After Cee-section).

      An infant that goes into distress in the vaginal canal during birth dies in 15 minutes.

      The best, shortest, Cee-section surgical team response in the best of hospitals in the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex is 12 minutes from a “go” decision.

      Forceps deliveries (http://www.amazingpregnancy.com/pregnancy-articles/304.html) of such children take 3 minutes.

      The reason OBGYN go for Cee-sections over forceps is that it is easier for medical insurance lawyers (AKA another class of Administrative Suit) to defend in court that the “Doctor did everything possible” to deliver a perfect child — Carefully Note, Not a living child, Not a _Healthy Child_, A PERFECT CHILD.

      Forceps, while safer for the life of both the mother and child’s life and especially the mother’s future fertility, on rare occasions leave horrible injuries on living children who would have died waiting for a Cee-section.

      That is the insurance company lawyer’s nightmare case.

      My wife’s current OBGYN (Mindy is preggers with our second child) is dealing with a distraught mother whose child was delivered, and died from complications a week later. That this mother was a heavy drinker and smoker through out the pregnancy, of course, had nothing to do with the child’s health issues.

      It is my life experience that pregnant women are not rational a lot of the time — even if they want to be — and post birth women with dead or injured children are insane as a rule.

      That is the root position of the abortion debate and the Supreme Court was insane to put the federal judicial system into the middle of that.

    71. K T Cat Says:

      “Had I known that pro-lifers would act like idiots over the story I would have just left it out altogether. I’m just stunned that people who claim to be pro-life would read a post about the overt and incontrovertible murders of children and then try to shift it to a discussion of how I have maligned the pro-life movement.”

      But you did malign us. Analyzing your prose, there was no point to adding that story other than to demostrate how pro-life people are unreasonable and force innocents to take drastic actions to get normal procedures performed. Removing that story does nothing at all to the rest of your essay.

      I can understand how it happened, mental associations bewing what they are and blogs being less structured and more free flowing, but don’t insult people and then get hurt when they tell you they’re insulted. Take some ownership here and let it go.

      “I get the left’s counter argument, I really do. I have a relative who had a miscarriage in the eighth month. The baby died within her without inducing labor. Owing to all the controversy over abortion, she had to make a long, sad, 200 mile journey to one of the rare hospitals with the surgeons and equipment needed to remove her dead child from her. The blame for that extra tragedy lays on pro-lifers who shutdown such capability in virtually all hospitals in the region.”

      The blame for that extra tragedy lays on pro-lifers who shutdown such capability in virtually all hospitals in the region.

      Blame. Tragedy. Pro-lifers. That’s pretty clear, Shannon. In all of this editorializing about people being unreasonable and idiots and quick to blame and attack, you forgot that “people” includes “you.”

    72. Christina Dunigan Says:

      I am so sorry you got totally pounced on by snarling moonbats of the Right. I’m prolife and I get attacked sometimes for just not being nasty enough. Yeah, like you really win over anybody by snarling at them.

      I admit to being a bit perplexed by the story of your relative. I think the moonbats were knee-jerk reacting to the fact that pro-abortion lobbyists will often take stories of women whose babies have died in-utero and present them as women who would be denied “abortions”, when abortion law simply doesn’t apply to them. Removing a dead fetus has never been illegal, and I’m always trying to figure out if these folks really don’t get that it’s not the “evacuation of the uterus” we object to, it’s the killing of the baby.

      Having explained (perhaps) the reason for the spittle-spewing you’ve been subjected to, I remain curious as to why she had to travel so far. I literally can’t imagine why.

      At any rate, I found you while I was out searching for interesting things people had to say about Kermit Gosnell. I’m in the process of wikifying the Grand Jury report — breaking it down into sections, cross-linking, adding supplemental materials, etc. When I found your post, I blogged on it myself. And I’ll add a scolding to the spittle spewers.

      If you want to see the Gosnell wiki, it’s here.

      And I would absolutely love to have an exchange of ideas with you. My main blog is RealChoice at blog spot dot com (Can’t give you a link; your Spam filter doesn’t like my blog host.)

    73. Mike Says:

      I’m sorry for your relative’s loss, and that you have been attacked for mentioning it. Since you blame pro-lifer’s for the incident I really would like to hear the medical reasons given why the procedure could not have been performed someplace closer. Delivering a late term miscarriage it typically done by inducing labor and delivering the dead baby the same as a live one is delivered. Inducing labor and delivering a baby is not something reserved for “rare” hospitals. It may be that you are not aware of some complication that required a more complicated procedure. There will always be cases in which the best course of action is to go to a facility that has specialists or equipment not available locally.

    74. Sloan Says:

      Add me to the list of folks who are perplexed by your relative’s story. The pro-life movement as a whole has NEVER been opposed to medically necessary procedures such as the situation you describe. I don’t know why she had to travel so far, but I’m reasonably certain it had nothing to do with the actions of pro-lifers.

      Having said that, I agree completely with your other points.

    75. Roy Says:

      The level of courtesy, mutual respect, and care in thinking of all posts above (save Tatyana’s) impresses me. Glad to discover so much other than reflexive responding.

      Regarding incidents spurring Shannon’s orginating post: Yep. Horrifying.

      1. Was watching ‘military channel’ other day. Had history of atrocities in WWII, specifically focusing on extermination of people, especially death camps in Poland. Old enough and exerienced enough to realize lots of complexities involved, yet can cut thru all the smokescreen to the terrible reality of what happens when some folks decide other folks aren’t human.

      6 million Jews gets lots of mention. And is incredibly, soberingly awful. Even if it were only thousands, which it wasn’t.

      10s of millions of Soviets doesn’t get much attention.

      20s of millions of Chinese doesn’t get much attention.

      And, in the USA, some 40-50 million babies that aren’t alive doesn’t get *any* mention.

      2. In “civil” discussions regarding abortion when I find that those participating have no intention of thinking about the logical, inevitable outworkings of the pro abort position, I take an entirely differnt course. I openly accept their premise that only birth makes a baby human (for cetainly they wouldn’t kill another human). They have zero evidence from any ‘ology’ (biology, psychology, theology, etc) for that premise. The only thing they can appeal to is force of law. Ie, an arbitrary decision. Why not make that decision more useful? Why not refuse declaring a person human until just before they can vote, say 17 yrs 364 days. Then, by observing their grades, productivity, political leanings, etc, we can make an accurate determination of whether the kid is actually human.

      Never persuade people whose mind is made up despite the already existent evidence. (Ie, good luck, Shannon, with your quest to peruade those supposedly “in the middle”.) But at least have the satisfaction of satire parallel to that of J Swift’s “Modest Proposal”….

    76. Anonymous Says:

      Waitaminute

      “Owing to all the controversy over abortion, she had to make a long, sad, 200 mile journey to one of the rare hospitals with the surgeons and equipment needed to remove her dead child from her. The blame for that extra tragedy lays on pro-lifers who shutdown such capability in virtually all hospitals in the region.”

      “The pro-lifers have their panties in a bunch because I poked at them the least little bit.”

      WHAT? That’s the “least little bit” of a “poke”?

      Is it a tragedy, or not a tragedy? If it was just a least little poke, why bring it up?

      Fetal demise happens all the time. All the time. I refuse to believe that an entire region of hospitals can’t deal with it.

    77. Laura(southernxyl) Says:

      Sorry, that last “anonymous” was me.

    78. Epimetheus Says:

      Tennwriter said “Or perhaps a horror movie where the dead come back to drive the doctor insane.”

      Quite by coincidence, I recently happened to read a story on exactly that theme: “Buckets” by F. Paul Wilson, reprinted in “Soft & Others”.

    79. Shannon Love Says:

      Again, I am just really stunned at the level of vainglorious egocentricism displayed in this thread by people claiming to be pro-life.

      What all the complainers about my cousin’s story haven’t explained is how all the energy they poured into complaining advanced the pro-life cause at all. Let’s say that I misunderstood my cousin’s story. How does it serve the pro-life movement to call me a liar and take the entire focus of the thread off the horror in Philadelphia?

      Here you have a gift wrapped present of a graphic and incontrovertible instance of the ultimate pro-life nightmare. Not only that, but it is something that probably 80%+ of the electorate would be horrified with and would politically support significant restrictions to prevent again. Instead of seeing that opportunity and trying to build alliances that could accomplish your supposed political and humane goals, you’ve focused on one trivial matter that means absolutely nothing in the greater picture.

      It’s so incredibly stupid that at first thought this had to be a false flag operation on the part of some pro-lifer.

      Politics has eaten your souls. Clearly, your minds are not focused on reducing and ultimately eliminating abortions. You’ve forgotten your original purpose and have instead just become creatures of political reflex snapping without at thought at any perceived threat to your movements reputation or prestige.

      It is no wonder why the left uses the pro-life movement as an example of irrationality and fanaticism and why so many on the right see pro-lifers as political poison to be kept at arms length whenever possible.

      Just an utter disgrace. I can only hope that the commentators in this thread don’t reflect the community at large to any great extent.

    80. Laura(southernxyl) Says:

      Shannon, we’re not shocked at your original story because we already knew abortion is murder. We already knew awful things happen, we knew about babies being born alive and left to die, about partial birth abortion … this is just the inevitable more of the same. You are very late to this party, that’s all.

      But don’t tell us a “tragic” story blamed on pro-lifers and then claim that is was just a mere poke. You’re trying to put forth an equivalence for some reason and there isn’t one here.

    81. Darleen Says:

      Shannon

      Frankly, it never occurred to me that I would have to coddle the fragile egos of pro-lifers.

      I’m sure you noticed above a lot of pro-choice people also weighing in – including those that actually work in ob/gyn – saying the story you were given by a relative, and therefore your conclusion, is not/nor has ever been standard procedure for fetal demise.

      It isn’t “fragile egos” for people who are following along with your “music” and when a note is off-tune, to have that be the thing they remember.

      Do you believe everyone that has said “um, no, that makes no sense” is acting in bad faith? Certainly, if you are trying to build a bridge, smearing “pro-lifers” with a falsehood in order to keep your pro-choice bonafides intact is a funny way to build the bridge.

      Abortion is always going to offer a conundrum to all manner of people of good faith – because it is the balance of rights of at least two distinct individuals, intimately tied together by biology until the dependent one is able to survive without the other. Doctrinares at one end contend that at the moment of conception the individual’s rights are fully inforce and the mother’s are always secondary. Doctrinares at the other end contend the fetus is never a baby until it is completely out of the mother’s body and has taken its first breath (these people are also against any fetal homicide laws and are, in a back-handed way, making excuses for Gasnell). The vast majority of people fall between it. We recognize that the rights of both individuals can come into conflict and balancing them is ever changing the more the fetus approaches then passes the moment of viability.

      As I stated above, I’m reluctant pro-choice and even I found the “pro-lifers directly caused my relative harm” a gratuitous swipe based on an medically incorrect story.

    82. Laura(southernxyl) Says:

      “Doctrinares at the other end contend the fetus is never a baby until it is completely out of the mother’s body and has taken its first breath…”

      I suppose my link is getting caught in the spam filter.

      Here:

      http://tinyurl.com/4p2mqej

      In 2001 a study was done to see if there were benefits to making sure a fetus at 20 – 23 weeks gestation was dead before aborting it. There was a test group, in which they were killed in the womb, and a control group, in which they were not. It turned out that the mothers preferred to abort their fetuses already dead. What do you suppose happened to the fetuses in the control group, or who otherwise abortions at this stage if they don’t get intrauterine digoxin or whatever? Killed outright? Put aside to gasp and die?

      This is legal abortion in America. These things are right there if you look. None of this is new.

    83. K T Cat Says:

      So I went and read a lot of the grand jury testimony including the photos. What surprised me was how mundane it all was. A little Lysol and few swipes with a mop and then chopping the spine inside of the mom instead of outside and you’ve got a pretty ordinary abortion clinic.

      Seriously, for the pro-choice crowd, what’s the big deal? You think that ever other abortion mill is different? Just what do you think goes on inside those Planned Parenthood clinics, anyway? Geeze, man, get a spine*. If you’re pro-choice, suck it up and accept that one of the folks whose careers you’ve enabled got a little sloppy.

      * – Preferrably an unsnipped one.

    84. K T Cat Says:

      Again, I am just really stunned at the level of vainglorious egocentricism displayed in this thread by people claiming to be pro-life…

      Just an utter disgrace. I can only hope that the commentators in this thread don’t reflect the community at large to any great extent.

      Honestly, Shannon, your comments are easily in the top 10% of the most abusive on this thread.

    85. K T Cat Says:

      By the way, I loved your original post. I’ll throw you a link tomorrow from my blog, for what little that’s worth.

    86. Anonymous Says:

      I have a hard time understanding why ANY late term abortion would be considered okay. You said to paraphrase, they are probably for removing a dead or non-viable fetus. Actually, you can’t abort a dead fetus. You simply induce labor to remove the child. And in this day and age, any intelligent person is aware that third trimester babies are very capable of being born and surviving. While I partially applauded your remarks I also found you attempting to apologize for your feeling this way.

    87. Laura(southernxyl) Says:

      Look at this for instance.

      ” OBJECTIVE: To examine the efficacy of digoxin for decreasing operative time, difficulty, and pain of late second-trimester surgical abortions. METHODS: We performed a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial of intra-amniotic digoxin for second-trimester dilation and evacuation (D&E) involving 126 consecutive women at an inner-city public hospital. Eligible women had gestational ages of 20-23.1 weeks, spoke English or Spanish, and were at least 16 years old. Digoxin (1 mg) or saline was injected intra-amniotically 24 hours before the procedure, at cervical laminaria insertion. The primary outcome was procedure duration. Sample size was based on 80% power to detect a difference of 3.5 minutes between groups. RESULTS: The two groups were similar in demographic factors, obstetric histories, and gestational duration. The average gestational length was 22.5 weeks. There was no difference in procedure duration (mean +/- standard deviation) between groups (placebo 14.7 +/- 7.0, digoxin 15.4 +/- 8.0). There were no differences in blood loss estimated by surgeons, pain scores, procedure difficulty scores, or complications between groups. Vomiting was significantly more common in those who received digoxin (placebo 3.1%, digoxin 16.1%). Most subjects (91%) reported that they preferred their fetuses were dead before the abortions. CONCLUSION: Although digoxin did not increase efficacy of late second-trimester abortion, patient preference might justify its use.”

      So making sure the fetus is dead before it is born, rather than killing it afterward or putting it aside to gasp and die, might be thought about if the mother prefers it.

      Open your eyes. This is legal abortion in America.

    88. Laura(southernxyl) Says:

      “Doctrinares at the other end contend the fetus is never a baby until it is completely out of the mother’s body and has taken its first breath…”

      If only. Here is a report of a study done nine years ago in which it was determined – using a test group and a control group – that there’s not a reason to kill the fetus before a 20-23 week abortion except that the mothers feel better if the baby is already dead when it is delivered. Which means that these babies are, what, killed after delivery? Put aside and left to gasp and die? It’s all right there if you look. This is really nothing new.

    89. K T Cat Says:

      Shannon, in this post, you’ve blasted people like me as self-absorbed narcissists, idiots, egocentrists and on and on. Allow me to make some marketing suggestions to you.

      I ran marketing for a $1.5B organization for a few years. Our marketing was all about personal relationships in pursuit of big-budget sales. That’s an excellent analogy to what you do as a blogger. Your most important relationships are with other bloggers and your second most important ones are with commenters. Bloggers give you links and traffic and commenters give you new and interesting content and repeat visitors as the discussion unfolds. Don’t yell at important customers.

      Your relative’s story was not necessary to your main point and served only to deflect pro-choice criticism. Really, you could have found a dozen to substitute for it with no effort at all. As soon as the storm began, you should have considered dropping it. As the experts weighed in that it didn’t pass the smell test, you should have deleted it from the post with commentary acknowledging the possibly valid points in the objections. Further, you could have left a comment in the thread informing people that it had been removed (or replaced) and letting people know that the discussion on that matter was closed. From there on out, any comment dealing with that topic could have been deleted with a firm, but understanding repetition of your point.

      Remember, commenters are precious to a blogger. They are crucial customers and you don’t want to drive them away in groups. Customers are human and they get angry, just like bloggers do. A sophisticated marketer learns to let disappointed customers rant a little, acknowledges the content of their concerns and then deflects them onto what you really want them to do. In this case, you want them to learn from what you have to say and continue to return to your site and leave content. Once you’ve called a customer names, you’re pretty much finished with them and anyone else they can tell. The blogosphere is an almost perfect free market. The commenters have lots of other places to go, places where they’re not called idiots, narcissists and egocentrists.

      Hope this didn’t bore or insult you. I really appreciate the fact that you take the time to share your knowledge and wisdom with us on this blog. I gained quite a bit from your post and the discussion herein. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to interact with you.

    90. Shannon Love Says:

      K T Cat,

      I don’t object to people saying that the story doesn’t ring true. I’m really okay with that. Did I not know the people involved, I would have dismissed myself and for the same reasons. Neither did I defend the story beyond pointing out that I believed the strongly pro-life people who passed it on to me. I am perfectly willing to believe that someone, somewhere in the line of events, lied to my relative about why she had to travel so far.

      What I object to is the deflection of the comment thread away from a common shared goal of regulating, reducing and perhaps eliminating 3rd term abortions. Clearly, many of the commenters above are way more interested in defending the honor of the pro-life movement than they are in taking practical steps to actually end 3rd term abortions. It is that counterproductive, ego driven, self-centeredness that I find disgusting. It’s like one of those historical prissy French generals you read about who delay or refuse military support of colleagues or allies because of some perceived personal slight.

      I expected better of pro-life commenters. The entire point of piety is to draw ourselves away from our innately selfish behavioral core. If pious people react with their egos and pride first and their compassion and humility second (if at all) then their faith is hollow and serves no greater purpose. I quess the internet brings the worst out in everyone.

      Your points about marketing are valid but as I said above, I wasn’t writing for people already pro-life. I have no need to solicit their support because I don’t need to persuade pro-lifers to do something they were going to do anyway. The pro-lifers need to persuade people like me and in this they could have fumbled badly by being so ego driven.

      Pro-lifers don’t seem to understand at all how difficult it is to persuade people about abortion. Way, way, way to man pro-lifers adopt the poise of the Pharisees and sneer down at others from the heights of their moral arrogance. That attitude does not convince people on the fence.

      Imagine how this thread looks from the perspective of someone weakly pro-choice and willing to be persuaded about 3rd term abortions. They are horrified about the events described in the parent but when they get to the comments it looks like the pro-life people don’t care about the horrific events at all. Instead, it looks like the pro-lifers are just concerned with being blamed for a minor negative externality. If the pro-life people don’t care about the horrors of the clinic why should pro-choice people?

      The pro-lifers sabotaged my efforts to accomplish at least some the goals of the pro-life movement. That is why I am shocked and disgusted.

    91. Joan of Argghh! Says:

      Ms. Love, it is not a failure of regulation, oversight, or reduction.

      It is a failure of the will. You suggest a solution that is already in place and willfully ignored–by more than one actor; indeed, for this horror to have continued the complicity of several people, institutions and agencies would have to arranged.

      I would be more interested in your thoughts on how so many, many promised safeguards and sensible policies were blithely and boldly ignored by so many. Was silence bought? It doesn’t seem so. Was extortion or blackmail threatened if someone spoke out? Are there other crimes here?

      What would cause so many to be in agreement with something so heinous? It must be airborne to reach so far and wide without anyone being bothered enough to report it.

      The callous disregard for the “third trimester” boundary must have gained a foothold somewhere, don’t you think? That would be a conversation worth having. Actions spring from purpose, and philosophy is the sheen of varnish we apply to rough grains of that reality. So, no philosophy or religious overcoating, just the logical progression of thought: how did we arrive here?

      Are you afraid to look at the map now that we’re here?

    92. Joan of Argghh! Says:

      And what is in it for pro-lifers to make it so much about their ego, as you see it? There’s certainly no money, no glory, no fame, no abiding adulation from the Media, Hollywood, Corporations, or even hospitals. Mostly there is your sort of vituperative and insular disregard for what matters to others.

      How and if we had accused your staunch support and heartfelt tenderness toward your cousin, whom you love, as being merely ego driven? Are your feelings to be taken with all the love and conern that is surely behind them, and ours to be dismissed out of hand because you fail to see how we could love what you consider a non-person? Really? Our passion for life is ego-driven and political?

      May I ask which came first? Abortion on demand, or the most common and visceral of understanding of life? Without the attack on life in the womb, there would be no need for a “political movement” full of “ego-driven” people who just refuse to embrace your reasons for umbrage, shallow and spiritually shabby as they are.

      I care not what callous people think, nor do I wish to persuade them to more regulation or oversight. I care about what drives such hearts to do what they do, when there is precious little reason for it.

    93. Val Says:

      “I can’t imagine that the doctor didn’t develop strategies not to think.”

      I would guess that there was a lot less development and a lot more sociopathy in that man’s case. Furthermore, I really can’t see how anybody that calls themselves a human being could consider this and remain pro-choice with what that really means. That whole saw is all about the devil may care approach to life, and a way to avoid the consequences. Basically almost all of the left of center platforms are based on that very thing, and ‘pro-choice’ is, to me, the most horrific example. The ‘choice’ is to effectively use birth control, or just don’t do it in the first place. Anything else is the worst form of irresponsibility one could imagine. And don’t go on about unintended pregnancies that happen even though birth control has been used. I am quite sure that is a very small fraction of the whole, and even then it still consists of people who are aware of the potential consequences and do not want to be inconvenienced by them.

      I would guess that most pro-lifers have an image in their mind of a couple of kids, or young adults, otherwise happy and full of potential, getting into a spot of trouble. Just a couple of well meaning and decent people, really. Or, even more probably, they think of themselves getting into that spot and in the back (or front) of their minds they want to have an option out. All that despicable talk about ‘reproductive rights’ is just that. What a crock. It is those people who truly ‘develop strategies not to think’.

      My first child was born out of wedlock because the mother and I were irresponsible. I can remember trying to talk her into an abortion as I saw my life becoming vastly more complicated if I had a kid. Being the stubborn woman she was, she refused. When I saw that first smudge on the ultrasound, and later the rapid heartbeat of the developing child, I realized what a horrific thing I had tried to make happen. I cannot be more thankful now that the mother had refused. She later she became my wife, and that child now serves in the military. I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter, and her three younger siblings idolize her.

      Before anyone should think that I am a hardcore anti-abortion religionist, I am not. I belong to no church, and if I spent anytime thinking about it I would have to declare myself agnostic. But I am also a human being with a conscience.

      Full disclosure – I am an adopted child. Wouldn’t be here if my birth parents, whom I will probably never meet, had chosen abortion.

    94. Acksiom Says:

      Shannon, you need to build a little bridge for flightless birds and lie down underneath it and get the flock over yourself already.

    95. Sloan Says:

      Hey, if the goal of the original post was to advocate a ban on late-term abortions, here’s one pro-lifer who says, “Where do I sign?” I’m not absolutist, all-or-nothing about this; so far as I’m concerned, I’ll take what I can get.

      Personally I’d like to see a ban on all abortions after the first trimester, but like I said, I’ll take what I can get.

    96. Joan of Argghh! Says:

      Okay, pro-choice people, which of these Supreme Court points do you wish to change or challenge:

      1.even after fetal viability, states may not prohibit abortions “necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother;”
      “health” in this context includes both physical and mental health;
      2.only the physician, in the course of evaluating the specific circumstances of an individual case, can define what constitutes “health” and when a fetus is viable; and
      3. states cannot require additional physicians to confirm the physician’s judgment that the woman’s life or health is at risk.

      Because I can guarandamnteeyou that Planned Parenthood will not allow one iota of interference in these three main and purposely vague points. If you try, and goodness knows many have, you will find what others have found: they will not give an inch, so precious is the right to abort whenever and for whatever reason. They will invoke the “slippery slope” inverse and screech and howl and call you such vile names and ascribe such evil intentions to your motives that you will be amazed at the unreasonable degree of it.

      At that point, like it or not, you shall be painted with the broad brush of anti-abortionists.

    97. Darleen Says:

      Imagine how this thread looks from the perspective of someone weakly pro-choice and willing to be persuaded about 3rd term abortions. They are horrified about the events described in the parent but when they get to the comments it looks like the pro-life people don’t care about the horrific events at all. Instead, it looks like the pro-lifers are just concerned with being blamed for a minor negative externality. If the pro-life people don’t care about the horrors of the clinic why should pro-choice people?

      Really? What makes you believe so many pro-choicers are so shallow as they would take look at a gratuitous swipe at pro-lifers and not expect pushback? And that pushback would make ‘em throw up their hands and say “Oh well, I guess Gosnell had a point. Leave the poor man alone.”

    98. Annie Says:

      Is it fair that a small percentage of women who could reach elite levels of wealth and power are held back by childbirth and childrearing?

      Why is this even a question of fairness? Biologically speaking you are what you are. If you want to reach the ‘elite’ levels of anywhere, it is in your power to ‘fix’ it so that you do not become a parent. The biggest fix is get fixed. The next, know your fertile signs and don’t engage in risky behavior.

      If, as an ‘elite’, you do become pregnant, you can always become a ‘family maker’ for someone else without the soul crushing burden of the big lie.

    99. Annie Says:

      I did lose a baby in utero. My doctor brought me in to the hospital the day after we found out he/she died and took care of it.

      I’m not insinuating anything about your cousin or you. It could be her doctor or that particular hospital was an ass or perhaps the hospital didn’t have the room or had too many patients in line.

    100. karrde Says:

      So, Shannon, I see that my question got lost in the noise…or you bundled the reply in with your replies to others.

      Entirely apart from my position on the abortion debate (ask me next month, if you care to know): I see you presenting a good argument for enforcement of laws and regulations that already exist. But in part of your post, you tell a story that is either poorly-sourced or poorly-interpreted.

      Here I separate the story into source data (pregnancy ending in death of fetus by natural causes, mother unable to have dead fetus removed by any hospital within 200 miles) and interpretation (it is the fault of the pro-life movement that no hospital in the region would do the procedure).

      The interpretation could be your own, or that of the person who told you the story. I can’t tell.

      I also see other people disagree with that interpretation, citing knowledge in the medical field, personal experience, and alternate interpretations which would cover the facts in the story. Not all of the attackers establish themselves as pro-life; I notice that you assume that they are pro-life without needing any clarification. I also notice that you assume that disagreement with the story is tantamount to a personal attack, and is evidence of a bruised ego or a closed mind.

      You show signs of having a strong emotional investment in the interpretation of the story; strong to the point of not allowing yourself to admit that the interpretation might be in error.

      That argument style is one I’m not accustomed to see here at Chicago Boyz, and it reminiscent of a case of cognitive dissonance and obstinate refusal to argue in good faith that I met here. (It’s a gun-rights thing, if you follow the gun-blog world, you’ve probably already seen this…if not, Joe Huffman’s coverage of that event is the best I can find.)

      If you persist in this pattern, I’ll remember to never argue abortion rights with you. You seem unable to separate your thinking on the subject from your interpretation of this particular story.

      If you don’t persist in this, I’ll likely think much more highly of you–but I’m not the kind of blog-follower who litters comments with ‘ditto’ style praises, so you likely won’t notice.

      But the choice is yours: do you hold onto the interpretation, or do you let go of it?