Roe v. Wade: Here Today, Maybe Gone Tomorrow Part III

As promised, we begin today’s chapter with a segment of Margaret Sanger’s own writings on her opinions of birth control that include eugenics, abortion, and infanticide. Her ideas were startling, dramatic, and openly unspeakable in her time. Her establishment of the original Planned Parenthood organization was her effort to bring her birth control and pre-birth termination philosophies into the Mainstream in the U.S. This did that and much more.

BIRTH CONTROL OR ABORTION?

By Margaret Sanger: December 3, 1918: In her own words

Family limitation will be practiced. No law has yet been framed that can prevent it. The church has been powerless and the champions of worn-out moral creeds find themselves trying in vain to force all women to become mothers against their wills.
Abundant evidence of the futility of seeking to impose involuntary motherhood upon women is found in the size of the families of the rich, of the well-to-do and of the wage workers of larger earning capacity. The women of these classes long ago refused to be mere brood animals–-usually, they prefer to be voluntary mothers, determining for themselves the number of children they shall have and when they shall have them. Family limitation for them is an accomplished fact.
It is also an accomplished fact with many of the wives of the less highly paid workers. But with the latter, as well as with some of their more fortunate sisters, family limitation takes a far more drastic and too often a terribly dangerous course. The awakened woman of today will not bear unwanted children. She will not bear more children than she can care for. And if she is denied the knowledge of the safe, harmless, scientific methods of Birth Control, she limits her family by means of abortion.
In the very nature of the case, it is impossible to get accurate figures upon the number of abortions performed annually in the United States. It is often said, however, that one in five pregnancies end in abortion. One estimate is that 150,000 occur in the United States each year and that 25,000 women die of the effects of such operations in every twelve months. Dr. William J. Robinson asserts that there are 1,000,000 abortions every year in this country and adds that the estimate is conservative. He quotes Justice John Proctor Clark as saying that there are at least 100,000 in the same length of time in New York City alone. Dr. Max Hirsch, a famous authority quotes an opinion that there are 2,000,000 abortions in the United States every year! “I believe” declares Dr. Hirsch, “that I may say without exaggeration that absolutely spontaneous or unprovoked abortions are extremely rare, that a vast majority–I should estimate it at 80 percent–have a criminal origin.”

“Our examinations have informed us that the largest number of abortions are performed on married women. This fact brings us to the conclusion that contraceptive measures among the upper classes and the practice of abortion among the lower class are the real means employed to regulate the number of offspring.”

The question, then, is not whether family limitation should be practiced. It is being practiced; it has long been practiced and it will always be practiced. The question now is whether it is to be attained by normal, scientific Birth Control methods or by the abnormal, often dangerous, surgical operation. That is the question which the church, the state, the moralist and most of all, the woman herself, must face. The knowledge of Birth Control methods may for a time be denied to the woman of the working class, but those who are responsible for denying it to her, and she herself, should understand clearly the dangers to which she is exposed by the dark age laws which force her into the hands of the abortionist. To understand the more clearly what these dangers are, and to realize the more fully how much better it would be to avoid them, it is first necessary that women should know something of the processes of conception, the prevention of which frees them of all risk of having to resort to abortion.

There is no doubt that women are apt to look upon abortion as of little consequence and to treat it accordingly. An abortion is as important a matter as a confinement and requires as much attention as the birth of a child at its full term.
“The immediate dangers of abortion,” says Dr. J. Clifton Edgar, in his book “The Practice of Obstetrics,” “are hemorrhage, retention of an adherent placenta, sepsis, tetanus, perforation of the uterus. They also cause sterility, anemia, malignant diseases, displacements, neurosis, and endometritis.”

In plain, everyday language, in an abortion, there is always a very serious risk to the health and often to the life of the patient. It is only the women of wealth who can afford to give an abortion proper care and treatment both at the time of the operation and afterward. These women often escape any serious consequences from its occurrence. The women whose incomes are limited and who must continue at work before they have recovered from the effects of an abortion are the great army of sufferers. It is among such that the deaths due to abortion usually ensue. It is these, too, who are most often forced to resort to such operations.

Sanger couched her teachings in the thoughts regarding birth control. As you read in Chapters I and II, birth control itself and even public discussions of birth control were actually illegal in the U.S. in the early 1900’s. Then doctors were allowed to discuss birth control privately with patients. Abortions were rampant, (see numbers listed below in Sanger’s own writings) but their numbers were kept hidden and were just projections rather than actual. But it is fair to say there were millions of abortions before Roe v. Wade made abortions legal throughout the U.S. and states could no longer block them.

Proof or Conjecture?

The stories surrounding Planned Parenthood and its work today are many and varied. Just as is the case of the history of Margaret Sanger and her work, these Planned Parenthood stories contain claims and acknowledgment of abortions performed and other services that range from one spectrum to the opposite.

Getting factual verification of Planned Parenthood’s real intentions is extremely difficult. “Facts” are everywhere and are all over the place. But the determination of its primary purpose for existence is fairly easy to do: “Follow the Money.” Here from Planned Parenthood is their actual “Money In — Money Out” report for five years: (click on the link to see or download)

PPSTATS5YRS

Looking at their income shown this report, American taxpayers funded $2.72 Billion for the previous 5 years.

We leave it to you to examine their numbers of cases and dollars allocated to those. However, here are some thoughts to ponder:

  •  1,628,550 abortions funded and provided for in years 2011-2016
  • There are 665 total Planned Parenthood Centers that provide federally funded women’s health services
  • Planned Parenthood offers services to 2.4 million people a year
  • That 2.4 million number includes women, men, and children
  • Planned Parenthood administered 321,384 abortions in 2017.

According to Planned Parenthood’s own numbers, if the $500 million in taxpayer funds per year were NOT funded, the already existing over 13,000+ non-abortion providing Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) service sites and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) with fewer taxpayer dollars could easily and more effectively continue to provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care to even more people than the 665 Planned Parenthood centers do today.

Controversy

The videos provided by hidden cameras the last few years in which Planned Parenthood personnel discuss how they negotiate prices for baby body parts that result from abortions. Apparently, this practice is common among their healthcare centers. This practice is not only reprehensible, but it is also illegal. Planned Parenthood announced after several of these secret videos became public they have suspended the practice of selling baby body parts obtained by abortions.

Summary

I think it is safe to say that Planned Parenthood was established, operated initially, and operates today to chiefly provide birth control and abortions primarily to federally funded individuals. Our understanding is that Planned Parenthood bills Medicaid for services provided by their clinics for patients who are Medicaid eligible. They even will retroactively enroll those not already enrolled in Medicaid to get their procedures performed before acceptance into Medicaid are paid for. This money paid through Medicaid is in addition to the money already paid to Planned Parenthood by the federal government as part of grants.

So is Planned Parenthood an entity that exists primarily to perform abortions for economically disadvantaged people? Are all (or some) of these abortions performed simply to stop the generational proliferation of “undesirables” as Margaret Sanger spoke of in her early writings? Or is Planned Parenthood operating to primarily offer healthcare information, advice, birth control, and disease testing from low-income Americans?

Oddly enough, abortion’s political discussion reaches to even to the United States Supreme Court. Senior Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg weighed in more than a decade ago, saying, “Frankly,” said Ginsburg in July 2009, “I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. The great added blessing of Roe: Not only could it give women the “right” to abortion, but it could open the way for the federal government, via Medicaid, to fund abortions of children in undesired populations.” (There’s that “undesirable” reference again — this time from a U.S. Supreme Court Justice)

That assessment by Ginsburg was provided in a July 7, 2009 piece in the New York Times Magazine, titled, “The Place of Women on the Court.” And for 25 years, succeeding a pro-life justice named Byron White, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has held the Planned Parenthood seat on the nation’s high court, where she has fought for the hopes and dreams of Margaret Sanger’s organization. In fact, she has done so in ways more in keeping with Sanger than liberals would care to admit. Sanger wanted Planned Parenthood, whose clinics are disproportionately located near African-American neighborhoods, to achieve precisely what Ginsburg alluded to. There were certain populations that Sanger badly didn’t want too many of.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to change Title X federal funding rules and stop subsidizing businesses that provide abortions is drawing widespread praise from the faith community. The rule, which previously was in place under President Reagan, is simple: The hundreds of millions of dollars of annual Title X funding will go only to family planning centers that don’t provide or refer for abortion. That means all of the abortion businesses that have received federal funding and used it for rent, maintenance, staffing, utilities, and advertising – but not actual abortion costs – will be left out. The proposal, after a time of public comment, will become final. The change is being filed with the Office of Management and Budget to “ensure compliance” with laws that prohibit federal funds from going toward abortions. Tax dollars spent on family planning services, including birth control, STD testing and cancer screenings will not be cut, officials said. But the change will drop a requirement that Title X grant recipients provide abortion counseling to patients.

I think it is highly doubtful that in the Planned Parenthood discussions we will ever agree on exactly what the organization is actually doing: apparently all of the above, or at least in part. Whether or not the U.S. government should be involved with direct funding is an entirely different question.

Please note in this discussion, we have not attacked abortions, those who have had abortions or been a part of abortions, nor discussed the pros and cons of the practice. Abortions have existed in humanity for as long as women and men have existed. My guess is the population is close to evenly split between supporting and rejecting abortions in society. For every person who adamantly supports abortion, there is a person who is adamantly against abortion.

Politics, unfortunately, plays a major role in this discussion, primarily because of federal funding.

In closing, there are several questions regarding abortion that have yet to be answered:

  1. According to Roe v. Wade’s Supreme Court interpretation, American women cannot be prevented from having abortions. Should abortions be underwritten by federal tax dollars?
  2. When does life begin: at conception or at birth?
  3. What happens if at some point scientists prove factually that life begins at conception and that all the abortions have (as defined by law) actually been taking a life?
  4. If life doesn’t begin until birth, why don’t those who are pregnant say “I’m having a fetus” instead of “I’m having a baby?”

Everyone in this discussion has an opinion. Those with opinions have the freedom to share their opinions with everyone.

I wonder (if they could speak) what the fetus (or baby) would have to say about abortion if they were given a chance?

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Roe v. Wade: Here Today, Maybe Gone Tomorrow — Part II

Yesterday in Part I we began the discussion about abortion in America. But what we have yet to discuss is who the players were in establishing abortion in the U.S. and its current perspectives among Americans. Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood that is the purveyor of most of the abortions performed in America today. The organization has come under scrutiny the past few years as members of its clinic management have been caught on tape discussing disposal of aborted fetuses.

But let’s not go down that road in this discussion. Let’s first get a glimpse of who Margaret Sanger really was.

The Founder

If you conduct an internet search titled “Margaret Sanger,” many stories pop up. One of the first is her published biography from biography.com. The biography of Sanger from that site appears below. It’s important to remember this version as we move forward:

Born Margaret Higgins on September 14, 1879, in Corning, New York, Margaret Sanger was one of 11 children born into a Roman Catholic working-class Irish American family. Her mother, Anne, had several miscarriages, and Margaret believed that all of these pregnancies took a toll on her mother’s health and contributed to her early death at the age of 40 (some reports say 50). The family lived in poverty as her father, Michael, an Irish stonemason, preferred to drink and talk politics than earn a steady wage.

Seeking a better life, Sanger attended Claverack College and Hudson River Institute in 1896. She went on to study nursing at White Plains Hospital four years later. In 1902, she married William Sanger, an architect. The couple eventually had three children together.

Sanger started her campaign to educate women about sex in 1912 by writing a newspaper column called “What Every Girl Should Know.” She also worked as a nurse on the Lower East Side, at the time a predominantly poor immigrant neighborhood. Through her work, Sanger treated a number of women who had undergone back-alley abortions or tried to self-terminate their pregnancies. Sanger objected to the unnecessary suffering endured by these women, and she fought to make birth control information and contraceptives available. She also began dreaming of a “magic pill” to be used to control pregnancy. “No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother,” Sanger said.

Rather than face a possible five-year jail sentence, Sanger fled to England. While there, she worked in the women’s movement and researched other forms of birth control, including diaphragms, which she later smuggled back into the United States. She had separated from her husband by this time, and the two later divorced. Embracing the idea of free love, Sanger had affairs with psychologist Havelock Ellis and writer H. G. Wells.

Sanger returned to the United States in October 1915, after charges against her had been dropped. She began touring to promote birth control, a term that she coined. In 1916, she opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. Sanger and her staff, including her sister Ethel, were arrested during a raid of the Brooklyn clinic nine days after it opened. They were charged with providing information on contraception and fitting women for diaphragms. Sanger and her sister spent 30 days in jail for breaking the Comstock law. Later appealing her conviction, she scored a victory for the birth control movement. The court wouldn’t overturn the earlier verdict, but it made an exception in the existing law to allow doctors to prescribe contraception to their female patients for medical reasons. Around this time, Sanger also published her first issue of The Birth Control Review. In 1921, Sanger established the American Birth Control League, a precursor to today’s Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She served as its president until 1928. In 1923, while with the league, she opened the first legal birth control clinic in the United States. The clinic was named the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. Also around this time, Sanger married for her second husband, oil businessman J. Noah H. Slee. He provided much of the funding for her efforts for social reform. Wanting to advance her cause through legal channels, Sanger started the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control in 1929. The committee sought to make it legal for doctors to freely distribute birth control. One legal hurdle was overcome in 1936 when the U.S. Court of Appeals allowed for birth control devices and related materials to be imported into the country.For all of her advocacy work, Sanger was not without controversy. She has been criticized for her association with eugenics, a branch of science that seeks to improve the human species through selective mating. As grandson Alexander Sanger, chair of the International Planned Parenthood Council, explained, “She believed that women wanted their children to be free of poverty and disease, that women were natural eugenicists, and that birth control, which could limit the number of children and improve their quality of life, was the panacea to accomplish this.” Still, Sanger held some views that were common at the time, but now seem abhorrent, including support of sterilization for the mentally ill and mentally impaired. Despite her controversial comments, Sanger focused her work on one basic principle: “Every child should be a wanted child.”
That biography of Sanger seems fairly benign — especially in light of much of what we have “heard” about Sanger through the years as detailed by Pro-Life advocates. There are other accounts of Sanger’s history that contradict much of what you just read. Here’s a version that throughout includes quotes from Sanger herself:

(Anne Barbeau Gardiner) In her works Woman and the New Race, Pivot of Civilization, and My Fight for Birth Control, Margaret Sanger offers a range of justifications for killing “unwanted children.” This is no surprise considering how she reacts when she witnesses an act of violence against an infant: “I saw a sickly baby in the arms of a terrified woman whose drunken husband had thrown the wailing, naked infant into the snow,” she recounts, and “I remember having keen sympathy with that man!” His wife had given birth to eleven children, six of them living, and the last “evidently had eczema” and “whined night and day,” so the situation was just “too much” for the father, and “out of the door into the snow the nuisance went!” The justification Sanger offers is purely subjective: “desperate for want of sleep and quiet,” the father’s “nerves overcame him.”

Infanticide is simply ridding oneself of an intolerable “nuisance.” This passage demonstrates Sanger’s pitiless view of nascent life and shows how fitting it is that she should be the founder of Planned Parenthood, today the chief purveyor of abortions in the United States. In another place she remarks, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” She is remembered for her fight to legalize birth control, but a close reading of Sanger’s work shows that she saw birth control, abortion, and infanticide as differing only in degree, not in kind. They were points on the same continuum.

Sanger tells of a recurring nightmare of hers: she dreamed that “mechanical, automaton-like crowds were walking, walking, walking, always in the opposite direction” to her and crowding her to the curb, and then suddenly these people turned into “mice; they even smelt like mice.” The dream reveals her sense of superiority to the masses, who turn out to be vermin. When she sets up the Clinical Research Bureau in Brooklyn, she observes pointedly that she will be using people instead of mice: it will be “a nucleus for research, a laboratory, as it were, dealing with human beings instead of with white mice.”  She refers to the Chinese as breeding “with the rapidity and irresponsibility of flies” and compares most American women to cattle, asking if “any modern stockbreeder” would “permit the deterioration of his livestock” as Americans permit and even “encourage” the deterioration of their race by misguided charities.

In 1871, Darwin tried to show, in his Descent of Man, that humans did not differ fundamentally from beasts and that human morality had evolved from the social instincts of brutes. Between 1871 and 1930, a Darwinist worldview arose in Europe, according to which humans should be bred like animals for the sake of evolutionary progress, and “the destruction of the less well-endowed” be encouraged to “win space for the expansion” of superior stock. This was Margaret Sanger’s worldview; witness her frequent use of the word unfit for those she thought should be sterilized, aborted, or left to die.

In her campaign for birth control, Sanger spoke of “the evolution of birth control from infanticide, through abortion, to modern methods of scientific and harmless prevention.” But since birth control was supposed to replace infanticide and abortion in her scheme, it had to be foolproof. She tells us that women around 1920 were constantly asking her, regarding birth control, “Is it certain? Will it prevent absolutely?” “Yes,” she would answer, “there are sure methods, and the doubts raised about the certainty of contraceptives come from uninformed doctors and neighbors.”
Although the law, she added, forbade her to name the failsafe methods, she could say that they had “stood the test of certainty” in Holland, France, England, and even among the wealthy in the United States; witness their falling birthrates in the past quarter-century.
After giving such unqualified assurances to women during the 1920s, Sanger flatly contradicts herself in My Fight for Birth Control in 1931. Now she admits that the “need for reliable methods has been far greater and more extended than the ability on the part of the medical profession or science to supply them” and that “biologists and biochemists are now at work perfecting the science of contraception.”  So birth control offers no absolute “certainty” after all. So what happens when contraceptives fail and women are faced–to use Sanger’s term–with “involuntary motherhood?” She explains that “nearly all” working-class women fall into two groups in such a crisis: the first group will “find refuge in abortion,” while the second will be “hopelessly” resigned. The better choice, she declares, is abortion, for those “in whom the feminine urge to freedom is strongest choose the abortionist,” while the others bring children to birth “hoping that they will be born dead or die.” Thus, according to Sanger, nearly all working-class women wish their unborn children dead, but only some of them act on that wish. She approves heartily of those who choose abortion because she says they follow an irresistible “urge” to guard their liberty: women are driven to defy “church and state,” she exclaims, by “the strongest force” in their nature, by an “absolute, elemental, inner urge” of the “feminine spirit.”
That seems to be a bit different from the bio above taken from biography.com. But there are many other versions of Sanger’s life including this from Stella Morabito, a well-known senior contributor at The Federalist. In the first sentence of this article, Morabito uses the word “eugenicist” describing Sanger. To better understand Sanger and her prespective on this topic, here’s the definition of Eugenics: the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).”

 

(Stella Morabito) The passionate eugenicist (Sanger) wished to rid America of its “idiots” and “imbeciles” and “morons” as part of her crowning vision for “race improvement.” The Planned Parenthood matron lamented America’s “race of degenerates.” The nation’s landscape needed to be purged of its “human weeds” and “the dead weight of human waste.” Sanger shared the view of humanity held by another Supreme Court progressive icon, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who declared that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Margaret Sanger maintained that “the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” Progressives today dare not speak of Sanger’s May 1926 speech to a rally of the women’s branch of the KKK in Silverlake, New Jersey, or of her work on the “Negro Project,” or of her December 10, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, stating (in a statement disputed by liberals): “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
America, according to Planned Parenthood’s founder, must limit these lamentable populations, and she was willing to take big steps to make that happen, including a special kind of segregation. In her 1922 book, The Pivot of Civilization, Sanger urged that “every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives.” But even then, this surely wasn’t enough: “Segregation carried out for one or two generations would give us only partial control of the problem.” What to do then? Well, if a nudge wouldn’t work, then coercion would: “we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.”
These “defective delinquents” were a “menace.” America needed to “become fully cognizant of the burden of the imbecile upon the whole human race.” Funds should be made available, she counseled in 1922, “by hundreds of millions of dollars, to the care and segregation of men, women, and children who never should have been born.”

How grand it would be if Uncle Sam could fund the means to limit the reproduction of these unsavory populations. After Sanger’s death, her legacy lived on in Planned Parenthood.

Fast forward to the 1990s, the era of the Clintons. In 1992, Ron Weddington, one of the abortion attorneys in the Roe v. Wade decision, fired off a letter to Bill Clinton urging sharper measures to limit the birth of America’s defectives: “You can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country,” wrote Weddington. “The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can’t afford to have babies.” For an example of responsible reproduction, Ron Weddington pointed to Bill and Hillary. He told the president-elect: “You and Hillary are a perfect example. Could either of you have gone to law school and achieved anything close to what you have if you had three or four more children before you were 20? No! You waited until you were established in your 30s to have one child. That is what sensible people do.…”

“It’s time to officially recognize that people are going to have sex and what we need to do as a nation is prevent as much disease and as many poor babies as possible. Condoms alone won’t do it. Depo-Provera, Norplant and the new birth control injection being developed in India are not a complete answer…. Even if we make birth control as ubiquitous as sneakers and junk food, there will still be unplanned pregnancies. Thus, the ongoing need for abortion — lots and lots of it — to reduce the undesirables.” Weddington personally had done his part, boasting to Clinton: “I was co-counsel in Roe v. Wade, [and] have sired zero children and one fetus, the abortion of which was recently recounted by my ex-wife in her book.… I had a vasectomy in 1969 and have never had one moment of regret.” Ron and his wife, Sarah, divorced, bequeathing their gift to the world: zero-population growth (and one aborted baby) from their marriage. Ron must have felt slighted when Planned Parenthood feted his wife (but not him) with its highest honor, its coveted Sanger Award — a grace also bestowed on Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
And most of all, Weddington must have been thrilled when Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the high court the next year. Ruth seemed to be channeling Ron as well as the ghost of Maggie Sanger when she preached the no-population-growth gospel to the New York Times in July 2009: “we don’t want too many of them types.”

Summary

What we see in today’s story is the drastic differences in the related history of Margaret Sanger: total difference analysis by these different historian writers. Why is that?

I’m not going to answer that question today. What we ARE going to do is prepare you for “Roe v. Wade: Here Today, Maybe Gone Tomorrow — Part III” tomorrow. It will be the wrap-up of this story and will consist almost entirely of Sanger’s own words without any writer narrative added. It will include the when, how, and why of her establishment of Planned Parenthood as it looked when it began operations and how it looks today. We’ll also add some statistics, some of which will startle you.

Finally, in tomorrow’s summary, you’ll receive some personal analysis of this entire matter: abortion in America. It will be totally perspective and opinion. We do that from time to time here. But when we do, you are always informed that it is opinion. We’re all entitled to that.

Thanks for being here!

Dan

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Roe v. Wade: Here Today, Maybe Gone Tomorrow — Part I

The Brett Kavanaugh hoopla of the past few weeks has re-lit the fires of the abortion debate. The Drive-by media along with others on the left propped up the false narrative in attacking the Supreme Court nominee that if confirmed, he would “probably” cast the deciding vote in any case before the Court regarding the overturn of Roe v. Wade. That threat rang totally hollow to those who understand the law and exactly what Roe did: it simply ruled in an appealed lower court finding allowing states to prohibit abortions. Roe v Wade with SCOTUS confirmation means that states do NOT have that right.

The truth about an overturn of Roe is this: should that ever occur, in doing so the Court is NOT prohibiting abortion, rather simply returning the right of the legality of abortion to the states. Abortions would remain legal in states that deemed it to be legal.

TNN is going to take this time of discussing abortion to look at its American roots. That means Planned Parenthood (PP) and its founder, too. There are many questions about PP’s purpose in its establishment and current operations: especially in light of taxpayer-funded grants from the federal government of about $500 million per year. 

This examination will be fact-based, will contain actual words from PP’s founder on the subject, and will look at statistics. We do NOT tell our partners what to think, rather give different facts for use in establishing educated positions on important issues. There is no doubt abortion in America is an important issue.

This story is a multiple chapter, fact-finding mission. Today we detail just how abortion came to be so common and so in demand in the U.S. 

Throughout this study, you will see and hear stories from medical professionals and from several who have experienced abortion personally. In tomorrow’s offering — Chapter II — you will meet Planned Parenthood’s founder and will read and hear from her personal writings her perspective on birth control, abortion, and even infanticide. 

None of this is for political purposes. There is no agenda here. This is to shine a light on every aspect of abortion, trying to keep it as emotionless as possible.

It is very difficult to think and speak objectively when emotions run so high in such a conversation. We at TruthNewsNet.org know just how great an issue abortion is. We can only imagine how many Americans have experienced all that accompanies abortion. But one thing we DO know: it affects millions, impacts millions more, and is probably the most contentious political issue in the U.S. today. To that end, it is important that ALL understand every aspect of such a critical issue so as to make informed decisions if and whenever faced with abortion personally, in one’s family, or among friends or relatives. 

Abortion’s American Origins and Stated Purposes

During the 1800s, all surgical procedures, including abortion, were extremely risky. Hospitals were not common, antiseptics were unknown, and even the most respected doctors had only primitive medical educations. Without today’s current technology, maternal and infant mortality rates during childbirth were extraordinarily high. The dangers from abortion were similar to the dangers from other surgeries that were not outlawed.

As scientific methods began to dominate medical practice, and technologies were developed to prevent infection, medical care, on the whole, became much safer and more effective. But by this time, the vast majority of women who needed abortions had no choice but to get them from illegal practitioners without these medical advances at their disposal. The “back alley” abortion remained a dangerous, often deadly procedure, while areas of legally sanctioned medicine improved dramatically.

The strongest force behind the drive to criminalize abortion was the attempt by doctors to establish for themselves exclusive rights to practice medicine. They wanted to prevent “untrained” practitioners, including midwives, apothecaries, and homeopaths, from competing with them for patients and for patient fees.

The best way to accomplish their goal was to eliminate one of the principal procedures that kept these competitors in business. Rather than openly admitting to such motivations, the newly formed American Medical Association (AMA) argued that abortion was both immoral and dangerous. By 1910 all but one state had criminalized abortion except where necessary, in a doctor’s judgment, to save the woman’s life. In this way, legal abortion was successfully transformed into a “physicians-only” practice.

The prohibition of legal abortion from the 1880s until 1973 came under the same anti-obscenity or Comstock laws that prohibited the dissemination of birth control information and services.

Criminalization of abortion did not reduce the numbers of women who sought abortions. In the years before Roe v. Wade, the estimates of illegal abortions ranged as high as 1.2 million per year. Although accurate records could not be kept, it is known that between the 1880s and 1973, many thousands of women were harmed as a result of illegal abortion.

Between 1967 and 1973 one-third of the states liberalized or repealed their criminal abortion laws. However, the right to have an abortion in all states was only made available to American women in 1973 when the Supreme Court struck down the remaining restrictive state laws with its ruling in Roe v. Wade.

The Roe case arose out of a Texas law that prohibited legal abortion except to save a woman’s life. At that time, most other states had laws similar to the one in Texas. Those laws forced large numbers of women to resort to illegal abortions.

Jane Roe, a 21-year-old pregnant woman, represented all women who wanted abortions but could not get them legally and safely. Henry Wade was the Texas Attorney General who defended the law that made abortions illegal.

After hearing the case, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans’ right to privacy included the right of a woman to decide whether to have children and the right of a woman and her doctor to make that decision without state interference.

After Roe v. Wade

The reaction to Roe was swift. Supporters of legal abortion rejoiced and generally felt their battle was won. However, others faulted the Court for the decision. Those opposed to legal abortion immediately began working to prevent any federal or state funding for abortion and to undermine or limit the effect of the decision.

Some turned to measures directly aimed at disrupting clinics where abortions were being provided. Their tactics have included demonstrating in front of abortion clinics, harassing people trying to enter, vandalizing clinic property, and blocking access to clinics.

As time passed, the level of anti-abortion violence escalated. Increasingly, clinic bombings, physical attacks, and even murders endanger abortion providers and create a hostile environment for women seeking abortions.

Abortion: Second Thoughts

Initially, the framework of Roe v. Wade was the basis by which the constitutionality of state abortion laws was determined. In recent years, however, the Supreme Court has begun to allow more restrictions on abortion.

For instance, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 established that states can restrict pre-viability abortions. Restrictions can be placed on first trimester abortions in ways that are not medically necessary, as long as the restrictions do not place an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion services.

Many states now have restrictions in place such as parental involvement, mandatory waiting periods, and biased counseling. Only the requirement that a woman involves her spouse in her decision was disallowed.

Timeline of Abortion in America

1821: Connecticut passes the first law in the United States barring abortions after “quickening.”

1860: Twenty states have laws limiting abortion.

1965Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision strikes down a state law that prohibited giving married people information, instruction, or medical advice on contraception.

1967: Colorado is the first state to liberalize its abortion laws.

1970: Alaska, Hawaii, New York, and Washington liberalize abortion laws, making abortion available at the request of a woman and her doctor.

1972Eisenstadt v. Baird Supreme Court decision establishes the right of unmarried people to use contraceptives.

1973Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision strikes down state laws that made abortion illegal.

1976: Congress adopts the first Hyde Amendment barring the use of federal Medicaid funds to provide abortions to low-income women.

1977: A revised Hyde Amendment is passed allowing states to deny Medicaid funding except in cases of rape, incest, or “severe and long-lasting” damage to the woman’s physical health.

1991Rust v. Sullivan upholds the constitutionality of the 1988 “gag rule” which prohibits doctors and counselors at clinics which receive federal funding from providing their patients with information about and referrals for abortion.

1992Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirms the “core” holdings of Roe that women have a right to abortion before fetal viability, but allows states to restrict abortion access so long as these restrictions do not impose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

1994: Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act is passed by Congress with a large majority in response to the murder of Dr. David Gunn. The FACE Act forbids the use of “force, a threat of force or physical obstruction” to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services. The law also provides for both criminal and civil penalties for those who break the law.

2000Stenberg v. Carhart (Carhart I) rules that the Nebraska statute banning so-called “partial-birth abortion” is unconstitutional for two independent reasons: the statute lacks the necessary exception for preserving the health of the woman, and the definition of the targeted procedures is so broad as to prohibit abortions in the second trimester, thereby being an “undue burden” on women. This effectively invalidates 29 of 31 similar statewide bans.

2000: Food and Drug Administration approves mifepristone (RU-486) as an option in abortion care for very early pregnancy.

2003: A federal ban on abortion procedures is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. The National Abortion Federation immediately challenges the law in court and is successful in blocking enforcement of the law for its members.

2004: NAF wins a lawsuit against federal abortion ban. Justice Department appeals rulings by three trial courts against a ban.

Summary

This may have been tiring to read: it’s very specific and very detailed. But before we can even attempt to discuss all of the details of an issue as it pertains to life today, we must be confident we have factually examined details of its past.

Many will question the wisdom of even attempting such a task in discussing such a controversial American experience. Wise or not, abortion is something that impacts tens of millions in the U.S. every year. No, there is no reputable report claiming tens of millions of abortions are performed in the U.S. annually. But abortion impacts far more than just the woman who has that abortion.

This conversation will include the ancillary impacts on immediate and extended family members. But even before we get to that specific discussion, we are going to share and discuss all of the elements that brought us to the abortion historical point we are in today. And to do that, we must first listen to the founder of Planned Parenthood or PP. PP today performs more abortions than any other abortion provider in the U.S. PP receives significant federal grant dollars, though maintaining those taxpayer dollars do NOT directly or indirectly fund abortion procedures, but only fund women’s healthcare initiatives.

This series of stories is probably going to be something you want to share, even download and print for those in your family you feel need to understand all we know about abortion history, its impact on the nation, how we got to this point, and where we are headed with it.

To that end, we will post a link at the bottom of the final story in this series that you can use to download the entire series.

We at TNN promise you to always give you facts and specific information so that YOU can make decisions about the important issues we and our family members either face today or may face tomorrow. There is nothing worse than being confronted by serious and often life-changing circumstances and not either knowing how to deal with them or where to go to get answers.

Thanks for joining us today.

Stay tuned: Chapter II tomorrow!

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The Unknown Doctor Who Slaughtered Babies

WARNING: This is a descriptive story pretty much avoided by Mainstream Media during the last few years. In this story, we share the horrors of the treatment of women, young girls, and babies pre and post-birth by medical professionals in a Philadelphia clinic that practiced in abortions over a period of years. The descriptions are graphic but are not enhanced in any way. We don’t share this story for any reason other than to illustrate just how commonplace the abortion process has become. This story is important. I cannot understand why it did not make national headlines at all other than that those in the media who knew of it were afraid to report it to Americans, most of who would have shuddered at the many atrocities perpetrated on the most innocent among us. And I think members of the media were afraid that revealing these events to the public may have initiated a new national opinion of the abortion process itself.

If you are squeamish you may want to turn this podcast off or not read the rest of this story.

Introduction

Roe v. Wade is again front and center in American conversation, largely in part due to the confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In the Wednesday hearing answering questions posed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Judge Kavanaugh made it clear that (paraphrased), “Roe v. Wade has been determined legal by the U.S. Supreme Court, has been re-affirmed in multiple additional cases that have come before the Court, and is set by precedence and confirmation of those repeated precedence instances. Roe v. Wade is the law regarding the legality of abortion in the U.S.”

That being said, tens of millions of Americans still view abortion as the taking of the life of a baby. To those, the term “Pro-Choice” literally means “Pro-Abortion.” It is often mentioned by those who are “Pro-Life” that the baby (or “fetus”) does not have any say-so in an abortion procedure.

It is within that context we share today’s story which chronicles the operation of an abortion center in Philadelphia that conducted thousands of abortions over a very long time. The circumstances surrounding the operation of that clinic came under the scrutiny of Philadelphia law enforcement agencies that resulted in subsequent prosecutions of clinic operators.

In the course of that investigation, horrendous details of operating practices in that clinic were brought to light. The following information comes directly from those involved in the investigation: law enforcement officials and others looking in. There is NO opinion in their recollections of what they saw. Please consider that fact objectively as you read on. We will re-convene in summary after the story.

The Story

Kermit Barron Gosnell is an American former abortion-provider who was convicted of murdering three infants who were alive during attempted abortion procedures.

Gosnell owned and operated the Women’s Medical Society clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he was a prolific prescriber of OxyContin. In 2011, Gosnell and various co-defendant employees were charged with eight counts of murder, 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state of Pennsylvania’s 24-week time limit, and 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. The murder charges related to an adult patient, Karnamaya Mongar, who died following an abortion procedure and seven newborns said to have been killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Gosnell Background

Kermit Gosnell was born on February 9, 1941, in Philadelphia, the only child of a gas station operator and a government clerk in an African-American family. He was a top student at the city’s Central High School from which he graduated in 1959. Gosnell graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a bachelor’s degree. Gosnell received his medical degree at the Jefferson Medical School in 1966. It has been reported that he spent four decades practicing medicine among the poor, including opening the Mantua Halfway House, a rehab clinic for drug addicts in the impoverished Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia near where he grew up, and a teen aid program. He became an early proponent of abortion rights in the 1960s and 1970s and, in 1972, he returned from a stint in New York City to open up an abortion clinic on Lancaster Avenue in Mantua. Gosnell told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter in October 1972: “as a physician, I am very concerned about the sanctity of life. But it is for this precise reason that I provide abortions for women who want and need them.”

In the same year, he also performed fifteen televised second-trimester abortions, using an experimental “Super Coil” method invented by Harvey Karman. The coils were inserted into the uterus, where they caused irritation leading to the expulsion of the fetus. However, complications from the procedure were reported by nine of the women, with three of these reporting severe complications. The super coil experiment by Gosnell has been dubbed the “mother’s day massacre” by some.

In 2011, he was reported to be well known in Philadelphia for providing abortions to poor minority and immigrant women. It was also claimed that Gosnell charged $1,600–$3,000 for each late-term abortion. Dr. Gosnell was also associated with clinics in Delaware and Louisiana. Atlantic Women’s Services in Wilmington, Delaware, was Dr. Gosnell’s place of work one day a week. The owner of Atlantic Women’s Services, Leroy Brinkley, also owned Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and facilitated the hiring of staff from there for Gosnell’s operation in Philadelphia.

Details of the Case

Conor Friedersdorf wrote this about Gosnell’s actions after they were first exposed to the public in The Atlantic:

“Until April 11, 2013, I wasn’t aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media, and while it’s been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Kermit Gosnell, I would’ve been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. Then I saw Kirsten Power’s USA Today column. She makes a powerful, persuasive case that the Gosnell trial ought to be getting a lot more attention in the national press than it is getting.

Inducing live births and subsequently severing the heads of the babies is indeed a horrific story that merits significant attention. Strange as it seems to say it, however, that understates the case.

For this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth in toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn’t make national headlines?

But it isn’t even solely a story of a rogue clinic that’s awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn’t have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.

There is, finally, the fact that abortion, one of the most hotly contested, polarizing debates in the country, is at the center of this case. It arguably informs the abortion debate in any number of ways, and has numerous plausible implications for abortion policy, including the oversight and regulation of clinics, the appropriateness of late-term abortions, the penalties for failing to report abuses, the statute of limitations for killings like those with which Gosnell is charged, whether staff should be legally culpable for the bad behavior of doctors under whom they work …

There’s just no end to it.

To sum up, this story has numerous elements any one of which would normally make it a major story. And setting aside conventions, which are flawed, this ought to be a big story on the merits.

The news value is undeniable.”

How Bad Was It?

The Philadelphia District Attorney described it this way:

“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.

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. The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them was a licensed physician. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “Doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.

Gosnell’s approach, whenever possible, was to force full labor and delivery of premature infants on ill-informed women. The women would check in during the day, make payment, and take labor-inducing drugs. The doctor wouldn’t appear until evening, often 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 p.m., and only then deal with any of the women who were ready to deliver. Many of them gave birth before he even got there. By maximizing the pain and danger for his patients, he minimized the work, and cost, for himself and his staff. The policy, in effect, was labor without labor. There remained, however, a final difficulty. When you perform late-term “abortions” by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. By 24 weeks, most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. But that was not what the [clinic] was about. Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them. He didn’t call it that. He called it “ensuring fetal demise.” The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that “snipping.”

Over the years, there were hundreds of ‘snippings.’ Sometimes, if Gosnell was unavailable, the ‘snipping’ was done by one of his fake doctors, or even by one of the administrative staff.

But all the employees of the Women’s Medical Society knew. Everyone there acted as if it wasn’t murder at all. Most of these acts cannot be prosecuted, because Gosnell destroyed the files. Among the relatively few cases that could be specifically documented, one was Baby Boy A. His 17-year-old mother was almost 30 weeks pregnant — seven and a half months — when labor was induced. An employee estimated his birth weight as approaching six pounds. He was breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could ‘walk me to the bus stop.’ Another, Baby Boy B, whose body was found at the clinic frozen in a one-gallon spring-water bottle, was at least 28 weeks of gestational age when he was killed. Baby C was moving and breathing for 20 minutes before an assistant came in and cut the spinal cord, just the way she had seen Gosnell do it so many times. And these were not even the worst cases.

After reviewing extensive and compelling evidence of criminal wrongdoing at the clinic, the Grand Jury issued a presentment recommending the prosecution of Gosnell and members of his staff for criminal offenses including: Murder of Karnamaya Mongar, Murders of babies born alive, Infanticide, Violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Hindering, Obstruction, and Tampering, Perjury, Illegal late-term abortions, Violations of the Abortion Control Act, Violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Abuse of Corpse, Theft by Deception, Conspiracy, Corrupt Organization, Corruption of Minors.”

Summary

There has never been a previous atrocity and subsequent discovery of abortion abuse in America like this one. As horrendous and unspeakable as the acts are perpetrated by these people, why hasn’t the American media spent any time and newspaper space in reporting it to America? It can be for one and only one reason: to protect the practice of abortion in the U.S. Mainstream Media as a whole is operated by liberal writers, editors, and publishers who daily allow personal and political prejudices to determine stories, columns, and editorials. Even in very conservative towns and cities across this nation, most newspapers and broadcast outlets are owned and operated by Mainstream Media companies. It is unusual to read or hear a story or editorial anywhere that is not colored by a liberal perspective on all things. That is sad and deplorable. Such practices have tainted American journalism for decades.

This case illustrates the frustration of many with the Media: reporting MUST be just that — reporting. How can we make that happen again?

We don’t need government intervention. Americans who believe in the Rule of Law, administration equally of implementation of all laws and making offenders accountable for lawbreaking, need to simply express their rights to disagree with these print and broadcast practices and stop partaking in their media offerings.

Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Turn-off radio and television stations that promote these practices. Make sure and let local, regional, and national sponsors of these media sources that you will not support those news outlets or any commercial sponsors they print or air. If contacted by a ratings or polling entity, participate in their polling and be honest when responding to your reading, watching, and listening habits.

The American free market works. Supply and demand work. We have seen as local radio and newspapers have shuttered their doors and windows the last decade because the public in droves has walked away from their media products. That is the consumer’s way to vote.

Finally, how horror-stricken must have been each of those young women who watched the slaughter of their babies? It is unexplainable that law enforcement in Philadelphia did not look-in and stop the butchering years earlier. Think about the millions of families in the U.S. that are fighting the adoption system to find babies that would have gladly adopted those babies, given them good families, and protected the very thing the U.S. guarantees all: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I bet those aborted babies would vote to live if they were given a chance.

 

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Roe v. Wade

Just the title grabs a lot of attention.  This is probably the most contentious political element in U.S. history.  Why?  Because it’s not just political — it’s social, religious, medical, AND political.  Any discussion today about abortion promises to always be contentious.  The only other topic that draws similar reaction has been the death penalty, and its attention is dwarfed by that of abortion.

I could spend much time to point out historical events and benchmarks in the life of abortion, but we have all heard every

argument from the Pro Life and Pro Choice sides so often we can regurgitate them without thinking.  Doing so has provided no answers, no relief for anyone caught up in the horrible situations that result in abortions, and certainly provided no answers to the only question that matters:  When does life begin?  If we knew beyond any doubt when life begins, we could make objective decisions based on facts rather than circumstantial emotions which continue to drive every aspect of the abortion culture.

And this is not just an American thing.  Abortions were part of life long before there even was a United States.  And though the calendar has been different, the nationalities have been different, the languages have been different, the circumstances around abortion have never changed no matter when or where they happen.  It always involves at least two people and the creation that is a result of what occurred between those two.  That part of the process never changes.

So what else is there to talk about that has not been hashed and re-hashed ad nauseum?   There is one important factor that has been left out of the conversation about abortion.  It is not a Pro Life or Pro Choice item.  It does not damn those who choose abortion as their option or those who choose pregnancy.  It is not about the vitriolic cries that often result in violence in the public square.

How many times have you faced circumstances that force you to make a choice?  And the choice is between two or more really important things to you, and your choice will make a major impact on your life and the lives of others.  You make that choice.  Things may work out OK after that choice.  But in time, you find yourself asking the question:  “What if?”  A high school athlete who is pretty good on the baseball or softball field, the basketball or tennis court, the football or soccer field, receives an offer of a college scholarship to take their proficiency in their sport to the next level.  They may choose to go, or they may choose no to.  The “what if” can (and will) happen with either choice.  If they choose to go play, at some point they will pause, thinking about what their life would be like if they had NOT gone to play ball in college and had pursued a law degree instead (or some other choice).  If they chose to pursue the law degree and rejected playing ball in college, they’ll eventually wonder what their life would have been had they chosen to play ball instead.  Maybe they passed on the NBA, Major League Baseball, the WNBA, or professional tennis.  Who knows?

Forget athletics.  Most people travel the road of looking for and (hopefully) finding a life partner — a soul mate.  In that process, most get involved in relationships with several different people.  Most eventually narrow that search to one and form a lifetime relationship.  Unless you are wired different than most, at some point  you will look back at your “young adult” relationships and wonder, “What if I had married Joe instead of Bill?  What would my life be like now?”

The answer to all these “what ifs” is the same:  we will never know for certain what life on a different path would have been.  But we will always wonder.  It stands to reason that “if” we had made different choices, circumstances would logically be different.  In most cases when confronted with making those choices, we have no idea what the life consequences of our choices will be.  We know there always WILL be consequences.  We simply hope those outcomes confirm we made the right choices.

In this conversation, there also is a “what if” that needs to be considered.  Science someday will almost certainly prove when life actually begins.  When that happens, scientific findings may make no difference to some.  But to others those findings will be devastating.  In this conversation, missing is the consideration of “what if” our World was totally without abortions.  What would life look like?  There would be millions of humans who would have lived normal lives and created generations of others.  There would be more physically and mentally handicapped people who would have via their handicaps at birth required mountainous amounts of money and time for their care that always come with emotional, physical, and mental challenges for their care givers.  The lives of those who would have interacted with them would have likely been different.

We had an unplanned and unexpected pregnancy in the 70’s when abortion was rampant.  And we gave serious thought to going that direction.  We were young and active, just out of college and just getting started.  We wanted children, but not right then.  We decided against termination.  Please indulge my “what if” for a moment:

“What If”‘ we had chosen abortion?   There would be 4 grandsons I would not know, one of which I watched as a junior in high school pitch in his team’s first district baseball game of the season last Saturday.  I would not be able to watch he and his next youngest brother play together on their high school football team that will be looking for their 15th State Championship in the Fall.  (They won their 14th State High School championship last year)  I would not know their 11 year old brother who is already becoming an accomplished pianist and song writer.  Nor would I know their “little” brother, who at 8 years old is the most active, most outgoing and happy young man I’ve ever known, and is already a phenomenal athlete.  I would have not known their Mom who is one of the most amazing women alive today.  She is brilliant, focused, hard working, hopelessly devoted to her family, and is the loving glue that holds our extended family together, plans every function and is an organizational and artistic genius.  One other “what if” is probably the most sobering:  we would be buried in the guilt of knowing we missed all of these people that would have been our descendants because we chose abortion.  My “what ifs” are a bit scary.  Think for a moment about yours.

To finish this conversation, here is the Roe v. Wade “what if” question for the ages:  what if we find out someday that life really DOES begins at conception?

 

 

March, March, March…

I marched today.  I didn’t march in Washington D.C.  I marched in my city.  I joined thousands of others who marched together for one cause and one cause only:  to end the killing of unborn babies.  Now don’t start throwing rocks at your computer screen — they won’t hit me.  And please don’t scream at me that my not having a vagina negates any right I may have to march.  I don’t have a vagina, but I have 3 babies that collectively have 6 babies.  And I have the right to have an opinion, especially in light of the fact that my federal government has for years allocated funds — some of my tax dollars — for the purpose of funding abortions.  And I summarily reject that.  Planned Parenthood who is at the heart of this controversy has couched its services as absolute necessary assistance in womens health in a multitude of areas.  But today Planned Parenthood’s actual services were revealed:  330,000 abortions per year, absolutely NO mammograms provided at any Planned Parenthood center as well as NO prenatal care.  And it was released that two of their centers perform NOTHING but abortions 40 hours per week.

There are several things that have rocked me in this world, but none more than the ironies that surround Pro Life and Pro Choice causes — ironies like the fact that Pro Choicers seem to confine choice to just one thing:  abortion.  Pro Lifers never consider abortion as a choice.  I’ve never heard of a Pro Choicer considering raising that child as a choice.  There may be some out there, but I didn’t hear them speak at the January 21st rally on the Mall in D.C.  And I didn’t hear any Pro Life speeches either even though the massive rally was promoted as a “Womens Rights Rally.”  Pro Life women were not invited or welcome.

But as I marched across the bridge today between Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana, all I could think about was that “other” irony:  the irony that the one who has the only voice that matters in this conversation was not in D.C. to speak nor marching with me in Louisiana.  That one is that baby.  That baby’s only crime:  conception, the first thing that ever happened to it which in too many cases becomes the only thing it ever participates in before it is slaughtered.  And it had no say so in either its conception or its termination.

But you know what the ultimate irony is?  This nation since its founding has championed itself for being the best, often the smartest, the most caring and accepting, the most generous and giving, the healthiest and  always the fairest of countries on Earth.  But as good as we are, as smart as we are, as caring and accepting, generous and giving, healthy and fair as we are, we continue to again and again allow, support, and commit abortions.

What’s the irony?  Think about it for a moment:  when does life begin?  Do you really know?  Does anyone really know?  I think the answer to those questions is simple:  no one knows for sure.  Just like Al Gore does not know for certain global warming is real and we are uncertain still (even with all of NASA’s knowledge of the Universe) if there is or is not life anywhere except on Earth, we do not know when life actually begins.  Is it at conception?  Is it at 2 months, 7 months, not until birth?   No one knows.

Still don’t know the irony I’m talking about?  It’s simple: how stupid we are to roll the dice on the one thing that is the only thing that must be for humanity to continue:  LIFE.  Let me make it simple:  what if life begins at conception?  What if it begins at the 2 month mark in its mom’s belly?  Maybe at 7 months?  What if at birth babies have actually been alive for 9 months?  Have you ever thought about that?  Oh, I’m certain Pro Life supporters have.  But I doubt many Pro Choice proponents have considered that — at least not seriously.  Why?  Because if they had, they would NEVER COME DOWN ON THE SIDE OF TAKING THE CHANCE ABORTING A BABY WOULD BE KILLING A HUMAN BEING.  That would simply be inhumane.

So I marched today.  And while I marched I remembered the difficulties we faced when we got pregnant the first time.  That was in the 70’s.  Abortion was “the” thing.  But we opted to have our child, who now has 4 of our grandchildren.  Having our second child meant the same decision.  Circumstances were different, but we knew having another child meant another set of responsibilities that would not be there if we just made them go away.  We chose to have that baby….and our son several years later.  And we have twin grand daughters because of those choices.

The next time you or someone you love is struggling with “the” decision, get them to sit down and quietly talk through “the” decision with you.  See if you can get them to consider….just at least consider….that aborting that baby could possibly be killing that baby.  Sure, no one knows for sure.  But shouldn’t all of us that are citizens of the greatest nation on Earth champion the one thing that will perpetuate life on Earth for generations to come?  Without having babies who grow up to carry our name and our heritages forward, there will be no tomorrow.  How will each mother who has made the choice to abort that baby react if/when someday they find out for sure: abortion really IS murder?

Abortion is an option.  We need to keep it as an option that is opted for less and less and less and less……….

Donna Hylton: Womens’ Advocate

I am one of many who watched with interest the Womens March in Washington, D.C. the day after the Trump inauguration.  I was very curious about the purposes for their march.  I was (and still am) puzzled at what the outcry was against.  After all, abortion is legal as are LGBT rights including marriage and adoption.  I know in other areas there are still challenges and concerns.  But I honestly have felt regarding womens rights in America things had progressed dramatically in the last few years.  I still do not understand the totality of the outcry and certainly do not understand why anyone — especially Madonna — would cry that she occasionally would like to blow up the White House.  Yes, equality of pay in the workplace is not equal for women.  Yes in many societies on Earth women are held in contempt, viewed as actual chattel property, are not allowed to drive, go to school, speak unless spoken to, and are considered to be valuable only as men in their lives determine.  But with few exceptions these are not the cases in the U.S.

It bothered me to hear the vitriol that came off the stage by some who spoke that Saturday.  Not only what was said shocked me, but I was surprised at who some of the speakers were.  Some were women who are wealthy and by all accounts very successful:  actors like Scarlett Johannsen, Ashley Judd, Madonna, Cher, and several others.  Some are longtime feminist activists like Gloria Steinem whose positions on womens rights are well known.  But one speaker floored me — Donna Hylton.

Donna Hylton is truly a womens right activist.  But she’s a lot more.  And what I am confident of is that she is NOT a good spokesperson for womens rights in America.  And I doubt very many who stood on the Washington Mall listening to her really know who she is and her past.  If they did and are OK with that, I am really concerned about what is happening among American women.

In 1985, Hylton helped kidnap, torture, rape, and murder a 62-year-old New York real estate broker named Thomas Vigliarole.  At no point in her advocacy does she mention the name of her victim. On her website, her admission to her crimes is simply:

“My name is Donna Hylton, but for twenty-seven years I was known as Inmate #86G0206.  In 1986 I was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for kidnapping and second-degree murder. I served the time at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the only maximum-security prison for women in New York State, and was released in 2012.”

The brutal torture and murder is outlined in the Psychology Today article written in 1995 about  Donna Hylton.  “Vigliarole believed that [Hylton and her accomplices] were prostitutes who were going to have sex with him. Instead, they picked him up on March 8 in Elmhurst, Queens, at Maria [Talag]’s home, and drugged him to make him drowsy. Then they drove him to Selma [Price]’s apartment in Harlem. The apartment had already been prepared for an extended torture session: the closet door had been cut, a pot put in it for use as a toilet, the windows boarded.

Vigliarole was set-up by Louis Miranda; the two had allegedly partnered on a graft and the payout had gone south.  Miranda and his accomplices — Selma and Maria — had offered Donna Hylton and her two friends, Rita and Theresa, $9,000 each for helping kidnap and murder Vigliorole. When they were done, they locked Vigliorle’s decomposing body in a footlocker.’  Donna had planned to use the money to pay for a picture portfolio to start a modeling career.

What they did is disturbing to read:

“For the next 15 to 20 days (police aren’t sure just when Vigliarole died), the man was starved, burned, beaten, and tortured. (Even 10 years later, [New York City Detective William] Spurling could recall Rita’s chilling response when they questioned her about shoving a three-foot metal bar up Vigliarole’s rear: ‘He was a homo anyway.’ How did she know? ‘When I stuck the bar up his rectum he wiggled.’)

The three girls took turns watching the man. It was Donna who delivered a ransom note and tape to a friend of Vigliarole’s, who was able to get a partial license plate number of the car she was driving. He notified the police, who traced the plate to a rental car facility. On April 6 the suspects were arrested, and detectives spent 36 hours straight interviewing the seven men and women. ‘We had to keep going back and forth and catch them in lies,’ said Spurling. ‘It was a never-ending circle of lies.’  Spurling himself interviewed Donna: ‘I couldn’t believe this girl who was so intelligent and nice-looking could be so unemotional about what she was telling me she and her friends had done. They’d squeezed the victim’s testicles with a pair of pliers, beat him, burned him. Actually, I thought the judge’s sentence was lenient. Once a jailbird, always a jailbird.’

Hylton served a 27-year prison sentence for her heinous crimes.  Since her release, Hylton has become an outspoken advocate of prison reform, and claims the justice system mistreated her because she was a woman.

At the march in Washington, Hylton was keynote speaker and was cheered by hundreds of thousands of women as a hero.  I have two granddaughters.  I shudder to think that they would ever look at any woman who had personally participated in such activities and who obviously had such little care for human life as a role model and especially not a qualified spokesperson for womens rights.  Yes we have a long way to go to complete in America the transition for women from where they were to where they want and need to go.  But we’ve traveled far down that road already.  I don’t think we need the vitriol spewed by Hylton and others to spur us on toward that goal.