Illinois Right to Life Committee
Thursday, June 30, 2011 -- Abortion facilities failure to meet medical standards
If fast food restaurants claimed they should not be regulated like other restaurants because it would slow down their speedy service, how far do you think that argument would get with the local health department? On the other hand, abortion facilities expect to be treated as virtually unregulated when compared to other ambulatory surgical facilities.
Now that more incidents of the abuse of standard medical practices found in abortion facilities are becoming known, some expansion in abortion facility regulation is finally moving forward slowly in at least some states. Kansas enacted a law to establish comprehensive regulations. Two of the three abortion facilities in that state almost admitted publicly that they could not comply.
These abortionists went to court to make the regulations the enemy, rather than their own lack of good medical practices. As usual, they will likely obtain a temporary injunction against the law. Hopefully, when the facts are presented, they will not be able to maintain the status quo and continue to endanger women, even beyond the risks of abortion itself, through their violation of accepted medical practices and regulations.
Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, based in Wichita Kansas, observed, The abortionists have fought licensing and inspections for years because they know they provide substandard services that simply cannot meet up to even the most basic health and safety standards. Can you imagine any other business refusing to comply with the law? What if a restaurant suddenly stopped submitting to health inspections, or a factory barring OSHA from inspecting, or a coal plant telling the EPA to jump off? Abortionists want to be in a different category, one that is above the law, and that is a dangerous attitude to have in any profession.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 -- Will legislative action ban abortion in Poland or Ohio?
At this point it is unclear whether either of these legislative attempts will pass, but aggressive steps are being taken both in Poland and Ohio to ban abortions. Since news about each of these efforts appeared on the same day, I decided to compare them.
Poland is considering a citizen-initiated bill that would ban abortion without exceptions. Citizens needed to collect 100,000 signatures in 3 months in get this bill consideration before the Polish Parliament, but achieved 600,000 signatures in two weeks. Poland already has a ban on abortion, but with some exceptions.
In Ohio the House of Representatives just passed the Heartbeat Bill which would ban all abortions after an unborn babys heartbeat can be detected. Even though some Ohio Pro-Life organizations opposed this bill on the basis that it would be overturned in court, the Heartbeat Bill passed 54-43 and now moves to the Ohio Senate.
Since the heartbeat can usually be detected about the same time that a woman learns that she is pregnant, the Heartbeat Bill, which does not contain exceptions for rape, incest, or life or health of the mother, would effectively ban abortion in Ohio.
Obviously, the Heartbeat Bill would be immediately challenged in Federal court if enacted into law. That expectation generates the controversy about the bill among Pro-Life organizations. At this point chances for an abortion ban are much better in Poland than Ohio, but even serious consideration of this topic offers a great educational opportunity about abortion.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 -- Milw. United Way refers rape victims to Planned Parenthood
Winning the "Let the fox guard the hen house" award, United Way of Milwaukee directs potential victims of statutory rape to Planned Parenthood for assistance. Given the consistent pattern revealed by the undercover work of Lila Rose, Planned Parenthood does nothing to help such victims, but rather empowers sexual predators by providing birth control and abortions with no questions asked, and consistently provides no reporting to the authorities of the potential abuse in spite of mandated reporting laws.
United Way has begun a billboard ad campaign, with the image of a princess and the message, "One day the man of my dreams will sweep me off my feet and rape me -- An older man who sleeps with an underage girl isn't a prince, he's a rapist."
How could United Way of Milwaukee be so naive? Pro-Life Wisconsin explains, United Way is tied very closely to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (click here for a 2010 pledge form, listing PPWI as a 'Community Health Charity'). In addition, United Way and PPWI are members of a 'Healthy Youth Alliance,' pushing comprehensive sex ed across Wisconsin. The point is this: United Way refers these young girls to PPWI for treatment or 'services.' PPWI has been shown willing to cover up purported statutory rape, sending these young girls right back to their abusers. Its a vicious circle, rather than a deplorable societal injustice moving toward an end point.
Monday, June 27, 2011 -- Planned Parenthood consolidation continues in Midwest
Until recently Planned Parenthood had five independent affiliates in Illinois, but they were consolidated into one statewide affiliate. Consolidations have taken place in other midwest states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Now a new multi-state merger has been announced that will create a mega-affiliate spanning Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Given that Iowa-based Planned Parenthood of the Heartland was the originator of telemed abortions using the dangerous RU-486 drug, this merger creates more potential that such questionable medical practices will be attempted in more states.
Nebraska has already acted to ban telemed abortions in recognition of this threat, but neither Arkansas or Oklahoma has focused on this issue so far. This latest Planned Parenthood merger raises the urgency for those states to follow Nebraska's lead. An attempt was also made to ban telemed abortions in Iowa, but it fell short because of the obstructionist tactics used by the Iowa Senate President.
Friday, June 24, 2011 -- POLST plague coming to Illinois, endangering the disabled
POLST stands for "physicians orders for life sustaining treatment." This phrase sounds reassuring, but the result is much more likely to be a physician's order to end or deny life sustaining treatment. POLST is certainly misnamed, but that would seem to be the intent -- to mislead the public to accept establishing such an arrangement without realizing what the consequence is likely to be.
When doing research yesterday on a question about changes in Illinois law relating to advance directives, I came upon HB 3134 that passed both houses almost unanimously and is awaiting Governor Quinn's signature [signed into law on 8/15/11 and effective 1/1/12]. It looks like the Illinois Legislature was convinced that POLST sounded good because HB 3134 sailed through without opposition.
This bill adds provisions to the advance directive statute to revise "do not resusitate" (DNR) forms into POLST forms (physicians orders for life sustaining treatment). POLST forms are even more dangerous than DNRs because they empower physicians to deny life sustaining treatment at their own discretion and become included in a patient's medical record. It is unfortunate that HB 3134 got through the Illlinois Legislature under the radar screen.
For more information about POLST forms, check out the following:
"Portable Medical Order" under any name is a dangerous document (POLST, MOST, MOLST, or other acronyms)
Thursday, June 23, 2011 -- New Illinois laws regarding advance directives
I recently received a call asking if a completed Patient Self-Protection Document (PSPD) was still valid, given changes to Illinois law scheduled to take effect July 1, 2011. Within the law (Public Act 096-1195), I found that section 4-10 states: "No provision of this Article shall be construed to invalidate or bar use by the principal of any other or different form of power of attorney for health care."
That seems to be a definite statement that the revisions to the law do not affect already completed PSPDs or add any requirements to future use of the PSPD. The primary focus of the legal changes was revisions to the "Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care." Unfortunately, the changes made to this document do not address the concerns about its existing and now revised non-life-affirming provisions.
IRLC recommends that you avoid both the living will (in any form) and the "Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care." Choose either the IRLC Patient Self-Protection Document or another life-affirming durable power of attorney for health care (e.g. Protective Medical Decisions Document from the Patient Rights Council).
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 -- Efforts to identify dangerous abortionists are expanding
Yesterday, Operation Rescue announced, "We are currently conducting a massive research project to identify every abortionist in the country along with information about discipline, malpractice cases, and other problems. This is a huge project that could have national impact on the abortion cartel, which thrives when shrouded in secrecy. That's why we need help from the pro-life community."
Operation Rescue is asking for help from every community in America to obtain information about abortionists there. They are looking for the names of abortionists and the name of the clinic where they work, along with any documentation concerning board discipline, criminal history, malpractice cases, verifiable botched abortions and other similar information. Once compiled, the information will be made available on-line.
If you have such information, call 1-316-683-6790, ext 103, or e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Similar efforts are being made on the east coast as reflected on the web sites www.secularprolife.org and the now evolving www.abortionsafety.com.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -- The war on unborn girls covered in Wall Street Journal
Abortion advocates are attempting to retain government funding by accusing defenders of life of waging "a war on women." Of course, sex selection abortion that favors boys over girls is the real war on women, but that reality is completely ignored by abortion "rights" promoters.
Well, there is at least one exception. Mara Hvistendahl, even though an advocate of "abortion rights," has written a book to document the impact of cultural preferences against baby girls. In "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl reports on the gender imbalance found in China, India and numerous other nations. By her count, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world.
Ms. Hvistendahl argues that such imbalances will lead to negative social consequences. She states, "Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live. Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent." In Chinese provinces where the sex ratio has spiked, a crime wave has followed, and in India, the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income, but sex ratio.
Even with her concern about these destructive impacts of sex selection abortion, it is telling that Ms. Hvistendahl identifies a ban on abortionand not the killing of tens of millions of unborn girlsas the "worst nightmare" of feminism. That is certainly proof that she is no closet pro-lifer.
Thanks to Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard for reviewing the book and to the Wall Street Journal for printing his review.
Monday, June 20, 2011 -- Is the "pill" leading to weak immune systems in children?
I recently learned that on May 9th the Wall Street Journal carried an article entitled "The Tricky Chemistry of Attraction." The key point was research findings showing that the use of birth control pills affects how women and men are attracted to each other. The perceived result is the very likely selection of a mate different in characteristics from the one that would have been chosen if the "pill" was not part of the equation.
The WSJ article states, "Much of the attraction between the sexes is chemistry. New studies suggest that when women use hormonal contraceptives, such as birth-control pills, it disrupts some of these chemical signals, affecting their attractiveness to men and women's own preferences for romantic partners."
What might be the effect of this disruption of natural chemistry? Researchers speculate that women may see their partner differently when they stop using birth control, contributing to relationship dissatisfaction. Might this result correlate with the increased rate of divorce?
Of as much concern or more is the potential impact on future generations. Describing what happens when women are NOT on the "pill", the WSJ article indicates, "The study also showed that women seemed to prefer the scents of men whose immune systems were most different from the women's own immune-system genes known as MHC. The family of genes permit a person's body to recognize which bacteria are foreign invaders and to provide protection from those bugs."
If women on the "pill" are attracted to men with similar immune systems, their children will have weaker immune systems. Might that difference be contributing to what seems to be an explosion of unusual childhood ailments and allergies? Though often ignored, the negative health consequences of the "pill" on the women who use it have been discussed before, but are we now finding the secondary impact to be negative health consequences for future generations?
Friday, June 17, 2011 -- Appeals court creates new delay for Illinois parental notice law
The Thomas More Society reports today that "the Illinois Appellate Court reversed and remanded the decision of the Cook County Circuit Court upholding the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995." Ironically, "the appellate courts decision did not resolve the ultimate legal issues raised in the case, even though those issues were fully briefed in both the trial and appellate courts."
In layman's terms this decision means continued foot-dragging on a law that was passed in 1995 and has similar characteristics to laws already enforced in 30 states, including all states surrounding Illinois. The appellate court sent the case back to the trial court based on disagreement with one of the justifications the lower court used to uphold the law, while ignoring other arguments used in the lower court's opinion.
This approach could easily keep this law in court for another 2 years under the untenable pretense that it is unconstitutional under Illinois law. No wonder the Thomas More Society calls for this case to be moved to the Illinois Supreme Court to get a final resolution and end this extended delay that benefits abortion providers all over Illinois, who commit abortions on underage girls from other states as a means to bypass the parental notice or consent laws of their home states.
Thursday, June 16, 2011 -- Tribune reveals "reporting gaps" in IL abortion records
The Chicago Tribune discovered six abortion deaths from 1998 through 2009, and 4000 reported abortion complications in 2009 alone that "were missing the required description." The deaths were found based on court records, but the abortion providers implicated in these lawsuits could not confirm they had reported those deaths to the state.
This article was given front page coverage. Still, the author twice assures the reader that "abortion has proven to be a very safe procedure" and "As safe as abortion is, dangerous providers do exist." Exactly how should women feel abortion is safe with such poor record keeping even among prominent abortion providers, and a theory expressed by Stanley Henshaw, a Guttmacher researcher, that "it is the shoddiest operators who are not reporting the abortions they perform"? That means they are certainly not reporting the complications and deaths they cause!
While the Chicago Tribune can be praised for covering this issue and giving it prominence, it should be noted that only abortion providers were quoted in the article. Is that truly fair and balanced reporting? Can you imagine an Tribune article on any Pro-Life activity or organization where the author would not include quotes from abortion advocates criticizing the "denial of women's rights" or the right wing "war on women"?
Another fact revealed by the Tribune article was the under-reporting of abortions in Illinois. For 2008, Illinois statistics show 47,717 abortions, but Guttmacher shows 54,920 Illinois abortions. This difference suggests that at least 7,203 abortions were not reported to the state that year.
In attempting to identify sources for this difference, it was noted that Illinois gathers data from 26 abortion providers, but Guttmacher contacts 37 abortion providers. Apparently, there are 11 abortionists in Illinois that the state is not aware of. Does that mean these abortionists may not even have valid medical licenses in Illinois?
The six known deaths caused by abortion, the 4000 reported but unidentified abortion complications (nearly a 9% complication rate, and how many more went unreported?), the unidentified abortionists, and the under-reporting of abortions committed all seem to suggest that abortion is a very unsafe procedure, the exact opposite of the premise expressed in the article.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 -- More states block Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding
Certainly in part due to the efforts of Lila Rose mentioned yesterday, more states are taking steps to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving funding with taxpayer funds. Laws and budgets are being set to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid and/or Title X funding.
New Jersey got the job done with a veto by the governor. Tennessee has been working to redirect family planning funds to county health departments. Kansas has removed Planned Parenthood from the budget. Indiana is in court over a law passed to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds. Now North Carolina has approved a budget that removes funding for Planned Parenthood from family planning programs.
Other states may still achieve similar results. Wisconsin and Texas may become the next two states to deny funding to Planned Parenthood. Efforts are also ongoing in some other states, but it may be too late for this year in some of them because the legislatures have already completed their work for the year. Pray that momentum to defund Planned Parenthood grows for next year.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 -- Planned Parenthood efforts to cover their tracks wearing thin
Earlier this year Lila Rose of Live Action placed videos on YouTube showing how Planned Parenthood employees are very willing to assist sex traffickers by arranging to provide STD testing, birth control and abortion services to the young girls who are their sex slaves. These videos "went viral" with hundreds of thousands of viewers online.
Planned Parenthood has been trying for years to keep evidence covered up regarding their violation of Kansas laws. After years of delays, the trial on 107 charges will soon begin. Now Planned Parenthood has filed motions in an attempt to hide evidence and prevent it from appearing in court as a trial moves forward. Pray that standard court procedures prevail so more evidence of who Planned Parenthood really is becomes public knowledge.
Monday, June 13, 2011 -- Former prominent IVF doctor quits because it is wrong
Dr. Anthony Caruso, once a renowned in vitro fertilization (IVF) doctor in Chicago, recently ended his practice, stating, I can't even begin to tell you how deep in my soul I believed that I had wronged other people.
Dr. Caruso began to recognize how IVF effectively turns children into objects. The IVF profession now considers it standard procedure to practice selective reduction if too many embryos develop from those implanted in the womb. Caruso vehemently opposed selective abortions whenever his past clients would request them. It was actually the increasing objectification of children that made him stop and reconsider his line of work.
Where has this conversion taken him? Dr. Caruso will be developing a Natural Family Planning practice, inspired by the Pope Paul VI Institute in Nebraska, to better serve infertile couples. The institute has developed what they call NaProTechnology to address infertility issues. Overall, NaProTechnology has a much higher success rate than IVF.
Thursday, June 9, 2011 -- States opting out of abortion coverage under ObamaCare
Family Research Council has done an analysis of states opting out of abortion coverage by passing laws prohibiting abortion coverage in health plans created through the state exchange program set up by ObamaCare. The count has reached 13 for states that have enacted such provisions into law.
An additional 14 states have attempted to pass similar legislation, but without success so far. If those states do succeed, a majority of the states will have made the decision to block public funding of abortion under the insurance exchange mechanism created under ObamaCare.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 -- Stop the War on Unborn Women!
Today NARAL Pro-Choice America held a gathering at the Gage Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago across from Millenium Park to thank pro-abortion legislators for helping to "stop the war on women" as they have termed efforts to block government funding of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.
Thanks to the efforts of Pro-Life Action League to learn the location and organize a response, I participated in a protest telling NARAL to "stop the war on unborn women." I held a sign stating, "NARAL: Stop the War on Unborn Women" along with a picture of an aborted baby.
Most of the response from passersby showed interest in the message or was noncommittal. I only heard one negative comment -- "What about war?" -- which was made before she saw my textual sign, so maybe it answered her question.
I was surprised by the number of children ranging in age from 1-10 years that were among those heading somewhere from 5-6pm on a Wednesday evening in downtown Chicago. I thought that I was seeing more children on the street (presumably with parents) than you see at church on Sunday. If that is a valid perception, it might have something to do with the apparent apathy of the general public about the abortion issue.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011 -- MSNBC gives Planned Parenthood a platform to lie
When the questions include inaccurate information, they provide a platform to affirm and proclaim a complete misrepresentation of the facts, otherwise known as lies. That was the approach taken by Martin Bashir of MSNBC as he interviewed Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood yesterday.
Even before introducing Richards, Bashir (referring to the bill to defund Planned Parenthood) stated "Governor Mitch Daniels signed the bill last month, even though it could leave thousands of women without health care." Since there are other health care facilities in Indiana much more numerous than Planned Parenthood who can provide health care to women that includes greater scope than just "reproductive health care", that statement is completely false.
Bashir asked Richards, Do you think this is, in effect, a war on women? and Did Governor Daniels decide to do this because even though the organization spends 97% of its funds on female reproductive health issues, he felt that that 3%, the 3% on abortions, was just too much? These questions use phrases and statistics that come straight from Planned Parenthood's promotion material.
Actually, the way Bashir cited the statistics is even more deceptive than Planned Parenthood's version. They claim only 3% of their services are abortion (while it is actually 10% based on total customer count, 40% based on revenue from services, and 97% based on services to pregnant women). To state that they spend only 3% of their funds on abortion is even less accurate. Considering that 40% of their revenue from services is generated by abortions, the cost of providing those abortions is certainly well above 3% of their operating funds.
Given that 5-10% of their annual revenue is actually profit, and that other significant amounts are spent on fundraising and administration, it is impossible to spend 97% of their funds on all customer services, so the amounts spent on "female reproductive health issues" is far less than 97%.
Bashir's interview amounted to free advertising for Planned Parenthood's inaccurate representation of their business model with the intent to hide the significance of abortion. So much for tough questions or investigative journalism!
Monday, June 6, 2011 -- Indiana faces both Feds and court case in defunding PP
Proving once again the unbreakable alliance between the Obama administration and Planned Parenthood, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick has sent notice to Indiana warning the state that Federal Medicaid law stipulates that states cant exclude providers based on the services they provide.
While this claimed restriction on state action amounts to invention of a new regulation, the Feds are threatening to deny all Medicaid funding to Indiana (apparently as much as $4 billion) unless they relent and allow Planned Parenthood to receive Medicaid funds.
Of course, Planned Parenthood also went to Federal court right away to claim they are entitled to the money, but they were not able to convince the judge to issue an injunction. A final decision from U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt should be coming later this month.
Three Pro-Life legal groups have given support to Indiana's position by concluding that the state is in full compliance with the provisions of Federal law and filing court papers to express that viewpoint.
Thursday, June 2, 2011 -- Planned Parenthood: sexual predator for profit
Some people might have a hard time accepting the video evidence compiled by Lila Rose that Planned Parenthood is willing to aid sex traffickers. Can they be that bad? Don't they help women avoid unwanted pregnancies?
I will suggest that Planned Parenthood has no problem aiding sex traffickers because the organization itself is one giant sexual predator for profit. How can they refuse to assist people who are performing the same business as they are?
Jim Sedlak recently wrote, "Parents understand that Planned Parenthood is in the sex businessthat it takes in millions of dollars from young people who have sex and not a penny from those who remain chaste. Parents see clearly that Planned Parenthood wants to lead their children into lives of sexual sin and away from their religious values and their families."
Everything that Planned Parenthood does seeks to generate new customers consistent with the above statement, including "comprehensive" sex education, sex advice for teens on their web sites, "peer" counselors in high schools encouraging other students to try it, the "safe" sex message, pushing birth control as the "solution" while even offering inferior birth control products, and finally selling abortions when casual sex catches up with many of their young customers.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 -- FDA finally moving to investigate some birth control
Usually quietly and unnoticed, except by grieving family members, women have been dying from complications of so-called safe oral contraceptives and similar birth control products. Why is it that such products that rely on steroids for their active ingredients are considered safe for women while steroids taken by mostly male athletes are recognized as dangerous?
While the UN has even recognized oral contraceptives as containing carcinogens, the more sudden deaths occur from side effects including stroke, cardiac arrest, blood clots, and gallbladder problems. One wrongful death lawsuit involves an 18-year-old New Jersey college student, Michelle Pfleger, who died of cardiac arrest after taking Bayer's Yaz for acne treatment. A blood clot lodged in her lungs resulting in her sudden death on her way to classes on September 24, 2010.
The collateral damage has gotten so large from one series of birth control products that finally, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to take action to investigate. The FDA recently announced they were conducting a safety review of birth control products containing drospirenone, a synthetic female sex hormone or progestin.
Drospirenone is used in a series of oral contraceptive products from German pharmaceutical maker Bayer, including Yaz, Yasmine, Safyral, Beyaz, and their generics. These products will be included among the oral contraceptives whose effects the FDA intends to review.
Of course, reviewing products, and protecting the public from them, are two different steps. Can we expect an administration that constantly defends contraception and abortion to actually protect women from the dangers posed by even some oral contraceptives? Don't bet the farm on it.