How does the prohibition of third trimester abortions affect a woman's health, unless you think of pregnancy itself as some sort of disease? What is a "reproductive right" anyway, unless you mean that a woman should have the right to kill her child whenever she chooses? What do you mean by "a choice about her body", unless you mean that she should be able to kill her child by expulsing it from her body whenever she wants? What health care decision is abrogated, unless you define health care as an abortion? What role in health care decisions by doctors is being denied unless you mean Gosnell or Planned Parenthood convincing mothers to have abortions to line their own pockets? How exactly does the government's promoting the killing of children support families?
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/14/2013 (2 years ago)
Published in U.S.
Keywords: Dr. Frederick Liewehr, partial birth abortions, late term abortions, third tri-mester abortion, Pro-Life, Right to Life, Pro-Choice, pro-aborts, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 1797),
RICHMOND, VA (Catholic Online) Last month Philadelphia abortionist Herman Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder of three babies born alive but executed by Gosnell by sticking a surgical scissors into the back of their necks and cutting their spinal columns. The jury also found him guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of one of his patients due to an anesthesia overdose. The two month long trial was replete with gory details of botched late-term abortions complete with photos of his victims and his abortuary, which was equipped with broken-down equipment, splattered with blood, and staffed by unlicensed employees who did much of the medical work.
Aborted fetuses and their body parts were everywhere - in cabinets, in freezers, in plastic bags, bottles, even cat-food containers. There were shelves lined with severed feet, macabre souvenirs of Gosnell's dark trade. The trial was too lurid to keep under wraps and thus garnered uncustomary media attention. No sooner was Gosnell convicted, however, than another similar situation came to light. Three informants, Deborah Edge, Gigi Aguliar, and Krystal Rodriguez, denounced Dr. Douglas Karpen, a Houston abortionist who runs three clinics, and more horrific photos and videos have been released. Edge said in an interview, "When he did an abortion, especially an over 20 week abortion, most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he either cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus in order to kill it ... or actually twisting the head off the neck with his own bare hands."
Gigi Aguliar also emphasized that the babies were alive, moving, and breathing. She said one baby opened its eyes and grabbed the abortionist's finger before he killed it. The details were eerily similar to those in the Gosnell case. Pro-life advocates pointed out that what happened in the abortuaries of Gosnell and Karpen goes on every day in countless abortuaries all over the country. Oddly, abortion advocates opined that without even greater freedom for abortionists women would be somehow "driven" to unscrupulous clinics like these. It was not immediately obvious who would do the "driving" or why the legalization of abortions since Roe V Wade in 1973 has not stopped the Gosnells and Karpens already, rather than enriching them.
Pro-life defenders also pointed out that grisly, dismembered baby are part of the process. Dr. Anthony Levatino who by his own admission performed approximately 1200 abortions, recently testified before a U.S. House subcommittee on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 1797), which could have been the first step in protecting at least some babies from the horrible death they suffer during late-term abortions. One of the greatest problems with abortions, and particularly late-term abortions, is that most people have no idea what they involve. You can hear and read the doctor's testimony here, but suffice it to say that the mother is not ready to deliver, and the baby is not ready to be born, so the doctor must use drugs and instruments in order to enlarge the cervix enough to introduce his instruments, and then he must literally dismember the living baby in order to get it out piece by piece, which produces the "souvenirs" that decorated Gosnell's office.
Here is a sampling of Dr. Levatino's testimony: "A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can. At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard - really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.
The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby's head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby's brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face may come out and stare back at you. Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second-trimester suction D&E abortion."
The doctor's testimony also gave the lie to the "protection of the mother's life" argument so frequently heard from the pro-abortion side. The reality is that the entire premise is false, because it takes a day and half to two days to dilate a woman's cervix enough to perform the abortion. In the hypothetical emergency case generally presented, the doctors would by definition not have this much time. In that case, a Cesarean section could be performed, saving both mother and baby. Dr. Levatino said he has managed thousands of similar cases, and never had to kill a baby. In the wake of the public awareness that these trials engendered, pro-life Congressmen and women hoped to pass a bill, and did pass a bill, that would eliminate these late-term abortions with the rationale that after 20 weeks the child is physiologically capable of feeling pain. Space prohibits a discussion of why babies undoubtedly suffer pain before 20 weeks, but at least that would have been a step in the right direction.
The "victory" In the House was unfortunately not quite the "victory" pro-life advocates had hoped for, because at the last minute Eric Cantor bowed to pressure from the pro-aborts and their media sycophants to include an exception for babies conceived due to rape or incest. This exception defies logic, because aside from the fact that it would authorize the killing of innocent babies that are conceived through no fault of their own, does a mother need 20 weeks, 5 months, to decide whether or not she was a victim or rape or incest? This absurd clause was simply another example of the usual incremental implementation strategy of the pro-aborts. Next we would have the usual exceptions for the mother's loosely defined "health" and so forth.
Despite that flaw, the House decision was squarely in line with the wishes of the American people. A Gallup poll released last month shows that 58 percent of adults say abortion should be illegal in all most circumstances; a January poll shows that 80 percent say all abortions in the 3rd trimesters should be illegal. As specifically regards this bill, a recent poll shows that the American people support the bill's criteria by a wide margin, 64 percent to 30 percent. In other words: Most Americans oppose late-term abortions. Sadly, the bill had zero chance if ever becoming law for two reasons. First, Harry Reid would never allow it to come to the floor in the Senate. Second, President Obama, the man who voted multiple times against banning partial birth abortions, another heinous version of the Gosnell technique, declared that if it did somehow get through the Senate, he would veto it.
The President said in a statement, "The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1797, which would unacceptably restrict women's health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman's right to choose. Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor. Forty years ago, the Supreme Court affirmed a woman's constitutional right to privacy, including the right to choose. This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women's health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients' health care decisions, and the Constitution. The Administration is continuing its efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, expand access to contraception, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. At the same time, the Administration is committed to the protection of women's health and reproductive freedom and to supporting women and families in the choices they make."
This bizarre statement was typical of the mendacity of the pro-abortion opponents of the Right to Life and of this President. How does the prohibition of third trimester abortions affect a woman's health, unless you think of pregnancy itself as some sort of disease? What is a "reproductive right" anyway, unless you mean that a woman should have the right to kill her child whenever she chooses? What do you mean by "a choice about her body", unless you mean that she should be able to kill her child by expulsing it from her body whenever she wants? What health care decision is abrogated, unless you define health care as an abortion? What role in health care decisions by doctors is being denied unless you mean Gosnell or Planned Parenthood convincing mothers to have abortions to line their own pockets? How exactly does the government's promoting the killing of children support families?
Finally, the most incongruous and absurd part of the statement is the admonition that the Government should not insert itself in this decision. The government seems to have no problem inserting itself in just about every decision we make on a daily basis, whether that be the amount of water our toilets use to flush or the size of our sodas, and the myriad regulatory agencies of the bloated Obama administration increase their stranglehold on our freedoms every day. Is Obamacare, with its thousands of pages of regulations, not an example of the government inserting itself into health care decisions? Is the mandate for people of faith to be forced to pay for abortions and contraception not an example of the government inserting itself into health care, and does it not show contempt for the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment?
It has become abundantly clear that this President and his fellow pro-abortion opponents of the Right to Life will not allow any attempt to change the culture of death that pervades this administration. The atrocities of Gosnell and Karpen demonstrate that no matter what evidence is presented about the horrors of killing a half million innocent children per year, this President will not allow any change to the status quo. As America's glory fades economically, militarily, and socially, she will go on to lead the world in only one area - killing her innocent children.
Dr. Frederick Liewehr is an endodontist who teaches and works in private practice. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1983, having been drawn ineluctably to Christ's Church by the light of Truth. He is a member of St. Benedict parish in Richmond, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Cooperator of Opus Dei.
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