First, I hope and (am praying) Marni begins to love her child and allows her to live.
The Texas Tribune has published an interview with a couple whose baby’s life has been spared – at least for a few days – by Texas law.
Here’s the interview:
However, she found 2 alternatives within 2 days, so her rights are not at all infringed upon.
Marni is mistaken about the number of abortions in Texas every year. There were 66,000, not 80,000 abortions in 2012. 72,000 in 2011, 77,500 in 2010, 77,850 in 2009.
Marni specifically asks what sorts of “resources” the State and pro-life people have made available. She should have already known – and should ask their abortionist at her next appointment – about the Texas Woman’s Right to Know “Resource Directory.” She should have been given a copy at her first abortion consult appointment with Planned Parenthood. It’s also available online here., The file in pdf includes the information she asked about. The booklet lists agencies and assistance that’s available from the State, County, and private organizations for pregnant women in Travis County.
I’m not surprised that their comments are so political, and that John talks about politicians “shoring up their base,” etc., since that’s a common talking point for abortion advocates when they talk about pro-life politicians. I’m sure that someone at Planned Parenthood fed them the inaccurate statistics and coached them on the motives of people like me and the legislators who worked to protect life.
(I do have to wonder how Marni and John missed all the press leading up to the passage of HB2. You would think they’d have heard about Wendy Davis’ filibuster at least!)
Hopefully, when they see the way they’ve been misled about statistics, they will begin to understand that the prolife activists and politicians are as honest as we can be about our motives.
Victory on two levels! Many of Texas’ abortion facilities are closed today because they don’t have doctors with hospital privileges and today, the DC Court of Appeals ruled in favor of religious conscience rights, even for people who own businesses!
From The Hill, a blog out of Washington, DC:
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.
Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.
“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
It appears that Planned Parenthood doesn’t change teen pregnancy rates – it’s neither necessary nor effective:
The study uses pregnancy rates reported by the Texas Department of Health State Services.
In 1996, a year before opposition to Planned Parenthood began, the teen pregnancy rates across the panhandle was more than 43.6 per 1,000 girls.
Two years after all facilities had closed, teen pregnancy was at 24.1 per 1,000 girls. Researchers are claiming that this is a significant confirmation that Planned Parenthood\’s presence and its sex education programs are not a necessary tool in reducing teen pregnancy.
But that doesn\’t seem to be the case everywhere across the state.
NewsChannel 10 has done some more research of it\’s own. In other areas of Texas where Planned Parenthood is a part of sex education and teen pregnancy rates have also dropped.
Texans paid for this study by the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts, Texas Policy Evaluation Project, founded to “evaluate” the effect of the 2011 State budget cuts on Family Planning, ignoring the deep cuts on everything else the State funded. (Speaking of ignoring: the website hasn’t updated the information on Family Planning since the 2013 Legislature added over $200 Million dollars to the program.)
Tx-PEP, as they call themselves, got some publicity on a San Antonio radio station, WOAI, today, complaining that women will have to “go without” elective abortions.
A pro choice activist group says the strict new abortion restrictions which were approved by the Texas Legislature in July will result in more than 22,000 Texas women per year being unable to undergo an abortion, 1200 WOAI news reports.
“Women particularly in rural areas and outside of cities who want to terminate a pregnancy, will have no recourse because there will be no late term providers left,” Jody Jacobsen of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, told 1200 WOAI news.
Elective abortions are “elective.” These are not abortions to save the life of the mother. They are abortions due to “choice.”
Of course, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project doesn’t admit that none of the current abortionists are in rural areas. In other words, anyone seeking an elective abortion today must go to a big city and may be inconvenienced.
Forget any pretense at impartiality:
The laws do not cover women who are less than twenty weeks gestation, and abortions will still be available to them.
But Jacobsen says it’s all a matter of personal freedom.
”Who is Rick Perry to tell me what decisions I should or should not have made, or what any other woman should or should not have made,” she said.
“. . . graduate from high school, keep your first job for over 1 year, get married and stay married.”
Common sense, right? Okay, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3, and association doesn’t equal causation, but who would argue, right?
“Politifact Texas” would. The Politifact.com website claims to fact check political news and news makers’ comments, and has a Texas Edition. In my opinion, they tend to hit such comments from the Left of center. In this case, they seem to go out of their way to prove Texas Rail Road Commissioner Barry Smitherman wrong, but – even by stressing the importance of the economy in the equation – they prove him right.
Take a few steps, Barry Smitherman said, and you won’t live in poverty. Smitherman, seeking the 2014 Republican nomination for Texas attorney general, put his point this way in prepared remarks for an Aug. 26, 2013, appearance before the Texas Alliance for Life: “Several years ago, the Economist magazine published a piece which said that you only have to do three things to guarantee that you will live above the poverty line—graduate from high school, keep your first job for over 1 year, get married and stay married.”
The rest of the article traces the history of the publications that make the claims to which Commissioner Smitherman refers.
Conscience? More “Trust me, I’ll violate my conscience” news:
Tolerance. Diversity. Broad-mindedness. Those are the words.
Bullying. Discriminating. Compelling. Those are the deeds.
The contradictory words and deeds often come from one and the same individuals–and in a case I learned about today, companies. Turns out the words of tolerance, diversity and broad-mindedness only apply to those who comply with the dogma and submit to the will of the speakers.
Here’s an email I received this morning from a pharmacist member of the Christian Medical Association:
“Subject: Forced to resign over mandate to sell the morning after pill.
“Just to let you know that Rite-Aid corporation came out with a stricter policy on July 5, 2013 that requires all employees to accommodate the sale of the morning-after pill to all comers, of either gender and of any age.”
While I don’t believe that Plan B is an abortifacient, I do believe it’s a powerful drug and that adolescents shouldn’t be able to buy it over the counter. I also find it hard to trust someone who will agree to go against their conscience!
“They put the three of us up front like a “panel” discussion, and the reporters started asking us questions about our presentation, allowing us an opportunity to talk about what we came to present. About 20 minutes into the interview, the Secretary General of MIWA, a Canadian woman, burst into the room (I kid you not. …and all of this is on camera), and came up to the table and said “What presentation is this? Donna Harrison said “it’s not a presentation”. So she snarled “Why are you being interviewed? At that point, the answers were left to Anna, our host. Anna said that this was a requested interview by the press.
“The SecGen then said “Who gave you permission to interview these people?” And the reporters said “We are the press, we don’t need anyone’s permission. We have freedom of the press” And the Sec Gen snarled at Anna and said “Did you arrange this? Did you talk to the organizing committee?” And Anna said “I am on the organizing committee. I don’t need to talk to anyone.” And the Sec Gen stood in front of the camera, and refused to move, and said “The interview is over.” Then the reporters said “You can’t do this. We have the freedom of the press. You are interfering with the freedom of the press.” But the Sec Gen would not move and said “The interview is over.””
In spite of repetitive fraud, in spite of Texas’ laws prohibiting sending money to affiliates of abortionists, in spite of all our work.
Planned Parenthood clinics could be facing a legal fight that could keep them from receiving funding for impoverished Medicaid patients.
When the state passed the Women’s Health Program in 2005, legislators said the intent was to provide more family planning services, but not abortions, to low-income Medicaid patients.
State Sen. Bob Deuell said due to a loophole in the law, Planned Parenthood is part of the program, but thinks they shouldn’t be. As such, he has requested the attorney general clear up the matter.
While Sen. Deuell admits he isn’t in favor of Planned Parenthood, he said his “goal is to provide comprehensive care and — abortion issue aside — the Planned Parenthood clinics don’t provide comprehensive care.”
It could take Attorney General Greg Abbott months to give his opinion.
In a brief HHSC officials sent to Abbott, they told him if the agency limits providers based on the way the law currently reads, the state risks violating Medicaid rules. State health officials said that could result in a loss of federal funding for the program.
I wrote this to the San Antonio Express News, in response to an “Other Views” Commentary a couple of weeks ago that claimed our pro-life HB2 violated the “separation of church and state.” It was rife with errors, easily corrected:
1. Abortion isn’t “private.” It is performed by licensed doctors in licensed abortion facilities, under laws regulating the practice of medicine passed by the elected Legislature of the state of Texas.
2. Women’s health and family planning clinics that offer federal and state funded health and cancer screenings and contraception are prohibited by both state and federal law from performing elective abortion. These clinics aren’t licensed abortion facilities and aren’t affected by HB2.
3. After Pennsylvania, Virginia and Missouri passed laws requiring safety standards similar to those in HB2, most abortion facilities in those states remained open.
4. Abortion facilities are allowed 16 months to come up to standard. If abortion facilities close, it will be because business owners decide not to invest in their facilities.
5. HB2, like earlier Texas laws, protects the mother if her life is endangered by continuing the pregnancy.
6. HB2 doesn’t create any criminal charges for the mother, only for physicians who perform illegal abortions after five months.
HB2 does require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in case their patients have complications requiring hospitalization and abortion facilities to meet building standards known to improve patient safety.
More, including some philosophy, via Protect the right to life – San Antonio Express-News.
#Stand4Life: As only a woman with first-hand experience can tell us:
If a woman tells her doctor she wants to have a double mastectomy, the doctor won’t assume she’s made a sound decision. He or she will want to review her health history, get a detailed family history, find out if the woman has tested positive for the gene that will put her at increased risk, and so forth.
Similarly, when a woman expresses her desire to have an abortion, the health care provider should not assume she’s making a sound decision. It is their duty to make sure she understands her Carbaby’s development, including a way for her to see an image of her baby. And if that’s not possible, at least an image of a baby at the same developmental stage. Pregnant women deserve exposure to as much information as possible. I would argue that there is no more serious matter than the creation of a new life, save the destruction of it. This is no time to withhold vital information and resources.
As a point of comparison, several years ago my routine screening mammogram showed something abnormal. The immediate follow up diagnostic mammogram confirmed an abnormal mass. The radiologist brought me into her office to discuss the images with me. She showed me the area of concern. Explained the difference in color and shadow and what that meant. She also discussed why the image suggested a mass that was hard, and why that added to her concern. She recommended we move forward with an ultrasound and a fine needle aspiration. Throughout the entire discussion she checked in to make sure I understood everything. She invited questions. During the fine needle aspiration, she showed me the image on the monitor as she was guided with the needle to the area in question. When she withdrew the contents of the mass, she showed it to me and explained, to our great relief, that it appeared that I had nothing more than a benign cyst.
Looking back, I now realize that I knew more about the cyst in my breast than the 3-month old baby who once grew inside me. And that is dreadfully wrong. Not because I knew too much about the cyst. But because I knew too little about my baby.
Edited – title for typo – 8/1/13 at 7:45 AM — BBN
(Or, how I ensure that I never run for office in San Antonio.)
For the last few months, the San Antonio City Council has been considering a “Non-discrimination ordinance” in which they pretty much discriminate against the First Amendment rights of free speech or free exercise of religion. If passed, it would prevent anyone in the City of San Antonio from running for office or being appointed to a citizens’ committee – or from holding office if elected – who advocates for traditional marriage or speaks or writes about their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. It also looks like a great way to slide into a San Francisco-style attempt to give out same sex marriage licenses.
Sec. 2-552. – Appointed Officials, Boards and Commissions.
(a) Appointments to Boards and Commissions.
When making appointments to boards and commissions, the City shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or handicap disability.
(b) Prior Discriminatory Acts.
No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or handicap disability.
(c) Discrimination by Appointed Officials – Malfeasance.
(1) No appointed official or member of a board or commission shall engage in discrimination or demonstrate a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group of persons, or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or handicap disability, while serving in such public position.
(2) Violation of this standard shall be considered malfeasance in office, and the City Council shall be authorized to take action as provided by law to remove the offending person from office.
Once the City tramples on the First Amendment, it’s not so hard to take (more) control of what should be private property and the free citizen’s means to make a living.
Property owners in San Antonio are no different from those in most cities. They don’t really own their property. They merely pay rent in the form of taxes and fees for the right to use it until a majority of their neighbors – or their elected representatives – decide to take control of a portion of it. If you don’t believe me, just try to build a home 1 foot higher than City ordinance allows or buy a house across the street from Schlitterbahn in my town of New Braunfels with the intention of renting it by the night or week to tourists.
But the new San Antonio ordinance goes a little farther. It doesn’t just prohibit action – it forces action by creating a new Class C misdemeanor for discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. So, everyone who sells their home, rents their property or makes a living as a wedding photographer would now be forced to rent or sell to, or work for people engaged in activities that goes against their religion.
SECTION 10. Discriminatory practices in the provision of public accommodations and housing shall be a Class C misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punishable in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 1-5 of the City Code. The penalties contained herein are non-exclusive and the City shall have any and all remedies to which it may be entitled in law or in equity. The exercise of any penalty or remedy by City shall not be deemed as a waiver of any other remedy to which the CITY may be entitled.
City Council member Diego Bernal has said he plans to take out the section about bias. However, nothing’s official, yet. If you would like to let the Council know how you feel before they consider the ordinance on August 2, you can read the actual ordinance, here. That link also has the names of Council members and their phone numbers.
What is PP doing with the $13 Million grant that the Obama Administration awarded them? Last March, the spokeswoman for the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas was crowing about the future use of the funds.
One thing it’s not doing is funding services in Bryan/College Station, Huntsville, and Lufkin, Texas.
In the meantime, everyone who is worried about low cost or free birth control and family planning should check into the Texas Women’s Health Program. For the most accurate and largest number of TWHP qualified doctors and clinics in your area, Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services has a search engine available here. More information, here. Use the “Advanced Search,” then choose Plan type:”Traditional Medicaid,” Provider type: “Specialist” (although this will actually bring up family physicians and other primary care docs). If you qualified at PP, you should qualify under this program, even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid. These docs give a 6 month or 12 month prescription, and the State will pay for screening, family planning.
Those who #Stand4Life should get to know Jason Vaughn; as one of the effective leaders for life in Texas, he’s making history! Here’s his recount of the events of last week:
Late Friday night we won the battle to reduce abortions in Texas! It was a great night and I am so excited to be a part of history. I’ve said before that the world may never know my name, but perhaps one day I will hear my God say, “Well done my good and faithful servant. You see that man there? I used you to save him from being aborted and I used him to change the world.”
It was a long and tiring week. There were some nights when I fell asleep in my clothes from the day. I had the privilege to work amazing men and women who love the people of Texas and want to see the end of abortion.
For those interested I want to walk you through the week.
Read the rest and see the pictures and videos he uses to document Texas’ #Stand4Life, via Standing for Life – The Unfinished Story | Twisted Conservative.
Texas Alliance for Life has posted the video of the speech given in the Texas House of Representatives by Representative Jason Villalba (District 114, Dallas) in favor of life and HB2. It’s a beautiful testimony to love and humanity, and an answer to all the claims that this Bill is simply a political ploy. Watch for the sonogram picture of the Villalba’s 13 week son and the Representative’s declaration that he will fight for his son and all the babies destroyed by elective abortion.
So, after telling us all these years that they don’t spend money from tax funds for their abortion business, Planned Parenthood is now saying that their facilities are often in the same buildings as the “separate” affiliates that don’t do abortions and that meeting the standards of an ambulatory care center will shut down both businesses.
Planned Parenthood operates 10 abortion clinics in the state that would be mandated to raise to the new standards. The abortion clinics, by law, are separate entities and must be separately funded from health centers where cancer screenings take place.
Planned Parenthood officials acknowledged that, but said some abortion clinics and health centers are housed within the same buildings. She suggested that if it were too expensive to upgrade the abortion clinics, then it could also force a shut-down of the health care clinics in the same building.
Officials could not say how many of the 10 abortion clinics are adjacent or within the same building as health care centers.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, responded by email and cited 55 health care centers already have been shuttered in Texas.
That assertion is based on legislative funding cuts from two years ago and is not related to the pending legislation.
And the previously closed health centers are not related to the assertion made in the advertisement.
Health centers that do not provide abortions would not be affected by the legislation.
Remember that University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll that showed that 63% or 62% (depending on whether the question mentioned pain or not) of registered voters in Texas wanted a ban on abortion after 20 weeks? Well, it seems that most US voters agree.This poll found that 59% of voters would support a ban, while only 30% oppose it.
The Huffington Post, not a conservative website at all, solicited a scientific poll by the same group that did the UT/TT poll, YouGov. These results agree with last month’s Gallup poll revealing that 64% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in the second 3 months of pregnancy and 80% would make it illegal in the last 3 months.
The HuffPost isn’t making a big deal out of the poll, focusing on the conflicting views of the public rather than on the results of the poll itself. In fact, from my GoogleNews search, it doesn’t appear that (as of 7 AM today) anyone other than a couple of blogs (at the Washington Post and the Weekly Standard), National Right to Life, and LifeNews.com are reporting the poll!
. . .as someone whose mother chose not to abort him!
Democrat Ruth McClendon, from District 120 of San Antonio, proposed an Amendment to HB 2 today that she thinks is necessary, “if we’re not going to allow women to control their own bodies.” The Amendment would re-define “child” as one,
B. whose mother declares in writing in accordance with rules adopted by the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, that, because of Section 245.010 (a), Health and Safety Code, or Subchapters C and D, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code, the mother chose not to or did not have access to a facility to exercise her right to an abortion at the time the child was born.
Isn’t it obvious that the mother of each and every born child chose not to abort them? Whether or not there’s a “constitutional right?”
And, please, “at the time the child was born?” Does that mean the mother chose not to abort at birth or that she made the declaration at the time of birth?
Representative Kenneth Sheets, Republican from the Dallas-area District 107, explained that his family is going through adoption and that he knows that the same benefits are available to his family and to everyone.
The Obama Administration has published its final rule on health insurance coverage of contraception. “Religious employers” are supposed to be happy with the Obama decree that insurance companies will provide contraception “at no cost.”
We all know that there’s no such thing as “no cost.” Everyone will “share” the cost, since everyone will be forced to buy health insurance.
Here’s the letter, thanks to one of the Conscience groups I follow:
From: Lauren Aronson
Director, Office of Legislation
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Re: Administration Issues Final Rules on Contraception Coverage and Religious Organizations
Today, the Obama administration issued final rules that balance the goal of providing women with coverage for recommended preventive care – including contraceptive services prescribed by a health care provider – with no cost-sharing, with the goal of respecting the concerns of non-profit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage. The final rules reflect public feedback received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in February 2013.
Today’s final rules finalize the proposed simpler definition of “religious employer” for purposes of the exemption from the contraceptive coverage requirement in response to concerns raised by some religious organizations. These employers, primarily houses of worship, may exclude contraceptive coverage from their health plans for their employees and their dependents.
The final rules also lay out the accommodation for other non-profit religious organizations – such as non-profit religious hospitals and institutions of higher education – that object to contraceptive coverage. Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost. The approach taken in the final rules is similar to, but simpler than, that taken in the proposed rules, and responds to comments made by many stakeholders.
With respect to an insured health plan, including a student health plan, the non-profit religious organization provides notice to its insurer that it objects to contraception coverage. The insurer then notifies enrollees in the health plan that it is providing them separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for them for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan.
Similarly, with respect to self-insured health plans, the non-profit religious organization provides notice to its third party administrator that objects to contraception coverage. The third party administrator then notifies enrollees in the health plans that it is providing or arranging separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for them for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan. The final rules provide more details on the accommodation for both insurers and third party administrators.
To view the Final Rule: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-15866_PI.pdf
To view technical guidance on the temporary enforcement safe harbor visit: http://cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/preventive-services-guidance-6-28-2013.pdf
To view the self-certification form for eligible organizations visit: http://cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Forms-Reports-and-Other-Resources/index.html#Prevention
If you have any questions, please contact the CMS Office of Legislation. Thank you
My children, the Governor’s children, and all children of human beings are also humans. The question in the mind of some people is, “when are they *human enough* for the advocates of elective abortion on demand?”
The Governor and Texas law affirms that it’s from the moment of fertilization. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with us.
The Governor spoke in support of the right not be killed for every one of our children today, at the National Right to Life National conference in Dallas. You can read his speech at his website, here.
I’m especially proud of the way he praised our pro-life Texans and commended the work we do to support women and girls who find themselves pregnant but are afraid that they aren’t ready, can’t afford the child, or just didn’t want to be pregnant at that time in their lives.
The Governor is taking heat for his comments about Senator
Windy Wendy Davis’ history. This is a woman who should know as well as any of us that an unplanned pregnancy is not the end of plans for the future and should be counted as “unplanned joy.” (That phrase is one of the themes of Feminists for Life.)
Here’s to our Governor Rick Perry!
Rush was talking about the Supreme Court ruling on gay “marriage,” but he might as well have been talking about the Texas Dems, Cecile Richards, and last night’s Mob at the Texas Capitol:
I have often said that what animates people on the left — what motivates them, what informs them — is defeating us. No matter how, no matter what, no matter what it means. Their hatred for us overwhelms anything else. No matter the result, victory that includes impugning and demeaning and insulting us is what they seek. It’s what makes them happy. Now, the left politicizes everything, and in this case, hardball politics became the name of the game.
In the Texas Senate, the filibuster is a method of allowing a minority viewpoint known. The minority Legislator is allowed to speak without time limits and without unwanted interruptions, as long as he or she follows the rules laid out beforehand.
Windy Wendy Davis began a filibuster. She knew the rules, and she broke them. Her fellow Democrat Senators engaged in stalling tactics, but it was the noise and chaos in the gallery that made the three minutes of difference that killed the Bill.
You can watch the Senate video at this page.The
Senators West, Whitmire,Watson, Ellis, Van de Putte, Zaffirini, and (of course) Senator Davis proved to all of us that they value the elective abortion of human beings above orderly government and Legislators.
I was, unfortunately, not shocked that Senator Leticia Van de Putte encouraged the gallery to disrupt the Senate. It also appears that she lied about the timing of her motion to adjourn. See the roll call vote beginning about 12:19/15:50. Note that she spoke and that the temporary President, Senator Duncan, responded after the roll call began. 12:31
I was surprised that the gallery wasn’t cleared much earlier, even though it might have meant that I would have had to leave. However, until the last hour, the outbreaks were intermittent and quickly calmed down.
My friends and I were very concerned about the reaction of those who so clearly showed no respect for the rest of us and who greatly outnumbered the State Troopers. Every seat was full, the pro-life crowd was greatly outnumbered and the halls were crammed with more people in orange. When the standing and shouting became constant, the Lt Governor signaled to the Troopers who began to remove people in an orderly manner.
More Troopers arrived, but they were constantly at risk of physical confrontation, with some of the Orange shirts resisting the request for them to file out. At one point, the Troopers were forced to lock the West doors of the Gallery and the Mob continued to push from the hall and fill the Rotunda.
I certainly didn’t want to be in the middle of a fight with these people and am grateful that the Troopers kept some semblance of order. I don’t believe that there was a way to clear the gallery earlier or with less disruption than we had and am proud of the State Troopers.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published their white paper on “fetal awareness” in 2011. (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Fetal Awareness – Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice. London: RCOG Press 2010 http://www.rcog.org.uk/files/rcog-corp/RCOGFetalAwarenessWPR0610.pdf Accessed June 24, 2013).
Here is a peer-reviewed, “editor’s choice” editorial outlining the flaws in that paper. “Fetal awareness and fetal pain: the Emperor’s new clothes” by Dr Martin Ward Platt, Newcastle Neonatal Service, of the Royal Victoria Infirmary http://fn.bmj.com/content/96/4/F236.long#ref-1 (Accessed June24, 2013).
The author, Dr. Platt, points out that the evidence for no fetal awareness until birth has no evidence in humans, only in animals. He further points out that it goes against our experience with sleep/wake cycles and what we know about the ability of the fetus to learn his mother’s voice and other learning, including long-term effects on brain anatomy and response to pain:
“So, what is the evidence that the human fetus lacks ‘awareness’? In a word, there is none. The only evidence, including the bit about the chemical environment, is in sheep and one or two other experimental animals. I have looked at the references in the report, and the references in the references, and when I finally got back to the primary literature I found no evidence for the contention that human fetuses lack awareness, or exist in some different conscious state, beyond the unwarranted extrapolation from sheep.
“In contradiction to the notion of the ‘unaware’ fetus, the everyday experience of pregnancy – the felt behaviours and responses of the unborn baby, especially to sound – as well as much primary research literature on the human fetus, contains strong evidence for an opposite view. There is an extensive literature, in humans, on fetal sleep and wakefulness, fetal motility, fetal memory, fetal hearing, fetal breathing and its control and fetal behaviour – and these are just examples that scratch the surface. None of this work is easily reconciled with the notion of a permanently unconscious human fetus. The third point in box 1 is simply not true.”
“. . . the precautionary principle of prevention and treatment of pain in case it is being experienced, which is an ethical rather than a scientific argument, nor does it affect the evidence in relation to the long term neurobiological effects of pain experiences in preterm babies.”
. . . “One notices statements in the report such as: “Interpretation of existing data indicates that cortical processing of pain perception, and therefore the ability of the fetus to feel pain, cannot occur before 24 weeks of gestation”. We could rewrite this as ‘in theory they can’t feel pain, therefore they don’t’. It is the substitution of wishful thinking for empirical enquiry. It reminds me of my days as a medical student when I was taught that once the periosteum was anaesthetised, bone marrow aspiration was painless because there were no nerve endings in the bone. As soon as I came to perform bone marrow aspiration I realised that, whether there were supposed to be nerve endings or not, the procedure caused deep bone pain. So: should we deny patients’ real experiences on entirely theoretical grounds, or accept them and look harder for the underlying cause? We now know that bone is richly innervated, but older techniques of bone histology were unable to demonstrate the fibres.”
BTW, Here’s the part of that (debunked by Dr Platt) 2011 RCOG paper that I found most interesting:
“One possible solution is to recognise that the newborn infant might be said to feel pain, whereas only the older infant can experience that they are in pain and explicitly share their condition with others as an acknowledged fact of being.”
Orange t-shirts admittedly outnumbered those of us in blue at the Texas State Capitol on Sunday, June 23. However, in the long run, what mattered in the passage of the House version of Senator Hegar’s Senate Bill 5, sponsored in the House by State Representative Jodi Laubenberg, is that Texas voters had sent a clear majority of pro-life Republicans to the House of Representatives.
If you’ve always wondered about the meaning of “chubbing,” look at the 6/23/13 record of the House video, available at the House website. Pro-abortion Democrat after Dem took the microphone to bring an amendment, with fellow pro-abortion Dems standing to ask questions and run out the clock.
You can also watch the effects of “POO,” or calling for “points of order” around 4:30 PM. House Democrats called for a review of the Rules, resulting in adjournment and restart after a delay of 2 hours.
As to those t-shirts, someone showed up with 1000 t-shirts to give away. Where did that money come from? Interestingly, the women who gave out the shirts also wore Planned Parenthood buttons and successfully instructed those in the shirts how to act in the Gallery. And the orange shirts obeyed immediately.
One theme the Dems repeat is that SB 5 is not the protection for women that the Republicans say it is. They claim that pro-life laws are not about human life and ethics, but rather, simply about winning Republican primaries. This is a great example of “projection” of one’s own motives and wishes onto another. While I believe that Jessica Farrar would abort everyone with spina bifida and that Thompson is convinced that the embarrassment of the trauma of rape and incest is cured by abortion, the ultimate reason for the long night of interruptions and delays is that the clock is running out on the Special Session. If the Dems manage to delay long enough, SB 5 will not pass in the House. Even when it passes, the time used up in the House decreases the time that will have to be wasted in blocking it by filibuster in the Senate.
In the long run, the Democrat members in the Texas Legislature have repeatedly called for unfettered and unregulated elective abortion on demand.They claim that abortion is better for women and families than spending money on babies and children, that allowing babies to be born will ruin women’s lives, that it’s better to abort children with “fetal anomalies” and “birth defects” even when the “defective” human could live and make his or her own way through life. Senfronia Thompson even brought out a coat hanger to shake at the House and claimed that the cure for the “embarrassment” of the trauma of rape and incest is abortion, even after 20 weeks. Every one of the Dems seemed to have no understanding that the facility improvements will not be required for 15 months.
SB5 was passed finally in the House this morning. It will now have to go back to the Senate. There may not be time enough for reconciliation with the Senate version because of delays caused by both the House Republicans and House Dems. I hope that the protections in the Bill become law to protect the women who make the choice to abort their children and to protect the lives of fetuses at 20 weeks and greater.
Edited 7/11/13 for grammar and spelling errors – BBN
#TxProlife and all Texas voters who would stop (or at least limit) the abortions of our little brothers and sisters are asked to join us in a prayerful, peaceful stand in favor of no abortions after 20 weeks, higher standards for abortion facilities and a requirement that the doctors who perform abortions maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the facility.
(seriously: doctors should have local hospital privileges, don’t you think?)
Please consider joining us at the Capitol when the House debates these Bills on Sunday. Wear blue, so we can show our numbers.
If you can’t attend, please pray for us and call your Representative’s office to ask for a “yes” vote on SB5 and HB60. Our best chance is to pass the Senate Bill, so the law will go through faster and with less chance of stalling. If the Senate has to agree with a different Bill, there may not be time.
Pray for a peaceful stand for life and courageous Legislators who will defend the Texans of tomorrow!
I won’t be able to follow this page very well during the meeting at the House, but should be able to keep up with those of you who contact me on Twitter, at bnuckols.
They also found that the majority of Texas voters would support restrictions on abortion that are greater than those we have today.
The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune have published the results of a poll that included questions about voters’ opinions on abortion. The poll of registered voters in Texas, recruited by an organization called “YouPoll.”
Q37. What is your opinion on the availability of abortion?
1. By law, abortion should never be permitted. 16%
2. The law should permit abortion only in case of
rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger. 30
3. The law should permit abortion for reasons other than rape, incest, or danger to the woman’s life, but only after the need for the abortion has been clearly established. 13
4. By law, a woman should always be able to obtain
an abortion as a matter of personal choice. 36
5. Don’t know 5
Q38. Do you think that laws restricting abortion here in Texas should be made more strict, less strict, or left as they are now?
1. More strict 38%
2. Less strict 26
3. Left as they are now 21
4. Don’t know/no opinion 14
By answering “3. The law should permit abortion for reasons other than rape, incest, or danger to the woman’s life, but only after the need for the abortion has been clearly established,” the respondents would actually support laws that are much more restrictive than current law. However, it’s being reported as though current law requires a need to be established, and to match the answers in Q38.
2/3 of those polled support for a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, whether or not the abortion causes pain to the fetus. The poll asked half of those polled one question and half another, with very similar results:
C. [SPLIT SAMPLE a AND b]
a. Prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks based on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at that point.
- Strongly support 49%
- Somewhat support 13
- Somewhat oppose 8
- Strongly oppose 19
- Don’t know 11
b. Prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.
1. Strongly support 47%
2. Somewhat support 15
3. Somewhat oppose 8
4. Strongly oppose 22
5. Don’t know 9
Rather than reflecting people’s knowledge that 20 weeks – or 5 months – is very close to our current viability of 22-23 weeks, I believe that the responses reflect our conflicted and complicated feelings about abortion in general.
“There are many ways to kill a child, and abortion may be the kindest way to do it.”
That first line was not only a statement made by one woman who testified tonight (watch the meeting at the House website, here), it was a recurring theme at the House State Affairs Committee meeting on June 20,2013, even though there is no evidence that increased elective intentional abortion has ever decreased child abuse.
But, the suggestion that it is acceptable to kill children was not what disrupted the meeting of these Texans. After many, many times of reminding them not to film the proceedings, not to engage in outbursts that broke up the meeting, Chair Byron Cook announced that he would limit the testimony in order to bring up the second Bill on the Agenda. At that point, the crowd began shouting and some tried to speak without being called to their turn. The Chair called a brief recess and testimony resumed. (Personally, I agree with the Chair that the crowd should be better behaved and with the citizens who had signed in that they should be allowed to speak.)
Earlier this week, Representative Jessica Farrar (D- 148, Houston) sent out this email:
Friend,Governor Perry has declared war on women. Last week he vetoed the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act because he thinks women should be paid less than men for doing the same work. Now, he has added bad women’s health bills restricting safe access to abortion to the Special Legislative Session. This week is your only opportunity to speak out against these bills.Come to the State Capitol this Thursday afternoon and evening, June 20th, when the House State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on these bad bills. The hearing will begin at 1:00 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House in Room JHR 140.Please prepare a three minute testimony on the subject, and speak from your heart. What you say can make a difference. Be ready for a long night, as the hearing will go on as long as it takes.You can also fight back against Rick Perry’s war on women by helping to elect Democrats who will stand up for equal pay and women’s health issues. Please consider donating $5, $10, or $25 to the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee to ensure that our key Democratic legislators return, and that we are able to gain seats in the House. Your support now will build the foundation we need to ensure this war on women will go no further.Sincerely,JessicaPol. Adv. paid for by the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee, Lon Burnam, Treasurer.
P. O. Box 1925, Austin, TX 78767
Although Rep. Farrar admitted early on Thursday night, that “there are two lives involved” in abortion, she is the one who suggested that we should abort every child with spina bifida in Committee, back in the regular Session. Below are some of the other continuing themes we’ve heard during testimony in favor of the status quo and against any new restrictions on abortion providers.
Texas has a culture of hate for women, so we should abort children (male and female) in order to prevent a “brain drain.”
A married Social Worker told us that she was “elated” after her abortion to be relieved of a responsibility she never wanted. Another woman said that her friends had abortions between 18 to 24 years old, claiming that it was before they were able to choose their majors in college or decide on an outfit! Many men said that they were “relieved” not to be burdened with unwanted children. One that really stuck out was 24 years old when he enabled the abortion of his own child.
One man, an angry 30 year old unemployed lawyer, echoed the wish of many of those who came at the call of the Texas Democrats. He and the others believe that the Texas Legislature should work on laws that will give him a job, healthcare benefits. (And child day care, Medicaid for all, maybe even an allowance for stay at home women.)
There were the usual complaints that men in the Legislature were trying to control the women of Texas (ignoring that the author of the Bill, many of the co-authors and a great many of the voters who put them in office are women) and the repetitive accusations that only religious bigots are “anti-choice.”
“There are many ways to kill a child, and abortion may be the kindest way to do it.” Maybe, because then the child will never know. But there are no GOOD ways to do it.
Addendum (or a couple of other recurrent themes):
1. The claim that abortion will prevent the consequences of post partum depression. Abortion is never treatment for what is properly called “perinatal” depression. In fact, perinatal depression can be triggered by miscarriage or spontaneous abortion and by elective interventional abortion.
2. Don’t forget that women and children will be harmed most by the limits on abortion and that Texas’ legislature should let President Obama give us free expanded Medicaid and Obamacare!
Update: the video can be viewed, here, at the Texas Legislature Online website.
Edited 6/21/13 at 9:00 AM to add the link to the video and add the ‘tag” HB60 – BBN
Edited 6/21/2013 for typos and to fix the penultimate (how often do I get to use that word?) paragraph “post partum depression,” not “post partum abortion.” (The latter is not possible, yet.) BBN
“We agree that some treatments do stop achieving the intended goal of that specific treatment, such as dialysis no longer filtering uric acid from the blood. When a treatment or therapy is in fact medically futile, no physician would ever continue that, and a properly informed patient or his surrogate would not want to continue futile or harmful treatment, and nothing in current law or in any of Texas Right to Life’s past or present proposals would require the continuation of such medically futile treatment. Physicians would not continue medically futile treatment anyway.”
“Conflicts arise when the futility judgments are transferred from the efficacy of a medical treatment to a value judgment on the futility of the patient’s life.”
- don’t have the right to be notified of DNR’s placed on their charts,
- have no protection against the removal of artificial nutrition and hydration,
- don’t have the right to medical records before the medical ethics committee meets,
- don’t have the right to be accompanied in the medical committee meeting, and
- don’t have an additional 7 days to prepare for the medical ethics committee and an additional 14 days to find another doctor willing to accept responsibility for the medical treatment of the patient.
Like many of you, I feel betrayed after our years of support and defense of the BSA. Worse, the BSA is betraying the boys who will be misled by their own whims and impulses and by peer pressure and predators.
A child cannot legally consent to any sort of sex during the years he is eligible for the Scouts and he cannot truly know his sexual orientation. But he can be influenced and abused by the normalization of immorality.
Will the BSA now confirm other behaviors that once were considered contrary to “God and my Country?”
There is no more “scientific” justification for killing humans with “fetal anomalies” before birth than for killing them after birth. The decision to kill is always a moral decision – or an immoral one.
Would this author support “after birth abortion” for the babies born with the same anomalies? That must make all those around her – or working at her organization – who were born with or diagnosed with other “variable onset anomalies” feel secure and supported!
Of particular concern are two classes of fetal anomalies that cannot be detected early in a pregnancy. First are the variable-onset fetal anomalies. These anomalies begin at variable gestational ages but are often detected beyond 20 weeks. Second are the late-onset anomalies that develop late in the gestational age of the fetus, typically in the second or third trimester, or are undetectable until the abnormality is at the end-point of a pregnancy. Importantly, the 20-week bans passing across the states generally do not include exceptions for lethal fetal anomalies, meaning women are forced to carry fetuses with anomalies to term, regardless of viability.
I’m not making a simple “anti-choice” statement. We know that in nearly all cases, abortion at this stage is more dangerous for the mother than carrying to term.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, here’s the “science:”
Advocates of 20-week abortion bans generally rely on junk science based on the pseudoscience of fetal pain to warrant the state laws prohibiting third trimester abortions. Their claims stem from erroneous assertions that the fetus feels pain at 20 weeks, despite several comprehensive literature reviews demonstrating no credible evidence of fetal pain until the third trimester.
This is not how science is done. Science is not a consensus, it’s observation and reporting of data that can be reproduced. The definition “agreed” upon by pro-abortion advocates involves emotions and is nothing but a neo-scientific construct, that igores real scientific evidence of higher brain response to noxious stimuli.
The same ethics hold for abortion as for any other intentional, elective killing of a member of our species: only kill when it’s absolutely necessary to save another life endangered by the first – the life of the mother.