John Jansen

‘Not all abortion-victim photos are equal’: Photographer who took most graphic abortion photos

John Jansen
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In 2009, the New York Times photojournalism blog featured a photo exposé of the remains of aborted babies, focusing in particular on the work of our longtime friend, Dr. Monica Miller.

This was fitting, given the sheer volume of her work in the area of abortion victim photography.

In fact, if you’ve seen a picture of an abortion victim online, there’s a good chance that the photograph you saw was taken by Miller.

We’re now very pleased to tell you that in the current edition of the New Oxford Review, Dr. Miller has just published a robust and scholarly defense of the history and role of the use of graphic abortion pictures in the pro-life movement.

The article also contains a wealth of information that even many seasoned pro-lifers would be surprised to learn. For instance, in the early days of the movement, every major pro-life organization in the U.S. not only supported the use of graphic abortion images, but actually used them.

Miller makes a crucial point when she says, “Not all abortion-victim photos are equal”:

A difference exists between a graphic image and an image of an abortion victim — between a repulsive image and a disturbing image. They are not always the same thing. There needs to be a deeper appreciation for this distinction. Those who oppose the use of graphic images need not necessarily oppose photos of abortion victims per se.

She argues that the most effective photos of abortion victims are those that “focus on the humanity of the victim … [with] the blood and gore [being] at best secondary elements.”

A section of the article is devoted to how and when to use the photos of abortion victims, and in another section Miller says that there some situations in which the images should not be used.

It should perhaps go without saying that the article also emphasizes a point that simply cannot be made often enough: In modern history, showing pictures of the images of violence and injustice has been an indispensable part of successful social reform movements. Quite simply, nothing elicits sympathy in the minds of the average person like the pictures of actual victims.

Read Dr. Monica Miller’s Article, “Graphic Images: An Apologia”

Not to put too fine a point on it, Miller’s article is a must-read.

The article is currently available for a mere $1.50 on the New Oxford Review website, and it’s well worth it.

You owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.

Reprinted with permission from the Prolife Action League


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Illegal work being done at future site of abortion clinic in Des Plaines, Illinois

John Jansen
John Jansen
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Since learning that Forest View Medical Center abortion clinic in Des Plaines, Illinois had closed nearly two months ago, the Pro-Life Action League has continued to keep a close eye on the facility.

After the closing, we knew that the building that formerly housed Forest View was still owned by Vinod and Vijay Goyal, a husband-and-wife team who own more abortion clinics (five) than anyone else in the state, so we were obviously concerned that the Goyals might attempt to open another abortion facility at the site.

And, in fact, we’ve recently learned that’s exactly what they’re planning to do.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Pro-Life Action League has learned [PDF] that the Goyals are planning this summer to open a facility called Apollo Surgical Center in the building that formerly housed the Forest View abortion clinic.

Apollo will be an Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center (ASTC), meaning that it will be legally allowed to perform abortions up to 24 weeks gestation. (By contrast, Forest View was a Pregnancy Termination Specialty Center (PTSC), and was legally allowed to perform abortions up to 18 weeks gestation.)

Apollo’s ASTC application indicates that other services will be offered as well, including gastroenterology and urology. In all likelihood, we suspect, abortions will be done at Apollo one or two days a week, which will allow the Goyals to rent out the facility to other physicians the rest of the week.

City Orders Abortion Clinic to Stop Work

On May 30, I visited the facility and noticed that the lobby contained a bag full of garbage, a hand truck, and some windows still in their original packaging. Clearly, work is still being done at the site, but no building permit was posted on the premises.

I alerted the City of Des Plaines building department and recommended that they send an inspector to the site. I also submitted a FOIA request to the city to find out if any permits had been issued for the building. The city responded promptly to my request and assured me that they would send an inspector to the site.

Contractors working illegally at Apollo Surgical Center in Des Plaines, ILContractors working illegally at Apollo Surgical Center in Des Plaines, IL

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Yesterday (June 5), I visited the facility again. Clearly, the city made good on its promise, as a violation notice was posted on Apollo’s front door ordering Apollo to stop construction on its sidewalk. But in defiance of the stop-work order posted mere feet away, contractors were illegally doing work on the sidewalk.

I immediately called the Des Plaines building department to inform them of the situation. They said an inspector would be sent out right away, and that the owners would be fined for violating the stop-work order.

If You See Something, Say Something

Abortionists aren’t above the law, but it’s no surprise when they act as if they are. Instances like this one — which is but one example among many others — illustrate that if you don’t keep an eye on your local abortion clinic, no one will.

Surely this won’t be the last time the Goyals show utter disregard for the law. The next time they do, we’ll be watching.

And we’ll definitely say something.

Reprinted with permission from Pro-Life Action League

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Everything old is new again: The resurgence of pro-life hospital pickets

John Jansen
John Jansen
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“Anti-Abortion Protesters Are Coming to a Hospital Near You.”

That’s the apt title of an article published last week by pro-choice journalist Robin Marty on the liberal website ThinkProgress.

Noting that the vast majority of abortions are performed in freestanding clinics, Marty says hospitals are “increasingly viewed as the weak link in the battle over abortion access.” She then adds, “And that’s exactly the way medical boards like it.”

But as more and more states are enacting legislation requiring abortionists in freestanding facilities to have admitting privileges at and transfer agreements with a local hospital, the landscape is changing:

Admitting privileges legislation has made hospitals the gatekeeper for abortion clinics’ ability to remain open. That’s allowed protests to move away from the clinics themselves and back to the hospitals, a far more vulnerable target.

She then mentions a smattering of states that have witnessed pro-life targeted protests of hospitals in recent years, including Alabama, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, California, and Michigan.

Pro-life pickets of hospitals are, of course, nothing new, as Marty notes that they, along with pickets outside abortionists’ homes, are both covered in Pro-Life Action League national director Joe Scheidler’s book Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion (the first edition of which was published in 1985, the second in 1994).

Marty interviewed Scheidler for the article, and she quotes him extensively. In fact, Marty concludes her article thusly:

“Of course we will apply pressure,” said Scheidler. “We are trying to get the abortion clinics closed. Without hospitals, the abortionist can’t get the resources he needs and then he closes. That’s what is going to happen around the country as this becomes more common.”

Marty’s article is further confirmation of what we have known for some time: namely, that hospitals want to be subject to pro-life protests about as much as they want to be hit with a malpractice suit.

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Let this serve as a cautionary tale for hospital administrators who think they can escape protests because they “only” grant admitting privileges or have transfer agreements with abortionists.

Sooner or later, we’ll find out that your hospital is enabling abortionists to ply their trade, and you’ll be protested, and the “stigma” of abortion will be attached to you. It will most definitely make your patients uneasy, and you will lose business.

In short, it will be a P.R. disaster. Think about it, Mr. and Mrs. Hospital Administrator: Is it worth it?

Ideally, hospitals should refuse to have anything at all to do with abortion or its practitioners because — at the risk of stating the mind-numbingly obvious — killing babies is wrong. But if moral reasons aren’t enough, we’ll settle for a hospital refusing to give cover to abortionists out of concern for their own self-interest.

Reprinted with permission from Pro-Life Action League

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Did Planned Parenthood abortionist Mandy Gittler commit perjury in Tonya Reaves deposition?

John Jansen
John Jansen
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Planned Parenthood abortionist Mandy Gittler was responsible for the death of 24-year old Tonya Reaves in Chicago on July 20, 2012.

And with the recent release of her 165-page deposition [PDF] as part of a civil suit filed against Planned Parenthood, et al., on behalf of Reaves’ sole heir, there is much more that we now know about the case — but there is still much that we do not know.

Early News Stories, Autopsy Report Listed Wrong Planned Parenthood Location

CBS Radio’s Chicago affiliate, News Radio 780 WBBM, broke the story of Tonya Reaves’ death the following day, July 21, 2012. Citing evidence from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, WBBM’s Steve Miller reported that Reaves’ abortion had occurred at 18 S. Michigan Avenue, which is the location of Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center.

That detail came as a surprise to us, since the website for the Loop Health Center indicated [PDF] — in a passage that was later deleted — that only limited services (birth control, emergency contraception, and medication abortion; i.e., the abortion pill, or RU-486) were available at that facility.

We suspected that Tonya Reaves’ abortion might have actually been performed at Planned Parenthood’s Near North Center, located at 1200 N. LaSalle Street, which does perform surgical abortions.

But there was no evidence to confirm our suspicion — until now.

On page 132 of the deposition, abortionist Gittler mentions that Tonya Reaves’ car was parked in the Treasure Island parking lot.

What is the significance of this seemingly inconsequential detail?

There are only six Treasure Island Foods grocery stores in the city of Chicago — and none is even remotely close to 18 S. Michigan Avenue (the location listed in the autopsy report and early news stories).

There is, however, a Treasure Island Foods located at 75 W. Elm Street — a mere two blocks from Planned Parenthood’s Near North Center at 1200 N. LaSalle, around which all available on-street parking is metered.

Without a doubt, that is where Tonya Reaves’ abortion occurred — not at 18 S. Michigan.

No Record of 911 Call

Here’s where things get interesting.

Another early news story from WBBM reporter Steve Miller, citing the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Report, indicates that Reaves was transferred by a Chicago Fire Department ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she later died.

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On page 122 of the deposition, Gittler states, “I didn’t call the ambulance. The nurse does.”  Then, on page 136, Gittler is asked to read an excerpt from her medical notes regarding her treatment of Tonya Reaves, and she explicitly states that 911 was called.

And yet the attorney questioning Gittler did not ask her any further questions about the supposed 911 call.

This lack of follow-up on the part of the questioning attorney is enormously disappointing.

More than one year prior, the Pro-Life Action League had published evidence obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that no 911 calls had been placed by the Planned Parenthood location at 18 S. Michigan, where Tonya Reaves’ abortion was said to have taken place.

It’s unclear why no additional questions were asked of Gittler regarding the supposed 911 call.  But once we read the deposition last week and ascertained that Tonya Reaves’ abortion had actually occurred at Planned Parenthood’s Near North Center at 1200 N. LaSalle, we filed another FOIA request with the City of Chicago to find out if any 911 calls had been made on July 20, 2012 from that location.

We just received a response [PDF] from the city’s Office of Emergency Management verifying that no 911 calls were made from Planned Parenthood’s Near North Center on the day Tonya Reaves died.

Perjury?

To recap:

In her sworn deposition, Planned Parenthood abortionist Mandy Gittler explicitly stated that 911 was called on the day Tonya Reaves had an abortion and later died. Yet there is no record of any 911 call from Planned Parenthood on that day.

In light of these facts, the question must be asked: Did abortionist Mandy Gittler perjure herself?

Reprinted with permission from Pro-Life Action League

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