Kristen Walker Hatten

Popular pro-abort site asks: ‘Why not do a self-abortion?’

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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December 12, 2011 (LiveAction.org) - A site called RH Reality Check, which purports to cover issues of “Reproductive & Sexual Health and Justice,” published a blog Tuesday in which they asked a question I’m sure has been weighing on all our minds: “Why is self-abortion care a crime?”

If it sounds dangerous to you — a woman to attempting a procedure on herself that can be risky even when done by an experienced doctor — don’t worry, that’s a normal reaction. Here’s what the National Abortion Federation, a pro-abortion organization, has to say on the subject:

Trying to end a pregnancy by self-aborting can be very dangerous to your life, health and ability to have children in the future. You may injure yourself or die if you attempt to self-abort.

The authors of the RH Reality Check blog seem to disagree with this assessment. Or maybe they just want to see what happens when people try to give themselves abortions. But far be it from me to question their motives. In any case they say this:

We have to ask then – is the outcry when women choose to self-induce truly driven by the need to protect the health and safety of the woman?  Or is this another example of over-regulation because of the politics of abortion?

Oh, wait, look, they’re questioning my motives for opposing self-abortion! So I guess it’s fair now for me to question theirs for advocating it.

So here’s a question: how concerned are you really with the health of women if you’re publicly encouraging them to not worry about that pesky “licensed medical professional” business? Appendectomies are legal to perform, too, but only if you’re what we over here in Saneville call a “doctor.”

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This article goes on and on about how hard it is for some women to find a place to get an abortion. Here’s a crazy idea for an alternative that’s safer than a do-it-yourself abortion: adoption! I know, I know, it sounds nuts, this idea of being pregnant until you go into labor and then having the baby. But desperate times call for desperate measures, am I right?

I’m having trouble finding statistics that address how much safer it is to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth than to attempt to give yourself an unsupervised abortion in your apartment at 24 weeks gestation and dump the baby in a trash can. Childbirth is certainly safer for the baby! But I’m going to do something I rarely do and agree with the National Abortion Federation: self-abortion is unsafe.

The 2008 film Revolutionary Road (SPOILER ALERT!) ends with Kate Winslet’s character performing an instillation abortion on herself so that she can be free to move to Paris with her husband and live a more carefree, exciting life than the suburban one currently boring and depressing her. She hemorrhages and dies. I don’t think the film was trying to make a pro-life argument – quite the opposite — but it nevertheless illustrates a universal truth: what we think might liberate us can also destroy us.

In other words, pro-abortion advocates might love the idea of women having the utter, unfettered freedom of D.I.Y. abortions, but to quote the country music songs, freedom isn’t free. It comes at a price, and that price might be a woman’s life.

Comparing even a medically-induced abortion to a miscarriage is inaccurate and dishonest; the body terminating a pregnancy naturally is different from the body reacting to drugs. The Wikipedia entry on “Self-induced abortion” references an earlier article on misoprostol, a drug commonly used to induce abortion, by Susan Yanow, one of the authors of the RH Reality Check blog:

Although proponents of this method deem it to be safer than those using insertion of objects or chemicals into the uterus, they also note that failure to effect an abortion by this method can lead to the child being born with serious birth defects. Furthermore, the drug causes a drastic drop in blood pressure, and women may haemmorhage as a result of misusing the drug for the purpose of abortion.

These are the people who have screamed themselves hoarse for decades about wanting abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. It’s a lie. They only care that it’s legal. They routinely defend abortion doctors with pitiful records of harming women, and now they’re telling women they don’t need a doctor at all. Rarity is also not one of their chief concerns. If it were, they might be open to encouraging abstinence — the only method of birth control that works 100% of the time – instead of sexual libertinism.

What they really want is for abortion to be profitable, publicly funded, and unrestricted, even at the expense of women’s health.

The authors spend several paragraphs lamenting the plight of women who might feel no other option than to give themselves an abortion, but this is what they have to say about a 24-week old fetus:

The woman disposed of the fetus in what was probably the only way she could think of: wrapped in plastic bags and placed in the trash receptacle of her apartment building.

Note the tone of sympathy for the poor woman who threw her baby in the garbage. Note there is none reserved for the baby.

Bringing us to another point specific to abortion in the second trimester and beyond: an abortion kills a fetus, often painfully. How much more painful might that death be if it’s caused by an inexperienced woman with crude equipment operating on herself? It is unpleasant to think about, but it’s a valid question, one which I doubt has crossed the minds of the authors.

By the way, this particular late-term self-abortion took place in New York City, which the authors go on to admit is crawling with abortionists. The article is very careful not to guess at the woman’s reasons for making her “choice” to abort at home. That would be speculative and judgmental! But they have no problem speculating that us wacko pro-lifers oppose self-abortion not because it’s unsafe, but because it gives us another political victory.

Advocacy of self-abortion is irresponsible and proves that pro-aborts lie when they claim they are driven solely by concern for women and their health.

By the way, the woman who dumped her 24-week-old fetus in the trash was charged with a misdemeanor. In some states, she wouldn’t have been charged with a crime at all. A thinking, feeling human being hears that and thinks “tragedy.” But to the good folks at RH Reality Check, the only tragedy is the misdemeanor charge.

She may not have understood it before she did it (although I imagine she understood quite well once she saw her fully-formed baby), but what that woman did, besides put her own life at risk, was commit murder. Fortunately for her, she lived through it, and got away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Her child was not so lucky.

Reprinted with permission from LiveAction.org


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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