John Jansen


Planned Parenthood was against abortion before it was for it

John Jansen

If you’ve ever wondered why Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards rarely gives on-camera interviews, here’s why:

Remember, Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion chain. And yet their president of the past eight years can’t give coherent answers to basic questions related to the topic. Richards stops and starts so often that one might guess that this is the first interview she’s ever done.

But enough about style, and onto substance.

Does anyone actually believe that at the time Cecile Richards was pregnant with her own three children, she actually believed they weren’t alive?

If she does, she’s rather at odds with Dr. Alan Guttmacher, her predecessor and namesake of the the Guttmacher Institute, who served as president of Planned Parenthood from 1962-1974.

In his 1933 book Life in the Making, Guttmacher wrote:

We of today know that man is born of sexual union; that he starts life as an embryo within the body of the female; and that the embryo is formed from the fusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge.

Oh, how times have changed!

What’s more, a pamphlet published by Planned Parenthood in 1952 clearly stated that abortion “kills the life of a baby after it has begun”.

But fast forward 62 years, and here’s how Planned Parenthood now deals with the question of when life begins:

My friend says that life begins when the egg and sperm join together. I say that it begins when a baby takes its first breath. Which of us is right?

All kinds of people — theologians, philosophers, scientists, lawyers, legislators, and many others — hold very different views about when life begins. In fact, both the egg and the sperm are living things before they meet and join. There’s no real argument there.

The really hot question is, “When does being a person begin?” Most medical authorities and Planned Parenthood agree that it starts when a baby takes its first breath.

Some of our oldest religions have changed their views about this question many times over the centuries. Today, some people sincerely believe that being a person begins when the egg is fertilized. Some, just as sincerely, believe that it begins with birth. And lots of others believe it begins somewhere in between.

What we are all sure about is that a pregnant woman is a person. We know for sure that she has morals, feelings, human needs, and a conscience. Because of this, we know that she is the only one able to make a decision about her pregnancy options. She does it based on her own needs, ethics, and religious belief about when being a person begins. It would be wrong to force her to observe someone else’s religious belief.

Note how Planned Parenthood completely avoids answering the question about when life begins — just as Cecile Richards attempted to do in the interview above.

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And notice also how they shift the discussion to “the really hot question” of personhood, which they claim “most medical authorities” agree begins when a “baby takes its first breath”.  (Really, Planned Parenthood?  “Most medical authorities”? And yet you can’t name even one?  Your own former president, Dr. Alan Guttmacher, begged to differ.)

Interestingly, Cecile Richards isn’t even on the same page as Planned Parenthood itself.  Richards says the life of a child begins at delivery, but Planned Parenthood officially says it’s not until a baby takes its first breath — which often doesn’t happen until several seconds after the baby has been delivered and the umbilical cord has been cut.

This prompts the question: If a newborn baby is completely outside of her mother’s body but has not yet taken her first breath, is it morally permissible to kill her?  What say you, Cecile Richards?

Reprinted with permission from Pro-Life Action League

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

John Jansen

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

“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

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.


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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