OpinionFri Jan 18, 2013 - 4:32 pm EST
‘Beautiful, immaculate, clean’ abortion clinics? Hardly.
January 18, 2013 (ProlifeAction) - Are abortion clinics in Virginia “beautiful, immaculate, clean facilities” that pass inspections “with flying colors”?
According to NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Executive Director Tarina Keene and her Huffington Post water carrier, the answer is yes. But are they right?
In March 2011, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law regulations that required the State’s Board of Health to write new rules for regulating abortion facilities, which had been largely unregulated for more than 20 years.
Late last month, McDonnell signed into law permanent regulations that will now hold the state’s abortion facilities to the same health and safety standards as hospitals. To no one’s surprise, abortion advocates are gnashing their teeth about these regulations, which they contend are unnecessarily “burdensome” and will serve only to limit “access” to abortion.
A recent segment of HuffPost Live looked at the issue of the situation in Virginia, and it’s well worth watching.
Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall and Operation Rescue‘s Troy Newman did an admirable job of explaining why regulation of abortion clinics is so vitally necessary, but you have to hear for yourself the jaw-dropping claims uttered by NARAL’s Keene.
The first one comes at the 3:40 mark, in which Keene says that most of Virginia’s abortion facilities “have been operating for decades, and they have totally been offering the most, the top-notch care that most abortion providers across the country already offer women.”
Later, at the 10:55 mark, after Troy Newman highlights some of the most outrageous conditions found in numerous abortion facilities across the country in recent years, HuffPost Live host Alicia Menendez throws Keene the softest of softballs:
The challenge seems to be that there are beautiful, immaculate, clean facilities that are there to provide the women of Virginia with safe, legal abortions — abortions that, again, law of the land allows them to have. Should those facilities be penalized because there are these very rare outlier facilities?
Newman then jumped in to point out the insanity of using such fawning words to describe abortion clinics. Menendez then threw Keene another softball, and Keene responded:
All 20 of our state’s abortion providers…have been given unconditional licenses by the Department of Health. So let me just say that when you get an unconditional rating from VDH, that means that there are no safety concerns. They have passed the first test already. They have already lived up to the all of the other regulatory requirements in putting together new protocols that are in line with hospitals. And that was no easy task.
They passed that with flying colors. And when the inspectors came in, they also passed with flying colors.
The Pro-Life Action League has obtained records of the inspections conducted at the 20 abortion facilities in Virginia in 2012 by the state’s Department of Health, and they tell a very different story. All 20 abortion facilities had deficiencies, meaning that not one Virginia abortion clinic passed inspection.
In fact, under the specific category of infection prevention, only one out of 20 was not cited for deficiencies.
Some of the most outrageous examples [PDF] are detailed below.
Tidewater Women’s Health Clinic in Norfolk was inspected in May 10, 2012. Among its deficiencies:
The freezer which is used to store the collected conception material, had blood and un-bagged conception material frozen to the inner bottom surface. The air vents in the clean utility room had a thick dust build up. …
A bucket that held water to rinse the suction pump lines after procedures was turbid with floating black particles.
Doesn’t sound very “beautiful,” “immaculate,” or “clean,” does it?
Roanoke Medical Center for Women was inspected on July 18, 2012. Inspectors cited its staff members for reusing vacutainer blood collection tubes, with one staff member claiming that “there was no need to clean” them between patients, despite the fact that inspectors found one vacutainer that “had visible dark red splatter within the hub, which attached to the needle to draw the patient’s blood.”
Falls Church Healthcare Center was inspected on August 2, 2012. Among its deficiencies: In one procedure room, an observation “revealed the procedure table had visible dried blood on the metal joints that connected the metal leg stirrup/supports.”
Observations in the “Second Recovery” area revealed four of the five recovery recliners had an un-identifiable substance spilled on the lower inner rail.
Richmond Medical Center for Women was inspected on May 16, 2012. Among its deficiencies, an observation in one recovery room:
revealed two (2) of the three (3) Recovery recliners had an area of five (5) inches or greater of dark reddish brown substance on the sling between the seat and the footrest. Staff #2 identified the dark reddish brown substance as dried blood.
Not “clean,” and definitely not “immaculate.”
Then there’s Peninsula Medical Center for Women in Newport News, which was inspected on May 31, 2012. From its inspection report:
Based on the review of the facility’s policies and interview there were no policies/procedures for the facility management of: hand hygiene, cleaning, disposal, storage and transport of equipment, linen and supplies; product specific instructions for use of cleaning agents; procedures for handling, storing and transporting of medical waste; policy/procedure for pest control/ and other infection prevention procedures necessary to prevent/control transmission of an infectious agent in facility.
One has to wonder: Did they actually have any policies or procedures for anything?
Recall, once again, that NARAL’s Tarina Keene said that when Department of Health inspectors showed up at Virginia’s abortion clinics last year, they all “passed with flying colors.” Either Keene is lying through her teeth, or she has absolutely no idea what the inspectors actually found.
In any case, it’s clear that the elected officials of Virginia have done the right thing by enacting into law more stringent regulations of abortion facilities.
Reprinted with permission from the Prolife Action League.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.