Cheryl Sullenger

California set to enact dangerous experiment allowing non-physicians to perform abortions

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
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Analysis

Sacramento, CA (OperationRescue.org) - In California, a bill known as AB154 sits on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown awaiting his signature. This bill would dramatically expand surgical abortions in California by allowing nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and physician assistants (PAs) to conduct surgical “aspiration” or suction abortions of the kind generally used in the first trimester of pregnancy.

The legislation was introduced by Assemblywomen Toni Adkins, the former administrator of a failed abortion business in San Diego. Adkins has long attempted to dangerously expand abortion services, once opening an abortion clinic in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood (using an abortionist that would later lose his medical license after killing a woman during a botched 20-week abortion) that soon closed due to financial mismanagement and lack of business. Apparently not one to learn from failure, Adkins is now expanding abortion in an ever-decreasing market, through the use of non-physicians.

Adkin’s legislation is the result of a study conducted at the University of California San Francisco by the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health in association with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) for the purpose of proving that non-physician abortion are safe. The study recruited NPs, CNMs, and PAs for training in surgical abortions under a state waiver that exempted participants from the law that banned non-physicians from performing abortions.

Radical abortion advocates

Participants in the study, like Adkins, all have histories of radical abortion activism.

The two of the three primary investigators in this experimental program are not even licensed physicians. Tracy Weitz, PhD, Director of ANSIRH, obtained her doctoral degree in medical sociology. Her goal is to find “creative ways” to expand abortion. She is also seeking ways to expand access to the more risky late-term abortions.

Diana Taylor, PhD, is a nurse practitioner. She has long been a proponent of doing away with laws that prevent “advance practice clinicians” from conducting surgical abortions. She currently serves as a board member for Clinicians for Choice, an affiliate of the National Abortion Federation.

The third primary investigator on the non-physician abortion study was Dr. Phillip Darney, an ObGyn who serves as director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Darney is a radical abortion activist and proponent of lowering the standard of care for abortionists so they do not have to abide by the higher obstetrical standards. He testified on behalf of late-term abortionist Shelley Sella, who was charged by the New Mexico Medical Board for negligence involving a 35-week abortion on a high-risk woman with a history of previous cesarean section delivery that resulted in a ruptured uterus. Darney’s testimony that abortionists should be exempt from obstetrical standards, which were admittedly violated by Sella, helped clear Sella of the charges against her.

Safety questioned

The study’s results were published in the American Journal of Public Health on January 17, 2013, declaring that the rate of complications from non-physician abortions were essentially equivalent to the rate of complications from physician abortions.

“Abortionists, particularly in California, tend to be among some of the worst in the nation. To compare non-physician safety to the horrific track record of that motley crowd is a frightening prospect,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, who worked for years in California to expose dangerous abortionists and bring them to justice.

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For example, one abortionist, Andrew Rutland, was a licensed physician who had his medical license revoked in 2002 after his negligence was found responsible for the death of two babies during delivery. His license was restored in 2007. The disgraced Rutland found employment in the abortion industry where (predictably) he killed a woman during a botched abortion in a dirty, ill-equipped acupuncture office. He surrendered his license rather than face Board accusations that his negligent treatment qualified as a homicide.

Unsafe track-record of licensed abortionists

Rutland is not an anomaly. Over the past decade or so, one California abortionist after another has been subjected to disciplinary action or license removal for shoddy abortions and/or criminal conduct.

• Abortionist Laurence Reich was convicted of raping and molesting his female patients in the 1980s. With his license restored in the 1990’s Reich went to work at an abortion clinic where he had unrestricted access to vulnerable women. Once again, he was caught sexually abusing his abortion patients and surrendered his license in 2007, yet when his clinic was raided by police a year later, they found Reich still at work doing abortions.

W. Constantine Mitchell was convicted of billing and insurance fraud in the 1980s. Later, Mitchell was found covering up for Rutland’s shoddy practices under the guise of a “supervising physician.” Mitchell allowed Rutland to engage in abortions outside his presence in violation of a medical board order. He continues to do abortions in California.

Phillip Rand was an elderly abortionist in Southern California who botched a 20-week abortion in Orange County in 2004 then abandoned the patient in his haste to get to another San Diego County abortion clinic where more abortion patients waited. The patient died. Rand, who was 83 at the time, was forced to surrendered his medical license.

Nolan Jones suffered multiple disciplinary actions for a series of badly botched abortions and finally had his medical license revoked in 2009 for falsifying medical records to cover up his shoddy practices and for violating his terms of probation.

George Dalton Flanigan III, was placed on probation in 2007 for gross negligence and incompetence, and for failing to report a felony Medi-Cal fraud conviction. His license was restored in 2012 and he now continues to conduct his abortion business without restriction.

Feliciano Rios, a Chula Vista abortionist, pled guilty to felony perjury and insurance fraud in July, 2009. He was later busted a few months later for illegal possession of firearms. Rios continues to operate an abortion clinic.

Nicholas Braemer surrendered his license in 2000 after the California Medical Board filed a petition against him for two seriously botched abortions that landed patients in the hospital, and for aiding in the unlicensed practice of medicine.

Bruce Steir killed Sharon Hamptlon during a botched abortion at his abortion clinic in Moreno Valley. So horrific were her injuries that Steir was eventually convicted of manslaughter and served time in prison for her death.

Suresh Gandotra killed Magdalena Ortega Rodriguez during a horrifically botched abortion at 30 weeks gestation. Gandotra fled the country to evade murder charges. There is still a valid no-bail arrest warrant on the charge of murder for Gandotra in San Diego County.

These are only a few of the long list of California abortionists who have been caught subjecting women to negligence and incompetence. They were all licensed physicians with years of training and experience. They have provided a very low standard to which non-physicians are to be compared.

No reporting requirements

Given the history of abortion abuses in California and the lack of reporting laws, there is no way to know the complication frequency for non-physicians, who are suddenly empowered to do surgical abortions.

“Abortionists simply do not self-report abortion complications. Anyone who thinks they do is completely naive about what actually goes on inside abortion clinics today,” said Newman. “In fact, our experience shows that they do everything they can to conceal complications.”

The new California law is guaranteed to be signed by Gov. Brown, a staunch abortion supporter. This ill-advised measure will subject women to a social experiment by radical abortion proponents to see if they can survive a lower standard of care over an extended period of time. The dangers to women are compounded by the fact that there is no way to quantify the success or failure of this social experiment because there is no mechanism in place to monitor the complications once the law in enacted.

Massive complications predicted

And there will be complications – we predict very bad ones – because the non-physicians lack the training to treat women who do suffer common abortion complications, such as a torn cervix or a perforated uterus. The non-physicians will not be able to attend to their hospitalized patients and fix their mistakes because they lack the skill and authority to do so. This will create a lack of continuity of care that will pose serious, life-threatening delays in treatment.

Women suffering such complications will simply be packed off to a local hospital – if they are lucky – where emergency room staff will be forced to figure out what went wrong and try to clean up the mess. This is already standard procedure for most licensed physicians that engage in abortion practices, and we can only expect the same or worse from non-physicians.

Adkin’s new social experiment of abortion expansion runs counter to the national trend to hold abortionists to greater accountability and oversight. Abortion clinics operated by licensed physicians are closing at an unprecedented rate due to a lack of business and a failure to comply with minimum health and safety standards and other laws. California’s reckless new law that lowers the standard of care to unacceptable levels inevitably will doom vulnerable women injury and death. We predict it will be a complete failure.

Read Text of AB154

Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue

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Lisa Bourne

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Archbishop Chaput: Obama’s White House ‘may be the least friendly to religious concerns in our history’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Philadelphia’s archbishop told a group of young men preparing for the Catholic priesthood that under the Obama administration hostility toward religion has reached an unprecedented level.

“The current White House may be the least friendly to religious concerns in our history,” Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, stated in an address at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.

With religious liberty at the top of news headlines, the archbishop spoke to the seminarians March 17 in observance of the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II and its Declaration on Religious Liberty – Dignitatis Humanae. He talked about the decline of religious practice in the U.S. and the various ways religious liberties are being eroded in the country, forewarning of what’s to come with the nation on its current path.

“We’ll see more of the same in the future,” Archbishop Chaput said. “Pressure in favor of things like gay rights, contraception and abortion services, and against public religious witness.”

“We’ll see it in the courts and in so-called ‘anti-discrimination’ laws,” he continued. “We’ll see it in ‘anti-bullying’ policies that turn public schools into indoctrination centers on matters of human sexuality; centers that teach that there’s no permanent truth involved in words like ‘male’ and ‘female.’”

Archbishop Chaput detailed religious persecution across the globe currently and in the past, before delving into the present climate in America.

“We’ll see it in restrictions on public funding, revocation of tax exemptions and expanding government regulations,” the archbishop stated. “We too easily forget that every good service the government provides comes with a growth in its regulatory power. And that power can be used in ways nobody imagined in the past.”

Archbishop Chaput expressed how certain terms so prevalent in American culture today - justice, rights, freedom, and dignity - are used with conflicting meanings, rendering public discourse futile in addressing truth.

“Our most important debates come down to who can use the best words in the best way to get power,” he said. “Words like ‘justice’ have emotional throw-weight, so people use them as weapons.”

Reports of Archbishop Chaput’s remarks come as the state of Indiana and its governor face tremendous hostility for its recently adopted religious freedom law.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence has spent the last few days retreating after a national barrage of attacks on the law, which mirrors that of 19 other states and was shaped from 1993 federal legislation passed by a Democrat Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton.

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Opponents claim the law amounts to state-sponsored discrimination, despite the fact its purpose is to protect religious liberty against government overreach.

In speaking to the seminarians from his archdiocese, Archbishop Chaput said we are lying to ourselves if we think we can keep our freedoms without revering the biblical vision--the uniquely Jewish and Christian vision--of who and what man is.

“Human dignity has only one source. And only one guarantee,” he said. “We’re made in the image and likeness of God. And if there is no God, then human dignity is just elegant words.”

The archbishop stressed for the young men that the faithful must live out religious liberty by practicing faith in their lives and by defending it.

“We need to remember two simple facts,” Archbishop Chaput said. “In practice, no law and no constitution can protect religious freedom unless people actually believe and live their faith – not just at home or in church, but in their public lives.” 

“But it’s also true that no one can finally take our freedom unless we give it away,” he said.

The archbishop closed by cautioning against becoming a cynic, saying there’s too much beauty in the world to lose hope.

“In the end,” he said, “there’s too much evidence that God loves us, with a passion that is totally unreasonable and completely redemptive, to ever stop trusting in God’s purpose for the world, and for our lives.”

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Rachel Lu

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Dissent trumps Faith in new ‘Catholic’ LGBT film

Rachel Lu
By Rachel Lu

April 1, 2015 (CrisisMagazine.com) -- “Human beings procreate male-female, but human sexuality isn’t just about that. It’s about so much more, which is self-evident.”

So says Fr. Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, at the outset of a recently released short film promoting the normalization of LGBT lifestyles within the Catholic Church.

The film is entitled “Owning Our Faith,” which is richly ironic in ways that the director, Michael Tomae, surely did not intend. Except for Catholic writer Eve Tushnet (a complicated case, whose work has been discussed on Crisis in the past), all the featured participants clearly and openly dissent from Catholic teachings on sexuality. They are indeed interested in “owning” their faith. But the ownership they seek is of a distinctly proprietary nature.

There’s little point in trying to refute the film’s arguments as such, because there really are none. If the word “Catholic” were omitted from the audio track, almost nothing would suggest to a listener that the content of the film had anything to do with the Catholic tradition. There is no serious discussion of theology or doctrine. The quote from Fr. Conroy above is the closest it ever comes to “engaging” the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics. It’s clear throughout that the individuals featured are not interested in learning what their faith might have to teach them. As they see it, they are the teachers, appointed to remake the Church in their own image.

Thus we see Fr. Conroy lamenting that gay and lesbian Catholics cannot be “fully participating in the sacramental life of our Church.” In case anyone is unclear as to what he means (because of course, experiences of same-sex attraction do not exclude anyone from full participation in the Church’s sacramental life), this is juxtaposed against “married couple” Matt and Rick Vidal discussing why they choose to remain “faithful Catholics,” despite criticism from their LGBT friends. “We are the Church,” declares Rick, “and if we leave it, if we abandon the Church, then it’s never going to change, so we have to continue living here, being an example, and encouraging other people to be that example, because that’s what’s going to change the Church.”

Is there anything these men like about Catholicism as it is? Any reason not to seek out one of the (numerous) other communities and churches that would be happy to affirm them in whatever sexual lifestyle they might choose? They don’t say, and neither do any of the other featured speakers. Here and elsewhere, we are left with the distinct impression that most of them remain in Catholic communities primarily as a favor to the rest of us, so that we can benefit from their gifts and unique insight. A review of the film at National Catholic Reporter stated that, “Not every viewer will agree with every opinion expressed in ‘Owning Our Faith,’ but only the most rigid of believers would question the love these Catholics have for their church.” At the risk of joining the ranks of the rigid, I do indeed feel moved to ask: what do these Catholics love about their church? They don’t tell us. We only hear about what needs to change.

It’s difficult to argue with a film that isn’t working on the level of rational argument. Nevertheless, it’s worth responding to the general thrust and ethos of the film with three important points.

The first relates to the claim, made on the film’s website and in other promotional materials, that productions of this sort are created as part of an effort to “promote open dialogue” about same-sex attraction and related issues. This is exactly the opposite of their intent, and it’s important to be clear on this point. Propagandistic videos of this sort are intended to bypass, or even to shut down, any real or serious discussion of the moral dimensions of same-sex attraction.

In a dialogue, morally relevant issues are stated clearly so that they can be analyzed and considered. What we have here is a long string of emotional appeals. “My gender transition was immensely spiritual to me,” says Mateo Williamson, who self-identifies as a transgendered man. “Sexuality is how we express our inner soul, our inner energy,” enthuses Mike Roper who self-identifies as gay. In a particularly shameful piece of emotional blackmail, grandmother Nana Fotsch urges parents of same-sex attracted Catholics to accept their children’s declared sexual identity and related lifestyle choices or “you’re going to lose them.” (Don’t all of Christianity’s hard teachings have the potential to alienate us from loved ones? Shall we just jettison the whole Catechism right now? Our Lord has some rather stern words about those who prioritize family relationships above the truths of the Gospel.)

Though there’s nothing Catholic about its message, Owning Our Faith pursues a strategy that is entirely consonant with a larger (and thus far, remarkably successful) progressive project. Don’t try to win the argument about sexuality and marriage. Play for sympathy. Appeal to emotion. People today are so thoroughly confused about sex and marriage that they have few defenses against an onslaught of politically loaded sentimentalism. And you can’t lose an argument that you never have.

This leads us to the second important point. Uncomfortable as it may sometimes be, loving people just doesn’t entail approving everything they do. Neither should we accept anyone “exactly as he is,” because of course all of us are sinful, fallen and in need of transformation by grace.

This is not a message that these “owners of faith” want to hear. Katie Chiarantona, one of the film’s representative “straight” contributors, sums up the film’s prevailing view even more neatly by declaring that she cares enormously about the place of homosexuals in the Church because she has many LGBT friends and, “it is unconscionable and unthinkable for me to support an institution that doesn’t celebrate them and encourage them to live fully as who they are.”

Who among us can really say with any confidence that we know who our friends (or we ourselves) really are? This is a dangerous conceit. None of us here below have yet realized our perfected state. Most of us, I expect, still have a significant way to go. But progression towards supernatural fulfillment is not possible if we begin by issuing ultimatums to God about the conditions under which we will accept divine grace.

Such an effort brings to mind the parable of the wedding banquet, in which a king invites all and sundry (including the poor and commoners) to his son’s wedding, but ends up evicting one guest owing to a lack of appropriate wedding attire. Quite obviously, the king in the story is not a philistine when it comes to standing on ceremony; he’s just ushered the local riff-raff into the most formal of state affairs. Nevertheless, the guest who refuses to dress properly is forcibly removed. Clearly there is a lesson about the importance of accepting grace on God’s terms, and not our own. All of us are welcome at the Lord’s table, but we may not simply come as we are. Being Christian means looking for faith to change us, not the other way around.

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This leads to the final point. While there is some space for discussing the appropriate pastoral response to deep-seated same-sex attraction, the Church’s broader position on same-sex attraction is perfectly clear. It is intrinsically disordered, and homoerotic relationships are immoral. There is no reason to think that this teaching can, should, or ever will change. Quite the contrary, once one understands the Catholic position on sexuality, it becomes clear that it cannot possibly be tweaked in such a way as to allow disgruntled LGBT activists the affirmation they seek.

Fr. Conroy’s position, as stated in the opening quote, is a straw man. Of course no reasonable person supposes that sexuality is “only about” procreation, if by that we mean that sex should be viewed in a coldly clinical light as a utilitarian means to achieving pregnancy. Clearly, erotic love involves far more than that, and how could it not, given the magnitude of what procreation really is? To even begin to do justice to that tremendous good (the begetting of immortal souls and perpetuation of the human race) erotic love must be a noteworthy thing indeed.

However, the Church has consistently maintained that erotic love, at least among mere humans, must be ordered towards procreation. Every effort to slice and dice the relevant pieces of the conjugal package into more-palatable portions (by sanctioning sex without marriage or marriage without permanence or erotic relationships of multiple sorts that are intrinsically closed to life) has been rejected by the Church, and for good reason. Embracing the life-giving nature of sex is the key that enables Catholics to articulate a noble, elevated and meaningful portrait of erotic love, which makes sex into something more than a tangled mash-up of bodies and emotions.

The conversation that dissenting LGBT Catholics (and their “straight allies”) want to have is already over. On some level they know this, which is why they seek sympathy instead of engagement. But there is some good news. For those who really do love their Church, full participation in its sacramental life is always available. They need do only what all Catholics are expected to do: stop trying to fix our faith, and pray instead for it to fix us.

Reprinted with permission from CrisisMagazine.

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During his political days, Andy and his wife Angela with George and Laura Bush
Andy Parrish

On the fast track to political stardom, recent LSN hire gets more than he bargained for…

Andy Parrish
By Andy Parrish
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Andy Parrish

I’ve been a Chief of Staff to Rep. Michele Bachmann, I’ve managed multiple Congressional, Senatorial and Ballot Initiatives, some would say I’ve even ‘made’ members of Congress.

I’ve been a Senior Political Advisor to a Presidential candidate and I’ve sat across from President George W. Bush and advised him on political matters.  

I did most of that by the time I was thirty-three. I was on the fast track and no one was going to stop me.

Well, Jesus had other plans for me.

Even though I was on the fast track to the top it came at a significant price. I was putting me first and my family second.  

That’s not what Angela had signed up for when we got married and it’s certainly not right for my children. Nor is it the way God designed marriage.

After suffering a few defeats, I made the decision I didn’t want to be in politics anymore. But it was all I knew how to do so I started my own business and Angela kept encouraging me to seek out contracts in areas that I was most passionate about.

I was looking for contracts and stumbled upon an opportunity at LifeSiteNews.com that I never would have expected. I’ve been passionate about the life issue since I was three years old. My first memory in life was outside of a Planned Parenthood abortuary.

Providentially, a few weeks later I was on board. I thought it would be a simple job, you know one of those that you didn’t have to invest much into.  

I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  

It only took a few days for me to realize that this isn’t a job at all: this is a mission.

What amazed me most is these people just don’t talk the talk. Every one of them walks the walk, and they all put their faith and families above anything else.

Since starting work at LifeSite, I have followed the example of my co-workers and I’ve learned to show my family how much I love them by putting them first again.  

At LSN we start everyday and most every meeting with either a devotion or prayer (of course it’s voluntary).  We pray for you the readers of LSN, we pray for our supporters, we pray for each other and we pray for the success of LSN.

I’ve also found that LSN isn’t about any one person, it’s about a mission and it is larger then anyone who works here. We all trust that Jesus will continue to make LSN successful and will continue to be a blessing to our families and to you.  

LSN has given me so much.  They’ve given me my priorities back, they’ve given me more than I can ever give them and I am just one story.

I ask that you continue to pray and support the mission of LSN. We are changing hearts and minds with the truth and we are changing lives. As we end our Spring campaign, I hope you will consider clicking one of the donate buttons on our site to help us reach our goal.

 

Andy Parrish, Public Relations and Media Specialist for LifeSiteNews

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