Sarah Terzo

Reporters who watched abortion reveal its horrors

Sarah Terzo
By Sarah Terzo
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January 31, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - Sometimes authors of magazines are allowed to witness abortions in the course of writing articles. Sometimes medical students who never had an opinion on abortion come to grips with the procedure after viewing one. People who observe abortion procedures or abortion remains usually come away with little doubt that abortion is killing a human being.

Author Verlyn Klinkenborg of Harper’s Magazine visited an abortion clinic for a 1995 article. After viewing the remains of an abortion at ten weeks, he wrote the following (1):

I felt a profound and unmistakable kinship with the foot and hand in the tray, a kinship so strong it was like the rolling of the sea under my feet[.] … I was surprised by my own sadness, by the sense of loss that I felt[.] … I found it so much easier to be moved by the sight of the disembodied hand the size of a question mark gleaming under fluorescent lights. … In that tiny, naked hand there was the imputation of innocence.

Author Sue Hertz spent a year observing in a busy abortion clinic. She saw the remains of several abortions (2):

It was easy to shrug off an aborted pregnancy as nothing more than a sack of blood and globs of tissue – as many pro-choice activists did- if one never saw fetal remains, or products of conception (POC) as they were known in medical circles. But the nurses, medical assistants, and doctors who worked inside procedure rooms … knew that an eleven-week-old POC harbored tiny arms and legs and feet with toes. At twelve weeks, those tiny hands had tiny nails. Although the fetal head was too small at this stage to withstand the evacuation machine’s suction, pieces of face- a nose and mouth, or a black eye…were sometimes found in the aftermath[.] … Later abortions spawned even more gruesome fetal remains … the head did not come out whole during the evacuation, but the legs and arms and rib cage made it through intact. The hand of a second trimester fetus, as a Preterm doctor described it, seemed big enough to shake.

A writer from the Wisconsin State Journal shadowed an abortionist as he performed abortions in his clinic. He says (3):

Christensen performed two abortions that day on women who were at the end of the first trimester. In each case, the tissue was suctioned into a large glass jar, filling the bottom half inch.

Christensen later poured it into a straining basin and examined it “to make sure we removed all of it.”

At one point, he picked up a tiny foot and placed it against a ruler. “Thirteen millimeters,” he announced, “which is consistent with 12 weeks of actual pregnancy.”

Later he held a tiny head. Its brain tissue will be sent to the National Institutes of Health for research on brain tumors.

Peter Korn, who wrote a book about the ironically named abortion clinic “Lovejoy,” describes an abortion this way (4):

Still holding the forceps, Lane [the doctor] begins pulling, tearing apart the fetus. His first three tugs yield indistinguishable tissue. The fourth brings out a more solid mass. … Tiny hands and feet, extracted next, are the most recognizable. The head is less so. The pieces of the fetus and the placenta are placed by Lane on a surgical tray at his side.

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Pro-choice author Magda Denes witnessed abortions while writing her book In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital. She was disturbed by seeing the intact body of a baby aborted in the second trimester (5):

I remove with one hand the lid of a bucket … I look inside the bucket in front of me. There is a small naked person there floating in a bloody liquid- plainly the tragic victim of a drowning accident. But then perhaps this was no accident, because the body is purple with bruises and the face has the agonized tautness of one forced to die too soon. Death overtakes me in a rush of madness … I have seen this before. The face of a Russian soldier, lying on a frozen snow covered hill, stiff with death and cold. … A death factory is the same anywhere, and the agony of early death is the same anywhere.

B.D. Colen, a reporter for Newsday, witnessed a second-trimester D&E abortion (5). A D&E is the standard second-trimester abortion and is performed over 300 times a day:

After dilating, or opening, the cervix, the physician used a curette, the gynecological version of a sharpened spoon, to cut the fetus into pieces he would then remove with forceps. A large petri dish sat on an instrument stand to the right of the girl’s feet, and most of the red material in the dish was unrecognizable. But from time to time during the procedure the physician would tap his forceps on the edge of the dish – and into the muck would drop a foot, or a hand, or a piece of rib cage[.]

Having seen what I saw, I cannot for a moment abide the disingenuousness of those who argue that a fetus is not human, or those who convince themselves that abortion is not killing[.]

An author from Salon Magazine describes two abortions. One was a D&E, the other a partial birth abortion, a procedure that is now illegal due to the efforts of pro-lifers. He says of the D&E (6):

Time after time, the resident plunged the Bierer [forceps] into the woman’s womb, removing a leg, then an arm, then the liver, then the placenta, which the doctor ranted about, because this can make the fetal head extraction more difficult. The last step that I saw was the collapse of the skull and the removal of the brain matter.

A former medical student writes the following (11 weeks, so a dilatation and suction) (7):

The doctor continued talking in his disinterested monotone, and I watched as the contents of the woman’s womb came through a suctioning device and into a stainless-steel pail sitting at his feet. I stepped back and wiped the perspiration from my brow. “This is kind of gruesome,” I said. “Was there some special reason she didn’t want to have her baby?”

“She wanted an abortion,” the nurse replied, “and we’re required by law to do what she wants.”

The doctor had been listening to our conversation. As he stood up, he said, “At this point in the pregnancy, the products of conception aren’t much.” I knew the emphasis on “products of conception” was for my benefit.

Is that what you have in that pail? I thought. Does that make it easier for you? I did not have the courage to put into words what I was thinking. I’ve always regretted that.

I stepped forward and peered into the pail. This time I broke out in a cold sweat. Dear Jesus! I thought. I just saw someone murdered! And I just stood and watched! Why did I come down here? How will I ever put this out of my mind?

“Are you OK?” the voice of the nurse brought me back.

“I’m sorry,” I smiled weakly. “I just never realized what it was like.

Do you assist with these all the time?”

“More than I care to admit,” the nurse said. “Actually, I can handle one, but when they start to come back for the second or third time, it really gets to me.”

As I left the operating room, I shook my head in an attempt to get the horrible vision out of my head. I couldn’t. It was there; it would always be there: a little hand…a little rib cage.

The author goes on to describe nightmares he had about the abortion. Now he is a pro-life activist.

These men and women have witnessed the horror of abortion firsthand, and none of them emerged from the experience the same.
Some, like the medical student, became pro-life. Others, like Magda Denes, were able to rationalize their experience and remain pro-choice – but they would always understand the reality behind the rhetoric.

The vast majority of us have never seen an abortion – but we can gain wisdom from those who have. Abortion is a terrible, violent procedure that kills a baby. No amount of sugar-coating can banish that reality. Those of us in the pro-life movement must continue on, knowing we are fighting a battle against the most important human rights injustice of our time.

1. “Violent Certainties” Harper’s Magazine January 1995 p 47
2. Sue Hertz Caught in the Crossfire: A Year on Abortion’s Front Line (New York: Prentice Hill Press, 1991) p 104
3. “Women Need Control over Birth Choice, Physician Says” Wisconsin State Journal. March 4, 2001. Quoted by Life Dynamics.
4. Peter Korn Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996) pgs 235-236
5. B.D. Colen “A High, But Necessary, Toll” Newsday May 12, 1992
6. Margaret A. Woodbury, “A Doctor’s Right to Choose” Salon Magazine July 24, 2002
7. Don Haines “The Day I Became Pro-Life” Oct. 30, 2002

Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the clinicquotes.com website. She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. This article reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org.

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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
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March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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