Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Ellen Burstyn: I don’t recommend abortion to anybody

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Actress Ellen Burstyn still regrets the abortion she had in 1950.

Actress Ellen Burstyn still regrets the abortion she had in 1950.

The actress Ellen Burstyn has had more than her share of hard times. She had a mother who didn’t love her. She was already divorced twice when her third husband became an abusive stalker. But asked during a 2007 interview with a Toronto radio station what the low point of her life was, this is what she said, according to a Lifesite News transcription:

After a pause during which the interviewer prompted her about single motherhood, struggles with her son and more, Burstyn said, “You know, I guess, I hate to talk about this on the air, but having an abortion.”

Burstyn continued, “You know that was really an extremely painful experience.”

“Did you feel you didn’t have a choice?” asked the interviewer. “At the time I was just young and dumb, I didn’t really want to have a baby then,” she replied.

“It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn’t understand that till later,” said the actress.

“That was very very painful, that was probably the worst.”

Ms. Burstyn, now 81, is talking about abortion again. In an interview on WNYC’s “Death, Sex, Money” podcast series, Ms. Burstyn and host Anna Sale had the following exchange:

Sale: Speaking of a young woman with wanderlust, in the early months of leaving home, you discovered you were pregnant. It was 1950.
Burstyn: “That was before I left home. I was still in Detroit. When I left home, I was 18. I think that was just before then. Yeah at that time, there were no legal abortions. And you could only get an illegal abortion. And that’s not a pretty sight. There’s nothing but shame connected to that. And although I don’t recommend abortion to anybody, I don’t think it’s a good thing to do, at the same time if women are pregnant and don’t want to have a baby, under any circumstances to take care of a baby, they will get an abortion one way or another. And if it’s illegal, they will get an illegal abortion. As I did. And it’s a scarring experience …
Sale: Did you go alone?
Burstyn: … I had no one. I had no one to go with me. That’s not a good way to go. It’s not a good experience. It’s harmful. And I would always, if I had the opportunity, counsel somebody — a girl –to not have an abortion. To have the child and give it up for adoption. But, it has to be legal.”
Sale: Is that because of what you personally experienced, having gotten an abortion, that you advise against it?
Burstyn: Yes. Yeah, I think it’s a very traumatic experience, not necessarily at the time, but later. It doesn’t go away
.

The host then asks if the abortion played a role in her inability to get pregnant later, and Ms. Burstyn replies: “The illegal abortion just botched me up so I could never get pregnant again.”

It’s disappointing, of course, that Ms. Burstyn still thinks abortion should be legal, but her logic is flawed.

Making abortion legal did not make it safe. Women still die. Women are still injured. Women still lose their fertility. We have to stop pretending that making abortion legal made it safe and sanitary. That is just not the case.

As I wrote about in my book, Recall Abortion, a pregnancy termination is like no other medical procedure. There is no pre-admission testing, no meeting beforehand with the doctor, no follow-up care.

On the day of an abortion procedure, women arrive at free-standing abortion clinics – many of them uninspected and completely unregulated – pay their cash (usually) up front, and see the “doctor” for the first time when they are already on the exam table.

My book and the Silent No More website are full of stories of women who received sub-standard care at abortion clinics. Tamah Warren of Tennessee recalls how, when the pain of the procedure (being performed without anesthesia) became too great, one of the women attending the doctor gave her a washcloth to bite down on. Can you imagine that happening at any other medical facility?

Kim in Mississippi remembers changing her mind and telling the doctor she wanted to get off the table. “After that, I was forcefully held down by two people and given another sedative.”

Can you imagine the lawsuit if this happened in a dentist’s office, or at any legitimate medical facility?
Don’t tell me that making abortion illegal will bring back the back-alley abortionists. The abortion industry never left the back alley, they just took their shingles off the back door and put it on the front door.

Ms. Burstyn says abortion has to remain legal because women are always going to have abortions, no matter the risk. I argue in my book that abortion has to be taken off the market because it is a failed product that harms women and kills their children. Which approach makes more sense to you: Keeping a dangerous procedure legal, or looking for life-saving options?

We don’t know how many women died from illegal abortion before Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton because the people who were fighting for legalization lied. We don’t know how many women have died from legal abortion since 1973 because reliable statistics are impossible to find. The deck is stacked against life.

But we do know that times have changed. Even though abortion in 1950 was no less wrong than it is today, we have to acknowledge that is it NOT 1950 anymore. An unplanned pregnancy is not the catastrophe it was in the past. Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, for all her pro-abortion filibustering, was a single teenage mother. Cathy Lanier had a baby at 14 and now she’s the chief of police of Washington, D.C.

There are three times as many pregnancy resource centers as there are abortion clinics, and growing numbers of maternity homes, so there are real options for women now. Choices that no one has to die for.

And then there is the loving choice of adoption, which is so often dismissed. After discussing her abortion and how it robbed her of her fertility, Ms. Burstyn talks about the son she adopted.

“I do have the feeling my son is my son, period… When you mother a child, that relationship is formed.”

We need to stop accepting the premise that finding adoptive parents for a child is somehow worse than abortion. That’s a ludicrous argument. Hundreds of thousands of couples undertake unhealthy, immoral and frankly, strange, procedures to become parents while more than a million babies a year are literally thrown away in this country alone. One woman’s unplanned pregnancy can be another woman’s treasured child and that is the truth.

Even though I disagree with Ms. Burstyn about keeping abortion legal, I’m glad she was honest about her own experience. As long as we are, for better or worse, a celebrity-obsessed culture, let’s make sure to tune in when someone in the spotlight has the courage to tell the truth about abortion. And pay attention, again, to what Ms. Burstyn said about abortion with the clarity of hindsight:

“I think it’s a very traumatic experience, not necessarily at the time, but later. It doesn’t go away.”

If you agree with me that it’s time to recall abortion, please go to RecallAbortion.com and sign the petition.

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Killing them softly

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave quite a speech the other night. Speaking at the anniversary fund-raiser for the International Women’s Health Coalition, she lamented that Roe v. Wade was too much too soon. Americans needed a more incremental approach to child-killing to be convinced that it is a constitutional right, vital to women’s health, and, lately, even sacred.

“You give it to them softly,” Ginsburg said. “And you build them up to what you want.”

This quote comes from a piece Jill Filipovic wrote for Cosmopolitan Magazine. It’s very interesting reading. Here’s another quote within Ms. Filipovic’s story.

“The decision in Roe, too, ‘was as much about a doctor’s right to practice medicine’ as it was about a woman’s right to abortion, she pointed out. ‘The image was the doctor giving advice to the little woman, not the woman standing alone.’ ”

Pro-abortion physicians – like the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who later became a pro-life Catholic convert — were critical to the success of Roe v. Wade, a fact that was forgotten after all the bra-burning feminism that followed. Some of these doctors were sincerely troubled by having treated women who had been butchered in illegal abortions.

But let’s think about that image Justice Ginsburg mentioned, of “the doctor giving advice to the little woman.” Does that sound like the abortion industry to you?

Here’s how a woman from Ohio named Phyllis described her abortion on the Silent No More Awareness Campaign website, and in my book, Recall Abortion.

“I never saw the abortion doctor until just before the procedure. I was reluctant to let him go in with the instruments. He said, jokingly, ‘just spread your legs like a cheerleader.’ I did not laugh.”

And Kim, from Mississippi:

“After taking a sedative and being strapped to the exam table, I said, ‘I can’t do this. Let me up.’ After that I was forcefully held down by two people and given another sedative… I put my legs together and heard the doctor tell his assistant to do something about that. They held my legs apart and I begged and called for my boyfriend.”

Abortionists are not kindly country doctors. Many of them are substance abusers. They tend to lose their licenses on a regular basis, continuing to kill children and harm women anyway. Sometimes they’re not even doctors and in some places, like in California, they don’t even have to be doctors.

Abortion is not health care because pregnancy is not a disease. Abortion is an unnatural, violent and traumatic experience that wounds women physically and emotionally. It turns women into the architects of their own children’s deaths.

In Recall Abortion, I quote women who have been so badly hurt in abortions that they never were able to have children. Women whose real doctors later found parts of their babies left behind in the womb. And I speak to mothers whose daughters died having “safe and legal” abortions. I hope you read it, and share their stories.

This is what Roe v. Wade, and its silent partner, “Doe v. Bolton,” brought to us in 1973. An agenda-driven ruling masquerading as health care, spawning a cash-fueled industry so vile and unregulated that Americans would be shocked if they knew. One of the reasons they don’t know is that the media, for the most part, will not tell them.

I’m not sure that giving it to us softly, as Justice Ginsburg envisioned, would have made any difference. Murder is murder. There is nothing soft about killing babies.

I challenge Justice Ginsburg to read Recall Abortion and to go to Silent No More to read the stories of the women whose health has been damaged permanently by abortion. I would love to send her a copy, and to hear what she has to say

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Sen. Wendy Davis: Is Complicated Grief after Abortion Driving her Pro Choice Activism?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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By Janet Morana
and Kevin Burke, LSW

For more than 11 hours in June 2013 Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) laced up her infamous pink sneakers and stood on the Senate floor, without food or bathroom breaks, to filibuster an abortion bill that has shut down more than a dozen abortion centers so far in the state of Texas.

Now we learn in her recently published book that she experienced a traumatic abortion loss in 1997. The media will spin this story in predictable directions. They will present Sen. Davis as one who personally understands the difficult health care decisions women face and as future Democratic governor she will be a courageous advocate for the women of Texas.

But there is a deeper and more complex story behind the headlines. The filibuster of Sen. David and the public confession about her own abortion are less about political activism, abortion rights and opportunism. They reveal much more about the complicated grief that follows an abortion procedure…and how that repressed emotional and spiritual pain may be driving her pro-abortion activities.

From the New York Times:
[Davis]…learned in the fall of 1996 that she was pregnant for a fourth time. In her second trimester, she and her husband at the time, Jeff Davis, learned that their unborn daughter whom they named Tate had a rare brain abnormality. Doctors told the couple that if the baby survived delivery, “she would probably be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state.” In the spring of 1997, Ms. Davis terminated the pregnancy, describing it as “the most humane and compassionate thing we could do to spare Tate” any pain and suffering.

We can imagine the fear, anxiety and grief that followed the diagnosis. Many good people, in the darkness and confusion of such times, will be tempted to see abortion as both a sensible and compassionate decision. The medical community aggressively counsels that abortion is the only medical solution for such a diagnosis. (It should be noted that physicians often present the worst case scenario and fear of lawsuits can be deadly for the unborn.)

Legalized abortion has tempted medical professionals to assume a God-like authority over matters of life and death for their unborn patients. This places anxiety-filled, grieving parents facing a challenging pre-natal diagnosis in the impossible position of having to participate in the death of their own child:

Sen. Davis shares:
In our doctor’s office, with tears flowing down both our faces, Jeff and I looked at our baby daughter’s beating heart on the sonogram screen for the last time,” Ms. Davis wrote. “And we watched as our doctor quieted it. It was over. She was gone. Our much-loved baby was gone.”

Predictably, depression followed the abortion.
From Lifenews:
Davis writes quote, “an indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief. A heavy wave that crushed me. It made me wonder if I would ever surface…and when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed.”

The Truth Will Set You Free

Sen. Davis and her husband, with the counsel of medical professions, felt that ending the life of their unborn daughter was, as she stated, the most humane and compassionate thing we could do to spare Tate any pain and suffering.

Surely the suffering of their daughter was part of the motivation of these parents to abort…any parent can sympathize with their dilemma. But is it possible that if they were to be totally honest, they were also fighting with their own fears? Were they struggling to accept and embrace the challenges and pain of giving birth to a child with disabilities?

Wendy Davis and her husband very likely have not attended an abortion healing program. If they did, they would have to face the reality that while the medical dilemma put them under serious pressure to see abortion as the only option…they participated in the death of their unborn child. It is impossible to witness the direct and deliberate ending of a child’s life and not experience emotional and relational consequences.

Abortion is an unnatural and traumatic shock to the body, heart and soul of a pregnant woman. Medical professionals and counselors should have used that time to prepare the couple for the child’s birth, what to expect, and how to love and care for their precious child for however long the baby lives. Here is a good resource for such life-affirming choices.

The Filibuster of 2013: A Labor of Complicated Grief?

Wendy Davis was denied the opportunity to go through the natural birthing process with her daughter. The Davis’ were not able to hold and love their daughter for however long she lived and learn to see the great benefits that this challenging but also blessed time could have been for their family. Failure to acknowledge falling to this temptation to assume God’s providence over life and death will make it difficult for this couple to fully grieve and heal this loss. Guilt, pain, anger will remain…often hidden deep beneath the rationalizations that this was the right and compassionate choice.

Some of the founding members of pro-abortion feminism movement were women with traumatic abortion in their history. Like Davis, without a deeper emotional and spiritual healing of this loss, they need to continually justify their choice by becoming active in pro-abortion politics, advocacy and even volunteering at abortion centers. The Texas bill that presented reasonable restrictions on abortion, and those who fight to end abortion, present a direct psychological threat to the defenses Davis has established deep in her psyche against her abortion trauma.

The pro-abortion activity and public confession of her abortion also serve as a powerful outlet for the complicated grief, guilt and anger that needs to be continually repressed…but struggles to find expression. Anti-abortion activists and public political activity that highlights our nation’s contentious struggle with this issue, become a convenient target for anger and rage at one’s spouse, self, God and other involved in the abortion decision.

Perhaps we can revisit the abortion filibuster of June 2013 and see in this very public action on behalf of abortion rights as being closely connected to her incomplete abortion healing. At great personal sacrifice she labors for hours on end, without food and water…to fight what she sees as draconian abortion restrictions. I would suggest that what was driving this display may be closely related to the abortion disrupting her body’s ability to go through the natural labor process…which she displaces onto a dramatic, lengthy and painful filibuster process.

An important part of any abortion recovery program, is telling your abortion story.

Sen. Davis now has offered a public confession in her book about her traumatic abortion loss. Here too we see an attempt by Davis to continue to process her loss and find understanding and support. This is common among those who suffer abortion loss and helps end the secrecy and isolation that normally follows the procedure. Davis in her political role receives the affirmation and support of other women, pro- abortion activists and media, and when confronted with opposition, may see herself as a courageous heroine for other women’s rights, willing to stand tall and take the heat.

The Challenging but Rewarding Journey to Heal, and the Deadly Cost of Denial

But the human heart and soul defy our desperate rationalizations. They seek a healthy and honest grieving of this loss. They call us to accept that in fear, anxiety and a failure to trust in God’s providence, we can take actions that are reserved for the Creator of life. This requires the deepest humility and much grace. We can all abort God’s will in our lives at times of fear and darkness.

The journey of healing is not one of judgment and condemnation. It is more the blessed gift of being able to confess our weakness confronted with an overwhelming moral and medical dilemma. But it is only with the gift of honesty and humility that healthy grieving and deeper healing are possible. This can take time as these wounds are very sensitive, especially immediately after the loss.

The failure of Sen. Davis and her husband to fully reconcile and grieve this loss has led her to become a very public proponent of abortion. Sadly, the unresolved complicated grief, guilt and pain of her own abortion experience has not only taken her disabled daughter’s life in the womb, but could lead to the death of many more unborn children if her political power increases and she gains access to higher office.

Let’s pray she will read this article and find in it a compassionate and loving invitation to a deeper healing of her abortion loss in an abortion recovery program.

To read about couples who received poor pre-natal diagnoses and chose life for their babies, read “Recall Abortion.”

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Study from Finland links IUD to breast cancer

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

IUD[1]As the outrage continues over the Supreme Court’s decision to put Americans’ religious liberty ahead of their right to free contraception, a new study from Finland shows that a type of IUD has been linked to an increase incidence of breast cancer.

CNN is reporting that, according to a study published in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, may be associated with a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer.

What caught my eye, though, is that levonorgestrel, a hormone that regulates ovulation, is also the used in the Plan B contraceptive, better known as the morning after pill. Millions of American women are now going to receive the IUD and Plan B free, thanks to Obamacare, and most of them will have no idea they could be increasing their risk of breast cancer.

CNN doesn’t delve into that possibility, but here’s what the Polycarp Institute, a Catholic research think tank, has to say about Plan B and breast cancer:
Does Plan B cause breast cancer?
Ironically, this question has never been asked. Theoretically, this is certainly possible especially in women who use Plan B often as a method of “birth control.” How could this be? Plan B is composed of the hormone named levonorgestrel, which is a potent progestin which is also found in some of today’s birth control pills. Birth control pills have been declared a Class 1 carcinogen (ie, the most dangerous type) by the World Health Association in June, 2005. In addition, the most recent meta-analysis published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (October, 2006) noted that taking the birth control pill before pregnancy results in a 44% increased risk of developing breast cancer prior to age 50. Finally, levonorgestrel’s progestin “cousin” (ie, Depo Provera) has been noted to increase breast cancer by 190% in women who take 12 shots prior to age 25 (JAMA, 1995: 799-804). These data theoretically implicate Plan B if taken often enough. In addition, when a woman takes Plan B she ingests 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel within a twelve hour period of time which is nearly equivalent to the amount of progestin contained in an entire month’s worth of some of today’s low dose birth control pills (ie, 1.925 mg).

Not to get off topic, but it’s also worth mentioning that while the mainstream media is dutifully regurgitating the “fact” that Plan B is not abortifacient, the scientists at Polycarp feel differently:

Is Plan B a contraceptive or an abortifacient?
The truth is, no one knows for sure but it probably does work by causing early abortion at least part of the time. The 2010 Physician’s Desk Reference notes that Plan B “may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium.” In addition, Croxatto et al noted that Plan B only fully stops ovulation 12% of the time when given within two days of ovulation (Contraception, 2004: 442-450). This would point to an abortifacient method of action since ovulation and consequent fertilization would likely be occurring much of the time, yet visible pregnancy is usually absent. Finally, Mikolajczyk and Stanford showed via a sophisticated mathematical model, that if Plan B really were to be 75% effective, it likely would be working as an abortifacient at least some of the time (Fertility and Sterility, 2007: 565-570). In the future, researchers might be able to “prove” if and how often Plan B is an abortifacient by employing the use of a very early pregnancy tests which turn positive within the first 7 days of pregnancy (eg, EPF: Early Pregnancy Factor).

As CNN notes, most women use the progesterone-releasing IUD to treat heavy periods. That’s also the reason millions of women start taking birth control pills as teenagers. Dr. Anne Nolte, a pro-life, pro-woman obstetrician and gynecologist, points out that this is bad medicine. Instead of trying to get to the source of the problem and fix it, hormonal contraceptives like the Pill and some IUDs just shut down the system and restart it artificially. This gives doctors an easy way out and sometimes, it gives women breast cancer.

For a longer look at the Pill and its symbiotic relationship with abortion, please read my book, “Recall Abortion.”

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Pro-abort logic: Save babies by killing babies

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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To suggest that abortion is the cure for infant mortality is so bizarre that I had to read NOW President Terry O’Neill’s piece in the Huffington Post twice to make sure that’s what she actually wrote.

Here’s just a nugget of the nonsense:

We have a premature birth crisis in this country that can be directly linked to our failure to provide adequate contraception and abortion care.

Speaking like the most determined of population controllers, Ms. O’Neill posits that preventing contraception, and murdering in the womb those children who managed to get conceived anyway, is the best cure for premature birth.

I don’t know about you, but I grow weary of the discussion about “adequate contraception.” Even before Obamacare, were there places in America that were somehow bereft of over-the-counter and prescription contraceptives? Maybe in Alaska at its most remote but I’m not even sure about that. Let’s just assume that, for better or worse, everyone has access to contraception.

Ms. O’Neill then touches on the high teenage birth rates in rural America, and definitely this is a problem. But easy access to contraception is as much a contributing factor as is teenage boredom. Somewhere between the sexual revolution and now, we threw up our collective hands and said there’s no sense trying to teach teens abstinence. Instead, we taught them about birth control and everything from television and movies to Planned Parenthood’s Exclaim Campaign convinced teens that having sex was healthy and fun and the best way to make it through those awkward high school years.

But let’s move on to “abortion care,” which Ms. O’Neill says is vital in solving the infant mortality crisis. I suppose she’s thinking that if we kill babies in the womb, we don’t have to technically label them infants. If we call them fetuses, or use the term most popular in abortion clinics, the “products of conception,” we can cook the books on infant mortality.

Or, we could address the infant mortality crisis by taking a look, as the U.S. Congress did recently, at how we can improve a child’s first 1,000 days of life – from conception to the second birthday. As my colleague Marie Smith posted on her website for the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (part of Gospel of Life ministries), a hearing in March before the House Global Health Subcommittee brought together experts on malnutrition who testified that providing adequate nutrition for a child’s first 1,000 days affects virtually every day that follows, and it looms large where both infant and maternal mortality are concerned.

In his opening statement, N.J. Rep. Chris Smith (full disclosure: he is Marie Smith’s husband) explained the critical need to focus on nutrition during this time period: “Children who do not receive adequate nutrition in utero are more likely to experience lifelong cognitive and physical deficiencies, such as stunting. UNICEF estimates that one in four children worldwide is stunted due to lack of adequate nutrition. Children who are chronically undernourished within the first two years of their lives also often have impaired immune systems that are incapable of protecting them against life-threatening ailments, such as pneumonia and malaria.

“Adults who were stunted as children face increased risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Mothers who were malnourished as girls are 40 percent are more likely to die during childbirth, experience debilitating complications like obstetric fistula, and deliver children who perish before reaching age five.”

Wouldn’t it be a kinder, more humane, more woman-friendly solution to try to improve infant mortality through better nutrition rather than more abortion?

Ms. O’Neill also points out the increase in maternal mortality in the U.S. and, again, wags that finger of blame in the direction of the pro-life movement. While it’s true that more women are dying in childbirth now than 20 years ago, the causes are varied and do not include lack of access to abortion.

According to Reuters: “World Health Organization (WHO) experts said the increase in the U.S. mortality rate may be a statistical blip. Or it might be due to increased risks from obesity, diabetes and older women giving birth.
Marleen Temmerman, the director of reproductive health and research at WHO, said more analysis was needed.
“It’s difficult to say how many deaths are really related to increasing age, but what we know is older age in pregnant women is contributing more to the risk for diabetes and more hypertension related problems,” she told a news conference.
WHO death-rates expert Colin Mathers said improved data collection could also affect the figures.”

The United States should certainly be doing better than it is in terms of infant and maternal mortality. But to suggest that abortion will improve either of these statistics is delusional. Abortion doesn’t solve problems. It creates them.

For an in-depth look at the way abortion exploits and harms women, read my book, Recall Abortion

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Decades of abortion regret, and still pro-choice

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Viv Albertine

Viv Albertine

I had never heard of the singer Viv Albertine until earlier this week, when I read on Hollywood.com that her abortion in 1978, when she was pregnant with The Clash guitarist Mick Jones, has haunted her for decades. My heart went out to her. In her new book, “Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys,” Ms. Albertine wrote about her 11 subsequent attempts at in vitro fertilization, her two miscarriages, giving birth, finally, in 1999, and her lingering abortion regret.

“I didn’t regret the abortion for 20 years. But eventually I did and I still regret it now. I wish I’d kept the baby, whatever the cost. It’s hard to live with.”

But her next quote tempered my sympathy. The right to choose, she said, “cannot and must not be ever taken away from us.”

After 36 years of abortion regret, she still thinks women must have the right to choose? To choose what, exactly? A lifetime of regret? Infertility? Difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term? In my book, “Recall Abortion,” I delve deeply into all the health problems that can be the direct result of an abortion – including, too often, death. Abortion is not health care. It certainly didn’t make Ms. Albertine healthy, emotionally or physically.

Why is it vital to keep this terrible choice available to women?

If we really want to be pro-woman, we would help friends facing an unexpected pregnancy in meaningful ways. We could ask how we can help, what they need. We could direct them to pregnancycenters.org to find a pregnancy resource center equipped to help with everything from financial resources to a place to live, to job training. We would discuss making an adoption plan with them. We would go to the first ultrasound appointment, and be thrilled to see the flashing light that is the baby’s heartbeat.

It’s been more than 10 years since I co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and in that time I have met hundreds of women with the courage to say they regret their abortions and then work to bring about an end to abortion. They want to warn women that this particular choice comes with consequences that can’t be fully understood until it’s too late.

Ms. Albertine knows that herself. Why would she want other women to suffer the way she has?

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“Life is Always a Good”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

There are few happy endings when doctors pronounce a child in the womb to be “incompatible with life.” But miracles – and good medicine – do happen.

In the Huffington Post, Nicole Stewart wrote of her abortion at 22 weeks after a doctor made that pronouncement. Her post doesn’t detail the problems the doctor diagnosed, but a story from the Dallas News in January gives a few more clues. The baby boy’s brain was “abnormal.” Fluid was building up in his brain and lungs. He would lose the ability to swallow.

Ms. Stewart and her husband made the decision to take the life of their wanted and loved child, and they feel it was the right decision. She speaks publicly about it, and receives kudos for being one of the few women brave enough to talk out loud about her abortion. Of course, the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign have been doing that since 2003, but that’s another subject.

But a few weeks before the Dallas News was congratulating Ms. Stewart for her courage in talking about her abortion, a couple in Johnstown, Pa., was reaping the rewards of their courage – and their faith. Jen and Kevin Sheridan, a devout Catholic couple who already were the parents of a baby girl, learned that something was seriously wrong with the baby boy in Mrs. Sheridan’s womb. She was about 14 weeks pregnant when doctors told the couple that a neural tube defect called an encephalocele was causing a portion of the baby’s brain to grow outside of his skull. Abortion was never an option for the Sheridans.

By the time baby Owen was born at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Dec. 6, 2013, the growth was nearly seven pounds, and almost as long as his body. The couple knew that Owen might die shortly after his birth, but that boy had other plans. A team of specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital was able to remove the encephalocele and close his skull. Today Owen is four months old and a treasured member of his family. Exactly what his future will hold is unknown, but that is true for every living creature on God’s Earth.

It is not up to us to decide who is compatible or incompatible with life. It is not our right, in any circumstance, to take a life.

It takes courage and faith to travel the road the Sheridans did. And it takes a doctor willing to accompany a couple whose baby’s survival is in jeopardy. As I wrote in my book, “Recall Abortion,” those doctors can be found. Dr. Byron Calhoun is one. He is a pioneer of the perinatal hospice movement. Parents who know their children might not live long after birth are prepared for that eventuality. They have family with them for the birth, and often a clergy member, and a photographer. They have a chance to hold their child, to surround him with love, to let him die with dignity. Contrast that with a shot of digoxin to the heart and a brutal dismemberment. That’s what a late-term abortion is, and we can’t pretend that choosing that kind of death for a child in the womb could ever be a loving choice.

Ms. Stewart’s experience also reminds me of a situation I encountered almost 30 years ago. A woman who had given birth to twins on Staten Island asked for help from the Mothers of Twins Club, of which I was a member. One of this woman’s twin daughters was born healthy but the other had severe complications. She needed a breathing machine and a feeding tube to live, but the family’s insurance company wanted to drop them from the policy, citing the futility of continued care for this sickly newborn.

I alerted the media, rallied the troops, and joined this girl’s parents in the fight for her life. As it turns out, this is another happy ending for a child whose life was considered not worth saving. She is in her late 20s now. She had a rough start, with lots of medical intervention, but she survived and is now a young woman, a college graduate with a bright future.

Nicole Stewart and her husband made the choice they thought was right. But they were wrong. As Blessed St. John Paul II, who will be canonized this month, often said, “Life is always a good.”

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How many women must die before abortion is recalled?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

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General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary T. Barra has put herself in the spotlight as she deals with the fallout of a long overdue recall and 12 senseless deaths.

On Tuesday in Detroit, Ms. Barra answered questions from reporters about the faulty ignition switches that some company officials knew about for 10 years without taking action. Twelve deaths have been linked to the ignition switches, which could shut off the engine and disable the airbags if bumped or if a heavy key chain was attached to the ignition key. Last month, GM recalled 1.6 million cars because of the defect.

On Monday, GM recalled another 1.5 million vehicles to fix a variety of other safety defects.
Even those these recalls came too late, the company is taking the right action now. As drivers, we understand that the open road is full of risks, but as consumers, we don’t expect the product we purchased to be the thing that kills us.

Unless we’re talking about abortion and contraception. In those cases, the women who die are just the cost of doing business for a multi-billion industry. Five women have died, that we know of, in the last four and-a-half years after choosing a “safe and legal” abortion. Their babies, of course, died as well, but those deaths were planned.

In November 2009, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, didn’t plan to die when she sought an abortion at Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors, but she did, and her death helped expose the true nature of the legal abortion industry.

Alexandra Nunez, 38, told her four children she was having dental work in January 2010, but instead she went for an abortion at A1 Medicine in Queens, a one-stop abortion and plastic surgery center. The abortionist severed her artery, and she died later in Elmhurst Hospital.

Tonya Reaves, 24, may have thought she was in good hands when she sought a second-trimester abortion at a Chicago area Planned Parenthood in July 2012. The organization gets $1.5 million a day in tax money and enjoys the support of politicians and entertainers; it had to be safe, right? But the abortionist there let Ms. Reaves, the mother of a young son, bleed to death for five hours before calling an ambulance, and by then it was too late. Recently Planned Parenthood agreed to pay her family $2 million in hush money and no sanctions were taken against the doctor or the staff.

Jennifer Morbelli, 29, might not have known LeRoy Carhart’s troubled history when she and her husband and parents traveled to his Germantown, Md. clinic in February 2013. Mrs. Morbelli was 33 weeks pregnant with a very “wanted” daughter, whom they had already named Madison Leigh. But some doctor along the way diagnosed a seizure disorder for Madison and the abortion that followed killed both the baby and her mother.

Just days later and not far away, Maria Santiago, 38, lost her life in a shoddy abortion clinic – since closed – in Baltimore.

Where is the outcry for these women and hundreds of others killed by legal abortion? Where are the Congressional subpoenas and the calls for criminal investigation when contraceptives like Yaz and Yasmin, and the diabolical Essure sterilization device kill scores of women? Why are car buyers more important than women?

Abortion is a deadly and dangerous procedure that is neither safe nor rare and should not be legal. It should be recalled from the market. If you agree, please go to RecallAbortion and sign the petition. If you’re on the fence, read my book, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me before you finish the last chapter.

If you’re still not convinced, click here to read a list of the names of other women killed by legal abortion. We know there are many, many more.

Isn’t it time to recall abortion?

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Why are Yaz and Yasmin still on the market?

Friday, March 7th, 2014

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On March 1, the German drug maker Bayer reported that it has spent $1.69 billion – BILLION – to settle 8,250 lawsuits filed by women who were harmed by the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin. The drugs have been linked to more than 100 deaths, including 23 reported in Canada last year. Other injuries include blood clots, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

Last month, the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency warned that drugs like Yasmin double a woman’s risk of developing a blood clot. And yet in Canada, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada said the drugs are “safe and effective.”
What’s going on here?

When I was researching “Recall Abortion” in 2012, Yaz settlements in the U.S. alone had reached $402.6 million, and the FDA warned Bayer that it had to strengthen its warning about blood clots. Now it’s two years later, women are still suffering, women are still dying, and Yaz and Yasmin are still on the market because they make money – even after the legal bills are paid.

The tragedy of Yaz and Yasmin was brought home to me last month when I gave a presentation at the Legatus national conference in Orlando. A woman who heard my talk about harmful contraception approached me afterward to talk about the daughter of her dear friend. The college student was prescribed Yaz for a serious acne condition, and not long after she began taking it, she suffered a blood clot in the brain that left her in a coma for five years. When I met this woman, her friend’s daughter had just been buried. No legal settlement can compensate the loss of a daughter.

But Bayer marches on. The pharmaceutical giant last year bolstered its contraceptives holding by purchasing the California company Conceptus, maker of Essure.

Essure, which has been on the market for more than 10 years, is advertised as a permanent sterilization method that is less invasive and cheaper than a tubal ligation. It consists of metal coils that are implanted in a woman’s fallopian tubes. The resulting scar tissue acts as a sperm blocker. It’s hard to imagine how Essure ever won FDA approval, but if you go by the stories posted on a daily basis by members of a Facebook group called “Essure Problems,” it is harming women in dozens of debilitating, and even deadly, ways. And to make it worse, Essure has the status of a protected medical device so its victims can’t even sue. The best thing these women – many of them young – can hope for is to find a physician willing to perform a hysterectomy.

How many women have to suffer and die for a product to be taken off the market? Apparently, there is no magic number. The bad medicine of abortion and contraception are too profitable, too sacred in our secular nation, to let women’s health concerns get in the way.

Contrast this to the news of yet another auto recall just a few weeks ago. GM recalled 1.3 million cars to fix problems with a faulty ignition that led to 13 deaths. I don’t think there’s a driver in America who would question why that recall was necessary, and in fact GM is under fire for waiting so long to take action.

Why don’t we call for that same kind of action when women die? Why don’t we demand a recall of the drugs and procedures that are killing us?

To sign a petition to demand such a recall, go to RecallAbortion.com

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The Seven Most Common Lies About Abortion

Friday, February 28th, 2014

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This week Rolling Stone Magazine ran a piece that promised readers the truth about abortion. It was written by Lauren Rankin and presented as a news story. But Ms. Rankin is not an unbiased reporter. She is a graduate student who serves on the board of the New Jersey Abortion Access Association, which raises money to buy abortions for women who can’t afford them. They hold bowl-a-thons for abortions. You can’t make this stuff up.

The seven “lies” she sets about “debunking” are based on information available at pregnancy resource centers. This nationwide network of centers – some affiliated with organizations like CareNet or Heartbeat International, and some operating independently or as ministry outreaches – exist solely to provide actual choices to women facing unexpected pregnancies. When pro-aborts talk about “a woman’s right to choose” they only mean her right to choose abortion. But a woman who knocks on the door of one of some 3,000 pregnancy centers in the U.S. will often be given a free ultrasound onsite, but that’s just the beginning. If she’s poor or homeless, she will get help finding a place to live and referrals to agencies – government and charitable – that will help her with finances. Her first visit will lead to a continuing relationship with the people at the center, many of whom are volunteers. They will be with her through her pregnancy and often, accompany her in the birthing room. There will be assistance to get back into school or assist with job opportunities and even rides to doctor’s appointments. Will she be encouraged to choose life? Absolutely. Should we apologize for that? Absolutely not.

About a year ago, a college gymnast showed up at Life Choices Resource Center in Metuchen, N.J. I serve on the board there. She knew from the moment 10 pregnancy tests confirmed her suspicions that she would have her baby. She needed help from Life Choices because she knew that everyone else in her life was going to push her toward abortion. There’s a truth about abortion you won’t read about in Rolling Stone: Many women are coerced by parents, boyfriends, husbands, employers, even guidance counselors and coaches, into abortions they would never have chosen on their own. Had this young woman gone to Planned Parenthood, she would be the mother of a dead child now. Instead, she has a three-month-old son with a full head of black hair and an angelic smile. Which choice was better? You decide.

To rebut Ms. Rankin’s biased advertorial in Rolling Stone, I will now debunk the lies that abortion profiteers and their supporters tell about abortion.

1. Lie: Abortion is not linked to breast cancer. Pro-aborts love to cite a 2003 workshop conducted by the National Institute of Health and a 2009 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to conclude that abortion has no link to breast cancer. That’s a lie. The 2003 workshop would not allow scientists whose research showed an abortion-breast cancer link to present at the conference. Also, many, many studies, performed before and since the 2009 study, show the so-called ABC link is a reality. In China, where abortion is mandatory for millions of women, a new study found that abortion is “significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer,” and that risk increases with each subsequent abortion. In India, another recent study found that multiple abortions were among the factors that caused an increased risk of breast cancer (oral contraceptives also were on the list). A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a significant increase in aggressive breast cancers in young women, starting in 1976. Although the researchers said they couldn’t pinpoint a cause, they theorized that a sedentary lifestyle could be to blame. But the spike in cancer started three years after abortion became legal everywhere in the country and that can’t be a coincidence. To learn about dozens of additional studies that point to an ABC link, go to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute’s fact sheet.

2. Lie: Abortion is not linked to infertility. As compelling evidence that breast cancer and infertility are not even tangentially related, abortion advocate Rankin offers this quote from the Mayo Clinic web site. “Abortion isn’t thought to cause fertility issues or complications in subsequent pregnancies.” Isn’t thought to cause? In case you’re not convinced, she points to research from the Guttmacher Institute (a kissing cousin of Planned Parenthood that is falsely described as “nonpartisan”) that suggests first-trimester abortion is not harming women’s fertility. Not so fast. Another study from China showed a correlation between first-trimester abortion and subsequent miscarriage. And what I know from my work with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is that botched abortions do lead to loss of fertility or cause women to have hysterectomies. Many women who speak of their abortion regret, like Donna, aborted the only child they would ever conceive.

3. Lie: Women don’t regret their abortions. Rachel’s Vineyard is one of the world’s largest post-abortion healing ministries. Since it began in 1993, it has helped 250,000 women and men heal from their abortion experiences. In 2013 alone, more than 1,000 weekend retreats were held, and the Rachel’s Vineyard model has spread to 49 states and over 70 countries. The retreat is currently offered in 22 languages, with other translations in progress. Rachel’s Vineyard wouldn’t continue to grow if women weren’t dealing with feelings of regret after abortion. Women don’t need the endorsement of the American Psychological Association to validate their feelings. What they need is help dealing with those feelings, and they get help at Rachel’s Vineyard.

4. Lie: Women who see an ultrasound image of their baby have the abortion anyway. The Rolling Stone puff piece pointed to a report of a study that looked at 15,000 women who went to Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles for an abortion. Of those who chose to look at the ultrasound image, most had the abortion anyway. But hang on a second. The lead researcher, Dr. Mary Gatter, was on the Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles senior management team in 2012-2013. The rest of the research team has solid pro-abortion bona fides as well. Randi Zung of the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal wouldn’t divulge who funded the study, but it was very likely the same cast of population control characters who ordinarily fund studies that always come out on the side of abortion. So this is the situation: Planned Parenthood and its supporters fund research that is performed by its very own people, and the results favor those who profit from abortion, namely Planned Parenthood. One hand washes the other, and the baby is thrown out with the bath water, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. Something else to consider: A woman who is on the table for an ultrasound at an abortion clinic is probably not getting out of there with her baby alive, even if she decides to choose life. Tales of women being held down and forcibly aborted are common, and even if force isn’t used, women in this vulnerable state are repeatedly assured that once the “contents of the uterus” are gone, everything will be all right. No abortionist wants to lose a sale.

5. Lie: Abortion is not psychologically damaging to women. This is basically the same lie as number three. Rolling Stone relies on a 2008 statement from the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion that said there’s no evidence that a single abortion causes mental health problems. But in that very same paragraph, it says: “The Task Force found some studies that indicate that some women do experience sadness, grief and feelings of loss following an abortion and some experience ‘clinically significant disorders, including depression and anxiety.’ ” So, in other words, mental health problems. Dr. Vincent Rue, a psychotherapist with more than 30 years’ experience working with people suffering trauma and grief after abortion, first used the phrase “post-abortion syndrome” in 1981 to describe what his patients were experiencing. The pro-abortion medical establishment has been trying to discredit the term ever since. But the syndrome doesn’t have to be officially recognized for it to cause suffering. We see it in our work every day.

6. Lie: Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws make abortion unsafe for women. The abortion industry is a master of spin. When Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors” was discovered in Philadelphia in 2011, pro-aborts crafted a tale so ridiculous it was hard to imagine reporters would use it in their stories, and yet they did. They insisted that toughening up oversight of abortion clinics was forcing good clinics to close and leaving the worst of them open to kill children and maim their mothers. Gosnell’s clinic had not been inspected in 17 years, even though its deficiencies were well-known and reported to city and state officials. Can you imagine a nail salon, or a veterinarian office, or a portable toilet for that matter, going so long between inspections? In West Virginia, abortion clinics have never been inspected! Unfettered access to abortion is seen as so important that pro-aborts think nothing of exposing women to the most horrific conditions as they fight every single proposed regulation. Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic was not an anomaly. Here’s a house of horrors in Michigan. In Delaware. In Virginia. In New Jersey. You can find a house of horrors in every state if you’re willing to put in the time to look. This strange situation puts pro-lifers in the position of working to make abortion safer for women. Do we hope that some of these abortion regulations will close clinics? Absolutely. Does the strategy work? It does! A record-setting 87 abortion clinics closed last year alone. The latest weapon in the TRAP war is for states to pass laws, as Texas, Ohio and others have done, that force abortionists to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a reasonable distance. Many abortionists can’t get these privileges because they are quacks. They lose licenses in one state and they set up in another. Or they are circuit- rider abortionists, hopping from state to state on a weekly basis. Third-trimester abortionist LeRoy Carhart wasn’t even in Maryland anymore when Jennifer Morbelli died after an abortion at 33 weeks. That’s the state of safe, legal, rare abortion in our country (i.e. not safe, not rare).

7. Lie: Abortion does not endanger women’s health and lives. This week, GM recalled 1.37 million cars because a faulty ignition had led to 13 deaths. Although we know that many women are killed by abortion and the cause is covered up on their death certificates, the Centers for Disease Control concedes that eight women died after a legal abortion in 2009 in the U.S. But isn’t that eight too many? Aren’t the lives of these women, these pregnant women – these mothers – as valuable as the drivers whose faulty ignitions killed them? We know that by September 2011, 14 women had died from RU-486 abortions, and yet instead of being recalled, the drugs are still considered the next best thing in abortion. Post-abortion depression is also killing women, and you don’t have to reach back very far to find examples. The Australian actress Charlotte Dawson committed suicide this week. In a television interview that was later reported in the Daily Mail, the actress discussed her marriage to Olympic-hopeful Scott Miller and the abortion she had to keep him from being distracted from his swimming career. That abortion triggered a depression from which she never recovered. Also this week, LifeNews reported on the tragic suicide of a young woman in England that also was linked to her abortion.

Abortion is the real war on women, and it’s killing us.

My colleagues Georgette Forney, who co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign with me, and Bryan Kemper, Priests for Life’s Youth Outreach director, also were outraged at the Rolling Stone piece. Read what they had to say here and here.

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