Author archives: Arina Grossu

CDC: Abortion at Lowest Level in Years

by Arina Grossu

December 7, 2016

According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), abortion numbers, rates, and ratios have all been on the decline. The CDC reported a total number of 664,435 abortions in 2013, as recorded by state health departments. The 2013 data is based on reported information from 47 states and does not include abortion data from California (since 1998), Maryland, and New Hampshire. Therefore, the actual number of abortions is higher than the CDC data lets on. 

The most recent study from the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s former research arm, reported 1.06 million abortions in 2011. Guttmacher obtains its abortion data from abortion facilities directly instead of using reported state department numbers. Regardless of whether one looks at the CDC or the Guttmacher data, they both agree that there is a general downward trend in abortion numbers. Global Life Campaign data also reveals that abortion numbers have been in a general decline since 1990.  

According to the CDC data, compared with 2012, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions for 2013 decreased by 5%. From 2004–2013, the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions also decreased 20%, 21%, and 17%, respectively, reaching their lowest level across the board for that time period. Additionally, the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, about half of the 1980 recorded rate. The Associated Press reported that the CDC has not recorded a lower abortion rate since 1971, two years before the Roe v. Wade landmark decision. 

Family Research Council posits the decline in the abortion numbers, rates, and ratios to advances in science which reveal the humanity of the baby, a growing pro-life public, and a decrease in sexually-risky behavior with the help of sexual risk-avoidance (SRA) education. 

First, not only do we now have 4D ultrasound technologies that reveal the humanity of the child, but new technologies are continually coming out such as 3D imaging showing the complex anatomy and organ systems of embryos as young as 15 days old. Scientific advancements also allow us to see facial expressions in-utero and to track fetal pain.  

Second, the majority of Americans are pro-life. A July 2016 Marist poll revealed that more than half of Americans (53%) believe that abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, to save the life of the mother, or never be permitted under any circumstance. Further, we have seen an unprecedented uptick of pro-life laws in the past five years alone—334 pro-life laws as of midyear 2016—accounting for 30% of all pro-life laws enacted since 1973. 

Third, there has also been a sharp decline in teen sexual activity, according to the most recent CDC data. This may be due in part to sexual risk-avoidance education, which takes a whole-person approach to healthy decision-making.

While the CDC abortion data is encouraging, we must continue to work until not one more life is tragically snuffed out by the ravages of abortion.

The Real Margaret Sanger

by Arina Grossu

October 18, 2016

This article first appeared on May 5, 2014 in the Washington Times. It is reposted here as a reminder of Margaret Sanger’s legacy in lieu of Planned Parenthood’s 100th year anniversary since Sanger opened her first illegal birth control clinic on October 16, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York.

Recent articles have reported on an unearthed video from 1947 of Margaret Sanger demanding “no more babies” for ten years in developing countries. A couple of years ago Margaret Sanger was named one of TIME’s “20 Most Influential Americans of All Time.” Given her enduring influence, it’s worth considering what the woman who founded Planned Parenthood contributed to the eugenics movement.

Sanger shaped the eugenics movement in America and beyond in the 1930s and 1940s. Her views and those of her peers in the movement contributed to compulsory sterilization laws in thirty U.S. states that resulted in more than 60,000 sterilizations of vulnerable people, including people she considered “feeble-minded,” “idiots,” and “morons.”

She even presented at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926 in Silver Lake, New Jersey. She recounted this event in her autobiography: “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan … I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses … I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak … In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered” (Margaret Sanger: “An Autobiography,” p. 366). That she generated enthusiasm among some of America’s leading racists says something about the content and tone of her remarks.

In a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1939, Sanger wrote: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members” (Margaret Sanger commenting on the ‘Negro Project’ in a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939).

Her own words and television appearances leave no room for parsing. For example, she wrote many articles about eugenics in the journal she founded in 1917, the Birth Control Review. Her articles included “Some Moral Aspects of Eugenics” (June 1920), “The Eugenic Conscience” (February 1921), “The Purpose of Eugenics” (December 1924), “Birth Control and Positive Eugenics” (July 1925) and “Birth Control: The True Eugenics” (August 1928), to name a few.

The following are some of her more telling quotes:

While I personally believe in the sterilization of the feeble-minded, the insane and syphilitic, I have not been able to discover that these measures are more than superficial deterrents when applied to the constantly growing stream of the unfit. They are excellent means of meeting a certain phase of the situation, but I believe in regard to these, as in regard to other eugenic means, that they do not go to the bottom of the matter” (Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” February 1919, The Birth Control Review).

Eugenics without Birth Control seems to us a house builded upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit” (Margaret Sanger, “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” February 1919, The Birth Control Review).

Stop our national habit of human waste” (Margaret Sanger, “Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Ch. 6).

By all means there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders. In the case of the mother, heart disease, kidney trouble and pelvic deformities are also a serious bar to childbearing … No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective” (Margaret Sanger, “Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Ch. 7).

The main objects of the Population Congress would be … to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring[;] to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization” (Margaret Sanger, “A Plan for Peace,” 1932).

In a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace, Margaret Sanger revealed: “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world—that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people can—can commit.”

This line of thinking from its founder has left lasting marks on the legacy of Planned Parenthood. For example, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of black or Hispanic communities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Abortion Surveillance report revealed that between 2007 and 2010, nearly 36 percent of all abortions in the U.S. were performed on black children, even though black Americans make up only 13 percent of our population. Another 21 percent of abortions were performed on Hispanics and seven percent more on other minority groups, for a total of 64 percent of U.S. abortions tragically preformed on minority groups. Margaret Sanger would have been proud of the effects of her legacy.

Celebrating 40 Years of the Hyde Amendment and Rep. Henry Hyde, A Pro-Life Hero

by Arina Grossu , Andrew Guernsey

September 30, 2016

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortion. As a result of the Hyde Amendment, over 2 million Americans are alive today. To learn more see this op-ed in The Federalist and watch FRC Action’s new ad.

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) was a tireless warrior for preborn babies, as this transcript clearly depicts. In 1976, only three years after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, he introduced the Hyde Amendment to stop taxpayer funding of abortion. From 1973 to 1977, the federal government spent about $50 million annually to fund about 300,000 abortions per year under Medicaid. He wanted to put an end to this, saying we “cannot in logic and conscience help fund the execution of these innocent, defenseless human lives.”

The Hyde Amendment is one of the spending bills Congress must pass each year. It has been renewed every year since and signed into law by both Republican and Democrat presidents. In 1980, the Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment in the 5-4 Harris v. McRae landmark decision. Hillary Clinton has promised to make repealing the Hyde Amendment a key priority if she becomes president. In addition, this year’s Democratic Party platform for the first time ever called for its repeal. In contrast, Donald Trump has pledged to make the Hyde Amendment permanent. Congress must enact the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7, S. 582) to codify the Hyde Amendment and to apply it across the government, including Obamacare.

Below, we reprint from the Congressional Record, Rep. Henry Hyde’s remarks when he first introduced his famous amendment in 1976, and again in 1977. Hyde’s remarks show his incredible passion not only to stop the taxpayer funding of abortion, but also to end all killing of preborn babies.

Thank you Rep. Henry Hyde for standing up for the rights of unborn babies, and happy anniversary to the Hyde Amendment that has saved over 2 million lives.

  

Congressional Record

June 24, 1976

Mr. HYDE Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. HYDE: On page 36, after line 9, add the following new section:

Sec. 209. None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be used to pay for abortions or to promote or encourage abortions.”

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, this amendment may stimulate a lot of debate—but it need not—because I believe most Members know how they will vote on this issue. 

Nevertheless, there are those of us who believe it Is to the everlasting shame of this country that in 1973 approximately 800,000 legal abortions were performed in this country—and so it is fair to assume that this year over a million human lives will be destroyed because they are inconvenient to someone.

The unborn child facing an abortion can best be classified as a member of the innocently inconvenient and since the pernicious doctrine that some lives are more important than others seems to be persuasive with the pro-abortion forces, we who seek to protect that most defenseless and innocent of human lives, the unborn—seek to inhibit the use of Federal funds to pay for and thus encourage abortion as an answer to the human and compelling problem of an unwanted child.

We are all exercised at the wanton killing of the porpoise, the baby seal. We urge big game hunters to save the tiger, but we somehow turn away at the specter of a million human beings being violently destroyed because this great society does not want them.

And make no mistake, an abortion is violent.

I think in the final analysis, you must determine whether or not the unborn person is human. If you think it is animal or vegetable then of course, it is disposable like an empty beer can to be crushed and thrown out with the rest of the trash.

But medicine, biology, embryology say that growing living organism is not animal or vegetable or mineral – but it is a human life.

 And if you believe that human life is deserving of due process of law—of equal protection of the laws, then you cannot in logic and conscience help fund the execution of these innocent defenseless human lives.

If we are to order our lives by the precepts of animal husbandry, then I guess abortion is an acceptable answer. If we human beings are not of a higher order than animals then let us save our pretentious aspirations for a better and more just world and recognize this is an anthill we inhabit and there are no such things as ideals or justice or morality.

Once conception has occurred a new and unique genetic package has been created, not a potential human being but a human being with potential. For nine months the mother provides nourishment and shelter, and birth is no substantial change, it is merely a change of address.

We are told that bringing an unwanted child into the world is an obscene act. Unwanted by whom? Is it too subtle a notion to understand it is more important to be a loving person than to be one who is loved? We need more people who are capable of projecting love.

We hear the claim that the poor are denied a right available to other women if we do not use tax money to fund abortions. 

Well make a list of all the things society denies poor women and let them make the choice of what we will give them.

Don’t say “poor woman, go destroy your young, and we will pay for it.”

An innocent, defenseless human life, in a caring and humane society deserves better than to be flushed down a toilet or burned in an incinerator.

The promise of America is that life is not just for the privileged, the planned, or the perfect.

 

Hyde Amendment Passes, Roll Call: 207-167 (57 Not Voting)

Congressional Record, House, Vol. 122, pt. 15, 20410 

 

***

June 17, 1977

 

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Hyde:

On page 39, after line 23. add the following new section:

Sec. 209. None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be used to pay for abortions or to promote or encourage abortions.”

 (By unanimous consent. Mr. HYDE was allowed to proceed for 5 additional minutes.)

Mr. HYDE. Mr. Chairman, I regret that I must abbreviate this amendment to exclude the therapeutic abortion qualification, the absence of which was raised as a great argument against this amendment when it was offered last session. So it went through with no exceptions whatsoever. And in the conference committee we were able to put in the therapeutic abortion exemption where the claim for a life is equal to a claim for a life. But I am forced into this position today by points of order. So be it.

Yesterday, remarks were made that it is unfortunate to burden an appropriations bill with complex issues, such as busing, abortion and the like. I certainly agree that it is very unfortunate. The problem Is that there is no other vehicle that reaches this floor in which these complex issues can be involved. Constitutional amendments which prohibit abortions stay languishing in subcommittee much less committee, and so the only vehicle where the Members may work their will, unfortunately, is an appropriation bill. I regret that. I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the HEW Medicaid bill. A life is a life. The life of a little ghetto kid is just as important as the life of a rich person. And so we proceed in this bill.

Lest anyone think it is aberrational that millions of people are concerned about our tax dollars paying for the slaughter of innocent, inconvenient, unborn children, I point out that this Is no novel position. In most every session. There is a bill, HR 4897 this session, which provides that a taxpayer conscientiously opposed to participation in war may elect that his income, estate, or gift tax payments be spent for nonmilitary purposes. This creates a trust fund, the world peace tax fund. 

Many people, I am sure, who will speak today against my position, the pro-life position, are vigorous supporters of H.R. 4897.

But if it is wrong to spend money for defense of this country, then may we not object to spending millions of tax dollars for the slaughter of innocent children?

I think it is important to clarify the constitutional issue that is involved in this question. In the first place, conceding that under Roe against Wade a woman has a constitutional right to seek an abortion, the question here is whether it is mandatory that the taxpayers pay for that abortion.

The Washington Star’s editorial last Tuesday put this issue in perspective when it said:

The glib argument that it is a denial of the 14th Amendment equal protection to deny Medicaid subsidy to abortions strikes us as overingenious.

This Government, through the National Endowment for the Humanities subsidizes writers all over the country. Is it then a burden on our first amendment rights to free expression to deny a tax -paid printing press to everyone in the street who wants one? Clearly not.

The Solicitor General of the United States said this:

There Is no right to receive an abortion. The privacy right vindicated in Roe v. Wade and Doe v Bolton Is not the right affirmatively to obtain an abortion, but rather the lesser right to be free to seek abortion services without governmental obstruction or Interference. The Government has no constitutional obligation financially to facilitate the exercise of privacy rights. Its constitutional duty Is merely to refrain from violating such rights.

We spend about $50 million a year to pay for about 300,000 abortions under Medicaid. The contention has been made by respectable sources that it costs too much to bring these welfare kids into the world, it is much cheaper to abort them. This argument even the Washington Post said was terrible and inhumane.

One of the “Dear Colleague” letters that came from a distinguished Member of this body called the paying of the bill for the welfare kids “economic imprudence.” Well, I cannot accept that argument.

We have heard both sides of the argument: If we deny Medicaid abortions, the women are going to have kids anyway; therefore, let them have abortions in a safe place. The other side of the argument is: If we deny Medicaid abortions, we are going to have an explosion of welfare children, and it is going to cost us a lot of money. Which way is it? Are we going to have a lot of costly welfare kids or are women going to get their abortions anyway? As far as I am concerned, every welfare study I have seen shows these children will be born and not slaughtered, and I am prepared to pay the price to see that they get an education, decent housing, and adequate clothing.

I have read every pro-abortion editorial I can lay my hands on and every article I could find, and they all emphasize that the decent and economic and compassionate thing to do is to let these welfare mothers abort their unborn children. Never do they discuss the essential question, the humanity of the unborn.”

What is it that is being aborted? Is it a chicken? Is it a tumor? Is it animal? Is it vegetable? Is it mineral? Is it a bad tooth to be pulled out, or is it a diseased appendix to be cut out and thrown away? No. It is a human being.

Theology does not say it is a human being; biology says it is a human being. Theology does not say, “Thou shalt not kill a fetus”; it is biology that says “Thou shalt not kill a fetus.” That is a part of the tradition and the criminal code subscribed to on the part of individuals in every civilized nation. This is what biology says. Let us quit kidding ourselves. This is human life.

Mr. Chairman, let me read a quotation from the California Medical Association Journal. This is not a religious publication, I assure the Members. In an editorial the California Medical Association said as follows:

… It has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra- uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices.

So why do we not face up that abortion does not merely “terminate a pregnancy” nor remove the “products of conception” from a deactivated womb? It is the calculated killing of an innocent, inconvenient human being.

The old argument that we who oppose abortion are trying to impose our religious concepts on other people is totally absurd. Theology does not animate me; biology does. That is a human life; that is not a potential human life; it is a human life with potential.

When a pregnant woman, who should be the natural protector of her unborn child, becomes its deadly adversary, then it is the duty of this legislature to intervene on behalf of defenseless human life.

If that is not so, I do not know why we need this building or why we need law libraries.

By what right do the pro-abortionists seek to deny us access to the political process? That is what we are engaged in today. If they say we have no right to seek to get written into law protection for innocent life, if they say, “No” to us, they turn back 200 years of this country’s history.

I used to think that abortionists had a world view of humanity as animalistic, and that these people feel that the rules of animal husbandry are sufficient to cope with the problems of poverty and need in the ghetto. But I am wrong. I am absolutely wrong.

We think more of animals than we do of human beings. Do the Members realize that today is Whale Survival Day? Today, June 17, in Lafayette Park, there is going to be music, there will be celebrities and whale experts, and there will be whale art, and this is all done in the campaign to save the endangered whale.

There is some kind of schizophrenia that makes us want to protect the snail darter, the baby harp seal, the whale, and the dolphin, and not to be concerned about human life and our unborn children. In our wisdom and compassion, we put a limit on the number of dolphins that can be eliminated; that number is 69,910. You kill one more, and you go to the slammer. But there is no limit on the number of unborn children that are slaughtered simply because they are inconvenient. 

We now what a dolphin can do. It can jump through a hoop and eat a guppie. But somehow that is more important to this Congress and more important than human beings.

Under the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940 it is a crime to take possession of a bald eagle’s egg. That seems to be more important than a human life.

Is it not sad that we give more concern to the protection of migratory birds and wild horses than we do to human beings?

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Illinois (MR. HYDE) has expired.

(By unanimous consent, MR. HYDE was allowed to proceed for 1 additional minute.)

Mr. HYDE. I just want to make this comment, Mr. Chairman: We can tell the ghetto mother that she is going to have to fight for everything which the middle-class woman has, such as education, housing, clothing, and food; but then we can say, “We will give you one thing. We will give it to you and we will pay for it. We will let you kill your young.”

Mr. Chairman, the problem of the unwanted child is a human problem. The violent act of abortion is no solution. It is the failure to look for a solution.

Mr. Chairman, I was in Jerusalem recently. I visited a building complex to memorialize the 6 million dead in the holocaust. It is called the Yad Vashem. There is a legend there from the Talmud. It says, “He who saves one soul saves humanity.”

Mr. Chairman, I ask the Members to think about that when they vote on my amendment.

 

Hyde Amendment Passes, Roll Call: 201-155 (77 Not Voting)

Congressional Record, House, vol. 123, pt. 16, 19700–19701

Testimony on the Need for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

by Arina Grossu

September 23, 2016

Arina Grossu’s Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on the topic of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on September 23, 2016:

Chairman Franks, Ranking Member Cohen, and Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee:

I am grateful and honored to have been invited to testify on “The Ultimate Civil Right: Examining the Hyde Amendment and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.”  My name is Arina Grossu and I am the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council.  As a policy analyst, my issues of expertise and research encompass the dignity of human life from conception until natural death. 

FRC has long supported the Hyde Amendment, which has prevented government funding for elective abortion for over thirty years.  This law, if revoked, would increase the number of abortions in the U.S.  FRC also supports the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, on which I will focus my remarks.

In 2000 and 2001, Jill Stanek testified before this Committee about her experience as a registered nurse where she discovered babies born alive after an attempted abortion and left to die in the department’s soiled utility closet.

In 2002, Congress responded by passing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was signed by President George W. Bush and is current federal law. It passed by voice vote in the House and with unanimous consent in the Senate.  

Unfortunately, incidents involving born alive children being killed after an attempted abortion have continued after this law was passed and into the present.

Infanticide is unacceptable in a civilized society, regardless of what one may think about abortion itself.  It should be uncontroversial for the federal government to supplement current law with enforcement protections.

 

Up to 2010, abortionist Kermit Gosnell operated his dirty and dangerous abortion facility where  he did “hundreds of snippings” of born-alive babies as part of his abortion process.  The Grand Jury Report noted:

Many of [the women] gave birth before he even got there. When you perform late-term ‘abortions’ by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies…Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered: he killed them… by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord.

See for example the image of Baby Boy B who was found in his facility (A). (warning, graphic content)

Federal and state authorities finally raided his facility, not because he was illegally killing born-alive infants, but because of his illegal prescription drug activity.

While Gosnell’s case was particularly gruesome, he is not an outlier.  A former employee of current Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen described how he regularly killed babies born alive by snipping their spinal cords, fatally injuring them with blows to the soft spot on their heads, and twisting their necks. 

She said:

I’m pretty sure I was seeing at least three or four [large babies] that were completely delivered in some way or another [daily].

….when the fetus would come completely out, of course the fetus would still be alive, because it was still moving… of course you could see the stomach breathing and that’s when he would do [this].

Yet, despite the gruesome photo and eyewitness evidence, Karpen was cleared in December 2013.

The Center for Medical Progress, in its investigative videos, authenticated by in-depth forensic analysis, revealed a lot of evidence of babies killed after being born alive.

Perrin Larton, a procurement manager from Advanced Bioscience Resources said, “The whole point is not to have a live birth…“I literally have had women come in and they’ll go in the O.R. and they’re back out in three minutes, and I’m going, ‘What’s going on?’ Oh yeah, the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups. It just fell out.”

Holly O’Donnell, a former procurement technician with StemExpress, recounted one incident where her supervisor said, ‘want to see something kind of cool…And she just tap[ped] the heart, and it start[ed] beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating.”

Data that the CDC collects also confirms babies are born alive after attempted abortions.  Between the years 2003 and 2014 there were somewhere between 376 and 588 infant deaths under the medical code P96.4 which keeps track of babies born alive after a “termination of pregnancy.”

The CDC concluded that of the 588 babies, 143 were “definitively” born alive after an attempted abortion and they lived from minutes to one or more days, with 48% of the babies living between one to four hours.  It also admitted that it’s possible the number is an underestimate (B).

We know it is an underestimate because these are just reported numbers from hospitals, not abortion facilities.  Gosnell is only one abortionist who was responsible for “hundreds of snippings” of born-alive babies, yet he did not report even one.  His numbers alone exceed the “definitive” numbers of the CDC.

Even one baby born alive after an attempted abortion who is then killed, is one too many.  But we are talking in the hundreds of reported ones.

Yet not one person to date has been charged or convicted under current Born-Alive law.

Due to developments in technology, babies who are considered “extremely preterm” can now survive outside the womb as early as 20 and 21 weeks post-fertilization, recent science journals announced, with 67% surviving after receiving active care.

Here, for example is Lucas Moore who was born prematurely at 21 weeks post-fertilization and one year later (C).

Dr. David Burchfield, the chief of neonatology at the University of Florida said of care for extremely preterm babies, “It confirms that if you don’t do anything, these babies will not make it, and if you do something, some of them will make it.”

We need the proposed Born-Alive act to ensure that babies born alive after an attempted abortion are given the proper medical treatment.  The bill:

  • explicitly requires health care practitioners to treat born-alive abortion survivors with the same care they would treat any other born baby and admit such babies immediately to a hospital. 
  • provides enforcement mechanisms such as criminal sanctions and penalties to hold abortionists accountable for killing born-alive infants
  • the bill also expressly excludes any prosecution of the mother of a baby born alive, and it gives her a private right of action to seek relief if an abortionist were to kill her born-alive infant.

The White House promised that the President would veto the Born-Alive legislation citing it would have a “chilling” effect.  I cannot think of a more chilling effect than continuing to let U.S. abortionists get away with infanticide.

Born-alive babies after an attempted abortion are already recognized as legal persons since the 2002 federal Born-Alive law.

The proposed Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act simply recognizes the obligations that follow from this reality, to ensure that babies born alive after attempted abortions will be given the best medical care available and the full and equal protection of our laws.

I earnestly ask that you support this bill to stop infanticide in the United States.

Simone Biles Would Have Been Planned Parenthood’s Perfect Target

by Arina Grossu

August 12, 2016

By now you’ve probably seen or heard about the best female gymnast that ever lived, Simone Biles. She is wowing everyone at the Olympics this summer. Simone Biles’ margin of victory is 2.1, larger than the margins of victory from 1980 to 2012 combined. She’s already won gold for team and individual all-around at Rio Olympics. All this girl does is win:

Not only is she the first female gymnast since 1974 to win four consecutive all-around titles at the U.S. national championships, but she’s also the first woman ever to be the all-around world champion three years in a row. Not to mention that she’s won fourteen total world championships medals-the most ever won by an American woman.”

Recently it came to light that Simone Biles was born in March 1997 in Columbus, Ohio to Shannon Biles, who at the time was an “unfit” drug and alcohol addict and who was unable to take care of Simone and her younger sister Adria. Their father, who also struggled with addictions, abandoned Shannon and was not part of the children’s life. They were shuffled back and forth between her mom’s house and foster care for her first three years of life. When she was three years old, her maternal grandfather, Ron, and his second wife, Nellie, brought Simone and her sister to Spring, Texas, which is a suburb of Houston. When Simone was six years old, they officially adopted the girls, becoming “mom and dad.” Her adoption story is well-documented here.

NBC Olympics describes Biles as “fearless, teaching herself to do back flips off her family’s mailbox before she even took a gymnastics class. It was a daycare field trip to a gym that led her to the sport—the six-year-old saw the older girls flipping and twisting and immediately started copying them.”

The instructors suggested she continue doing gymnastics. As the story goes, “she returned home with an information packet and a single, insistent demand: enroll me at the gym.” Biles then enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon’s Gymnastix at age six. This was late by competitive standards, since most aspiring gymnasts start as soon as they can walk. She began her training with Aimee Boorman at eight years of age, her coach now of eleven years. And the rest is history.

Her story are what fairy tales are made of. We love the underdog. We love stories of human strength that defy all odds.

Yet, she would have been the perfect target of Planned Parenthood. It’s no secret that Planned Parenthood targets blacks and minorities: 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

LiveAction also revealed that Planned Parenthood accepts money for aborting black babies.

Black women make up only 13% of the female population in the United States, but they undergo approximately 28% of the abortions. In the U.S., black children are aborted at nearly four times the rate of white children. In fact, one in three black babies are killed in the womb. Simone Biles seems to have defied the odds in more ways than at first glance.

Margaret Sanger, founder of what is now known as Planned Parenthood, would have wanted women like Shannon never to have children. In her 1920 book “Woman and the New Race”, Sanger said, “By all means, there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders.”

In a 1957 interview with Mike Wallace, Sanger mused: “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world, that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically… Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin-that people can-can commit.”

By Sanger and Planned Parenthood’s standard, Simone Biles would have been eliminated.

Yet Simone Biles stands before us, a marvel of a human being, having beat the odds. This is the constant message of the pro-life movement. No one, absolutely no one, is beyond hope or possibility. Each unborn child deserves the right to life, even when the circumstances seem dire. How many others like Simone Biles who would have started from less-than-ideal circumstances but were not even given a chance at life? How many Olympians, presidents, politicians, and artists have we aborted? Fifty-nine million babies with infinite potential have been aborted in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Without the fundamental right to life, no other rights or potentialities are possible.

Simone Biles’ story also highlights the power of adoption. Every child is a wanted child, whether by her biological family or by someone else. Simone’s biological mother spoke of her deep admiration for Simone’s adoptive mother saying, “It takes a hell of a woman to raise her husband’s child’s children. I’m very blessed and thankful for that. It was the right thing at the time.”

While Simone Biles has undeniable exceptional talent, her worth does not come even from her talent. It comes from the fact that she is human. All people are valuable and necessary, not because of what they do, but because they simply are. Yet, we can also rejoice and marvel at the beauty, strength, and talent of Olympian athletes like Simone Biles who demonstrate for us the peak of athletic human excellence. 

We’re glad you’re here Simone and we’re glad for adoption. The world would, literally, not be the same without you.

Arina O. Grossu, M.A. is the director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, where she focuses on sanctity of human life issues, ranging from conception to natural death.

Health Clinics Offer a Broader Range of Services for Women Than Planned Parenthood

by Arina Grossu

September 2, 2015

The Daily Signal recently published my piece on why women don’t need Planned Parenthood and how they are actually better off if the $528 million in federal and state funds that is currently going to Planned Parenthood, is made available to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).  These clinics offer more comprehensive women’s health care than Planned Parenthood ever has.  In fact, there is not one unique service that Planned Parenthood offers that women can’t get elsewhere.

For those interested in a more in-depth look at the specific services offered by FQHCs and RHCs, here are the findings. The primary health services that FQHCs and RHCs are listed and defined in the Public Health Service Act including general, preventive, diagnostic, emergency and pharmaceutical health services:

(i) basic health services which, for purposes of this section, shall consist of-
       (I) health services related to family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology that are furnished by physicians and where appropriate, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives;
      (II) diagnostic laboratory and radiologic services;
      (III) preventive health services, including-
             (aa) prenatal and perinatal services
             (bb) appropriate cancer screening;
             (cc) well-child services;
             (dd) immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases;
             (ee) screenings for elevated blood lead levels, communicable diseases, and cholesterol;
             (ff) pediatric eye, ear, and dental screenings to determine the need for vision and hearing correction and dental care;
             (gg) voluntary family planning services; and
             (hh) preventive dental services;
    (IV) emergency medical services; and
    (V) pharmaceutical services as may be appropriate for particular centers;
(ii) referrals to providers of medical services
(iii) patient case management services
(iv) services that enable individuals to use the services of the health center
(v) education of patients and the general population served by the health center regarding the availability and proper use of health services.

In addition, the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual for FQHCs and RHCs lists the following covered services under Medicare for qualifying individuals.  RHC services listed in section 50.1 include:

  • Physicians’ services of diagnosis, therapy, surgery, and consultation.  These include the services of doctors of medicine, osteopathy, dental surgery, dental medicine, podiatry, optometry, or chiropractic who are licensed and practicing.
  • Services of Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), and Certified Nurse Midwife Services (CNMs).
  • Certified Psychologist (CP) and certified Social Worker (CSW) services.
  • Visiting nurse services to the homebound.

RHC services covered by Medicare also include certain preventive services such as:

  • Influenza, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B vaccinations;
  • Hepatitis C screenings;
  • IPPE;Annual Wellness Visit; and
  • Medicare-covered preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

FQHC services listed in section 50.2 include all of the above services listed in section 50.1 above, and specifically:

  • Screening mammography;
  • Screening pap smear and screening pelvic exam;
  • Prostate cancer screening tests;
  • Colorectal cancer screening tests;
  • Diabetes outpatient self-management training (DSMT) services;
  • Diabetes screening tests;
  • Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services;
  • Bone mass measurement;
  • Screening for glaucoma;
  • Cardiovascular screening blood tests; and
  • Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm

Another Health and Human Services (HHS) flyer on preventive primary health services shows that the following services are covered when furnished by FQHCs to a Medicare patient:

  • Medical social services;
  • Nutritional assessment and referral;
  • Preventive health education;
  • Children’s eye and ear examinations;
  • Well child care, including periodic screening;
  • Immunizations, including tetanus-diphtheria booster and influenza vaccine;
  • Voluntary family planning services;
  • Taking patient history;
  • Blood pressure measurement;
  • Weight measurement;
  • Physical examination targeted to risk;
  • Visual acuity screening;
  • Hearing screening;
  • Cholesterol screening;
  • Stool testing for occult blood;
  • Tuberculosis testing for high risk patients;
  • Dipstick urinalysis; and
  • Risk assessment and initial counseling regarding risks.

For women only:

  • Prenatal and post-partum care;
  • Prenatal services;
  • Clinical breast examination;
  • Referral for mammography; and
  • Thyroid function test.

Planned Parenthood on the other hand, lists in its most recent report only the following categories for services it offers: STI/STD testing and treatment, contraception, cancer screening and prevention, other women’s health services, abortion and other services.

Its services are quite limited—services which are already being offered by FQHCs and RHCs, excepting abortion.

Congress and states must defund Planned Parenthood and the money be made available to these other health clinics which are much more comprehensive in their health care offerings than Planned Parenthood.  Women, families and children deserve better health care than what Planned Parenthood offers.

Protest Planned Parenthood Rallies Take the Nation by Storm

by Arina Grossu

August 25, 2015

Over the weekend, I was very encouraged to see the turnout and the passion at the Protest Planned Parenthood rally in D.C.  Concerned Americans rallied at over half of the nation’s Planned Parenthood facilities. In fact, so far 280 of the 353 cities reported a total of more than 68,000 people rallying in 49 states and six countries at the largest protest of Planned Parenthood since its existence. 

This is historic.  The Washington Post reported on the “thousands” of protesters, but that number will likely be above 100,000 participants once all of the cities have been tallied-up.

The national momentum to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood is growing.  There are now 13 states that have announced investigations and five states that have defunded their state Planned Parenthood.  Yet, we must keep up the pressure.  The rallies gave an opportunity for those who felt horrified and helpless after watching the gruesome videos released by the Center for Medical Progress to do something in their very own communities and stand up for women who are being exploited and for the unborn babies whose organs are being trafficked. 

Planned Parenthood’s other non-abortion services can easily be replaced by the close to 15,000 federally-qualified health centers.  In fact, Planned Parenthood’s annual report reveals that such preventive services as cancer screening and prevention programs and prenatal services, have dropped by half, while its abortion numbers remain up.  And, by the way, Planned Parenthood provides no mammograms. 

Not only can we do without Planned Parenthood, but we are better off defunding it so that over half a billion taxpayer dollars will be available to comprehensive women’s health clinics that actually care for women’s health. 

We must continue to urge Congress and state leaders both to investigate Planned Parenthood for its blatant human rights abuses and defund it.  Please join over 20,000 and sign this FRC petition calling for Congress to remove funds from Planned Parenthood.  What the rallies across the country have shown is that our voices joined together are making an impact.  We need to keep the pressure up in our local communities and states so that this organization does not benefit from one more dime of taxpayer funds and that it will be investigated for its indisputably evil practices.

Incest, Polygamy: Where do We Draw the Line and On What Basis?

by Arina Grossu

July 28, 2015

After the recent legalization of same-sex unions, the internet was in a flurry with the logical consequences of the decision.  If the basis of the decision was about adult consent and autonomy, what about polygamy?

Chief Justice John G. Roberts said it best in his dissent in Obergefell:

Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective ‘two’ in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not,” Roberts wrote. “Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world.”

 

If marriage is not between one man and one woman, why should it be between two people?  Jonathan Turley, the lawyer who won the polygamy marriage case in Utah for Kody Brown and his four “Sister Wives” said “…much of the language of the majority clearly resonates with our arguments against the criminalization of private consensual relations.  It also speaks to the stigma that is borne by families in being excluded in society.  That is an even greater danger when your entire family is declared a criminal enterprise merely because the parents chose to cohabitate as a plural family.”

While polygamy is as “taboo” today as same-sex marriage was in decades past, the legal reasoning for opposing polygamy now has no foundation, says Fredrik deBoer, writing for Politico. With the Supreme Court decision, same-sex union advocates have succeeded in undoing natural marriage, he says. Now there is no reason for “progressive people” to oppose extending marriage rights to any and all sexual romantic relationships that adults choose.

Let’s fast-forward to another taboo topic (and with good reason): incest.  Some argue that incest should be allowed because of the same arguments for autonomy, self-fulfillment and consent that we find in the arguments for same-sex unions and even for polygamy.  Debra Lieberman, assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara said, “We need to start asking if it’s OK to limit someone’s freedom just because we have a ‘yuck’ response to it.”

The author of this article seeks to normalize incest saying,

“When Melissa, an administrative assistant in a law firm who’s in her 20s, met an older woman named Lisa a few years ago, it was love at first sight. The two have been in a relationship ever since but know that marriage is out of the picture. And it’s not because they are lesbian. It’s because they are mother and daughter…
It wasn’t that long ago when homosexuality and sadomasochism were also considered taboo. These days, though, Hollywood’s offerings are packed with homoerotic imagery and commuters are happy to crack open a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey on the morning train to the office. So if pop culture is anything to go by (and when isn’t it?), there are some signs that romantic love between family members is slowly becoming less socially outrageous. Look no further than HBO’s Game of Thrones— which explicitly portrays sex between a brother and sister — or scenes of a mother and son going at it in Boardwalk Empire.”

Normalizing incest would be to irresponsibly promote its painful, horrible consequences—all in the name of autonomy.   This would lead to health and psychological consequences which are clearly not in the best interest of those participating in it or of any children involved.  Even if the two relatives are consenting adults who perceive their lifestyle choice as normal, should it have a stamp of approval and if not, on what basis do we draw the line if “love is love?”

We see how the cookie crumbles. So if marriage is no longer legally between one man and one woman, then on what basis do we draw the line against any kind of consensual “marriage” relationship? What about the “rights” of polygamists or polyamorists like those described in “One Big Happy Polyamorous Family?”  And what about the “rights” of those in incestous relationships?

We have a moral obligation to severely and urgently draw the line. 

Planned Parenthood: Abortion Numbers Up, Other Services Down

by Arina Grossu

June 25, 2015

Americans United for Life (AUL) has released its fourth report in a series of exposés of Planned Parenthood (PPFA).  This report details PPFA’s expansion strategy of building new mega-centers for abortions and how PPFA’s increased focus is on abortion. 

A striking chart shows that from 2006 to 2013, the number of abortions performed by PPFA has gone up while cancer screening and preventative services have gone down by more than 50 percent.   Since 2004, mega-centers have opened in at least 19 cities and with them abortions have gone up nationwide by more than 70,000 abortions annually.

Think of these Planned Parenthood mega-centers as “abortion Wal-Marts.”  Where they open, the smaller abortion centers shut down, and Planned Parenthood gets a bigger piece of the abortion industry pie.  From 2004 to 2011, Planned Parenthood went from performing 20 percent to more than 32 percent of all abortions in the United States.

The abortion market might be in at a decline everywhere else, but at Planned Parenthood, “business” is good.

Yet taxpayer money continues to be handed over to America’s #1 abortion provider.  PPFA rakes in more than $500 million annually from taxpayer funds; this composes more than 40 percent of its overall revenue.

FRC’s Planned Parenthood factsheet also reveals that not only has Planned Parenthood decreased its cancer screening and preventative programs, but it also has decreased adoption referrals.  Comparing 2011 and 2013, the likelihood of a woman getting an abortion rather than an adoption referral at a Planned Parenthood increased from 145 times to 174 times.  From 2011 to 2013, adoption referrals decreased by 18 percent. In addition, from 2009 to 2013, prenatal services steadily decreased and dropped by more than half, and breast exams consistently decreased and dropped by a total of 41 percent.

So what exactly is Planned Parenthood doing besides building mega-centers and ending the lives of developing babies?  Apparently, increasingly little else.

Decline in Abortions

by Arina Grossu

June 11, 2015

The Associated Press reported this week that abortions have decreased nationally by 12 percent since 2010.  This is an encouraging sign showing that hearts and minds are changing on the issue of abortion.  Where’s the momentum coming from?

First, as technological improvements, such as 4D ultrasounds, continue to show the humanity of the unborn child, more mothers reject abortion. In a survey conducted by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), found that 78 percent of mothers considering abortion who viewed an ultrasound image of their unborn child chose life. 

Second, science also confirms that unborn children feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization.  The pro-life movement is the one that is rooted in science and medical facts. As more people learn about the actual development of the unborn baby, it becomes that much more difficult to deny her humanity.  In fact, the House passed and the U.S. Senate tomorrow is introducing a bill to protect unborn pain-capable babies from abortion.

Third, states have enacted more laws in the past four years than in the entire decade previous. These laws save lives.  Surprisingly, abortions are down even in liberal states like New York, Washington and Oregon, which maintained unrestricted access to abortion, the AP reports.

Dr. Michael New expresses some caveats to the good news.  He notes that the survey should have focused on abortion rates instead of abortion numbers and that abortion data from state health departments can be unreliable because of less rigorous reporting standards. Even so, he says that a smaller percentage of women with unintended pregnancies are having abortions. Pulling from Guttmacher Institute data, he explains that the percentage of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion fell from 54 percent in 1994 to 40 percent in 2008.  He also reminds us that since 1990 when abortions in the U.S. peaked, they have declined by approximately 34 percent since then.

There’s good reason for hope in the pro-life movement as technology and science continue show us the humanity of the unborn. As more states enact pro-life legislation and as public opinion continues to shift on the side of life, the momentum is likely to continue.  Let’s be encouraged as we continue to work to dismantle legalized abortion in the U.S. and relegate it to a dark chapter of our history.  Our future rests in the protection of the lives of our unborn brothers and sisters in the womb.  

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