Category archives: Abortion

Another Maternal RU-486 Fatality - This Time in Ital

by Chris Gacek

April 21, 2014

The Family Research Council has tracked safety news about the abortion drug, mifepristone (RU-486; also, Mifeprex®), since its approval as an abortifacient in 2000 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is with sadness that we learned on April 11 of another fatality from the use of the RU-486 abortion regimen. (RU-486 is the first drug administered in a two-drug abortion-producing regimen in which the second drug is misoprostol (Cytotec®).)

An Italian news source (The Local) carried an online article about the death of a 37-year-old woman who was treated at theMartiniHospital inTurin. The woman had taken the mifepristone but only started to experience difficulties four hours after taking the misoprostol – which she did two days after taking the first pills. The misoprostol is needed to induce forceful uterine contractions to expel the dead baby (a human embryo at that point) and other tissue from the uterus.

After taking the misoprostol, she complained of not being able to breathe normally. Shortly, thereafter, she began to experience atrial fibrillation, an irregular, rapid heartbeat. Her heart then stopped and could not be revived. She was in good health and the mother of a four-year-old boy.

I believe there have been about 15 cases of death following the use of the mifepristone abortion regime of which we are aware. Nations likeChinaare not even on the adverse event reporting grid, and the drug is used heavily in the PRC. Hemorrhage, infection, and incomplete abortions are common failures of all chemical abortion regimens.

LifeNews has posted an excellent story on this Italian death that contains more information on the safety of RU-486. Also, in May 2012 the Family Research Council published a paper containing a safety profile for the mifepristone-misoprostol regimen from 2000-12.

Chinese Woman Speaks Out: “It is better to be a criminal in China than a pregnant mother”

by Arina Grossu

April 16, 2014

Steven Mosher from the Population Research Institute recently received this anonymous letter from a grieving mother in China who said, “It is better to be a criminal in China than a pregnant mother.”

She went on to talk about the discrimination against women that takes place if a woman has an “illegal” child in violation of the one-child policy. A woman who simply wants to be a mother is treated worse than a criminal:

•She is not allowed to apply for a job without a “Family Planning Certificate” proving that she does not have any “illegal” children, whereas a released criminal can.

• In some cities, the Family Planning Bureau operates outside the law and can illegally arrest and detain without an arrest warrant. The Family Planning Bureau is not authorized to carry out such arrests but it does so anyway. Criminals do not go through this injustice.

•She cannot take legal action because no people’s court will handle cases involving family planning issues.

•She is not allowed to hire an attorney although by law she has that right and criminals enjoy that right.

•She is forced to pay 20 or 30 Yuan a night in prison awaiting trial, although by law a suspected criminal pays nothing.

•The law protects the unborn child of a criminal, even if that criminal has been sentenced to death. The authorities wait until the child has been born before carrying out the sentence. A pregnant woman with an “illegal” child does not have such legal protection.

•Criminals are permitted to communicate with their family. On the other hand, a pregnant woman and her family members can be held incommunicado by the Family Planning Bureau indefinitely.

•If a woman and her family are unable to pay the fine for conceiving an illegal child, the child will be forcibly aborted or, if born, will be sold. She can also be forcibly sterilized.

It is a tragedy that pregnant women whose only “crime” is wanting to keep their children are treated so inhumanely in China. If a woman is too poor to pay a fine for having more than one child, she is subjected to cruel treatment that destroys the life of both the mother and her child. Even criminals have more rights in China than pregnant women. To read the full letter go to Population Research Institute.

UN, Please Note that Abortion is not Maternal Health Care

by Arina Grossu

April 14, 2014

The UN Commission on Population and Development held its annual meeting last week. Wendy Wright (C-FAM) delivered a statement jointly submitted by the Family Research Council, C-FAM and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG).

We must continue to hold the U.N. accountable for keeping maternal health as the priority in the agenda and not conflating it with abortion services. Here are some excerpts:

Now better than ever before, we know what it takes to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for mothers. It takes investment in education, skilled birth attendants, prenatal and antenatal care, clean water and sanitation, adequate nutrition and vitamins, antibiotics and other healing medicines, and emergency obstetric care.

Making abortion legal doesn’t improve maternal health in any way.

Maternal health care strives to make pregnancy safer for both mothers and their unborn children. Preventing births by aborting the unborn child, or preventing the human embryo from implanting in the mother’s womb does not improve the health of the mother or her unborn child.

We know what it takes to make pregnancy and childbirth safe. Maternal health care, must remain a distinct and urgent priority in the post-2015 development agenda. This cannot be confused with elective abortion, which destroys the life of innocent unborn children and places the lives of mothers in jeopardy.”

Let’s work on real solutions to improve maternal health care around the world. Abortion is not the answer.

One of Gosnell’s Unlicensed Assistants Gets 6-12 Years in Prison

by Arina Grossu

February 14, 2014

Steven Massof, a Kermit Gosnell unlicensed assistant who performed illegal late abortions and killed infants born alive was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison on February 12. Massof would have faced a possible death sentence were it not for the fact that he pled guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and cooperated with prosecutors by testifying against Gosnell.

Part of his testimony last year revealed that he saw over 100 babies born alive who had their necks snipped in what he said was “literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.”

Massof told the court that during busy times when the women were given a heavy dose of drugs to induce contractions, “it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place… I felt like a fireman in hell. I couldn’t put out all the fires.”

Three more Gosnell workers await sentencing.

As the horrific Gosnell stories resurface in the wake of new sentences, they remind us of the injustice done to both women and children in this facility. Women were drugged up in a factory-line fashion and in some recorded instances were seriously injured and, in a few cases like that of Semika Shaw and Karnamaya Mongar, killed during the abortion procedure. How many more abortion facilities around the country hide a similar ugly truth behind drab walls? Let us move forth in a renewed effort to help inform women about the dangers of abortion and support women who feel cornered into thinking that taking the life of their child is their only option.

As for their children, they were treated like garbage or like trophy objects in Gosnell’s facility. Let us remember the humanity of the children who fell victim at Gosnell and his staff’s hands and work to defend others against the scourge of abortion.


Photo Source: Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office

Let’s Restore Government Neutrality When it Comes to “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion”

by Arina Grossu

January 29, 2014

Yesterday, the House debated, voted, and passed HR7 227-188-1. HR7 is a bill that will restore government neutrality when it comes to “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion”. Since the Hyde Amendment’s passage in 1976, it has been status quo that no federal monies may be used to pay for abortions. Obamacare created a loophole that bypasses the Hyde Amendment. HR7 seeks to make the Hyde Amendment permanent so that there is no government funding for abortion or funding for health care coverage that includes abortion. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said, “The American people do not want their hard-earned money to destroy human life… Our government should not be in the business of subsidizing abortion.” She is right. Americans should not be forced to pay for the destruction of children.

In a frenzied attempt Planned Parenthood sent out an action alert asking Members to vote against HR7. Pro-abortion supporters called HR7 a “radical Republican assault on women’s rights”. This is just typical emotional rhetoric about “women’s rights”. However, by law women will continue to be able to get abortions. HR7 simply continues to ensure that my money and yours will not be used to pay for other people’s abortions, a provision that has been upheld for the last 38 years.

The People’s House Voted Today to Protect Taxpayers from Paying for Abortion

by Emily Minick

January 28, 2014

Today the House debated and passed H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) controlled debate today on the House floor and defended the will of an overwhelming majority of Americans who are opposed to paying for other people’s abortions and want the government to be neutral when it comes to the funding of abortion.

This bill is extremely simple- it would permanently codify the Hyde Amendment, and other pro-life provisions, in federal law and across government programs.

Some may ask, “Why is this bill necessary since the Hyde Amendment is currently law”?

The answer to this is very clear, the passage of H.R. 7 is necessary because each year the Hyde Amendment needs to be re-authorized. Additionally, Obamacare bypasses the Hyde Amendment and directly appropriates funds to assist individuals, via the form of tax credits, in purchasing healthcare which could include abortion coverage.

Obamacare violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment, despite the President’s claim that the passage of his signature law would not violate Hyde’s principles.

Even with the Hyde Amendment’s annual renewal, there have been times in recent history where the government has funded abortion. Hyde doesn’t cover other funding streams outside of the Department of Health and Human Services and Medicaid. Despite the fact that Hyde was in effect, in 2009 Congress failed to include the Dornan Amendment, which prohibits government funds from paying for abortions in the District of Columbia, and for a period of a year and a half taxpayers paid for 300 abortions totaling $185,000. This, despite the fact that Hyde was in effect.

The principles of the Hyde Amendment need to be permanently codified and applied across federal funding streams.

Besides the fact that Obamacare bypasses the Hyde Amendment and uses taxpayer dollars to assist individuals in paying for abortions, it also prevents individuals from knowing whether or not a healthcare plan includes abortion coverage, until after they already pay and enroll. Transparency is necessary to good governance and lawmaking. H.R. 7 would require that whether or not a plan covers abortion be prominently displayed at the time of enrollment, so individuals can make an informed decision.

As we saw today on the House floor, opponents of the bill can make up a lot of excuses as to why this bill should not pass, yet they fail to address the issue at hand, the issue of eliminating the taxpayer’s role in abortion.

Nothing in this bill would prevent a woman from having an abortion, purchasing a healthcare plan which includes abortion coverage with her own funds, or prohibit women in the District of Columbia from having an abortion.

For over 30 years the Hyde Amendment has recognized that abortion is not healthcare, and thus the taxpayer should have no role in the funding of abortion. This bill applies these principles across the government. Today the people’s house voted to protect taxpayers, women and their unborn children.

Save a Baby’s Life and Save a Second Life with Baby’s Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells

by David Prentice

January 22, 2014

Post Image

(a similar version of this item was first published online by National Right to Life News;
for more stories you can access the January issue of National Right to Life News and Family Research Council’s Life issues pages)

This year we mark the 41st anniversary of the onset of tragedy; a tragedy because of the horrific loss of life, and many more lives than we realize.  The legalization of abortion in the U.S. by the Roe v. Wade decision has cost over 56 million preborn babies their young lives since that fateful day in 1973. 

The numbers are staggering, difficult to grasp; the U.S. has lost more lives than the population of many entire countries such as South Africa or South Korea, almost as many deaths as the entire population of Italy or the United Kingdom.  But those aren’t the only lives lost or scarred as a result of abortion in the U.S.  There is no accurate number of the women who lost their own lives, as well as those who have been physically and psychically scarred by abortion.  The victims are often silent and unknown, but seriously harmed.

And yet the number of lives lost as a result of abortion is even more than that.  Because many lives could have been saved from the delivery of those babies, by the collection and use of adult stem cells from the umbilical cords of those born babies.  We could have doubled the lifesaving, by letting babies live and be born, and using their umbilical cords to save life from that life saved. 

Umbilical cord blood stem cells have become an extremely valuable alternative to bone marrow adult stem cell transplants, ever since cord blood stem cells were first used for patients over 25 years ago.  The first umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant was performed in October 1988, for a 5-year-old child with Fanconi anemia, a serious condition where the bone marrow fails to make blood cells.  That patient is currently alive and healthy, 25 years after the cord blood stem cell transplant. 

Since that time, over 30,000 cord blood stem cell transplants have been done around the world, and transplants have increased for various blood and bone marrow diseases and leukemias, as well as for genetic enzymatic diseases in children.  Cord blood stem cell transplants have also become more common for adults with leukemia.  Cord blood transplants have been especially helpful for racial and ethnic minorities. 

Bone marrow adult stem cell transplants require an exact match between donor and recipient, and it can sometimes be difficult to find a donor match for a patient, especially for minorities.  But umbilical cord blood stem cells can be used with some mismatch and still provide successful treatments.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted the increased interest in umbilical cord blood by scientists and doctors seeking stem cell cures.  Besides current treatments, cord blood stem cells are now being studied for their potential to treat many more diseases, including Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as congenital heart disease and cerebral palsy.  The story quotes Dr. William Shearer, professor of pediatrics and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine:

It’s a disposable item that Mother Nature provides us with… It’s a renewable source.  It’s free and why not use it?”

Since the first umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant over 25 years ago, over 600,000 cord blood units have been stored away around the globe for future lifesaving transplants.  Just two examples of public programs to collect and store umbilical cord blood stem cells are the National Marrow Donor Program (motto: “You could cure someone’s blood cancer by giving birth”) and the National Cord Blood Program, and additionally there are commercial cord blood storage companies, involved in collection, storage, and research.  The data so far show that cord blood stem cells can be stored frozen for over 20 years without loss of potency.

And it’s not controversial.  As a recent news story in the Washington Times showed, many more states are turning to ethical, successful adult stem cells, providing real hope and real treatments for thousands of people.  Kansas last year initiated a unique Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center that will treat patients, do research on new therapies, educate the public and professionals on the advantages of adult stem cells such as those from cord blood and the solid umbilical cord, serve as a resource to process patient cells for treatment, and train physicians to deliver those treatments.  Paul Wagle was appointed by Governor Brownback to represent the patient community on the new Advisory Board for the Kansas Center.  Paul received an umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant for his leukemia in 2005.  Partly as a result of the successful treatment, Paul developed an interest in science and earned a triple major from Benedictine College in Kansas in 2013, and is now in seminary.  The Kansas Center has already treated its first patient and held its inaugural scientific conference.

Here are just a few other examples from FRC’s “Adult Stem Cells Saved My Life project” of the double lifesaving from a born baby and the saved cord blood.

Mary Lou Rusco also received umbilical cord blood stem cells for her leukemia.  She received the treatment from doctors at the Kansas University Medical Center, and is now free from leukemia.

Joe Davis, Jr. was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, at only a few months old.  His parents were told that he wouldn’t survive to be a teenager, and they couldn’t find a bone marrow match for him.  But along came younger brother Isaac, whose umbilical cord blood stem cells saved Joe Junior’s life.

Chloe Levine received an innovative cord blood stem cell transplant at Duke University to treat her cerebral palsy.  She’s now a happy healthy little girl.

As our good friend Tom McClusky of the March for Life has noted, this lifesaving stem cell research strikes the right cord for life!

If Father Abraham had Ultrasound

by Robert Morrison

January 20, 2014

We approach this week the forty-first anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling of the Supreme Court. Some people are inclined to call that ruling “settled law,” but it has been a most unsettling law. What Roe did was to abort justice itself. This homicidal ruling said that human lives could be taken for any reason or no reason. It is a ruling against reason.

Many of the state laws against abortion were passed in the era of the Civil War, either immediately before or shortly afterward. Those laws were based on the advances in science that clearly showed that human life begins at conception, not, as previous centuries had thought, at quickening. The passage of protective laws on abortion was promoted by physicians, not by the Catholic Church, the Protestant churches, or any other religious bodies. Science had discovered the beginnings of human life. It was taken as a given that the law must protect innocent human life.

What changed in the century following the passage of those protective laws on abortion? Science didn’t change. Human life didn’t change. In fact, it was during the decade of the 1960s that LIFE magazine published the amazing photographs of Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson. In a stunning full-color spread, America’s most popular magazine sent pictures of unborn children into millions of homes, doctors’ offices, libraries, churches, schools, even beauty shops and barber shops. No one looking at those photographs could deny the humanity of the unborn child. At a time when space travel was first opening new vistas to mankind, Nilsson showed the world these beautiful and compelling images from inner space.

What changed was the regard for truth. This was done deliberately and with malice of forethought. California Medicine, the pro-abortion journal of the state’s medical profession, let the cat out of the bag in this 1970 editorial.

…since the old ethic has not been fully displaced 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. It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because while a new ethic is being accepted the old one has not yet been rejected.

Forty-four years have passed since that journal embraced “semantic gymnastics” and “schizophrenic subterfuge.” Today, this candid commitment to lying is the ruling orthodoxy of  liberal elites in the media, academia, politics, and much of science and medicine. It is regarded as the necessary lie.

Abortion is the unjust taking of an innocent human life. It is wrong. No one has ever been able to demonstrate a single scientific advance that suggests that the unborn child is not fully human. In fact, in their importunate demand that we kill embryonic children to get their stem cells, pro-abortion liberals confirm the immutable truth that the child is fully human from the moment of conception.

Some things are forever right, forever wrong. Of course, there has been a tug-of-war to claim the allegiance of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King for one side or another of our modern day cultural clashes. And former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo can be relied upon to embrace Father Abraham as a proto-liberal Democrat. Others liberals chime in.

I have never found a reference by Lincoln to the question of abortion. We know he favored women’s suffrage; he said as much. But the women’s suffrage leaders of his day were strongly pro-life. And Susan B. Anthony was most eloquently so. So we cannot infer that his support for the just claims of women would have included support for abortion.

Lincoln did speak about eternal verities of right and wrong. He offered a parable of the ant. Even the ant, Lincoln said, knows when he is wronged. Take away from the ant the crust of bread he has earned from his own labor, and he will resist you. Lincoln said this as a way of refuting the spurious arguments of pro-slavery politicians of his day. Slavery they argued, is a positive good, benefiting slaves as well as masters. Lincoln rebutted that lie most powerfully. Clearly referring to the massive attempt at justifying slavery as a “positive good” undertaken by such leaders as John C. Calhoun, Lincoln pointedly punctured their balloon. “Though volumes have been written to justify the good of slavery,” he said, “we never see the man who seeks the good of slavery by becoming a slave himself.”

What if Father Abraham could have seen the unborn child on ultrasound? I have seen Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s video of The Silent Scream. I held his monitor for him as Dr. Nathanson addressed a right to life audience with this powerful true record of the abortion of an unborn child at twelve weeks. Even at that early stage of pre-natal development, you can see the child struggling, resisting, trying to fend off the murderous probe that will take her young life. It is a soul-searing experience to see that killing on ultra-sound.

Such irrefutable evidence moved Dr. Nathanson, then an atheist who had presided over 60,000 abortions, to repent and, in time, to come to a saving faith. Dr. Nathanson related the campaign of lies, half-truths, and semantic gymnastics President Reagan authorized Dr. Nathanson to present that video to a White House audience. And Dr. Nathanson sent video copies of The Silent Scream to every Member of Congress.

I do not claim Father Abraham as a right-to-life advocate, but I do ask others what they make of this Lincoln quote from 1858:

Nothing stamped in the divine image was sent into the world to be trod upon.

Lincoln meant it to refer to the slave, of course. But we have a right to ask: Are not unborn children so stamped?

Pro-Life Speeches from the House of Representatives

by Krystle Gabele

January 16, 2014

Last night, the House of Representatives held special order speeches to commemorate the 41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. Below are the speeches from the floor of the House:

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus joins Tony Perkins on Washington Watch

by Tony Perkins

January 10, 2014

Reince Priebus chair of the Republican National Committee, announced a delay in their annual national meeting in order for members of both the House and Senate to attend the March for Life in Washington DC on January 22nd. This year marks the 41st anniversary of the tragic decision made in Roe v. Wade, the court case legalizing abortion.

Although there have been many applauding this decision by the RNC to delay their national meeting, the applause has been met with its share of criticism. Click here to listen to the entire interview between Tony & RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus.