FRC Blog

Rebuttal to LA Times Abortion Article

by Family Research Council

September 11, 2007

Yesterday the L.A. Times ran a story on a Missouri law that would regulate abortion clinics as outpatient surgical centers (Missouri abortion law under review). Andrew Schlafly, General Counsel for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, wrote an excellent point-by-point rebuttal which we believe is worth reposting in its entirety:

The L.A. Times reported Monday that “Planned Parenthood’s clinic here in central Missouri performs about 600 first-trimester abortions a year, drawing patients from areas several hours away. Surgical abortions take place in two small exam rooms as the patient, often sedated with a Valium, lies on a padded table, her feet in stirrups.” The hall is “dimly lighted” and after the abortions the mothers are taken “to a small, spare recovery room” which “is crowded, the vinyl recliners positioned so close to one another, patients could hold hands.”[1]

It is inhumane to subject mothers to such overcrowded post-abortion facilities. Planned Parenthood enjoys an annual profit of over $50 million as the United States’ largest abortion provider,[2] but a clinic pleads poverty in complying with a new Missouri law[3] requiring the same conditions for abortion patients as other surgical patients.

Though the L.A. Times article admits to the crowding, it misleads the public in several ways. The article conceals how the Missouri law applies to all abortions equally, and the federal judge’s injunction against the law has the effect of permitting second and third trimester abortions to be performed at overcrowded clinics. The judge heard arguments Monday on making his injunction permanent.

The L.A. Times quotes three individuals who benefit from the abortion industry before quoting a defense of this law: “We’re applying the same standards of healthcare to abortion clinics as we are to other medical facilities,” said Pam Fichter, development director of Missouri Right to Life.

Point-by-Point Rebuttal

Point 1: “A first-trimester surgical abortion takes about two minutes.”

False. It takes many times longer than that, even if there are no complications.[4] When incomplete, the abortion is repeated on the same mother. If there are complications, then even more is required. Some abortions are done under general anesthesia, which of course takes longer still.

Tonsillectomies and colonoscopies have been subject to this Missouri law, and they do not require any more time than abortions.

Point 2: “After, patients at the Planned Parenthood clinic here walk down a dimly lighted hall to a small, spare recovery room, where they rest in recliners, a box of tissues by each chair. Most are cleared to go home after 15 minutes.”

Misleading: Obviously patients “are cleared to go home” so quickly because the clinic is overcrowded, and early departure is needed to ease the crowding. Patients who undergo surgery other than abortion are not told to go home so quickly, and it is inhumane to treat mothers this way after abortions.

Point 3: “They have enacted the most far-reaching regulations in the nation — dictating the physical layout, staffing and record-keeping policies of any facility that performs five or more abortions a month, including private doctors’ offices that regularly prescribe the abortion pill.”

Misleading: This law is no different from what is required for other ambulatory surgery centers. The complaining Planned Parenthood clinic does surgical abortion, so the point about the abortion pill does not apply to it. As to doctors’ offices, very few prescribe this dangerous abortion pill, which causes bleeding, pain and higher complications. It is reasonable to require safe facilities of providers who do profit from abortion.

Point 4: “The law would put providers of five or more abortions a month in the same regulatory category as outpatient surgical centers that perform a wide range of procedures, some under general anesthesia, including tonsillectomies, cardiac catheterization, hernia repair, cataract removal and colonoscopy.”

Misleading: Abortion is often done under general anesthesia, which is more serious, while the other surgeries above are often done without general anesthesia. There is no reason why abortionists should get by with facilities less adequate than what is required for the less serious tonsillectomies or colonoscopies.


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I don’t have to say a whole lot, I can just walk into a room.”

by Jared Bridges

September 7, 2007

This story from The Courier-Journal in Louisville gives us a glimpse of a remarkable woman who survived an abortion:

A 30-year-old singer and marathoner who says she survived a botched abortion attempt urged a Louisville gathering of more than 200 people to oppose abortion.

What I often say is if abortion is merely about a woman’s rights, then what were mine?” Gianna Jessen told the annual gathering of Kentucky Doctors for Life Foundation at the St. Matthews Community Center. ” I live with the results of this tragedy in our lives.”

Jessen, a Christian singer from Nashville, Tenn., said her teenage mother was 7 12 months pregnant when she went to a Los Angeles abortion clinic.

Jessen said her mother had an uncommon method of abortion in which saline solution was injected. Jessen said she was born alive at two pounds, and taken to a hospital where she was placed in an incubator but suffered from cerebral palsy.

Read the whole story. Jessen is a living example that there are more than just one set of “rights” at play in the abortion issue.

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Religion & Politics at American University

by Jared Bridges

September 6, 2007

Yesterday, I had the privilege of participating in “Table Talk Luncheon” at American University’s Kay Spiritual Life Center. The topic was “Religion & Politics in the US: Young Evangelicals in National Politics.” My worthy counterpart on the panel was Tim Kumfer from Sojourners, with whom I even found a few points of agreement (you’ll have to listen to the audio to find out exactly which points).

Before a packed room of American University students, we discussed “hot button” issues like same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, abortion, and the nation’s “right-left divide” and evangelicals’ involvement in politics. Although most of the audience seemed to lean left, they were gracious hosts, and I had a great time. Thanks to all the students who attended, and to the chaplains who organized the event.

I’ll post a link to the audio of the event here whenever it becomes available.

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Right Matters on “A Judge’s Marriage Decree”

by Family Research Council

August 31, 2007

The Washington Post recently launched a new Discussion Groups section where readers can join WP staffer and others in talking about politics, culture and other topics. Our friend Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review, is the moderator for Right Matters, a section devoted to “Talking About the Future of Conservatism.”

Today’s discussion is on a ruling by Judge Robert Hanson’s ruling that declared Iowa’s marriage laws unconstitutional, and ordered the county recorder in Des Moines to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Judge Hanson is utterly dismissive of the concerns of opponents of same-sex marriage, which he treats as irrational and illegitimate.

The decision is a gross act of judicial activism. Advocates of same-sex marriage make a serious case: but that case should be made to voters and legislators, not to judges. When the people of Iowa adopted their constitution, they surely did not mean to embrace principles that would lead to same-sex marriage. If they want to do so now, they can; but courts should not pretend that they already have.

If judges can rewrite our most fundamental laws, are we still a self-governing country?

This is a great forum for conservatives to explain our rational and legitimate reasons for opposing same-sex marriage, so drop by and present our case.

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Update alsorans

by Family Research Council

August 23, 2007

Stories that if they ran we would all get fired

Boy in court for hurling sausage

Zoo rhino killed by sand blockage

Whither ‘Spot’? Whither ‘Puff’?

For the fifth year in a row, the most popular dog and cat name in the United States is Max.

Firefighters Save 6 Cats From Milford Blaze

Texas Rangers 30: Baltimore Orioles 3

Toddler Taser

The commitment to protect your baby, is more than something rational. It is innate. What is rational is taking steps to reconcile the instinct to protect, to always be there when needed. To this end the Toddler Taser is a wise choice for any parent.

SpongeBob SquarePants Journals Recalled For Lead

The government says an Ohio importer has recalled nearly 250,000 SpongeBob SquarePants address books and journals manufactured in China.

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Because I know you really miss the Update . . .

by Family Research Council

August 23, 2007

Group To Out Signers Of Anti-Gay Oregon Petition

People who sign petitions seeking to put measures repealing two LGBT civil rights laws on next November’s ballot are about to be outed. This is similar to intimidation tactics used in Massachusetts and elsewhere. They call you up and lie to you that you broke the law, are vulnerable to identity theft, etc. I guess when you cant win on the merits you resort to dirty tricks.

Getting Real About Chavez by Jeb Koogler

For a long time, Ive defended Hugo Chavez. I thought that he was fighting a worthy battle against greed and corruption, against years of foreign domination and cronyism. I thought he was trying to improve the lives of poor people, while establishing a strong economy, an independent and self-respecting nation, and a vibrant democracy.

But now, after watching events unfold in the past few months, Im ready to admit that I was mistaken.

Playboy Enterprises Launches College Social Network; Says ‘Non-Nude’

Scientists Drug-Test Whole Cities

One urban area with a gambling industry had meth levels more than five times higher than other cities.

A Test Case for Abolishing Family by Terence Jeffrey

As odd is it might seem, the next to last day of 2003 may someday be seen as a fateful moment for the traditional family. That is the when the United States Drug Enforcement Agency busted a pair of methamphetamine dealers in Philadelphia.

In a remarkable example of the corrosive force liberalism exerts on our society, the arrest of these drug dealers led to an opinion issued July 31 by U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz that — if sustained by the Supreme Court — could erase the special status marriage and the traditional family enjoy in American law.

Education field donating more in presidential race

Of the more than $7 million that academics donated in the first half of this year, more than $4.1 million went to presidential campaigns, particularly Barack Obama’s, according to a study released this month by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The Illinois senator brought in almost $1.5 million, while Hillary Clinton received nearly $940,000. Republican Mitt Romney was in third place, with about $448,000, but overall, three-quarters of contributions went to Democrats.

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Update Schmupdate: Stories to read during the hiatus

by Family Research Council

August 22, 2007

Fla. Governor Crist may bet state budget on gambling

A deal with the Seminole Tribe could offer relief, he says.

As the political odds increasingly favor Las Vegas-style gambling on Florida tribal lands, the Seminole Tribe sees big dollar signs, and so does Gov. Charlie Crist.

La. Democrats sink to new low

The Louisiana Democratic Party sunk to a new low earlier this week when the party unveiled a round of negative campaign advertising on television attacking Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal’s faith in Jesus Christ.” The offending commercial can be seen here.

Why the U.S. Ranks Low on WHO’s Health-Care Study by John Stossel

The New York Times recently declared “the disturbing truth … that … the United States is a laggard not a leader in providing good medical care.”

As usual, the Times editors get it wrong.

Ministry Sues to Keep Same-Sex Ceremonies Out of Its Facility

( - A Methodist group that refuses to let homosexuals hold civil union ceremonies at one of its retreat facilities is suing New Jersey officials to prevent the state from forcing the church to violate its religious beliefs.

Jacksonville Jaguars Gives Planned Parenthood Abortion Business $30K Grant

Hate Crimes Law Defy Testimony of Experience

by Tony Perkins

Subverting Rights You Relish Will Catch Up With You

Right about now, Christian fundamentalists are shouting, “Told you so!” And gay-rights advocates have nobody but themselves to blame. Social conservatives long have maintained that laws and constitutional amendments defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman were needed because if gay marriage gained a foothold, then religious freedom would soon be under fire. As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC) put it last year, “When we look at what has happened with same-sex marriage … we’ve seen in its wake the loss of religious freedoms and the ability to speak out based upon one’s moral convictions.”

Group launches anti-embryonic stem cell initiative

A group called Cures Without Cloning filed ballot language with the Missouri Secretary of States office for a state Constitutional amendment that would prohibit funding for any type of research, including SCNT, that involves human cloning, said Curt Mercadante, a spokesman for the group.

Kids First…Then everyone else follows onto government health care! By David Freddoso

Late last week, the Bush administration announced plans to curb the practice of states putting already-insured and non-needy children on the rolls of a federal program that subsidizes health insurance for uninsured and needy children.

Beltway Brat Packers: Bipartisan pushers and shovers and VIP linecutters.

By Michelle Malkin

Everything you hate about the culture of Washington is symbolized in two recent altercations involving two obnoxious Beltway buttinskis, one Democrat and one Republican.

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Stories not quite ready for the Update

by Family Research Council

August 22, 2007

What scarecrow? Bartlett has its scare-gators

City puts the fright in geese with visions of alligators and coyotes

Bartlett has new tools for bird abatement: coyotes on sticks and alligator heads.

Not real coyotes or alligators, mind you, but fake ones that look mean enough to scare flocks of wildfowl from parks and ponds.

Now dirty chopsticks picked up in China scare

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Beijing factory recycled used chopsticks and sold up to 100,000 pairs a day without any form of disinfection, a newspaper said on Wednesday, the latest is a string of food and product safety scares.

Norway’s Moose Population in Trouble for Belching

The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year — equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.

Big Mac Museum Restaurant opens in North Huntingdon

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Rejected Update story submissions

by Family Research Council

August 21, 2007

Missing body parts of famous people

Duathlon organisers insure against Loch Ness monster attack

Organisers of a duathlon in Scotland have taken out a one-million-pound (1.46-million-euro, 1.97-million-dollar) insurance policy against attack by or sighting of the fabled Loch Ness monster.

Man rides mule from Minnesota to Wyoming

Women really do prefer pink, researchers say

Boys like blue, girls like pink and there isn’t much anybody can do about it, researchers said on Monday in one of the first studies to show scientifically that there are gender-based color preferences.

Filner disputes assault and battery charges

United employee claims congressman pushed him at baggage claim area

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., has been summoned to court on assault and battery charges after an incident at Dulles Airport on Sunday night where he allegedly pushed a United Airlines bag claim employee.

Any way you slice it, you’ll pay more for pizza

Eateries feeling pinch of increased dairy prices

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Things to read while pining for the Update to return

by Family Research Council

August 21, 2007

Gay Marriage On Agenda As Calif. Lawmakers Return To Work

Ireland Amnesty International Affiliate Won’t Promote Pro-Abortion View

An Unjust Judge by Nan Aron (The Washington Post must have felt bad they actually endorsed a fair process in the judicial nomination system and immediately let the liberal Alliance for Justice respond - I’m so sure they would grant us equal time on other issues.) Ed Whelan has a good response to Mr. Arons response here.

Faceoff looms at new Planned Parenthood

Abortion foes vow to launch protests and urge boycotts when the organization begins building the $4.2 million center at Stapleton, a site previously kept secret.

The 109th Congress: An Old Political Era Ends Will the New Era Steer the Nation to Rougher Fiscal Waters or a Brighter Horizon? By Demian Brady

Congress Approval Rating Matches Historical Low

Just 18% approve of job Congress is doing

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