Abortion statistics recently released by the Health Department in New York City have raised some eyebrows. ABC affiliate WABC recently reported the new numbers show that 41 percent of all pregnancies in the city end in abortion. The report, titled, "Summary of Vital Statistics 2012, The City of New York," also broke down abortion rates according to race.
It showed abortion rates among minorities are even higher. The website News One reported that black women had the highest rate of abortion according to the study. So high, in fact, that more pregnancies among black women end in abortion than live births, with an abortion rate of nearly 60 percent. According to the story, out of 73,815 pregnancies in the city in 2012, 42 percent — over 30,000 — were abortions performed on black women.
The abortion rate among Hispanics was 41.3 percent; among whites, 20.4 percent; and among Asians, 22.7 percent.
Those numbers are troubling to both professionals and critics of abortion. The News One story does note, however, that the overall abortion rate has dropped 22 percent in the city since 2000.
That’s not good enough, according to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
"If 41 percent of New York babies are aborted, with the percentage even higher in the Bronx and among our African-American babies in the world, it is downright chilling,” he said in the WABC story.
The statistics raise the question of education and whether agencies in the city are doing enough to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Planned Parenthood wasn’t pleased with the high numbers in the study but issued a statement defending its education policy.
“We believe in comprehensive sex education, which by the way does include abstinence, but abstinence by itself has been proven to be ineffective,” the non-profit organization said according to WABC.
"My word, what have we done the last 30 years,” he asked. “There’s candy bowls on people's desks with condoms, they're dropping them from airplanes, yet nothing seems to improve, so they've been on the wrong track here.”
Tarn Duff is a two-time All-American softball outfielder who, up until recently, was serving as an assistant coach at a Montana high school. The school refused to renew her contract for the spring 2014 sports season after it was discovered that Duff has been working at a Planned Parenthood.
Duff worked as an unpaid volunteer at Billings Central Catholic School in 2012; for her coaching services in 2013, Duff was paid approximately $1,500.
In November of 2013, Duff began working as a clinical assistant at Billing’s Planned Parenthood center. She says that she “never thought twice” about whether working for the health care center would compromise her chances of getting hired as a coach.
However, the school failed to extend her another coaching offer for the 2014 season.
Duff has said that Coleman Rockwell, the school’s head coach, told her that the decision was based off her work at Planned Parenthood.
Patrick Haggerty, superintendent of Catholic schools in Montana, confirmed the decision not extend Duff a coaching offer.
“Certainly being employed by Planned Parenthood, an organization that by nature violates Catholic moral teaching by providing abortions, is not being a good role model to the children attending Catholic schools,” Haggerty said.
Haggerty also specified that the school “fulfilled the terms of the contract, and so did she.” Because spring 2014 season contracts have not yet been offered to coaches, Haggerty said that he doesn’t “know if you can say she’s been fired.”
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that houses of worship are allowed to discriminate in their employment practices on “religious grounds in certain, limited circumstances.” This “ministerial exception” is now, however, being widely contested, and people and organizations across the country are pushing its limits.
Duff has said that she is not considering a lawsuit at this time.
Controversies similar to the one surrounding Duff have been breaking out across the nation.
Catholic schools have repeatedly and “unapologetically fired teachers for their reproductive choices, prompting lawsuits in response.” In most such cases, courts have sided with the employees and have decreed that these actions “amount to unlawful employment discrimination.”
Although contraception, abortion and family planning are at the center of many of these Catholic school controversies, others have stemmed from issues relating to gay rights. Many a faculty and administration member has been fired for legally marrying his/her same-sex partner.
Photo Source: http://billingsgazette.com
The Thomas More Society reasserted its request for officials to look more closely at the circumstances surrounding the death of Tonya Reaves. The request is part an ongoing effort by the pro-life legal organization to ensure that abortion clinics in Illinois are more closely inspected and regulated.
Reaves was 24 years old when she died as a result of a botched abortion procedure at a Chicago Planned Parenthood facility in July, 2012.
Planned Parenthood recently settled a wrongful death suit with Reaves’ family for $2 million.
The settlement upset members of the Thomas More Society, who filed a formal administrative complaint last February with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR).
“The fact that Planned Parenthood has been allowed to merely pay ‘hush money’ to the victim’s family without any further consequences is a slap in the face to every woman who walks through the doors of the nation’s largest abortion provider,” said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society.
The law group alleged that the Planned Parenthood facility was supposed to only offer limited services, such as birth control, abortion pills and emergency contraception. Instead, they point out, the facility was offering dilation and evacuation abortions.
That was the procedure being performed on Reaves in 2012 when she began bleeding heavily at the facility. Planned Parenthood eventually had her transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where the procedure was completed but she died of complications from a severed uterine artery.
The Thomas More Society said in their complaint the death was the result of “unprofessional care.”
"Any physician taking responsibility for performing surgery in such a sub-par setting, who inflicts the ultimate 'harm' (death) on his or her patient, is not even remotely 'properly qualified or competent' to render such potentially fatal surgical services, which is 'dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct' or 'questioned activities' that flout regulatory norms,” argued the complaint.
Tom Brejcha, president of the Thomas More Society, said in a statement, last year, "It is IDPR's solemn duty to protect patients from dangerous medical treatments, and Illinois citizens sorely need dependable assurance that Tonya Reaves' tragedy will never be allowed to recur.”
There has been no known action by the IDPR to follow up to the original complaint.
A Chicago anti-abortion group oragnizing its 11th annual “Empty Manger Christmas Caroling Day” is asking "Would Planned Parenthood have aborted Jesus?"
On Saturday, the Pro-Life Action Fund will sing songs around an empty manger, traveling throughout the city to visit abortion clinics.
The group says it wants to “touch the mothers arriving at these clinics intending to abort their babies.”
“What would Christmas be without the Baby Jesus? What will Christmas be like this year in all those homes with missing babies?” the group asked in a press release.
"It has happened before," said Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League Eric Scheidler. "We were singing 'Silent Night' outside of a Chicago abortion clinic when a young woman came out, approached one of our carolers, and said that our singing made her think about Mary and Baby Jesus and she just couldn't go through with her abortion."
"The empty manger has been a symbol of hope through the centuries, placed in the Christmas crèche in anticipation of the birth of the Christ child celebrated at Christmas," Scheidler said.
Similar events have been held during the holidays in other states. According to ThinkProgress, the protest gathers the biggest crowd outside of Planned Parenthood, which provides pap exams, contraceptives, abortions, and breast cancer screenings to more than 65,000 women each year.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear a case next year on whether women’s health clinics should have “buffer zones” to protect patients from protesters.
“We believe sidewalk counseling is the most important pro-life work God has given us to do,” says the Pro-Life Action Fund website. “Praying outside abortion clinics is the first step in becoming directly involved fighting abortion.”
Rush Limbaugh: Planned Parenthood 'Injected Some Kind Of A Germ' Into Morning-After Pill To Force Abortions
Rush Limbaugh theorized Monday that Planned Parenthood is responsible for making the morning-after pill less effective for women over 165 pounds because they want those women to have an abortion.
On his radio segment “Big, Fat Warning: Plan B Won’t Work for Large Ladies,” Limbaugh said pregnant ladies over 165 pounds will be told “you’re not only fat” but get referred to Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program.
“Weight data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that, at 166 pounds, the average American woman is too heavy to use these pills effectively. So European women can get away with it up to 176 pounds for some reason, but American women can't. The lack of effectiveness kicks in at 166 pounds. So American women are discriminated against by the Plan B pill by 10 pounds.”
The actual warning that will now appear on labels for Europe’s version of Plan B, which is manufactured by a French pharmaceutical company, doesn’t discriminate between women from different countries.
It says that the pill becomes less effective at 166 pounds and may not be effective at all at 176 pounds or more. According to the CDC, the average weight for an American female is 166 pounds. No such warning appears on American versions of the drug, which can be taken up 72 hours after having sex.
“So you go to the doctor and the doctor's gonna say, ‘You know what? You're not only fat, you're pregnant, and Plan B won't work for you,’ and then you're gonna be directed to Michelle's (My Belle's) Let's Move program,” Limbaugh said.
He said if a “170-pound woman gets pregnant” she will have two options: “she can either go on a diet or she can get an abortion.”
“So what are the possibilities that Planned Parenthood injected some kind of a germ into these pills to make 'em not work on women over 166 pounds?” he asked. “I like putting my own conspiracy theories out there just to toy with people. But Planned Parenthood's gonna be a clear beneficiary here of this little factoid about Plan B not working in women over 166 pounds. Just a little thought.”
The non-profit Planned Parenthood Federation of America does not manufacture drugs.
Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, which is headquartered in Israel.
The latest abortion battle is not being fought by doctors against religious protesters, but instead by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Iowa Board of Medicine. In August, the Iowa Board ruled that secure video-conferencing between patients in rural communities and doctors in Des Moines, Iowa would no longer be adequate consultation in order to prescribe RU-486, a drug that terminates pregnancies. According to The Associated Press, a judge “ruled Tuesday that Planned Parenthood could still use video conferencing to distribute abortion-inducing pills while the organization challenges a new ban on the practice in court.”
The Iowa Board says that the teleconferences provide “inadequate health care” for women, who live in rural Iowa. In a statement they said an “in-person medical interview and physical examination of the patient are essential to establishing [an appropriate physician-patient] relationship.” However, Judge Karen Romano ruled to allow the process to continue because sufficient evidence that it was dangerous was not provided to Polk Country District Court. She also noted that it was odd for the board to mandate the ban for this specific service, and not any of the dozens of other telemedical practices in Iowa.
Reports from The Houston Chronicle and a number of other outlets, extoll the virtues of telemedicine and assert that it saves lives. The Department of Veterans Affairs has used telemedicine to great effect in recent years in order to provide care for veterans who live many miles away from a VA hospital.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood suggest that the board only made the ruling because of board members’ personal opposition to abortion. The board was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad, a conservative Republican who recently signed a controversial bill that gives him control over whether money in the Medicaid budget can be used to pay for abortions.
A woman who became concerned about an unusual breast growth was denied a free mammogram, which she was qualified for based on income, by the Women’s Wellness Connection in Denver, Colo. She was forced to scrape together the money to cover the cost of the mammogram that was performed at a local Planned Parenthood on her own because she doesn’t have health insurance. Now, 62-year-old Jennifer Blair is suing the parties involved for discrimination.
Why would a woman be denied the free mammogram service that she was qualified for? Well, because she was born a man.
Blair had a sex change operation a decade ago, and has been on hormones ever since. Those hormones that she takes can actually increase the risk for developing health issues like breast cancer, so when she noticed the unusual breast growth, Blair decided she had to go for a mammogram, not expecting to be turned away.
“I was shocked,” Blair said. “I was hurt.”
“I’m just a person like anyone else,” she said. “I have the same hopes, the same dreams, the same concerns as any other woman.”
Still, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), who funds the Women’s Wellness Connection program, says that it only covers clients who are “genetically female.”
“It’s discrimination based on her transgender status,” said Blair’s lawyer, Sarah Parady. “I think that’s pretty black and white. And we think that is a terrible injustice.”
Blair says that she is suing so that other transgender women don’t have to go through what she went through.
“I am a real woman,” said Blair. “This is about social justice. This is about holding public organizations accountable to do the right thing.”
Federal authorities are now identifying a 29-year-old Iraq War veteran from Missouri as the prime suspect in two arson attempts on a local Planned Parenthood, as well as in the burning down of a Joplin Mosque last year.
Jedediah Stout confessed this past weekend to attempting to burn down the Planned Parenthood as well as burning down the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque.
According to reports, police were called to Planned Parenthood the night of Oct. 4 after it was discovered that a backpack containing a bottle of clear liquid was thrown into the building. The backpack was reportedly attached to a rope, which was lit on fire. This did only minor damage to the building. The exact same thing was attempted the night before, but failed, so authorities then knew it was a serious situation. Later that night, they found Stout walking the nearby railroad tracks and took him in for questioning.
Police say they confirmed that the man had purchased the same items used in the arson attempts and even found his fingerprints on a bottle near the building.
Stout confessed to both attempts on Planned Parenthood, as well as the successful burning down of the local mosque, which actually wound up bringing in $400,000 in donations from the community.
His Planned Parenthood target does not perform abortions, so it’s unclear what his motive was.
Imam Lahmuddin of the Islamic Society of Joplin says that while the confession doesn’t change what happened, it at least gives local Muslims some peace of mind.
“We always feel welcome here,” said Lahmuddin. “As you can see, the reaction of the community in Joplin after the fire, they’re very supportive and encouraged us to rebuild in Joplin. [Stout’s] arrest will not bring back our mosque, but we at least feel relief, and we know who did what he did.”
Authorities say that he has been charged with the two arson attempts at Planned Parenthood, but has not yet been charged with the mosque arson. In his various online profiles, Stout describes himself as a “politically conservative Christian” and Iraq War veteran.
Kansas Supreme Court Suspends Former Attorney General, Anti-Choice Crusader Phill Kline's Law License
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday to indefinitely suspend former attorney general Phill Kline’s law license, after finding that he engaged in ethical misconduct by pursuing charges against abortion providers.
The court ruled that Kline broke professional conduct rules and committed violations to advance his investigations, including misleading his employees and encouraging employees to mislead others, like a grand jury.
"If this is the standard of honesty in Kansas,” Kline’s attorney Tom Condit responded, “there are a lot of attorneys who are going to be taking a long vacation.”
Kline was also found to have made false or misleading statements to the Supreme Court about handling and obtaining patients records during criminal investigations.
The former attorney general’s cases included investigations into George Tiller, the doctor killed in 2009 for providing abortions, and Planned Parenthood, which he accused of conducting illegal abortions and falsifying records.
“Planned Parenthood said throughout this long ordeal Mr. Kline was pursuing a political witch hunt based on his ideological and political views, not the law," Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri CEO Peter Brownlie said. "Today’s unanimous decision confirms we were right."
Kline will be eligible to reapply for his license in three years, according to the Kansas City Star.
In 2005, a group of researchers from the University of New Mexico published the results of a study examining the extent that abortion education was being offered in US medical schools. The study discovered that “[a]bortion education is limited in US medical schools,” and suggested that the subject at least be covered in all medical schools.
Nearly a decade later not much has changed, according to Sarp Aksel the president of the board of Medical Students for Choice. An international group that seeks to increase access for medical students and residents to this side of OB/GYN education, Askel said, “There are still a lot of institutional barriers to getting the training, even basic training, on abortion at the medical school level.”
The 2005 study found that 45 percent of medical schools offered clinical experience in the third year, but that number has most likely fallen, especially given the recent spate of clinic closures that may limit opportunity for clinical experience. The closures are spurred by laws passed that provide such stringent restrictions most clinics cannot afford to stay open. In September at least 58 clinics had to close down or stop providing the procedure even though the restrictions don’t kick in immediately.
Texas is the largest and most populous state to pass such a law, and the rationale behind it is that by requiring certification as an ambulatory surgery center and access to nearby hospitals, they have the safety of the patients in mind.
However, critics argue that because an abortion is technically a procedure and not full-blown surgery, the restrictions are both unnecessary and simply a ploy by Republican-controlled governments to severely limit the options available to women who wish to terminate a pregnancy. They cite lack of restrictions for similarly invasive procedures like liposuction, colposcopies, and hernia repair.