The Future Of Abortion

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

kermit gosnell & clinicIf the forced-pregnancy crowd continues to win its war on legal abortion, the future of abortion will be personified by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, pictured at left with his “clinic” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The grand jury’s report on the Gosnell Women’s Medical Services clinic (pdf) is available for those who have the stomach for “a house of horrors.” Gosnell is on trial for 7 counts of first-degree murder regarding the deaths of seven babies, and one count of third-degree murder for the death of a female patient. Many conservatives pundits think there should be greater media coverage. Be careful what you wish for.

Gosnell’s clientele were poor women, predominately of color, who couldn’t afford a legitimate abortion provider since Medicaid doesn’t cover most abortions. Poor people receiving substandard medical care, since when is this the focus of the media?

Some of Gosnell’s survivors intended to go to the Planned Parenthood clinic, a few miles away, but were scared away by the protesters at the Planned Parenthood clinic. The protesters were at the location where abortion was being performed at a high level of medical competence, while there were no protesters at Gosnell’s “clinic.” Maybe the media could ask the anti-abortion protesters why they didn’t picket at Gosnell’s “clinic?” Maybe the media could ask the forced-pregnancy crowd if unrestrained access to safe abortion facilities decreases the likelihood of future Gosnells.

Maybe the media could ask the forced-pregnancy crowd if denying hospital privileges to abortion providers increases the danger to their patients’ health.

The era of safe medical abortions is coming to an end. The demand for abortions has been and will always be there, and it is reasonable to foresee more Gosnells as the result, in addition to attempts at self-induced abortions.

One small glimmer of hope is the ruling by Judge Edward R. Korman, United States district judge serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Recently J. Korman ruled in the case of Tummino v. Hamburg, a case involving Kathleen Sebelius’ (Secretary of Health and Human plan bServices) overruling the FDA and denying over-the-counter (OTC) access to Plan B. In a well-reasoned and detailed ruling, J. Korman found “the Secretary’s action was politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent” in addition to being “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” J. Korman reversed the FDA decision and remanded. The Obama administration has yet to decide if it will waste millions of taxpayer dollars on a meritless appeal.

Plan B One-Step, at OTC prices and availability, will, if taken within 72 hours, reduce the chance of pregnancy by 89 percent. This will be a severe setback for the forced-pregnancy crowd. There will be no pharmacist with “religious objections” to interfere with the sale. The forced-pregnancy crowd will claim that Plan B is an abortifacient. This lie was noted by J. Korman who referenced a GAO report that Plan B:

interferes with prefertilization events. It reduces the number of sperm cells in the uterine cavity, immobilizes sperm, and impedes further passage of sperm cells into the uterine cavity. In addition, [Pan B] has the capacity to delay or prevent ovulation from occurring.

The forced-pregnancy crowd will claim that Plan B is not safe. However, J. Korman wrote that Plan B has no “known serious or long-term side effects, though they may have some mild short-term side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, and headache.” Plan B gives women the same control over reproduction that the condom does for men.

H/T: Sarah Posner, Scott Lemieux, Kate Michelman, PZ Myers, Jonathan H. Adler, NPR.

82 thoughts on “The Future Of Abortion”

  1. Bron:

    This drug causes hemorage in some cases, …

    Except there is no evidence to support this claim. According to a Princeton report (pdf):

    No deaths or serious complications have been causally linked to emergency contraception.

    1. Nal & Bron:

      There are always potential side effects and complications for all drugs. However, if read the pdf document, the ‘wording’ is interesting: no ‘serious’ complications….’casually linked’. I am not a health sciences expert, but this doesn’t mean that there are no complications or side effects from emergency contraceptives. Just no ‘serious’ ones.

      However, although I haven’t read or heard of anyone dying from emergency contraceptives, I am concerned about ‘casually linked’ terminology?

  2. Nal:

    the morning after pill has serious side effects and is going to kill some women/girls, most probably the young girls who do not understand the potential problems. From what I know of this drug, I would no more give it to my daughter than I would put a single bullet in a revolver, spin the cylinder, place it to her head and pull the trigger.

    This drug causes hemorage in some cases, it isnt a panacea. Too bad too, much better to do it this way than Gosnell’s way. You should do an internet search of late term abortions, it looks like a horror show, worse actually because they are real humans cut up in pieces.

    I had no idea how utterly horrible it is. After seeing those pictures, I can imagine why some people are so against abortion. If I was a woman, after seeing those pictures, I dont think I could go through with a late term abortion. But that would be for me to decide.

    1. The drugs,and abortions are a direct consequence of wandering way from God thinking a person is following God. People that war mistakenly think they follow God aborting life cutting it short in war. That is being religious as surprising as that sounds. Religious people feared the people when people began to follow Jesus beginning to plan for his demise.

  3. Judge rips Obama’s right-wing Plan B stance

    This morning, Korman repeatedly slammed his hand down on the table for emphasis, interrupting the government counsel’s every other sentence with assertions like, “You’re just playing games here,” “You’re making an intellectually dishonest argument,” “You’re basically lying,” “This whole thing is a charade,” “I’m entitled to say this is a lot of nonsense, am I not?” and “Contrary to the baloney you were giving me …” He also accused the administration of hypocrisy for opposing voter ID laws but being engaged in the “suppression of the rights of women” with the ID requirement for the drug.

  4. Justice Department to appeal judge’s Plan B order

    U.S. Department of Justice officials have filed notice that they will appeal a federal judge’s order requiring the Food and Drug Administration to make the so-called “morning after” pill available without a prescription to all women without age or certain sales restrictions.

    The department also has asked the federal district court to stay its order, which was set to take effect on May 6, according to Allison Price, a spokeswoman.

    1. Nal,

      I saw this on FoxNews, and I am shocked and disappointed that the Obama Administration has asked the Justice Department to appeal this? Any reason why the Obama Administration is appealing this ruling?

  5. Kermit Gosnell and the Anti-Abortion Movement’s Intelligence Failure

    New restrictions that decrease the number of providers make it more logistically difficult for women to get first-trimester abortions, which are less expensive, less risky, and less politically charged. This is precisely the outcome anti-abortion advocates want — less access to abortion and less abortion — but it comes with the side effect of pushing more of the least organized and poorest abortion-seeking women further into pregnancy as they chase the fee of a second-trimester abortion (which grows with each passing day of pregnancy) and try to find a place that will perform any kind of procedure.

    Vicious Circle of Antichoice Activism By Ed Kilgore

    So next time you are challenged by an antichoicer to register your own horror at the kind of practices carried on at Gosnell’s facility, be sure to ask how he or she would feel about eliminating the demand for such services by ensuring maximum access to contraception and to early-term abortions. I guarantee you’ll discover exactly how much these folk actually care about “horrors” other than the horror of women having a say over their own reproductive systems.

  6. nal:

    my guess is that abortions will be limited to the first trimester. I doubt very seriously if it will ever be outlawed.

  7. The real Gosnell conspiracy

    [Gosnell] is not typical, and there was, and has been, swift renunciation of his facility. But the case provides the ideal opportunity for the right-to-life movement to conflate his abusive clinic with all abortion as it’s widely practiced in the U.S., and to focus on graphic later abortions, conveniently redirecting attention from their desire to ban all abortions for everyone.

  8. Gosnell Primer By Ed Kilgore

    This is precisely the “strategic dishonesty” gambit urged on the Susan B. Anthony List by Paul Ryan just last week: publicizing rare examples of late-term abortion to gradually build support for a “pro-life” movement that actually and stealthily aims at a total ban on abortions and even some popular methods of contraception. They do not come to the Gosnell case with anything like clean hands.

  9. Bruce weakly responds, “James. I just don’t want tax dollars paying for abortions, Their killing future tax payers”

    This is not sufficient for you or the state to meddle around in the private medical affairs of anyone for any reason.

    Is greed all you have?

  10. Five Lessons from the Gosnell Abortion-Clinic Controversy

    Although the Gosnell case will be used by opponents of reproductive freedom to advocate for more arbitrary regulations, to argue that a single doctor performing already illegal post-viability abortions means that we should make safe pre-viability abortions less accessible is self-refuting nonsense. As Carmon puts it, women kept going to Gosnell’s clinic “because they felt they had no alternative.” That alternative is clinics where even poor women can obtain safe first-trimester abortions in a timely manner, without having to navigate a blizzard of regulatory impediments with the sole purpose of inhibiting access to abortion.

  11. JM,

    Up to 24 weeks and a pregnancy can still be terminated? Isn’t 24 weeks similar to being 4-6 months? How many women on this blog have been at least 2-3 months along and believed that there was only ’tissue’ inside them, and not life? 12 weeks, IMO, should be illegal.

    However, we should continue support Plan B. We should also develop a Plan C, D, & F for men (if they won’t support Plan B).

  12. James. I just don’t want tax dollars paying for abortions, Their killing future tax payers

  13. If the tenuous rights women had were not drastically decreased once the women became mothers, perhaps there would be fewer women seeking abortions. This is a discussion that will go to Hell along with the discussants no matter what happens because the ONLY way to really get women back into the position and condition the Right Wing wants them in is to gain total control over their reproductive (and necessarily non-reproductive) options. That way, the only SAFE woman will be a woman whose dominant male (father, husband, whatever) chooses to keep her safe. Then we can properly return to the feudalism on schedule — the Repugnican schedule. So far, we’re a bit behind schedule and they are screaming about it; at least the German Nazis could keep the trains running on time.

  14. The article misses the point. With abortions 100% legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, guys like Gosnell will always exist. And guys like Gosnell are not abortionists, they are murderers as defined by our laws. Our laws—like ’em or not—clearly state that before 24 weeks, the fetus is simply tissue that cannot survive on its own. After 24 weeks, it is not a fetus but rather a human being. Guys like Gosnell have utter disregard for this law and purposely push the boundaries for a specific ends to their means.

    Their ends are not the comfort or rights of the woman, or the improvement of society by selective removal of humans who don’t stand a chance of having a good life. It is, IMO, eugenics.

  15. What does science have to say about when life begins?

    Scott Gilbert, Professor of biology and developmental biology at Swarthmore, wrote in his book:

    The entity created by fertilization is indeed a human embryo, and it has the potential to be human adult. Whether these facts are enough to accord it personhood is a question influenced by opinion, philosophy and theology, rather than by science.

    You can also read his presentation: WHEN DOES PERSONHOOD BEGIN? THE BIOLOGY AND THE RHETORIC

    1. Focusing on the scientific approach make us unaware that a human being is developing. We don’t fuss over a seed saying when will whatever seed be a plant. We just know a specific seed will make a specific plant. A human being is what Jesus laid his life down to save. Focus should be to have whatever life in action not take Christs name in vain saving the soul.

  16. nick:

    its just my opinion that a human embryo or fetus is human life. Now I dont think an 8 week clump of human cells with an individual human DNA and a beating heart is equivalent to a human being ex-utero but it has the potential to become an ex-utero human individual.

    It certainly doesnt have the potential to become anything else.

    I am just using logic and observation, to my knowledge no woman has ever given birth to a goat or a dog. But I dont want to rule it out, one never can be sure of anything in this world. Well according to some people.

  17. There are 36 states that have the killing of a fetus in the womb, homicide. Some of those right wing, Christian states include California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc.

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