-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
If 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 Services) 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.