Video Makers In Planned Parenthood Scandal Indicted By Texas Grand Jury

CMPgoldfinal200px-Logo_plannedparenthoodThere is a surprising development out of Texas in the investigation of into Planned Parenthood and the scandal over the selling of fetal tissue and body parts. The Center for Medical Progress had gone undercover to record officials with the organization speaking about the sales in ways that outraged the public and triggered a backlash against Planned Parenthood. However, the grand jury opted not to indict anyone at Planned Parenthood and instead charged David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with the Center of Medical Progress for tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony. Perhaps the most interesting charge was the indictment of Daleiden with the purchase and sale of human organs, a class A misdemeanor. The group has insisted that it was using standard journalistic practices in showing that Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has been cleared of any wrongdoing in various states. However, Planned Parenthood was forced to apologize for the casual tone of its officials and changed its policy on reimbursements for tissue and body parts.

In some ways, the indictment is a backfire for Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and others who called for a criminal investigation into the organization. The Grand Jury apparently found criminal conduct on the part of the anti-abortion activists instead.

In making the videos, the Center set up a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services and created fake identities to pose as legitimate providers of fetal tissue to researchers. That is certainly similar to journalistic investigations. However, Dealeiden and Merritt also created fake IDs that resembled California-issued licenses. Daleiden used the name Robert Sarkis on his license while Merritt used the name Susan Sarah Tennenbaum. The misdemeanor against Daleiden appears connected to laws prohibiting offers to buy fetal tissue. Daleiden had a meeting in April with Planned Parenthood officials in Houston and sent them an email to them in June offering to buy fetal tissue for $1,600 per sample.

That last point raises an interesting issue. Planned Parenthood never responded to the offer and Daleiden could claim that he never intended to buy the tissue — he was trying to confirm wrongdoing. Indeed, the organization is dedicated to opposing such sales – a conflict with the obvious purpose of the law. The misdemeanor count is troubling and will likely raise the status of the Center. It is always possible that the purpose or motivation of the defendants will be factored into the punishment or sentencing phase. Thus, even if the public interest purpose is not a defense, it can be a mitigating factor cited by the defense to reduce any sentence.

Daleiden, 26, released a statement that said that he used the “same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws.” The Center itself could be viewed as more of an advocacy group than a journalistic enterprise. Yet on its site, it refers to itself as a collection of “citizen journalists”:

The Center for Medical Progress is a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances. We are concerned about contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity, and we oppose any interventions, procedures, and experiments that exploit the unequal legal status of any class of human beings. We envision a world in which medical practice and biotechnology ally with and serve the goods of human nature and do not destroy, disfigure, or work against them.

The difficulty for Daleiden and the Center that, as we have previously discussed, the media has faced liability over the years for such techniques. Courts have held that journalistic privilege does not insulate media from such torts and crimes as trespass, though it can have an impact on the level of damages allowed.

In Food Lion v. ABC , a store was shown in an undercover segment engaging in unsanitary techniques and accused Food Lion of selling rat-gnawed cheese, meat that was past its expiration date and old fish and ham that had been washed in bleach to kill the smell. Food lion denied the allegations and sued ABC for trespass. A jury ruled against ABC and awarded Food Lion punitive damages for the investigation involving ABC journalists lying on their application forms and assumed positions under false pretenses. (here). The Fourth Circuit however wiped out the punitive damage award while upholding the verdicts of trespass and breach of loyalty with awards of only $1 for each.

There is also a case out of the Seventh Circuit. Judge Richard Posner wrote the decision in Desnick v. ABC where investigative reporters went undercover in 1993 to show that employees of the Desnick eye clinic had tampered with the clinic’s auto-refractor, the machine used to detect cataracts so that the machine produced false diagnoses to find cataracts (and require procedures). The court rejected wiretapping claims (based on the state’s one-party consent rules) as well as trespass and defamation claims. On trespass, the court noted that the reporters were allowed into areas open to new patients. Posner relied on the consent to the entry to negate the trespass claim even when the entrant “has intentions that if known to the owner of the property would cause him . . . to revoke his consent.”

These cases will be equally relevant to the recent lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood against the Center for Medical Progress, alleging the defendants engaged in fraud and misrepresentation to set up meetings and record conversations. It filed a host of counts from wire and mail fraud to invasion of privacy to illegal secret recording and trespassing.

The false IDs represent a serious problem because such issues are often presented by prosecutors and treated by juries as a straightforward violation of Tampering with a Governmental Record (which is a second-degree felony). It is a crime under the provision (below) if a person “makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record.” The provision further states:

a felony of the second degree, notwithstanding Subdivisions (1) and (2), if the actor’s intent in committing the offense was to defraud or harm another.
(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession under Subsection (a)(6) that the possession occurred in the actual discharge of official duties as a public servant.
(f) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(5) that the false entry or false information could have no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.
(g) A person is presumed to intend to defraud or harm another if the person acts with respect to two or more of the same type of governmental records or blank governmental record forms and if each governmental record or blank governmental record form is a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, or similar document issued by government.

They could argue for exception (f): “It is a defense to prosecution…..that the false entry or false information could have no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.” However, driver’s licenses are used as official identification for citizens so the prosecutors can claim that this exception is not applicable. In creating the false cards, the prosecution could argue that the two defendants were using the state government to vouch for their authenticity and identification.

It is possible for the Center to argue that the IDs were not meant to resemble official documents. However, as shown below, they appear pretty official:

55bbc9b21d00003000143804

55bbca011400002f002e19f1

I remain troubled by the misdemeanor count against Daleiden and the lack of any allowance for an journalistic or public interest defense. As shown below, there is only an exception for doctors and others using such parts for medical research or treatment:

Sec. 48.02. PROHIBITION OF THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF HUMAN ORGANS. (a) “Human organ” means the human kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, eye, bone, skin, fetal tissue, or any other human organ or tissue, but does not include hair or blood, blood components (including plasma), blood derivatives, or blood reagents.
(b) A person commits an offense if he or she knowingly or intentionally offers to buy, offers to sell, acquires, receives, sells, or otherwise transfers any human organ for valuable consideration.
(c) It is an exception to the application of this section that the valuable consideration is: (1) a fee paid to a physician or to other medical personnel for services rendered in the usual course of medical practice or a fee paid for hospital or other clinical services; (2) reimbursement of legal or medical expenses incurred for the benefit of the ultimate receiver of the organ; or (3) reimbursement of expenses of travel, housing, and lost wages incurred by the donor of a human organ in connection with the donation of the organ.
(d) A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

I assume that the relevant tampering provision is below:

Sec. 37.10. TAMPERING WITH GOVERNMENTAL RECORD. (a) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;
(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record;
(3) intentionally destroys, conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record;
(4) possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with intent that it be used unlawfully;
(5) makes, presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity; or
(6) possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.
(b) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(3) that the governmental record is destroyed pursuant to legal authorization or transferred under Section 441.204, Government Code. With regard to the destruction of a local government record, legal authorization includes compliance with the provisions of Subtitle C, Title 6, Local Government Code.
(c)(1) Except as provided by Subdivisions (2), (3), and (4) and by Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the actor’s intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.
(2) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record was:
(A) a public school record, report, or assessment instrument required under Chapter 39, Education Code, data reported for a school district or open-enrollment charter school to the Texas Education Agency through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) described by Section 42.006, Education Code, under a law or rule requiring that reporting, or a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by government, by another state, or by the United States, unless the actor’s intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree;
(B) a written report of a medical, chemical, toxicological, ballistic, or other expert examination or test performed on physical evidence for the purpose of determining the connection or relevance of the evidence to a criminal action;
(C) a written report of the certification, inspection, or maintenance record of an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, or other similar device used in the course of an examination or test performed on physical evidence for the purpose of determining the connection or relevance of the evidence to a criminal action; or
(D) a search warrant issued by a magistrate.
(3) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is a governmental record that is required for enrollment of a student in a school district and was used by the actor to establish the residency of the student.
(4) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is a written appraisal filed with an appraisal review board under Section 41.43(a-1), Tax Code, that was performed by a person who had a contingency interest in the outcome of the appraisal review board hearing.
(d) An offense under this section, if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is described by Section 37.01(2)(D), is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a)(2) or Subsection (a)(5) and the defendant is convicted of presenting or using the record;
(2) a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed under:
(A) Subsection (a)(1), (3), (4), or (6); or
(B) Subsection (a)(2) or (5) and the defendant is convicted of making the record; and
(3) a felony of the second degree, notwithstanding Subdivisions (1) and (2), if the actor’s intent in committing the offense was to defraud or harm another.
(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession under Subsection (a)(6) that the possession occurred in the actual discharge of official duties as a public servant.
(f) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(5) that the false entry or false information could have no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.
(g) A person is presumed to intend to defraud or harm another if the person acts with respect to two or more of the same type of governmental records or blank governmental record forms and if each governmental record or blank governmental record form is a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, or similar document issued by government.
(h) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 32.48 or 37.13, the actor may be prosecuted under any of those sections.
(i) With the consent of the appropriate local county or district attorney, the attorney general has concurrent jurisdiction with that consenting local prosecutor to prosecute an offense under this section that involves the state Medicaid program.
(j) It is not a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the record, document, or thing made, presented, or used displays or contains the statement “NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT” or another substantially similar statement intended to alert a person to the falsity of the record, document, or thing, unless the record, document, or thing displays the statement diagonally printed clearly and indelibly on both the front and back of the record, document, or thing in solid red capital letters at least one-fourth inch in height.

Source: CNN

96 thoughts on “Video Makers In Planned Parenthood Scandal Indicted By Texas Grand Jury

  1. These individuals weren’t engaged In journalism. Their goal was to create phony videos and smear their victims.

  2. Would this mean that any 19 year old with a fake ID that indicated that he or she was 21 to buy alcohol would be committing a 2nd degree felony?

  3. Good unbiased post, JT. Regarding the ID’s. The prosecutor could go to the Rice and U. of Houston campus and round up thousands of felons w/ tampered ID’s.

    The key issue is whether these people were journalists. Because they are anti abortion advocates does not preclude them from being journalists. If people don’t think MSM journalists are advocates for political parties, causes, etc. then they are fools. I would need more information.

    Finally, I had a sister who lived in Harris County. It has gone from a conservative to wildly liberal venue, w/ the lesbian Houston mayor leading the charge. You’ll remember she and liberal activists put on the ballot the “non discrimination” bathroom referendum. That was where they proposed anyone could use any bathroom, an homage to transgender people. The people of Houston kicked that insane referendum’s ass. I’m guessing the prosecutor who led this grand jury is of the same ilk as the mayor. This is about politics, not the law.

  4. Paul, The TRUTH will not prevent those who LIE about the videos. The biggest “doctor” of videos is the fat, liberal icon, Michael Moore. You will see people here say the videos were “edited” like editing is a bad practice. I had a stupid plaintiff’s attorney try and make issue w/ the fact that I edited down hours of raw surveillance footage into an edited 20 minute tape for the jury. He tried to make “edited” a bad word. I pointed out to him they give Academy Awards for editing. They question is whether raw footage was edited fairly. Not that it was edited. Fat Michael Moore does not edit fairly. But, he is liberal and he’s gets an Oscar. But, NOT FOR EDITING!

  5. Referring to someone as “fat” in an attempt to put them up as a negative example can pretty much deflate an entire argument which otherwise holds water. Less so “stupid” and “liberal.”

  6. I believe subsection (f) could provide a defense on the fake driver’s licenses: “It is a defense to prosecution…..that the false entry or false information could have no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.” The governmental purpose in issuing driver’s licenses is to provIde proof that the holder of the license is qualified to drive a vehicle. The prosecution cannot argue that a driver’s license is issued to provide proof of identity, because state DMVs offer identity cards for that purpose, in addition to, or in lieu of, a driver’s license. Some people get both a driver’s license and a state I.D. card so that they will have two forms of identification. In any event, the governmental purpose in issuing driver’s licenses is not to protect a private organization from undercover sleuths trying to expose real or imagined wrongdoing.

  7. It sounds like there is literally no way to do undercover investigative journalism. Unless you declared yourself as working for the Center for Medical Progress, then you are engaging in trespass and fraud. Unless you provide your true ID, which would identify you as someone you can GOOGLE as working for CMP, you are guilty of fraud. You cannot offer to buy fetal tissue in order to prove someone is selling it, because offering to do so is a crime.

    So, legally, undercover journalism is a crime. I am curious how law enforcement does this.

    I always wondered if they would be charged for videotaping the conversation, because I didn’t know if it occurred in a 2-Party state.

    It’s an interesting case. It sounds like the charges against CMP have absolutely nothing at all to do whether PP did anything they were accused of. The very methods used to uncover their behavior would have been, by definition, against the law. I am very curious how this will all turn out.

    On the one hand, I agree that fake IDs and fraud should be illegal. On the other, I want journalists and even citizens to have the ability to shine the light of public scrutiny on any alleged wrongdoing that is being hidden. I am unsure how to solve this dilemma.

    I’ve seen the video clips in question on the news. Unless the doctor said “Just kidding!” during the edited parts, it was extremely disturbing and possibly illegal. I believe PP needs to be thoroughly investigated. This uncovered a very shady part of the abortion industry that many Pro-Choice and Pro-Life people found very discomforting.

  8. I just like to use the shaming tools on liberals that they use on conservatives. Virtually any reference about Rush Limbaugh by a liberal includes his being fat. I’m not a fan of either Moore or Limbaugh. But, I am fat and proud of it!! I have a quixotic notion that using “fat” against liberals will stop the shaming. Virtually all fat shaming comes from the left. I obviously got your attention, Phil.

  9. And yet, there are tens of thousands of Illegal aliens using forged social security cards to gain employment and other benefits. Selective enforcement of forgery laws used to stifle whistleblowers, that is certainly more important to the powers to be.

  10. Just a segue…a Washington State (and several others) driver license is not considered valid ID by the Feds for entering Fed installations and soon the same for boarding a commercial flight in US.

  11. For bettykath

    A 15 yr old is pregnant. Her parents want an abortion for her. She does not. PP provides the abortion. Her parents did not want to raise another baby. PP had been supplying BC pills but the then 14 yr old girl ran out for about a week but still had sex. Parents didn’t know about the pills as the school was administering them (w/o either knowledge or consent of either parent).

  12. None of this smells right. It stinks of injustice. How can someone be charged with the purchase and sale of human organs, when that did not take place, and the entire purpose of the sting operation was to stop that from happening?

  13. This will be an interesting case to watch. I have problem with anyone creating and using false documents as was done here.

    Can you be an advocate and still “commit” journalism ? Fox News (and lots of others) would like to know the answer. My own view is yes.

    But there is a line between advocacy and making false statements or editing in a misleading way with the intent to cause harm. What I call the O’Keefe method of “reporting”.

    I leave the question of whether that line was crossed in this matter to the courts. But that question may not be relevant to the criminal charges involving possession and use of the false IDs.

  14. Darren – that is very true about the common crime of illegal aliens forging IDs and stealing SS numbers. And Nick is right that every college campus in America is clearly filled with felonious activity of fake IDs, and yet they are not charged.

    But was the Grand Jury forced to file charges about the fake ID because it could not ignore it when presented with the evidence? Why did they arrive at a No Bill for PP? The doctor admitted on camera that their compensation was negotiable. Reimbursement at cost would not change. Isn’t that illegal? Was what they said merely repugnant and not illegal?

    I heard on the radio that PP has filed a lawsuit against CMP for aggressively pursing its staff under false pretenses, and baiting them to admit wrongdoing. All of this is true. Is investigative journalism a legal defense? Is it even legally possible to go undercover nowadays? Or can you do so as long as it is merely observation and not entrapment?

  15. This is clearly abuse of the power of government against the people by radical extremists in support of the right of mothers to murder innocent children who are unable to defend themselves because they are still in the womb. These children are separate people inside another person; supported by that other person but not part of the body of that other person. It is preposterous that murder is allowed while investigative journalism that exposes the truth is fraudulently and politically prosecuted. Murder that is rationalized as a “mistake” by a young woman. Well absolutely, let’s get rid of all of our mistakes.

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    – Edmund Burke

  16. I also have a question about the allegation that the video editing was misleading.

    Clearly, you cannot show hours and hours of candid video. It always is edited.

    Why do people say it was edited to be misleading? I was very disturbed by what the doctor and various staff said about the harvest of fetal tissue. Did they edit out “just kidding”? What is the allegation about what was cut out that would exonerate what was shown?

    If anyone has explained what, specifically, was cut out that was unfair, I have missed it. And I really want to know so I can understand the side defending PP. I get the entrapment complaint. But they were also talking about what they were already doing.

  17. I think that the abortion question has become more prominent because of advances in science and dissemination of information.

    I always assumed abortion was done very early. To learn that there are actually people arguing for no limits to abortion, at the opposite end of the extremist spectrum, is disturbing. Kermit Gosnell was the Hannibal Lecter of abortion providers.

    I think that many people assume that abortion happens at the “ball of cells” or blastula stage. I wonder if people saw a video of actual abortions, from 10 weeks to the end of the second trimester, actually saw what happened on an ultrasound, it might surprise people. I have never watched a video of an abortion, but I remember my shock when I heard a former abortion provider describe a 2nd trimester abortion. They reach in blind with forceps, clamp on, and basically rip the baby out piece by piece. They pull out a leg and an arm and part of the head. I had no idea. Abortion seems to be an out of sight out of mind topic, where people actively fight against hearing what it actually entails. But that means they want to make an uninformed decision about where they really stand on the spectrum.

    Most people agree that there should be at least some limits on abortion. Legalizing it up until an infant takes its first breath upon full term delivery is a minority view. The question on where to set that limit is what people have such a hard time agreeing upon. Never? Before implantation? 10 weeks?

  18. Don de Drain – can you be an advocate and still pretend to be a journalist? Check Westmoreland vs. 60 Minutes.

  19. The government does not have the “power” to “license” who is a journalist. Note that I said “power”. People have “rights”– hence the word “states rights” is bogus. States have powers.
    We can all be journalist. A letter to the editor which we ask to be posted is a journalistic endeavor. My posting this comment on this blog is an act of journalism. It is protected speech under the First Amendment. “Journalist” is more of a buzz word created by the likes of the New York Times to make the rest of us think that the author of a given piece is special or his itShay don’t stink.

  20. What about BENGHAZI ?………..Face it folks, you have been lied to again. Trickle down does not work, St Ronnie is not really a saint. And “FOX NEWS” is not news, its propaganda….So hold you’re breath and kick your feet and turn on your so-called news and have them tell you that….Coming up next, we will have a expert that doesn’t know what he’s talking about, to tell you what he doesn’t know…..Stay Tuned…..

  21. Karen S,

    The substitute for abortion is adoption and abstinence.

    Duh!

    Murder, irresponsibility, decadence and hedonism are all the rage.

    We reject the roles nature assigned us at our peril.

    Where’s the future in not bearing and nurturing babies?

    The American/European birthrate is in a “death spiral,” inducing invasions by the third world.

    “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” as “men wannabes” without consequences and without responsibility.

    The culprits in America are those imposing societal suicide.

    How did the collectivist, redistributionist parasites ever find legal abortion anywhere in the American thesis or Constitution?

    One of life’s grand ironies: Women are the “misogynists.”

  22. John:

    My older brother was adopted as a newborn. I understand his mother was quite young. I have always been grateful for her that she made that sacrifice so that he could have a good life and be ours.

  23. For you so-called people out there with ODS…Obama Derangement syndrome, Its looks like Obama took over Texas after all……..

  24. Karen S – “I think that many people assume that abortion happens at the “ball of cells” or blastula stage. I wonder if people saw a video of actual abortions, from 10 weeks to the end of the second trimester, actually saw what happened on an ultrasound, it might surprise people.”

    Karen, I like the idea. They could do PSA’s like they do for smoking where they show you all sorts of gross stuff that happens to smokers aorta, lungs etc… I doubt highly the libtards would go for showing what actually happens.

  25. Karen

    There have been multiple investigations on these charges. Multiple. Conducted by Red states. All charges of any wrongdoing have been found to be false. False. Get it?

  26. If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

    As to forged or fraudulent IDs, prosecution for such an offense is appropriate whether the person claims to be a journalist, an illegal immigrant or a teen looking to by alcohol or cigarettes. Whether or not they are prosecuted is a matter of context and prosecutorial discretion.

  27. Most people don’t want to watch a medical procedure of any sort. Do you think people should have to watch videos of hemorrhoidectomies before they get one? Or lap band surgery? How about hip or knee replacements? Those are pretty gross. Maybe we should force cancer patients to watch a tumor removal video just to be sure they know what they’re getting into.

    How about we just leave women the hell alone and let them decide if they want to bear a child or not?

    If you really want to reduce the number of abortions then you obviously support good, comprehensive sex education, free access to birth control, good free pre-natal care, early childhood day care and home visits. You support all that, right?

    By the way, if you think god is opposed to abortions, please explain why he/she kills so many thousands and thousands of babies every day through spontaneous abortion, miscarriage and other means.

    On a random note, if you support giving money to Israel, are you aware that they have open access to abortion on demand there? You like?

    Most of what Planned Parenthood does is related to birth control, so by defunding them you are only sending more women to get abortions. Abortions have been happening for thousands of years, and they will continue to happen. The only question is whether you support making them safe or unsafe. It’s also a punishment for the poor, because wealthy women will always find a way–they always have, and they always will.

    If you don’t like your money going to support Planned Parenthood, may I please kindly have my money back for the Iraq War, the VietNam War, that ridiculous new F35 fighter (or whatever it is), and all those Abrams tanks no one wants? Oh, and corporate subsidies and bank bailouts.

  28. L’Observer:

    “Planned Parenthood will never, ever perform an abortion on a patient who does not want an abortion.”

    How do you know? In all the hundreds of PP clinics across the nation, in every single one of them do they take every single patient under 18 aside and ask them if their parents threatened to kick them out unless they had an abortion? Since the guardian would sign consent, how do they determine consent in a juvenile? Do they question the juvenile without parents present to see if they are being coerced?

    I don’t think anyone can say that no one, ever, threatens or coerces anyone into having an abortion. One of my own former bosses, an Indian, claimed to have been forced to have an abortion against her will here in the US. She claimed he beat her and threatened her, and when she was able, she went to get an abortion. Since she didn’t speak up, there was absolutely no way for them to know it was against her will.

    I also do not think you could conceivably prevent that from ever happening. So no, I do not agree that you can make such an assertion.

    “There have been multiple investigations on these charges. Multiple. Conducted by Red states. All charges of any wrongdoing have been found to be false. False. Get it?” Got it. It may be entirely possible that what they did was reprehensible and repugnant, but not illegal. Even Hillary Clinton remarked that it was disturbing. I would very much like to read the results of the multiple investigations. Perhaps they will say that it didn’t count because it was entrapment. Or perhaps the evidence had to be thrown out because it was fruit from the poison tree. Or maybe they decided that the entire conversation was all hypothetical.

    I ask because I was disturbed by what I saw. I want to read the actual findings so I have more facts. I would very much appreciate it if you could post a link to the actual multiple findings. No just a “no bill” but the reports from the actual investigations. I want to see if they actually exonerated them, which may have happened, or if they simply could not use any evidence gathered.

  29. PhillyT:

    “Most people don’t want to watch a medical procedure of any sort. Do you think people should have to watch videos of hemorrhoidectomies before they get one? Or lap band surgery? How about hip or knee replacements? Those are pretty gross. Maybe we should force cancer patients to watch a tumor removal video just to be sure they know what they’re getting into.” No. I do not think any patient should be forced to watch a video against their will.

    However, physicians are required to explain the procedure. When I went for an exam to see if I qualified for Lasik, I was required to watch an informational video, complete with diagrams, that explained what was going to happen. When you have any surgery, the surgeon will explain what he or she is going to do.

    What bothers me is that patients might not understand gestation, or ability to feel pain. Perhaps if they knew their baby was going to be torn limb from limb, literally, it might affect their decision. Is hiding this from them malpractice? How many women actually get abortions at 12 weeks and still think their fetus was at the blastula stage? Is that malpractice or negligence that they had no idea? If they had all the information, then they made an informed decision. Perhaps they could require providers to post gestational diagrams.

    I think it’s taking advantage of ignorance to not inform them on gestation, movement, and the actual procedure.

  30. PhillyT:

    I actually support free access to condoms, not birth control. Only condoms help slow the spread of STDs. If everyone can now assume that all women have access to free birth control, what do you think that’s going to do to the rate of condom use? And what will the affect be on STD rates?

    Also, why should anything be free to those of a high socioeconomic status? Why should Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian get 26 free forms of birth control with no copay?

    You see, how life saving medications work, is that you pay a copay. I would prefer that over having no copay for any medication, ever, for example, but all of us paying astronomical premiums and deductibles.

  31. “By the way, if you think god is opposed to abortions, please explain why he/she kills so many thousands and thousands of babies every day through spontaneous abortion, miscarriage and other means.”

    Does that mean God is not opposed to murder because people naturally drop dead from heart attacks or cancer? That is He is not opposed to rape because it happens?

    That’s a spurious argument, and you know it.

  32. Karen,
    I support comprehensive mandatory sex education for all boys and girls. This would include understanding the stages of development of the fetus, as well as all the various methods of birth control.

    I support reducing the number of abortions by making access to birth control free and easy for everyone, and providing good free prenatal care and lots of good early childhood services.

  33. Well, well, well. We have a smoking gun. Lauren Reeder is a prosecutor in the DA’s office that charged these journalist, and she is on the board of Planned Parenthood. BINGO! Anyone w/ objectivity smelled a political rat on this. Now, you will hear the defense that she was not involved in the case. Having worked in a prosecutors office I KNOW they are all thick as thieves.

  34. As usual, some of us prefer to live in a fact free zone. It’s so much easier to just make things up, fling them around and hope for the best.

    The Harris County DA, Devon Anderson, is a WOMAN, a Republican, and an appointee of Republican Governor Rick Perry.

    If you don’t like the charges her grand jury came up with, maybe you should admit to yourself that you’re basically a sore loser.

  35. I’ll put down the commenter @ 7:15p in favor of charging all college students and illegal aliens w/ felony False ID charges. Good to know. He must be a Trump supporter.

  36. At least 9 other states investigated this and came up w/ no charges for ANYONE. The one office w/ a Planned Parenthood Board Member, Harvard grad, investigates and charges the journalists. Liberals never see conflict of interest because that requires scruples.

  37. Phillat:

    “I support reducing the number of abortions by making access to birth control free and easy for everyone, and providing good free prenatal care and lots of good early childhood services.” Free, even for the rich and famous? Because as you know, nothing is “free”. That doesn’t seem fair to me, that all of us have to pay higher premiums so the wealthy and middle class can have “free stuff.” Isn’t it more fair to pay a reasonable copay and keep premiums down for everyone?

    I do not think that sex ed in public school replaces the responsibility of an abortion provider to explain the procedure and gestation to the patient. You have no idea the educational background, or even if they were paying attention to gestation diagrams in the 8th grade. That would be like saying you do not require an explanation of your upcoming hip replacement surgery in your 70s because the human body was all explained to you in middle school.

    I think we’re going to disagree on this.

  38. Nick:

    “Well, well, well. We have a smoking gun. Lauren Reeder is a prosecutor in the DA’s office that charged these journalist, and she is on the board of Planned Parenthood.”

    How is that conflict of interest even legal? Wouldn’t she be require to recuse herself?

  39. “Lauren Reeder is a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s criminal family law division. She apparently notified District Attorney Devon Anderson of her role with Planned Parenthood last week. Reeder is listed as a non-compensated “Director” on the 990 Tax Form for 2014 filed by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.”

    So, basically, the activists are being threatened with 20 years in prison for having a fake ID (college students beware!), for using those IDs to get into conferences limited to abortion providers, (which must apparently be kept secret) as well as for engaging in the very crime they went undercover to actually prevent (because apparently you can legally claim to be a Marine when you’re not but you cannot claim to engage in buying fetal tissues when you really do not).

    I do not know if Lauren Reeder was in a position to influence the grand jury, or if there were other conflicts of interest on the part of anyone involved.

    It will definitely be interesting to see how this turns out in court. Undercover moles have been used in many sting operations over the years, including at slaughterhouses where they exposed animal cruelty and egregious practices. And sometimes they got sued.

  40. The videos can be seen IN THEIR ENTIRETY on the CMP website. For those of you who are curious about the editing and have the time, I suggest you watch them. As was pointed out earlier, if all PP was asking was reimbursement for fixed costs, then why was there “haggling” over price?
    Fixed cost reimbursement isn’t going to get anyone a Lamborghini.

    It is also against the law to change the method or timing of an abortion in order to obtain better “parts” for sale. In the very first video, the PP “Doctor” (I use that term loosely) bragged about using a “less crunchy” technique. Please try to remember we’re talking about a HUMAN fetus.

    PP fights vehemently any effort by state legislatures to require sonogram machines in abortion clinics so the potential mother can view what is about to be destroyed, yet PP “Doctors” use sonograms during the procedures to position the fetus to properly in an effort to retrieve an “intact cadaver”.

    If none of this bothers you, or you are so lacking in curiosity that you just can’t make yourself care, or you are so dedicated to the proposition that a woman MUST NEVER BE INCOVENIENCED if she doesn’t feel like it, well.. . . . not sure what to say.

  41. Nick S. “I pointed out to him they give Academy Awards for editing.”

    Good one. Abortion is disgusting, end of story. People can rationalize, justify, idealize it…whatever they want but bottom line, it’s inhumane. That’s what feminists are most upset about; the cat’s out of the bag! A picture is worth a thousand words! We make decisions (or should) based on data and impressions affecting BOTH sides of our brains. If we only needed the left side we wouldn’t have the right side

    If the video discourages even just one woman from having an abortion, it was worth it. Having said that, I do NOT think they should be illegal. Ron Paul was an obstetrician and believes abortion is akin to murder yet doesn’t think it should be illegal. REAL education is the key. Women and men NEED to KNOW exactly what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, smells like if you will, otherwise they are NOT making an informed decision.

    The for profit abortion industry does NOT like having it’s operation exposed but the genie is OUT and I thank these very very courageous people who have apparently sacrificed everything willingly to bring us what we had a right to all along; the other side of the story.

    I blame those who dictate media content; the government and the six mega corporations who own the TV networks and the vast majority of print media for working at cross purposes to our OWN.

  42. Boy. Some crazy ‘politics’ down there in Texas!

    The DA is a Republican, appointed by Rick Perry, a Republican, and chosen to head the Planned Parenthood investigation by the Lt. Gov. of Texas, a rabid Republican. Maybe that gay mayor cast some wicked spell over all them good old upstanding Republicans.

    But it’s ‘politics’ according to our esteemed and knower of all things great and small….Mr. Nick Spinelli!

  43. Oh no, someone in the office is involved with Planned Parenthood, so obviously Ms. Anderson should not have presented any case to a grand jury. Ever. Even though it wasn’t her who sits on the board.

    I also heard that someone in the DA’s office there once rescued a pet from the SPCA, so the entire office will be banned from looking into any animal cruelty case.

    And, weird coincidence, (or IS IT?), all of the prosecutors have drivers licenses and own cars, so they have all permanently recused themselves from hearing any cases having to do with driving.

    Another DA is a known PTA member, so you know what that means, right? No cases involving teachers, or students, or something like that.

    And the straight people? Can’t hear cases involving heterosexuals. And the gays? Obviously too prejudiced to ever listen to a case having to do with gender.

    In fact, someone in that office probably has something in their personal life that is somehow related to every case, every arrest, every issue. They should just shut it down and go home.

    If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one. Meanwhile it’s the law of the land so mind your own business.

    Eleven red states have investigated and completely cleared Planned Parenthood. Eight more could find no reason to even pursue any investigation at all.

    Get. Over. It.

  44. Getting an explanation of your hip surgery and watching a video of them performing one are two very different things. The women I know who have had abortions had the procedure explained to them as well.

    And yes, I’m pretty sure we will just disagree on this one.

  45. Oh yeah, Karen. All those conservative, Republican controlled Red states investigated and found Planned Parenthood had been selling fetal tissue for thousands of dollars – but they didn’t want to tell anyone. Mum’s the word.

    Remarkable story about your friend who had an abortion against her wishes. You’ve a remarkable number of friends who, like Nick’s, fits all the right categories. Maybe you ought to search for one who will remind you when it’s time to pay your health insurance bill.

    Meantime, back to my assertion that PP would never ever perform an unwanted abortion. I know this because I have a friend who works for PP. And they do not want to perform any coerced abortions EVER. They are most especially careful of young women and girls who are vulnerable and they interview and quiz them 16 different ways and away from partners or parents. They are quite aware of how the world works and the LAST thing they want is a patient who does not want an abortion but has been coerced or intimidated. They care for women who are in need of help and support – CARE being the operative word.

    Now go find a sixteen year old friend who was dragged kicking and screaming into a clinic while the abortionist was sharpening his knives. I’m sure you have one somewhere.

  46. Proof, Karen? My proof is there is not one headline screaming “DA finds Planned Parenthood illegally sells baby parts for profit”

    You’re just going to have to do your own investigation of the multiple investigations that turned up no wrong doing on the part of Planned Parenthood. You are blinded by denial and I’m not going to waste my time. So have at it, Karen. Think of how delicious it will be when you can come back with your own investigation where you uncover the Truth.

    We’ll await your findings.

  47. L’Observer – “Planned Parenthood will never, ever perform an abortion on a patient who does not want an abortion.”

    This line is so precious. I wonder what the human being aborted thinks of that. Oh, wait, we can’t ask since they are soon to be chopped up.

    phillyT – “Most people don’t want to watch a medical procedure of any sort.”

    Really? Discovery or TLC used to have a show showing all sorts of medical procedures. They were interesting. But, I don’t recall them ever showing a baby being torn out of a woman. I wonder why that would be? Why not show this wonderful procedure you love?

    Karen, I too had lasik eye surgery. I can honestly say that for me, I was a little weirded out about the procedure (Mostly thinking about how do you keep your eye still) until I saw the video of how they did it. After seeing it, I thought, “This is no big deal, I can handle that”. To me, abortion advocates are just a cog in the dumbing down of America.

  48. L’Observer:

    “Oh yeah, Karen. All those conservative, Republican controlled Red states investigated and found Planned Parenthood had been selling fetal tissue for thousands of dollars – but they didn’t want to tell anyone. Mum’s the word.”

    Why are you acting like this?

    “You’re just going to have to do your own investigation of the multiple investigations that turned up no wrong doing on the part of Planned Parenthood. You are blinded by denial and I’m not going to waste my time. So have at it, Karen. Think of how delicious it will be when you can come back with your own investigation where you uncover the Truth.”

    This has no bearing on anything I’ve actually written. Which was:

    “It may be entirely possible that what they did was reprehensible and repugnant, but not illegal. Even Hillary Clinton remarked that it was disturbing. I would very much like to read the results of the multiple investigations. Perhaps they will say that it didn’t count because it was entrapment. Or perhaps the evidence had to be thrown out because it was fruit from the poison tree. Or maybe they decided that the entire conversation was all hypothetical.

    I ask because I was disturbed by what I saw. I want to read the actual findings so I have more facts.”

    I was deeply disturbed by what I saw. Most people were. I want to know more about it. When someone jumps down your figurative throat or mocks you if you want more information, then they’re trying to shut down conversation. That’s antithetical to discourse.

  49. Karen , the above link is one of many that will find if you google Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist who has offered some insight on the possible ethical questions that need to be addressed on this issue.

  50. The fact is that the so called journalists were nothing of the kind since they edited the tapes to give an outrageous lie. The grand jury presumably got to see ALL of the tapes, and their judgement was such that they found the perps to be liars, in addition to breaking numerous laws. They were originally called to investigate Planned Parenthood, but wound up indicting the producers of the false film. That says it all. Too bad Turley forgot the suit PP filed against them for libel which indicates that they are anything BUT journalists. Then he and others forget about the laws the GOP has passed against any person who films scenes in industrial farms which show animal cruelty. Then for those who think editing is OK, I suggest you remember what Brietbart did to the woman who was accused of hating whites and denying them governmental aid. The edit omitted the FACT she used that as the absolute OPPOSITE of her point. I also heard NOTHING at all about the crime of murdering her father back in the bad old days of segregation when the white neighbor murdered her father for talking back to the white man. There was no call to reopen that case and prosecute the murderer. Let’s have justice for ALL, not just us white folks and conservatives.

  51. L’Observer

    “Boy. Some crazy ‘politics’ down there in Texas!”

    1. Was Gov. Perry tried for “abuse” or corruption for exercising his official authority; for doing his job?

    2. If the police agencies in Texas conduct “sting” operations, are they similarly guilty?

    – Future governors of the Great State of Texas will be compelled to clear all their activities and operations

    with the Harris County District Attorney (sounds like criminal usurpation).

    – “Sting” operations by the police in Texas will constitute a class A felony.

  52. Karen, You missed the fact that the tapes were edited to present a false picture. So the case of Sherrod is illustrative since the Brietbart tape was edited to present a FALSE picture of what she said and did. It promoted an outright LIE which initially cost her her job. The Sec of Agriculture was disturbed by what he saw, and fired her before asking for HER side of the story. So yes the tapes would appear to be disturbing, just as any person could make a tape of you speaking in favor of mass murder and mayhem by skillful editing. Then you have the problem that NO state or legal body has found any reason to prosecute Planned Parenthood, but despite all this you STILL insist that they be tried and found GUILTY or should be. So evidence and law be damned, Planned Parenthood is something YOU hate, and they are guilty no matter what. The ONLY thing that is political is the FACT that all this grand jury investigation is political and the party HACKS on the right are outraged that their attempt to railroad people to prison has failed so far. But I am sure when the GOP takes full control, this will no longer be a problem.

  53. randyjet – the TV people edited the Brietbart tape, not Breitbart. He always had the entire tape on his site. In fact, the horrifying thing about the Brietbart edition was the members of the NAACP who clapped and cheered when she said she did not give the white farmer a loan. The NAACP apologized for their behavior.

  54. The FACT is that Brietbart did the editing and her suit was settled without trial. So if the TV station did the editing as some fools suggest,they were NOT part of the lawsuit. That should be sufficient PROOF that such an allegation is absurd. I hope that the settlement makes her a multimillionaire from Brietbarts estate and his vicious web site. It is also time to re-open the case of the murder of her father back when there was an all white grand jury and killing black Americans was legal for whites in the South. Now that is the proper use of a grand jury!

  55. Sherrod did NOT sue the Dept of Agriculture as part of the libel suit. She and hundreds of other black GA farmers DID sue the DofA for millions which was ILLEGALLY withheld from them under the law back in the preCivil Rights era. The NAACP only apologized for denouncing Sherrod without knowing the FULL story. Brietbart CLAIMED he did not have the full tape. Given his history of lies, defamation, and other assorted journalistic malpractice, his assertion can be taken for another outright lie. If you can believe him, I have a bridge to sell you,cheap too. He also never apologized as most other decent human beings would do. He is gone and not missed and improved the race by one. At least he made his victim wealthy I hope. That is one decent thing that came from his life, but it was NOT of his own intent or volition. So he can claim no credit for it.

  56. Jim:

    My eyes are apparently too bad for LASIK. Although it has FDA approval for my prescription, the results are not as good. Implantable contact lenses were recommended. I would love to be able to actually see when I wake up. Without my contacts in, I would walk into a wall. But… it’s surgery on my eyes while I’m awake. Can I sit still?

  57. randyjet:

    “The fact is that the so called journalists were nothing of the kind since they edited the tapes to give an outrageous lie. The grand jury presumably got to see ALL of the tapes, and their judgement was such that they found the perps to be liars, in addition to breaking numerous laws.”

    That is exactly my question. No one has told me what was edited out that exonerated what we saw. I understand that all of the unedited tapes are available on the CMP website, but as I’ve droned on before, I can’t watch videos online because I have satellite.

    I understand they came back with a No Bill, but why? Was the evidence thrown out because it was entrapment? Did they say, “Just kidding!” or “April Fools!” off camera? How did they legally justify negotiating the highest rate for what was supposed to be reimbursement at cost? I still have a lot of questions, and all I know so far is it’s a No Bill.

    It’s not my understanding that they are being charged for making it all up. The charges are false ID and offering to buy fetal tissues. Technically, yes, they are both illegal, although college students everywhere get away with the former and they had no intent to follow through with the latter.

    So, can someone explain what was edited out that made everything on the video clips perfectly fine?

    As I’ve said before, it may be that they said morally reprehensible things but did not actually break the law. I would like to find out.

    Thanks!

  58. And you are right, they are not really journalists. There is a whole new genre of citizen journalists, with the rise of social media, video drones, camera phones, and other tech that makes everyone a reporter.

    They were also not journalists who infiltrated various slaughterhouses and revealed serious violations and animal cruelty, as well as the illegal processing of downer cows.

    Some civil disobedience comes with a price, and this may be one of those cases.

  59. jim22
    TLC and other outlets are very selective about what surgeries they film and show, and if you have actually watched them you would know that. They don’t ever broadcast anything too personal, or related to sex/genital surgeries in any way, and I doubt they ever will. There’s a big difference between watching open heart surgery and watching them do a vasectomy, tubal ligation or certainly breast augmentation surgery or an abortion. But I’m guessing you already knew that and were just trying to bend things your way.

  60. Here the text from an explanation of a 2nd trimester abortion at 24 weeks by an OB/GYN. Of course, there are opinions on both ends of the extreme and everywhere in between. I only want people to actually understand what a 2nd trimester abortion means. When we, as voters, are called upon to decide what the gestational limit for abortion is, we need to make an educated decision.

    Today, Dr. Levatino told members of a Congressional committee that they should support a bill sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks that would ban abortions nationwide aft 20 weeks of pregnancy.

    Levatino’s full testimony before the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice appears below:

    Chairman Franks and distinguished members of the subcommittee, my name is Anthony Levatino. I am a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. I received my medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY in 1976 and completed my OB-GYN residency training at Albany Medical Center in 1980.

    In my 33-year career, I have been privileged to practice obstetrics and gynecology in both private and university settings. From June 1993 until September 2000, I was associate professor of OB-GYN at the Albany Medical College serving at different times as both medical student director and residency program director. I have also dedicated many years to private practice and currently operate a solo gynecology practice in Las Cruces, NM. I appreciate your kind invitation to address issues related to the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R.1797).

    During my residency training and during my first five years of private practice, I performed both first and second trimester abortions. Duringmy residency in the late 1970s,second trimester abortions were typically performed using saline infusion or, occasionally, prostaglandin instillation techniques. These procedures were difficult, expensive and necessitated that patients go through labor to abort their pre-born children. By 1980, at the time I entered private practice first in Florida and then in upstate New York, those of us in the abortion industry were looking for a more efficient method of second trimester abortion.

    The Suction D&E procedure offered clear advantages over older installation methods. The procedure was much quicker and never ran the risk of a live birth. Understand that my partner and I were not running an abortion clinic. We practiced general obstetrics and gynecology but abortion was definitely part of that practice. Relatively few gynecologists in upstate NY would perform such a procedure and we saw an opportunity to expand our abortion practice.

    I performed first trimester suction D&C abortions in my office up to 10 weeks from last menstrual period and later procedures in an outpatient hospital setting. From 1981 through February 1985, I performed approximately 1200 abortions. Over 100 of them were second trimester Suction D&E procedures up to 24 weeks gestation.

    Imagine if you can that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I once was. Your patient today is 24 weeks pregnant. At twenty-four weeks from last menstrual period, her uterus is two finger-breadths above the umbilicus.

    If you could see her baby, which is quite easy on an ultrasound, she would be as long as your hand plus a half from the top of her head to the bottom of her rump not counting the legs. Your patient has been feeling her baby kick for the last 2 months or more but now she is asleep on an operating room table and you are there to help her with her problem pregnancy.

    The first task is remove the laminaria that had earlier been placed in the cervix to dilate it sufficiently to allow the procedure you are about to perform. With that accomplished, direct your attention to the surgical instruments arranged on a small table to your right. The first instrument you reach for is a 14-French suction catheter. It is clear plastic and about nine inches long. It has a bore through the center approximately ¾ of an inch in diameter.Picture yourself introducing this catheter through the cervix and instructing the circulating nurse to turn on the suction machine which is connected through clear plastic tubing to the catheter. What you will see is a pale yellow fluid that looks a lot like urine coming through the catheter into a glass bottle on the suction machine. This is the amniotic fluid that surrounded the baby to protect her.

    With suction complete, look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the end are located jaws about 2 ½ inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can.

    At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard–really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.

    The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush d own on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.

    Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second trimester Suction D&E abortion. You just affirmed her right to choose.

    If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again.

    Before I close, I want to make a comment on the necessity and usefulness of utilizing second and third trimester abortion to save women’s lives. I often hear the argument that we must keep abortion legal in order to save women’s lives in cases of life threatening conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy.

    Albany Medical Center where I worked for over seven years is a tertiary referral center that accepts patients with life threatening conditions related to or caused by pregnancy. I personally treated hundreds of women with such conditions in my tenure there. There are several conditions that can arise or worsen typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or “terminating” the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life saving. But is abortion a viable treatment option in this setting? I maintain that it usually, if not always, is not.

    Before a Suction D&E procedure can be performed, the cervix must first be sufficiently dilated. In my practice, this was accomplished with serial placement of laminaria. Laminaria is a type of sterilized seaweed that absorbs water over several hours and swells to several times its original diameter. Multiple placements of several laminaria at a time are absolutely required prior to attempting a suction D&E.

    In the mid second trimester, this requires approximately 36 hours to accomplish. When utilizing the D&X abortion procedure, popularly known as Partial-Birth Abortion, this process requires three days as explained by Dr. Martin Haskell in his 1992 paper that first described this type of abortion.

    In cases where a mother’s life is seriously threatened by her pregnancy, a doctor more often than not doesn’t have 36 hours, much less 72 hours, to resolve the problem. Let me illustrate with a real -life case that I managed while at the Albany Medical Center. A patient arrived one night at 28 weeks gestation with severe pre-eclampsia or toxemia.

    Her blood pressure on admission was 220/160. As you are probably aware, a normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80. This patient’s pregnancy was a threat to her life and the life of her unborn child. She could very well be minutes or hours away from a major stroke. This case was managed successfully by rapidly stabilizing the patient’s blood pressure and “terminating” her pregnancy by Cesarean section. She and her baby did well. This is a typical case in the world of high-risk obstetrics. In most such cases, any attempt to perform an abortion “to save the mother’s life” would entail undue and dangerous delay in providing appropriate, truly life-saving care.

    During my time at Albany Medical Center I managed hundreds of such cases by “terminating”pregnancies to save mother’s lives. In all those hundreds of cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.

  61. <i.randyjet

    Karen, You missed the fact that the tapes were edited to present a false picture. So the case of Sherrod is illustrative since the Brietbart tape was edited to present a FALSE picture of what she said and did. It promoted an outright LIE which initially cost her her job. The Sec of Agriculture was disturbed by what he saw, and fired her before asking for HER side of the story.

    Mythmaking, it’s like people believe if they repeat “lie” enough times the facts change.

    Sherrod’s side of the story is that while executing her government responsibilities she discriminated against an eligible citizen because of his race. The claim she later changed her practice is not relevant. This just shows how deep the culture war inhibits people’s ability to reason. They would never accept such flimsy nonsense as acceptable much less argue there is no other possible conclusion if politics weren’t controlling them.

  62. Rick – the Sherrod tape was never edited to make Sherrod say something she never said, only it did not continue the full story. She DID refuse the farmer the loan and she DID do it because he was white. She admits that on the tape. And members of the NAACP clap and cheer when they hear her say that.

  63. Thanks for your post Karen. The idea that the voting public is informed or educated enough to be able to vote on this is absurd on its face. There is a reason doctors hate it when patients come in with fifty pages of “medical information” they printed off the Internet. I think people should be as informed as possible about their own health, their own choices. But reading what you posted is not even in the vicinity of a medical degree or even an afternoon seminar at a med school.

    Women who choose to have abortions should know what they are getting into, and every women I have ever talked to about it, knew exactly what was going on, and made the difficult, personal decision she had to make, one way or the other.

    Better sex ed, better access to birth control. more choices, more information, less shame, less pressure. We could make the whole process a lot better.

  64. Karen, It should be enough to know that an anti-choice DA who was appointed by RICK PERRY, convened a grand jury to look into indicting Planned Parenthood. The GOPers are NOT in the habit of putting liberals on their grand juries. The grand jury presumably heard ALL of the evidence presented by a witch hunting DA, and came to the conclusion as ALL other such grand juries which have looked into this have done and NO billed PP. Then to make it even MORE emphatic, they DID indict the makers of the propaganda film for CRIMES. Now that should be enough to satisfy most reasonable people, but not party hacks and fanatics. I am sure that if they try hard enough, they WILL find a grand jury somewhere which WILL give them an indictment. There are certainly enough folks in the GOP in Mississippi who will accommodate them or Georgia where murdering black folks who talk back is OK for their grand juries.

  65. PhillyT:

    “But reading what you posted is not even in the vicinity of a medical degree or even an afternoon seminar at a med school.”

    How so? None of it was my own words, although I have stayed at a Holiday Inn before. It was a quote from a previous abortion provider, an OB/GYN who performed thousands of abortions. This was his testimony before Congress. As is noted at the top of the quote.

    Unfortunately, abortion is one of those topics many people don’t want to talk about. Even discussing limiting abortion leads to “war on women” rhetoric, when if you think about it, the overwhelming majority of people agree that there should be a limit on abortion. Most people do not want full term abortion legal, for example. Even though it’s still the woman’s body, her right to choose, etc. And yet, the public will not allow her to kill her healthy fetus seconds before it draws breath upon full term delivery. It’s deciding where that line should be drawn that is difficult.

    On this very blog, you can see that when I make rather mild comments that this is a difficult decision voters will have to make – the gestational limit on abortion, and that I believe that women should make informed decision – my position is mocked. I wonder why. Do you oppose any gestational limit on abortion? Do you oppose women being informed on gestation and the procedure?

    I don’t beat anyone up on either side of the issue.

  66. Karen
    I think that it’s not up to me or others, men especially, to determine what conversations take place between a woman and her doctor. The whole idea of carving out women’s health and reproductive issues from the rest of all medical procedures is invasive, misogynistic and wholly inappropriate. There are no conversations like this happening regarding men’s health issues, reproductive or otherwise. None. Let them work it out.

    I would also say that under normal circumstances, viability of the fetus would be a limit. Having said that, I also believe that all of the legal manipulations being done to make it impossible or nearly impossible for women to get abortions need to be remedied in order for this to work. The elimination of clinics, mandatory waiting periods, restrictive building codes and the dozens of other tricks pro-birthers are using to remove access to abortions makes me want to remove any viability restrictions whatsoever and tell the pro-birthers to screw off wholesale. But that’s just my anger at them showing through.

    As I’ve said three or four times now, with better sex ed, better access to birth control, less shaming and blaming, more access to clinics and early procedures, we could reduce the need for abortions in the first place, and get them done early.

    All just my opinion. Ultimately I think it is an issue for women to decide. When men can get pregnant they should have more of a voice in the matter.

  67. Abby Johnson was a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director for eight years until she assisted with a 13 week ultrasound directed abortion.

  68. The powers that be do not want us revering life. They have no use for individuals, intelligence, or common sense. Essentially abortion is part of the eugenics movement; a movement supported by some very very very wealthy people who want to kill as many people as possible through abortions, vaccinations, stratospheric aerosol spraying, cancer causing chemicals hidden and otherwise EVERYWHERE. Did you know that one of the Febreze air fresheners was tested by the Environmental Working Group and found to have 89 chemicals? WHY are there 89 mostly toxic and some highly toxic chemicals in a simple air “freshener”?

    http://www.ewg.org/research/greener-school-cleaning-supplies/school-cleaner-test-results?schoolprod=219

    I see this Febreze POISON everywhere! So I keep telling people to wake up to these horrific things and then people like Ken Rogers say I have no credibility because I get emotional and am not providing “proof”. “Where’s the proof? Where’s the evidence?” So here is some evidence for you Ken, but I can hear you say it’s not enough! What more do you want? Names and addresses? DNA evidence?

    This video is really fun but there is a ton of profanity and you have to have a very dark sense of humor to enjoy it. Having a dark sense of humor is absolutely essential when you ‘know too much” and so many people are just sleeping away….

  69. Paul C. Schulte.

    Rick – She DID refuse the farmer the loan and she DID do it because he was white.

    I know that. I fat fingered the HTML but the first paragraph is Randy’s comment I’m responding to.

  70. PhillyT:

    “I think that it’s not up to me or others, men especially, to determine what conversations take place between a woman and her doctor. The whole idea of carving out women’s health and reproductive issues from the rest of all medical procedures is invasive, misogynistic and wholly inappropriate.”

    Then why is Dr Kermit Gosnell in prison? He performed full term abortions, delivering the babies and then killing them (usually) before they drew breath. He thought there should be zero limit on abortion, and that it was entirely up to him, the doctor, and his patient. He completely disregarded the fact that a full term baby, delivered anyway, could have just been given up for adoption.

    Whether it’s 10 weeks, 24, or 40 weeks, it is still a woman’s body, still an issue of her choice. And yet, the vast, overwhelming majority, at some point in gestation, believe it’s no longer the woman’s right to decide. That is why what Dr Gosnell did is still illegal in this country. You, yourself, have viability as your own limit on when you would interfere with a woman’s right to choose. Everyone has their own limit for when they would interfere, which is why this is such a hot button topic.

    I believe that some Pro Life groups and politicians have taken the same approach as the anti-2nd Amendment crowd – death by a thousand cuts. They try to limit it by a backdoor approach, in some instances.

    As in 2nd Amendment issues, I believe one should confront the issue openly, and vote on it, rather than attempt a side pass that is only going to undermine your credibility.

    The doctor I quoted above was making the case for why he felt 20 weeks should be the hard limit to abortion. He also discussed threats to the life of the mother after this point.

    People need to make their case for what they feel the limit should be, and let the voters decide. But I would really like the “war on women” rhetoric to go away. The issue is about when people feel it’s murdering a child (as in the Dr Gosnell case) and the difficulty in determining when an unborn child has a legal right to survive. All the rhetoric does is attempt to say you don’t have the right to talk about it.

    I, for instance, vehemently oppose late term abortion. I do assure you, as a woman, I am neither anti-woman nor misogynistic.

  71. Karen, I would suggest you read the article submitted by wolfefan. The writer has a far better understanding of this case and the law than I. It is too bad that there are some folks on this legal blog who have no respect for law or justice and let politics trump everything. Just as our corrupt Guv and indicted AG use the criminal justice system to further their criminal activities. I haven’t seen any comment from Prof Turley about the ethics of keeping the AG in office even after being CHARGED with a number of FELONIES. Unlike his fetish with a misdemeanor DUI of the DA in Travis County. Sort of smacks of partisanship to me. SO the DA in Travis County should resign over a misdemeanor DUI so that Rick Perry could bury an investigation of his conduct of the slush fund, yet the Attorney General of Texas gets no mention for being charged in numerous felonies. Too bad there is a double standard here.

  72. Karen,
    All good points, except the bit about Gosnell who is obviously some kind of aberrant exception.

    I understand that some number of the pro-birth crowd is actually concerned about human life, viability, human decency and so on. The problem is too many of them won’t stop there, want to ban ALL abortions, limit access to birth control, not have their taxes going to anything to do with birth control or women’s health services, eliminate sex ed classes and so on. It becomes more and more intrusive over time.

    The problem with having people vote on what rights YOU get, is the tyranny of the majority. I have no doubt that interracial marriage would still be banned in southern states if they voted on it.

    Anyway. It is a difficult issue. Thanks for trying to keep the discussion on a civil base.

  73. An amazingly clear, logical, non-preachy video on the question, “Is abortion moral?”

    The Most Important Question About Abortion

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