Life Advocacy Briefing

August 29, 2011

Out of Subsidy, Out of Business / Welcome to Reality
/ The Cruelty of Commercialized Abortion / Day of Reckoning? /
Misrepresenting Our Values / America’s Own One-Child Horror

Out of Subsidy, Out of Business

THE FALLOUT HAS BEGUN from a new Texas law barring state funds for Planned Parenthood and disqualifying from state contracts any organization that commits abortions.

For starters, Planned Parenthood shut down its Sherman shop on Aug. 23 and has closed or scheduled for closure by Sept. 30 six other Texas facilities in Gainesville, Arlington, Mesquite, Plano, Terrell and Waxahachie. A nice beginning.


Welcome to Reality

THE MANAGER OF A NOW-SHUTTERED TEXAS PLANNED PARENTHOOD SHOP has followed former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson in leaving her job behind and embracing the right to Life. Like Ms. Johnson, the conversion of the Sherman, Texas, Planned Parenthood “clinic” director flowed in part from a 40 Days for Life focused, sustained prayer vigil.

Citing a news release from 40 Days for Life/Dallas as source, Thaddeus Baklinski reports for that after the 40 Days campaign camped at the Sherman shop, manager Ramona Trevino “says she went from believing she was providing a service to women in need to realizing that Planned Parenthood ‘treated women like cattle and how they only cared about making money,’ a realization she says was ‘long overdue.’”

Just five days after Planned Parenthood closed the Sherman facility, reports Mr. Baklinski, Ms. Trevino was scheduled to speak Aug. 28 “about her conversion to the cause of Life at a rally to be held in front of the former Sherman Planned Parenthood.” The national director and founder of 40 Days, David Bereit, was also to be on hand for the rally “commemorat[ing] the closing of the facility.”

Ms. Trevino will also keynote a Sept. 27 kickoff rally for 40 Days for Life/Dallas. “‘Beginning at midnight [that night], Dallas will join over 300 cities nationwide,’” said the 40 Days/Dallas communications coordinator, quoted by LifeSiteNews, “‘in the Fall 40 Days for Life campaign through Nov. 6, including a 24/7 peaceful prayer vigil outside the Southwestern late-term abortion center at 8616 Greenville Ave. in Dallas.”

We look forward this fall to more reports of babies saved, mothers rescued and abortuaries shuttered. To God be the glory.


The Cruelty of Commercialized Abortion

FLORIDA’s MOST NOTORIOUS ABORTIONIST, James Pendergraft, could be on his way out of business. Since he does not – no doubt, cannot – carry malpractice insurance, the more than $36 million awarded to one of his victims by a civil law jury should slap the padlock on his six-clinic business. (Five of those shops are in Florida, a sixth near the nation’s capital.) A judge in mid-August refused to order a new trial.

“Since opening his first Florida clinic in the mid-1990s,” writes Karla Dial for, “[Mr.] Pendergraft has served time in federal prison for extortion and perjury. The Florida Dept. of Health has suspended his license four times.” And finally, one of his victims fought back in a suit he could not credibly defend.

Carol Howard contracted with Mr. Pendergraft to abort her 22-week preborn little girl chemically when Ms. Howard was just 20 years old in 2001. “Instead of delivering a stillborn child into a toilet, however,” writes Ms. Dial, “she delivered a live child weighing just over one pound at a nearby hospital. Her [now 10-year-old] daughter suffers,” writes Ms. Dial, “from cerebral palsy, strokes, brain and lung damage, chronic lung disease [and] seizure disorders and has no function on the left side of her body.”

Ms. Howard’s attorney said“if a sonogram had been performed,” reports CitizenLink, “[Ms.] Howard would most likely have realized abortion was no longer an option.”

The lawyer for the abortionist tried in court to blame Ms. Howard, claiming, reports CitizenLink, “if [she] had stayed at the clinic instead of leaving 12 hours after the drugs were administered, the outcome would have been different. [Ms. Howard’s lawyer] told the jury that when [Ms.] Howard asked clinic staff why the abortion was taking so long, she was told to ‘change her attitude or get the [expletive] out of the clinic.’ …

“Eleven jurors found [the abortionist] guilty,” writes Ms. Dial, “and one declared him ‘absolutely guilty!’”

The award: $18 million in compensatory damages to be paid into a trust for the little girl, $18,255,000 in punitive damages, plus court costs topping $400,000.


Day of Reckoning?

WE WON’t GET EXCITED TILL WE SEE ACTUAL ACTION TAKEN, but we’re pleased to see that the Texas Medical Board is hauling 10 abortionists before the panel for licensee disciplinary hearings after receiving disturbing evidence of wrongdoing from Operation Rescue.

“Operation Rescue, with the aid of the Survivors [pro-life group], conducted a three-month investigation into Texas abortion clinics,” reports OR in a news release, “and discovered a wide range of violations from the illegal dumping of human remains to abuses of the 24-hour informed consent law. OR,” notes the group, “reported the violations to three Texas agencies.

“The results have shaken the abortion cartel in Texas,” reports OR. “So far, two abortion clinics – Whole Women’s Health in Austin and [in] McAllen – have been cited for illegal dumping of aborted baby remains, and a total of 10 abortionists must face … hearings to determine what discipline, if any, they should face for violations that have not been made public by the [Medical] Board. Hearings for all 10 abortions will take place on the same day,” reports OR, “and are scheduled a half-hour apart.

“‘This will be a day of reckoning for abortionists in Texas,’” said OR president Troy Newman in the release, “‘and will send the strong message that they are not above the law.’”


Misrepresenting Our Values

VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D) EARLY LAST WEEK STIRRED A STORM in the US while playing nice with his hosts in Red China.

The Obama Regime envoy tutted the Beijing Regime for the “unsustainable” path on which its one-child policy is leading the Red Chinese economy – too many elderly Chinese depending on the taxes of too few young workers – but softened his remarks by declaring he “fully understand[s]” and is “not second-guessing” the one-child-per-family policy, suggesting an embrace of the policy’s underlying immoral principle.

Among Americans raising a cry against the Vice President’s remarks was House Speaker John Boehner, who, reports Victor Morton in the Washington Times, “said he was ‘deeply troubled’ by Mr. Biden’s remarks. ‘No government on earth has the authority to place quotas on the value of innocent human life,’” said the Ohio Republican, quoted by Mr. Morton, “‘or to treat life as an economic commodity that can be regulated and taken away on a whim by the state.’”

House Pro-Life Caucus chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who also chairs the Executive-Congressional Commission on [Red] China, called Mr. Biden’s comments “‘unconscionable,’” reports the Washington Times writer, saying that they “fit a pattern of administration kowtowing to China on human rights. ‘[Pres.] Obama didn’t say a word about any of the human rights crimes of Chinese Pres. Hu Jintao when he visited Washington earlier this year,’” noted Rep. Smith in the Times report. “‘Instead he hosted a state dinner for him.’”

Rep. Smith went on to note, writes Mr. Morton, “that Secy. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had told him at a hearing that she didn’t know whether forced abortions came up in private at the Obama-Hu meeting. ‘Now we know,’ Mr. Smith said” in the Times story. “‘They sold out. They’re just fine with the coercion.’”

The story also quotes statements issued by GOP Presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, attacking the latest Biden outrage and using it as an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to moral principles which would reject such a cavalier approach to the Communist Chinese atrocity.


America’s Own One-Child Horror

Aug. 17, 2011, commentary by Albert Mohler, reprinted from, originally published at

Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or deadly as “reduction” – a word that sounds like math but really means murder. The Aug. 14, 2011, edition of the New York Times Magazine makes this fact clear in its cover story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.”

Reporter Ruth Padawer first takes her readers into the examination room of an obstetrician who is about to abort one of two fetuses within the womb of a woman identified as “Jenny.”

Padawer writes: “As Jenny lay on the obstetrician’s examination table, she was grateful that the ultrasound tech had turned off the overhead screen. She didn’t want to see the two shadows floating inside her. Since making her decision, she had tried hard not to think about them, though she could often think of little else. She was 45 and pregnant after six years of fertility bills, ovulation injections, donor eggs and disappointment – and yet here she was, 14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion. As the doctor inserted the needle into Jenny’s abdomen, aiming at one of the fetuses, Jenny tried not to flinch, caught between intense relief and intense guilt.”

Of course, Jenny was not “having half an abortion,” for she was aborting a baby who was just as alive as his or her twin. The “reduction” of multiple pregnancies is now part of the practice of obstetrics, though largely kept from public view. Ruth Padawer explains that the demand for reductions is driven by advances in reproductive technologies and the reluctance of many women to accept a multiple pregnancy. Some of the most widely used fertility drugs increase the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy, as does the usual process of IVF [in vitro fertilization] procedures.

The procedure was first proposed as a means of reducing the risk of having three or more babies in a single pregnancy. In more recent years, the demand to reduce twins to a single pregnancy has grown steadily. At one New York City medical center, over half of all reduction procedures were to reduce twins to a single pregnancy. Padawer’s report is largely about that phenomenon, for the reduction of a pregnancy from twins to a single baby is not about increasing the odds of a healthy delivery but about the ominous rise of what amounts to personal preference.

Jenny makes this clear. She explains that she had conceived through IVF and an egg donor. Had the pregnancy occurred naturally, she said, “I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it.” Nevertheless, “The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”

Those words are amazingly revealing. Those who have tried to justify any and all means of controlling reproduction must face squarely the fact that they have created what amounts to a consumer market for babies – and customers eventually find someone to provide what they demand. When it comes to human life, the stage is set for tragedy.

As Ruth Padawer reports, obstetricians were at first reluctant to reduce twins to a single pregnancy on moral grounds, and many doctors who perform reductions refuse to reduce below twins. But the practice is growing, reflecting a shift in medical practice. She profiles Dr. Mark Evans, who at first refused to reduce twins on moral grounds. In 1988 he co-authored ethical guidelines for reducing pregnancies that declared reductions below twins to be unethical. Evans wrote that doctors should not allow themselves to become “technicians to our patients’ desires.”

And yet, in 2004, Dr. Evans reversed his position on the issue. Padawer explains his rationale: “For one thing, as more women in their 40s and 50s became pregnant (often thanks to donor eggs), they pushed for two-to-one reductions for social reasons. Evans understood why these women didn’t want to be in their 60s worrying about two tempestuous teenagers or two college tuition bills. He noted that many of the women were in second marriages, and while they wanted to create a child with their new spouse, they did not want two, especially if they had children from a previous marriage. Others had deferred child rearing for careers or education or were single women tired of waiting for the right partner. Whatever the particulars, these patients concluded that they lacked the resources to deal with the chaos, stereophonic screaming and exhaustion of raising twins.”

Note carefully the justification offered for killing an unborn baby is clearly identified as “social reasons.” The medical rationale he cited cannot be taken seriously, even as he cites “recent studies” that “revealed that the risks of twin pregnancies were greater than previously thought.” As this article makes abundantly clear, the main risk of a twin pregnancy these days is the risk that one of the twins will be intentionally aborted.

“Ethics,” Dr. Evans told Padawer, “evolve with technology.” That is a foundation for murderous medical ethics. The Culture of Death has worked its way into the logic of modern medical ethics to the extent that these obstetricians justify killing healthy babies just because the parents do not want the burden of twins.

Padawer allows many of the mothers seeking reductions to speak of their intentions without any effort to filter their language. One mother said she felt like her triple pregnancy “was a monster.” She eventually found Dr. Evans, who reduced her pregnancy to a single baby. Padawer candidly reports that some women use reductions to choose the sex of their baby. “Until the last decade, most doctors refused even to broach that question,” she reports, “but that ethical demarcation has eroded, as ever more patients lobby for that option and doctors discover that plenty opt for girls.”

In other words, sex-selection abortions would be unethical only if the demand for either sex was out of balance?

To her credit, Ruth Padawer points to the growing consumer market for babies as the root issue. She writes: “We’ve come to believe that the improvements are not only our due but also our responsibility. Just look at the revolution in attitudes toward selecting egg or sperm donors. In the 1970s, when sperm donation took off, most clients were married women with infertile husbands; many couples didn’t want to know about the source of the donation. Today patients in the United States can choose donors based not only on their height, hair color and ethnicity but also on their academic and athletic accomplishments, temperament, hairiness and even the length of a donor’s eyelashes.”

“The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy” is one of the most significant articles of recent years. With chilling and unflinching candor Ruth Padawer virtually forces her readers to see the twisted thinking that justifies the killing of the unborn, and then she tries to evade moral responsibility by calling the procedure a “reduction.”

There is a story behind this story, of course. The intersection where modern reproductive technologies and legal abortion meet is now a deadly place for many unborn babies. In the name of personal preference and for “social reasons,” some women now demand that their multiple babies be aborted so that they will have only the one baby they want.

Padawer says that many Americans are uneasy about this knowledge, perhaps “because the desire for more choices conflicts with our discomfort about meddling with ever more aspects of reproduction.”

But the procedure so dishonestly called “reduction” is really not about mere “meddling.” It is murder.

Life Advocacy Briefing editor’s note: First, the term “reduction” did not originate with Ruth Padawer but with the modern-day Mengelian doctors who practice or condone “reduction” abortions. We further note, though Ruth Padawer is not a right-to-Life advocate, her investigative reporting ranks with Live Action’s Lila Rose, the undercover video-stinger. It was Ms. Padawer who pierced the lies of the abortion industry with her reporting in the Bergen (NJ) Record that exposed a northern New Jersey abortuary whose personnel admitted to committing at least 1,500 partial-birth abortions per year – a horrific abortion procedure which the industry was claiming was rare. After Ms. Padawer’s report appeared, the executive director of a major abortion industry association came clean, admitting that his estimates of a few hundred such abortions nationwide were actually a lie. We thank God for His work through secular journalist Ruth Padawer, and we hope her recent report, outlined above, will sear the consciences of those who have refused to recognize the character of the “choice” they advocate.