Life Advocacy Briefing

October 27, 2014

This is America, After All / Breakthrough! / Chipping Away / Border Hopping
Warning from One Who Knows / Whose ‘War on Women’?

This is America, After All

THE 40 DAYS FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN in Wilmington, Delaware, has not only saved at least two babies in its first 10 days but has also backed down city officials who sought to block their prayer-for-life witness outside a Wilmington area abortuary.

Told by police they “must procure a permit to continue praying, singing and playing musical instruments on the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic,” writes Charlie Butts for, the 40 Days organizers turned to the Thomas More Society pro-bono law firm, which explained the law in a letter to the mayor and city attorney, resulting, reports Mr. Butts, in the city attorney “recognizing the group’s constitutional right to do the prayer vigil.”

Thomas More’s Jocelyn Floyd explained to Mr. Butts that “permits can be required for large events but not for a gathering on such a small scale. ‘For something that’s a small gathering of people on the sidewalk,’” she said, “‘the city is not allowed to require a permit. In fact, Wilmington, Delaware, does not require a permit, so the person who told them they needed a permit was either lying or mistaken about the law. …

“‘If there are any more officers who stay mistaken about the law – either didn’t get the message or, as every now and then occurs, there’s an officer with a personal vendetta,’” Ms. Floyd declared in the OneNewsNow story, “‘our people have this letter [from the city attorney] that is proof from the town that they can show in response. … Now they can say: “We have confirmation from your superiors that we are allowed to be here. Please take it up with them.”’”



A SURGICAL BREAKTHROUGH USING (ETHICAL) ADULT STEM CELLS has brought a Bulgarian man from wheelchair to walking.

A Polish surgery team, reports Ben Quinn for The Guardian, used a technique discovered by Prof. Geoffrey Raisman and a neurology team at University College London. Said Prof. Raisman, quoted by Mr. Quinn, “‘We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.’”

For Darek Fidyka, that outlook change has already come. The Bulgarian was injured four years ago, according to the Guardian report, and completely paralyzed from the waist down. Now he can walk again, thanks to transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells from his nose to his spinal cord. These amazing adult stem cells, “relocated to the spinal cord,” explains Mr. Quinn, “appear to enable the ends of severed nerve fibers to grow and join together – something that was previously thought to be impossible.” And no embryonic human being had to be killed to secure the cells.

The patient in question “‘is now,’” reported Prof. Raisman, quoted by the Guardian, “‘able to move around the hips, and on the left side he’s experienced considerable recovery of the leg muscles. He can get around with a walker, and he’s been able to resume much of his original life, including driving a car,’” noted Prof. Raisman as quoted by Mr. Quinn. “‘He’s not dancing, but he’s absolutely delighted,’” the British scientist reported.

Prof. Raisman is hoping, reports Mr. Quinn, “to see at least three more patients treated in Poland over the next three to five years if the funding can be raised.” The surgery on Mr. Fidyka was undertaken by Dr. Pawel Tabakow from Wroclaw Medical University, cited by the Guardian as “one of the world’s top spinal repair experts. The research was funded, reports Mr. Quinn, by the UK Stem Cell Foundation and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), whose founder’s son was paralyzed in 2003.

NSIF’s David Nicholls, reports Mr. Quinn said information relating to the breakthrough will be made available to other researchers around the world to help cure paralysis.” Prof. Raisman predicted, writes Mr. Quinn, “‘If we can convince the global neurosurgeon community that this works, then it will develop very rapidly indeed.’” May it be so.


Chipping Away

THOUGH MANY EXPECTED THE SUPREME COURT’s SUSPENSION of parts of the 2013 Texas abortion law would reverse all the progress made in closing the state’s abortuaries, a survey of Texas abortuaries undertaken by Operation Rescue (OR) shows five of the shuttered facilities remain closed, at least while litigation over the legislation continues. Nine others reopened, thanks to the high court’s award of a reprieve to the abortion cartel.

Of the 14 shops which closed when unable to meet the sensible health-and-safety requirements of the statute, these five have remained closed, reports OR: Austin’s International Health Solutions, El Paso’s Hilltop Reproductive Health Services, Fort Worth’s Whole Women’s Health, and two in Houston: AAA Concerned Women’s Center and Aalto Women’s Center. “The two Houston facilities have shut down permanently,” noted OR, “while the other three clinics appear to be attempting to reopen at some future time.”

The controversy is far from over, as the state of Texas continues to appeal – before the 5th Circuit Appeals Court – a ruling from District Judge Lynn Yeakel which barred enforcement of the reasonable statute. “We remain confident,” said OR president Troy Newman, “that the full 5th Circuit will uphold HB-2 [and that] then the abortion facilities that reopened will once again shut down. … Certainly we are not happy,” he said, “that nine facilities that cannot meet minimum safety standards remain dangerously open, but we remain optimistic,” he said, “that a permanent victory is forthcoming.”


Border Hopping

ONE OF THOSE SHUTTERED ABORTUARIES – Whole Women’s Health in El Paso, Texas – is planning to open shop across the border some 50 miles away in LasCruces, New Mexico, with the intent to draw customers from all of southwest Texas and even from Juarez, Mexico.

New Mexico is the wild west where abortion is concerned, featuring no minimum standards for abortuaries and where abortion even on nine-month-gestated babies is legal without regulation or limit.

“‘Why are women being discriminated against in these unregulated clinics in New Mexico?’” asked Leslie Cumaford of the New Mexico Center for Family Policy in a report by Charlie Butts for She noted “‘men and children who go to outpatient surgical clinics have all these regulations’” to protect them. Why is it only the women’s care clinics that are allowed to fly under the radar?’” A good point in this “war-on-women” era!

News of the abortion shop’s intended move has brought forth extensive warnings from Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former late-term abortionist who now lives in LasCruces and long ago renounced legalized abortion.  Dr. Levatino was among the repentant abortionists featured by Pro-Life Action League in a landmark video series, “Meet the Abortion Providers.”

The LasCruces Sun-News published a lengthy column by Dr. Levatino on Oct. 12, in which the pro-life convert explained to the uninformed residents of southeast New Mexico what abortion – and late-term abortion in particular – actually is. For the benefit of our readers – and of those to whom you explain the realities of “the abortion war” – we reprint Dr. Levatino’s commentary below. Take it from one who knows.


Warning from One Who Knows

Oct. 12, 2014, op-ed commentary by Dr. Anthony Levatino in the LasCruces Sun-News

I was fascinated to read Mr. Peter Goodman’s article on abortion and the yet-to-open abortion clinic wherein he stated that “we should not refer to it as ‘an abortion clinic’ because abortion is a small portion of the services it will offer women who need them.” How does he know what services they will offer and in what proportion? It hasn’t opened yet!

The Whole Women’s Health website mentions very limited gynecology services including sexually-transmitted infection treatment and testing, birth control counselling including intrauterine devices, yeast infection and urinary tract infection treatment, pregnancy tests and abnormal pap smear treatment. Those and other vital women’s health services – including obstetrics, full-time emergency-room coverage and major gynecologic surgery – have been available in LasCruces for decades. Any implication otherwise is an insult to the dedicated obstetrician-gynecologists and midwives who provide those services to women 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He further stated that “normally, an abortion in a hospital or clinic is medically simple and safe; and if there’s a complication, it’s quickly dealt with.” Whole Women’s Health has publicized that it intends to perform abortions up to 18 weeks’ gestation at its clinic. Second-trimester abortion procedures are neither simple nor safe, and therein lies the serious public safety issue that this abortion clinic represents to our community.

The standard procedure for accomplishing an abortion at 18 weeks is a suction D&E. In the early part of my career, I performed approximately 1,200 abortions up to 24 weeks gestation. I have considerable experience in this arena. At 18 weeks gestation, the uterus is typically within one finger-breadth of a woman’s umbilicus, and an unborn child is almost as long as your hand from the top of her head to the bottom of her rump, not counting the legs.

A second-trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. Using a heavy grasping instrument, the baby is dismembered and the body parts are extracted through the cervix and vagina.

It is necessary to understand the procedure in order to make a judgment about where this is properly performed. All surgical procedures carry an element of risk. Suction D&E abortion is a potentially hazardous procedure. I only performed these procedures in a hospital setting for reasons of patient safety. It is my professional opinion that late-term abortion should never be performed outside of a hospital. Risks include infection, hemorrhage, damage to the uterus (including perforation and laceration of major blood vessels), bladder, vagina, intestine and other structures.

It is particularly easy to cause a uterine perforation as the uterine walls are thin, soft and very vascular. Once while performing a suction D&E at, coincidentally, 18 weeks, I was unaware that I had perforated the uterus until I pulled my patient’s intestines out through her cervix and vagina. That was a life-threatening injury. It turned out well because she was in a hospital operating room with proper anesthesia, and we could respond immediately to the crisis. I shudder to think what would have happened to my patient if she had been in a freestanding clinic. It is well known that any abortion performed at or after 16-to-18 weeks carries the same degree of risk of death as childbirth. Imagine delivering a child in a clinic.

To date, three weeks after this abortion clinic was to open, no physician from Whole Women’s Health has applied for admitting privileges to either LasCruces hospital. If a serious complication occurs, the woman will be dumped into a local emergency room and a physician with admitting privileges will be forced to care for her. Whole Women’s Health website promises a “fabulous abortion experience.” Is being abandoned by your abortionist when a serious complication occurs fabulous?

Two of Whole Women’s Health facilities were fined $17,430 and $22,980 respectively by the Texas Environmental Commission. In the dumpsters behind these two clinics were found dead babies, bloody medical equipment and intact medical records with clearly visible patient names and contact information. Several of Whole Women’s physicians were cited and fined by the Texas Medical Board for a variety of offenses, including illegal dumping of medical waste and HIPAA violations. The women of LasCruces deserve far better.


Whose ‘War on Women’?

Oct. 14, 2014, BreakPoint commentary by Eric Metaxas, reprinted from

Certain worldviews lead to contradictions so absurd you’d laugh – if the cost weren’t measured in lives. There’s one contradiction I find particularly shocking.

Long-time listeners to BreakPoint will know that my colleagues and I consider the sanctity of life a global issue. Not only is abortion an injustice no matter where it takes place but the social disasters wrought by killing millions of babies in the womb are hard to imagine. Nowhere is this truer than in [Red] China, where the government’s infamous one-child policy has snuffed out a generation of girls and left a gender imbalance probably without precedent in human history.

Chillingly, on this year’s 34th anniversary of the policy’s enactment, 34 million Chinese boys face the fact that they’ll never find wives, because those women were simply never born.

The reason the policy has had such a disproportionate impact on the sexes there is simple: In China, as in most traditional Asian cultures, male children are more highly prized than females. Thus, if the government says you can only have one child, most Chinese parents prefer a boy, who will carry on their family name and legacy.

And tens of millions of parents have apparently decided, when greeted by a sonogram image of a female child, that they’d rather abort and try again. As several commentators have observed, “It’s a girl” might be the most deadly words in the world right now. The trend has spawned a distressing new term: “gendercide.”

But gendercide isn’t limited to the far side of the Pacific. Evidence has long shown that Asian immigrants to the US retain their cultural bias for boys. The preference becomes especially pronounced in third pregnancies. Among Asian mothers who already have at least two girls, only 100 more girls are born for every 151 boys. Considering the natural rate of male-to-female births is nearly equal, it’s safe to say something is going on here.

But happily in the US, we have a natural ally: feminists. Surely these defenders of the rights and equality of women are leading the charge against aborting girls in utero for the crime of not being boys. If there’s any clear case of sex discrimination, this is it – right?

Well, you’d think so. But as Rachel Lu writes at The Federalist, not only have most feminists ignored the problem of gendercide – they’re arguing it doesn’t exist.

When one SanFrancisco supervisor recently proposed a “ban on bans” of sex-selective abortions, he claimed such abortions just don’t happen in the US, and anyone who says they do is engaging in racial stereotypes. Writers at the Huffington Post, Slate, Mother Jones and Reason joined the chorus. They cite a new University of Chicago study that they say debunks older stats on sex-selective abortions. Its authors apparently didn’t want this fact widely known, since their admission is “buried” on page 16 amid what Lu calls “graphs and meanderings about methodology.”

The fact that so many feminist writers are celebrating the study without bothering to actually read it makes me think they care more about protecting abortion than they do about protecting future generations of women.

Instead of fighting tooth and nail against this kind of discrimination, feminists are on the front lines defending or denying it. They’re in effect sowing the seeds of their own destruction – or more accurately, the destruction of society’s most vulnerable women.

I’m reminded of G.K. Chesterton’s description of the modern secularist’s conundrum. He likened it to the eastern image of “a serpent eating its own tail, a degraded animal who destroys even himself.”

I can hardly think of a better symbol of feminists refusing to confront gendercide. But when a woman’s “right to choose” becomes a right to destroy her own sex, you start to wonder: Is abortion as empowering to women as we’re told?