Clinic suspends abortion services

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

As if nation needs another show trial.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska regulators have quietly inspected Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Lincoln and Omaha clinics at the request of Republican Gov. The Planned Parenthood Appleton North Health Center told a local ABC News affiliate the clinic stopped providing abortions Oct. 14, and will not resume the procedures for at least six months because of a “temporary gap in medical staff.” The clinic is referring patients to other Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinics in Madison and Milwaukee.A new undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress claims to provide more evidence that Planned Parenthood performs illegal “partial birth” abortions and takes illegal payments for fetal tissue donation.A Planned Parenthood doctor laughs as she says she continues to “strive” to deliver an aborted baby with an intact skull and appears to admit participating in partial-birth abortions in the latest undercover video released Tuesday targeting Planned Parenthood.

On the heels of the political farce that is the House Select Committee on Benghazi, outgoing Speaker John Boehner has begun casting the cringe-worthy sequel, a House select “investigative” panel on Planned Parenthood. Twenty-two clinics in the state deal with 61,000 clients each year, according to the group’s website. (RELATED: Wisconsin Profs Beg Legislature Not To Cut Off Their Access To Fetal Parts) The number of abortions in Wisconsin dropped by 10 percent to a record low in 2014, according to recently released state-mandated data.

Diane Dunn of Waco, Texas is a breast cancer survivor who credits screenings she received at a Planned Parenthood Women’s Health Center with diagnosing her disease. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News) AUSTIN–A new video released by the anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood shows a Texas doctor discussing the methods she uses to perform later term abortions. Medical facilities reported 5,800 abortions in 2014, down from 6,251 in 2013 and the lowest number recorded since the state began keeping track in 1977. Amna Dermish, a medical practitioner for Planned Parenthood in Austin, Texas, “describing a partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term fetuses which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.” When asked by undercover pro-life activists posing as tissue buyers during an undercover encounter filmed in October 2014 if she can “convert to breech” — a position in which the baby emerges feet-first rather than head-first — Dermish appears to have answered affirmatively. “I can if I need to. Last week, for example, GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and his fellow Texan, Congressman Louie Gohmert, led a group of 25 Republican lawmakers who sent a letter to the director of the National Portrait Gallery urging the removal of a bust of Sanger from the gallery’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit. “There is no ambiguity in what Margaret Sanger’s bust represents: hatred, racism and the destruction of unborn life,” wrote Cruz. “So many of the people who have arisen out of poverty and done great things for the country and the world, if she had her way, they would have never been born,” said Gohmert. But as in Benghazi, the House Republicans’ zeal to beat a political hobby horse into submission only underscores the disconnect between the far right and the rest of the country.

He tries to bait her with talk of fetal tissue reimbursement fees and his desire for specific fetal organs, in which she shows no interest—her clinic, like more than 99 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities, doesn’t donate fetal tissue. She doesn’t say if she uses another chemical during the more than eight-minute, edited clip, and CMP asserts that means babies are delivered alive and killed outside of the womb. I don’t usually do it in the 16 to 18 weeks,” she said. “With a further gestation I will sometimes do that if it’s a cephalic presentation [head-first], just because it’s easier to get.” Dermish later said that she hasn’t yet been able to get an intact calvarium, or head, though she laughed that it is “something to strive for,” based on what’s presented in the heavily edited footage. Ben Carson, another GOP candidate for president, told Fox News in August: “I know who Margaret Sanger is, and I know that she believed in eugenics, and that she was not particularly enamored with black people.

This Planned Parenthood campaign stems from claims that the group – which mainly provides cheap contraception to poor and uninsured women – illegally sold fetal body parts for research. A department spokeswoman said she could provide little information about the inspections, but confirmed regulators made a similar visit to the Bellevue clinic. CMP wants this video to ride the wave of outrage sparked by the tapes it released this summer, which have led to a Congressional hearing, raids on clinics in Texas, and a new policy from Planned Parenthood to refuse reimbursement for all fetal tissue donation, even though the practice is perfectly legal. And one of the reasons that you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find way to control that population.” In a speech last month in New Hampshire, Carson said that Sanger, “believed that people like me should be eliminated or kept under control. In the “full footage” version of the encounter between the undercover cameraman and Dermish, she is asked to describe the abortion method she used on two recent abortions performed after 18 weeks of pregnancy and the conditions of the fetuses.

So, I’m not real fond of her to be honest or anything that she established.” At a press conference later, he specified what he meant by “people like me.” He said he was “talking about the black race.” The attacks on Sanger are part of the GOP’s campaign to demonize Planned Parenthood. She said her exact method depends on whether or not the head or the buttocks is closest to the vaginal opening, but the procedure she describes is consistent with a standard dilation and evacuation. When discussing a colleague that is able to identify nine-week fetal hearts in the remains of aborted babies, a woman identified as being from Whole Women’s Health, another abortion clinic, interjects, “Well it’s cute.

Sometimes for our convenience … we’re going to rotate the baby … that might even help preserve the calvarium, so we can get some of the brain tissue in tact for use for fetal research,” he said. “So, sounds awfully close to saying that ‘We’re willing to do an illegal procedure in order to provide this tissue.’” Both Dermish’s comments in the new video and Nucatola’s statements in the earlier footage have piqued some critics’ interest and fears that partial-birth abortions are illegally being utilized in some clinics. Dermish tells a story about a colleague who is nerdily fascinated with human gestation; Andrea Ferrigno of Whole Woman’s Health, which runs seven reproductive-health facilities across the country, calls a fetal heart “cute.” It’s strange and uncomfortable.

So she’s always at 10, 11, 12 weeks, she’s like trying to find the kidneys and any of the organs of that gestation.” Previous CMP videos have appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials admitting the organization alters abortion procedures to procure fetal tissue, delivers intact fetuses and sells fetal tissue for profit. Planned Parenthood has denied breaking any laws and has said payments discussed in the videos relate to reimbursement costs for procuring the tissue – which is legal. The videos have spurred investigations of Planned Parenthood’s policies on aborted fetuses by several Republican-led congressional committees and numerous states. Adam Schiff and Linda Sanchez countered the right-wing narrative in the Benghazi committee, and restored a modicum of Congress’ lost credibility as a watchdog.

But conservatives should think twice about continuing this tactic; should Democrats retake Congress, it would not be hard to imagine similar “investigations” into, say, the National Rifle Association. She enrolled in nursing school in White Plains, New York, and as part of her maternity training delivered many babies – unassisted — in at-home births. Soon after her 1902 marriage to architect and would-be painter William Sanger, she became pregnant, developed tuberculosis, and had a very difficult birth, followed by a lengthy illness and recovery. The young family moved from New York City to the suburbs for Margaret’s health, but two babies and eight years later, Sanger insisted that they return to the city.

After one of Sanger’s patients died from a self-induced abortion, she decided her life’s mission would be fighting for the right of low-income women to control their destinies and improve their health through family planning. After visiting France to learn more about contraceptive use, Sanger returned to the United States and launched a newsletter, the Woman Rebel, in 1914, with backing from unions and feminists. As Sanger and her friends sat around her dining room table addressing newsletters, they brainstormed about what to call their emerging movement for reproductive freedom. Encouraging working-class women to “think for themselves and build up a fighting character,” Sanger wrote that “women cannot be on an equal footing with men until they have full and complete control over their reproductive function.” Sanger began writing on women’s issues for the Call, a socialist newspaper. She expanded her columns into two popular books, What Every Mother Should Know (1914) and What Every Girl Should Know (1916), and later wrote an educational pamphlet called Family Limitation that would sell 10 million copies in thirteen languages.

Around this time, Sanger wrote a column on the topic of venereal disease and went up against United States postal inspector Anthony Comstock, a one-man army against all things sexual. In 1873 Congress passed the Comstock Law, which made illegal the delivery or transportation of “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” material and banned contraceptives and information about contraception from the mail. With very little time to prepare her defense and faced with a judge who seemed hostile to her cause, she decided to jump bail and flee, alone, to England. That year Sanger opened the nation’s first birth control clinic, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, primarily serving immigrant Jewish and Italian women. Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne (a registered nurse), and Fania Mindell (who helped translate for the immigrant patients) rented a small storefront and distributed flyers written in English, Yiddish, and Italian advertising the clinic’s services.

Alice Hamilton, Crystal Eastman, and Katharine Houghton Hepburn (actress Katherine Hepburn’s mother) supported Sanger, but others, such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Carrie Chapman Catt, thought that birth control would increase men’s power over women as sex objects. But what about Ben Carson’s accusations – similar to ones that Herman Cain made in 2012 when he was running for the Republican presidential nomination — that Sanger targeted black women in her birth control crusade? Du Bois, the Urban League, and the Amsterdam News (New York’s leading black newspaper), Sanger opened a family planning clinic in Harlem, staffed by a black doctor and black social worker. Sanger explained that the project was designed to help “a group notoriously underprivileged and handicapped…to get a fair share of the better things in life. We believe birth control knowledge brought to this group, is the most direct, constructive aid that can be given them to improve their immediate situation.” Sanger viewed birth control as a way to empower black women, not as a means to reduce the black population.

And according to Hazel Moore, who ran a birth control project in Virginia in the 1930s under Sanger’s direction, black women were very responsive to the birth control education under the “Negro Project.” At the same time, however, a number of Southern states began incorporating birth control services unevenly into their public health programs, which were rigidly segregated, providing health services to blacks that were poorly funded. Although the eugenics movement included some who had racist ideas, wanting to create some sort of master race, “only a minority of eugenicists” ever believed this, according to Ruth Engs, professor emerita at the Indiana University School of Public Health and an expert in the movement. She embraced eugenics to stop individuals from passing down mental and physical diseases to their descendants, whatever we may think of that practice today. In a 1921 article, she argued that “the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” By today’s standards, these words are certainly troublesome, but Sanger always repudiated the use of eugenics on specific racial or ethnic groups.

Baker, a history professor at Goucher College and the author of a biography of Sanger, the women’s equality activist “was far ahead of her times in terms of opposing racial segregation.” Neither Sanger nor Planned Parenthood sought to coerce black women into using birth control or getting sterilized. Carson’s most recent anti-Sanger diatribe is simply the latest in a long string of bogus accusations against her and Planned Parenthood, designed to score political points with the GOP’s base.

Planned Parenthood establishes clinics based on where medical needs—including a shortage of primary care providers and a high poverty rate—are the greatest. They provide women with birth control information and services, test women for infections, offer antibiotics, pregnancy tests, and Pap smears, and teach women how to do breasts self-exams.

The case established couples’ right to birth control and women’s right to privacy in medical decisions, which paved the way for Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a woman’s right to choose an abortion. In his acceptance speech, he said “There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts.” Through the 1960s and early 1970s, the Republican Party embraced family planning and abortion. Prescott Bush, a Republican Senator from Connecticut and father and grandfather to the two Bush presidents, was Planned Parenthood’s treasurer in the late 1940s. In recent years, that effort has escalated into a fervent crusade, including state-level ballot measures to limit abortions and daily vigils outside clinics that perform abortions. The movement’s most extreme wing has engaged in bombings at clinics and even encouraged (and in some cases carried out) the assassination of those who work at abortion clinics.

According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Planned Parenthood’s favorability rating across party lines is 45 percent while the GOP’s approval rating is 28 percent. In 2013, Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics provided nearly 10.6 million services to 2.7 million women and men, including contraception, abortions, and other women’s health services, including 900,000 annual cancer screenings and millions of tests for sexually-transmitted infections. Most of the increase would be the result of thousands of unwanted births needing to be covered by Medicaid, as well as coverage of the children’s healthcare.

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