Texas blocks Planned Parenthood from receiving state Medicaid money; Louisiana

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Doctor says she will ‘strive’ for intact fetal skull in latest Planned Parenthood video.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Monday that her office has been in touch with Texas officials over state efforts to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid dollars, but she didn’t indicate whether any federal action would be taken. “I’m not familiar with all the specifics of the local case,” Burwell said during a news conference at Parkland Memorial Hospital. A Planned Parenthood doctor describes how she uses what may be a partial-birth abortion technique to deliver fetal trunks intact, then laughs as she says she will “strive” for an intact fetal skull in an undercover video released Tuesday.

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.

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. 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.

Burwell’s comments came during a visit to Parkland to promote efforts to boost participation in the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace ahead of the Nov. 1 start of the open enrollment period. Texas has the highest rate, and the highest total number, of uninsured residents in the country, according to data released by the Census Bureau last month.

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. In 2014, 19.1 percent of Texans, about 5 million people, didn’t have health insurance, a slight decrease from the 22.1 percent uninsured the year before.

Instead, she said she will sometimes use ultrasound guidance to flip a second-trimester fetus to a breech presentation, meaning that the feet exit the womb first, and described how she recently performed the procedure an abortion on a 20-week-old fetus. “It was a trunk intact, so usually what I do, if it’s a breech presentation, I’ll remove the extremities first, the lower extremities, and then go for the spine and sort of bring it down that way,” said Dr. A department spokeswoman said she could provide little information about the inspections, but confirmed regulators made a similar visit to the Bellevue clinic. 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.

She added that, “Especially the 20-weekers are a lot harder versus the 18-weekers, so at that point I’ll switch to breech,” she says in the video. Surveyors did threaten both clinics with disciplinary action because of late paperwork, particularly forms with abortion procedure information, which the state required for statistical purposes.

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. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, whose comments on videos released this summer were said by CMP to reveal illegal fetal-tissue sale and violations of the “partial birth” abortion ban. Burwell touted the progress being made in Texas, but said much more work needs to be done to raise awareness about the available options and to educate residents about the subsidies available that can help drive down costs of insurance. “Emphasizing this affordability point and the importance of the Advanced Premium Tax Credits so that people know care can be subsidized so they can have affordable premiums is such an important part,” she said. The Omaha clinic hadn’t been on time all year and still hadn’t submitted forms for the most recent months, June and July, according to letters from the department’s division of public health. “It’s good to know that DHHS is actually going inside Nebraska abortion facilities and doing some type of investigation,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life. “That sounds more aggressive than what has happened in the past.

To most laypeople—and certainly, to most pro-lifers—her casual manner seems inappropriate for a dialogue about fetal body parts, but for medical professionals accustomed to discussing clinical procedures with clinical language, it’s not suspect at all. Dermish said she had not been able to deliver an intact calvarium, or skull, during an abortion procedure, but added with a laugh that, “Well, this will give me something to strive for.” Partial-birth abortion is prohibited under federal law, as is altering abortion procedures in order to keep fetal specimens intact for medical research. 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. But last week, the inspector general of the state’s health agency moved to terminate Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract based on “violations” observed in one of the undercover videos.

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