Patterico's Pontifications


Planned Parenthood: That is Not a Baby

Filed under: Abortion — DRJ @ 11:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hot Air links this Live Action undercover video of Planned Parenthood’s advice to mothers considering abortion:

Here is Live‘s description of the video taken at an Appleton WI Planned Parenthood clinic:

“In the undercover video, when the two women ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman’s 10-week-old unborn child has a heartbeat, the counselor emphasizes “heart tones,” and answers, “Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus–can survive–which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks.” On the contrary, embryologists agree that the heartbeat begins around 3 weeks. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion.

The counselor then says, “A fetus is what’s in the uterus right now. That is not a baby.” Dr. Prohaska, the abortion doctor, insists, “It’s not a baby at this stage or anything like that.” Prohaska also states that having an abortion will be “much safer than having a baby,” warning, “You know, women die having babies.”

In 2006, Patterico posted a photo array of babies in utero and addressed the question of “When does a fetus resemble a baby?” I think it helps to see the photos as you consider Planned Parenthood’s advice.



Abortion: It’s No Joke

Filed under: Abortion,Health Care — DRJ @ 1:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The abortion issue may heat up as ads air like this one from the Center for Reproductive Rights:

The ad likely opposes the Stupak Amendment discussed in this earlier post.



The White House Takes on the Stupak Amendment

Filed under: Abortion,Obama — DRJ @ 11:03 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

One reason the Pelosi health care bill passed the House was the Stupak Amendment that reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment’s ban on the use of federal funds “to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion” except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.

Planned Parenthood condemned the Stupak Amendment, claiming it undermined “the ability of women to purchase private health plans that cover abortion, even if they pay for most of the premiums with their own money.” [NOTE from DRJ: I believe this is because, under the House bill as amended by the Stupak Amendment, a private policy can’t cover abortions if federal funds pay some of the premiums.] Planned Parenthood argues the Stupak Amendment violates “President Obama’s promise to the American people that no one would be forced to lose her or his present coverage under health reform.”

After the health care bill passed, Cecille Richards, the President of the Planned Parenthood Action Center, called on Planned Parenthood supporters to stop the Stupak Amendment by contacting President Obama at the White House — their “strongest weapon” in the fight to protect women’s health. Today on CNN’s State of the Union, David Axelrod confirmed the White House will work to stop the Stupak amendment and keep it out of the final health care bill:

“The abortion amendment was tacked on to the House health care bill and was a key factor in securing the votes of moderate Democrats before the bill was approved by a narrow margin last weekend. The amendment, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., went beyond preventing the proposed government-run plan from covering abortion to restrict federal subsidies from going toward private plans that offer abortion coverage.

Axelrod said in an interview Sunday that the amendment changes the “status quo,” something the president cannot abide.

“The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion,” Axelrod said. “This shouldn’t be a debate about abortion. And he’s going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed … I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly.”

When the abortion issue calls, the White House listens.

By the way, are you really keeping your “present health care policy” if you previously paid for it yourself but the federal government helps you pay for it in the future? Or have I missed out on a great opportunity because the federal government has already been helping people pay for their private insurance policies?



O’Reilly Refuses to Back Down on Tiller

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 7:10 pm

The man who murdered George Tiller committed a despicable and indefensible act. But that doesn’t mean we have to pretend that we support what Tiller did for a living. I firmly oppose most late-term abortions, which are done primarily for convenience and not for medical reasons (despite the propaganda you hear to the contrary), and I do not believe Tiller’s medical practice was a force for good. He had a right to live, but we had a right to criticize him for what he did.

I said yesterday that I wouldn’t stand for leftists blaming Bill O’Reilly for George Tiller’s death. And while I think O’Reilly acted in a high-handed, sanctimonious, and hypocritical fashion with respect to its treatment of Hot Air recently, I stand foursquare behind Bill O’Reilly’s comments here:

Where did I find this clip? Why, on Hot Air, the same site O’Reilly recently smeared.

No matter. Sometimes you have to defend people in one setting when you criticize them in another. Here, O’Reilly is 100% correct that leftists are trying to stifle criticism of late-term abortions.

I won’t be stifled. O’Reilly won’t be either. Good on him for that.

Death of Abortion Doctor: Leftists Begin to Point the Fingers

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 1:23 am

The AP reports that the killer of George Tiller, Scott Roder, apparently left a comment on Operation Rescue’s site talking about Tiller’s “death camp” — and how a “presence” should be organized at Tiller’s church.

The cached version of the comment is here. Scroll to comment 9 (link via Free Republic):

(Click to enlarge)

The comment reads as follows:

Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp.

Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.

What does this prove? That Tiller’s killer was an anti-abortion zealot. Big shocker there.

And the L.A. Times runs an article that sets forth the tactics of the violent fringes of the anti-abortion movement:

Bombings. Butyric acid attacks. Sniper shootings. Letters filled with fake anthrax. These are some of the tactics used over the years by antiabortion extremists.

Fair enough, but when do you see the tactics of leftist extremists portrayed this way? I’m told that even our federal government has recognized that leftist extremists engage in bombings and arson; why, wasn’t a certain Bill Ayers involved with a leftist group that killed people? Yes, I believe he was. (Who knew him again?) You rarely see the angry L.A. Times articles about that.

Meanwhile, the left-wingers are also trying to point the finger at Bill O’Reilly because he strongly denounced Tiller’s late-term abortions. This murder ought to keep the Orcinus site fueled with misplaced righteous indignation for weeks. We’re already seeing the anti-O’Reilly stuff at Excitable Andy’s site. And take, for example,, which says:

When his show airs tomorrow, Bill O’Reilly will most certainly decry the death of Kansas doctor George Tiller, who was killed Sunday while attending church services with his wife. Tiller, O’Reilly will say, was a man who was guilty of barbaric acts, but a civilized society does not resort to lawless murder, even against its worst members. And O’Reilly, we can assume, will genuinely mean this.

But there’s no other person who bears as much responsibility for the characterization of Tiller as a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly thanks to the collusion of would-be sophisticated cultural elites, a bought-and-paid-for governor and scofflaw secular journalists.

Regular readers know that I’m anything but a Bill O’Reilly fan, but this is nonsense, and O’Reilly must be defended. Killing Tiller was unequivocally wrong, but what he did — late-term abortions on the flimsiest of excuses — offended a lot of people, and I believe justifiably so. It didn’t merit his getting killed; his murder was an evil and despicable act. But that doesn’t mean that Bill O’Reilly was wrong to criticize Tiller — even harshly. And it doesn’t mean Bill O’Reilly is responsible for Tiller’s death.

So let’s put an end to all such talk right now.


Questions for Those Who Believe Abortion Is Murder

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 8:24 pm

1) Do you believe killing an abortion doctor is morally justified?

2) If you had an al Qaeda terrorist in the sights of your gun, would you pull the trigger? If you were the President and you were told one of our snipers had Osama in his sights, would you give the order to kill him?

I do not happen to believe that abortion is murder, although I believe it is wrong — and becomes more morally objectionable as we get closer to the moment of birth.

But some do believe abortion is murder, no different from murder of a fully formed human. It is those people to whom I put the question.

No doubt I will be criticized for raising the question. I do not raise it to mock the views of those who believe abortion is murder; I have friends who believe it is, and I respect them deeply. I just find it perplexing when people say that they believe abortion is murder, but they don’t support the killing of abortion doctors.

I realize that I run the risk of having people say in the comments that they do support the killing of abortion doctors. All I can say is that I do not support such actions in any way, shape, or form — implicitly or explicitly. However, I am interested in a frank discussion of the issue by those who believe abortion is murder.

I want people to be extra polite in this thread. If you’re not, your comment may be removed. Let’s show the world that we can discuss difficult and emotional issues without insulting one another.

UPDATE: If you answer “no” to the first question, and “yes” to the second, the obvious answer is “why”? And if your answer is that we are at war with al Qaeda, then are you saying that if the Democrats declare that we are no longer “at war” with al Qaeda, then your answer to question #2 would change??

UPDATE x2: The majority of the answers I’m seeing please me. In essence, readers are saying that whatever they might think of abortion, they recognize that’s it’s legal — and that to murder an abortion doctor is illegal. I’m pleased by that reaction. It almost makes me feel like the laws of this country mean something.

Michelle Malkin has more on the evil nature of this murder, and the need to avoid scoring political points.

Abortion Doctor Killed (Updated)

Filed under: Abortion,Crime — DRJ @ 10:51 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Kansas abortion doctor has been shot and killed in church:

“George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who was one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions, was shot to death on Sunday as he attended church, city officials in Wichita said.”

Whoever did this is a fool. Not only does this hurt the anti-abortion cause and go against Christian teachings, but it validates the recent report warning of conservative domestic terrorists.


UPDATE: A suspect is in custody:

“[T]he suspect in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller is in custody in the Kansas City area. Wichita police say the man was arrested near Gardner, KS at around 2:00 Sunday afternoon.”

The suspect is described as “a white male in his 50’s or 60’s with grey hair that is balding in the middle. He is about 6’1″ and about 220 pounds and was wearing a white shirt and dark pants. The suspect was last seen in a light blue Ford Taurus, possibly an early 1990’s model. It has a K-State vanity plate and a Kansas license plate number 225 BAB.”



Obama at Notre Dame

Filed under: Abortion,Obama — DRJ @ 2:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Although protesters were present, Barack Obama was given a courteous welcome at the Notre Dame commencement and he encouraged Americans to learn to disagree respectfully:

“Understand – I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it – indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory – the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

Obama shared an anecdote about correspondence he received during the Presidential campaign from a doctor who opposed abortion. Instead of asking Obama to change his position on abortion, the doctor encouraged Obama to approach the issue in a fair-minded way. Obama said he prayed he would extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had given him.

Obama also called on Americans to “make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

The full transcript of Obama’s speech is here. Pre-speech media has focused on abortion but Obama also addressed the need for world peace and to find a way to “live together as one human family.” And in a light-hearted moment, he offered his services at next year’s Notre Dame basketball tournament that he described as the largest outdoor 5-on-5 basketball tournament in the world.



Another “I Didn’t Mean It” Moment for Michael Steele

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 7:43 am

I said that?

RNC Chairman Michael Steele said today that despite telling an interviewer he supports “individual choice” and state-level decisions on abortion, he in fact opposes abortion and supports a Constitutional ban.

You know, I’m not even as worried about the fact that he keeps putting his foot in his mouth as I am about how incoherent his original answer was:

A: The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Q: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

A; Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

Q; You do?

A: Yeah. Absolutely.

Q: Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

A: I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

Q: Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

A: The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

The “individual choice” rests with the states? Does anybody understand that? Anybody?

I think we’re in real trouble if this is the best this guy can do. It’s as if he never thought about the issue before and is making up an answer on the spot.


Baby Born Live in Botched Abortion, Then Tossed Alive Into the Trash to Die — By the Abortion Clinic

Filed under: Abortion,Crime — Patterico @ 12:41 am

Pure evil:

Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn’t arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic’s owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant’s umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

The baby was 23 weeks old, an age where most babies don’t survive, but some do. An autopsy showed that the baby’s lungs had filled with air, indicating she had been born alive.

Prosecutors are considering murder charges.

Both sides of the political aisle find this story disturbing. Conservatives, because someone apparently felt entitled to take a live human being and throw her in the trash to die. Liberals, because wingnuts might use the story to undermine Roe v. Wade.

Which aspect concerns you more?

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