MO GOP Senate Candidate Akin Claimed Abortionists “giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant”

Posted on October 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Oh, those tricky evil abortionists- won’t someone think about the NOT YET CONCEIVED CHILDREN?? Check it out, from January 2008:

‘It is no big surprise that we fight the terrorists because they are fundamentally un-American, and yet we have terrorists in our own culture called abortionists.

‘One of the good pieces of news why we are winning this war is because there are not enough heartless doctors being graduated from medical schools. There is a real shortage of abortionists. Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of medical profession?

‘And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit.

‘You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking – not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die.’

It will be interesting to see how or if this is addressed by the GOP and Mitt Romney, who all backed far away from Akin this summer after his controversial rape/ abortion statements, before coming back to supporting him.

A reminder: The first presidential debate is tonight.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) May Claim He’s “Never Heard of Children Getting Pregnant From Rape”- But I Have

Posted on August 22, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Revolting. For context, King made his remarks in an attempt to defend House colleague Todd Akin (R-MO), who King insists is the “target of petty, personal attacks”.

REPORTER: “You support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that would provide federal funding for abortions to a person that has been forcefully raped. But what if someone isn’t forcibly raped and for example, a 12-year-old who gets pregnant? Should she have to bring this baby to term?”

KING: Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way and I’d be open to hearing discussion about that subject matter. Generally speaking it’s this: that there millions of abortions in this country every year. Millions of them are paid for at least in part by taxpayers. I think it’s immoral for us to compel conscientious objecting taxpayers to fund abortion through the federal government, or any other government for that matter. So that’s my stand. And if there are exceptions there, then bring me those exceptions let’s talk about it. In the meantime it’s wrong for us to compel pro-life people to pay taxes to fund abortion.”

(VIDEO link) From the accompanying article:

“Of course, Steve King isn’t telling the real truth. In reality, rape impregnates thousands of women every year, including little girls. King is also wrong to claim that the federal government funds abortion. The federal government is barred from funding abortion because of the Hyde Amendment. The only exceptions to that law are women and girls who become pregnant by rape or incest, which is acceptable and understandable to most human beings. But because King hasn’t personally known any instance of little girls being raped and impregnated, he doesn’t want there to be any circumstance where abortion should be allowed.”

For those unaware, in a previous career I was a medical laboratory technician. In that capacity, I worked numerous jobs around the country over the course of about a dozen years before retiring from the field. Routinely I would perform blood and urine pregnancy testing- and one day that haunts and horrifies me still was the day that a urine sample for pregnancy testing from a ten year old girl came into the lab.

The results, which were double-checked for verification, were positive.

Ten. Years. Old.

Now, prepare to wrap your head fully around this.

First off, there was a girl whose body had matured sufficiently for her body to begin menstrual cycles at a rather precocious age- the average age of menarche is considered to be 13 years worldwide, 12.5 years in the United States. Additionally, not all females who are ovulating have had a menstrual cycle, contrary to popular belief.

Second, this child was impregnated.

Impregnated.

Ten. Years. Old.

A child is a child, and rape is rape. There is NO WAY AND NO POSSIBLE VALID ARGUMENT HERE THAT THIS WAS A CONSENSUAL ACT. Consent would require knowledge and comprehension far beyond what this girl was capable of. Additionally, the legal age of consent in the United States ranges from 16 to 18 years old.

This conception and pregnancy were indeed the result of rape. This child was raped. And even typing that is difficult.

Widen the scope a bit and you can see part of the problem in getting a grasp of the problem. Due to the nature of the crime, the court system, the ages of the victims, and so many other elements, it is impossible to know exactly how many female children are raped in our country, let alone how many conceive.

But, back to the ten year old girl.

A third point to consider is the physician attending this girl had reason to order the testing– this is not the sort of examination nor laboratory results most pediatricians seek without some sort of examination of the patient and medical interview (as best as can be conducted under such circumstances). The testing itself was not ordered in the ER as a “STAT” (highest priority) or even “ASAP”, but as a routine test request coming directly from the physician’s office, with no criminal rape kit– had that been the case, our hospital laboratory would not have been involved, but rather the state’s criminal laboratory. Later on, when the results were given back to the office, this child and parent/ guardian were informed of the girl’s pregnancy.

Let’s stop again.

In addition to being a 12th generation native Mainer, I am also an amateur genealogist, having been working on my families’ lines (and those of others around the country) as a kid with my grandparents and mother. Over the course of 40 plus years of doing that sort of research, I have walked through literally hundreds, if not thousands, of cemeteries.

I have no idea how many times I have seen graves of children who died the day they were born or those of young mothers who died in childbirth. One of my ancestors, Susan (Fogarty) Billings (1795-1836), died giving birth to her youngest child Elizabeth- my great-great-great-grandmother. Sometimes gravestones reflected the deaths on the same day of both mother and child, telling sad tales of family tragedies from long ago.


( Image: Teenage birth rate per 1,000 women aged 15–19, 2000–2009)

“But that was back years ago, before medical advances and cleaner environments!” some could argue. And to a degree they would be right, that conditions have improved markedly since the 1830s.

But consider this: In the past decade, the rate of women dying in childbirth in the United States has risen to alarming levels. It is a serious problem that is getting worse every year. In poor nations, teen pregnancy is a leading cause of death. The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy of developed nations.

Among the risks for teen mothers that can lead maternal and infant death are lack of access to proper nutrition, adequate prenatal care from trained professionals- and with younger teens, an underdeveloped pelvis can lead to difficulties.

But we’re not talking about a “young teen”- we are talking about a TEN. YEAR. OLD. GIRL.

So keep believing there is no “Republican War on Women”– to a degree, you would be right.

Today, Rep. Steve King of Iowa declared war- on raped children.

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Why Republicans Should “Go The Full Akin”

Posted on August 22, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

While Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh, fellow Missouri GOP members and even Sarah Palin are advising America to, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”, it appears that they are all sadly missing a golden opportunity to get behind the one Republican on the national scene who indeed personifies and defines with sharp clarity their entire 2012 slate of presidential nominees, as well as the GOP’s long standing views of abortion.

Rather than shun Todd, they should embrace him- and “go for the Full Akin”.

Consider the evidence. On the surface, Todd Akin appears to be an angry older white man. Why, that right there represents the majority of the GOP base!

Oh, our apologies- that was Rep. Akin’s happy face.

Here is his angry look. There- much better!

Anywho… Todd is ANGRY. And doesn’t back down. Stands firm for what he believes and doesn’t “run for cover when the first gunshot is heard”.

Wait a sec; that doesn’t appear to be the case after all. Hmm. And goodness knows, the GOP right before their convo in Tampa do NOT need more “flip-flop” reminders, as they all collectively choke down their lunch and officially nominate Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate.

Well, that’s why Mitt has a Veep- someone who can do the dirty work and stand with Todd Akin- goodness knows, it’s not like they haven’t stood together before in Congress!

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DNC, NARAL Call on Mitt Romney to Denounce “Human Life Amendment” Inclusion to GOP Platform; RNC Chair Claims “GOP Platform Not Platform of Mitt Romney”

Posted on August 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Earlier today DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and NARAL President Nancy Keenan held a joint phone-in conference call, announcing their intent to demand that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney denounce the GOP’s platform (PDF warning), passed this morning in Tampa.

Republicans have finally hit rock bottom,” Wasserman-Schultz said. “I don’t have to tell anyone how outrageous Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s comments were this weekend, but unfortunately he’s not alone in his extreme and dangerous views.”

“Mitt Romney has repeatedly endorsed the Republican party platform, including a human life amendment to ban abortion nationwide, without exceptions for rape and incest. This isn’t the kind of leadership that women and their families can afford,” she added. “He should unequivocally denounce the human life amendment and its inclusion in the Republican party platform. That would be a step in the right direction for the GOP.”

“Regardless of their campaign statements, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represent a party with an extreme anti-choice platform that would deny women access to abortion even in cases of rape or incest,” said (NARAL President Nancy) Keenan. “If they truly believe that the platform ‘shows what the American people can accomplish when government respects their rights,’[1] as stated in the platform preamble, we call on the Romney-Ryan ticket to do just that: respect women’s reproductive rights and denounce the party’s extreme position. Voters are tired of the kind of divisive anti-choice policies that the Republican party has pledged to support. Voters are looking for a leader who respects women’s freedom and privacy. It’s time for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to take a real stand on behalf of women.”

The platform states: “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

The amendment would outlaw many forms of contraception and in vitro fertilization, and would criminalize miscarriages. The platform draft also includes support of mandatory ultrasound bills, clinic regulations, and mandatory waiting periods. It needs to be noted that this extreme position is the same as that approved in 2004 and 2008.

Committee Chair Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, aka “Governor Vaginal Probe” congratulated the committee: “I appreciate the good work that that committee did — in past platforms that has been hours of discussion — and I applaud the committee’s work in affirming our respect for human life,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the platform committee. “Well done.”

But RNC Chair Reince Priebus, sensing the language will be very problematic with women voters this year, has already started to try to spin the approved platform language away from Romney:

“I think as far as the details of some of these things, like an exception for rape or life of the mother, these are not uncommon differences that candidates have and don’t share some of the detail on some of those exceptions,” Priebus said on MSNBC. “This is the platform of the Republican Party; it’s not the platform of Mitt Romney.

So by the RNC Chair’s own admission, their presidential candidate’s platform does not conform with that of his own party. Got it.

Priebus will have to do more than just spinning, flip-flopping and Olympic worthy verbal contortionism to convince unmarried women voters in November, easily one of Romney’s weakest voting blocks.

What is definitely NOT helping the GOP nationally currently is Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s refusal to quit his Senate race against incumbent Claire McCaskill. Akin and his extreme stance represent a significant portion of the GOP’s platform, and the “top of the ticket” is taking some serious heat from this.

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Rep Ellie Espling (R- New Gloucester) Introduces LD 924

Posted on May 4, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

From Dirigo Blue, some quotes from Espling:

    Often, as a new legislator, we are reminded to look carefully at the bills before us and not to rely on the title of a bill to explain its entire intent. This is definitely the case for LD924, as this bill is so much more than just informing women of risks associated with abortion. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that women are given as much information as possible in making a truly informed decision about abortion. This committee has dealt with these women’s health issues in the past and no doubt will in the future. People are passionate about this issue on both sides. My intent is to present this bill and go over its wording. The testimonies following will give you the reaons why this bill is important for the protection of women.

    Most patients, unless in dire emergency situations have, as standard practice a wait time after diagnosis before treatment.

From a Q&A session between Espiling and Senator Phil Bartlett (D-Portland):

    Bartlett: One of the categories is that scientifically accurate information about the fetus be required. Who will determine what is scientifically accurate and how detailed the information should be?

    Espling: OK – it’s just scientifically accurate information that doesn’t spell out – in what form that information will be given to the patient. My understanding is that in a lot of abortion procedures they do perform an ultrasound because they need to date the fetus and so I don’t think there’s much discrepancy in the scientific accuracy of an ultrasound. So that would be part of the scientific….

    Bartlett: So what you mean is, scientific accuracy about that particular fetus?

    Espling: Yes. For that woman. For that patient. Yes.

    Bartlett: So the question is how far do they have to go to provide an ultrasound…I’m just trying to understand how detailed do they have to go – do they have to know the height, the weight – I’m sure–

    Espling: That’s really not spelled out here. The intent is that if the woman has a general idea, “I think I’m 6 weeks pregnant,” I think they should have a general idea of what 6 weeks pregnant means. And we certainly – through human anatomy and biology know how big that fetus is or what the fetus looks like at 6 weeks. So that would be the information.

A reminder: Dr Joan Leizer’s testimony clearly addresses the lack of medical veracity in the brochures from South Dakota and Texas upon which LD 924 and Espling use as fact:

the Maine Right to Life Committee states that this bill was, and I quote: “modeled after legislation which has been successfully brought forward in other states: Missouri, Texas, South Dakota and Georgia”.
However, the scripts developed by goverment officials in those states contain false, misleading and out-of-date information.
The brochures for Texas falsely assert that abortion causes breast cancer, despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute has definitively stated that there is no such link. Even more concerning to a mental health professional like me, both Texas and South Dakota falsely assert that abortion causes negative,and only negative, emotional responses.

That’s just not true.

The findings of Munk-Olsen et al from the Jan 27, 2011 New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate no support of the “hypothesis that there is an increased risk of mental disorders after a first trimester abortion”. This is a high quality observational study (cohort design) and offers strong evidence suggesting that first trimester abortion is NOT associated with psychiatric disorder. In other words, there is no statistical correlation between abortion and depression. But the states that have a script assert this and other falsehoods.

The Texas and South Dakota brochures claim that a woman may experience suicidal thoughts or so-called “postabortion traumatic stress syndrome”. This is a fictional diagnosis that is not recognized by either the American Psychological Association or the American Pediatric Association.

The South Dakota materials state that an “unborn child may feel physical pain”. The Texas materials assert that pain perception can occur as early as 12 weeks’ gestation, although “some experts have concluded that the unborn child is probably able to feel physical pain” at 20 weeks. The truth, according to a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is that the sensory systems necessary to feel pain develop between the 23rd and 30th week of gestation.

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Maine Physicians Testify in Opposition to Abortion Bills LDs 116, 924 and 1457

Posted on May 3, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Maine Womens’ Lobby email:

 

L.D. 924 – “An Act to Educate Women on the Medical Risks Associated with Abortion.”

This bill would require doctors to read a biased and coercive script to a patient … 24 hours before she could obtain an abortion.

Women making decisions about their health have a right to non-biased information and conversation – not manipulation.

And that’s just one of 4 bills – 4 very bad bills – aimed at putting politicians between you and your right to make your own decisions about when and whether to bear children.

C’mon. Trust women. Trust us to make decisions that are right for our lives.

We need your help right now to counter this attack on reproductive privacy.

Misleading women, especially those struggling with difficult decisions, is unconscionable. This bill isn’t about educating women. It’s about shaming women out of choosing an abortion.

It’s about providing incomplete and medically inaccurate information.

It’s not medicine – it’s politics. And politics shouldn’t come between you and your physician.

Give right here, right now.

And, that’s not all.

L.D. 1457 would repeal Maine’s successful adult involvement law and require signed, notarized consent from a minor’s parent before she can obtain an abortion.

L.D. 116 would require two in-person visits to an abortion provider; one to provide informed consent, and a second 24 hours later to have the procedure. These proposed waiting periods increase the medical, emotional, and financial cost of abortion.

And, L.D. 1463 proposes to create a new class of crime for harm to a fetus.

We trust Maine women to make their own health choices in consultation with their medical providers. And, Maine has a longstanding, bipartisan tradition of common sense laws protecting women’s health and safety.

 

 

================

The public hearings on LDs 116, 924 and 1457 will be held in Room 438 starting at 1pm TODAY. Those attending are urged to please wear PINK to show support.

Photos of the press conference here.

Video of Dr. Leitzer speaking at a press conference held at the Statehouse this morning.

Links here to video of Dr. Betsy Weiss of Bangor and retired OB/GYN Dr. Robert Walker of Blue Hill, presenting their statements opposing the three bills.

Testimony of Dr. Joan Leitzer, MD, Portland

Opposition to:

LD 116, “An Act To Require a 24-hour Waiting Period prior to an Abortion”
LD 924, “An Act To Educate Women on the Medical Risks With Abortion”
LD 1457, “An Act To Strengthen the Consent Laws for Abortions Performed on Minors and Incapacitated Persons”

Submitted to Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary

May 3, 2011

Good afternoon.

I am Dr. Joan Leitzer, a psychiatrist in Portland, and have practiced psychiatry for over twenty-five years. I am also the mother of two grown children. I am here to urge you to oppose all three anti-abortion bills. The proposal that I find the most objectionable, as a physician, is the proposal (LD 924) that would require that doctors read a government-approved script to any patient seeking an abortion.

As a physician, I have an obligation to provide scientifically and medically accurate information to my patients. I also have an ethical obligation to ensure informed consent by all of my patients prior to any treatment. The three tenets of informed consent for treatment are that:

  • The patient must have the capacity to give consent.
  • Consent must be truly voluntary.
  • A patient must be provided with adequate information to make decisions.LD 924 is counter to the concept of informed consent which requires that doctors ensure that patients are capable of making a decision, are making that decision on a voluntary basis free of coercion, and have accurate information to make that decision in an informed way.Indeed, LD 924 contradicts this principle of informed consent by introducing elements of bias and coercion into the process. Counceling is not reading a government-approves script to a patient. Counceling is definitely not reading inflammatory anti-abortion language to a patient in an attempt to coerce her or shame her into not having an abortion.I understand that the Maine Right to Life Committee states that this bill was, and I quote: “modeled after legislation which has been successfully brought forward in other states: Missouri, Texas, South Dakota and Georgia”.
    However, the scripts developed by goverment officials in those states contain false, misleading and out-of-date information.

    The brochures for Texas falsely assert that abortion causes breast cancer, despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute has definitively stated that there is no such link. Even more concerning to a mental health professional like me, both Texas and South Dakota falsely assert that abortion causes negative,and only negative, emotional responses.

    That’s just not true. Some patients may feels sadness, guilt or regret, but other patients may experience a decrease of anxiety and/or relief.

    The findings of Munk-Olsen et al from the Jan 27, 2011 New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate no support of the “hypothesis that there is an increased risk of mental disorders after a first trimester abortion”. This is a high quality observational study (cohort design) and offers strong evidence suggesting that first trimester abortion is NOT associated with psychiatric disorder. In other words, there is no statistical correlation between abortion and depression. But the states that have a script assert this and other falsehoods.

    The Texas and South Dakota brochures claim that a woman may experience suicidal thoughts or so-called “postabortion traumatic stress syndrome”. This is a fictional diagnosis that is not recognized by either the American Psychological Association or the American Pediatric Association.

    The South Dakota materials state that an “unborn child may feel physical pain”. The Texas materials assert that pain perception can occur as early as 12 weeks’ gestation, although “some experts have concluded that the unborn child is probably able to feel physical pain” at 20 weeks. The truth, according to a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is that the sensory systems necessary to feel pain develop between the 23rd and 30th week of gestation.

    The misinformation, contained in brochures from the states after which Maine Right to Life has modeled this proposal, see,s designed to convince women that abortion is wrong. Promoting an anti-abortion viewpoint through a government-issued brochure contradicts doctors’ ethical obligations to our patients.

    Even if we disagree, we should never impose our personal religious or political views on a patient. But that’s exactly what this bill will do. I urge you to reject biased government-mandated scripting of what takes place in the doctor’s office. I have dedicated my life to counseling women and men through some of the most difficult circumstances of their lives. As a professional, I uphold my ethical obligation to ensure that all of my patients provide informed consent to any course of treatment.

    There is no need to single out abortion and treat it any differently that any other legal, medical procedure. I urge you- regardless of what you think about abortion- not to impose a particular set of religious or moral views on women seeking abortion. Please reject LD 924, as well as LD 116 and LD 1457.

    Thank you.

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