Announces closure of 2 'clinics' because of costs of fighting amendment WorldNetDaily.com
Planned Parenthood is closing a pair of clinics in Colorado, explaining it is short of money because of the millions of dollars it had to spend to convince voters not to approve so-called “personhood” amendments.
McCafferty told the Independent that PPRM spent about $3 million to defeat the previous measures, and while donations are up, the cost of fighting the constant barrage of personhood measures is taking its toll on the organization and is one of the reasons it is closing the two clinics.
Read this story at wnd.com ...
The Colorado Personhood Coalition submitted more than 121,000 signatures to the secretary of state on Monday to again put Personhood on the November ballot. Only 86,000 valid signatures were needed.
Equal Protection for Posterity J.D. Ellis
While it is good to see that Personhood USA is providing at least some accountability for at least one of the five anti-personhood Republican presidential candidates whom they allowed to sign their personhood pledge, the softball questions lobbed by host Steve Deace to the other four candidates during their “Presidential Prolife Forum” only confirms suspicions that Personhood USA has fallen into the compromised “lesser evil” approach to presidential politics, and has determined to apply only gentle pressure (if that, but certainly not the promised accountability) to mainstream Republican candidates in whom they have placed their trust for an end to abortion in America.
On Thursday, December 22, Ron Paul became the fifth presidential candidate to sign Personhood USA’s candidate pledge. Paul also attached a statement of his own, effectively explaining away his “commitment” to personhood. On Monday, December 26, Personhood USA released an open letter to Ron Paul asking for further clarification, and threatening to publicly reject his pledge if Paul could not provide satisfactory answers to Personhood USA’s questions. Ron Paul has responded to Personhood USA; but at this time, the issue does not seem to be settled.
Of significance to the apparent partiality with which Personhood USA is treating the other four candidates who have signed their pledge is the rigor of their demands on Ron Paul. Personhood USA, rightly, asked some very tough questions of Paul, in their open letter
, and set a high personhood standard for the congressman to live up to. But such a high standard and difficult questions for the other four candidates who have signed the Personhood Pledge were conspicuously missing from the Presidential Prolife Forum, held by Personhood USA, hosted by Steve Deace on December 27, broadcast live on Deace’s nationally syndicated radio show, and still available for listening
on Deace‘s website, or on Personhood USA's site
. One has to wonder why these four, more mainstream Republican candidates--Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry--are receiving special treatment and more freedom to express their anti-personhood views without being called to account by Personhood USA.
At the beginning of the call, Personhood USA president Keith Mason expressed his excitement to have an opportunity to “really understand where the candidates are on life”--something one would think Mason would do before putting the name and credibility of his organization behind these politicians’ candidacies. In spite of Personhood USA’s past insistence that they, as a non-profit organization, do not endorse candidates, Mason also verbalized his eagerness to “really help support” the candidates who have signed Personhood USA’s pledge. And regardless of the fact that all four candidates still hold positions contrary to personhood, Mason described them as “championing life”. Ron Paul, rightly, did not receive such accolades from Personhood USA’s president. One has to wonder why the partiality toward the other four signers of the pledge.Rick Perry:
In his opening statement, Texas governor Rick Perry pointed to his support for informed consent laws. In spite of the fact that support for such laws reveals a lack of understanding of the personhood principles, Perry continues to tout them as evidence of his supposedly strong stance on life. Personhood USA never asked him to renounce his support of such legislation, or to try to explain how they are consistent with personhood. In fact, the inconsistency between the two positions was never brought up at all.
Perry also declared, “For me, this is not about politics. It’s about protecting human life.” And yet he has never shown a willingness to jeopardize his political career in order to provide equal protection for even a single unborn child in Texas, much less anywhere else in America. Personhood USA never questioned the fact that his statement was inconsistent with his past actions.
During the question and answer segment with Perry, Deace asked, if federal personhood legislation were passed by Congress, and struck down by the Supreme Court, “would you enforce the unalienable right to life, or the court’s opinion, as the law?” Perry, somewhat vaguely and dismissively, replied, “Well, obviously, you would enforce the right to life opinion.” He then went on to talk about the need for more pro-life judges on the Supreme Court. Deace and Mason (the only ones allowed to directly interact with the candidates) failed to ask what should be an obvious follow-up question for any personhood pro-life interviewer: If Perry would side with the unalienable right to life, over the opinion of nine black-robed tyrants--then why is he is not doing so now? The 14th Amendment, which Perry says he believes applies equally to unborn persons, is law. Roe v. Wade
is a court opinion. Why is Perry not using his office to uphold the 14th Amendment, as he has sworn to do, if he believes it applies to the unborn. This inconsistency was, again, not addressed. Instead, Mason voiced his pleasure that “the pro-life movement is focusing more on the fundamental goal of the pro-life movement, which is personhood for all human beings,” perhaps thus betraying his false impression that personhood is a “goal” to be attained, rather than, as it is in reality, a self-evident truth to be acknowledged.
Mason also tossed a softball question to Perry, asking whether he had changed his mind about allowing exceptions for rape and incest. Perry explained that his views have, in fact, changed “over the last few weeks”. Apparently a man who says he has been personhood pro-life for only “a few weeks”, but who still holds anti-personhood, pro-regulation views now qualifies to receive the “support” of Personhood USA for the highest office in the land.Michele Bachmann:
Like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann also stated that life “is a not check-the-box thing for me. This is the core of my conviction. This is what I would literally die for.” Deace and Mason failed to ask her, why then, has she not been willing to put her political career (much less her physical life) on the line to do all within the power of her office to demand and provide equal protection for the unborn. Why has she--indeed, why does she still--support legislation that actually denies them equal protection?
Michele Bachmann praised the Hyde Amendment, and said that, as president, “I will veto any congressional attempt to provide federal funding of abortion”. She voiced her opposition to Obama Care, inaccurately claiming that “Obama Care, for the first time in the history of the country, funds tax-payer funded abortion.” Personhood USA failed to point out that the Hyde Amendment itself explicitly allows federal funding for abortion in certain cases. Mason and Deace, did not even bring this up--much less did they require Bachmann to give account for her actions in voting for, and continuing to laud a bill that allows federal funding of abortion.
When asked what she would do to stop chemical abortion, Bachmann’s only answer was to direct attention to Obama. She displayed no understanding of the duty of either the office for which she is running, or of the office which she currently holds, in protecting the unborn equally and without condition. Apparently, Personhood USA requires no such understanding from candidates that they “support”.
Deace again asked, if personhood legislation were to pass Congress, and be struck down by the courts, how would a President Bachmann respond. Bachmann replied, “…the Supreme Court doesn’t make the law of the land; it’s the Congress and the President of the United States who do.” She went on to state that the legislative and executive branches need to “reclaim that authority.” Bachmann was not asked, why then, since Roe
is not law, is she not already using the power of her seat in Congress to demand and provide equal protection for all persons.Rick Santorum:
Former Senator Santorum introduced himself with a passionate statement that we concede ground when we say that we “believe” life begins at conception--that life at conception is not something to be “believed” or rejected at our whim, but that it is a scientific fact--and that life must, therefore, be protected from that point. Santorum was not asked why, if he knows the unborn are persons, would he ever support pro-choice candidates, like Arlen Specter, who would allow living human beings to be murdered with the consent of their mothers. (Later, as his show continued, Deace said the reason this question was not asked was because it was submitted by a member of the Bachmann campaign; but that he wished he could have found someone to ask the question, who was unaffiliated with any of the campaigns. Let it be known that true personhood pro-lifers did try to ask this question; but Deace and Mason denied them the opportunity.)
Santorum voiced his support for personhood, but allowed that “incrementalism has its place”. Neither Deace nor Mason asked the former senator to clarify, or took the time to point out, either to Santorum or to their listening audience, that compromised incrementalism is in direct opposition to the personhood of the unborn, and has no place in the policies of a signer of a true personhood pledge.
When Deace asked the same question about personhood legislation being overturned by the Court, Santorum said that if that were to happen, he would continue to fight for personhood by working toward other personhood legislation, or a personhood amendment to the Constitution, or through executive orders, or regulations--that he would “challenge the court, and give them opportunities to find the error of their ways, and come to a resolution where all the branches of government can agree”--an answer that obviously betrays Santorum’s judicial activist views. Neither Mason nor Deace took time to ask Santorum how that view would accord with his sworn duty as president to execute the 14th Amendment’s protection of all innocent life. Instead, they ate up precious interview time with a bizarre question about foreign policy--almost as if they were trying to find anything to talk about, other than Santorum’s inconsistencies with personhood.Newt Gingrich:
Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich incorrectly stated that “in the 14th Amendment it says very specifically, ‘Congress shall define what is a person.’” (If you read it for yourself--which apparently Speaker Gingrich is betting against--you will find that the 14th Amendment says no such thing.) Mason and Deace failed to point out Gingrich’s inaccuracy with regard to the content of the Constitution, or the inconsistency of his position with personhood. If the Congress has the right to “define what is a person”, then they have the power to define “person” in such a way as to exclude the unborn (or blacks, or the elderly, or any other group) from receiving the benefits of personhood. On the other hand, personhood, as expressed by the Founders, in the Declaration of Independence, means the right to life comes from God and is unalienable--not that it comes from Congress, and can be taken away by Congress, based on their definition of “what is a person”. Apparently, Deace and Mason either do not understand this vital difference, or do not consider it relevant when discussing personhood with a candidate who has signed a personhood pledge.
Gingrich went on to talk academically about the processes by which the executive and legislative branches can reign in an out-of-control judiciary. He discussed this as though it were an advanced, scholarly concept, that he has just recently been able to grasp himself, and that is still up for debate--not as a basic feature of our form of government, formerly understood by every fifth grader in America. But Mason and Deace did not consider it appropriate to ask how a man who spent decades in Congress, but who is just now discovering the checks and balances written into the Constitution, could be trusted to exercise the office of President of the United States.
Gingrich also clearly expressed his approval of a compromised, incremental approach to ending abortion, by which he and others would consent to the murder of some children, in order to attempt to save others. This was not even addressed at all.
Mason concluded the Tele-Townhall with an appeal to the listeners to “vote for the candidate they thought was best”--completely overlooking the fact (or even the possibility) that not a single one of the candidates on the call met a minimum criteria of understanding and willingness to do the duty of protecting all persons equally, as they have all sworn to do, and would swear to do again as president. Such appeals make it clear that Personhood USA has abandoned their former principled personhood stance, has thrown out any non-negotiable minimum standard, and has adopted, in its place, the morally relativistic approach of supporting who they consider to be the lesser evil. In effect, they have become another Republican apologist organization, selling out their credibility with anyone who truly understands and is committed to personhood, in exchange for a seat at the GOP table. This fully explains why Deace and Mason would look the other way as these four mainstream Republican candidates expressed views that are completely at odds with their signatures on the Personhood USA pledge, even as they hold Ron Paul to a higher standard.Do not misunderstand: Ron Paul is no personhood pro-lifer. But neither are Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, or Perry. They just happen to be more aligned with the typical establishment Republican talking points. The fact that Personhood USA did such a thorough and principled critique of Ron Paul’s position demonstrates their understanding of the personhood principles, and takes away ignorance as an excuse for not holding the other four candidates to the same high standard. Their oversight of the candidates’ anti-personhood positions can now be seen as nothing but intentional, hypocritical, and deceptive. Despite Personhood USA’s promises that all signers of their pledge would be held accountable, their treatment of these four candidates demonstrates that they never intended to do any such thing, but only to give them political cover as they continue to play the same anti-personhood games with the lives of the unborn that false pro-life Republicans have been playing for decades.
America's Party News
col317And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;...
...Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
-- Luke 3:3, 7-14
The preacher of this brief, but very practical sermon was Jesus' older cousin, John the Baptist, whom, the context reminds us, was sent to prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus Himself. In these few verses, John delivers an important message about the necessity and true nature of repentance.
As evidenced by the recent actions of Personhood USA in allowing four Republican presidential candidates--Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry--to sign their personhood pledge, John's lessons on repentence are still very much needed today. What is it about repentance that Personhood USA and these four candidates--not to mention other leaders in the personhood camp, American Right to Life, Bob Enyart, Steve Deace, and Gregg Jackson among them--are failing to grasp? Let's go to the text.
First, notice to whom John's rather pointed rebukes are directed. “Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him
, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (verse 7) Perhaps this seems like an odd thing to say to those who were coming to him to be baptized--especially in light of the fact that baptism was a key theme of John’s message in verse 3: “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. Why, if John is preaching baptism in verse 3, would he then in verse 7 refer to those who came to him to be baptized as a bunch of snakes? The remainder of verse 7 contains a hint. John says, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
John knew their motives for coming to him. John knew that, rather than seeking a sincere relationship with God, they saw baptism as a quick fix to the problem of their own guilt. They understood John when he said that baptism was “for the remission of sins” (verse 3). They wanted remission of sins, and were willing to allow John to immerse them in order for them to receive it. They understood, rightly, that John was commanding them to be baptized, and that he was presenting baptism as a condition to receive remission of sins.
But what they were failing to see was baptism’s proper basis in repentance. Look again at John’s message in vs. 3. “ And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance
for the remission of sins”. The multitudes correctly understood that baptism was “for the remission of sins”; but they failed to see that not just any baptism would do. The baptism that John said was necessary was, specifically, “the baptism of repentance.” These were attempting to come to John, allow him to immerse them, thinking this would remove their sins, and planning to go on their way with no real change of heart, intending to continue in the very sins from which they were seeking forgiveness. They truly were a bunch of snakes, seeking salvation from God, but unwilling to walk according to His will; seeking to “flee from the wrath [of God] to come”, but not willing to flee to God Himself.
How did John know this? His words to them in verse 8 tell us. He commands them to “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance….” Later, the Savior Whose way John was preparing would tell us that “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). John knew them by their fruits--by the actions, attitudes, and results that were brought forth from their hearts. And John could see that these results were not consistent with true repentance.
To their credit, John’s rebuked audience then asks what they were missing. “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?” (verse 10) John had told them that seeking a quick-fix remission of sins through a baseless and meaningless ritual put them in the category of a “generation of vipers”. For their baptism to have any meaning or effect it needed to be based on repentance. Now they are asking, in practical terms, what they needed to do. What does it mean to “bring forth fruits worthy of repentance”? When we repent, what kind of effect will that bring about in our lives?
John tells them. “He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (verses 11-14) John is telling them that there needed to be some meaningful changes in their behavior. If they wanted to know what true repentance is, and what kind of effect it would have in their actions, John would give them some examples: Change your behavior
to begin sharing with those in need. Change your behavior
, tax collectors, and stop your stealing and dishonesty. Change your behavior
, soldiers, and stop abusing your power.
This was what they were missing--a change in behavior. And this lack of the effect
of repentance showed John that there had, in deed, been
no repentance, and that their attempts to receive a blessing from God (remission of sins) was not met with an equal desire to come to God on His terms. For their outward, apparent appeals to have any substance, any truth, they needed to be accompanied by the kind of inward change of heart that resulted in visible changes to their behavior. Otherwise, they were simply a generation of vipers.
Two thousand years later, these same lessons can still be applied to the four candidates who have now signed Personhood USA’s pledge. It is undeniable by those who truly understand the personhood principles that all four of these candidates have, in the past, espoused positions that are in direct conflict with the personhood of the unborn. But now, these same candidates are seeking a benefit from Personhood USA and personhood voters, who they believe will be impressed by their signature on this document. Personhood USA touts their willingness to sign the pledge as evidence that they have changed their views on personhood. But, as yet, we have seen them bring forth no fruits worthy of this supposed repentance.
John held his audience accountable for the lack of a change in their lives. Personhood USA is utterly and miserably failing to do so. When John’s audience came seeking to receive the remission of sins by means of a mere gesture, John told them plainly that a mere gesture was insufficient--that it was not just any baptism that would lead to remission of sins, but that it must be the baptism of repentance, as manifested in their lives by a change of behavior. Personhood USA should, likewise, require a corresponding change from the signatories of their pledge, by letting them know plainly that it is not just any signature on this document that will win their favor, but that it must be a signature based on a true change of heart, manifested by a change in these candidates’ policies and behavior. Otherwise, if there is no such repentance, then as John declares, these candidates are the latest generation of vipers in a long line of compromised, ineffective, panderers, seeking to gain favor through a meaningless gesture.
Had John baptized his hearers, knowing that their lives were showing evidence of a failure to repent, he would have been complicit in their insincere and offensive attempts to win God’s favor. Likewise, Personhood USA, by allowing these candidates to sign their pledge without any indication that they have repented of their previously held ungodly positions and support for immoral legislation, shares the guilt of this generation of snakelike deceivers and flatterers; and perhaps worse, allows the candidates to believe (or pretend to believe) that there is no conflict between personhood and their unrepented utilitarian positions.
Let us pray that all involved with this pledge will learn from John’s discourse, and begin to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.
By Rebekah Maxwell
Never have I tried harder to like a candidate than I have tried to like Ron Paul. He has revived a great spirit in the grassroots, promoting some much-needed (but so seldom found) common sense in representative governance. His kooky, contrarian, Constitution-first, get-government-outta-my-hair persona has many a disenchanted voter from my generation ready to reboot the system and take the country from 1984 to 1776.
But then, he says things like this… “So if we are ever to have fewer abortions, society must change again. The law will not accomplish that. However, that does not mean that the states shouldn’t be allowed to write laws dealing with abortion. Very early pregnancies and victims of rape can be treated with the day after pill, which is nothing more than using birth control pills in a special manner. These very early pregnancies could never be policed, regardless. Such circumstances would be dealt with by each individual making his or her own moral choice.” Ron Paul – “Liberty Defined”
Now, one of the most often-heard arguments in the case for Ron Paul is his personal pro-life testimony. I concur that the statement of a doctor who has delivered over 4,000 babies is powerful. But how has Paul used that influence? To advocate for regulation, not abolition.
His argument that the law will not change a corrupt society is very true. Only a spiritual awakening to a resurrected Savior can truly revive a culture of death. But Dr. Paul, you and I also agree that it is within the government’s place to weigh in, and influence the question.
Whether handled at the state level, or the federal level, it is still calling on government to enforce a moral standard. That standard must establish that it is wrong for a pregnant citizen to deprive her unborn child of life, or it is not. Most states have, since the Roe v. Wade opinion, shown remarkable incompetence and unwillingness to take responsibility for abortion within their borders, so I highly doubt they have the fortitude to do so now.
In your own state of Texas, almost 87,000 women had abortions in 2008. That’s in spite of regulating laws, like a third-trimester ban, parental notification, conscientious objector status for doctors, and a 24-hour waiting period.
But let us assume that you’re right, Dr. Paul, that states will rule best on this question. Why then, do you advocate for states to sanction some killing? Isn’t this the perfect place to follow your pro-life principles and urge the states to stop the killing?
The hypothetical state law you provide as an example would “treat” these “very early pregnancies” with the “day after pill”. Now, Dr. Paul, I would normally defer to your medical expertise here. But I confess a bit of confusion over what pill we’re discussing.
The Mayo Clinic’s website lists the “morning-after pill” as a type of emergency birth control, so let’s settle on that for a moment. This is a variety of treatment that either blocks fertilization or keeps a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. They take pains to distinguish this from RU-486, a blatant abortive, by saying “If you’re already pregnant when you take the morning-after pill, the treatment will be ineffective and won’t harm the developing baby. The abortion pill terminates an established pregnancy.”
Dr. Paul, you called it a pregnancy. Twice
In the above passage from your book, you say these pills are ok for states to establish as treatment for “very early pregnancies.” If the Mayo Clinic is right, and the morning-after pill will not abort an existing baby, then do you suggest, Dr. Paul, that rape victims (or really any pregnant woman) should be allowed to use other means to “treat” these early pregnancies?
I know it may seem that I’m arguing over mere words…but this is exactly what happens in state legislatures time and time again, when the goal becomes to regulate evil instead of abolish it. Once you say it’s morally acceptable for a certain woman to abort/terminate/kill her child, but not another woman, you’ve already lost the battle. You’re then just arguing the terms of surrender. It appears Dr. Paul’s goal is not the same as mine: we ought not strive to have “fewer abortions,” but to protect the lives of all Americans…born or unborn.
But my biggest disappointment, Dr. Paul, is that you called it a choice
Is murder legal because it’s difficult to “police”? No.
Is the state released from their duty to punish murder because it keeps happening? No.
More importantly, is murder illegal because the law says so? Or is it murder against our law because God’s law says so? I believe each person should be free to make our own “moral choice”…but not if that person infringes upon the rights of others. That’s where my choice ends and inherent rights begin.
Either every person has the God-given right to life and liberty, or they do not. Either the Constitution guarantees those rights or it does not. If those rights come only from man, and not from God, then you Dr. Paul, can have no argument when men make laws that take away our liberties…since those “rights” are not inalienable, but just the arbitrary desires of men.
If we instead acknowledge that all mankind is created equal with rights that no government of men can justly take away, we must align our man-made laws to protect what God has given to us. That choice, Dr. Paul, seems crystal clear to me.
“Many of you’ve been attacked for being single-issue activists or single-issue voters. But I ask: What single issue could be of greater significance?”
-- Ronald Reagan (to pro-lifers)
*Thanks to Tom Shaw
God says "You shall not murder." The U.S. Constitution says "No person shall be deprived of life" without a fair trial on a capital offense. It's not optional. It is imperative. Incremental abortion bills say "You may murder," and "Some persons may be deprived of life without a fair trial on a capital offense." As for me and my house, we stand with God and the Constitution concerning this most fundamental matter of principle.-- Tom HoeflingSign the Equal Protection for Posterity Resolution today!
The Personhood Initiative Bill Fortenberry
One of the most ardently presented pro-choice arguments is the claim that abortion is sometimes necessary in order to save the life of the mother. This argument has been very effective over the years and has been used to persuade pro-life politicians to include a life of the mother exception to nearly every law designed to limit abortions. Very few politicians realize that the inclusion of a life of the mother exception is a tacit admission that the unborn child is not a person. Even more rare is the politician who realizes that Justice Blackmun cited this very exception to justify his decision in Roe v. Wade.
"If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the (Fourteenth) Amendment ... When Texas urges that a fetus is entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection as a person, it faces a dilemma. Neither in Texas nor in any other State are all abortions prohibited. Despite broad proscription, an exception always exists. The exception contained in Art. 1196, for an abortion procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, is typical. But if the fetus is a person who is not to be deprived of life without due process of law, and if the mother's condition is the sole determinant, does not the Texas exception appear to be out of line with the Amendment's command?" [ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)]
If we are ever to succeed in overcoming the Roe decision, then it is imperative that we answer the dilemma presented by Justice Blackmun. How can a personhood amendment be reconciled with the need to protect the life of the mother?
The solution to this dilemma is actually quite simple, but the majority of Americans find it so contrary to their perspective that they tend to reject it without even the slightest consideration. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop answered the dilemma in this way: “Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother's life.” Dr. Koop has been made the subject of much ridicule since making that statement, but is it possible that he is right? Most Americans would answer with an emphatic, “No,” but let us not be so hasty. Let’s take the time to consider the evidence before we arrive at our conclusion.
Without a doubt, the most frequently presented example of a case in which the mother’s life may be in danger if an abortion is not performed is the case of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the child is growing in an area of the mother’s body other than the womb. In most of these cases, the child is found to be growing in one of the mother’s fallopian tubes. Occasionally the child will grow in the mother’s abdominal cavity, and on very rare occasions he will begin to develop inside of one of her ovaries. These pregnancies are generally assumed to be fatal unless an abortion is performed, and the explanation is given that it is better to save the mother by killing the unborn child than to do nothing and allow both of them to die.
When we take the time to examine scientific studies of ectopic pregnancies, however, an entirely different picture comes to light. To begin with, let’s consider the Center for Disease Control estimate of 108,800 ectopic pregnancies in America in 1992. According to the above assumption, this number is equal to the number of women who would have died if abortion had not been available to them as a treatment. The CDC also reported an average of 26.3 ectopic related deaths per year from 1991 – 1999, and the proponents of abortion tout these figure as proof that abortion is necessary to save thousands of lives per year. However, that boast is made in ignorance of several additional studies.
The actual danger that an ectopic pregnancy poses to the mother is that of a tubal rupture or some other kind of hemorrhage which could cause the mother to lose a vital amount of blood. However, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation reported that, from 1983 to 1996, they treated 62 patients who had experienced a tubal rupture. Over a fourteen year period, this single hospital treated 4.4 ruptured ectopic pregnancies per year, but the CDC only reported 26.3 ectopic related deaths per year. If tubal ruptures were definitely fatal, then that would mean that this one hospital has witnessed 1/6 of all the ectopic related deaths in America. While this would be highly unlikely, it is certainly not impossible, and so we turn to the next study on our list.
The entire southern region of Israel only saw 13 pregnancy related deaths over a 23 year period extending from 1969 to 1991.  This comes to an average of .57 deaths per year. In 1992, the Soroka University Hospital in Be’er Sheva reported 148 ruptured ectopic pregnancies. If we assume that the rate of maternal deaths for this region did not experience a drastic increase from 1991 to 1992, and if we assume that every single one of those .57 deaths occurred at this one hospital and that all .57 of them were the result of ruptured ectopic pregnancies, we still would only be able to calculate a .4% chance that a ruptured ectopic pregnancy will cause the death of the mother. If 99.6% of all the ruptured ectopic pregnancies in southern Israel do not result in the death of the mother, then the claim that abortion must be performed in order to prevent death from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy is undoubtedly spurious.
Of course, this then begs the question of how these mothers were able to survive such an ordeal. Nearly a century ago, a doctor in Germany reported success in using autotransfusion to treat ruptured ectopic pregnancies. Autotransfusion involves siphoning the blood which has spilled into the abdominal cavity, running it through a filter and then pumping it back into the mother’s body. In 2002, a worldwide study of 632 ruptured ectopic pregnancies treated with autotransfusion reported only a single instance of death. That’s a success rate of 99.84%. This study demonstrates that this non-abortive treatment is more successful than the preferred abortion method which has a success rate of just 99.6%.
Clearly we can see that ectopic pregnancies are not fatal to the mother, but what of the child? Those confronted with this evidence will undoubtedly ask if it is ethical to cause the mother to experience the pain of an ectopic pregnancy if there is no hope of her child’s survival. However, the assumption that the child cannot survive an ectopic pregnancy is just as groundless as the same claim about the mother.
There have been many reports of successful ectopic pregnancies. In September of 1999, Ronan Ingram was successfully delivered via c-section. Ronan had implanted in one of his mother’s fallopian tubes which subsequently ruptured as he grew into the abdominal cavity. In May of 2008, Durga Thangarajah was born after spending a full nine months in her mother’s ovary. Sage Dalton was born in July of 1999 after developing in the amniotic membrane outside her mother’s womb. Billy Jones was born in 2008 after developing in his mother’s abdominal cavity. The reports go on and on.    In spite of all the claims to the contrary, doctors are constantly being amazed by the unborn child’s ability to develop and grow in spite of his location within his mother’s body.
Ectopic pregnancies are neither fatal for the mother nor necessarily for the child. The mother’s survival is almost certain, and the survival of the child is at least possible if not likely. So what does this mean to the pro-life movement? It means that Dr. Koop was correct. The personhood of the unborn child does not conflict with the need to protect the life of the mother for the simple reason that abortion is never necessary for that protection.
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