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 Post subject: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:01 pm 
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I've started seeing this story pop up, and I was wondering what people here thought?

I consider myself pro-choice, but this story really, really bothers me. It's a visceral more than a logical thing.

The doctor wasn't performing abortions; he was inducing premature labor and killing the newborns. I'm kind of worried that this sort of freak show will cause lawmakers to enact and enforce further restrictions.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/break ... octor.html

ETA - I should have mentioned that he also killed and maimed some of his patients.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:09 pm 
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I get an error when I click the link, which is probably a good thing for me because I'd probably end up pretty upset.
I definitely consider myself pro-choice, too. But late term abortion does make me uncomfortable. I do realize, though, that sometimes they are necessary because the health of the mother is in danger, or there might have been some defect detected that is either incompatible with life or just really serious and would lead to lifelong care for the baby, or something like that. But otherwise I do tend to get a little judgmental and wonder why they didn't get an abortion earlier in the pregnancy if they wanted one?
Abortion as late as that, where the baby would have to be deliberately killed, really does not sit well with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:17 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
I get an error when I click the link, which is probably a good thing for me because I'd probably end up pretty upset.
I definitely consider myself pro-choice, too. But late term abortion does make me uncomfortable. I do realize, though, that sometimes they are necessary because the health of the mother is in danger, or there might have been some defect detected that is either incompatible with life or just really serious and would lead to lifelong care for the baby, or something like that. But otherwise I do tend to get a little judgmental and wonder why they didn't get an abortion earlier in the pregnancy if they wanted one?
Abortion as late as that, where the baby would have to be deliberately killed, really does not sit well with me.


The link is working for me ...

He has been charged with murder for terminating pregnancies at anywhere between 6 and 8 months. Some of these babies could have survived. Apparently, one was seven pounds.

I'm uncomfortable prescribing time limits for abortions, and I understand that late-term abortions are, by their very nature, messy. I'm also uncomfortable saying that abortion is murder.

Still, I'm really disturbed that someone would kill an infant that was breathing on its own. Is that abortion or infanticide?

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:25 pm 
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KarynMC wrote:

Still, I'm really disturbed that someone would kill an infant that was breathing on its own. Is that abortion or infanticide?

I, myself, would be inclined to call that infanticide. There might be some here who disagree with me, but I guess I figure if the baby is healthy and going to live, why not just put the baby up for adoption at that point?

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:26 pm 
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But he wasn't doing abortions, or rather, he isn't being charged with performing abortions. He was delivering babies and then killing them. Which is super illegal?

It shouldn't be relevant to the abortion debate, but will be. It should be relevant to the total-failure-of-public-service-infrastructure debate, but we're not have that debate in the US, because it's not as exciting.

It's horrifying in any case.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:42 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
But he wasn't doing abortions, or rather, he isn't being charged with performing abortions. He was delivering babies and then killing them. Which is super illegal?

It shouldn't be relevant to the abortion debate, but will be.


This is all true. But he called what he was doing "abortion." This is definitely going to be used by the anti-choice movement. I can also seeing it being used to question pro-choicers who say that women can have an abortion at any stage, because that's their choice: is killing a fetus at 7.5 months different from killing an infant who was born at 7.5 months?

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:44 pm 
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That article makes me want to cry.
He admitted to "snipping" hundreds of babies, but they can't charge him for those murders because there's no evidence???


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:40 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
I get an error when I click the link, which is probably a good thing for me because I'd probably end up pretty upset.
I definitely consider myself pro-choice, too. But late term abortion does make me uncomfortable. I do realize, though, that sometimes they are necessary because the health of the mother is in danger, or there might have been some defect detected that is either incompatible with life or just really serious and would lead to lifelong care for the baby, or something like that. But otherwise I do tend to get a little judgmental and wonder why they didn't get an abortion earlier in the pregnancy if they wanted one?
Abortion as late as that, where the baby would have to be deliberately killed, really does not sit well with me.


Because many women don't have the money required for an abortion just lying in their bank account.

Because many women live in areas where there are no safe abortion providers and they don't have easy access to transportation or the funds to travel.

Because our reproductive health education is so messed up that many women (especially young ones) are slow to understand that they are pregnant or what they can do or guilt or fear keep them from making a clear decision.

This story is about the failure of these women to find other, safer, options because of political and social pressures on abortion providers and the negative pressures exerted on pregnant women who don't want to carry their pregnancies to term. It happened because there are many, many people in this country who don't want women to have early and safe abortions, not because women are just waking up in the late stages of pregnancy and changing their minds. Read the description of that place and tell me that you think women who had the ability to get an early-term abortion someplace clean and safe would instead just choose to wait until they could visit this guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:47 pm 
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JaneJellyRoll is exactly right. If you don't have insurance (or if your insurance isn't going to cover abortions), you go to the lowest cost provider.

This story really isn't about abortion, its about (1) failures in licensing physicians, clinics and medical professionals, and (2) what happens when proper medical care isn't available to people.

Quote:
The investigation began last February, after federal and state drug agents and Philadelphia police raided the clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave. on suspicion that Gosnell was illegally dispensing narcotic painkillers. (The federal drug-trafficking investigation is ongoing.)

What they found, according to the report, was "filthy, deplorable, and disgusting": Blood on the floor. The stench of urine. Cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women moaning in the waiting or revovery rooms, covered with blood-stained blankets. Broken equipment. Blocked or locked exits.

The investigators also learned that, in November 2009, an abortion patient had died.

Gosnell is now charged with 3rd degree murder of that woman, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, who had travelled from Woodbridge, Va., for an abortion. A native of the nation of Bhutan who had arrived in the U.S. only five months earlier, Mongar was 19 weeks of pregnancy. She developed a fatal heart arrythmia after being overdosed with anesthetics by an unlicensed caregiver, the report says.


This guy was a bad apple, and has nothing to do with the abortion debate. It is more akin to the reports of people getting cosmetic surgery at unlicensed facilities with horrendous outcomes.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:08 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:

Because many women don't have the money required for an abortion just lying in their bank account.

Because many women live in areas where there are no safe abortion providers and they don't have easy access to transportation or the funds to travel.

Because our reproductive health education is so messed up that many women (especially young ones) are slow to understand that they are pregnant or what they can do or guilt or fear keep them from making a clear decision.

This story is about the failure of these women to find other, safer, options because of political and social pressures on abortion providers and the negative pressures exerted on pregnant women who don't want to carry their pregnancies to term. It happened because there are many, many people in this country who don't want women to have early and safe abortions, not because women are just waking up in the late stages of pregnancy and changing their minds. Read the description of that place and tell me that you think women who had the ability to get an early-term abortion someplace clean and safe would instead just choose to wait until they could visit this guy.


Thanks for helping me understand. I can see now how a woman would end up in that situation.
I still can't get the article to work for me, but from what Tofulish quotes below, it definitely sounds like a last resort for women with no better option available to them. Thanks for opening my eyes, guys.
I still don't feel comfortable with late term abortions, but I'm still pro-choice even when it comes to late term (and I was before, just not very understanding about it), and hope that we can work towards safe, earlier abortions, and wider access to effective birth control.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:29 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:

Because many women don't have the money required for an abortion just lying in their bank account.

Because many women live in areas where there are no safe abortion providers and they don't have easy access to transportation or the funds to travel.

Because our reproductive health education is so messed up that many women (especially young ones) are slow to understand that they are pregnant or what they can do or guilt or fear keep them from making a clear decision.

This story is about the failure of these women to find other, safer, options because of political and social pressures on abortion providers and the negative pressures exerted on pregnant women who don't want to carry their pregnancies to term. It happened because there are many, many people in this country who don't want women to have early and safe abortions, not because women are just waking up in the late stages of pregnancy and changing their minds. Read the description of that place and tell me that you think women who had the ability to get an early-term abortion someplace clean and safe would instead just choose to wait until they could visit this guy.


Thanks for helping me understand. I can see now how a woman would end up in that situation.
I still can't get the article to work for me, but from what Tofulish quotes below, it definitely sounds like a last resort for women with no better option available to them. Thanks for opening my eyes, guys.
I still don't feel comfortable with late term abortions, but I'm still pro-choice even when it comes to late term (and I was before, just not very understanding about it), and hope that we can work towards safe, earlier abortions, and wider access to effective birth control.


I get where you're coming from. This story is just overwhelmingly tragic. I wish that every person who wanted an abortion could get one early in her pregnancy and that cost, distance from a clinic, social pressures, or stupid political obstacles weren't a factor.

This story feels so personal for me because I remember how scared I was when I had my abortion and how I felt better when I looked around and saw how clean everything was and how caring the nurses and doctors acted towards me. I felt lucky that I had the money available to get it done early and that I had a clinic close by and that I didn't have to hide it from my partner. What these women had to go through, I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine and I wish that nobody in the world ever had to face that. I wish that all this hadn't ended in what sounds like viable babies having their lives ended in a really horrible way when we know what to do to keep this from happening.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Adding, I still think that what the guy did (killing babies who can breathe on their own) is infanticide, and I would hope that a woman who had gotten to the stage in pregnancy where a baby can easily survive outside of the womb would consider adoption at that point. I just really hope we can get to a point where late term abortions aren't really necessary anymore (except for the medical reasons I talked about before and maybe those who didn't realize they were pregnant) because everyone who wants an abortion will be able to get one earlier on, or will have been able to prevent the pregnancy.
Am I making sense or am I sounding like a back-and-forth crazy pants at this point?

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:30 pm 
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There's also such a thing as a change in circumstances. If your partner dies five months into a pregnancy, you don't necessarily want to go to term, even if you were happy to three months ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:37 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
keen_on_quinoa wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:

Because many women don't have the money required for an abortion just lying in their bank account.

Because many women live in areas where there are no safe abortion providers and they don't have easy access to transportation or the funds to travel.

Because our reproductive health education is so messed up that many women (especially young ones) are slow to understand that they are pregnant or what they can do or guilt or fear keep them from making a clear decision.

This story is about the failure of these women to find other, safer, options because of political and social pressures on abortion providers and the negative pressures exerted on pregnant women who don't want to carry their pregnancies to term. It happened because there are many, many people in this country who don't want women to have early and safe abortions, not because women are just waking up in the late stages of pregnancy and changing their minds. Read the description of that place and tell me that you think women who had the ability to get an early-term abortion someplace clean and safe would instead just choose to wait until they could visit this guy.


Thanks for helping me understand. I can see now how a woman would end up in that situation.
I still can't get the article to work for me, but from what Tofulish quotes below, it definitely sounds like a last resort for women with no better option available to them. Thanks for opening my eyes, guys.
I still don't feel comfortable with late term abortions, but I'm still pro-choice even when it comes to late term (and I was before, just not very understanding about it), and hope that we can work towards safe, earlier abortions, and wider access to effective birth control.


I get where you're coming from. This story is just overwhelmingly tragic. I wish that every person who wanted an abortion could get one early in her pregnancy and that cost, distance from a clinic, social pressures, or stupid political obstacles weren't a factor.

This story feels so personal for me because I remember how scared I was when I had my abortion and how I felt better when I looked around and saw how clean everything was and how caring the nurses and doctors acted towards me. I felt lucky that I had the money available to get it done early and that I had a clinic close by and that I didn't have to hide it from my partner. What these women had to go through, I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine and I wish that nobody in the world ever had to face that. I wish that all this hadn't ended in what sounds like viable babies having their lives ended in a really horrible way when we know what to do to keep this from happening.

Thanks for sharing that. I think we're pretty much on about the same page, maybe?

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:45 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
There's also such a thing as a change in circumstances. If your partner dies five months into a pregnancy, you don't necessarily want to go to term, even if you were happy to three months ago.

OK, could we just mark me down as one who would like to see a reduction in late term abortions (i.e. that safe, early abortions will be available to all who want them), but who realizes there will need to be exceptions?

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Yeah, I think this is proof that we need more safe, legal abortion clinics run by licensed medical professionals. If abortions were made illegal, there would only be more places like this.

Also, most late-term abortions do not require the woman to go into labor. The fetuses are terminated while still in the uterus, then removed. I feel like killing a wriggling infant after it's born is different.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:49 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
Adding, I still think that what the guy did (killing babies who can breathe on their own) is infanticide, and I would hope that a woman who had gotten to the stage in pregnancy where a baby can easily survive outside of the womb would consider adoption at that point. I just really hope we can get to a point where late term abortions aren't really necessary anymore (except for the medical reasons I talked about before and maybe those who didn't realize they were pregnant) because everyone who wants an abortion will be able to get one earlier on, or will have been able to prevent the pregnancy.
Am I making sense or am I sounding like a back-and-forth crazy pants at this point?


Yeah, what this guy did was just awful and I don't think that anybody would defend him. But I also wouldn't overestimate what women understand of fetal developmental (like I wouldn't assume that everybody just knew when survival outside the womb was possible) especially in an environment where anti-abortionists spread mis-information about fetal development (zygotes feel pain!). If you're constantly told things that aren't accurate about fetal development by people who don't want you to have an abortion, it makes it harder to understand what is really happening inside of you when you are pregnant.

You don't sound back-and-forth at all. Things like this challenge us to think about our assumptions and what we thought we'd already figured out.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:43 pm 
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This is very sad.

Things like this make me so very, very thankful for the NHS and even more concerned that it's going to be privatized.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:45 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
just mumbles wrote:
There's also such a thing as a change in circumstances. If your partner dies five months into a pregnancy, you don't necessarily want to go to term, even if you were happy to three months ago.

OK, could we just mark me down as one who would like to see a reduction in late term abortions (i.e. that safe, early abortions will be available to all who want them), but who realizes there will need to be exceptions?


Your discomfort with late-term abortions is completely understandable. I am someone who supports the right to abortion on-demand (that is, without the need to explain or justify ones decision to someone else) at all stages of pregnancy, and in fact, I don't see a morally-relevant difference between the infanticide committed by Gosnell and an abortion (but I do see legally and practically relevant differences - and obviously the conditions of his operation and his treatment of the mothers are other issues entirely). But reading graphic descriptions of late-term abortions (especially D & X procedures) certainly makes me uncomfortable.

I think the most important thing when considering how to feel about any of these procedures is just to realize that women don't go into them lightly and on a whim. No matter when a woman chooses to have an abortion, it's a very personal decision based on so many factors many of which probably never even occurred to her until she actually faced the decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:10 pm 
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I can't say I'm phased too much by the babies, but I feel terrible for these women who didn't have any other options for abortion providers! Can you imagine how they must feel learning this! I'm with Tofulish, these kinds of situations only happen because we don't have readily available properly licensed facilities available to women across the county.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Kate Harding's take on it.

I think it's worth reiterating (as was said above) that Kermit Gosnell wasn't providing abortions--he was calling what he was doing "abortion", and he was doing so as a means of making a whole lot of money. The man is a billionaire, and not even licensed in gynecology-obstetrics...he made his money by preying on those he knew had no access to better options/education. Most haunting is this:

Quote:
According to District Attorney Seth Williams, Gosnell treated mostly immigrant and low-income patients from across the mid-Atlantic region in his clinic. He did, however, also keep a cleaner area of the clinic for white women from the suburbs.


I am fazed by the babies who had their spinal cords severed--this is not a proper or safe abortion procedure, and the babies were breathing. This shouldn't happen to anyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:47 pm 
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I think the state also holds a lot of culpability for repeatedly ignoring complaints against the practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Oops--he's a millionaire. Not billionaire. Misread.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:16 pm 
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Late term abortions happen often because of a threat to the life of the mother or because of issues with fetal viability. They are a very small portion of the abortions performed in the US, at least.
Getting an elective late-term abortion is currently pretty damn hard in much of the USA.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
Late term abortions happen often because of a threat to the life of the mother or because of issues with fetal viability. They are a very small portion of the abortions performed in the US, at least.
Getting an elective late-term abortion is currently pretty damn hard in much of the USA.


Absolutely. Here in Canada there's no restriction on when you can abort, but its less common to have a late term abortion than in the States. But when it does happen in the third trimester, its virtually always because the mother's life is at risk or the fetus isn't viable.

Its incredibly hard here too to get a late term abortion, I heard a lot of times when it does happen they might be forced to send the woman down to the States.

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