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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:56 pm 
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If you want to get a sense for how much choice has been narrowed for women in the US, The Village Voice had this article about an underground railroad helping women from throughout the N.E. US to come to NYC to have second trimester abortions, because their own states had no facilities to offer it. If you read it, it becomes clear how fear, lack of education, and lack of resources pushes these women into these situations. http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-07-02/ ... y-landing/

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Yet with 86 percent of all U.S. counties lacking even a single provider, American women have more in common with their Irish sisters than we'd like to think. For many in the Northeast who need a second-trimester abortion, New York City is the only choice. In nearby Philadelphia, Boston, Rochester, and Buffalo, clinics that offer the procedure are scarce and getting scarcer, with full schedules and high fees, and almost none will end a pregnancy past 20 weeks.


And even in facilities that perform third trimester medical abortions, its incredibly hard to get away from the judgements. Someone I know discovered that she needed a third trimester abortion because her life was at risk and her fetus had serious medical issues and wasn't expected to survive long outside her womb. They booked her into one hospital, and she was then told that if she had it done there the Ob-gyn nurses would be really mean to her because they were mostly pro-life. So she had to switch to another hospital to get proper medical care. So this woman is going through the hardest time in her life, losing a baby that was very much wanted and she has to deal with people judging her.

I feel like abortion is one area where too many people are willing to assume they know what women are going through and make moral judgments about the medical procedures they choose.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:24 am 
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http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-07-02/ ... y-landing/

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Catherine heard every story imaginable. She took calls from women who were bleeding regularly and fitting into their size-six jeans but were in fact 22-weeks pregnant; teens who'd been too paralyzed by fear and shame to tell their parents; women who had been to "crisis pregnancy centers"—funded by "Choose Life" license-plate sales and anti-choice groups—and lied to about how far along they were; women who wrongly believed they had a 50 percent chance of dying from an abortion; aunts and grandmothers of girls who had been sexually assaulted. Sometimes Catherine would even get a call from a woman who had just been told at her mid-pregnancy sonogram that the fetus was anencephalic—a defect in which part or all of the brain is missing—and that her OB either didn't know how or didn't want to perform an abortion for her. "There are so many reasons why women need second-trimester abortions," says Catherine.


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Other women, like Katie, are pushed into their second trimester by parental-consent laws or mandatory waiting periods. Thirty-two states now require parental consent or notification, and 26 mandate state-directed counseling and/or a waiting period of up to 24 hours. In Mississippi, second-trimester abortions increased 17 percent after the state implemented a one-day waiting period.

State-ordered delays are not just patronizing. As Catherine points out, 24 hours of waiting can turn into a week, and "a week can mean $800," not to mention a more physically taxing procedure.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:12 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-07-02/news/emergency-landing/

Quote:
Catherine heard every story imaginable. She took calls from women who were bleeding regularly and fitting into their size-six jeans but were in fact 22-weeks pregnant; teens who'd been too paralyzed by fear and shame to tell their parents; women who had been to "crisis pregnancy centers"—funded by "Choose Life" license-plate sales and anti-choice groups—and lied to about how far along they were; women who wrongly believed they had a 50 percent chance of dying from an abortion; aunts and grandmothers of girls who had been sexually assaulted. Sometimes Catherine would even get a call from a woman who had just been told at her mid-pregnancy sonogram that the fetus was anencephalic—a defect in which part or all of the brain is missing—and that her OB either didn't know how or didn't want to perform an abortion for her. "There are so many reasons why women need second-trimester abortions," says Catherine.


Quote:
Other women, like Katie, are pushed into their second trimester by parental-consent laws or mandatory waiting periods. Thirty-two states now require parental consent or notification, and 26 mandate state-directed counseling and/or a waiting period of up to 24 hours. In Mississippi, second-trimester abortions increased 17 percent after the state implemented a one-day waiting period.

State-ordered delays are not just patronizing. As Catherine points out, 24 hours of waiting can turn into a week, and "a week can mean $800," not to mention a more physically taxing procedure.


Thank you for posting all this. Seriously -- thank you.

This is what is getting lost in the wider conversation about this and I've already heard several people in real life already express that these women "deserved" this kind of treatment because they waited too long to get an abortion or just randomly decided to get a late-term abortion. It's disturbing to me that so many people are looking at this and not seeing that the tragedy here is the lack of options that forces women to consider "clinics" like Gosnell's.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:17 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
I've already heard several people in real life already express that these women "deserved" this kind of treatment because they waited too long to get an abortion or just randomly decided to get a late-term abortion.


Oh fork that. How does anyone know what these women were going through? People sure like to judge, don't they? There's all kinds of shame and stigma attached to getting an abortion even when it's done legally in the first trimester and I wish there wasn't. And NOBODY deserves to be treated this way, it's forking inhumane.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Lixa wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
I've already heard several people in real life already express that these women "deserved" this kind of treatment because they waited too long to get an abortion or just randomly decided to get a late-term abortion.


Oh fork that. How does anyone know what these women were going through? People sure like to judge, don't they? There's all kinds of shame and stigma attached to getting an abortion even when it's done legally in the first trimester and I wish there wasn't. And NOBODY deserves to be treated this way, it's forking inhumane.


Summary: Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. Except for those murdering bisques getting abortions.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:09 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
Lixa wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
I've already heard several people in real life already express that these women "deserved" this kind of treatment because they waited too long to get an abortion or just randomly decided to get a late-term abortion.


Oh fork that. How does anyone know what these women were going through? People sure like to judge, don't they? There's all kinds of shame and stigma attached to getting an abortion even when it's done legally in the first trimester and I wish there wasn't. And NOBODY deserves to be treated this way, it's forking inhumane.


Summary: Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. Except for those murdering bisques getting abortions.


And seriously, even if someone DID just wait to long to get an abortion without what other people would deem a "valid" reason, how the fork does that mean she "deserves" unsanitary, unskilled, and possibly deadly conditions?


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:18 pm 
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I think any reason to get an abortion is valid. And the idea of someone "deserving" to get hurt or treated poorly for having one for the "wrong reason" just reeks of misogyny.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Lixa wrote:
I think any reason to get an abortion is valid. And the idea of someone "deserving" to get hurt or treated poorly for having one for the "wrong reason" just reeks of misogyny.


Yes, exactly. That was a much better way of saying what I meant.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:04 am 
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[your=http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/01/21/on-second-thought-about-kermit-gosnell/]Feministe[/url] had a good article on this:

Quote:
No woman would subject herself to such a place if she thought she had somewhere else to go. Forty-one-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died after being given an overdose of sedatives at the clinic, was a refugee who had recently arrived in the U.S. from a resettlement camp in Nepal. She couldn’t read English and may not have had any idea how to find a decent clinic. Minors went to Gosnell’s clinic—it was the one place they could skirt state law and get abortions without parental consent. Gosnell performed illegal late-term abortions on women who should have been cared for months earlier.

Gosnell’s clinic hadn’t been reviewed by the Department of Health in 15 years. Members of his staff were unlicensed and not properly trained. And Gosnell knew that he could get away with offering sub-par care to women who he thought were less likely to complain — young women, immigrants, poor women and women of color.



Quote:
Obviously anti-choice advocates are latching onto this story as an illustration of the horrors of abortion, even though most abortion clinics don’t look like Gosnell’s and are in fact subject to must stricter rules than other medical facilities — but there are more than a few health clinics, abortion-related or not, that are decrepit and run by incompetent practitioners. Those sub-par centers almost exclusively serve communities that are poor, of-color, immigrant, or non-English-speaking. It is absolutely a crisis.

But that’s not the story that you’re going to hear from anti-choicers and conservatives. You’ll hear “abortion is bad” without any recognition that outlawing abortion would have done absolutely nothing to help the women and babies who died or suffered in Gosnell’s care. You won’t hear about how affordable and accessible health care for everyone could have alleviated this situation, or how greater government oversight and enforcement of health care laws could have shut down Gosnell’s operation years ago. To prevent this from happening again — to stop other predatory clinics that offer a variety of health care services, not just abortion — we’d have to get into the hard stuff of recognizing the socioeconomic and racial inequalities in our current health care system. We’d have to admit that for many Americans, decent health care is inaccessible, and reproductive health care is especially poor. There’s a reason we have one of the highest infant death rates in the developed world. There’s a reason that in Washington D.C. the infant death rate is 14.1 per 1,000 live births, while in Connecticut it’s 5.5.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:18 pm 
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Totally off topic, but every time I see this thread, I read it as "Kate Gosselin & late-term abortions" and I get really confused, because clearly she has no problem with makin' lots of babies.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:23 am 
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I am pro-choice, but I don't think this case is really about abortions. From this news story I watched on CNN here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/01/19/nr.gosnell.abortion.doctor.charged.cnn?iref=allsearch, the Philadelphia District Attorney reported investigators found "jars and jars of severed feet....pictures of the women's genitalia, fetuses and body parts all over the building and even in the refrigerator that the staff kept their food in." What ethical doctor does this? Not to mention, he would actually induce labor and then snip their spinal cords (infanticide, IMO). It truly sounded like the "house of horrors" that it is being described as.

I feel for the women who felt they had no other choice but to come to this clinic. I used to work at a mental health clinic in Philadelphia that was mostly visited by poor patients. Even with scheduled appointments, our clients had to wait hours sometimes for their initial assessment (with me). I felt bad about the conditions and hypothesized that if we were a mental health office in the suburbs or catering to those with money/insurance, this would not have occurred. I only worked there for 6 months because I didn't feel right about the timeliness of care.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:06 pm 
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For me this is not even about abortion (and just for disclosure, I am absolutely pro-choice). Take that entire idea and forget about it for a minute. This man induced labor, babies were delivered (breathing, moving....live babies) and he then killed them by shoving scissors into their necks and "snipping" their spinal cords. This is not about abortion. Well, it is (all of the stuff about broken and missing equipment, people pretending to be doctors, how drugs were administered, etc.) and it's not. This is about murder. He held wriggling, newborns in his arms and killed them.

Baby feet in jars? Aborted fetus and/or dead babies in the fridge? Pictures of his patients' genitalia? To turn this into mostly a discussion of who has the right to an abortion and when seems to almost downplay the rest of the facts of the situation. Sure, that's a valid debate and it is relevant, of course, but this is a specific case about the many horrific crimes this man committed...the least of which were actual, real abortions.

I actually read the entire Grand Jury report. I have no idea why. I opened it up and just seemed to keep reading, disturbing and horrific as it was. This man is just a total sicko.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:08 pm 
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I liked the Feministe article I posted above saying that this case has nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with the disparity in health care for minority, low income and undocumented women. There are other clinics like this operating, as this one did for 15 years, without being investigated because of the populations they serve.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Lachesis wrote:

Baby feet in jars? Aborted fetus and/or dead babies in the fridge? Pictures of his patients' genitalia? To turn this into mostly a discussion of who has the right to an abortion and when seems to almost downplay the rest of the facts of the situation. Sure, that's a valid debate and it is relevant, of course, but this is a specific case about the many horrific crimes this man committed...the least of which were actual, real abortions.



But the two are connected, because he probably wouldn't have been able to operate had safe, legal abortion been accessible to all of them women who were his victims. That's why the discussion of abortion rights is relevant. Dr. Gosnell did this for profit--he knew he had a large contingent of women upon whom he could prey to make money. The discussion doesn't have to downplay what he did, and it doesn't transfer blame from him to the "system." But realistically, we have to have this discussion, because like Tofulish and others have said, his case is not the only one of abuse/torture/murder. The inaccessibility of abortion to the underprivileged is prevalent throughout the country--and states have an obligation to protect women from this danger. Focusing solely on Gosnell makes it easy to chalk this case up to a fluke psychopath, and makes it easier for those who are anti-abortion to continue ignoring government responsibility.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:48 pm 
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tinglepants! wrote:
Lachesis wrote:

Baby feet in jars? Aborted fetus and/or dead babies in the fridge? Pictures of his patients' genitalia? To turn this into mostly a discussion of who has the right to an abortion and when seems to almost downplay the rest of the facts of the situation. Sure, that's a valid debate and it is relevant, of course, but this is a specific case about the many horrific crimes this man committed...the least of which were actual, real abortions.



But the two are connected, because he probably wouldn't have been able to operate had safe, legal abortion been accessible to all of them women who were his victims. That's why the discussion of abortion rights is relevant. Dr. Gosnell did this for profit--he knew he had a large contingent of women upon whom he could prey to make money. The discussion doesn't have to downplay what he did, and it doesn't transfer blame from him to the "system." But realistically, we have to have this discussion, because like Tofulish and others have said, his case is not the only one of abuse/torture/murder. The inaccessibility of abortion to the underprivileged is prevalent throughout the country--and states have an obligation to protect women from this danger. Focusing solely on Gosnell makes it easy to chalk this case up to a fluke psychopath, and makes it easier for those who are anti-abortion to continue ignoring government responsibility.


Everything you say is true...good points all. I guess it's important to look at both parts, him as a specific criminal, and the discussion about what makes it possible for this sort of thing to even exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:25 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
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.


Right on! Unfortunately this kind of discussion always gets lost in the visceral "OMG" with stories like this.

I don't think late term abortion sits well with anyone on the pro-choice side, it makes everyone uncomfortable but this becomes the el grande talking point for the anti-choice movement completely ignoring subjects like birth control, empowering women to take charge of their fertility (education), and access to affordable health care (and counseling that doesn't involve the whole "informed consent" scare tactic).

It's tragic, sad, and entirely unecessary in most cases.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:26 pm 
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duplicate post. yeesh


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:35 pm 
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popomatic wrote:

I don't think late term abortion sits well with anyone on the pro-choice side, it makes everyone uncomfortable but this becomes the el grande talking point for the anti-choice movement completely ignoring subjects like birth control, empowering women to take charge of their fertility (education), and access to affordable health care (and counseling that doesn't involve the whole "informed consent" scare tactic).

It's tragic, sad, and entirely unecessary in most cases.


The anti-choice movement also ignores/devalues a woman's right to her own life--and this is the biggest problem I have with a stance against late-term abortion. It's a terrible choice to have to make, and it only happens when a) mother or child's life is in danger, or b) when women are marginalized to the point of having no other option, and in that case, social inequity has put their lives in danger.

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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:51 pm 
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i think there is currently a pretty clear line between abortion and infanticide, and it's called viability. as medical technology advances, that line might get fuzzier, but right now, if you go into preterm labour and deliver before 21 weeks, no medical professional will attempt life-saving actions upon the fetus, because the chances of the fetus surviving are so low (and the pain and suffering and subsequent impairment that the fetus will experience are too great). there was actually a story about a woman who had lied about her due date when she went into preterm labour and her daughter (who is now a couple years old and fairly seriously impaired) wouldn't have been treated had they known her real due date. if the baby can be delivered and survive, then i don't think you can call it an abortion anymore. i think it's terrible and tragic that women can't currently get access to timely abortions in many places in the states, but i still don't think that makes it right to kill a 30 week old baby who would survive outside of the uterus in a NICU.


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 Post subject: Re: Kermit Gosnell & late-term abortions
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:01 pm 
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and clearly i missed the whole second page of this thread.... nothing i said is really applicable ...


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