Posted on January 12, 2000


Aborted Conscience

Factory of lies runs frantically on


Daniel Clark


If you were a part of a political movement, and you discovered that the leaders of that movement had been systematically lying to you, how would you react?

Surely, you wouldn't continue to look to those people to provide you with facts, nor would you continue to repeat their statements to others. It's likely that you would sever any ties with those people and their organizations, even if you continued to defend their general mission. You might even stir insurrection within your movement, calling for the ouster of the spokespeople whose lies had tarnished your cause.

One might expect a plague of such dissention within the ranks of the pro-abortion movement, where a shameless campaign of deception has recently been discovered to conceal unspeakable horrors. By all appearances, however, the "pro-choice" minions continue to toil away in their factory of lies with an undisturbed singularity of purpose.

To be sure, the "right" to abortion has been founded on lies from the start -- from the bogus claims of rape which rallied emotional support during Roe v. Wade, to the Supreme Court's sheepish suggestion that the Fourteenth Amendment says only U.S. citizens can be people, to the biased media's miscasting the dispute as one between female freedom fighters and their male tormentors. Over the years, however, as reality has refuted one pro-abortion argument after another, the lies have become more brazen, told by abortion advocates with more and more certainty, as if to produce a hard rhetorical shell around an argument they know is too factually soft to withstand the elements in an open debate.

That shell has sustained multiple fractures during the partial-birth abortion debate which has taken place over the past four and a half years. Through the cracks, anyone who cares to look can see the internal machinery of what will one day be remembered as the most dishonest political movement in the history of the United States.

Orchestrated Lies

DaVinci sketch of human embryo

When the issue was first brought before Congress, in the spring of 1995, abortion advocates responded with a series of claims which were later found to be so entirely false that it is not credible that anyone within the abortion industry could have believed them for a minute. Most prominent among these claims were that only about 500 partial-birth abortions were done annually, that the fetuses subjected to the procedure had already died peacefully from an overdose of anesthesia, and that the procedure was done almost exclusively in cases where the mother's life was in danger, or where the fetus was badly deformed and wouldn't have survived birth anyway.

New Jersey reporter Ruth Padawer refuted assertions about the frequency of partial-birth abortions when she discovered that 1,500 of them were done each year in a single local clinic. The fact that the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), the National Abortion Federation (NAF), the National Coalition of Abortion Providers (NCAP), and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) all insisted that only a third as many were done nationwide indicates that the 500 number was an orchestrated lie. This is so, because it is nearly impossible for each organization to have independently arrived at a conclusion so woefully wrong, and because, if they'd thought the truth were on their side, they'd have had no reason to get their story straight.

Especially embarrassing to its promoters was the death by anesthesia scenario, which was soundly rebuked by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, who issued a report stating that the anesthetic applied during a partial-birth abortion would not even relieve the fetus of pain, let alone kill it by overdose. The PPFA and NARAL, who present themselves as crusaders for women's health and well-being, had apparently not considered the pain they might inflict on pregnant women who believed their propaganda, and therefore refused anesthesia in order to protect their unborn children. 

The idea that partial-birth abortions are medically necessary has been rebutted by sources which are usually considered by the media to be unquestionable. The usually pro-abortion American Medical Association says the procedure is "never medically indicated." The Physicians' Ad-Hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT), which counts former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop among its members, agrees. Yet President Clinton, who considers Dr. Koop to be the highest medical authority when it comes to second-hand smoke, offhandedly dismisses him and warns that the proposed Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act will "tear women to shreds."

During the second round of congressional hearings in March of 1997, NARAL president Kate Michelman opened her statement by saying the debate held "enormous consequences for American women's reproductive health and privacy--and for some women, their very lives." However, the pro-abortion contingent at the hearings consisted entirely of feminist talking heads, and women whose abortionists had insisted to them that their abortions were necessary. Not a single medical expert was willing to stand before Congress and explain how any pregnant woman's life could be saved, or her health improved, by forcing a breech birth and shattering a skull inside her uterus.

Even the inventor of the procedure, Dr. Martin Haskell, has explained that its aim is to produce a corpse, not to protect women's lives or health. When the American Medical News asked Haskell why he can't simply deliver the whole baby, instead of keeping its head inside long enough to kill it, he said, "The point here is you're attempting to do an abortion...not to see how do I manipulate the situation so that I get a live birth instead."

The Fitzsimmons Episode

"I lied through my teeth," is how NCAP executive director Ron Fitzsimmons explained an interview on ABC's Nightline, during which he repeated the usual claims about the annual number of partial-birth abortions (500), and the alleged medical necessity of the procedure. Fitzsimmons told the New York Times that the actual figure is closer to 5,000 (itself an implausibly low estimate), and that "they're primarily done on healthy women of healthy fetuses." He added that "the abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so, probably, does everyone else."

Fitzsimmons confessed the obvious when he said he "just went out there and spouted the party line" during the Nightline interview (which ironically had never aired, due to time constraints). Following that remark, he spent a week hearing the party line on his treason against the pro-abortion movement. That's when he granted a phone interview to drippy USA Today columnist Walter Shapiro, during which he sobbed, "I've disappointed my clinics." (Not "the women of America," mind you, but "my clinics.")

The Fitzsimmons episode serves as a warning to others within his movement that individual thought constantly threatens to manifest itself in candor. In order to avoid that hazard, feminist leaders have adhered so closely to the "party line" that they have all become interchangeable. Kate Michelman is Patricia Ireland is Vicki Saporta is Eleanor Smeal, and on and on. They all use the same terminology with such predictability, that whenever one of them refers to the partial-birth issue as a "red herring," one almost expects a stuffed bird to drop from the ceiling, carrying a placard revealing the secret word.

In Complete Denial

They have used that term to suggest that the entire issue of partial-birth abortion has been fabricated, simply because they don't refer to it by that name. Naturally, pro-abortion activists don't use the term "partial-birth abortion," because it is an accurate description of the act, and therefore has unpleasant connotations. But for them to argue that there is no such thing is like insisting that there is no such thing as a frankfurter, just because one would prefer to call it a hot dog.

Nevertheless, the ban's opponents maintain that the bill's language is unacceptable for two reasons: because it does not use medical terminology, and because it does not include a "health exception."

The first of these arguments is based on the assertion that the banning of a medical procedure must name it by its proper medical title, for the sake of clarity. There is, however, no ambiguity in the language of this ban, which defines a "partial-birth abortion" as one in which the abortionist "partially vaginally delivers a living human fetus before killing the fetus and completing the delivery." What would be ambiguous would be the use of the existing pseudo-medical terminology to describe a non-medical act which is not acknowledged by any medical journal.

Rather than have the bill describe what a partial-birth abortion is, the abortion lobby would prefer to identify it by the term Dr. Haskell applied to it, dilation and extraction (D&X). This would succeed in confusing the issue, because not all abortionists use that term. Some call it intact dilation and evacuation (D&E), and still others drop the word "intact" and refer to it simply as a D&E abortion. This muddles it with another entire classification of abortions, which involve dismemberment inside the womb. Still others use the term "dilatation" instead of "dilation," the difference between the two being apparent only to abortionists.

The purpose of introducing this confusion is to give an accused abortionist plausible deniability. In the absence of a clear definition, he could simply say that he doesn't know what the law means by a "dilation and extraction" abortion, and that what he had merely done was an "intact dilatation and evacuation" abortion. The law would thereby be rendered unenforceable.

Conveniently Lazy Reporting

The absence of a "health exception" has been loyally reported by the press as a legitimate concern, and as the sole reason for President Clinton's veto, despite the AMA's opinion that no such language is needed.

Here, medical jargon is not what they are seeking, because there is no medical problem that a partial-birth abortion would alleviate. Instead, President Clinton and his allies in the Senate are trying to confound the straightforward language of the bill by inserting a stealth piece of legalese.

Both sides of this debate are perfectly aware of the 1973 Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decision, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, which was decided on the very same day. While the Court ostensibly allowed the states to restrict abortions in the latter stages of pregnancy in the Roe decision, it forbade such restrictions in cases where a pregnancy threatened a woman's life or health. In an obviously premeditated maneuver, the Court used the Doe case to define "health" in the context of the abortion issue as encompassing "all factors--physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age--relevant to the well-being of the patient." There is, of course, no abortion which cannot be creatively categorized under at least one of those headings. Therefore abortion is technically legal in all fifty states, all the way through the ninth month.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has argued, however, that the Roe decision does not apply to the partial-birth procedure. Its reason is that the Supreme Court allowed a Texas law to stand which made it a felony to kill a baby in the process of being born, even as it overturned that state's law against abortions in general.

If Roe v. Wade does not apply to the ban, then there is no "health" exception through which to inject the Doe decision into the bill and dissolve it from within, unless pro-abortion senators succeed in wedging the word "health" into the language of the bill itself.

There is no support for Clinton's contention that the "health" exception he wants would prevent maternal injuries. It is clear, though, in light of the two Supreme Court decisions, that it would turn the ban from an enforceable law into a hollow, symbolic gesture. Yet it has been extremely rare that news accounts of the debate have questioned Clinton's stated motives.

The relevance of Doe v. Bolton is obvious, but it is seldom, if ever, referenced anywhere other than in literature from anti-abortion organizations. News editors seem to write it off as right-wing political spin, as if Supreme Court decisions were not verifiable matters of public record.

People Parts from Un-People

Phony concern for women's health is among the many lies exposed by the recent defection of an abortion industry insider. Last summer, an anti-abortion group called Life Dynamics interviewed a medical technician who conceals her identity behind the pseudonym "Kelly." Kelly's job is to "harvest" organs and tissues for sale to universities, pharmaceutical companies, and private and government researchers. This industry is dependent on partial-birth abortion, because it provides them with "specimens" which are mostly anatomically intact.

Using information provided by Kelly, Life Dynamics was able to track down two organizations which traffic in fetal body parts--the Anatomic Gift Foundation (AGF), headquartered in Laurel, Maryland, and Opening Lines, which was located in West Frankfort, Illinois, until outrage within that community forced it to suspend operations.

That Kelly is able to conceal her identity while continuing to infiltrate this industry suggests that it is a massive operation, and that the activities she reports are commonplace. In fact, Opening Lines brags in its brochure that its "daily average case volume exceeds 1,500." Despite this, defenders of partial-birth abortion continue to insist that it is "extremely rare," although they no longer cling to the 500-per-year figure.

These organ and tissue wholesalers are not at all deterred by the fact that the sale of human body parts is illegal. They circumvent the law by saying that the wholesaler (AGF or Opening Lines) does not purchase fetuses from the abortion clinics, but only pays a "site fee" for occupancy of the rooms in which the dissection takes place. The parts themselves are "donated." The wholesaler, in turn, "donates" the parts to researchers, but charges for delivery.

It's easy to see from this how Ron Fitzsimmons disappointed his clinics. His moment of frankness threatened a lucrative arrangement in which abortion clinics are able to sell a product which they had been paid to take in the first place.

The transparent lie that this does not constitute the sale of human body parts is contradicted by an Opening Lines price list, obtained by Life Dynamics, which lists specific prices for different parts (e.g., brains $999, livers $150, eyes $75, etc., with all organs and tissues discounted 30% if "significantly fragmented.") But then, once one accepts the premise that people parts can be extracted from creatures which are not people, Opening Lines' creative billing methods can be considered by comparison to be a mere fib.

The NAF Knows

The AGF, it turns out, is a member of the National Abortion Federation, a major cog in the pro-abortion disinformation machine. In 1997, NAF executive director Vicki Saporta was among those who testified before Congress about the alleged infrequency and medical necessity of partial-birth abortions. Granted, this was a year before the NAF listed the AGF among its members, so one might generously assume that Saporta knew nothing of the AGF's activities at that time (Although, considering the number of abortion clinics which belong to the NAF, the possibility that none of them is involved with the AGF or Opening Lines is extremely slim). She is certainly aware now, though, and has yet to correct her testimony, and that of her allies.

To this day, the NAF persists in promoting the myth that partial-birth abortions are done for the safety of women, and not for profit, or for ethically misguided scientific research. As recently as Oct. 27, 1999, the NAF issued a press release denouncing the proposed ban as "dangerous legislation" which "lacks an exception to protect the health of the woman."

With the anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaching, we can expect to see Ms. Saporta appearing on cable news talk shows, and being trusted to give honest answers. Until she acknowledges the NAF's involvement in the corpses-for-cash racket, no journalist should agree to put her on the air, other than to ask her why she has lied to us.

Is Birth Relevant?

One part of Kelly's story that has yet to be corroborated is her tale of babies being killed after they are born, and dissected and sold for scrap. According to Kelly, the incident which drove her to blow the whistle on the operation occurred when she was brought a pair of 24 week-old girls who were still breathing and moving. She says a doctor approached her and said, "Got you some good specimens, twins."

"I told him I would not be part of taking their lives," she told Life Dynamics director Mark Crutcher, "So he took a bottle of sterile water and poured it into the pan until the fluid came up over their mouths and noses, letting them drown."

"It happened again and again. At 16 weeks, all the way up to sometimes even 30 weeks, we had live births come back to us. Then the doctor would either break the neck or take a pair of tongs and beat the fetus until it was dead." Kelly also said that she sometimes dissects what she thinks are dead fetuses, only to find that the hearts are still beating.

To defenders of partial-birth abortion, whether or not any part of a fetus remains inside its mother is the decisive distinction, but if what Kelly says is true, the difference between an unborn fetus and a newborn infant is recognized as trivial by those who require a dead infant.

Although there is not yet any hard evidence of these infanticides, the fact that dilation for partial-birth abortions sometimes causes premature births, combined with the wholesalers' marketing of whole human brains, should be enough to warrant a federal investigation of the fetal parts industry. Partial-birth abortions cannot produce whole brains, because the terminal act is the suctioning out of the fetal brain through a catheter, prior to completion of delivery.

Senators Condone Infanticide

Reflecting on prior congressional debates, it has to be asked how much certain pro-abortion politicians know about what takes place within the abortion industry. During a Senate debate on Sept. 26, 1996, both Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) refused to condemn infanticide under questioning from Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). Santorum asked each man, in the event that an attempted partial-birth abortion accidentally resulted in a live birth, whether the abortionist and the mother of the child would still have a right to kill the baby.

"I am not making the decision," protested Lautenberg, although Santorum had made it clear to him that the entire baby would be outside the mother's body. Feingold adamantly agreed, saying, "I am not the person to be answering that question. That is a question that should be answered by a doctor, and by the woman who receives the advice from the doctor."

If those answers seem peculiar, what transpired six months later was positively surreal. After the previous debate had failed to sway enough votes to override Clinton's veto, the ban was introduced a second time. During a joint hearing between House and Senate Judiciary Committees, Feingold accused anti-abortion groups of deliberately misquoting his response to Santorum's question.

"This distortion of our exchange is the kind of tactic which undermines efforts to reach an agreement that would ban late-term abortions," he sermonized, "except for the most narrow circumstances where a woman's life or health was at stake."

NRLC president Douglas Johnson responded that his organization had quoted the senator correctly in its literature, and that it is the Congressional Record which is inaccurate, since it is subject to being altered after the fact. He then offered to show a videotape, which he had brought with him to the hearing, of the original C-SPAN broadcast of the debate where the remarks in question were made.

Sen. Feingold, alas, was not present to view the tape. Shortly after Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) assured Johnson that he would be allowed to respond to Feingold's accusation, Feingold departed the chamber in haste. He later admitted that he'd altered the official Congressional Record, so that his comments would not be "misunderstood."

Sen. Feingold's behavior is instructive of the modus operandi of the pro-abortion movement in general. He told what he knew was an absolute lie, confident that nobody present would be prepared with proof to the contrary. When he saw that his lie was about to be exposed, he quietly receded to consider his next move, as if he'd just been jumped in a game of checkers.

Like Mr. Fitzsimmons, Sen. Feingold admitted the truth not because his conscience had badgered it out of him, but only because he figured everybody already knew he was lying.

Abortion advocates see no moral distinction between the truth and a lie; the one which is superior is whichever one is useful to them at the time. They would be perfectly happy to use the truth, if only they had it, but if it takes lying to arrive at the desired conclusion, then lying it is. This is just as much so among the rank and file of the pro-abortion movement as it is among its leadership. Otherwise, revolution would have ensued long ago.

The pro-abortion cause is so thoroughly saturated with lies, that it is impossible for someone to join without first finding a way to rationalize the need for them. Hence it is accepted, even at the entry level of that movement, that a lie is nothing more than a tool, like a catheter or a pair of tongs.


To read excerpted transcripts of congressional debates on the proposed Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act:



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