Breaking: Nelson-Hatch Amendment filed in US Senate

UPDATE, 3:57p: Tsk, tsk, Politico, which generally is a lot less biased in its reporting. Here's the headline...

politico, abortion, pro-life, healthcare, nelson hatch, religious 2.png

And here are those "religious groups" opposing Nelson-Hatch according Politico, reason enough for pro-lifers to support it without even looking...

Catholics for Choice, Disciples Justice Action Center, The Episcopal Church, Jewish Women International, NA'AMAT USA, National Council of Jewish Women, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, The Religious Institute Union for Reform Judaism, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Title should have been, "Liberal, pro-abortion, blasphemous, pseudo-religious organizations oppose Nelson amendment." Read their letter at the link.

[HT: Dougy]

Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgUPDATE, 12:22p: See information on Nelson-Hatch at end of this post.

UPDATE, 12:16p: It looks right now like action on Nelson-Hatch will happen tomorrow. Pro-lifers need to call senators asap.

UPDATE, 12:13p: It is anticipated Reid and Dems will make a motion to table the Nelson-Hatch Amendment. MSM will then proclaim the amendment dead. Pro-life messaging at that point: Unless there is Stupak-PItts/Nelson-Hatch language, we will oppose every motion moving forward, cloture motions, final passage, everything. We can allow senators NO WIGGLE ROOM.

UPDATE, 12:08p: This bill contains the same substantive language as Stupak-Pitts. Laid side-by-side they may look different, but that is due only to the Senate format.

UPDATE, 12:05p: May or may not be voted on today. 2 other amendments to be voted on beforehand and Senate is letting out early for White House Christmas party.

12:01p: Nelson Hatch Amendment.pdf

Information on the Nelson-Hatch amendment:

• The Nelson-Hatch amendment does one very simple thing: it applies the policy of the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion except in the case of rape, incest or life of the mother, to the health care reform bill. The Hyde Amendment policy has been the law of the land on federal funding of abortion in Medicaid since 1977, and it now also applies to all other federally-funded health care programs - including CHIP, Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services, Veterans Health, military health care programs and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

• This language of the Nelson-Hatch Amendment is very close to the Stupak language adopted by the House of Representatives on November 7 by a vote of 240 to 194 and, therefore, was included in the House-passed language.

What Nelson-Hatch does not do

• First, it does not prevent any individual - including those individuals using subsidies to purchase their overall policy through the exchange - from using their own private dollars to purchase a supplemental policy covering abortion. It does not prevent any private insurer from selling such a policy. So the right to buy and sell elective abortion coverage is explicitly affirmed, but federal dollars will not pay for it.

• Second, the Nelson-Hatch amendment does not prevent any individual from purchasing a comprehensive plan that covers abortion, as long as their coverage is not purchased with premium subsidies financed by taxpayer dollars.

• Third, it does not prevent an insurer participating in the Exchange from selling health plans in the Exchange that include elective abortions as long as no federal subsidies are used to purchase the policy and the insurer offers an identical plan without elective abortion coverage to subsidized purchasers.

What Nelson-Hatch does

• The Nelson-Hyde amendment simply applies the Hyde Amendment policy to the government-run plan and private policies purchased using premium subsidies. This is not a new federal abortion policy. The Hyde Amendment and its progeny prohibit direct federal funding of abortion as well as federal funding of overall health care policies that cover abortion. This policy currently applies to the 8 million Americans - including Members of Congress covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program - and should apply to this bill.

• This policy currently applies to the 8 million Americans - including Members of Congress -- covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and should apply to this bill. FEHBP covers 8 million Americans; another estimated 53 million are covered by Hyde through Medicaid alone.

• Some might ask why this amendment is necessary if the Hyde Amendment is existing law. The answer is, funding in the health bill is not subject to annual appropriations and therefore not subject to the Hyde provisions contained in the annual Labor-HHS bill. The only way to provide Hyde protection for the government run plan and premium subsidies is to insert Hyde language in the Reid bill.

• And allowing funding for abortion through the government-run plan represents a clear departure from longstanding policy by authorizing the federal government to pay for elective abortion for the first time in decades.

• According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, six in 10 Americans favor a ban on the use of federal funds for abortion. It also indicates that the public may also favor legislation that would prevent many women from getting their health insurance plan to cover the cost of an abortion, even if no federal funds are involved.

• This poll indicates that 61 percent of the public opposes the use of public money for abortions for women who cannot afford the procedure, with 37 percent in favor of allowing the use of federal funds.

• In November, a Washington Post poll indicated that 61% of the people polled believe that the private health insurance using government assistance to help pay for it should not be allowed to pay for coverage of abortion.

• A poll conducted by International Communications Research found that 68% of the individuals polled said if the choice were up to them, they would not want their own insurance policy to cover abortion.


Hold on just a minute here! I thought we had seperation of church and state in this country! What gives these religious groups any right to impose their beliefs on us? An absolute outrage!

Posted by: Mary at December 7, 2009 4:25 PM

Hi Mary ,

It's a crazy world. I just hope the whole bill dies so they can start over smarter in 2010.

Posted by: Janet at December 7, 2009 5:08 PM

"Catholic's for Choice" are frauds and liars, they are not recognized by the Catholic church

Posted by: Jasper at December 7, 2009 5:17 PM

I freaking hate all the fake Christian groups who tell women it is perfectly ok to have an abortion. Those people will have a lot to answer for when they have to explain why they led another to sin.

Posted by: Lauren at December 7, 2009 5:23 PM

The Nelson amendment is NOT pro-life since it consents to pay for the murder of babies conceived in rape, incest, or for the life of the mother. Anyone who believes all life is sacred, no matter how a person is conceived, would vote against the Nelson amendment. To consent explicitly to pay for the murder of innocent human beings is evil. Please, no more sacrificing these babies to Ba'al in order to receive favors! If this amendment said no funds "except for Jews, blacks, and Down's Syndrome babies" would anyone even doubt whether it is a pro-death amendment? What's the difference? Why do these people hate babies conceived in rape,incest or when the life of the mother is at risk, so much that they will pay to have them murdered! If anyone wants to consent to pay for murder in order to save lives, why not do it for the abortionists? If you wouldn't kill an abortionist then you shouldn't support the Nelson amendment which consents to pay for murdering babies.

Posted by: DM at December 7, 2009 5:53 PM

DM: Unfortunately, some compromise and don't vote unless a bill HAS those exceptions. :(

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at December 7, 2009 10:23 PM

the difference in the case of rape and incest is that the woman is not willfully chosing to engage in sex and I believe in the right to self-determination for the girl who was violated and had the situation forced upon her.

In the case of sparing the life of the mother, this baby is no less loved. The mother does not even want the baby to be hurt and would take any action possible to spare the baby's so it isn't that she hates the baby.

Posted by: truthseeker at December 7, 2009 11:51 PM

Having an abortion doesn't 'unrape' you, and a baby conceived by incest is STILL an innocent baby.You don't 'punish' an unborn baby by killing him/her because of what the 'impregnator' did.

Posted by: Pamela at December 8, 2009 12:29 AM

I hear Sen.Reid is comparing anyone who opposes or questions this "health care" bill to those who supported slavery and opposed civil rights.

Excuse me Senator, but may I respectfully remind you it was your party, the Democrats, that were the pro-slavery party. It was Democrats who instituted segregation. It was Democrats who opposed anti-lynching legislation and it was Democrats who filibustered Civil and Voting Rights legislation that was eventually passed with Republican help.

Posted by: Mary at December 8, 2009 8:07 AM

All, wolves in sheep's clothing, blasphemously taking the name of the Lord in vain.

Posted by: Phil Schembri is Hisman at December 8, 2009 10:09 AM

You are so right Mary, Senator Reid needs a history lesson. I consider myself an independent who votes pro-life, pro-family, free enterprise, small government and pro-religious liberty. Usually that means voting Republican because they stand for these principles over the DemocRATS. Senator Reid needs to read history, President Johnson would have NEVER gotten the Civil Rights Bill passed without the party of Lincoln, Republicans, especially Senator Dirksen of Illinois, going to bat for the bill and giving it Republican support, the DemocRATS would have blocked the bill. The Democrats were indeed pro-slavery and pro-segregation. Duh?

The party of death that promotes the slaughter of disproportionate numbers of unborn Black babies by taking the "blood money" of PP, Naral, Emily's List and the embracers of the Margaret "weed out the unfit" Sanger Award want to lecture the Republicans for standing against their pro-abortion, healthcare rationing, death panel, pro-euthanasia and genocide promoting bill. WOW! You could not make up this stuff. I am praying this bill doesn't pass.

Posted by: Prolifer L at December 8, 2009 1:03 PM

This whole "funding" thing is interesting. If no federal funds are allowed to go toward abortion, then each insurance company which is taken over by the government will become de-facto pro-life (at least with regard to funding). If the government becomes a single payer, there will be no insurance companies in the United States that cover abortion, due to the fact that federal dollars are fungible.

So either universal health care dies, or babies get saved. It's a win-win situation, as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and Mary, as far as I know, abortion is not a religious belief (except for radical feminists, that is).

Posted by: Tony at December 8, 2009 2:32 PM


I agree and that is my point. Let religious people oppose abortion and the seperation of church and state police go ballistic.
Let religious people support abortion and that's perfectly fine.
Very interesting double standard.

Posted by: Mary at December 8, 2009 4:27 PM

For women (and men) who are pro-choice, try choosing to be more responsible with your sex lives. As far as religious people "forcing their belief" I think it's the other way around. Abortion funding, among other radically left ideas, is being forced on the religious and non-relitious taxpayers alike, whether we want it or not. I'm pro-life, so why should I be forced to pay for abortions.

I personally know people who've had 5 - 6 of abortions. Their pro-choice attitude only seemed to perpetuate their wrong choice of men over and over. Consequently, the unborn children has to pay the dire consequence of death simply because their precious little life is viewed as inconvenient.

I'm not in agreement with abortions for women who were raped, but I do sympathize with them and understand why they'd want to choose to abort the child. However, did you you ever talk to someone who was supposed to be aborted, but lived?

Women whose lives are in danger are the only ones who may be totally justified to undergo abortion procedures. Other than that, "Pro-Choice" should be changed to "Poor Choice" for those who use abortion as a means of birth control.

If abortion funding is allowed I expect to see 100 million more unborn babies killed in no time flat because of the selfish, uncaring people who have taking advantage of the abortion laws and want to blame everyone but themselves for making bad decisions.

Posted by: Jan G. at December 8, 2009 5:15 PM

Just saw a news report that the Nelson-Hatch Amendment did NOT pass by a vote of 54-45. I am praying God is answering our prayers by setting this bill up to fail. I am praying that the the Dead Babies R Us crew will not be able to ram this bill down the throats of the American people. Someone told me that they got an Obamanation email today where Obama is touting that he "will not back down on the healthcare bill". Keep praying Christian prolifers. Stop the shedding of innocent blood, America. The oceans of blood of 49 million dead babies are crying out for justice. NO MORE DEAD BABIES. Please pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people that are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land."

Posted by: Prolifer L at December 8, 2009 5:57 PM

Prolifer L,

I'm with you. This monstrous bill has to fail.

Posted by: Janet at December 8, 2009 8:41 PM

Perhaps, given the CURRENT state of affairs, it would be appropriate to change the title at the head of this thread.

More appropriate might be:

Broken: Nelson-Hatch amendment goes down in flames - coathanger manufacturers stocks TUMBLE

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 8:00 AM


The illegal abortion death rate had been steadily decreasing prior to Roe, due largely to better surgical techniques, IV therapy, and antibiotics, and was at an all time low just prior to 1973. BTW, most were done in doctor's offices. My cousin had a few such illegal abortions. Abortion advocates admitted they deliberately exaggerated these deaths to garner public support for legal abortion.

Looks like you were one of those taken in by their lies.

Posted by: Mary at December 9, 2009 8:12 AM

You are probably correct. Improved medical practices would certainly have had the effect of reducing infection and other disastrous side effects, but ONLY for procedures UNDER THE CARE OF A DOCTOR.

I understand that it involves difficulties, but it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to keep these procedures out in the open and under PROPER MEDICAL SCRUTINY!

Roe v. Wade presents problems for some people, but it RESOLVES problems - EQUALLY VALID problems - for other people. That is the JOB of the judiciary branch of our government - to maintain BALANCE in issues where it is simply impossible to satisfy BOTH sides.

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 8:51 AM


You missed my main point. The death rate from illegal abortion was steadily declining. It was at an all time low prior to Roe. Legalizing abortion had nothing to do with it. The coathanger fallacy was a great emotional ploy. The public was deceived. Abortion advocates had a compliant media to do their bidding.

Sure some women may have mutilated themselves, like some people mutilate themselves attempting suicide. People mutilate themselves because of mental illness.

Whoopi Goldberg claimed to have had a "coathanger" abortion when she was 14y/o. Isn't it amazing she suffered no apparent ill effects and was so knowledgable and skillful? You have to be highly skeptical of some of these claims.

Also, the purpose of the judicial branch is to interpret the Constitution, not make laws. Keep in mind Supreme Court justices found a "justification" for segregation in the Constitution, even though segregation, like abortion, is not mentioned anywhere.
Justices having the power to interpret the Constitution as they see fit can be very dangerous.

Posted by: Mary at December 9, 2009 9:04 AM


I haven't yet done any research to verify it, but I am quite willing to accept, as a given, your assertion that unintended consequences of abortions were becoming less frequent prior to Roe v. Wade. I have no problem with that.

Where I DO have a problem is with your implied assertion that this decline somehow negates the need for legalization of and/or insurance coverage for this procedure.

After all, this decline certainly wasn't happening BECAUSE abortion was illegal - in was happening IN SPITE of that fact.

The coat hanger has become a symbol of the Pro-Choice side of this issue. It is entirely possible that nobody ever actually used one to perform an abortion - again, I have not researched the question - but, again, that question is irrelevant to the larger issue at hand.

Making payment for abortion difficult or impossible AND/OR making abortion once again illegal does not - and CANNOT - ensure that women will not suffer terrible injuries, infections, and/or death because of improperly performed abortions. Such measures will - sadly but inarguably - push women who are seeking such a resolution to their problem pregnancies IN THE DIRECTION of taking matters into their own hands.

I DO NOT claim that reversal of Roe v. Wade and/or passage of the Nelson-Hatch amendment will make these outcomes common. By the same token, YOU cannot assert that these measures will NOT have any effect on frequency of these outcomes.

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 10:47 AM


No one knew for certain the number of illegal abortions that actually occured so abortion advocates took the liberty of exaggerating the numbers. In fact they made them up completely. We have no way of knowing for certain the number of illegal abortions that occured but if the death rate continued to decline then obviously women were not having them in large numbers and dying like flies as a result. The laws have been very effective.

Also, doctors had to be extremely careful when doing illegal abortions in their offices. They certainly did not do them on an assembly line basis. Any slip up could mean a prison sentence so abortionists had to be meticulous as to who they operated on and to make certain she suffered no complications.

No such situation exists today. Check out the dive that Carhart runs in Nevada. Check this site for Hodari. You can go to Operation as well as here on Jill's site and find documented incidents involving horrendous abortion clinics conditions, unqualified doctors, the use of personnel with no medical credentials or training, etc. Are you aware that no one on Tiller's staff had credentials or licensing of any kind? I checked his website twice and could find nothing about medically credentialled staff. Usually clinics and facilities are very proud to advertise their staff's credentials.
As a medical professional I can tell you many of his practices were appalling and would never be tolerated in a reputable hospital or clinic.

No chuck, legal abortion simply enabled back street hacks to practice legally, to open clinics where unsuspecting women were victimized.

You might want to check Jill's site concerning the huge abortion clinic scandal that occured in Chicago in 1978. It was uncovered by reporters.
A mortician school dropout and a former used car salesmen opened the clinics in some of Chicago's most exclusive neighborhhods. Moonlighting novices from the local medical school operated, what the heck the money was good and one didn't have to bother with such trivialities as hand washing and changing one's gloves. Time after all was money and that was the name of the game for these clinic owners.

Posted by: Mary at December 9, 2009 11:11 AM

Curious - Nobody is certain how many illegal abortions actually occurred, but you ARE certain that abortion advocates exaggerated the numbers. How is this possible?

Also curious - There seems to be an implication in your latest response that it was the very ILLEGALITY of abortion that made it clean and safe and that making it LEGAL removed all incentives to perform this procedure in a safe, reputable manner.

This is an interesting assertion. If we apply similar logic on a broader scale, that would imply that the solution to medical malpractice is easy - all we would have to do is make it illegal to practice medicine!

You seem to be an educated person, so you may be familiar with the logical fallacy of "Post hoc ergo propter hoc" or "AFTER this, therefore BECAUSE OF this". If I drop a pin on the floor and then it starts to rain, it DOES NOT necessarily mean that dropping the pin CAUSED the rain.

By the same token, the fact that abominable abortion practices occurred after Roe v Wade proves nothing.

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 12:20 PM

Care to try again?

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 12:56 PM


I said abortion advocates exaggerated the numbers, in fact they made them up. By exaggerating I meant they came up with a huge number that they had no way of knowing was a fact. They made the number up. Instead of saying there was a hundred, which would have been a tad low, they blew it up to 10,000. You can find this in Dr.Bernard Nathanson's book "Aborting America". Dr. Nathanson was a leader in the effort to legalize abortion in this country.

Facts are facts chuck. When abortion was illegal doctors had to be extremely careful and selective about what patients they took. They likely took more time and effort than the assembly line abortionists who, as I pointed out, were out for the money. The assembly line abortionists didn't have to worry about legal ramifications, the doctors performing illegal abortions in their offices did.

We have the ridiculous notion in this country that making something illegal puts the criminal element out of business. This is laughable. All too often we only make it easier for the criminal element to ply their trade.

The fact abominable abortions occured after Roe v Wade proves nothing? It destroys the whole argument to legalize abortion! chuck, it proves that legal abortion did not put back alley hacks out of business, it just gave them opportunities they never dreamed of. Heck, even the used car salesmen and mortician school dropouts could get in on the act! Moonlighting novices could make a quick buck! Abortion clinic staff need not have credentials of any kind. Clinics need not have the same standards of sanitation that your local kennel is required to have.

Care to try again??

Posted by: Mary at December 9, 2009 1:43 PM


Dr. Nathanson admits abortion advocates deliberately falsified these "statistics" and grossly exaggerated illegal abortion deaths. He said he and other abortion advocates were well aware the illegal abortion death rate in 1972 was 36. If only that was our country's murder or driving fatality rate! He said they fabricated the number of illegal abortions and illegal abortion deaths so as to generate public sympathy.
According to Dr.Nathanson, among the leaders of the abortion movement, the ends justified the means.

Posted by: Mary at December 9, 2009 1:49 PM

Hi Janet. We will need to keep the prayers coming for the failure of this awful bill which has nothing to do with helping the poor, the uninsured and underinsured.

Posted by: Prolifer L at December 9, 2009 8:10 PM

"You might want to check Jill's site concerning the huge abortion clinic scandal that occured in Chicago in 1978. It was uncovered by reporters."
"A mortician school dropout and a former used car salesmen opened the clinics in some of Chicago's most exclusive neighborhhods. Moonlighting novices from the local medical school operated, what the heck the money was good and one didn't have to bother with such trivialities as hand washing and changing one's gloves. Time after all was money and that was the name of the game for these clinic owners."

Posted by: Mary at December 9, 2009 11:11 AM

What a terrible sham that was. Local Chicago reporter Pam Zeckman did the undercover work. As if the story couldn't get any weirder, the fake doctor is now a Principal at a Chicago elementary school. His name is Arnold Bickham. Oh, the irony.

Posted by: Janet at December 9, 2009 9:10 PM

Apologies for the delay - had to go to my daughter's school play.

Appreciate your response(s!) You've clearly been doing your homework!

Ok - from the beginning - it's unpleasant, even a little distasteful, that the statistics in the question some 3 decades back were exaggerated. Is it RELEVANT to the question of what should be happening NOW? Possibly marginally so, but I do not find it overwhelmingly so.

On to the next - Facts are indisputable and are not subject to interpretation. I'm afraid that your claim of the cleanliness and safety of the procedure prior to - and the abominable conditions subsequent to - and BECAUSE OF Roe v. Wade does not meet this definition.

In order to be considered factual, your claims would have to be meet several criteria that they simply DON'T.

First off, there would have to be indisputable proof that the abortion process WAS - INVARIABLY - clean and safe prior to the decision. Even if the death toll was "ONLY" 36, this proof is conspicuously absent.

Secondly, your implication that the "abortion mills" are the RESULT of the legalization of abortion STILL doesn't pass the Post hoc ergo propter hoc smell test.

Finally, and most disturbingly, there is yet another assertion that seems to be implicit in your argument. You seem to make the point that there is ONLY ONE possible solution to abominable conditions at the 'abortion mills' and that this sole solution is to make the procedure illegal.

If ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else, in order for this assertion to valid, it would have to be true that there ARE NOT - and CANNOT BE - ANY laws on the books under which the abominable practitioners could be prosecuted.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I always had the impression that it's illegal in most (if not ALL) states to practice medicine without a license.

Perhaps I'm wrong again, but if these laws do not exist, it would seem entirely reasonable to ME to enact them.

Always willing to accept the possibility that I'm wrong YET AGAIN, but it does not seem impossible to ME to legally DEFINE abortion as a medical procedure, or to legally require any clinic practicing medical procedures to meet AT LEAST the sanitary standards of the local kennel, or to require staff at such clinics to meet SOME reasonable requirements of training, certification, and - hell - common DECENCY!

Maybe I've just got an overactive imagination, but it seems to me that the list of things that are ALREADY in place AND/OR could be enacted WITHOUT banning the procedure is EXTENSIVE.

Of course, it's ALWAYS POSSIBLE that I'm just WRONG. Just out of curiosity - are you willing to accept the possibility that maybe YOU'RE wrong?

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 10:06 PM

If not, I guess you've got a little more HOMEWORK to do - sorry!

Hey, I honestly did not expect to win any converts here and I frankly didn't expect that I would be converted either. To be COMPLETELY honest, what I DID expect was for my first posting to be deleted as soon as it was discovered.

I'm somewhat surprised to have been engaged in such a vehement debate.

I'll check back in the morning and probably from time to time after that to see how you're doing with your homework, but I don't know if I can afford to spend this kind of time here again anytime soon.

- thanks, Mary.

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2009 10:23 PM

Hi chuck,

I was running late for work this morning so did not have time to respond to your points.

However one wants to analyze this the fact remains that leaders of the movement to legalize abortion in this country deliberately misled the public with lies and exaggerations. They had a compliant media to help them.

Dr.Nathanson also says the Catholic Church was deliberately singled out as a target against which supporters of abortion could rally. Much like the KKK singles out black and Jewish Americans on whom to spew their venom. The Catholic Church was chosen because it had a visible hierarchy that made a great target, not because it opposed abortion any more than any other religion.

Dr. Nathanson acknowledges these tactics were despicable, but the mentality of the abortion leadership was the ends justifies the means, period.

I made no claim to cleanliness and safety. It was abortion advocates who argued that legal abortion meant safety, cleanliness, high medical standards, and medically trained staff. This is certainly not the case and unsuspecting women have been victimized. The Chicago incident was just one example. In a New Jersey Clinic rusted instruments were found in drawers. In another clinic, cockroaches and mouse feces were found.
Carhart's "clinic" looks like its in a former garage and frankly, my jeep is serviced in a place that looks much better than that!
This is definitely not what women were promised chuck.
I'm not suggesting all illegal abortions were performed under the most idyllic conditions, I'm saying that doctors performing illegal abortions had to be extremely careful and selective and could not perform abortions on an assembly line basis. Also, otherwise illegal abortions were performed in hospitals under false pretenses. Prior to ultrasound and accurate pregnancy testing, this wasn't too difficult to pull off.
Doctors doing illegal abortions had to keep legal ramifications in mind, hacks like Carhart do not, and as such do not concern themselves with such trivialities as credentialled staffs.

Let's put it this way chuck. Until very serious consequences were put in place for violating patient confidentiality, people were extremely lax and careless. Now that one can be immediately terminated and/or face legal repercussions, I have noticed people are extremely careful, and well they should be.
When there are serious legal and professional consequences, people are much more careful. If there are no such consequences in place, people, myself included, were lax.

My argument is that legal abortion does not guarantee the safety and cleanliness women were promised. It does not keep the hacks out of business. The woman having an illegal abortion in her doctor's office, and I know one that did, probably did so under considerably safer conditions than let's say, the women who visited the New Jersey clinic I mentioned.
Are you aware Tiller's staff didn't have the brains to call 911 until 40 minutes after a patient collapsed and then were only concerned about lights and sirens?
Good grief, school children and family pets have exercised better judgment in a medical emergency.

Am I arguing legal abortion resulted in these mills? No. I'm saying the lack of any legal consequences and regulation has resulted in just what one would expect, unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Why do you think we have licensing and regulation? Exactly.

Will I accept that I'm wrong? Sure, when you prove that I am.
I'm very glad you posted and hope you do again. Jill is very tolerant and does not delete people simply because they happen to disagree with her. This blog would be a colossal bore if it was just a mutual admiration society. We can discuss issues like mature adults, which sadly hasn't always been the case when we visit our opponents' websites, where name calling and swearing prevail. Jill has very strict standards concerning that kind of behavior!
Hopefully you learned something new.

You're very welcome, chuck.

Posted by: Mary at December 10, 2009 3:14 PM

Sorry - can't let this one slide!

You said:
Doctors doing illegal abortions had to keep legal ramifications in mind, hacks like Carhart do not, and as such do not concern themselves with such trivialities as credentialled staffs.

I did a little homework myself after I finished last night. Just as I suspected, you were (are?) WRONG in your assertion that Carhart, and the other hacks, could do whatever they wanted without fear of repercussions after abortion was legalized.

It is deplorable that it took the news reporters to break that particular story open, but once that had happened, Carhart and a BUNCH of cohorts faced PROSECUTION for breaking many OTHER laws - laws VERY SIMILAR to some of those I listed as possible solutions last night. If memory serves, I believe it was Carhart who had his medical license REVOKED.

Yes - you are correct, NOT EVERYTHING has been hunky-dory and admirable since the legalization. Unfortunately, your assertion that these deplorable conditions can ONLY be resolved by returning to the days of the illegal procedure is NOT convincing.

Sorry, and thanks again.

Posted by: chuck at December 10, 2009 5:10 PM


Not so fast. How long did Carhart get away with all of this before being "busted"? How could a situation like this even occur once abortion is "safe and legal"?
His own staff blew the whistle on him. His place of "practice" was no secret and like I said my jeep is serviced at better places. His uncredentialled staff was performing procedures they had no training or credentialling to do.
BTW, he was a guest on the Rachel MadCow show. Apparently they can overlook such trivialities as these to treat this man with the dignity and respect he doesn't deserve.

How long did Tiller get away with his practices, which included sending women to a hotel to abort under the "supervision" of people he hired off the street, who also administered drugs? I'm sure being cozy with Gov. Sebelius was a huge advantage.

Sorry chuck, but legal abortion did not mean an end to the "back alley practices" it was supposed to eliminate. That's my whole point.

Posted by: Mary at December 10, 2009 6:33 PM

I'm sorry too, Mary, but your premises SIMPLY DO NOT lead to your asserted conclusions. Carhart and Tiller were (are?), WITHOUT A DOUBT, despicable individuals. They SHOULD be hated and excoriated at every oppurtunity.

Unfortunately, these practitioners did not magically spring to life out of the pages of a Supreme Court decision. The Roe v. Wade decision WAS NOT - I repeat - WAS NOT the CAUSE of their abominable actions and/or practices.

The practices uncovered in these casesexisted precisely as long as they did for ONE plain and simple reason. That reason was LAX ENFORCEMENT of EXISTING LAWS.

I remind you - these despicable creatures WERE PROSECUTED after their practices were exposed.

I still agree with you that these practices should NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.

I DO NOT - and WILL NOT agree with your repeatedly implied assertion that the only possible solution to these horrifying undertakings is to render the procedure illegal once again.

It is, indeed, true that " abortion did not mean an end to the "back alley practices" it was supposed to eliminate". It is also irrevocably true that legalization of abortion DID NOT CAUSE these practices. Finally, regardless of how sad it might make you, Jill, and others who share your views, there are MULTITUDES of possible solutions to the practices being discussed today.

I'll say it again - regardless of how many times you repeat your assertions that the ONLY POSSIBLE solution to barbaric abortion practices is to return to the days when the procedure was illegal, this assertion is logically and demonstrably WEAK.

This argument DOES NOT and WILL NOT hold water.

If you'd like to try a DIFFERENT argument, I may be game, but if you prefer to cling to the tatters of this threadbare, WEAK argument, I'll be getting back to my real-world duties.

Posted by: chuck at December 10, 2009 8:45 PM

Sorry, but I've never known Mary to have a weak argument.

Posted by: Janet at December 10, 2009 9:02 PM


Ok, if legalizing abortion did not allow these hacks and horrendous conditions to prevail with the full blessing of the law, what did? Could the doctor who performed illegal abortions allow such conditions in his/her offices? Could they operate on an assembly line basis? Not unless they wanted to wind up in jail. It seems the despicable conditions that illegal abortions may have been performed under, and one must wonder at their frequency given the declining death rate, could now function with the blessing of the law!

Why weren't regulations put into place? Well, abortion advocates argued this was extra expense and hardship, a PL plot. Ironically chuck it is PL people who have fought the hardest to expose and end these despicable conditions. People like Governor Sebelius just welcomed Tiller and his uncredentialled staff to receptions in their honor.

I said legal abortion did nothing to put these hacks out of business and it didn't. Legalizing abortion did not do what it promised women it would do. Chicago in 1978 was just the beginning. Oh, did I mention the late term hack in Detroit who allowed his dog to walk around the operating room? He operated with complete blessing of the law. Patients were referred to him. When abortion became legal these chop shops opened right and left with no regulation. Again, read Dr.Nathanson's book. He describes taking over directorship of a clinic where doctors were incensed that he demanded full surgical scrub and clean gowns and gloves before each abortion! How can one make money hand over fist wasting time on these trivialities?

The horrific practices in Detroit and Chicago were discovered by investigative reporters when reporters actually did their jobs.
If people running these clinics were so ethical and concerned for women, would they even permit such conditions? I wouldn't think so. Maybe it tells you something of the caliber of the people who have been functioning with the blessing of the law.
Illegal abortions in doctor' offices and performed under false pretenses in hospitals obviously were not barbaric, at least not for the woman, since the death rate from illegal abortion the year before Roe v. Wade was at an all time low and had been steadily decreasing for years prior! This number had to be grossly exaggerated by the abortion movement. Why is that? Why couldn't they be completely truthful with the American public? Aren't you at all disturbed to the what levels these people stooped to get abortion legalized? Lies, gross exaggeration, promoting religious bigotry?

Tiller wasn't proscecuted chuck. Attempts were made and failed. As I said, he was very cozy with the governor, who obviously had no issues with his staff lacking any kind of credentials, she even entertained them in the governor's mansion. Do you know of any illegal abortionists being entertained by the governor??

BTW chuck, have you heard anything from NOW or NARAL concerning Carhart? Did they have any issue with the totally unacceptable practices of Tiller? Did they express an iota of outrage over Hodari's disposing of patient records in a public dumpster? How about the cockroach infested firetrap clinic in Kansas or the rathole in New Jersey with its rusted instruments? These conditions don't occur overnite. They resulted from neglect, incompetence, indifference, and having women in a very vulnerable position. Why were there no state regulations? No state inspection? Did abortion advocates ever demand there be? How could this happen across the country when women were promised better?

These groups that could so readily lie can only maintain a deafening silence when women like Christen Gilbert return to Tiller's abortion clinic suffering septic shock after having her "care" supervised by someone Tiller hired off the street, collapses, and the staff doesn't have the brains to call paramedics for another 40 minutes. These are the folks the governor of Kansas saw fit to honor.

If this is your idea of improvement chuck, so be it.

Posted by: Mary at December 10, 2009 10:06 PM


BTW, the biggest concern of Tiller's staff when they finally called 911 was that there be no lights or sirens, not for the dying young woman undergoing attempted resuscitation by people who had no clue what they were doing.
But then you can't expect people hired off the street to know much about emergency resuscitation, don't you agree?

Posted by: Mary at December 10, 2009 10:23 PM

Sorry. I understand - AND SHARE - your disgust with the hack mills. Unfortunately, you're STILL asserting that these horrifying circumstances happened BECAUSE of legalization.

Equally unfortunately, you're still WRONG.

The solution to the problem of abortion hacks is STILL NOT to be found in banning the procedure.

The PROPER solution to these despicable circumstances is ENFORCEMENT of EXISTING LAWS requiring sterile conditions in an operating room, and/or requiring training/certification for practitioners, and/or .... (the list here can be endless, but I HOPE you get my point)

If Tiller was cozy with the governor and thus avoided prosecution, that is, yet again, DESPICABLE, but that is a problem with Illinois POLITICS.

It doesn't matter how often you assert it, or how strongly you feel about it. Your premises STILL DO NOT - and NEVER WILL - logically lead to your claimed conclusion!

Care to try again?

Posted by: chuck at December 11, 2009 5:14 AM


These horrifying circumstances occured because there was no regulation and these mills could run with no fear of the law. They could now conduct their business openly and legally and prey on unsuspecting women which they could not do when abortion was illegal.

My contention the whole time has been that legal abortion did not in itself guarantee the safety of women and I have shown this. Enforce laws? What laws? That's the point, laws don't exist to protect women. Legal abortion in itself did not provide these laws. I didn't argue legal abortion caused this, I said it didn't prevent this as women were promised it would!

Why don't you show me how legalizing abortion put these back street hacks out of business once and for all and guaranteed the safety of women and how legal abortion has proven so much safer for women.

Posted by: Mary at December 11, 2009 5:27 AM


Probably the best analogy I can make would be if drugs were suddenly legalized. People can now buy and sell drugs with no fear of legal consequences. There will be no laws or restrictions, much like when abortion was first legalized.

Now, could we realistically expect the criminal element who sold drugs illegally, and maybe cut the drugs with dangerous substances to increase their profit, to suddenly pack up shop and go straight? Hardly. They would just put a sign on their lawn and sell from their living rooms.
We'd be giving this criminal element opportunities they never dreamed of.

Would we expect people looking to make a quick buck to set up shop? Absolutely.

Would we expect these people to adhere to only the strictest ethical standards and think only of the safety of their customers? Not likely. But why should they, they have no fear of any legal repercussions.

Is it likely people who otherwise might not have abused drugs would start so we might see a marked increase in drug abuse? Exactly what one would expect to happen, don't you think?

Could we realistically argue that our goal is to make drug abuse rare while at the same time making it easier?

Now am I arguing that legalizing drug abuse caused these problems? No. Am I arguing that illegal drug selling and use are a good thing? No. I'm arguing that legalizing drug abuse with no laws or restrictions, as was the case with abortion, would not put the criminal element out of business, it would make it easy for anyone to set up shop, it would not guarantee safety, and it would increase the likelihood more people would abuse drugs.
This is the argument I am making about legalized abortion and I think history has proven me correct.

Posted by: Mary at December 11, 2009 7:53 AM

Janet wrote

Sorry, but I've never known Mary to have a weak argument."

Not too put too fine a point on it, Janet, That MAY be because, I presume, you AGREE with her.

I do not, so I see things a little differently.

In the progression of a logical argument, there are two important parts - the premises and the conclusion.

If you're talking to somebody that already agrees with your conclusions, that second component is, obviously, less important. If you're trying to CHANGE SOMEBODY'S MIND - trying to MAKE them agree with you - the conclusion, and how you get there, is HUGELY important

For the premises in this case, Mary makes - very effectively - the point that bad things were happening in the "abortion mills" For an EMOTIONAL argument - if you're preachin' to the choir - this is all that's required. In the setting of this blog, given the most likely visitors here, that constitutes a STRONG argument.

It won't surprise you to hear that, as far as I'm concerned, that ain't enough. I'm a different audience because I am NOT inclined to agree with her conclusion.

For me and my ilk, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to effectively move the audience from the premises, through a logical progression, to the conclusion.

With apologies as required to anyone I'm about to offend, Mary's argument is PATHETICALLY WEAK in this regard.

Over and over again, she makes the assertion that, after Roe v Wade, the practitioners could act freely, with no fear of any legal repercussions. Over and over again, she leaps past MY assertions that there HAVE BEEN, and ARE, OTHER laws that, if enforced vigorously, would certainly have handed the hacks some repercussions. I will have to admit that her AIM is good, because EVERY TIME she makes that leap, she lands VERY PRECISELY at her intended destination - the conclusion that the ONLY way to make the hacks fear the law is to ban the procedure.

Although her AIM might be excellent, her carrying capacity is NEGLIGIBLE. She may leap, but she MOST ASSUREDLY does NOT take me along with her.


I guess that's enough of talking about you in the third person. I see you've added a couple more posts to this thread while I was writing. Haven't read them yet, but I'm anticipating more of the same - hope I'm wrong.

I would be VERY INTERESTED in hearing WHY you apparently feel that the ONLY law that these miscreants would heed is the big one. WHY wouldn't it be possible to enforce the laws already on the books vigorously enough to make the hacks fear retribution. And one more - if the horrors of the abortion mills are as overwhelmingly driving as they apparently are for you, WHY do you fight for banning the practice instead of fighting for enforcement of these other laws.

Posted by: chuck at December 11, 2009 9:51 AM


I've already told you, its been PL people who have exposed these horrendous practices and fought for resrictions and regulation. Its PA people who fight against them. The people at the forefront of this struggle to expose these practices and protect women have ironically been Operation Rescue!

Why are the laws so lax? Check with NOW and NARAL. Aren't these the people who should have fought for higher standards from day one?? What about the promise that women would be protected?
Do you think maybe they need to explain themselves? Unlikely they do, they view Tiller and Carhart as heroes.

I stressed in my last post and I stress again the point YOU seem to miss. Legalizing abortion does not cause these problems, in and of itself legal abortion does nothing to stop them. Legal does not equal safe.

Yes laws would put these hacks out of business so where are they? Why after 36 years of legal abortion could Tiller and Carhart run their clinics in what is a totally unacceptable standard? Why is a governor paying homage to Tiller? How can Carhart run his clinic with electricity provided by an outdoor generator?
Legal abortion was supposed to end these practices and hasn't, that's my point chuck!

Pointing out the fact that doctor's doing illegal abortions in their offices had to be considerably more careful with operating and selective of what patients they took because of fear of legal repercussion is simply fact. If you don't want to go to jail you're more careful, as opposed to legal abortionists who operate on an assembly line basis with no fear of legal repercussion should a patient be injured or die.
This is not saying illegal abortion was a good thing, it just states what is logic. If you don't want to get caught you're a lot more careful. If you have no fear of legal repercussions you may not be so concerned or careful. That is not saying legal abortion caused these circumstances we are discussing.

Posted by: Mary at December 11, 2009 10:24 AM

Feelin' lonely over here - you leapt without me again.

OK, you conceded that perhaps there could be other laws that may have the required effect, so your leap isn't QUITE as far this time, but you've still left me behind.

As far as I can tell, you've made no effort to explain WHY working to enact ONE PARTICULAR law (banning the procedure) is an admirable effort, but fighting for enactment and/or enforcement of OTHER laws is, what, a waste of time? pointless? beneath your dignity? I'm at a loss here.

Posted by: chuck at December 11, 2009 3:56 PM


Its obvious you're at a loss. I can't make sense of your post. Please clarify and be specific.

Posted by: Mary at December 11, 2009 5:25 PM

"Not too put too fine a point on it, Janet, That MAY be because, I presume, you AGREE with her."

I'm actually not following your arguments all that closely because I don't have the time, but I just wanted to let you know that Mary's one of the sharpest pencils in the case, not to put too fine a point on it. :)

Have a good evening all.

Posted by: Janet at December 11, 2009 5:32 PM

OK - MY turn to try again!

It would be entertaining to attach a file here of my singing voice, but that's a little beyond my computer capabilities and besides, I'm not sure the joke would be as obvious to you as it is to me. Bottom line is that I AIN'T a choir member!

Even though there is some possibility that it MAY be true - Hell, even if it IS true, it is not sufficient to STATE (demonstrate, prove, assert - choose your verb here) that the hacks do not fear retribution from any legal repercussions unless the procedure is illegal.

If you want me to leap with you, you have to EXPLAIN WHY no other law, whether about operating room conditions, clinic staff qualifications, etc., etc., etc.... CAN BE MADE (whether through enactment or enforcement) to instill such fear.

Your turn again.

Posted by: chuck at December 12, 2009 3:08 AM


For heaven's sake I told you they fear no repercussion because pro-abortion people have fought against any laws and regulations. Carhart and Tiller are their heroes! The former governor of Kansas was in Tiller's back pocket!
How much more simple does it get than that? If you don't fear legal consequences you will do as you please, the criminal element will have a field day.
If you fear legal consequences, as doctors performing illegal abortions in their offices did, you will be much more careful.

You and I are law abiding citizens. We both engage in a legal activity, driving. We follow the rules, for the most part, and get very nervous if a police officer was around when we don't. We know there are serious consequences if we don't play by the rules.

This isn't rocket science chuck.

If there were legal repercussions its likely these clinics would be run by accepted medical standards. There are no regulation or licensing requirements. They have been fought by pro-aborts. You might question how NOW and NARAL can call Carhart and Tiller heroes. You might question why these groups didn't fight for strict regulation from day one. You might question how the National Abortion Federation could give its stamp of approval to a roach infested firetrap that Operation Rescue(!) helped close down. Operation Rescue are the people responsible for much of the exposure of these practices, conviction of the hacks, and closing down of these ratholes, which according to abortion advocates, would never exist once abortion was made legal!

Posted by: Mary at December 12, 2009 7:49 AM


I just thought of a great example. My brother was a police officer. He told me what first makes a police officer suspicious that someone has just stolen a car. The driver is overly cautious, just a little too careful driving. Obviously he/she does not want to draw the attention of law enforcement so they follow every traffic law to the letter.
People driving legally, while careful, are rarely this overcautious and not as concerned about drawing the attention of the police.

Another example of what I'm trying to get across to you. People who fear legal consequences are much more careful than people who don't.

Again chuck, not rocket science.

Posted by: Mary at December 12, 2009 8:04 AM