LR-120 would require that doctors notify parents at least 48 hours in advance of the abortion

By Kyle Schmauch Community News Service UM School of Journalism October 14, 2012 4:00 pm Click here for full story.

Seventeen years after the courts struck down an early attempt to require minors to notify their parents before getting an abortion, the contentious issue is back on the ballot this fall.

Legislative Referendum 120 is almost exactly like a 1995 law struck down by a Montana court as violating the Montana Constitution — with one key change.

“The difference is that the age is lower,” Jeff Laszloffy, head of the Montana Family Foundation, said, explaining the referendum would apply only to minors under 16. The previous law applied to girls under 18.

LR-120 would require that doctors notify parents or legal guardians at least 48 hours in advance of the abortion if the patient is under 16. If the minor does not want the notification to occur, she can obtain a waiver from a youth court. Notice would not be required in the case of a medical emergency.

Under the proposal, any doctor who fails to notify the parent or receive a waiver could face six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Debate over impacts

Both proponents and opponents of the referendum say their primary concern is the health and safety of young women, but they disagree over the proposed law’s impacts.

For Laszloffy, the proposal is about ensuring parents know what is happening in their family. He said LR-120 is “primarily a parental rights issue.”

He added that far less significant decisions like getting a tattoo or body piercing require parental consent ̶ a stricter requirement than notification.

“(Abortion) is the only exception where a 13-year-old can make this type of decision,” he said. “This is what happens when political correctness trumps common sense.”

But Julianna Crowley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, stressed the proposal would put vulnerable girls in harm’s way. “It’s about privacy and it’s about abortion rights,” she said.

Planned Parenthood of Montana, which opposes the ballot initiative, estimates that 80 percent of minors already tell parents or guardians about their pregnancies.

“(A notification law) puts young women who can’t go to their parents in dangerous situations,” Crowley said. “For voters, think about teens who they know may fear a violent reaction from their parents.”

Laszloffy countered that he was also concerned about a girl who faces possible violence or abuse at home.

“If she has a dangerous home situation … this (working through a youth court) is a way she could actually end the abuse.” He also said it is dangerous for parents not to know when their child has gone through a medical procedure.

Both sides acknowledge the referendum would affect only a few Montana teens each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 43 reported abortions occurred among teens ages 15 and under in Montana in 2008 (the most recent year available).

Déjà vu?

Thirty-seven other states have some version of a parental notification law on their books, but Montana has been here before.

In 1995, Montana’s Legislature adopted a parental notification measure. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Parental Notice of Abortion Act was constitutional under the United States Constitution.

However, a state district court ruled that law unconstitutional under the equal protection and privacy clauses of the Montana Constitution.

Crowley said LR-120 would raise the same legal concerns as that case. Laszloffy acknowledged that while the PNAA was thrown out as unconstitutional, lowering the age of girls covered by the law helped address the issue.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer decided differently last year when he vetoed the same legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The governor made note of the lower age of affected minors, but declared in his veto letter: “Given the strength of the 1995 … decision rejecting as unconstitutional an almost identical parental notice law, and a subsequent decision of the Montana Supreme Court solidifying Montana’s strong privacy provisions not only generally, but specifically in the abortion context … , I have chosen to veto SB 97.”

If the voters approve the new notification language, many observers expect an immediate and perhaps protracted legal fight over the issue.

State Board of Health passes regulations on abortion clinics

Mon., Sept., 17, 2012; 10:53 PM by Mallory Noe-Payne, news editor, Collegiate Times

The Virginia State Board of Health voted last Friday to adopt regulations requiring existing clinics that provide abortions to follow the same building regulations as hospitals.

Abortion rights supporters have described the regulations as unnecessary and cumbersome, and a political tactic for minimizing access to abortion clinics.

In a 13-2 vote, members of the board reversed an earlier decision, which would have exempted existing buildings from the regulations previously applied only to new construction.

Anti-abortion defendants have applauded the board’s decision, although some board members deny the rules have any political agenda, instead saying regulations are only for ensuring health and safety.

“The primary purpose of the regulations is to ensure there is a safe, clean, healthy environment in which these procedures are performed for these women.” said Bruce Edwards, Chair of the Virginia State Board of Health.

The regulations require Virginia clinics that provide five or more abortions a month upgrade their facilities to meet hospital standards. These upgrades would include wider hallways and larger operating rooms, now the norm for new construction. Additionally, it affects the number of parking spaces available.

Olivia Babis, the southwest Virginia field coordinator for Planned Parenthood, said while Planned Parenthood is by no means anti-regulation, these particular rules are purposefully onerous, having “absolutely nothing to do with patient safety.”

“It is designed to shut down facilities performing abortions, there are no other purposes to it,” Babis said. Edwards, who is also the representative on the Board for Emergency Medical Services, disagrees.

“It is aimed at ensuring that things are sized properly so that good care can be provided to these patients,” Edwards said. “It’s important for me to be able to get all the way around the patient.

“I’ve been in small examining rooms… it’s often times difficult to get in there, particularly if the patient is not doing well.”

Blacksburg’s Planned Parenthood provides medical abortions during the first trimester, meaning it prescribes an oral medication inducing a miscarriage. Despite not performing any surgical

 

procedures, the facility will be subject to these new regulations.

Planned Parenthood in Blacksburg provided 160 medical abortions in 2011. Planned Parenthood in Roanoke, which provides surgical abortions as well as medical, provided 846 abortions in 2011.

Medical Examiner Hid Info Showing Planned Parenthood Killed Patient

by Steven Ertelt | Chicago, IL | LifeNews.com | 9/12/12 11:44 AM

New information is coming to light showing the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office is apparently trying to cover up the fact that a Planned Parenthood clinic killed a patient in a botched abortion.

Yesterday, the pro-life group Operation Rescuereleased a copy of the autopsy showing that 24-year old Tonya Reaves died from three major complications during a botched second-trimester abortion suffered at a Chicago area Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on July 20, 2012.  Operation Rescue, which obtained the autopsy results, says it indicates that Reaves’ injuries were survivable if she had received proper emergency care in a timely manner.

However, the pro-life group indicates today that it was not provided the complete autopsy report — indicating six pages were omitted that place the blame squarely on Planned Parenthood’s shoulders. The copy the pro-life group received from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office was missing the six important pages that further detailed Reaves fatal abortion injuries and noted that Planned Parenthood was where her abortion took place.

The sanitized copy sent to Operation Rescue contained no mention of Planned Parenthood. The omission was discovered when attorneys for the Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal group that also had filed an open records request for the report, compared notes with Operation Rescue.

“It appears we received an incomplete copy that did not document the fact that Planned Parenthood is responsible for Reaves death,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “This only further affirms our concerns that officials in Chicago are trying to cover up for Planned Parenthood in this case.”

According to Newman, one missing page titled “First Call Sheet”, there appears to be redacted information on the first line under “Medical History” where the circumstances surrounding Reaves death are explained. After the redaction, there is the following notation: “1100. Planned Parenthood. Suction D&E. Post Op bleed.”

The missing pages note that Reaves was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital via a Chicago Fire Department ambulance at 4:30 p.m., five and a half hours after her botched second trimester abortion left her hemorrhaging. However, there is no record that an emergency 911 call was placed by Planned Parenthood.

Also included is an anatomical diagram indicating a large abdominal incision made during an emergency hysterectomy performed by a hospital surgeon in a vain effort to save Reaves’ life as well as marks on her chest consistent with the application of defibrillator paddles. The records show that despite these efforts, Reaves could not be resuscitated.

“This case has become a political hot potato. Now we see efforts to illegally conceal records that, by law, should have been produced under our Freedom of Information Request. It was completely wrong for the Medical Examiner’s office to withhold those pages from the public. We can only wonder what they are hiding,” said Newman. “We appreciate the Thomas More Society providing us with the full autopsy report, which we have made available to the public, as it should be.”

See the full autopsy at http://operationrescue.org/pdfe/Reaves%20Full%20Autopsy%20Report.pdf

Newman said the autopsy reveals the following:

  • She was a healthy woman who was approximately 16 weeks pregnant at the time of her abortion, well into the second trimester.
  • She suffered from an incomplete abortion. The Medical Examiner discovered pieces of placenta still attached to the inside of her womb even after a second abortion done by the hospital to remove fetal remains left by Planned Parenthood.
  • She suffered a 3/16 inch uterine perforation near forcep impression marks. D&E abortions involve dismembering the baby in the womb and removing the pieces with forceps.
  • She suffered an “extensive” perforation of her broad uterine ligament with a possible severing of her left uterine artery as a result of her abortion. This accounted for the internal bleeding that was discovered only too late by the hospital trauma team.
  • There were 1-1.5 liters of blood and clots inside her abdominal cavity. The human body holds roughly five liters of blood. Reaves bled about 30 percent of her total volume of blood into her abdomen, and that does not account for the amount of blood lost through what was likely substantial vaginal bleeding due to the retained fetal remains.
  • In a vain attempt to save her life, the hospital trauma team performed an emergency hysterectomy on Reaves.

Some news report have indicated that a contributing factor in Reaves’ death was injuries received from being pushed down a flight of stairs by her one-year old son’s father. However, the autopsy indicated, “There is no evidence of significant recent external injury.” This puts the responsibility for Reaves’ death solely on Planned Parenthood.

Newman is also concerned that Planned Parenthood is engaging in false advertising about the abortions it does at the Chicago clinic where Tonya died.

“Reaves’ abortion took place at the Loop Health Center Planned Parenthood, located at 18 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Planned Parenthood’s website indicates that surgical abortions were not supposed to be available at that location, which leads to questions about whether the office was properly equipped for risky second trimester abortions,” he said.

Operation Rescue plans to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation against abortionist Carolyn Hoke, who is believed to have been responsible for Reaves’ abortion. Hoke serves as the Medical Director for Planned Parenthood. One week after Reaves’ family sued Planned Parenthood of Illinois for killing Reaves, it agreed to pay the state $367,000 to settle a case against Hoke involving fraudulent over-billing of Medicaid.

In that case, abortion practitioner Caroline Hoke was accused of over-billing Medicaid an estimated $430,380 for mostly undocumented services. Hoke was the state’s fourth highest billing Medicaid physician, asking the taxpayers to fork over $3.9 million to her from 2009-2011 as she served as the Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

Although news reports indicate Reaves’ family has filed suit, officials with Operation Rescue and the Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal group, can find no actual evidence one has been filed. The family reportedly sued Planned Parenthood and Northwestern Memorial Hospital after Reaves received a botched second trimester abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood office on July 20, 2012.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business, which waited five hours before sending a woman who died from a botched legal abortion to the hospital, never called 911.

Initially, Steve Miller of the CBS news affiliate WBBM released a report showing documents released in the botched abortion death of Tonya Reaves that alarmingly showed Planned Parenthood delayed summoning emergency care for the dying woman for five and a half hours after the abortion failed.

Later John Jansen of the Pro-Life Action League, obtained documents verifying that Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center in Chicago did not call 911 on the day 24-year old Tonya Reaves died after having an abortion at the facility.

“Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show [PDF] that only one call to 911 was made on Friday, July 20 from the building located at 18 S. Michigan, which houses Planned Parenthood and several other tenants,” Jansen said. “It’s unclear which tenant in the building placed that call, made at 12:46 p.m., but it was concerning an instance of child abuse, and thus could not possibly have been related to Tonya Reaves.”

“Planned Parenthood’s unfathomable negligence in the death of Tonya Reaves raises numerous questions that demand answers,” Jansen added. “Why didn’t Planned Parenthood call 911 immediately once Tonya Reaves started experiencing complications following her abortion?”

“Did Planned Parenthood call a private ambulance company instead of calling 911? If so, why? It was a Chicago Fire Department ambulance that ultimately transported Tonya Reaves to Northwestern Memorial Hospital — five and a half hours after her abortion. If Planned Parenthood didn’t call 911, who notified the Fire Department and told them to send an ambulance?” Jansen asked. “Does Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center have a medical emergency policy? If so, was it followed in the case of Tonya Reaves?”

“Most abortion facilities in the state of Illinois are subject to inspections by the Department of Public Health. But due to a loophole in the state’s complicated abortion facility regulatory scheme, all Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in Illinois are unlicensed and not subject to state inspection,’” he continued. “As a result, there is a lot we don’t know about Illinois’ Planned Parenthood facilities.”

Jansen concluded: “But we do know that 24-year old Tonya Reaves had an abortion at Planned Parenthood’s Loop Health Center and died 12 hours later — and Planned Parenthood needs to be held accountable for her death.”

Read More

Abortion Regulations before Virginia Board September 14th

If you are in the Virginia Area, please attend this meeting and show your support for life.

CBS NEWS September 7th, 2012 Link

RICHMOND, Va. — Activists on both sides of the abortion debate are rallying their troops for a Virginia Board of Health meeting next week that could determine the future of many of the state’s 20 abortion clinics.

Abortion-rights advocates packed the board’s meeting in June and cheered when the board stripped from the proposed regulations a hotly contested provision requiring all clinics to meet the same strict architectural standards as newly constructed hospitals. They claimed the provision would require costly renovations that would force most clinics to close.

The following month, Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli refused to certify the regulations. Cuccinelli, an anti-abortion Republican, said the board overstepped its authority because legislation passed by the General Assembly requiring the licensure and regulation of abortion clinics specifically mandated the strict building standards.

Now the regulations are back before the board for reconsideration Sept. 14, and abortion-rights supporters plan to once again turn out in force to urge the board to reject Cuccinelli’s position and reapprove the waiver for existing clinics. This time, the conservative Family Foundation of Virginia is also encouraging abortion opponents to make a strong showing.

“We need to mobilize hundreds of pro-life Virginians at this meeting to show the Board of Health, the media, elected officials, and the electorate that we are pro-life, we are passionate, and we are the majority,” Victoria Cobb, the organization’s president, said in an email to supporters.

Cobb said in a telephone interview that even though she expects the board to make its decision based on the law, not which side is most vocal, and she didn’t want abortion-rights supporters to dominate the scene the way they did in June.

“We didn’t really publicize that meeting, and a lot of folks wish we had,” she said.

Shelley Abrams, executive director of A Capital Women’s Health Clinic in Richmond, said abortion-rights advocates again plan to show up early for a silent protest outside the meeting. In June, hundreds of abortion clinic workers and other opponents of the regulations held such a demonstration.

“We’re definitely hoping it’s going to be much bigger this time,” Abrams said.

Abrams and other abortion-rights supporters also are urging a new board member, , to recuse himself from voting on the regulations. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Seeds, an anti-abortion obstetrician/gynecologist and senior associate dean of the VCU School of Medicine, in July. Seeds served on a medical advisory panel that worked behind the scenes to help the Virginia Department of Health draft the regulations.

“We’re not saying he’s not fit to serve on the board,” Abrams said. “We’re saying you have to be able to make science-based and evidence-based decisions. He’s already proven with his activism against abortion that this is a crusade for him.”

Seeds said he has no intention of recusing himself. He said his critics are wrong.

“I will base my decision on my professional background,” Seeds said.

He declined to say how he would vote on the architectural provision, but added that the attorney general’s advice “needs to be taken seriously.”

The building standards that have been the focus of the dispute deal with things like hallway widths and room sizes. Other proposed regulations cover a range of issues, including the types of equipment a clinic must have, staffing levels and periodic inspections by state officials.

New Studies Report Higher Death Rates After Abortion in U.S., Finland, and Denmark

By Elliot Institute

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012 – 5:44 am

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sept. 5, 2012 –/PRNewswire/ — A new study of the medical records for nearly half a million women in Denmark reveals significantly higher maternaldeath rates following abortion compared to delivery. This finding has confirmed similar population studies conducted in Finland and the United States, but contradicts the widely held belief that abortion is safer than childbirth.

By linking records from Denmark’s fertility and abortion registries to death registry records, the researchers examined death rates following the first pregnancy outcome of all women of reproductive age in Denmark over a 30-year period, charting death rates at 180 days, 1 year, and in each of 10 subsequent years following each woman’s first pregnancy outcome. Significantly, higher rates of death were observed among women who aborted in every time period examined. (Graph: http://bit.ly/NOyrBa)

Overall, the study found that women who had first-trimester abortions had an 89 percent higher risk of death within the first year and an 80 percent higher risk of death over the full study period.

Published in the Medical Science Monitor, this is the first record linkage study of maternalmortality rates associated with abortion to be published using Denmark’s centralized health data. Record linkage studies of the population of Finland and of low-income women in California have also found elevated death rates associated with abortion.

Record Linkage Studies Eliminate Reporting Errors

The findings of these record linkage studies from three different countries contradict the conclusion that abortion is safer than childbirth. That view has traditionally been based on death certificates alone or on voluntary reporting to government agencies. For example, a recent study published in the February 2012 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology using the latter method concluded that thedeath rate associated with childbirth is 14 times higher than that associated with abortion.

According to Dr. David Reardon, an author of the new Danish record linkage study, the study published in February was an “apples versus oranges” comparison of two very incomplete and incomparable data sets.

“Doctors and other officials completing death certificates almost never know if the deceased had a history of abortion,” said Reardon, who directs the Elliot Institute. “Record linkage, such as we have done, is the only way to objectively identify and compare death rates associated with pregnancy outcome using the same yardstick.”

Arrange Interviews: Amy Sobie,  217-525-8202, elliotinstitute@gmail.com

Studies Mentioned:

Reardon, et al. Short and long term mortality rates associated with first pregnancy outcome: Population register based study for Denmark, 1980-2004. Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(9):PH71-76.

Gissler M, et al. Pregnancy-associated mortality after birth, spontaneous abortion or induced abortion in Finland, 1987-2000. Am J Ob Gyn 2004; 190:422-427.

Reardon, et al. Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low income women. South Med J 2002 Aug; 95(8):834-41.

Raymond, et al. The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and Childbirth in the United States. Obstetrics & Gynecology 2012; 119:215-219.

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Elliot Institute

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/05/4788611/new-studies-report-higher-death.html#storylink=cpy

 

A Handful of Texas Doctors Balk at Abortion Regulations

September 3, 2012

Doctors Fear “Gag Rule” Under New State Program For Women’s Health

by: Carrie Feibel, 88.7FM KUHF

Texas officials are putting together a new health program for low-income women to get reproductive services, one that will exclude Planned Parenthood. But as the politically-charged program takes shape, doctor’s groups say the new rules interfere with their first amendment rights.

Recently, legal battles have consumed the Women’s Health Program. It provides birth control and disease screening to poor women in Texas.

Texas wanted to exclude all Planned Parenthood clinics, even ones that don’t provide abortions, and in response the federal government withdrew most of the funding.

Now Texas is putting together state money for the program, and rewriting the rules.

Dr. Celia Neavel works at the People’s Community Clinic in Austin.

Her clinic currently takes part in the program, but she wonders about the new rules.

“So there were two things that the Texas Women’s Health Program wants to ensure. One is that you’re not an abortion provider – which my and most clinics are not – but the other thing that got tricky is that you cannot ‘promote’ abortion. That’s the part that’s been very concerning, is what does the word ‘promote’ mean.”

Neavel and other doctors wonder if they’ll get in trouble for even discussing abortion with a patient, or if a colleague in a different part of the clinic discusses it or hands out a brochure about it.

Dr. Michael Speer is president of the Texas Medical Association.

He says what the state proposes amounts to a gag rule on a doctor’s right to free speech.

“It’s the ability of the patient to discuss anything that patient wishes to discuss with her physician. And we don’t think it’s appropriate for a governmental entity to tell us what we can and cannot discuss with our patients.”

Stephanie Goodman of the state Health and Human Services Commission says the doctors’ fears are overblown.

“We’re not trying to get in the middle of that doctor-patient relationship, and we understand they have a professional standard they have to uphold. So I think that’s probably an area where we need to do some work on the wording of the rules to make it much clearer about what we were really trying to achieve there.”

Last fiscal year, Planned Parenthood served about 50,000 Texas women under the program – and many now question if the state will be able to sign up enough new doctors to fill the gap.

Even Dr. Neavel wonders if her clinic will continue to take part.

“And honestly, I signed initially to be part of this, because again we do not promote abortion but if it means we can’t discuss it when it comes up, if it means we can’t give a handout for services (about) where’s a legal place to go get further care within the community, then we’ll have to decide whether we want to accept this program. But that really breaks my heart because I like the patients and the kind of service they’re able to get through the program.”

Tomorrow in Austin, there will be a public hearing, and then the state expects to finalize the new rules in the next few weeks.

Source: http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/1346697196-Doctors-Fear-Gag-Rule-Under-New-State-Program-For-Womens-Health.html

MedSFLA National Webcast: Conscience Rights in America’s Medical Schools

Please join us this Tuesday, August 28th from 9pm – 9:45pm EST for a MedSFLA National Webcast: Conscience Rights in America’s Medical Schools.

Medical students at public colleges or universities have established constitutional rights to speak, associate, and exercise religious beliefs freely—rights that for too many are restricted, violated, or denied by universities. Compelled participation of students and faculty in advocacy of views and participation in procedures, both in and out of the classroom, that are contrary to their beliefs is unconstitutional.

Medical students have conscience rights to protect religious beliefs during med school, residency, and beyond, yet there remains so much confusion of what these rights are exactly.  That is why, MedSFLA is are offering a free, live webcast featuring Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney, Matt Bowman, on August 28th!  Mr. Bowman is going lay out the case for your conscience rights in medical school, the protections these rights offer, and what to do if these rights are violated.

To listen to the replay of this event:

When it Comes to Prenatal Nutrition FLOTUS Agrees it’s a Baby

By Jon Russell

First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), Michelle Obama, has a long track record of supporting abortion in all nine months of pregnancy.

According to Jill Stanek, RN, “in February 2004, Michelle Obama wrote a fundraising letter during her husband’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign claiming the partial birth abortion ban ‘is clearly unconstitutional’ and ‘a flawed law.'”

So why does her website “Let’s Move” espouse fetal nutrition? Why would she go so far as to even call “it” a baby when she has no problem terminating a child in his or her third trimester?

According to FLOTUS’ Let’s Move web site’s, MyPlate Plan for Nursing Moms and Moms-to-Be, “When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, she has special nutritional needs that can have a huge impact on the health of her baby. The Choose MyPlate Plan for Moms shows the foods and amounts that are right during pregnancy and when you are breastfeeding.”

But if the fetus is not a baby and can be terminated at any point during the pregnancy, then why would FLOTUS care whether the fetus is receiving proper nutrition in the womb?

The only theory we are left with is that the first lady knows that proper nutrition prior, during, and after pregnancy is important because the fetus is a living, growing, human being inside the mother. This is a common mixed message that those who advocate for abortion send and reason why their antiquated arguments, that the “fetus” is not a baby, no longer work.

More British women aborting their children over financial worries, say UK doctors

BY HILARY WHITE, ROME CORRESPONDENT | Tue Aug 14, 2012 16:02 EST

LONDON, August 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A survey by a market research firm has found that the global economic crisis may be influencing more British women to abort their children. The research by Insight Research Group found that about one-fifth of GPs are reporting more women requesting abortion for financial concerns.

Seventeen percent of GPs surveyed felt there was an increase in patients who “were specifically requesting terminations due to financial concerns.” Fifty-four percent of those GPs said they believed the biggest increase was among women ages 26-35. Another twenty-three percent believed the biggest increase was among single women with no previous children, while twenty-one percent said they believed it was among single women living with a “partner” with 1 to 3 previous children.

Thirty-four percent of all the GPs surveyed said that they are seeing women putting off having children “until their financial security improved.”

The findings echo those of Russian demographers who fear that recent gains in the country’s abysmally low fertility rate will be lost as more women turn to abortion to ease financial worries http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/international-life-and-family-roundup1 .

Although pro-life observers say that they have no argument with the study’s findings, they question the reaction of GPs who endorse abortion for financial reasons.

Anthony Ozimic, the communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said that for authority figures like doctors to affirm with their actions that an abortion is an acceptable solution to financial anxiety sends a profoundly negative message to the culture at large.

“Whatever the merits or otherwise of this study, Western society will continue in its moral and demographic declines as long as the message goes out that women should abort their children or significantly postpone conceiving because of financial concerns,” Ozimic said.

The UK should follow the lead of other EU countries who are offering financial, tax and other incentives to increase the financial security of families and encourage couples to marry earlier and have children, Ozimic said. Instead, the myth is being promulgated that there is such a thing as a “perfect” economic condition in which to have children, when the reality is that such conditions will not exist while the European fertility rate continues to decline.

“While prudence in planning a family is necessary, optimal economic conditions for raising children are illusory.”

Ozimic confirmed that the law does not technically allow for abortions for financial or “social” reasons, but said that doctors have been granted enormous latitude in deciding what factors in a woman’s life constitute a threat to her “mental health”.

This is acknowledged even by the courts to be the case, despite voluminous research demonstrating that abortion has a serious, long-term negative impact on women’s mental health and increasing skepticism http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-study-says-pregnancy-is-safe-even-beneficial-for-women-recovering-from/  among the psychiatric community of the existence of any mental health benefits of abortion.

Just 0.006% of British abortions done to save mother’s life, or prevent serious injury

BY HILARY WHITE, ROME CORRESPONDENT Mon Aug 13, 2012 15:49 EST

WESTMINSTER, August 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Figures released by the Department of Health last week show that of the over 6 million abortions committed in England and Wales since legalization in 1967, 0.006 percent were performed with the intention of saving the life of the mother or preventing serious injury.

A total of 143 abortions have been obtained under the legal grounds allowing abortion “where the termination is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.” An additional 23,778 abortions, or 0.37 percent of the total abortions performed between 1968 and 2011, were committed because the continuance of pregnancy was deemed to constitute a “risk” to the life of the mother “greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.”

The information was released at the request of Lord David Alton, a former Labour and Liberal Democrat Party MP and now member of the House of Lords who sits on a parliamentary pro-life committee. Lord Alton wrote that when the case was made for legalizing abortion, it was argued that the law needed to be changed to “deal with extremely serious situations.”

“More than 6 million abortions later the figures reveal that in 99.5% of cases where an unborn child’s life is ended there is no risk to the health of the mother,” he said.

“Other figures reveal that three teenage girls have had 24 abortions between them and that some women have had more than eight legal abortions.”

The 1967 Abortion Act, under its current wording and including all amendments, allows abortion before 24 weeks gestation if there is deemed to be “a risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated,” of “injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family;” and to “prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.”

As well, if there is a “substantial risk” that the child suffers from “such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped,” he can be aborted up to the end of full gestation, though doctors are rarely willing to abort a late or full-term child.

Abortions must be approved by two doctors, though it was recently revealed that this rule is widely ignored.

These rules have been interpreted by both doctors and judges so broadly that pro-life observers maintain that they have effectively permitted abortion on demand up to 24 weeks.

In 2002, Lord Justice Laws said, “There is some evidence that many doctors maintain that the continuance of a pregnancy is always more dangerous to the physical welfare of a woman than having an abortion, a state of affairs which is said to allow a situation of de facto abortion on demand to prevail.”

Pro-life advocates have long maintained that there is no circumstance in which an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother.

Earlier this year an eminent Irish oncologist, professor and politician, who is himself not pro-life, wrotethat in all his years practicing he has never encountered a situation in which abortion was needed to save a mother’s life.

Dr. John Crown, who has lectured in 40 countries and is the author of 150 research papers told his Twitter followers that he had during his medical career faced some “hard decisions re: chemotherapy in pregnancy.”

However, he said, “I don’t think I ever had a case where abortion was necessary to save mom.”