It has been an amazing couple of weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. First, one of the Albuquerque Journal's featured writers had a front page story against a woman's right to know bill in the state legislature. The measure never did see the light of day. Usually, that's where the published opinions stop, but credit has to be given to the newspaper for running many letters to the editor focusing on the pro-life view. The Journal also had a front page article about the investigation of a late-term abortionist in Albuquerque. The result was in favor of the doctor, but it did bring to light for the public that there is a late-term abortion facility here. Here is the article by the Journal reporter followed by some of the letters that were published. To see all of the letters (there were a couple supporting abortion) go to the Albuquerque Journal's website under "opinions" on the top.
Hands Off New Mexico's Abortion Rights Laws
Jolene Gutierrez Krueger
Jan. 28, 2013
It’s curious how often the people who are against the government laying a hand on their guns are the same people who want the government to put its hands all over our lady parts.
New Mexico appears to have mostly bucked this odd incongruity, maintaining its wild West gun-loving ways while staying relatively relaxed on abortion and birth control issues. Recently, for instance, the national SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective rated New Mexico No. 1 in the nation for providing equal access to sexual and reproductive health services. ...
House Bill 122, also known as the Woman’s Right To Know Act, would require a woman to view a play-by-play obstetric ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the unborn child she is preparing to abort.
The ultrasound — which could include the more invasive transvaginal kind if the woman and her physician so desired — would require the physician to serve as a uterine tour guide, pointing out to the woman all the organs and limbs the fetus has developed and the dimensions of each. But here’s a tiny kindness: Neither the woman nor the physician would be penalized if the woman chose to avert her eyes or plug her ears during the gruesome experience.
The bill would also require that the woman be told 24 hours in advance about the medical risks — which the bill says includes a higher rate of breast cancer, a statement many medical experts say is untrue — and that she may be eligible to receive prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care benefits (from the government) and financial support from the baby’s daddy.
In addition, the Women’s Right to Know Act would require the state Department of Health to collect a dizzying amount of data from each abortion recipient and maintain a website that provides information on public and private agencies that can assist a woman through pregnancy and childbirth or, conversely, adoption.
The site would also include “realistic” images of fetuses from conception to birth, in two-week increments. Those images would also include “objective” information on the fetus’s chances of survival outside the womb, the medical risks of aborting or continuing the pregnancy at each stage and the possible detrimental medical and psychological effects of abortion. Failing to abide by the act could result in felony charges and civil penalties.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Nora Espinoza, a Roswell Republican who recently introduced the controversial House Bill 114, which would make it a felony to enforce federal gun laws in New Mexico.
The Woman’s Right to Know Act was conceived by the folks at National Right to Life and has been enacted in other states, said Dauneen Dolce, executive director of the New Mexico chapter. Dolce contends the bill simply seeks to provide information to the woman, not toss cruel hurdles in her way. “Seventy percent of women who walk in abortion clinics don’t want to be there, but they don’t know what the alternatives are,” she said. “Women should be informed.”
But Martha Edmands, public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, said the bill assumes women are too stupid to have educated themselves on information that is readily available.
“Sixty percent of women who have abortions are already mothers, so it’s not like they don’t understand what pregnancy means and what terminating that pregnancy means,” she said. “This bill is a huge intrusion into the confidential relationship with a woman and her doctor.”
Ultrasounds are already part of the abortion process, and the woman already has the discretion on whether or not to view the screen, Edmands said.
Monitoring the fetal heart rate, if one is present at all, has no medical relevance to the procedure, she added. It’s just cruel,” she said.
It’s also condescending, intimidating and a clumsy attempt at circumventing the law of the land that keeps abortion legal — just as owning a gun, for the most part, remains legal.
I suspect gun devotees will continue to fight for their right to bear arms. So, too, will women who believe their right to choose is just as sacrosanct, if not more so. As these wars rage on, we should at least be honest about our intentions.
Read entire article here.
We Are a Species That Kills Our Own Young
Sid Gutierrez - Retired Astronaut
Joline Gutierrez Krueger’s column on Jan. 28th deserves an appropriate response from those of us who value every human life. The issue she addresses has become very controversial as the tone in her article indicates, but I really don’t think it needs to be so.
Please let me explain.
The issue of abortion really comes down to two very basic observations and the answer to a single question. First, the observations. If an abortion really involves the removal of nothing more than growing tissue within the womb, then no justification is necessary. If abortion actually involves taking the life of an innocent unborn child, then no justification is sufficient.
So the only question that needs to be resolved is whether that which is growing within the womb is tissue or child. Arguments not addressing this question are irrelevant. Krueger provides the answer to this question in her article. She describes the proposed requirement to “view a play by play obstetric ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the unborn child” as a “gruesome experience.”
Why would it be gruesome? I recall my wife and I listening carefully in the doctor’s office for the heart beat of our unborn children. My grown daughters now proudly place ultrasound images of their unborn children on Facebook for all of their friends to see. These actions are viewed as beautiful and joyous, not as “cruel.”
Krueger describes these as gruesome not because of what one sees or hears, but because of what one knows will happen to the living human being that is being witnessed. Using her own words: “As these wars rage on, we should at least be honest about our intentions.” In everyone’s heart of hearts we all know that these are children, not tissue. That is the only reason she could describe this requirement as gruesome. Her words betray her.
This issue is not going away, because issues involving violations of basic human rights never go away. Instead they grow as people become better informed, until finally one can no longer deny the truth. Just like the issues surrounding slavery and civil rights grew until they had to be faced. Two forces are conspiring to make that day grow closer for the issue of abortion.
The first is better imaging technology, including the very ultrasound that Krueger rails against. Images of the unborn child are improving so that each day the truth becomes harder to deny.
The second force is the Internet. Media censorship of the true face of abortion is the most successful mass censorship of our time. We are shown truly gruesome images of war including bloated, fly covered corpses along with burnt bodies hanging from bridges or being dragged through streets. But if the image of an aborted fetus is ever shown, it is carefully blurred to the point that it cannot be recognized. But the Internet has broken the media’s censorship and is providing transparency into the true face of abortion. Thanks to this invention, these images are now being viewed by many on websites that clearly show how gruesome abortion is.
I was an astronaut and give occasional presentations about the shuttle missions I flew. I am often asked if I believe in aliens. I usually mention something about how I believe that people who encounter aliens are experiencing something, but because we cannot explain it in our current understanding of nature, we dismiss the claims.
More recently I have been begun to think of this question in a different way. Just suppose an advanced civilization traveled thousands of light years through space undetected by our telescopes and radars to visit our planet and see what we are up to. Just what would they report back? Well they might well respond to us the way we react when we observe certain species of animals.
When we encounter a species that kills its young, we are hesitant to view them in a positive light. So I can only guess what type of message a truly advanced civilization would send back after seeing what we do to our unwanted, unborn children.
It would probably read: “Avoid contact. Very primitive. They kill their young so they can live as they wish.” I plagiarized the last few words from Mother Teresa.
Column Exaggerates Bill
I believe this bill, while not denying a woman the right to choose, is intended to give women a chance to understand fully what an abortion entails as to the health of the pregnant woman and the life of a child.
Krueger puts every aspect of this bill in the worst possible light. For example:
1. She speaks of an ultrasound requirement in terms of an “invasive transvaginal” procedure, whereas the bill only requires an ultrasound “using whatever method the physician and patient agree is best under the circumstances.”
2. She speaks of a requirement that the physician serve as a “uterine tour guide,” whereas the bill requires the physician “to give a verbal explanation of what the ultrasound is depicting.”
3. She complains that a physician must explain the medical risks of abortion, particularly focusing in on the additional risk of breast cancer, as to which medical experts apparently differ. The bill requires a description of medical risks “including, when medically accurate, the risks of infection, hemorrhage, breast cancer, danger to subsequent pregnancies and infertility.” (Anyone who ever has had a medical procedure in a hospital or clinic is aware of all the forms that must be signed to acknowledge the risks involved in any procedure.)
To conclude, I believe Rep Espinoza’s bill is a reasonable exercise of legislative judgment, carefully constructed to maintain a woman’s right to choose, at most the inconvenience of her taking the time to learn what an abortion is all about in terms of medical risk and the life and death of a baby in the womb.
Writer Full of Contradictions
She thinks an ultrasound is an invasive procedure, but an abortion is not.
She is the adoptive mother of children with special needs, yet she supports abortion on demand, which is often used to get rid of children with special needs before they can be born.
She believes people shouldn’t have guns because people use them to kill, yet she supports abortion, which kills.
She says she believes in women’s rights, but not in telling women facts about their pregnancies or their options once the baby is born.
She is concerned that doctors discussing the reality of a baby in the uterus is “cruel,” yet she does not consider that killing that baby is cruel … to the baby, the mother or the father.
Krueger is unable to form a coherent argument in favor of abortion, yet she champions it as a good choice for women. It’s too bad that common sense is not something that can be learned in a classroom, because if it was, we could take up a collection to send Krueger back to school. Perhaps one day she will sit down, look at her children, and listen to her own heart instead of the relentless abortion lobby.
Fetuses Can Feel Pain
“In fact, unborn babies probably feel pain more intensely than adults. This is a uniquely vulnerable time since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher-level pain modifying system has barely begun to develop,” Dr. Paul Renalli, neurologist, University of Toronto. 2. “The neural pathways are present for pain to be experienced quite early by unborn babies,” Steven Calvin, M.D., perinatologist, professor of obstetrics, chair of the Program in Human Rights Medicine, University of Minnesota.
Abortion Not Just About ‘Lady Parts’
THE JOURNAL’S UpFront piece (Jan. 28) began with, “It’s curious how often the people who are against (gun restriction) are the same people who want the government to put its hands all over our lady parts.”
Not quite. There is more to the abortion equation than “lady parts.”
The simple medical fact is that a baby growing inside a woman’s womb is a completely separate human being with its own separate blood type, DNA and fingerprints. Early into gestation, a fetus even experiences pain. At 20 weeks, an unborn child’s nerve connections for sensing pain have developed. And, according to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ former president, Dr. Richard Schmidt, “It can be clearly demonstrated that fetuses seek to evade certain stimuli” the same way adults react to pain.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently published an article demonstrating that 80 percent of British neuroscientists recommend providing unborn children with pain medication for abortions after 11 weeks gestation. Fetal pain has little to do with “lady parts.”
In this seemingly endless debate on abortion, there should at least be balance. There should not be a singular focus on “lady parts” or any other entity that excludes attention to the unborn child.
Why Was March for Life Ignored?
THE MARCH FOR Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday (Jan. 25), with at least 500,000 attending, was completely ignored by the Albuquerque Journal, but you did have the space to write about Hillary Clinton’s glasses.
The pro-life march in Santa Fe on Jan. 16 wasn’t even considered a newsworthy story by the local media, but on Sunday there was a long article in this paper about the anti-gun march by a only a few thousand in Washington, D.C.
The vast amount of coverage that is given when an infant is killed is entirely appropriate, but where are the stories about more than a dozen unborn humans that die by abortion every day in Albuquerque? There is only silence about this horror. We have one of the very few late-term abortion facilities in the country, and there isn’t any outcry from the media, churches, or the public at large.
Some say abortion is a political or religious issue, so they can give a justification for their apathy. If they were aware that a newborn baby or infant was being beaten to death next door to them, would they respond by saying that it’s a political or religious issue and consequently not do anything? If a young child was about to cross the street into oncoming traffic, would they immediately try to stop them or would they make up an excuse for their inaction?
We have a moral responsibility for the human rights of the unborn. The unborn aren’t given any rights, even though they are just in a different location and are usually not as developed as a newborn. Everyone in this community needs to stand up for the innocent lives that are being destroyed at an alarming rate. The least the Albuquerque Journal could do is expose this tragedy, but it can’t even bring itself to report on others who are shining the light on it.