October 24th, 2007 06:25 EST
In Wake of Kansas Abortion Clinic Charges, CMA Physicians Call for Stricter Scrutiny
The Christian Medical Association today called for increased oversight of abortion clinics, citing charges brought against a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas.
CMA's CEO, Dr. David Stevens, noted, "This case raises larger questions we should be asking about abortion clinics nationwide. Why does the abortion industry remain the most unregulated medical operation in this country? Is political correctness stifling investigations and enforcement of the law?
"If just 29 records from one Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Kansas have produced 107 criminal charges, isn't it possible that similar abuses are also occurring at other of the 860 Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide? With our tax dollars supporting Planned Parenthood, the public has a right to know.
"These questions need to be addressed much more forcefully, with oversight hearings by state and federal legislators and also with increased scrutiny and recommendations for reform by medical oversight organizations."
Dr. Stevens added, "Abortion proponents obviously would like to dodge questions about performing illegal late-term abortions and try to portray this as a personality contest between a pro-abortion Attorney General and a pro-life District Attorney. But this case ultimately will hinge on facts and evidence. So far, the most relevant fact is that a judge has examined the evidence and determined that probable cause exists that the clinic has been falsifying documents and performing illegal late-term abortions.
"Might it be that behind the mantra of making abortion 'safe, legal and rare' lies a reality of medically unsafe abortion clinics, illegal patient practices and abortions performed outside the law?
"A key allegation in this case is that the abortion clinic staff consistently failed to accurately determine the age of the unborn baby and thereby broke the law that disallows late-term abortions except in exceptional cases. Ultrasound is normally required to make this determination, and offers a very accurate way to measure fetal age by taking precise measurements of the size of the head, femur length, and other critical measurements, yielding an estimate consistently accurate to within one week of gestation.
"Aborting an unborn baby after 22 weeks not only poses increased risks to the mother but also inflicts pain on the developing baby. Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives by renowned fetal pain expert Dr. K. J. S. Anand, an abortion rights advocate, noted that 'hunger and pain may be the earliest ... emotions to develop in the fetus' and provided evidence for the 'high likelihood of fetal pain perception before the third trimester of human gestation.(1)' In a federal court case in New York on partial-birth abortion, Dr. Anand testified that 'between 20 and 30 weeks of gestation there is the greatest sensitivity to pain" and that a partial-birth abortion beyond 20 weeks would involve "prolonged and excruciating pain to the fetus.(2)'
"Other experts have testified similarly regarding fetal pain. Dr. Jean Wright, Chair of Pediatrics at the Mercer School of Medicine, testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, 'The development of the perception of pain begins at the 6th week of life. By 20 weeks, and perhaps even earlier, all the essential components of anatomy, physiology, and neurobiology exist to transmit painful sensations from the skin to the spinal cord and to the brain.'
"This case may be bringing to light not only the legal and medical abuses that can happen in a largely unregulated abortion industry, but also the horrific physical abuse inflicted on a developing baby during an abortion."
- Written testimony of K. J. S. Anand, MBBS, D.Phil., FAAP, FCCM, FRCPCH "A scientific appraisal of Fetal Pain and Conscious Sensory Perception," Constitution Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, November 1, 2005.
- Cited in speech by Rep. Mike Pence to the U.S. House of Representatives on April 21, 2004.
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