Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years!

Mysterg at Meditations in an Emergency shares Ten Commandments for a Happy New Year. I hope you find encouragement and strength in them, as I have.

Now for New Years Resolutions. For this coming year, I pledge to:
-Lose 30 pounds by 1)Using my Curves/YWCA membership 2)Exercising twice a week 3)Developing healthier eating habits
-To finish my wedding thank-you notes.

What are some of you New Years Resolutions?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I will be traveling and so blogging will be light for the next 4 to 5 days. I wish everyone a safe and happy New Years!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Miracle: Mom and Baby Given Second Chance at Life

Full Video Story
On Christmas Eve, an expectant Colorado mom went into cardiac arrest during labor and died, along with her baby. An emergency c-section was preformed to deliver the baby, but after birth the baby wasn't breathing on it's own. But miraculously, both managed to revive and survived. It is unknown what caused the mother's heart to stop during labor. Mother and baby are now home and doing well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays From My Family to You and Yours!

Wishing everyone joy, health, and peace this Holiday Season and throughout the year.


It looks like it's going to be a white Christmas after all.


Nala: Ohh, ohh! I want to help decorate!


The tree with just the beads on...and yes, that's Dad hiding behind the tree :)

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We keep in our hearts and remember those family members who are no longer with us.


This angel tree-topper was hand-made by Mom and Dad over 30 years ago


This poor one-legged Santa ornament has been in the family for many years

Photobucket Photobucket

Monday, December 14, 2009

Planned Parenthood Caught Lying on Video

Last week, Live Action Video released their newest video, the first in the Rosa Acuna project, which reveals undercover footage showing a abortion practitioner and staff making erroneous statements about fetal development and abortion's risks, to two young women (played by Lila Rose and a friend), in a counseling session at a Planned Parenthood in Appleton, Wisconsin. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion. Lila Rose, the 21-year-old UCLA student and Live Action president, told, that medical lies and manipulative counseling are routine at Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider.

In the video, one of the two women, ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman's 8 week old embryo has a heartbeat (the pregnancy is 10 weeks LMP). The counselor emphasizes "heart tones," and answers, "Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus--can survive--which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks."

It is clear that this Planned Parenthood employee is confusing when the fetal heart begins to beat, with viability, when the fetus' organs are mature enough for the fetus to be able to survive after birth (induced or natural). Evenso, the explination of heart tones is in particular, medically inaccurate and dishonest. An embryo/fetus' heart beat is the same thing as fetal heart tones and the term "fetal heart tone" is used to describe the sound made by the heart beating and this is the sound picked up by a Doppler ultrasound (source). The fetal heart beat can be picked up with a Doppler ultrasound, at the earliest, during the 9-10th week of pregnancy, and sometimes not until the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy (source). However, while it is not detectable immediately, the rudimentary heart has been beating since day 22-25 or 3 weeks since ovulation, 5 weeks since LMP.  The development of the fetal heart is not dependent upon viability, which is a seperate event and occurs not until somewhere around 23 to 25 weeks.

"Heart – begins to beat in Humans by day 22-23, first functioning embryonic organ formed."

"The embryonic heart starts beating 22 days after conception, or about five weeks after the last menstrual period, which by convention we call the fifth week of pregnancy."

"A primitive S-shaped tubal heart is beating and peristalsis, the rhythmic muscle contractions propelling fluids throughout the body, begins"

"The heart begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day following fertilization [5 weeks LMP - Ed.]." -

"Embryonic Heart Rate (EHR), early in development the heart starts to spontaneously beat" -

This scientific information contrasts to the misinformation the Planned Parenthood employee gave. The Planned Parenthood employee then goes on to talk about the ability of the fetus to survive outside the uterus -- which is not what the patient asked. She didn't ask if her baby could survive if it were born at that moment. She asked if her baby's heart was beating. The Planned Parenthood employee tries to divert the patient's interest from what matters to her -- Is the heart beating? -- to what the employee is more comfortable talking about, the nonviability of the fetus, and the Planned Parenthood employee tries to avoid discussing and  minimizes the fetal development in hopes to diminish the patient's concern for her embryo/fetus: "Heart tones is cardiac activity, but it is not a beat on your own-that you would survive on your own outside the uterus. Obviously if a fetus at 10 weeks could survive outside the uterus you wouldn't be pregnant for 40 weeks."

When the client then asks, "What's fetal?" the Planned Parenthood counselor then says, "A fetus is what's in the uterus right now. That is not a baby. A baby is what is born at 40 weeks. A fetus is what is in your uterus right now."

Former Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson reaffirms this and is quoted in the video saying, "...they don't necessarily want to talk about all the aspects of fetal development...they don't want to talk about when your baby has a heart beat...they don't want to talk about when organs start to develop...they don't want to give the woman information that could make that connection...that could give her a connection with her baby."

The patient then asks for a consult with the doctor. When the doctor comes in, known only as Dr. "P", he avoids the patient's questions and tries to push for an exam first -- to move this patient along in the process and to get her past asking questions.

The patient to the doctor, "The other lady told me I could talk to you first like what the procedures were-" at which time the doctor cut her off and said, "I'm going to go over that with you as soon as I do the exam."

The further you are along in a process, the less willing you are to back out. And this doctor, like the other staff, are trying to keep this patient from thinking too much about her pregnancy and what she's about to undergo. If they were interested in giving this patient complete information and time to thoroughly consider her options before proceeding with the abortion, why would they avoid or redirect her questions and push for going straight into the exam?

The doctor then gives in and allows the patient to ask her questions. When asked, "When does it become a baby," he gives a conflicting and subjective philosphical statement:

The Planned Parenthood counselor earlier told her: "A baby is what's born at fourty weeks."

Dr. "P" said: "When you're like seven months pregnant or so. Six, seven months pregnant." and insists "It's not a baby at this stage or anything like that."

While "fetus" is a correct medical term to describe the developing human during pregnancy, the term "baby" is not incorrect and is a layman's term, which may be used by the woman to describe her feelings towards the embryo/fetus. To give you an idea of what the pregnancy looks like at this stage of development, here are some images of the embryo at 56 - 60 days post-ovulation (8 weeks fetal age, 10 weeks, LMP):

"Most embryos at [Carnegie] stage 23 are approximately 56-57 postovulatory days old and measure 23-32 mm in length. Distinguishing criteria for this stage include fusion of the eyelids at the medial and lateral margins, clear distinction of the subdivisions of the upper and lower limbs, the forearms appear at or above the level of the shoulders, the superficial vascular plexus of the head is very close to the vertex, and the external genitalia are well developed but not always sufficiently to distinguish the embryo's sex." (source)

More on the embryonic development at this stage:

Head and Neck
Head is erect and rounded. External ear is completely developed. The eyes are closed, but the retina of the eye is fully pigmented. The eyelids begin to unite and are only half closed. Taste buds begin to form on the surface of the tongue. The primary teeth are at cap stage. Bones of the palate begin to fuse. Scalp plexus reaches head vertex.

Intestines begin to migrate from the umbilical cord into the body cavity.

External genitals still difficult to recognize.

Upper and lower limbs are well formed. Fingers get longer and toes no longer webbed and all digits are separate and distinct.

Spine, Skeleton, and Muscles
Layer of rather flattened cells, the precursor of the surface layer of the skin, replaces the thin ectoderm of the embryo. Tail (the enlongated spinal cord) has disappeared.

Definately not just a "mass of tissue" or "undifferentiated cells" as most pro-choicers will claim.

The abortion practitioner then goes on to provide one-sided information in order to persuade this woman to have an abortion, saying, "This is very safe. The stage you're at right now is very, very safe. Safer than having a baby, actually." He then goes on to add, "You know, women die having babies."

According to Jezebel, the claim "Abortion is safer than childbirth" comes from 2002 CDC statistics. In 2002, the CDC recorded 9 deaths out of 845,573 abortions. That's a little over 1 in 100,000. Also in 2002, the CDC recorded 8.9 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. From there, they deduct carrying a child to term was about 9 times more dangerous than having an abortion. However, there are some issues with this approach and deduction, with the comparison of abortion mortality and maternal mortality rates. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control report for pregnancy-related mortality rates: "In this report, a woman's death was classified as pregnancy-related if it occurred during pregnancy or within 1 year of pregnancy and resulted from 1) complications of the pregnancy, 2) a chain of events that was initiated by the pregnancy, or 3) the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of the pregnancy or its management" (source). This means pregnancy-related mortality rates are broadly defined to included the following: aggravation of a maternal pre-existing, non-pregnancy-related medical condition, pregnancy-induced maternal medical condition, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, still birth, post-partum complications, and includes induced abortion. Therfore the maternal mortality rates are inflated and we are not comparing with the pregnancy mortality rate alone. In addition, regarding the CDC and AGI reports for Induced Abortions, mortalities resulting from induced abortion are typically under-reported as such. One reason is that a medical examiner may code the underlying cause of death on the autopsy report as the complication alone, i.e. embolism, septsis, hemorrhage, or anesthesia complications, rather than correctly as a legally induced abortion with specified complication. A good explination of this can be found here. Therefore it is misleading to compare pregnancy-related mortality rates to abortion mortality rates to obtain the conclusion that abortion is safer than childbirth.

The patient then asks, "Do women die with abortions?" A very common question women ask about the safety of the procedure, to which the abortion practioner replies, "Yes. But it's never happened to me..." This marks the end of the video.

Let me take a moment to address abortion safety, since it was brought up. According to E-Medicine: Abortion Complications complications of spontaneous and therapeutic abortions include (1) complications of anesthesia, (2) postabortion triad (ie, pain, bleeding, low-grade fever), (3) hematometra, (4) retained products of conception, (5) uterine perforation, (6) bowel and bladder injury, (7) failed abortion, (8) septic abortion, (9) cervical shock, (10) cervical laceration, and (11) disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Frequency of complications depends on gestational age at time of abortion and method of abortion. Complication rates according to gestational age at time of abortion are as follows: for 8 weeks and under - Less than 1% or less than 17,300 women will experience complications, for 8-12 weeks - 1.5 to 2% or 25,950 to 34,600 women, 12-13 weeks - 3 to 6% or 51,900 to 103,800 women, Second trimester - Up to 50% or 865,000 women, possibly higher.

Mortality and morbidity depend on gestational age (GA) at time of abortion. In the US, mortality rates per 100,000 abortions are as follows: (1) fewer than 8 weeks, 0.5; (2) 11-12 weeks, 2.2; (3) 16-20 weeks, 14; and (4) more than 21 weeks, 18. Let me put this into perspective for you. Consider that in 2002, 1.3 million abortions were preformed and and 430,000 spontaneous abortions occured in the United States, (source: Unintended Pregnancy Statistics) for this purpose, a total of 1.73 million, correlating the number of total spontaneous and elective abortions to the above mortality rates for spontaneous and elective abortions <-- 0.5 in 100,00 is equivalent to 1 in 200,000, divide 1.73 million by 200,00 and so on --> this translates to the following statistic number of mortalities (or deaths) which occur for spontaneous and elective abortions (but keep in mind the actual numbers may be higher or lower), (1) fewer than 8 weeks, 8.7 deaths, (2)11-12 weeks, 38 deaths, (3) 16-20 weeks, 242 deaths, 4) more than 21 weeks, 311 deaths. To put a face on these deaths, the Real Choice website features the names and cases of women killed during abortions.

Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, told the Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper the video is questionable and Planned Parenthood dismisses the attacks as false and inflammatory. Also, Planned Parenthood once again cites the context of the video as unclear in part because the video is edited. However Lila Rose said her group plans to provide the raw, unedited video to authorities. She said she also will post full footage on the Live Action Web site but declined to say when. Despite Planned Parenthood's attempts to dismiss this video, I think the facts of the matter speak loud and clear, that two Planned Parenthood employees did indeed provide misleading and subjective information, in order to persuade this woman to choose abortion. It was wrong for Planned Parenthood staff to intentially misinform or withhold information from the woman about fetal development or information on what is going on in her own body, in order to suite their own ideological preferences. Medical professionals have an ethical and legal obligation to provide complete and accurate information, not just what suits their own personal or political agenda, which is what the Planned Parenthood staff is doing here. Planned Parenthood has come under fire recently after Live Action's investigations found its centers willing to conceal sexual abuse and accept donations targeted to preform abortions on African-Americans specifically.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Top Six Signs That You're Over 50...

Irony in Life

Lovingly and humorously dedicated to my parents, aunts, and uncles.

You Know You're Over 50 When...

1. You've began to receive mailings for the AARP.

2. You've received a free trial for Life Alert and considered using it.

3. A waitress at a restraunt gave you a senior discount...even though you're not over 65.

4. One of your co-workers invited you to join the local chapter of the Red Hat Society...eventhough you're not over 55.

5. Your shopping list primarily consists of high fiber foods, ibruprofen, hair coloring, and Icy Hot.

And last but not least...

6. One morning, as you look in the mirror, you've realized everything's moved south.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Debunking the Coat-Hanger Myth

The coat-hanger has become the pro-choice movement's rallying cry and you will often hear the claim that when abortion was illegal, large numbers of women either attempted abortion on themselves with sharp or caustic liquids or went to back alley, medically untrained, practitioners, and often died in the process. And they further make the claim that if abortion is restricted or made illegal again, abortion will become unsafe and women will resort self-induced abortion or dangerous means of obtaining one. But how accurate or true are these claims? Abortion right advocates also often make their claim by touting individuals cases of illegal abortions which led to death, such as Gerri Santoro, but while these cases are tragic, individual cases of ancedotal evidence does not make for a strong case. So let's take a look at the facts of abortion practice before legalization:
"Mary Claderone (then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood) and Nancy Howell Lee (a pro choice researcher) both investigated the practice of criminal abortion in the pre-legalization era. Calderone estimated that "90% of all illegal abortions are presently (1960 - ed) being done by physicians." Calderone further estimated that 8% were self-induced and that 2% were induced by someone other than the woman or a doctor. Lee estimated that 89% of pre-legalization abortions were done by physicians, an additional 5% by nurses or others with some medical training, and 6% were done by non-medical persons or the woman herself. Calderone's numbers came from "43 men and women from the various disciplines of obstetrics, psychiatry, public health, sociology, forensic medicine, and law and demography." Lee interviewed women who had undergone pre-legalization abortions. The discrepancy between Lee's and Calderone's breakdowns of non-physician abortions is probably due to sampling errors."
And on the 5% of amature and self-induced abortions: "Lee's interviews with women who had self-aborted found a different picture from the women who had sought professional (however illegal) abortions. These self-aborting women tended to be less rational, and more self-destructive, than the women seeking competent abortionists. Lee also found that the women attempting self-abortion were likely to have had a death wish at the time of the abortion.
This finding is in keeping with psychiatric literature of the time, which treats self-induced abortion as a peculiar manifestation of the self-mutilating behavior common in patients with certain psychiatric disorders.
Self-mutilation in patients with these disorders can range from superficial cuts and cigarette burns to self-trepanning (drilling holes in the skull), enoculation (gouging the eyes out), and amputation of limbs.
Mutilation of the genitals is not rare in these patients, and self-induced abortion was often regarded as an extreme form of genital mutilation aimed at attacking the patient's own femininity. It was in the political context, not the psychiatric or psychological context, that self-induced abortions were considered to be the expected behavior of normal women. This politicized view of self-aborting women eclipsed the reality, and case studies stopped showing up in the literature, although occasional stories still do make it into the newspaper.
This is not to say that all women who self-induce abortions are mentally ill. Investigators of post-Roe self-induced abortion injuries and deaths found other factors, such as distrust of the medical profession, a perception of home herbal abortion as more "natural," cultural preferences, and "ideosyncratic" factors nobody could readily explain. These women, however, carefully research abortion methods and use common sense and intelligence to select a method likely to be efficacious and comparatively safe.(source)
Just how many criminal abortions were there before legalization? This is an excellent question, and a difficult one to answer.

Abortion-rights advocates often parrot the claim, "There were 5,000 to 10,000 unsafe abortion deaths before legalization." This claim is nothing more than a well-established myth. In debunking this myth, let's look at the source:
"In the case of the 5,000 - 10,000 claims, the original source was a book -- Abortion, Spontaneous and Induced -- published in 1936 by Dr. Frederick Taussig, a leading proponent of legalization of abortion. Taussig calculated an urban abortion rate based on records of a New York City birth control clinic, and a rural abortion rate based on some numbers given to him by some doctors in Iowa. He took a guess at a mortality rate, multiplied by his strangely generated estimate of how many criminal abortions were taking place, and presto! A myth is born!
Even if Taussig's calculations, by some mathematical miracle, had been correct, they still would have been out of date by the end of WWII. Antibiotics and blood transfusions changed the face of medicine. But not only are the Taussig numbers dated, they were never accurate to begin with. At a conference in 1942, Taussig himself appologized for using "the wildest estimates" to generate a bogus number. Although it took Taussig six years to reject his own faulty calculations, at least he did admit that he'd been wrong. Other abortion enthusiasts lacked Taussig's compunctions. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, admitted that he and his associates knew that the claims of 5,000 to 10,000 criminal abortion deaths were false. They bandied them about anyway, Nathanson confessed, because they were useful. This, too, is old news -- Nathanson came clean over twenty years ago." (source)

Because this is before the Centers for Disease Control began Abortion Surveillance Activities in 1968, and began looking at abortion mortality in earnest in 1972, all abortion deaths were typically counted together: legal (or "therapeutic"), illegal, and spontaneous (miscarriage). Mary Calderone, who was then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood, reported on a conference studying abortion in America. She indicated that in 1957, there were 260 abortion deaths nationwide. That number included all abortions: legal, illegal, and spontaneous. The caluclations based on state maternal mortality investigations are fairly close to Calderone's numbers based on national data. These numbers were based on alerting doctors, law enforcement, coroners, and hospital administrators, along with public records officials, of their responsiblity to report these deaths(source)However, even without the CDC's intervention, public health officials were watching maternal mortality in general, and abortion mortality in particular, very carefully. Mary Calderone, who was then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood, reported on a conference studying abortion in America. She indicated that in 1957, there were 260 abortion deaths nationwide. That number included all abortions: legal, illegal, and spontaneous. The caluclations based on state maternal mortality investigations are fairly close to Calderone's numbers based on national data. These numbers were based on alerting doctors, law enforcement, coroners, and hospital administrators, along with public records officials, of their responsiblity to report these deaths. (source).
So the numbers aren't as high as abortion-rights advocates would have you believe. Also, if you looks at statistical trends for abortion deaths from 1940 to 1970, the number of deaths actually began to decrease even before the legalization of abortion began in the 1960's, with 1,407 deaths in 1940, 744 deaths in 1945, 263 deaths in 1950, 224 deaths in 1955, 251 deaths in 1960, 201 deaths in 1965, and 119 deaths in 1970. Source: "Induced termination of pregnancy before and after Roe v. Wade" JAMA, 12/9/92, vol. 208, no. 22, p. 3231-3239.
Despite abortion-rights advocates crediting the legalization of abortion, much of the decrease in maternal/infant and abortion mortality during from that time period (from 1940 to 1970) can be better attributed to improvements in antibiotics (such as the finding of penicillin), improved access to blood products, improvements in surgical techniques, improvements in emergency medicine, broader access to adequate prenatal care, improved vaccinations, and improvements in environmental health/sanitation, to name a few.

Now regarding claims of what would occur if abortion were to become illegal again. Nicolas R.P. Lewine addresses one of the sources for these claims in an op-ed piece, entitled "Stumping for Stupak," published in the student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson:

The Harvard Crimson
"Stumping for Stupak" (Excerpt)
Published: Thursday, December 03, 2009

...Finally, opponents of the Stupak amendment claim that the amendment would lead to more unsafe abortions, which are likely to harm women. Participants in an anti-Stupak rally in Harvard Square on Nov. 18 brandished coat hangers and handed out flyers that said legal restrictions on abortion “just make abortions dangerous.”
This claim likely has its roots in a 2007 Guttmacher Institute study of worldwide abortion that concluded that countries in which abortions were illegal had significantly higher rates of unsafe abortions. However, the fatal flaw in this conclusion is that the countries where abortions are illegal are almost entirely developing countries, including most of Africa. The countries where abortions are legal include the United States, Europe, and other already developed nations. Moreover, 97 percent of unsafe abortions were in developing nations. This argument attributes the disparity in unsafe abortions to legal restrictions while not addressing the fact that medical care in countries where abortion is illegal is vastly inferior, much less available, and often not performed by adequately trained professionals. So it is misleading to claim, based on this study, that making abortions illegal would cause a rise in unsafe abortions. (Moreover, it is important to remember that the Stupak amendment does not actually make abortions illegal.).... (source)
Prior to Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion across all 50 states, abortion law was left to the individual states deciding if and under what circumstances they permitted theraputic or elective abortion (source).  It is likely that we would return to this status with the state legislaters deciding if and and under what circumstances they permitted theraputic or elective abortion and most likely theraputic abortions would permitted in hospitals for rape/incest cases and where continuing the pregnancy endangered the woman's life.