Media's Abortion Cover UpMay 03, 2016
Last week, the Washington Post printed an explosive story about a Fairfax abortion center owned by Steven Brigham having its license suspended because conditions found inside the facility by public health officials were too appalling for even the McAuliffe administration to ignore.
Yet, the rest of Virginia’s media seems quite comfortable ignoring.
In fact, outside of what appears to be a cut and paste Associated Press story on the Richmond Times Dispatch website, a quick Google search (imperfect, I realize) finds no story in any other Virginia based media.
But there’s a story in the Philadelphia news. That’s right. Philadelphia.
Home of the infamous Kermit Gosnell.
A state where, in 2013, Brigham was “banished” because of the horrific conditions found in his abortion centers.
And neighbor of Brigham’s New Jersey abortion centers, where he “recently lost his license and was ordered to sell his seven clinics in that state after he was found to be illegally performing dangerous late-term abortions.”
Now, my guess is reporters for other daily newspapers in Virginia will argue that “it’s not a local story.” Even though Brigham owns an abortion center in Virginia Beach, where the Virginian Pilot is located (which has in the past run stories (here and here) about Brigham, in part through our effort to expose him). This time? Not a peep.
But it’s a local story in Philadelphia.
But not, apparently, in Richmond. At least not where an actual reporter sits down and makes a few calls, reads the inspection report, asks some tough questions. You know, investigates. And doesn’t just copy and paste from Planned Parenthood’s press release. At a newspaper that has been obsessed with the issue of abortion center health and safety standards from the beginning – albeit to trumpet the abortion industry’s talking points – one would think a reporter would be interested.
But this story disrupts the narrative, and that is simply not allowed.
I try, really try, to understand the issues we deal with from the perspective of those on the “other side.” Sometimes, some have valid, logical arguments, with which I simply disagree. Other times, I find it impossible to even comprehend their position.
Now and then, I find their position not just incomprehensible, but unconscionable.
Recently, it was revealed that a woman in Chesterfield county “self-aborted” her unborn baby in the later stages of her pregnancy – the third trimester. She then buried the child in her back yard. The autopsy found that the woman had used a combination of drugs and “penetrating injuries to the head” of that nearly fully developed baby to kill them.
The ACLU’s response? Anger that the police would dare charge the woman with a crime.
“No woman should fear arrest or jail for ending her own pregnancy…it appears that this is another example of overreach…in an attempt to shame and punish [the woman] for her circumstances.”
It’s bad enough that groups like the ACLU and their friends in the abortion industry are perfectly comfortable with fully developed unborn babies being killed days or even hours before birth, a position with which a large majority of Americans disagrees. Americans object to abortion after the mid-point of pregnancy when they believe it’s being “performed” in something at least resembling a medical facility. Oh, and it’s downright barbaric. In Virginia, abortions after the first trimester must be done in a hospital because killing a baby that is nearly fully developed is complicated and somewhat dangerous – for the mother that is. It’s downright deadly for the baby.
The medical examiner in this case couldn't determine what the woman used to “penetrate” the head of her unborn child enough to kill it. I wonder, was the child kicking when she did it? Could she feel her child moving around as she killed them? Had she never heard of adoption? If her circumstances were so dire, why wait until the last days or weeks of the pregnancy? For a few hundred bucks Planned Parenthood would have gladly taken the baby’s life months earlier.
If you’ve seen a sonogram of a baby in the third trimester you know. You see the humanity. You recognize the dignity and the worth. As a pro-life community, we believe that dignity and worth don’t suddenly materialize at some random point on the continuum of life that is undeterminable. It’s there from the moment of conception because it comes from our Creator, not from our judgment. But while some may not believe that, many become uncomfortable with taking the life of unborn children at some random point during pregnancy when through sonogram you can see the child’s face, see their features; they move, they smile, they live. At what point does our humanity require us to say no?
For the ACLU, sadly, that point doesn’t exist. Don’t want the child? Kill them. Don’t worry about when, where or how, just do it.
Like I said, unconscionable.
"It's Abortion, Stupid."
"It's Abortion, Stupid."
Remember the days when liberal democrats and their media allies unmercifully attacked conservatives anytime social issues were mentioned in a campaign? Such things were a “distraction” from “kitchen table” issues that matter, they claimed. Candidates should speak only of economic issues and stop talking about “divisive” social issues. “It’s the economy, stupid,” was the mantra.
What a difference one Supreme Court appointment makes.
If you hadn’t noticed, as the campaigns for statewide office in Virginia – particularly governor – continue to ramp up, abortion is becoming one of, if not the primary, issue. For secular progressives that have complete control of the Democrat party these days, the freedom to take the lives of unborn children is the linchpin of their entire agenda. And protecting that freedom up to birth (and for some of them beyond birth) is the one and only issue of importance. That, and making sure the government continues to force you to fund Planned Parenthood. And with the specter of a potentially revamped U.S. Supreme Court that actually reads the Constitution, no issue is more important.
So, you can imagine the hysteria in the $1 billion abortion industry when all three Republican candidates for Governor last weekend expressed support for repealing theRoe v. Wade decision that invented the right to abortion! Apparent front-runner Ed Gillespie was the primary target of the industry and it’s media allies, with the Washington Post fretting in its headline, “Gillespie: ‘I would like to see abortion be banned.’”
Que the outrage.
Let’s face it, with the complete failure of Terry McAuliffe as Governor and the takeover of the Democrat party in Virginia by the Bernie Sanders wing, they can’t talk economics. Consequently, social issues are all they have, with abortion being front and center. As a result, the secular left is counting on Planned Parenthood and its vast war chest of campaign money to save the day for Democrats in the Commonwealth. If Republicans running for everything from school board to governor think they are going to be able to dodge the issue this time around, they have another thing coming.
So it was good to see all three Republican candidates for governor make their position on Roe v. Wade clear. Earlier this week, Republican candidates for Lt. Governor Bryce Reeves and Glenn Davis were asked at a candidate forum hosted by The Family Foundation in Richmond what their priorities would be to reduce the abortion rate in Virginia (Jill Vogel, also running for LG, planned to attend but was not able to be there due to last minute meetings in DC.). Each expressed thoughtful ideas on the issue.
But let’s face it, even if at some point in the next decade that decision is reversed, the issue simply returns to each state to decide what will be legal and what won’t.
In the meantime, how we can continue to reduce the abortion rate in Virginia – which has dropped more than 30 percent in the last five years! – is paramount. Restoring reasonable abortion center health and safety standards gutted by Governor McAuliffe is a start. Prohibiting abortion after the mid-point of pregnancy when science indicates unborn child feel pain is another step in the right direction. Reducing the regulations that make adoption cost prohibitive for so many families is yet another. But those things are only going to happen if pro-life Virginians awaken from their slumber and make sure a pro-life governor is elected in November.
Planned Parenthood is counting on its media allies to enrage pro-abortion voters by attacking pro-life candidates so those voters will turn out in droves. Those pro-life candidates that stand up to that hysteria and unashamedly make the case for life deserve our support. Without it, you can count on another four years of Planned Parenthood owning the executive mansion.
The Family Foundation Action is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(4) organization and paid for this informational communication. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Family Foundation Announces Impending Legal Action
- McAuliffe Administration Notified Today -
RICHMOND–The Family Foundation of Virginia today announced that the administration of Governor Terry McAuliffe has been notified of impending legal action regarding violations of state law by the Department and Board of Health during the abortion center health and safety standards regulatory process.
“Over and over again during the nearly three-year process of amending the standards, the administration and Board violated the Administrative Process Act, the state law that provides the framework for regulatory action, the administrative code, and the Governor’s own Executive Order 17 regarding the regulatory review process,” said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation. “Regardless of one’s belief about the need for basic health and safety standards for abortion centers – or of any regulation for that matter – we all have to agree that a regulatory body cannot act outside the law when it wields extraordinary power over business, commerce and health care. We have the Administrative Process Act for that reason, to provide legal boundaries and process for unelected regulatory bodies, to provide transparency and public input throughout the regulatory process, and to be able to hold these agencies accountable when they go beyond the scope of their authority.”
Details of the administrative appeal were not released, but will be made available when the action is filed in Henrico Circuit Court within the next thirty days. The Family Foundation is paying the legal fees for one appellant in the appeal, Itzel Melendez, from Richmond. At a Richmond press conference today, Mrs. Melendez said, “In the past, I had occasion to visit an abortion center for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. I am participating in this case because I am concerned that without basic health and safety standards, abortion centers will operate in a way that could put my health at risk if I ever decided in the future that I needed their services. The standards that were in place were there to protect women like me from harm. Without them, I am no longer confident that my health would be protected.”
Cobb did reference one of the examples of where the pro-family organization believes the administration broke the law. She stated, “The agency violated the Administrative Process Act by amending entirely separate and unrelated regulatory sections that had not been included in the regulations’ “Proposed” phase. Several regulatory sections amended by the Board were not included in the “Proposed Regulation Agency Background Document” posted in townhall.gov, and these regulatory sections dealt with matters the public did not have an opportunity to comment on in accordance with the requirements of the law.
“In addition, several regulatory sections the Board amended were not even in the agency’s “Final Regulation Agency Background Document” posted in townhall.gov, let alone its “Proposed Regulation Agency Background Document”. The Code of Virginia requires that the notice requirement contain “(i) a statement of the date, time and place of the hearing at which the regulation is to be considered; (ii) a brief statement as to the regulation under consideration; [and] (iii) reference to the legal authority of the agency to act; ….” Yet, that never occurred for all of the regulatory topics for the sections that were not included in the agency’s “Proposed” regulations. This is an important matter of transparency – providing to the public a clear list what areas of regulation are intended to be reviewed and amended. The public and the entities being regulated should know from the beginning what areas of regulation the agency intends to change. By avoiding disclosing all the areas the Department and Board intended to amend they violated both the letter and spirit of the law.
“In this case, the Department and Board initially indicated they would review and amend only six areas of the regulations, and instead ended up changing more than 20. The public had no ability to weigh in on these changes until after the Board had already voted.”
Cobb said, “There is a specific, detailed, and yes sometimes cumbersome regulatory process that, whether we like it or not, is the law of Virginia. Without a framework, and without criteria and accountability for regulatory agencies, one can only imagine the damage that could be done in any arena by regulatory bodies.”
“The Family Foundation fully supports the actions taken by these appellants,” added Cobb. “It is unfortunate that the McAuliffe administration has in its ideological zeal consistently ignored or violated state law throughout this process, but it must be held accountable for those actions. The regulatory process has rules that must be followed. Again, this appeal is about that legal process and this administration’s ignorance of or disdain for that process.”
Appellants in the case who appeared at today’s press conference were Virginia Board of Health members Megan Getter and Henry Kuhlman, and Itzel Melendez of Richmond. The attorney representing Mrs. Melendez is Dan Carrell of Carrell, Blanton Ferris and Associates, Richmond.