CONNECTICUT’S ABORTION STATISTICS ARE SERIOUSLY UNDER-REPORTED

Posted on July 21, 2010

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The Connecticut Catholic Conference (representing the four diocese in Connecticut) published – in October 2009 – its second annual report on “The State of Abortion In Connecticut”.

Unfortunately, many of the report’s numbers are wrong.  That is because the authors of the Catholic Conference Report relied only on the Connecticut Department of Public Health for its underlying data.  (The Connecticut Department of Public Health supplies its data to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the CDC’s Annual Surveillance – United States – Reports:  That is why the CDC data for Connecticut – and for many other states – is wrong as well.)  The Alan Guttmacher Institute’s Surveys (of all abortion providers in the state of Connecticut) consistently come up with abortion numbers from 35% to 40% higher than those of the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s abortion numbers.  For example, for the year 2005, the Connecticut Department of Public Health lists total abortions in Connecticut (all surgical plus those by RU486 method, for Connecticut residents and women from out-of-state) as 12,110.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute’s survey for the year 2005 lists Connecticut’s total in-state abortions as 16,780, some 39% higher that the State of Connecticut’s “official” count.

The Catholic Conference Report lists the Rate of Abortion in Connecticut (i.e. the number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age 15 – 44) in the year 2005 as 17.06.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute Survey for the same year, 2005, lists Connecticute’s Rate of Abortion as 23.6 (again, 39% higher).  Connecticut’s more accurate Rate of Abortion of 23.6 is also far higher than the National Average Rate of Abortion for 2005, which the AGI lists as 19.4 (and which the CDC lists as just 15.0 but for a limited number of reporting states).

One has to take into consideration, however, that a certain number of Connecticut women secure abortions in nearby New York State and New York City itself.  By simply googling “abortion clinic Connecticut”, or “Connecticut abortion clinics”, the first listings will direct the surfer to abortion clinics and providers in Connecticut (of which there are over 50) PLUS out-of-state providers in Long Island, White Plains, New York City, among others.

Some 11,000 out of New York’s 156,000 annual abortions are performed for out-of-state women (i.e. 7% according to CDC data, as applied to the AGI total New York State abortion number for 2005).  It is more than likely that over half of those NY out-of-state abortions involve pregnant women from Connecticut; which would mean that Connecticut’s abortion total is not circa 12,000 p.a. (per CDC and CTDPH data) or circa 17,000 p.a. (per AGI survey estimate), but  closer to 22,000  to 23,000 per year.

It is also more than likely that the number of late-term, post-21-weeks’ gestation, potentially-viable babies aborted by Connecticut women is not ‘merely’ 32 infants a year, but instead several hundred a year!  Those Connecticut women who decide late in the day that they want late-term abortions, at 21 weeks’ gestation or later, surely find it easier and more convenient to locate willing abortion physicians, providers or clinics in New York State than in Connecticut.

When Rob Simmons was a U.S. congressman from Connecticut’s 2nd district between 2000 and 2006, he justified his vote against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (he was one of only 4 House Republicans to do so) on the basis that the proposed federal Act “did not conform to Connecticut’s abortion law”, that Connecticut did not perform post-viability abortion/s (unless by not doing so would cause harm to a woman’s “health”), and that late-term abortions in Connecticut were virtually non-existent.  The successfully enacted Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was signed into federal law in 2003 and subsequently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007:  The language of the Act does not contain an exclusion for “the health” of the woman, which the Supreme Court found unnecessary.  Simmons’ real reason for voting against the PBA Ban Act – in spite of the horrific procedure and lateness in the gestation cycle – appears (to me) to have been straightforward:  He simply wanted to maintain as legal in the United States the right of any woman to choose to abort any child at any time by any method:  ‘Choice’ trumped viable life.

Every other Connecticut Representative except Chris Shays of the 4th district voted against the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, as did both Connecticut senators.

This state of Connecticut, which has somehow managed to dupe its citizens and state legislators into believing that total annual abortions by its citizens are about half the real number, and that its women have very few if any late-term abortions, is in fact proportionally among the top five pro-abortion states in the nation.  This state’s legislators in the U.S. congress and U.S. senate have perpetuated and influenced the encouragement of abortion, including late-term abortion of viable infants at any time in the pregnancy cycle.  Their rationale in doing so is often tortuous.

Senator Joe Lieberman addressed the U.S. Senate in September 1996, after President Clinton vetoed the earlier PBA Ban Act (passed by House and Senate), encouraging the Senate to support Clinton’s veto.  He said (the full text can be read in Congressional Record Proceedings & Debates, 104th Congress, second session, September 26, 1996):  “I have heard from many that partial birth abortions are only performed in very rare situations where a woman’s life is in danger:  Other have said literally thousands of late-term partial birth abortions are performed on a purely elective basis without medical necessity.”  (Gutmacher did a special survey subsequently that concluded 2,200 partial birth abortions were performed in the year 2000.)   Lieberman continued:  “The medical community itself has expressed conflicting opinions…”  “Procedures that involve abortions late into pregnancy put our concern with the health and freedom of choice of the woman in conflict with the viability of the fetus which advances in medical science continue to move earlier in pregnancy.  The evidence that some partial birth abortions are being performed not only late in pregnancy but electively … make a hard case ultimately and profoundly unacceptable.”  Nevertheless, after averring that the language of the Bill was too broad, Lieberman went on to say in conclusion:  “I will vote to sustain the President’s veto of HR 1833 the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 1995.  However, I will do so with a growing personal anxiety that I know I share with the members of the Senate that something very wrong is happening in our country.  That there are abortions being performed later in pregnancies that are not medically necessary…”

Despite the junior senator from Connecticut’s angst, he went on to vote against a second PBA Ban Act bill, and voted to support President Clinton’s second veto when it too was passed with large majorities in the House and the Senate, denying approval once again.  Lieberman then voted NO a fourth or fifth time, against the PBA Ban Act Bill of 2003, which was passed in the House by a vote of 281 – 142 with 63 Democrats joining 218 Republicans; And passed in the Senate by a vote of 64 – 33 with 17 Democrats joining 47 Republicans:  In all, 80 Democrats voted for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.  On the day President Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 into law, Senator Joseph Lieberman said: “Today, the President signs into law a bill that lets the political agenda of right-wing Republicans override the rights and health of American women.”

One has to shake one’s head and wonder at the senator’s earlier words, his voting actions, his tortuous reasoning and finally his preposterous political statement.

One aspect that half of Senator Liberman’s constituents were right about, i.e. the number of viable post-22 weeks’ infants being aborted by D&X Partial Birth Abortion method was indeed and actually over 2,000 infants a year prior to the year 2000 (not only a few hundred).  That 2,000-plus number increased to about 3,000 infants a year by 2003.  What no one knew the, nor discussed nor debated during those ten years of the partial birth abortion legislative action, was that some 20,000 identically-aged infants – that is, 22 weeks gestation and beyond, at the age of potential and certain viability – were being aborted by the so-called “classic” method, by D&E (dilation and evacuation) method, whereby the fetus/child was and is dismembered and crushed in the womb/uterus by forceps, and the “fetal parts” suctioned out by vacuum tube and curettage, a method just as macabre and cruel (perhaps even more so) as the D&X partial birth abortion method!

The reason some abortion physicians moved to the D&X PBA method in the late 1980’s and 1990’s was that it presented – for some women pregnant beyond 22 weeks gestation, and to their physicians – a cleaner method with less likelihood of leaving “fetal parts” (little fragments of infant bones and limbs) in the uterus with the possible cause of infection and further complications.   It allowed, in some cases, for the woman to actually see her child (the rear portion of the head covered up) and to arrange a burial, for the child was “whole”.

Now, when the D&X Partial Birth Abortion method was banned in 2003, those physicians who practiced D&X immediately reverted to the “classic” D&E Dismemberment method for all late-term abortions.  So, as a result, the Ban on D&X Partial Birth Abortions – although a victory for the abolition of a primitive and barbaric procedure, did not reduce abortions in America by one single child, and allowed the legal continuation of an equally barbaric and primitive method of late-term abortion of viable infants – D&E Dismemberment Abortion, the “classic” method – to be effective in America for the next several decades.  To this day.   Over 20,000 viable post-21-weeks’ infants a year are aborted by D&E Late-Term Abortion.  Pro-late-term-abortion advocates knew the D&X Ban was no defeat for them.  CONNECTICUT HAS NOTHING BUT PRO-LATE-TERM ABORTION ADVOCATES.  Rosa De Lauro, Catholic, past Executive Director of Emily’s List pro-Abortion-advocacy foundation.  Chris Dodd, Catholic, supposedly an advocate for children, who voted for every pro-abortion including late-term D&X abortion position.  John Larson, Catholic from Hartford, who voted against the D&X Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and supported President Clinton’s earlier vetoes.  Joe Courtney, Catholic, pro-choice advocate, a U.S. representative who would vote to preserve D&E Dismemberment Abortion of Viable infants under any circumstances.  Jim Hines, Connecticut’s Democrat representative in the 4th district, pro-choice advocate.  Chris Murphy, Connecticut’s representative in the 5th district who ousted Nancy Johnson two years ago.  (Nancy Johnson, however, was one of the two Connecticut Republican representatives, along with Rob Simmons from the 2nd district, who voted AGAINST the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act  – 2 of only 4 Republicans to do so!).  We will see if, this time, the Catholic community will care at all and vote for a pro-life U.S. representative; whether the Catholic Bishops, this time, will come out with a Catholic voters’ position earlier than a couple of weeks before the voting date (i.e. take a cue from Archbishop Cardinal Chaput on this issue and ‘be not afraid’).

The outlook is not good for Connecticut, vis-a-vis LIFE and Late-Term Abortion of Viable Children by D&E dismemberment and evacuation.  Candidates like Linda McMahon for the U.S. senate and all Republican candidates for congressional seats from the 5 districts should take courage and emulate the boldness during the 1990’s of Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum, and TALK about the awful state of abortion advocacy in Connecticut.  The state of Connecticut needs change; it needs some Republicans – (but not the Simmons/Johnson role models who abandoned their party’s platform) – who will provide an element of balance to the issue of Late-Term Abortion of our Viable Infants in this state and in this Nation.  (Yes, Santorum was defeated:  But he will be back, and he did lead the long fight on the Partial Birth Abortion battle; and he was NEVER afraid to state his position on LIFE.   We need some Connecticut Santorums, now, now more than ever.)


Posted in: POLITICS