CONNECTICUT’S CANDIDATES AND LATE-TERM ABORTION

Posted on July 28, 2010

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PREAMBLE:  KEY POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND:        The Potential Viability of a child in the womb is 21/22 weeks lmp gestation (which means circa 20 weeks from conception), NOT third trimester or 28 weeks as was thought to be the case in the late-1960’s and 1970’s; nor is it  24 weeks as assumed by the British in regard to their current UK abortion law.  Major studies by Universities’ Hospitals with Neonatal Intensive Care Units, in this country and abroad, have proven that babies born extremely prematurely though miscarriage can and do survive at much earlier ages (weeks’ gestation lmp) than they did thirty or forty years ago.  “Infant Viability” has changed and improved dramatically with medical advancements and highly trained staff at NICUs.

Secondly, during the time that D&X Partial Birth Abortion was utilized (1980s/1990s until 2003) for late-term 20/21-weeks-and-later abortions by some physicians (about 15% of the time or circa 3,000 occurrences a year, compared to 85% of the time using the so-called “classic” D&E In-Utero-Dismemberment method circa 17,000 times a year),  D&X was “never medically necessary to achieve the desired outcome”, thus, “is never medically necessary to preserve the health of a woman” (testimony of THE physician who was the developer of the D&X procedure, per Section 2 “FINDINGS”, Paragraph 14 (E), Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, 108th Congress of the United States dated January 7, 2003).

The language of the PBA Ban Act of 2003 continues (Section 2, Para 14 (I))  “The medical community recognized that partial birth abortions are ethically different from other destructive abortion techniques because the fetus, normally twenty weeks or longer in gestation, is killed outside the womb” (ibid.) “According to this medical association, (i.e. the AMA) the ‘partial birth’ gives the fetus an autonomy which separates it from the right of the woman to choose treatments for her own body.” (ibid.)

The language of the PBA Ban Act also explains that (Section 2, Para 14 (H)) “A child that is completely born is a full, legal person entitled to constitutional protections afforded a ‘person’ under the United States Constitution:  Partial-birth abortions involve killing of a child that is in the process, in fact a mere inches away from, becoming a ‘person’.”

That is all so clear cut and easy to understand.  No wonder the American public opposed partial birth abortion by some 70% margin.  The procedure itself served to identify that the child was ‘virtually’ a “person”, mere inches away.  It was visual, it was graphic, it was clear, it was testified to by physicians and even by the originator of the procedure, and it was given a descriptive name.  Now, what is different about late-term post-21-weeks’ D&E (dilation and evacuation) In-Utero-Dismemberment Abortion of the same gestation age infants?  Why was D&E Dismemberment Abortion of the same age infants not banned at the same time as the D&X Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act?

That is the ultimate question.  A 21-weeks-plus-gestation baby, “mere inches away from being born”, that is killed by a D&X method of abortion, is very close to being a legal ‘person’, and therefore the D&X method is deemed to be (by Congress and by the public) too close to infanticide and therefore merits being banned, particularly as the procedure is determined in testimony “to be never medically necessary”.  But a parallel procedure, being the D&E “In-Womb-Dismemberment” of the same 21-weeks-plus-gestation baby, who is no more than 12 inches away from being potentially born, that is killed by the alternate destruction method of D&E abortion dismemberment in the womb and evacuation of the body parts by suction, is at this time deemed to be acceptable even though it too may be determined to be never, or almost never, medically necessary!  Is this child in the womb no less “a person” than the partially-delivered child, before it was killed?  One is killed while the baby’s head is still in the woman’s birth canal:  One is killed while the whole baby is in the womb, just “a mere inches away” from the birth canal.

WITH THESE FACTS AND QUESTIONS IN MIND, LET US GO ON TO CONNECTICUT’S EXISTING AND ASPIRING POLITICIANS.

RECAPPING PAST FACTS:  The 2003 U.S. legislative vote on partial birth abortion (regarding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003) is the ultimate indicator of the intensity of support for abortion by certain senators, congressmen and congresswomen.  Both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives they were in the minority by a large factor.  In the Senate, only 33 members opposed the PBA Ban Act, while 64 supported it (including 17 Democrats).  In the House of Representatives, 142 opposed the PBA Ban Act, while 281 supported it (including 63 Democrats).  That mainly Democrat negative vote, for those 175 legislators (only 7 were Republicans) who opposed the PBA Ban Act – which contained an exception for a woman’s life being at risk – on late-term abortion of potentially viable infants clearly illustrated that they were totally in favor of abortion at all stages of pregnancy, and that in their view a woman’s “right to choose” (to favor her own non-medical agenda and to end the life of a potentially viable child) superseded the right of the child to continue to live.

BACKGROUND vis-a-vis Connecticut

Some legislators who were in Congress in 2003 are no longer there ( for example, Republicans Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, who voted against the PBA Ban Act of 2003, and Republican Chris Shays of Connecticut who voted for it).  Their current replacements are Democrats Joe Courtney (who is Catholic), Chris Murphy and Jim Hines.  The two other Connecticut Representatives – who retained their seats in the last election – are Democrats (and also Catholics) John Larson and Rosa DeLauro.  The Catholics Larson and DeLauro both voted against the PBA Ban Act of 2003.

The Catholic Advocate (Project of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture) ranks the three current Connecticut Catholic Representatives and Connecticut’s one Catholic Senator with a “Scorecard” of Zero (0%) percent for each, on the basis of seven votes between 2007 and 2010 that the Catholic Church finds ethically and culturally important (including the 11/07/09 Stupak-Pitts Amendment regarding government-run health insurance – ‘should not cover abortion’).  Joe Courtney, Larson and DeLauro each got rated zero, having voted against the Catholic position every time.  Dodd in the Senate garnered the same rating: Zero, opposing the Church’s position on every one of six key issues.

Reverting to the PBA Ban Act of 2003, FIFTY (50) Catholic legislators – 10 Senators and 40 Congressmen & women – voted Against the Ban.  They voted to preserve the abortion method called D&X, partial birth abortion, of potentially viable infants in the second half of the second trimester, basically at 21/22 through 27 weeks’ gestation.  Of all U.S. Senators’ and Representatives’ religious affiliations, Catholics had the second largest percentage of votes opposing the passage of a Ban on Partial Birth Abortion – i.e. 36% of its 148 legislators.  (The largest percentage were Jewish legislators, who opposed passage of the PBA Ban Act Bill by 92% of their 37 members of the House and Senate.)

IMPORTANT DATA

An important definitive issue to recapitulate comprises the proven statistical bases (studies) for establishing the potential viability of infants in the womb.  The massive U.S. National Research Network Study of 1998 – 2003 conducted at 17 Universities’ Hospitals (with neonatal intensive care units – NICUs) of Extremely Preterm Birth infants published the following long-term survivability results:  22 weeks’ lmp gestation  21%:  23 weeks’ lmp gestation  37%:   24 weeks’ lmp gestation  56%:   25 weeks’ lmp gestation  76%:   26 weeks’ lmp gestation  – virtually 100%.

The U.S. NRN Study above (funded by the Eunice Kennedy SHriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Services) yielded better results that those of the United Kingdom full-nation study called EPICure 2 of 2006 primarily because the U.K Study included all hospitals in England and Wales, not just major hospitals with NICUs and those with specially trained staff for emergency extremely preterm infant births.  Nevertheless, the U.K. Epicure 2 Study yielded the following results:  22 weeks’ gestation  6%:   23 weeks’ gestation  20%:   24 weeks gestation  50%:   25 weeks’ gestation  71%.  (For further detail, see cccf post below titled “U.S. NICHD Neonatal research Network Study Corroborates UK EPICure Studies’ Data.)

A separate UK Study was carried out by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the University College London between 1996 and 2000, yielding significantly higher percentage survival rates for preterm infants versus the UK EPICure 2 Study for infants born at 23 and 24 weeks’ lmp gestation:  The percentage rates approximated or exceeded the US NICHD Universities’ Hospitals’ Study.  (The far better results undoubtedly include the use of ventilation at those early weeks’ gestation, plus a highly trained dedicated NICU staff.)

Some people in the United States aver that no child can survive if he or she is prematurely born, through miscarriage, at 22 weeks’ gestation.  They are wrong.  At Universities’ Hospitals in the U.S. (and in the UK), a child at that gestation age has a one-in-five chance of surviving past one year old.  By 23 week’s gestation, the chance/s of survival (viability) are better than 50 -50.  Despite such proven facts, the U.K. House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee rejected a call to lower the “24-week-limit for abortion” to 22 weeks’ gestation or below.   A great pity, in that the United States (even the Supreme Court) often tends to follow down the same path as the United Kingdom on the matter of abortion, late-term abortion, the definition of ‘viability’ of the child, and the construction of national abortion laws.

SO MUCH FOR BACKGROUND ( FOR THE TIME BEING):  Let’s look at Connecticut.

THE CURRENT SENATE RACE IN CONNECTICUT FOR CHRIS DODD’S SEAT  (2010): Rob Simmons has been misdirected as a Republican politician in his adamant stance against ending or limiting late-term abortions of viable infants for at least the past 16 years.  When he was in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Congressman, Simmons was one of only 4 Republicans to vote against the Partial Birth Abortion (D&X) Ban Act of 2003!  (Another of those pro-abortion four was Representative Nancy Johnson, also of Connecticut.)

One wonders if a Catholic can ever support Rob Simmons.  But a vote for Rob Simmons would be preferable to a vote for Democrat candidate Richard Blumenthal, even though Simmons has an extreme pro-abortion position including advocacy for the abortion of potentially-viable post-21-weeks-gestation infants.

Because of Rob Simmons’ extreme pro-abortion advocacy, this author started cccf (Concerned Catholics for Connecticut) wordpress dot com.   The blog www.cccf.wordpress.com is THE only research site in the United States to identify new facts concerning late-term D&E Abortion procedure, its frequency and underreporting on a state by state basis.

In addition to Rob Simmons in Connecticut, Peter Schiff  is also running to be the Republican candidate.   Schiff makes good sense on the financial and economic issues.  He’s libertarian.  He’s a fund manager.  One favors his conservative and pro-Reagan concepts on these issues.  Schiff appears to be “pro-choice” but one cannot ascertain his position regarding late-term abortion in America.  He may not care or think about this particular issue one way or another:  It may not be his bag.  Too bad.  We can’t solve America’s decline unless we stop killing our own viable children.  (Note that most of those 20,000 annual post 21-weeks’ viable babies are aborted by D&E Dilation & Evacuation Dismemberment Abortion for elective reasons, not because the life of the mother is at risk or because of an unacceptable deformity of the infant or because the mother may suffer a permanent life-long medical impairment such as the loss of her uterus).

Linda McMahon is the third Republican candidate for Chris Dodd’s to-be-vacated senate seat.  One of McMahon’s supporters commented to this blog that Linda McMahon was “against late-term abortion but was otherwise pro-life”, and that “was at least better than her Republican opponents’ positions”.  That may be true.  Perhaps McMahon would support a new Bill, based on the precedent of the PBA Ban Act of 2003 Bill, banning elective  late-term D&E Dismemberment Abortions for infants 21-weeks-gestation-lmp and over, with an exception for the Life of the Mother being at risk (but not including an exception for the “health” of the woman, per the precedent of the PBA Ban Act of 2003 language which the Supreme Court upheld).

Regarding the leading Democrat candidate for Dodd’s senate seat in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal (according to local and state polls) would beat any of the three Republican candidates.  In several weeks’ time he may still be far ahead, unless re-examination of his early career and young character are examined in depth (i.e. involving the United States Marine Corps in the 1969 to 1975 time period); and separately a more thorough debate of his later-career and record as Connecticut Attorney General and his accomplishment of decimating Connecticut as a business-friendly state.

Regarding the latter point:  The Public Policy Institute of New York State U.S. Economic Freedom Index (conducted by the Pacific Research Institute) lists Connecticut 48th out of 50, with only California and New York being worse.  The Milkin Institute’s Cost-Of-Doing-Business Index lists Connecticut as third worst in the U.S. mainland nation after Massachusetts and New York.  A third indicator, Forbes’ Ranking Of States’ Business Costs in 2009  ranks Connecticut fifth worst in the U.S. mainland nation (behind California, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts).

As to the recent controversy following New York Times’ article, the mainstream media cleverly played Blumenthal’s gaffe as a “missspeaking” slip; and that as his only problem – (i.e. the issue about his USMC Reserves’ service, as to whether it/he was IN VietNam or it was during VietNam) – and Connecticut citizens have promptly and dutifully forgotten and forgiven all.  But that was not,  and is not, Attorney General Richard Blumenthall’s main character flaw.

What Blumenthal did as a young man, having just finished undergrad Harvard in 1969, at the height of the second phase of the VietNam war, was to join the United States Marine Corps, go to Parris Island and train as a U.S. Marine Corps infantryman:  Then for the next six years get deferments from 1969 to 1975 – staying in the USMC Reserves – from being sent to VietNam, while thousands of his band of brothers were going in on 2nd and 3rd tours, fighting and dying for America.  Could someone have been in the Green Berets, or the 82nd Airborne, or the Navy Seals or Army Special Forces and not served actively in a war, during a major war, for six whole years?  The U. S. Marine Corps is “The Presidents Own”, it is elite, it is like the Green Berets and other Army Special Forces.  Did Richard Blumenthal use the U. S. Marine Corps to avoid serving on active duty overseas in a time of war for six years?  That speaks to his character.

Moreover, Richard Blumenthal at that time, working as an aide to a prominent advisor to President Nixon, declined an offered post (offered by the President of the United States) to head up VISTA, because “he was opposed to President Nixon’s and the Administration’s position on the VietNam war”.  (So, again, why did he join the United States Marine Corps in 1969 in the middle of the war he opposed ?  Is anyone in the media asking these questions?).  Richard Blumenthal does not deserve to be a United States senator!

Where are Sergeant Blumenthal’s Marine Corps peers who served with him part/s of the time during the 1969 –1975 period?  Who can tell what he did in Washington, D.C., while fellow Marines were fighting in VietNam?  What was Blumenthal doing for the U.S. Marine Corps in those six years?  (Blumenthal got promoted from private to pfc, to corporal to sergeant… while sitting out the active duty infantryman assignment he had been trained for at Parris Island.)

More to the point and in line with the purpose of this blog, Richard Blumenthal appears to be a decidedly pro-abortion advocate.  As Attorney General he overruled a Connecticut state agency recommendation to follow the Hyde Amendment guidelines and instead authorized state medicaid funding for certain late-term and other first and second trimester abortions under a HuskyB program.

Connecticut voters should not elect Richard Blumenthal to the U.S. Senate.  Blumenthal always appeared to be very similar to the New York’s AG, Spitzer, the pro-litigant fanatic.  It is time to balance the Democrat pro-abortion position of Connecticut’s other senator, Joe Lieberman, with one Republican.  One Republican senator who can fight as well for our unborn and nearly-born children, as Joe Lieberman advocates for the nation’s military strength and defends its military efforts in the Middlle East.

Connecticut needs balance in it U.S. legislators, not only in its two U.S. senators, but in the five U.S. Representatives it sends to Congress.  Connecticut should not be represented by 100% Democrat legislators in Washington, D.C., particularly not in the next session of Congress.  Connecticut should have one pro-life Senator; and at least 2 and preferably three pro-life (or anti-late-term-abortion) advocates as its U.S. Representatives:  That can happen in at least the 2nd and the 5th Districts, and it is possible in the 4th District.

Next post issue will examine more fully the records of Catholics Joe Courtney, John Larson and Rosa DeLauro, three of the five current U.S. Democrat Representatives from Connecticut, advocates of late-term abortion (two of whom voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban of 2003).

Posted in: POLITICS