Archive for Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Petition effort seeks probe of abortion patient’s death

April 5, 2006


— Abortion foes are taking advantage of a seldom-used Kansas law that allows citizens to call for a grand jury investigation when they think local law enforcement agencies have failed to act.

On Friday, abortion opponents plan to present Sedgwick County with a petition signed by nearly 7,000 local residents asking to convene a grand jury to look at the circumstances surrounding the death of a mentally disabled Texas woman whose family brought her to Wichita for a late-term abortion.

"The deeper we looked into this case, the more we realized there was a lack of justice - a travesty that has been committed," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue in Wichita.

Dr. George Tiller's office, which performed the abortion, declined to comment on the petition or the case. Julie Burkhart, the spokeswoman for the clinic and director of the abortion rights group Pro Kan Do in Wichita, said neither the clinic nor the group could comment on the case until today.

Kansas is one of the few states in the nation where citizens can summon a grand jury if they meet certain requirements in state law. Such a petition was used with limited success by pornography opponents in Wichita last year to get an indictment against a store selling adult sexual materials.

Under state law, a grand jury may be summoned within 60 days after a petition is presented bearing the signatures of slightly more than 2 percent of a county's registered voters, said Whitney Watson, spokesman for the Kansas Attorney General's Office.

Karen Myers counts some of the 6,500 names on petitions to the District Court of Sedgwick County. The petition calls for a grand jury probe into the death of a mentally disabled woman who died in 2005 after having an abortion at a Wichita clinic.

Karen Myers counts some of the 6,500 names on petitions to the District Court of Sedgwick County. The petition calls for a grand jury probe into the death of a mentally disabled woman who died in 2005 after having an abortion at a Wichita clinic.

Newman, a recent California transplant to Kansas, said he had never heard of such a law until David Gittrich, state development director for Kansans for Life, suggested it.

"It is a great tool. The legislative body had enough foresight to know the government is not always going to do its job," Newman said. "It gives the ability to citizens to deliver justice when officials aren't doing their job."

The effort to summon a grand jury follows a ruling last year from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts that cleared Tiller of wrongdoing. While an autopsy listed complications from the abortion as the cause of death, the Board of Healing Arts, which regulates doctors, concluded neither Tiller nor his staff was responsible.

Anti-abortion groups questioned whether the board's investigation was thorough because Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointed many of its members and has received financial support in past campaigns from abortion supporters, including Tiller.

"We trust the Board of Healing Arts conducted a thorough investigation in this matter and we have no further comment," said Nicole Corcoran, spokeswoman for Sebelius.

The woman, who suffered from Down syndrome, was 28 weeks pregnant when her parents took her to the Wichita clinic on Jan. 10, 2005, for an abortion. She died three days later from a massive infection. Activists contend proper medical monitoring of the woman's condition should have found the infection and her worsening condition.

Their petition alleges violations of Kansas statutes, including involuntary manslaughter, mistreatment of a dependent adult, failure to report abuse of children and violation of abortion statutes.


xenophonschild 12 years ago

Hyopcrites. Abortion is a constitutional right, but the religious right seems to think they are able, and worthy, to deem what is constitutional and what's not. The girl's parents were satisfied with the ensuing investigation after the girl's death, tragic as it was, so where do these people come off?

lizward 12 years ago

I'd be interested to know what Cristin Gilbert's parents feel about it all now that their determination to kill their grandchild has robbed them of their child as well. Did they insist on the death of their grandchild because they thought Downs syndrome was hereditary and did not want a grandchild with Downs? If that was the reason then presumably they placed a very low value on their daughter too?

Or did they regard themselves as too old to help care for what was almost certainly a perfectly healthy grandchild (since Downs syndrome is not hereditary)?

Or was the idea that a downs syndrome woman should be a parent so horrific to them that they would happily condemn their daughter to death rather than let her be a mother?

Of course one HOPES that they have repented of their actions and are now actively trying to get Tiller behind bars where he belongs, but in the absence of any comment from them, how can we know?

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

Maybe we'd all be better off if we'd keep our noses out of other people's business. The family did what they thought was best, and you have no right trying to tell them that they were wrong. When it happens in YOUR family, you can make that choice. When it happens in someone else's family, let THEM make that choice.

See, the operative word there is CHOICE. The law as it stands now allows for that choice.

bankboy119 12 years ago

crazy, if I choose to abuse my wife because it's my choice would you interefere? I sure hope you would because if I knew some one who was beating their wife/child I would most certainly get involved. It's a child, not a choice. You can try to justify the murder all you want but it still is cold blooded murder.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

Would I become involved if you chose to beat your wife? Maybe, maybe not. Would I call the police and report it if I witnessed something? Probably...but would the police be able to do much of anything without your wife's approval? Probably not.

What impact would my involvement have on the situation? None...if you chose to beat your wife you're not likely to stop even if I reported it, are you? And even if it was reported and you were convicted, chances are you'd only get probation anyway, and the wife would probably take you back so you could do it all over again...and probably do that several times, because that's the dynamics of abusive relationships. Outside intereference doesn't usually accomplish much.

As for the story here...the woman with Down's Syndrome probably wasn't physically, emotionally, or financially capable of caring for her child. Maybe the grandparents aren't physically capable of caring for the child. It might have been the result of a rape. And even if it wasn't, are people who are developmentally disabled capable of giving consent?

So, are you proposing that they should have let the woman give birth? Do you know how terrifying childbirth would be for this woman, who wouldn't understand what was going on?

And what of the baby afterward? Adoption? Nice best-case scenario. The baby would probably have ended up in the foster care system. Whether Down's Syndrome is hereditary or not, most people probably would not adopt a baby from a Down's mother, just in case.

lizward 12 years ago

crazyks, what rubbish. Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that doctors would not be able to tell an adoptive family "this baby does not have downs syndrome"? You don't really believe that, do you. You're just looking for any excuse to justify this killing that was not even chosen by the mother of the baby. If you are for CHOICE then why are you for the GRANDPARENTS choice rather than the MOTHER'S choice?

Did Christin have it explained to her " Darling, there is a baby growing inside you but this nice man will kill it for you"? I doubt it somehow. What was she toild? I suppose we will never know. Were her parents told by Tiller the Killer or his staff that the baby she was carrying was almost certain to be normal? Did anyone sit them down and explain what Downs Syndrome is and why it cannot possibly be hereditary? Or did the clinic just see the dollar signs?

Godot 12 years ago

Compare this to the outrage in this community against the CLO employee who manhandled a male resident. Subjecting a female charge to surgery, by force, and killing a late term by fetus sucking its brains out, is, by contrast, not only acceptable, but commendable, by the pro-choice faction.

By the way, I read today that the Brits conducted a study whereby they did scans of the brains of 25-45 week gestational premies to determine if they feel pain (for some reason, they assumed they did not). Lo and behold, even the fetuses who had gestated for only 25 weeks, who were prematurely born and survived, did, indeed, feel pain.

You pro-abortionists will have to abandon your acceptance of scientific observation, and rejext any semblance of respect for human life, if you are to continue to justify your belief in "choice."

CARose 12 years ago


Taking your approach, we should never have stopped slavery, as it was a cultural norm in it's time, had historical precidence and property owners should be allowed to do as they please with their property. And we should just Butt Out of their personal business, it's their choice!

Personally, I'm proud that my forefathers and many others were willing to put their lives on the line to stop such a travesty to the dignity of others.

Whether a child is conceived as a result of rape also does nothing to reduce their right to life. The rapist is not given the death penalty for committing the rape, why should the child who results from such a heinous crime have to pay with their life? Once conceived, you have a new, unique, dignified Human Life, deserving of the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, as is constitutionally provided for all US Citizens.

I know that for many years I also failed to understand this concept which I now recognize as fundamentally basic. We get so wrapped up in the cultural lie that our bodies are our own business that we fail to think for a minute that this must be held true for the seperate (although dependent) life which grows within the mother's womb.

And would Cristin have been terrified by labor, a terror sufficient to warrant the killing of her child? I doubt she'd be as afraid as you suggest, but heck, every mother, even those who understand what's going on, are scared. It's a frightening prospect. Be glad your Mother was willing to face her fears and you were given life!

I'm glad my mom was willing to endure the pain of childbirth! Each of us owes a debt to the woman who bore us. It's tough, but without motherhood, where would we be?


CARose 12 years ago


I happen to be a female, and I vehemently oppose the legality of abortion because I know about the pain that an abortion can cause to the mother who has an abortion. Realizing that you have played a role in killing your own child is something which can come upon you years later. In the meantime, to avoid the pain of such a decision, acknowledgment of what you've done is frequently buried deep in the psyche.

How many women do you know who have only in a very intimate moment of sharing "admitted" that they have had an abortion? How many of these women spoke of it with pride, as a decision they're comfortable about? Or rather, do they share it quietly, with a least a note of shame or regret? How many of these women have never told their own family members? Who's judgement do they fear? That of others, or their own?

If it's such a fine thing to do, why is it something that women hide? Do we hide if we've had our tonsils out or had an appendectomy? These are medical procedures.

Abortion, on the other hand, is murder, even when we deny that fact to ourselves and loudly deny it to others. We know it deep down and it haunts us!


CARose 12 years ago


But what vote does the child facing death have in deciding the matter? If not "disinterested outsiders" then who will speak for the infant?

It's a life that is snuffed out! Someone has to speak up and help others to realize that killing someone is NOT a choice that belongs in an enlightened society.

As a society, we work to ensure that all our citizens are treated with the dignity they deserve. This is a truth we hold high! Where is the dignity in killing an innocent child?

As you've certainly heard before, "It's a child, not a choice!"


Godot 12 years ago

Observer, Tiller has partially delivered, and then murdered, "clumps of cells" that were only one or two weeks short of full term.

Godot 12 years ago

Observer needs sex education in the area of gestational progression. Observer needs remedial sex education in what really happens in an abortion.

Life in the womb at 12, 18, 24, 32 weeks, is not just a clump of cells. It is a human being at an early stage of development. That is not religion, that is science. Life at that stage is routinely, and violently, disposed of by Tiller.

CARose 12 years ago


I've said nothing about my religious beliefs. I have a degree in BioChemistry, with genetic engineering research under my belt. I worked on the Human Genome project.

When you take a male sperm and unite it with the female egg, you have a unique genetic complement that is Human in nature and meets the scientific definition of life in that it grows and has the ability to feed and reproduce (etc.).

It's life and it's Human, ergo, it's Human Life.

Is it also a "clump of cells"? Well, that depends on how you define a clump of cells and when in the pregnancy you're referring to?

At 28 months, you're obviously well beyond the "clump of cells" stage, and you'd be disingenuous to suggest otherwise. But let's say you're referring to a perhaps more common term for termination, say what 8 weeks? Even at this early stage the brain has 2 lobes, the spinal cord has developed. The arms and legs began to appear as early as 5 weeks, the heartbeat began on the 25th day of gestation. The lungs started developing. The Ears, eyelids, fingers and toes are begun to develop. By eight weeks the baby looks like a person.

If you want "clump of cells" you'd need to limit abortion to the "morning after". But why, if it is known that this "clump of cells" when left alone, will develop into a child, is it any less deserving of life than a 6 month old.

If left alone, a 6 month old is unable to care for him/her self. A 6 month old is totally dependant on others for their care and feeding and yet as a civilized society we know, instinctively we KNOW, that it is wrong to kill an infant.

Yet historically, infanticide has been known to occur, even, in some place, at fairly high rates. Perhaps we should allow parents to rethink their desire to take on the responsibilities of being parents. Maybe our laws should allow them to kill their infants so they can avoid the possibility of the hassle of some adopted child coming to them in 18 years asking tough questions. It'd be so much easier to just put the whole business behind us!

No, we know better, a child is a human being, deserving of protection! We, as a society, do what we can to protect that child. There are cracks in the network of care, but as a nation, as a society of upstanding citizens, we strive to protect the innocent.


Godot 12 years ago

Why do you personally believe that abortion is wrong?

CARose 12 years ago


As for whether what Tiller did was legal, I guess that's what the Grand Jury will be asked to decide. If he was performing a medical procedure he was at least obliged to apply the basics of medicine to the procedure. This would include taking a medical history in advance of performing the procedure, obtaining informed consent, and then providing the necessary follow-up care to ensure the health of his patient.

Apparently he didn't do a very good job with at least one, and I suspect all three of these aspects of basic medical care.

Remember, abortion was initially made legal to prevent the "back alley abortionist" from being the norm. Now, these same back alley butchers are allowed to open storefronts. And, because we have become so blinded by the need to "defend our freedoms" women refuse to even allow looking at how they are treating their sisters in these mills.

Women, even if you believe in abortions, deserve better than this!!

If it's a legal medical procedure, then it should be done in a way that respects the integrity of the woman who has come for care. A full medical history needs to be taken. Her current medical condition needs to be such that she is not put at risk by undergoing such a procedure.

She should be told the full story of the possible complications of the procedure, for both herself and the fetal life growing within her. She may flinch at learning that the child will feel the pain of having it's limbs torn off during the procedure, but what about after it's already done and she learns about it? Can she then change her mind and choose to spare her child such a fate? No, at this point she must bare her own pain at knowing what she did. Or perhaps she may decide to have a "humane abortion" and have pain killers applied in advance of the procedure to numb the child before the abortion.

Heck, we don't allow animals to be operated on without pain killers, why do we treat a developing child with less dignity?


CARose 12 years ago


What does religion have to do with anything? Why do you need to insist that religion is the reason for my ability to understand that human life is to be protected (as provided for in our US Constitution, not a religious document) and that a developing fetus is a human child (as can be demonstrated both by basic logic and pure science)?

A society, regardless of our individual religious beliefs, has a responsibility to protect our weakest members. This is the philosophy behind Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment, Welfare and other governmental programs designed to protect those in need. These are not religious programs. They are societal programs.

Why do you need to throw around labels like "religious nut cases" when facing an argument contrary to your position? I don't believe I've attempted to insult you.

I disagree with your position, but I've tried to be respectful of you as a person.


Godot 12 years ago

Observer, if viability is a case by case situation, it should be a medical decision, not an emotional one. How is a pregnant woman, or child, capable of discerning, on her own, the viability of a "clumb of cells" without benefit consultation with an ubiased third party medical professional?

Godot 12 years ago

correction: "clump" and "unbiased"

Godot 12 years ago

The doctor who will not benefit from performing the abortion.

CARose 12 years ago


You have no reason to assume that I hold my position on religion in common with these speakers whom you so dislike, merely because my views on the matter of abortion happen to be the same as theirs.

If you happen to like chocolate ice cream and a murderer is known to like chocolate ice cream, should I assume you to have a propensity for murder?

I've not used God as a defense for my arguments. For the basic truth that human life deserves defense doesn't need such a grand argument. It stands on it's own two feet, with logic, an understanding of what it takes for society to hold together, and a basic understanding of science and the development of the human fetus.

In posting my earlier reply regarding fetal development, I couldn't remember what happens when, but I figured that 8 weeks is a fair estimate of when a woman might have an abortion (4 wks, she's starting to realize she's late, 8 weeks, she's dealt with it emotionally and is financially ready to deal with it medically), so I did a quick google on "Fetal development - eight weeks". In nothing flat I got what I didn't recall in specific detail from previous courses.

Scientific fact regarding the development of a fetus.

It doesn't require a religious argument to support my position.


Godot 12 years ago

Correction (again - time to give up for the night) -

the unbiased third opinion would be "a" doctor who will not benefit from performing the abortion.

CARose 12 years ago

I still don't know why you guys are so focused on the concept of viability. An infant is not viable in terms of being able to take care of him/herself in society without the feeding and care by an adult. Yet we know not to suggest that it's OK to kill them, or even to neglect them.

Why does a child in the womb not get the same protection? It's a child, a human life.


CARose 12 years ago

I believe it's life at fertilization. At that point you have the genetic material recombining into a unique individual human life.


Godot 12 years ago

Observer, at what age can a child survive outside its mother's womb without assistance?

Godot 12 years ago

Observer, if a newborn, full term child were put in the trash and died from dehydration and malnutrition, what would you call that? Would it be choice, because the child could not survive on its own? Or would it be murder by neglect?

CARose 12 years ago

Oh, and once again, the moral decision is a societal one, as it is the place of society to defend our members, most especially the weak among us. This is why we have laws against murder, theft and other things that we could just as easily say are merely religious constructs, (they're in the 10 commandments - so that's their religious basis). Yet as a society, we acknowledge that simply because something has been stated by religion is not ample reason to toss it out.

For that matter, much of who we are as a society had it's roots in just these religious foundations.

But even without delving into the roots of how we got to where we are, we know that a society works as a function of how well we care for the weakest among us. For none of us knows where we may find ourselves in some vulnerable point in our lives. It behooves us to care for those who are weaker than ourselves.

None of us is likely to return to the womb, yet these weakest members are as worthy of our defense as previous slaves deserved the defense of the white abolishonist Northerners who supported the civil war effort. There are times when we do have a right to step up and speak for others, those others who are disaffected by society.

This is what seperates us from societies that believe it's OK to kill a woman who has had sex outside of marriage or walks unescorted in the streets during the day. We believe everyone is worthy of dignity and we're willing to defend those who might need it, even if its "Not our business".


Godot 12 years ago

Observer, you didn't answer my question. Are you saying each infant left to die in the trash is a separate instant, to be judged as separate acts?

You are going too deep for this forum. Next I would have to ask you to define which live-born infant could be neglected, with justification, and which should not.

CARose 12 years ago


Why do you hold that the mothers body is some obstacle to the child having life?

The mother is the vehicle to life, not the obstacle to it.

I know that the thought of bearing a child for 9 months, especially if the pregnancy is unwanted, is overwhelming to consider at first. But certainly the pregnancy wasn't something that comes as a complete surprise. Most girls these days understand where babies come from. So it may have been unwanted, but certainly it was a possibility from the outset.

Why must a child die so that a woman not be inconvenienced?


Godot 12 years ago

Observer, don't hide from the fact that not all those who oppose abortion are Christians. I realize that is what you were hoping to expose by your line of questioning. Instead, what was exposed is your own denial of the truth. Opposition to abortion is not just a Christian thing; it is for all of us who respect life.

CARose 12 years ago


Nope, I haven't. And yet when you reduce it down to a "moral choice to be left to those involved" that's what it amounts to. They are given the "right" to choose based on their own personal criterion, and you support them in having that choice. Who's to say why they might chose. And the fact is, it is most frequently merely the matter of convenience that results in abortion.

It's frightening to find oneself pregnant and unmarried, so rather than deal with it for the full 9 months, our society has sold women on the bill of goods that it's better to simply get rid of their "clump of cells" and not look back.

There are too many problems with this approach that unsuspecting women buy into.

1.) It's not a "clump of cells" - we've addressed this above.

2.) You don't get to not look back. We're human, and we tend to remember what we've done in the past. This includes things like abortion. And over time, this event comes back and haunts the women who've had them. Once its done, you can't go back and change your mind. It's a one way street and a life has been ended. A life you should have protected, because that is your first job as a mother.

It's a responsibility that exists from the moment of conception, but it takes time and nurture to get to the full realization of what this means. The woman, the young mother, doesn't always realize how important this role of hers is until it's too late. And a large part of the reason she doesn't realize her role is because she's been sold a bill of goods by our society who pushes her to believe it's a choice, devoid of any definitive right and wrong.

Another thing that we haven't addressed on this thread is the fact that in far too many cases, the women aren't even the primary person seeking the abortion. In far too many cases she's reluctant to harm her child, knowing on an instinctive level, even if not able to articulate it, that she wants to protect the new life growing inside her. But the father, and in some cases her own parents, strongly encourage her to end the pregnancy to avoid having to take responsibility for the new life.

This encouragement can be downright abusive. But we aren't supposed to even consider these things bacause the woman has a right to choose. Does the abortion industry really have all the choices equally presented to the women who come to them? Do they really help them face the fears of their situation and help them to make an informed decision, one that they will be best able to deal with in the long term? Or do they encourage them to take "the easy way out", one that just happens to result in their getting a paycheck?

Just some more things to think about,


Godot 12 years ago

Fathers and parents are not the only ones who exert pressure to abort; academic advisors have been known to do this, as well. "You have such a bright future, why drag yourself down with a child?" "You are just a few hours from your degree, wouldn't you be better off to wait for a family?" "You realize that having a child will interfere with the hours you need to devote to your career, don't you? Tenure is just a few years away. In-vitro will be there if you need it (wink)."

CARose 12 years ago

and how about employers, either implicitly or explicitly. Why should women be expected to advance in their careers if they're just going to take time off to have babies? Why should they be paid the same as a man if they're ...

Yup, you're right.

We've gotten around to devaluing mother-hood to the point that the strong message being fed to young women / girls is that being a mother isn't a valuable thing.

I know that I certainly bought into that mindset when I was younger!


Lepanto1571 12 years ago


Out barely articulating your neo-liberal situational ethics, "morals are individually interpreted," "killing children in the womb is the highest expression of freedom" partyline of leftist intellectual poverty again.

Having read your posts through this thread, I am recommending once again that your parents begin supervising your "online" time.

This really is a conversation for adults.

According to your rigorous logic and astute analysis, would it be OK for someone to beat their neighbor to death with a tire iron becaue they allowed their dog to crap in their yard?

How about if someone were to crack you over the head with a ball bat and take your checkbook and credit cards and use them as their own? Would that be something you wouldn't want to judge the offender on?

After all genius, it just might be their "choice."

Have a great day!

CARose 12 years ago

Wow lepanto,

Your arguments are so well formed they are bound to reach out and touch the reader in a way that will really encourage them to reconsider their position!

Well done!


Lepanto1571 12 years ago


Thanks. I enjoyed reading your comments above.

CARose 12 years ago

Actually Lepanto,

I was chastising you, using sarcasm. While I strongly disagree with Observer's position, I believe that engaging in respectful dialog is far more likely to encourage her to reconsider the position she has taken. I know that when I believed as she does, it was the rare day when I would even read anything that presented the opposing position, let alone engage in a conversation on the topic.

She's at least willing to discuss the topic. This is the first step to exploring the truth. For that, I commend her, for we can't grow if we're closed to even exploring an opposing viewpoint.

I've asked her to treat me with the same respect I've accorded her throughout this thread and I would expect others to also treat her with respect. Otherwise, our message of life gets lost in a vale of hate.

You may have the right position, but it gets lost in your delivery and you do a disservice to those who are trying to wake people up to the truth of Life and it's inherent dignity.



Lepanto1571 12 years ago


Well don't I feel like the fool. Missed that one; right over the head, didn't get it.

Actually I've know Obscurer since the old reader reaction and rivercitytalk and handle him/her the way he/she treats others, but with a sharper blade.

Sounds like you have things well in hand and are in no need of my services. Take comfort in that there will be very few who'll associate you and I.

I respectfully disagree with you regarding methods. It take all types CARose, you're the understanding articulate type, I'm a sledgehammer. Call it my inherent inability to overcome my genetic structure, but I respect your way nonetheless.

Out of curiosity, is there anything other than my method that you disagree with in my response to Obtuse?

I apologize if I offended you. I can't promise it won't happen again.



CARose 12 years ago

I agree that her position has a weak intellectual basis, although referring to it as "leftist" doesn't do much to make your point.

Alluding to her age, either actual or as a dig on what you perceive to be immaturity, does little to support the position of respect for life.

I think your tire iron example is a good one. It makes the point, using analogy, that we need to draw the line when giving others the right to define their own morals.

Your sarcastic reference to her as a "genius" again is only likely to enflame her, making her less likely to listen to anything you try to say.

I've seen the sledgehammer approach applied by others and I don't know that I've ever seen it turn someone from their mistaken position. On the contrary, it typically encourages a person to dig into their position all the harder.

Perhaps I know because I have been known, in my once youthful stubbornness, to get into a corner and not know how to get out, cornered by my own beligerence and the bulldogged tactics of a bully who happened to be spouting the truth. And there was NO WAY I'd give the bully the satisfaction of winning, regardless of how right I eventually came to realize they were.


Linda Endicott 12 years ago

We don't have all the facts in this case. We don't know what options were discussed, or the exact condition of the mother...remember, she was developmentally disabled. Her parents were probably her guardians, and as such had the legal right.

Whether you agree with abortion or not, what was done was legal. It is a right upheld by the supreme court.

Do I agree with abortion? No. There are far too many options, and far too many times when it's used simply as a means of birth control. But I can't force my own morality on others.

And this is something extremely personal, and none of my business. Right now, women have the legal choice to get abortions. I wouldn't deign to make that choice for others, any more than I would want others to make the choice for me whether or not I would want to be taken off life support if I was incapacitated.

I do wonder why the parents waited so far into the pregnancy to make this choice. If they were her caregivers, they had to know she was pregnant. But then, I suppose she could have been in an institution. The article doesn't say.

Also remember that the abortion isn't what killed her. She died from infection, which is a risk that is possible with any kind of surgery.

lizward 12 years ago

Observer, haven't you missed the point? It was not CHRISTIN'S decision, it was the decision of HER PARENTS.

lizward 12 years ago

crazyks, doesn't it strike you as odd that a child of ten could get an abortion (in some states) without her parents knowing and yet the parents of a woman with Downs syndrome are regarded as having the absolute right over her body? So much for equality!

BOE 12 years ago

Posted by Marion

"It is essentially a thing on which the liberal Warren court dodged the issue."


It wasn't the "liberal Warren court".

It was, after four Nixon appointed Justices, CJ Burger's court (the strict constructionist) and had been for more than three years.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

Because the parents in this case were her guardians. Even though she was an adult in body, she wasn't in mind.

Parents of a ten-year-old are also the guardians of the child. She may be able to get an abortion without her parents' knowledge. (I'll have to look into that one.) By the same token, since they are the guardians, they could choose for her to have an abortion, even if she said she didn't want to. It is assumed in society that 10-year-olds do not have the maturity or the mental capacity to make such decisions on their own.

Before you get on your high horse, parents make decisions for their children all the time. They don't leave it up to the child. This includes things like bedtime, diet, what friends they can or can't have, where they can go, what they can do...admittedly not as serious as abortion, but still things that affect the health and well-being of the child.

CARose 12 years ago

And yes, in some states (e.g. CA) a 10 year old can get an abortion not only without her parents permission, but also without their even being notified.

A 10 year old can't get an aspirin from the school nurse without her parents permission, but she can get an abortion. I don't know too many people who have died from taking a single aspirin, but the case of Cristin points out that you can die for having a single abortion.

And the parents don't even need to be notified!

Sorry, but that's simply insane.


CARose 12 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

badger 12 years ago

You know, this case isn't about the rightness or morality of abortion. It's about whether Dr. Tiller's clinic followed the proper rules and procedures, and whether any deviations from proper rules and procedures caused a young woman's death.

When it comes down to it, in a case like this, the morality of the issue just doesn't really matter to the case, because it's about whether someone received adequate medical care. She could have died on the table during a tonsillectomy. People do.

If the Board of Healing Arts has said that proper procedures and protocols were followed, then a grand jury shouldn't find anything different. If Dr. Tiller did do something medically wrong and illegal, his ability to practice medicine should be questioned, and either some form of probation, censure, or perhaps loss of his medical license is called for. I believe that abortion is a medical procedure, and that people deserve safe and adequate medical care according to established standards.

However, if he didn't do anything illegal or medically wrong, then people should get over their moral outrage and realize that legal is legal, and if you're so certain that what's legal is immoral, then you should get on your elected representatives, who've controlled both Congress and the White House for FIVE YEARS, and yet who, dispite their loud claims that they want to end abortion, have done very little to actually accomplish that goal. I believe they've managed to ban one scantily used procedure that was most often used to preserve the life of the mother anyway (and didn't they leave a provision for the health of the mother in there...), and so really they haven't stopped more than a very few abortions a year.

Why, if the support is there and the Congressional majority is there and the Presidential willingness to sign is there, have we not seen more progress?

I can't believe that those pesky liberals really have so very much power as to overcome a Senate majority, a House majority, and a President who says he's pro-life.

Pro-lifers totally get played by their elected representation.

badger 12 years ago

CARose said:

"And yes, in some states (e.g. CA) a 10 year old can get an abortion not only without her parents permission, but also without their even being notified."

Is Kansas one of those states?

Cause if not, the scare tactics and histrionics on it are pretty much irrelevant to this discussion, which you've (mostly effectively) jacked into another pro-life vs. pro-choice shouting match, but really ought to be about the standards of medical treatment and whether one specific medical professional followed them or did not.

See, my best friend in college was vehemently pro-life. I am not. We debated it for a few rounds, and then said, "We disagree on the fundamental point of when life begins. It's unlikely either of us will change that opinion through anything the other says. So what say we just stop having this particular fight, because for most people, they've made up their minds about it, and there's really not going to be a lot of chance that either side will convince the other through shouting."

We agreed on fundamental points, that it's a legal elective medical procedure, that it's never really a good thing to have happen in someone's life, and that better education and advances in medical care would someday make it irrelevant. Try accepting your common ground with the other side and eliminating abortion by ending unplanned pregnancies and birth defects. We'll all be happier in the long run.

wonderhorse 12 years ago


" Also why is it the males that are so adament?"

Why are including me in this?

wonderhorse 12 years ago


"Tomorrow for breakfast I should have a California Condor egg breakfast. Some scrambled Spotted Owl eggs maybe? Of course, they are just clumps of organic tissue. They aren't endangered because they aren't life."

Why do you keep using the same pathetic argument? The eggs are potential life that we are trying to protect, because the stupid birds are endangered. Humans are not endangerd (except by their own devices). Why is this so hard for you to understand?

wonderhorse 12 years ago

"Why must a child die so that a woman not be inconvenienced?"

An embryo is not a child.

Godot 12 years ago

"An embryo is not a child."

But an egg is a bird. unbelievable.

wonderhorse 12 years ago

No, an egg is not a bird. It is a potential bird.

Why is this difficult to understand?

badger 12 years ago

An embryo is a potential child just like a condor egg is a potential condor.

However, abortion is legal, and eating california condors is not.

If this seems like such a massive moral outrage to you, then tell me, what are you doing to change the laws?

All the high-horse moralistic Biblical jingoism aside, abortion is a legal medical procedure engaged in by the individual who makes the decision and her doctor. Second-guess and scream about God all you like, and bring in all the wild analogies you care to, but the laws of the land, which are firmly in Republican control right now, still. make. it. legal.

Because in thirty years of posturing, your elected representatives have never changed that. Thirty years. How long did it take to overcome Prohibition, a Constitutional amendment? You think they really couldn't, if they set their minds to it, have outlawed abortion nationwide last year? They control the vertical. They control the horizontal.

Seriously, guys, can't you see they're just using you so you'll keep voting them in on their 'pro-life platform' and then they ignore you for another few years while bemoaning the 'influence' of those darn liberals?


wonderhorse 12 years ago

"And saying one is endangered is insane."

Why? It is easy to count the number of condors or owls and say that there aren't very many of them. That is what makes them "endangered".

"How is an endangered bird egg more valuable than a human life?"

I have never claimed this, and haven't read a comment on the board that indicated anybody else did.

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