February 15, 2013

"Lots of people are opposed to the kind of late-term abortion that preceded the death of a woman in Maryland last week...."

"But everyone should be opposed to the blatantly illegal violation of her privacy and the exploitation of her death by protesters using it to make their point."

Writes Petula Dvorak in the WaPo.

I don't understand the "blatantly illegal" part. Dvorak is only guessing that someone in the clinic leaked the information, so shouldn't "blatantly" be something like "possibly"? Dvorak's opinion goes beyond the question of whether any law was broken. She portrays what happened to the woman as something intensely private that ought to have been mourned within her circle of family and friends and never disclosed to the rest of us, who have various opinions about a matter of important public concern related to this death.

To shift the topic slightly: Remember the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, when we kept hearing — from Hillary Clinton and others — that the primary concern is for the families of the men who died.

I think we need to be a little skeptical when we hear the argument this is private, this is for the families.

What belongs securely in the private realm and what should come out into the public light? Consider the old slogan: The personal is political.

When we hear the statement this is private, we need to test its truth with the opposite proposition: This belongs in the public debate. And consider whether we are looking at something that can be divided up into private and public. We can be respectful to the family, we can avoid using the woman's name and photographs and and so forth, and extract the part of the story that properly belongs in the public debate. Those who demand absolute privacy may have complex motives. They may say: What I care about is the very personal suffering of the victim's family and friends. Why would they give voice to less admirable motivations?

68 comments:

mishu said...

Therefore, if this woman was killed by a gun that looks scary and military like, would leftists have the same concern for the family to grieve in private?

edutcher said...

Petula Dvorak?

And the hush-hush is because somebody's going to find out some of those babies are viable and are being murdered.

Remember, there is no right to privacy.

Unless the Lefties think they can use it to political advantage.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't understand the "blatantly illegal" part.

Maybe this will help you understand.

Don't you bother to do the barest research before you make irresponsible assertions?

ByondPolitics said...

ProTip: It can still be a blatant violation of her privacy even if it is only possible that the medical records were leaked illegally.

Think harder.

Paul said...

Well was it 'intensely private' for the baby that DIED in the abortion?

Oh, right, it isn't a baby, it's a 'choice'.

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

I don't understand the "blatantly illegal" part.

Maybe this will help you understand.

Don't you bother to do the barest research before you make irresponsible assertions?


Oh, Hell, we all know ObamaTax ignores all those fussy little rules.

PS Since we don't who leaked, if, in fact, anybody did, Freder as usual is jumping to conclusions.

Renee said...

The women's family had a public obituary. Of course it only said 'she died suddenly'. I felt uncomfortable as well, that she was identified. But from the pro-life sources I read, they connected her identity from the obituary.

Other then for prayers for the women and family, the focus was on the doctor who performed the procedure. I'm not one to put the horrific details online, but third trimester abortions are much different then first trimester.

Chip S. said...

I was unaware that the HIPAA made it illegal to disclose cause of death.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Prosecutions for abuse of corpse are pretty rare these days.

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't you bother to do the barest research before you make irresponsible assertions?"

I saw that in the article, but I also saw that it isn't known whether someone in the clinic leaked the story.

So why are you talking to me in such a disrespectful way?

Please apologize and proceed to make whatever points you have in a decent way. Alternatively, you are exposed as a troll.

Proceed.

khesanh0802 said...

I agree with mishu's point. If this had been a gun death it would have been okay for the gun control loonies to take advantage of it, but since it's a "choice" issue we must all remain mum. What horses**t!

Renee said...

"“. ******** was carrying a wanted baby. At present her registry is still online,” Stanek added. “Approximately two weeks ago ********* learned her daughter suffered from fetal anomalies. ********, her husband, her parents, and her sister traveled to Carhart’s late-term Germantown Reproductive Health Services abortion clinic in Germantown, Maryland.

According to information the pro-life group Operation Rescue released to LifeNews on Friday, the then-unnamed woman arrived at Germantown Reproductive Health Center on Sunday to start the abortion process. Local pro-life advocates protesting outside saw her every day until yesterday, and described her as appearing “pale and weak.”

Early Thursday morning, the woman began suffering chest pain and other discomforts, the group informed LifeNews. Her attempts to reach Carhart were unsuccessful. The woman was taken by her family from her hotel to a nearby hospital emergency room at approximately 5:00 a.m. Efforts by hospital staff to contact Carhart or get informational assistance from the abortion clinic were unsuccessful."


http://www.lifenews.com/2013/02/10/young-woman-who-died-from-botched-33-week-abortion-identified/

Nomennovum said...

Women want to keep their abortions private -- especially these late term abortions -- for one reason: shame.

This is also the reason for all the euphemisms.

Renee said...

But everyone knew she was pregnant.

Chip S. said...

Careful, Renee. You may have just committed a HIPAA violation.

bagoh20 said...

It's still to early here.

I think when trying to kill a full term fetus, you have given up parental rights to privacy, just like it would not be private if you did the killing the next week after the birth.

virgil xenophon said...

Chip S@10:34/

Does Health & Human Services have armed SWAT teams like every other Federal Agency seems to these days? Renee better watch out or some of those BILLIONS of rounds the Fed Civilian Agencies have purchased may be coming her way--not to mention the DRONES circling her house at the very least..

Welcome to Obama-world, Renee..

SJ said...

@Freder,

far outside the realm of HIPAA, but still in the breaking-the-law realm...

Several times during the Presidency of George W. Bush, news organizations published information that was Classified. The person who supplied the information to the news organizations broke the law.

The newspapers published the information, and claimed that they had strong protection under the First Amendment for publishing it. Even though the source broke the law in providing it.

Was that right, or wrong?

In this case, a clinic worker may have broken the law. Or protesters may have done some detective work, and pieced together lots of publicly-available information.

Either way, is the publisher at fault for publishing the information?

It's an odd corner of First Amendment law, and one I'm not quite sure of the implications of.

Kate Danaher said...

Does Ms Dvorak feel the same way about Savita Halappanavar? It would be interesting to see Ms Dvorak's piece written, substituting the details of the Halappanavar case.

"Her name and photo have appeared on protest signs, in blogs and in newspapers.

The intimate details of her medical records — probably leaked by someone with access to that information at the Galway Hospital where she died — should never have seen the light of day, let alone be broadcast at a rally the month after her death."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Savita_Halappanavar

Renee said...

Well, the priest knew she was pregnant at her Catholic funeral.

"The priest who presided over the services delivered a consoling homily in which he remembered his favorite childhood nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty. He stated that much like Humpty Dumpty, God will put both ******** and her unborn child, *********, back together again."

The unborn child had abnormalities which was the reasoning for the late-term abortion. We do not know the extent or severity of their abnormalities.

We need better perinatal hospice, not late-term abortion.

CWJ said...

Unfortunately, the nature of the debate over late-term abortion has trumped this poor family's right to privacy.

Regardless of the real reasons for seeking a late-term abortion, the fig leaf used to justify them has been the health of the mother. This is the only reason that has any traction with the public, and is the reason used to justify extreme versions such as partial birth abortion and overturn laws trying to limit the practice.

Given the statistical shroud of secrecy regarding the inner workings of such clinics, both sides are reduced to marshalling anecdotal evidence. That this poor woman appears to have actually died as the result of a late term abortion.seems fair game in the debate over the health of the mother justification.

bagoh20 said...

There were two deaths, no?

Roger J. said...

bag--presumably--but regrettably only one is important.

Lyssa said...

There were two deaths, no?

In many (most or all) states, if you murder a pregnant woman, you can be charged with double homicide for the death of the baby as well.

Imagine that it came out that this doctor did something so egregious that he could be charged not only with malpractice, but with a murder/manslaughter crime for her death.

But not for the child's?

jr565 said...

I think we need to be a little skeptical when we hear the argument this is private, this is for the families.

What belongs securely in the private realm and what should come out into the public light? Consider the old slogan: The personal is political.

When we hear the statement this is private, we need to test its truth with the opposite proposition: This belongs in the public debate.


rape shield laws?
hosting the addresses of all the gun owners in a certain area?

Roger J. said...

jr565--yours is a good question; and my cynical answer is it always depends upon what axe you have to grind. Would that it were not so--but, alas, it is.

my condolences to the family of the mother and their unborn grandchild. Life is just not fair.

Mary Beth said...

“If all abortions become completely illegal in the United States, then women can’t compete in the marketplace so corporate America becomes all-male—and unfortunately would become all white male, since minorities are the ones who need abortions and can’t pay for them,” he says. “Rich, white people can go find one. This whole thing is a conspiracy, as far as I’m concerned, to keep the WASPs in power.” - Dr. Carhart

Is this kind of thinking typical of the pro-abortion people?

Freder Frederson said...

So why are you talking to me in such a disrespectful way?

Considering you have called me an asshole in the past (at least twice), what makes you think I should be respectful to you?

And it is obvious from the article that medical information was leaked, either by the clinic or the hospital (or by someone who works there). It is pretty self-evident that there was a HIPPA violation.

Freder Frederson said...

Well was it 'intensely private' for the baby that DIED in the abortion?

Didn't you read the article? It was apparent she wanted the baby. There must have been a serious problem that made the abortion necessary.

Marshal said...

Mary Beth said...
“If all abortions become completely illegal in the United States, then women can’t compete in the marketplace so corporate America becomes all-male—and unfortunately would become all white male, since minorities are the ones who need abortions and can’t pay for them,”


Just to highlight one specific aspect this guy is claiming minority men need abortions.

This is the result of leftists replacing thought with cant.

dc said...

Wasn't Carhart a hero of abortion at the Sundance Film Festival?

Big Mike said...

I followed the link to Dvorak's article, and her link to the original news article.

It seems to me that there is too little known at this point for either the protestors to be using this poor woman as an example or -- more reprehensibly -- for Dvorak to write what she wrote.

I believe that abortion should be legal, but it should also be safe. If Dr. Carhart failed to provide adequate standards of care then he deserves to be publicly pilloried and pay out a major malpractice settlement and perhaps have his license suspended as well. But the protestors don't know that for a fact and are shooting off their mouths with no factual basis to support them.

On the other hand some surgical procedures are inherently dangerous and patients are supposed to give informed consent. I'm not a doctor, though I work with them, but I gather that very late term abortions are roughly as dangerous as multiple bypass cardiac surgeries. So some people are going to die despite the best quality of care. If Carhart did provide adequate standards of care, and has the informed consent documents in hand, then he's legally in the clear and the protestors should go home, or track down more Kermit Gosnells since the Post is uninterested in doing so themselves.

I can only assume that Dvorak was being snarky when she mentions "that pesky HIPAA privacy law." I express my concern because some guy named Obama recently gave a speech where he seemed equally dismissive of HIPAA regulations, so I have no idea how left wing ideologues such as Dvorak really feel about HIPAA regs. Are they good only when they can be used to beat up on anti-abortionists but utterly dispensible when a President wants to run roughshod over them? I don't know, but I'm allowed to have my suspicions.

Where I take serious issue with Dvorak is the tone and implication where she seems to be expressing skepticism that this violation of HIPAA will not be investigated. She doesn't know that it isn't being investigated, Dvorak just assumes that since Martelli and other protestors are not being hauled off en masse as she would like to see, then it must be true that no one much cares about the apparent violation. And I say "apparent" because for all we know the information surrounding this poor woman's death was in fact released by an authorized individual.

Dvorak's column is no less reprehensible than the people she is denouncing.

Freder Frederson said...

We need better perinatal hospice, not late-term abortion.

To unnecessarily extend the suffering of both mother and child? Late term abortions, as much as you wish to deny it, are sometimes necessary because the fetus has zero chance of living. It happened to a friend of mine. She desperately wanted a child. During her second trimester an ultrasound revealed that the baby's brain was developing out side the skull. A live birth was impossible.

Renee said...

Freder,

You don't cut up the fetus inside, instead you deliver the child intact (as a whole person) so you don't damage the woman's uterus which happened here!


Abortion versus better then starting up an IV of pitocin and delivering the baby in one piece hold the baby, even if the child will soon die immediately afterbirth and give it a proper burial?


http://www.jpands.org/vol11no2/calhoun.pdf


Study on hospice...

wyo sis said...

Even in this world where nothing is ever private people still get all worked up about privacy. It must mean something to people. Too bad it means nothing but opportunity to political types.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Set aside the question of protesters and their actions.

If there is a trial, then what otherwise might have been private will become public.

More broadly, the notion that an abortion facility is "private" is ridiculous. It's a business, open to the public. We have all manner of laws and regulations applying to all manner of businesses and "public accommodations." Only the abortion lobby pleads that what it does is "private."

No, I'm not saying medical records aren't private--but what goes on in an abortion mill, is not "private."

Bryan C said...

"Didn't you read the article? It was apparent she wanted the baby. There must have been a serious problem that made the abortion necessary."

Or at least she was led to believe that there was a very serious problem. By the same people who performed the operation? It seems like a reasonable question, but I guess the clinic's other patients don't deserve to know anything about that.
I think its premature for the author to accuse people of violating HIPPA. Privacy laws aren't cloaking devices, and they don't and can't prohibit anyone from noticing things that happen in public. Even if those things embarrass or shame other people.

Pogo said...

The rule is:
If it is in the interest of the left, it should be public (e.g. Obama unsealing his opponent's divorce records).

If it runs against the interest of the left, it is a private matter.

Or more simply, remember:
"The Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture the rest of us about." (Fen's Law)

damikesc said...

Man, PA abortion doctors seem to be a lethal bunch. First Gossett and then this clown. We've already had one horror story of an abortion mill in PA. Why are people upset about people trying to stop a second one?

Want to keep your privacy? Don't get killed while undergoing an abortion. Otherwise, your death might be a bit of a story.

heyboom said...

Renee, you are so right.

My wife has been an L&D nurse for almost 25 years now. If there are health complications for a woman in a late-term pregnancy that is being caused by the carrying of the fetus, the remedy is indeed to deliver the baby from the mother. It doesn't matter one iota whether that baby is dead or alive when it comes out. Killing a living baby is unnecessary.



heyboom said...

Freder, you're confused about the birthing process. Second trimester isn't considered late-term. It is not "impossible" for a baby to be delivered from it's mother if it has no chance of surviving post-delivery. Even dead babies are delivered by normal methods. A very good friend of mine had the same prognosis your friend did, and chose to carry to term.

Any fetus more than 20 weeks gestation (second trimester) showing severe abnormalities or demise will be induced in a hospital setting. No hospital will do a D&C on fetuses more than 20 weeks gestation. Sometimes they won't even do them as early as 16 weeks.

Inga said...

Pogo,
Fen also said he wanted to see a female reporter in the Trayvon Martin case gang raped and then set on fire, so yeah quote him as if he is some sage.

Pogo said...

Inga: "Squirrel!"

Freder Frederson said...

No, I'm not saying medical records aren't private--but what goes on in an abortion mill, is not "private."

As much as you may wish otherwise, abortion records are medical records.

Inga said...

Nope, no squirrel.

I don't believe that late term abortions should be legal. I'm fine with limiting abortions to the first trimester or 18 weeks at the latest. I've said so here several times now. If her abortion was necessary to save her life, it was doubly tragic.

Roger J. said...

Re Freder's concern with HIPPA: one wonders if Dr Gosnell in Philly kept medical records on his murderous operation.

Robert said...

What is the opposite of blatantly illegal? Subtly illegal? Is that a thing?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

33 weeks is pretty damn "late-term." What sort of abnormality would be noticed only that late? Or was it just that she wasn't getting prenatal care?

"Fetal abnormalities" could mean absolutely anything, from cleft palate to Down Syndrome to the heartbreakingly always-fatal (like Tay-Sachs) to the, for practical purposes, already fatal (like anencephaly). I don't find these things at all equivalent, but late-term abortions have been performed many times for all of them.

CWJ said...

Inga,

I understand what you are saying. But to subscribe to "fen's law" is not to subscribe to fen.

Kelly said...

A family friend was about eight months along when she found out her baby would die shortly after birth. I believe the organs had developed on the outside of the body. So she and her husband went to Colorado to get a late term abortion. In the initial meeting with the doctor, the husband began crying, the doctor kicked them out. Apparently, there is no crying when contemplating aborting your child.

So, the husband got it together, they went back, the husband didn't have any more embarrassing displays of emotion and they got the abortion.

Last I heard, she is depressed because there is no death certificate or headstone and the in-laws aren't speaking to them.

I'll never understand the choice they made. They could have held their baby, had some closure, had a funeral. Instead they treated it like day old garbage giving him no dignity, he was incinerated and disposed of like so much trash.

Martha said...

In my opinion it is a pubic service to broadcast the inherent danger of a late term abortion. The public should be aware that sometimes abortion kills more than the fetus.

At 33 weeks the fetus is viable.
Termination of the pregnancy is dangerous.
Why chance it? Why not allow the pregnancy to go to term?--to erase as quickly as possible the existence of a less than perfect infant?

Ann Althouse said...

Was this pregnancy a threat to the woman's life? Or is that part of the health records that we don't know? The fact that she died suggests maybe something was wrong with her. Did the abortion kill her or was she getting the abortion because something was killing her? If so, why is this an outpatient procedure?

Ann Althouse said...

Why didn't the woman just go to a hospital when the complications set in? Why go back to the clinic?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I don't think an abortion as late as that (we're talking close to 9th month here) should ever be an outpatient procedure. If it's medically necessary, to protect the life of the woman carrying, all the more reason it ought to be done in a hospital. Cases as fraught as that do not belong in outpatient clinics.

IIRC, Roe allowed regulation of abortion providers in the interest of the pregnant woman from fourth month of gestation on. I forget exactly how Casey modified that, except in its throwing "viability" into the mix, but surely regulations requiring very late-term procedures like this to be done in hospitals, or in clinics with hospital-scale emergency services, would pass Casey.

Synova said...

Which tragedies are private and which aren't? If the needless and horrific deaths of children at Sandy Hook is public, no matter how painful to the family to hear about it all the time, how is some other needless death different?

Child abuse and rape are intensely private too... so don't tell anyone, okay?

Synova said...

"To unnecessarily extend the suffering of both mother and child?"

How did that work out for her, Freder?

Yes, sure, it would be devastating to bear a child you knew would die (assuming the baby was actually going to die, which you don't know at all, maybe it just had Down Syndrome for all you know) but you'd get to publicly mourn and have a funeral and go through the rituals and traditions developed to help people deal with loss.

I never had a miscarriage but I do have four children and I can't quite get my mind around turning a child you *wanted* into medical waste.

And it turns out... the mother wasn't spared anything.

Synova said...

"Last I heard, she is depressed because there is no death certificate or headstone and the in-laws aren't speaking to them.

I'll never understand the choice they made. They could have held their baby, had some closure, had a funeral. Instead they treated it like day old garbage giving him no dignity, he was incinerated and disposed of like so much trash.
"

Yes, this. I can see *thinking* that you don't want to go through that, that you can't face it, but I don't see any way that it's better to not treat the baby as your baby who died.

buck smith said...

Unless citizens have the right individually to decde what they can and cannot do with their bodies, 'our bodies, ourselves' becomes just the hollow slogan of a bunch of old women. It's right to choose for women's reproductive systems and 'ask the commissar' for the rest of humanity. And when I say old women I am referring to group by their brain functions and not their gender. There are some men that are old women on this issue.

Shana said...

I have two friends who delivered anencephalic babies and were able to love them for a few days and then mourn them. They had older siblings who were able to grieve, too. Even if the life of the mother is in danger, why not have an emergency C-section instead of cutting up a live baby and possibly perforating the uterus. I had another friend who had to deliver her tripkets too early because of pneumonia (they had her tilted upward to keep her from premature delivery, but it caused fluid to collect in her lungs). The triplets were too early, deluvered by C-section, but she got to hold them, love them, and bury them. There are ladies who handcraft gowns to donate to these babies that are beautiful. I can't understand the instinct for butchery.

jaed said...

The fact that she died suggests maybe something was wrong with her.

We don't know enough to say what happened, but no, her death doesn't suggest she had a preexisting medical problem. Perforation of the uterus is not that uncommon in late abortions (it's close quarters with sharp instruments), and such an injury, if undetected, can lead to infection and sepsis. The symptoms described would be consistent with that.

DADvocate said...

Killers always want privacy.

AJ Lynch said...

I believe HIPPA was actually a law written to protect the privacy of HIV positive gays- it wasn't really about protecting the privacy of all people.

HA said...

I wonder how much Dr. Carhart gets paid for these procedures.

Faustina said...

33rd week? Are there no limits for how late abortions can be performed in the US? As much as I think of abortions as a necessary and lesser evil, I cannot fathom the need for abortions after week 20 at the latest.

Martha said...

After the death of the patient, does HIPPA apply?

Autopsy results including post-mortem drug and alcohol levels are released to the media all the time. No HIPPA privacy there.


Martha said...

oops a quick Google search reveals that
HIPAA privacy still applies after death--for 50 years after death.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:

I don't believe that late term abortions should be legal. I'm fine with limiting abortions to the first trimester or 18 weeks at the latest.
How then is that pro choice? Aren't you saying the state should be in womens uteruses after 18 weeks?

kentuckyliz said...

"Safe, Legal, and Rare"

Well, legal anyway.