Monday, March 23, 2009

Sebelius and Tiller - A Human Portrait

You can call the picture at left whatever you want. Whatever it is - it is 26 weeks old.

Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas has offed 60,000 of these around this age and older. Most of these terminations likely happened outside the letter and spirit of that state's restrictions on late-term abortions. But they happened anyway because "the millions Tiller had contributed to local Democrats earned him a special exemption from state law and even a night in his honor in the middle of the criminal investigation" hosted by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, according to a two part report by Jack Cashill.

The report is well worth considering as Sebelius moves toward confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Part one explains the support Sebelius has given to Tiller, as well as, Planned Parenthood in Kansas. Part two puts a human face on what actually happens at Dr. Tiller's clinic - something the Catholic Governor has done nothing to restrict, excerpts:

In May 2003, as she would later testify before the Kansas legislature, the then 18 year-old Michelle Berge, now Armesto-Berge, was pressured by her mother to abort her baby in the 26th week of her pregnancy.

“It’s murder and I will not do it,” Michelle protested, but her mother had other plans. Staff at Tiller’s clinic eased those plans along by informing Michelle of a Catholic group that “believed in abortion” and promised baptism for the aborted baby.

In reality, the Catholic Church considers abortion “murder” and “always morally evil,” an article of faith that has so far eluded the ostensibly Catholic HHS nominee and Tiller patroness, Kathleen Sebelius.

As Michelle would soon learn, Tiller honored Kansas law about as faithfully as he proffered Catholic doctrine.

Under Kansas law, two independent physicians have to confirm that a woman carrying a viable unborn child could be saved from death or “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” only through a late term abortion.

Not one woman among the five with whom Michelle was being processed, herself included, risked physical or mental health impairment of any sort.

The women talked among themselves during their stay in Wichita. “All were there,” Michelle testified, “because they were told [late-term abortion] would solve their problems.” These problems ranged from unreliable boyfriends to socially ambitious parents.

In other words, Tiller was fully prepared to abort five healthy babies, ready to be born to five healthy mothers, in flagrant disregard of the most serious of Kansas laws. . .

. . .After Michelle’s group watched a video on “Dr. Tiller’s legacy,” a nurse took her to a private room and prepared her for an ultrasound. When she tried to look at the screen, the nurse abruptly moved the screen away.

Michelle was then taken to another room. There a female doctor inserted a large needle twice to make sure she injected the unborn child, “and that,” said Michelle, “is when the baby was killed.”

Only after this procedure was completed did Michelle fill out the paperwork and meet with a counselor, a charge proven by time stamps on her medical records.

Michelle also met with a self-identified Unitarian minister who consoled her with the hitherto unknown Christian doctrine, “You have to take care of the ones who are here, not the ones who aren't born.”

After the initial injections Michelle underwent a variety of preparations to facilitate the delivery of the dead baby. A late-term abortion of this kind usually takes three-days.

Like most other girls, Michelle spent her nights at a Wichita hotel, in Michelle’s case with her mother. On her second day, she met casually with Tiller for the first time but only for a few minutes.

He talked to her about his own teenage child and how presumably, “if in the same situation, would do the same thing.” . . .

. . .By the third day Michelle’s labor had proceeded to the point where she was ready to deliver. What follows is not for the faint of heart.

“I remember yelling at the nurse and calling her names and telling her I did not want to be on the toilet,” Michelle recounted.

“I finally birthed the baby and I distinctly remember seeing the baby on the floor to the left of the toilet.” Said Michelle, “That image haunts me daily.”

Despite the alleged threat to her health, there was no follow-up care of any kind for the young woman. Nor did Tiller’s clinic call to see that there was.