Un­der­cover record­ings vin­di­cate Trump on late-term abor­tion.

Priest says that New Mex­ico now the ‘cap­i­tal’ of pro­ce­dure

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

Priests for Life and Abor­tion Free New Mex­ico have re­leased a se­ries of un­der­cover au­dio record­ings of abor­tion clinic work­ers sched­ul­ing pro­ce­dures as late as 33 weeks of preg­nancy — about a month and a half be­fore the av­er­age de­liv­ery date of 40 weeks.

What’s more, the pro-life Cen­ter for Med­i­cal Progress re­leased last month an un­der­cover video of Ann Schutt-Aine, di­rec­tor of abor­tion ser­vices at Planned Par­ent­hood Gulf Coast, ad­mit­ting to us­ing for­ceps to hold a fe­tus in­side of a mother’s womb while rip­ping off its limbs to pre­vent a par­tial-birth abor­tion from tak­ing place.

“That’s ex­actly what Don­ald Trump said in the third and fi­nal pres­i­den­tial de­bate,” said Mal­lory Quigley, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for the pro-life Su­san B. An­thony List. “He was ridiculed by the me­dia at the time, but in their own words, these abor­tion­ists are prov­ing the pres­i­dent was spot on in his anal­y­sis about what’s hap­pen­ing.”

Since April, Priests for Life and Abor­tion Free New Mex­ico have re­leased sev­eral covertly recorded con­ver­sa­tions with em­ploy­ees at South­west­ern Women’s Op­tions, an abor­tion clinic in Al­bu­querque, to raise aware­ness about the preva­lence of late-term abor­tion, es­pe­cially in New Mex­ico.

In one record­ing taken on May 2, an uniden­ti­fied woman is able to sched­ule an abor­tion at 30 weeks of preg­nancy, even af­ter she says there’s noth­ing wrong with the fe­tus.

“It’s more just life hap­pen­ing,” the woman says in the record­ing. “My hus­band lost his job, we al­ready have some kids, and we were plan­ning to con­tinue the preg­nancy, but now, with our world fall­ing apart, we just felt like this was the best way out.”

Another record­ing on April 12 shows clinic work­ers sched­ul­ing an abor­tion for a woman who says her 33-week-old fe­tus has Down syn­drome.

Fa­ther Stephen Im­bar­rato of Priests for Life said New Mex­ico has be­come the “late-term abor­tion cap­i­tal” of the United States since Cur­tis Boyd, an as­so­ci­ate of the slain late-term abor­tion­ist Ge­orge Tiller, opened South­west­ern Women’s Op­tions in 2008.

“There are no re­stric­tions, no over­sight, noth­ing go­ing on with re­gard to abor­tion in New Mex­ico other than that the Demo­cratic Party to­tally sup­ports it, and the Repub­li­can Party, for the most part, is con­don­ing it,” Fa­ther Im­bar­rato said. “So we have been do­ing ev­ery­thing nec­es­sary to try to bring this to the na­tional spot­light.”

Those ef­forts paid off last year, when the U.S. House Select In­ves­tiga­tive Panel on In­fant Lives re­ferred South­west­ern Women’s Op­tions for crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine whether the clinic il­lic­itly ben­e­fited from the sale of fe­tal tis­sue from abor­tions.

Matt Baca, a spokesman for New Mex­ico At­tor­ney Gen­eral Hec­tor Balderas, said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into South­west­ern Women’s Op­tions is “un­der­way.”

South­west­ern Women’s Op­tions could not be reached for com­ment by press time.

The fed­eral Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion es­ti­mates nearly 13,000 sec­ond- and third-trimester abor­tions are per­formed ev­ery year.

In the fi­nal pres­i­den­tial de­bate, Mr. Trump was asked about late-term and par­tial-birth abor­tion. He said: “I think it’s ter­ri­ble … in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

Ce­cile Richards, pres­i­dent of the Planned Par­ent­hood Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­ica, ac­cused him at the time of “a com­plete lack of un­der­stand­ing about women’s med­i­cal care.”

Mem­bers of the me­dia were also quick to de­nounce Mr. Trump, with sev­eral out­lets re­port­ing that late-term abor­tions are per­formed only when fe­tal ab­nor­mal­i­ties are de­tected late in preg­nan­cies.

But re­search shows women tend to seek late-term abor­tions if they are rais­ing chil­dren alone, are de­pressed or us­ing il­licit sub­stances, are in a high-con­flict re­la­tion­ship, if they had trou­ble de­cid­ing quickly or if they are young and have never been preg­nant be­fore.

Ms. Quigley also said there’s noth­ing in Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Bolton, the Supreme Court cases that cre­ated a con­sti­tu­tional right to an abor­tion, that pro­hibits late-term abor­tion be­cause of their broad ex­cep­tions for the health of the mother.

“Taken to­gether, those cases do al­low the in­tend­ing physi­cian — aka the abor­tion­ist — to be the one to de­cide whether an abor­tion is nec­es­sary to pre­serve the health of the woman,” she said. “But this health ex­cep­tion is very broadly in­ter­preted.”

She said she “wasn’t sur­prised” about how the me­dia re­acted to Mr. Trump. “I don’t think peo­ple want to be­lieve that this is hap­pen­ing in our coun­try.”

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