Monday, November 09, 2009
Seattle Archdiocese to Host Pro-Abortion Rep. Jay Inslee at Cathedral; Abortion and Euthanasia Center Representative also to Speak
Received notice at about 3:30 today from the Archdiocese of Seattle that the "Morality of Health Care Reform" discussion has BEEN MOVED to Seattle University. Yipee! It's still too bad that our Catholic schools feel compelled to host this kind of thing but at least they won't be defiling the Cathedral.
If you haven't heard by now, St. James Cathedral has decided to host the strangely titled forum, "The Morality of Health Care Reform: The debate's missing link".
Pro-abortion legislator Jay Inslee is one of the invited speakers. He was demoted from "keynote" speaker status to panelist late last week. Laura Rehrmann, president of the Group Health Foundation and "in-charge of patient care" at Group Health Cooperative will also be on the panel. Group Health has a reputation as an abortion center and will allow doctors to assist with suicides at their "health" centers after the passage of I-1000. Ms. Rehrmann is a parishioner at St. James Cathedral.
Why is the Cathedral allowing this event to take place?
On Saturday evening, Nov. 7 the congress of the U.S. approved the Stupak-Pitt amendment to HB 3962 by a vote of 240-194. This amendment, a pro life Statement true and true said to government “remove abortion funding and mandates from health care reform” period.
Jay Inslee voted against this Amendment, in other words, support abortion at any cost, regardless of the consequences on the mothers and their preborn babies!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Well that's exactly the same reasoning Anna Franks, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Washington, used in talking to Pasco news reporter Hilary Whittier in response to the huge protest Sunday against her proposed abortion-referral clinic.
Monday, October 26, 2009
But at the beginning of January, 2008, late-term Seattle abortionist Dr. Charlie M. Browne seems to have decided to stop sharing his abortion profits with clinic overlords and opened up his own shop in North Seattle, an area that has been free of a free-standing, high-volume abortion clinic for more than a decade.
Dr. Browne used to be the Medical Director for Cedar River Clinics, the largest local chain of late-term abortion clinics. Cedar River does abortions up to "viability", currently deemed to be 24 weeks, just like his new clinic. His work there was reportedly 40 hours a week (according to IRS records obtained by AIW) and earned him more then $200,000 a year, and dates at least back to 2005.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The council is deliberating an application from Planned Parenthood of Central Washington, an affiliate of the country's largest chain of abortion clinics, and central Washington's largest provider, to open up a new clinic in Pasco, next to Mark Twain Elementary School.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Below is a list of speakers.
Father Scott Daniels has been an advocate for all human life issues since seminary days. He says, “I have become ever more deeply aware of the need for more people of good faith to come forward and dedicate their lives to saving the unborn,” and “I truly believe that priests are especially invaluable to this ministry.” Father Daniels’s experience, including years of working with high school students, will help him reach younger generations and reverse the effects of moral relativism they've received from our culture. He states, “In my discernment, there is no more important issue facing the Church and humanity today than the life issues and promoting the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death.”
Monsignor Philip J. Reilly
Sunday, October 11, 2009
This post is called "Second Trimester Abortion Provision: Breaking the Silence and Changing the Discourse". It contains what at first seem like confessions from a late-term abortionist, with relatively graphic honesty about what happens in such abortions.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your America. Force yourself to read it. Force yourself to confront it.
(Hat tip to Jill Stanek for finding this.)
Monday, October 05, 2009
It's time to get the money out of the abortion industry. There should never be a financial incentive to perform or sell an abortion. We have heard for years how the abortion industry is driven by profits and financial incentives. We can fix that.
Did you know that Planned Parenthood of Western Washington (PPWW) CEO Chris Charbonneau pulls down almost $260,000 a year. We've documented some of the outrageous salaries being made by abortion industry workers, especially the doctors that do the actual killing, here.
Looking at the most recent figures from Cedar River Clinics, the Western Washington abortion chain which are also the only non-hospital facilities that do horrific abortions right up to the 6th month of pregnancy, that are actually illegal in most Western European countries, we see that Dr. Charlie Browne made $217,175 in 2007.
That's a paltry sum compared to his colleague Dr. Robert Kothenbeutel, who took home almost $305,000. Amazingly, Cedar River also was employing two full-time anesthetists: Douglas L. Raber and Dennis O Johnston. Anesthesia is only used for surgical abortions, and then mostly for the grisly second trimester abortions Cedar River specializes in.
Raber managed to make $190,000, considerably higher than the average for his specialty.
One of the premises of the current obsession with scrutinizing how much money CEOs are making in this country is a recognition of how money can "incentivize" an unethical and aggressive approach to sales of things which should not be aggressively sold.
Everyone -- abortion providers conspicuously notwithstanding -- pays lip service to the idea that reducing the number of abortions is a Good Thing. From this it irresistibly follows that we should never allow there to be a financial incentive to sell abortion.
The way to do that is to cap the salaries abortion providers can make. There are numerous ways this can be done. We suggest that the Washington State Legislature pass a law that says that no doctor can make more than 10% of his income from the provision of abortion services.
The abortion industry can squawk all it wants claiming they're not in it for the money. But if you speak to those who have come out of that industry and blown the whistle, we find out the truth.
Carol Everett used to run a chain of abortion clinics in Texas. She has since gone very public about how the pursuit of profits drove them to sell as many abortions as possible.
A new movie, Blood Money, goes into great detail on this problem.
For the record, in 2007 we spoke with PPWW spokesman Brian Cutler and asked him if Planned Parenthood's doctors would be willing to back up his claim that they were not in this "for the money" by doing abortions "pro bono". Needless to say, he said they had declined.
While some in the medical profession will whine that "this is a legal medical service" and doctors "deserve to get paid for their services", the fact is that countless doctors donate their time and talents both here and abroad.
In many other Western European countries, and Canada, the notion that medicine should be "non-profit" has widespread acceptance. We are not arguing that we should adopt the same notion across all real medicine, just making the point that the government stepping in to a certain, specific area of the economy and eliminating financial incentives to sell something that should never be "sold" has plenty of precedent.
Yes, the time for abortion salary caps is now. The time for a Washington State Abortion Pay Czar is today. This cause should truly bring together Left and Right and unite us on some common ground.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Well, if you're dealing with the Take Charge Family Planning program at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), that's apparently what you should expect.
In 2008, we submitted a complaint to the Attorney General's office regarding the late-term abortion clinic chain known as Cedar River Clinics. In the response to that complaint, Cedar River director Beverly Whipple indicated that she knew this writer had requested information from DSHS about payments (tax dollars) to her organization.
There is no way Ms. Whipple should have known this.
We had filed a "Public Disclosure" request with DSHS to find out how much money DSHS had given to Cedar River in previous years in the form of Medicaid insurance payments.
(Cedar River Clinics does abortions up to 24 weeks, and even does secret abortions on teenage girls spirited out of other states without their parents' knowledge.)
While there may not be an absolute legal guarantee of privacy in such cases, most would expect that their name wouldn't be passed along to the organization under scrutiny. At least not without some sort of consequence.
We confronted a DSHS official about this. Her answers were woefully inadequate, and mostly incoherent.
One of her arguments was that it was good for organizations receiving government money to know that there are individuals keeping them accountable. She couldn't explain why that required the citizen's actual name from being disclosed.
She then suggested that the name might have been disclosed inadvertently at one of the "regular meetings" that this official, on behalf of DSHS, holds with the state's "family planning" agencies.
These meetings apparently include the Cedar River Clinic abortion chain, and the Planned Parenthood affiliates of Washington, including PP of Central Washington (which does what amount to coerced abortions), and PP of Spokane (which has been illegally overbilling Medicaid for years), and PP of Western Washington (which is doing 50% more abortions than it was just 3 years ago, while making millions of dollars in profits off emergency contraception).
We didn't know about these meetings, and this certainly didn't qualify as an excuse.
The bottom line was that this official seemed unperturbed by the privacy violation, and while she claimed she would "look into it", there have been no developments from "this investigation". And we don't expect any.
What we have learned is that the government (DSHS) admits to holding regular strategy meetings with the abortion industry to see how they can help each other, and these meetings include chit-chat, with private details, about members of the public who might be getting in their way. Ladies and gentlemen: welcome to the Land of Gregoire.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
AIW spoke with Alliance Defence Fund (ADF) attorney Heather Hacker about the significance of the recent free-speech victory in the Spokane Falls Community College case. Ms. Hacker said while some might think this was just a case involving a few students and a small community college somewhere in eastern Washington, "it's definitely much bigger than that".
She said that's not only because the policy changes they secured apply to the entire Community Colleges of Spokane district, but also because the details of the ruling send a message for any nearby university systems as to how they would fare in court if they attempted something similar against their students.
She also pointed out that it's not just a victory for pro-life or Christian students, but for all students. "Spokane Community College officials are now much more aware of the Constitutional rights of their students."
"Unconstitutional on their Face"
Ms. Hacker also told AIW that this was one of the most egregious cases of free speech violations she has ever seen. "The facts of this case were unbelievable," she said.
"The policies even before they were applied were already some of the worst we've ever seen, but the fact that the college went ahead and applied them was incredible."
She pointed out that they knew they were on solid legal ground from the outset, since the judge enjoined the policies orally at the preliminary injunction hearing. "These policies were unconstitutional on their face."
In the end, it was a total victory. "Every policy we challenged they agreed to change," said Ms. Hacker. "We felt it was a complete win."
All this raises the question as to what GOP Attorney General Rob McKenna was doing spending six months defending these outrageous policies. Ms. Hacker confirmed that McKenna, who was ultimately the defendant in the case, had the option of ceding the argument at the outset and not mounting a defense, which would have saved the taxpayer's lots of money, and the plaintiffs lots of stress.
Mr. McKenna's strategy for currying support for his future political ambitions with the base of the Republican Party remains confusing at best.
Ms. Hacker also praised the bravery of the plaintiff, Beth Sheeran. "It takes courage to stand up to your university. You've got to be brave to do this." Despite the extreme nature of the unconstitutionality of the college's policies, legally "we couldn't have brought this case if Beth hadn't stood up for her rights," she explained.
These policies had been in place for some time because no-one else had challenged them, through self-censorship and fear.
"It's just going to get worse and worse if no-one challenges these kinds of restrictions," she added, pointing out that all Christians should be concerned, because ultimately it means a loss of ability even to share the Gospel.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The resolution of the closely watched case essentially amounts to a total defeat of the abortion side, including the student government of the school, the administration, and even the Attorney General's office which defended the school.
The case involved a student, Beth Sheeran, from Cheney, Washington. She simply wanted to organize some small meetings and to distribute and display some information to educate her fellow students about the plight of the unborn in this state and country, in particular those babies who are executed in utero due to biological "imperfections".
SFCC officials even went so far as to threaten Miss Sheeran, and other members of a Christian student group, with disciplinary measures, including expulsion, if they chose to hold a pro-life event on campus. The reason? Their information was deemed “discriminatory” and did not include a pro-abortion viewpoint!
According to the Miss Sheeran & the ADF, as she went up the food chain, expecting perhaps to bypass radical leftist students on student government, she instead found officials claiming college policy "prohibited one-sided events and expressive displays on campus." One-sided events not involving abortion frequently occur on the campus, it was pointed out.
Miss Sheeran was later told the group could proceed with their event providing they voted on it, but after they did so, the club’s own faculty advisor told the students their flier was “offensive” and that their event violated the district’s “Stop the Hate” policy -- as well as state law! This advisor, who rebuffed AIW's requests for an interview, said the students could face expulsion if they “offended” anyone.
AIW interviewed the various parties to the case & reviewed the legal briefs in the Spring. One surprising development not mentioned in the coverage was the fact that the State's argument did not include a defense of the college's behavior or policies, but rather a string of denials of nearly all the facts alleged by Miss Sheeran, including disputes over most dates, conversations, and decisions made.
The attorney for the college, since it's part of the Community Colleges of Spokane, and operates under the state government, was Assistant Attorney General Jerry Cartwright. He told AIW that the government had "absolutely no interest nor intention to restrict the free speech rights of anyone".
Miss Sheeran's immense courage in this whole saga is a valiant example to everyone. As a result, not only is her group finally able to tell the simple truth to SFCC students about the great human rights disaster of our time, but now anyone in the Washington State Community College system can stand on her shoulders and exercise their constitutional rights without fear.
This is because the administration and government agreed to change not just their unconstitutional "anti-hate" policies, but no less than four sections of the WAC, the Washington Administrative Code. Another element of the court order is the elimination of the Orwellian-sounding "Bias Incident Response Team".
Most other features of the college system's snitch-on-thy-conservative-neighbor regime dressed up as "anti-hate" programs are also going to be dismantled.
The college also has to pay Miss Sheeran $1,000 in damages, and cough up $45,000 to cover her legal fees.
We commend Beth Sheeran. She's a shining example to all of us. If we had half as much courage in our pulpits in this state as she has demonstrated, we would start to see the culture of death rolled back.
Monday, September 28, 2009
"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrew 10:24-25
That is my vision of what a pro-life rally should look like: love, encouragement, unity, and a healthy dose of "spurring" one another on to do what is impossible to do alone. I rejoice that on Tuesday night, I walked away from the Seattle 40 Days for Life Rally, feeling all those things in abundance.
Shortly before 7pm on September 22nd, a steady stream of attendees began to file in the doors of the Newman Center, the beautiful brick chapel across from the University of Washington. Attendance numbered between 100 and 150 people and represented those from every age group and background.
In a moving and joy-filled speech, Camille Pauley of Healing the Culture emphasized the person, not simply the baby, that abortion claims. Even those lives that are aborted have an eternal meaning and significance. At a funeral, we not only mourn and "protest" the loss of a loved one, but we also honor and rejoice in the unique person they were. In the same way, our job in standing vigil is not simply to oppose the act of abortion, but also to honor the person that is taken from us.
Pauley urged us to consider both the "before" and "after" of abortion. As believers, we have hope, even after abortion. We hope in the healing and forgiveness of Christ: for the mother, father, family, abortion workers and nation, and hope for the soul of the unborn, as it is ushered from this world to the next. Pauley drew upon recent experiences, including her current pregnancy and the loss of family members as she spoke with conviction about the value of each life, adding new depth and meaning to the way I think about abortion.
Following Pauley's thoughtful reflections came the fiery orations of Russell Johnson. As the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Family Policy Institute of Washington, Johnson approached the issue of abortion from a less personal, more historical perpsective. With the zeal of a traveling preacher, and the precision of a policy wonk, Johnson delivered this message to the crowd: real hope and change are coming to America.
He detailed recent successes that resulted from everyday people taking a stand: the blocking of Planned Parenthood in Pasco, the 1,561 lives saved during past 40 Days campaigns, the 18 abortion workers who have walked away from the industry, and many more. For a normally subdued crowd, the energy was palpable, drawing a number of cheers, "amens" and hearty applause. Johnson punctuated the end of his address with "I'm Russell Johnson, and I approved this message." (I'm sure I am not the first to say this: Johnson 2012...anybody?)
To close out the meeting, campaign leaders Monica Oberlin and Amy Tribble covered the basic housekeeping rules of the vigil and invited all of us to sign up for specific hours of prayer. Lines quickly formed as people eagerly went to the back of the room to register.
In the city of Seattle, it is easy for the pro-lifer to feel estranged. The hostility we experience should not surprise us, for Jesus warned that those who believe His truth would be hated by the world. But on Tuesday night, I felt the grace of God in a special way, as I found myself surrounded by advocates of life in a city of death. I was reminded of the ultimate foundation of our hope: Christ's victory over death in the resurrection, and the free gift of life He offers to all those who believe.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Rep. Inslee and his wife are rabid and enthusiastic supporters of abortion. He has a 100% pro-abortion voing score from NARAL, he was honred this year's "Power of Choice" luncheon, and has basically never met an abortion he didn't like.
His wife Trudi Inslee is a volunteer and board member for NARAL Washington. It seems as though she can't do enough to promote abortion.
Here it is--
September 23, 2009
Thank you for contacting me to express you concerns regarding H.R. 3200 and the use of taxpayer funds for controversial medical procedures, specifically under the public health insurance option. I appreciate hearing from you.
You may be interested to know that, with my support, an amendment to H.R. 3200 was passed during the Energy and Commerce Committee markup of the bill that would prohibit the availability of public funds for elective abortions within the proposed public health insurance option. According to the Congressional Research Service, under this amendment, introduced by Rep. Capps, enrollees in the proposed public option would be required to pay for such reproductive health services with private funds, specifically those collected as premiums from the patient. Additionally, the affordability credits offered under the plan, granted to those who qualify based on a low household income, could not be used to pay for abortion services. This amendment also impacts the Health Insurance Exchanges established by H.R. 3200, through which individuals could purchase their own health care. , the qualified health benefits plans offered through an exchange would be required to provide certain basic services, of which abortion is not included. Under the Capps Amendment, each exchange would be required to include one plan that does not provide coverage of elective abortions.
There are strong beliefs on both sides of the abortion debate that deserve respect. As you know, however, the United States Supreme Court determined in 1973 with Roe v. Wade that a woman's right of choice is protected by the U.S. Constitution. The court ruled that this decision should be left up to the judgment of a woman in consultation with her doctor, her family, her conscience and her religious beliefs. I believe that the Roe v. Wade decision must be preserved and respected. As Congress moves to reform the health care system in the country, I believe it is important that the choices that are currently available to women not be eliminated. Women can currently select insurance plans that provide for the coverage of abortion, and maintaining this choice as a result of reform should not be equated to government funding of abortion services.
As you know, since the Roe v. Wade decision Congress has attached provisions to federal funding bills for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, known as the Hyde Amendment, to prohibit federal funding from paying for abortions. The first such amendment was attached to the FY1977 Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act, with the intent of restricting the use of appropriated funds to pay for abortion through the Medicaid program. In the context of the ongoing health care reform debate, I would like you to know that the restrictions put in place by the Hyde amendment will apply to any expansion of existing health care programs, such as Medicaid.
Please continue to contact me about the issues that concern you, as I both need and welcome your thoughts and ideas. Because security measures in the House cause delays in receiving postal mail, I encourage you to contact me by telephone, by fax, or through my website at http://www.house.gov/inslee/contact. For more information on my activities in Congress, and for information on services that my office can provide, please visit my website at http://www.house.gov/inslee/. If you would like to subscribe to my email updates, please visit http://www.house.gov/inslee/signup.htm.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress
DISCLAIMER I cannot guarantee the integrity of the text of this letter if it was not sent to you directly from my Congressional Email Account: email@example.com. If you have any questions about the validity of this message, please email me at: Jay.Inslee@mail.house.gov or call my Washington, DC office at: 202-225-6311. If you would like to be removed from my email update list, please email me your name and address at: Jay.Inslee@mail.house.gov and type "REMOVE" in the subject line.
Rep. Inslee already tried these lines on AIW a few weeks ago.
However, he did get one thing right--the Disclaimer: Jay Inslee cannot guarantee the integrity of this letter.
Do ya really think Jay Inslee would support a health care bill that didn't include government funded abortion?
Please can we get this man thrown out of office at the next election?
Last night, we sang, prayed, and listened marking the beginning of our Fall Everett 40 Days for Life journey. As emcee, Michelle McIntyre, 2007 Campaign Coordinator, opened the evening by inviting Father Olson of St. Mary Magdalen, who led in prayer. Father proclaimed portions of Luke's Gospel. Then he provided
us with words of inspiration: continue to fast, pray, vigil for an end to abortion.
Our main speaker, "Wendy,"told us her true and painful story as a young abortion industry worker. She brought many to tears. Her departing words to us were a reminder to always remember to pray for those who work behind the walls of an abortion clinic. We pray for their hearts and minds to change.Following Wendy, Ed Mohs, 2009 Everett 40 Days for Life Coordinator, gave an account of God's blessings through 40 Days for Life.
Over 1,500 abortions have not taken place since Fall 2007 40 DFL. And he told portions of a talk by David Bereit following the end of Spring 2009 in which David told the people of South Dakota to believe and proclaim the end of abortion, then to act in a manner to end abortion. After a break for snacks and socializing, Michelle played a 45 minute video on sidewalk outreach. Attendence was near 75 participants.
Praise God! Our first day at the vigil site is well attended and all shifts covered. We prayer, sang, and distribute many pro-life materials. It is a humble blessing to be there on site where women and children are violently harmed. May God continue to bless us as we proceed through these 40 days.
Register for vigil hours here.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
“The Power of One” will be held on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at the Edward D. Hansen Conference center located in the Everett Events Center from 6:30pm until 9:00pm. Attendees are guaranteed "a wonderful night full of fellowship, laughter, and encouragement"!
The emcee will be Christian commedian Mike Williams.
The special guest speaker will be Tim DeTellis. The PRC website says the following about Mr. DeTellis:
In 1972, Tim’s mother was given horrible news. The child she was carrying was going to die. If it was born the multitude of birth defects would overwhelm the family. The doctors also declared that her life was also at stake. She had previously given birth to 7 children and the last 4 had died! The Chief of Staff at a medical hospital in Boston recommended the abortion. He said it was the right thing to do. She was told it was her only option! To complicate matters, she couldn’t talk about the situation with anyone, for she was a Pastor’s wife and the President of Boston Women’s Aglow. Well the voice of Tim’s older brother brought Mom to the decision that she must give this child the same chance she gave the others, despite the huge risk. God provided a miracle and Tim made medical history. You will be moved to tears and challenged to change the world when you hear the entirety of his story!Click here to RSVP or sign up to be a table host, or call PRC at 425-339-2175 with questions.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
How did they do it? While public health officials claim not to be able to explain the staggering drop, the fact is that just as the climb corresponded with the how long Planned Parenthood had had a clinic in Longview, so too the drop coincides perfectly with their departure.
We reported on these pages in early 2008 how the Cowlitz County Commission had finally severed all ties with the abortion clinic chain after the controversial organization had refused to operate on the county's terms. At that time, Planned Parenthood and its leftist supporters had whined about what a "terrible" decision this was, given the county's status as having the highest gonorrhea rates for any county in Washington.
The assumption was that somehow having a Planned Parenthood helps reduce STD rates.
But we have the data now, and we know that PP and all its allies in government and academia have been completely discredited.
Cowlitz County had 15 reported cases of gonorrhea in 2003, about the time PP arrived. That steadily climed until it reached a peak of 223 in 2006. It was early 2007 that Planned Parenthood announced it was going to "have to" close its Longview clinic for lack of funding. This was a posturing move to try to get more money out of Cowlitz taxpayers. In the end, the county commissioners stood firm.
In 2007, with no PP around, the gonorrhea rate fell in half to 2007. In 2008, the rate plummeted to 38. And in the first 5 months of this year, there have been only 3 reported cases! That compares to 26 for the corresponding period of 2008.
That's a 90% drop.
This data is extremely important as the Pasco City Council considers whether to allow Planned Parenthood of Central Washington to open an abortion referral clinic and drive-by contraception stand next door to an elementary school.
Anonymous sources have indicated that some of the swing votes on the council are susceptible to the notion that because Franklin County has relatively high STD rates, somehow having a Planned Parenthood would help bring those down. This despite the fact that there is not one scintilla of evidence available from the Planned Parenthood affiliates of Washington, or their friends at the Department of Health or the Department of Social and Health Services to back up this assumption.
The Pasco City Council would do well to pick up the phone and make a call to the Cowlitz County Department of Health. Today.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Do Dr. Nancy Tipton's clients know about her double life as an abortionist for the only chain of abortion clinics in Washington State that does abortions right up to the end of the 5th month of pregnancy?
Dr. Tipton's only public medical practice is with Virginia Mason, as a gynecologist. Her website gives current or prospective patients no insight whatsoever about her involvenment in the abortion industry.
But if you look at Cedar River Clinics' 990 tax form for 2002, you find that she pulled down $155,080, working 40 hours/week (aka, full time).
The next year, she cut back her hours at Cedar River to 4 days a week, and "only" made $103,925.
In 2004, she was still working 4 days a week, but pulled in just $67,895. Perhaps she moved out of second trimester abortions and was focussing more on the marginally less barbaric first trimester abortions.
Dr. Tipton doesn't appear on any 990s after that, but since those forms only require documentation of employees making more than $50,000/year, it's possible she was still working there. Indeed, if you run a google search of Cedar River's Yakima address, Dr. Tipton still shows up.
As with so many abortionists in the area, a little research shows that they've made the rounds at most of the abortion clinics on our I-5 corridor. Back in the early 90s, Dr. Tipton was the Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Seattle-King County. Planned Parenthood is the largest chain of abortion clinics in the country. As medical director, she would have been deeply involved in abortion.
Ironically, in that 1992 Seattle Times piece, she is quoted praising the morning-after pill, claiming widespread availability would cut abortion rates in half.
"This is my favorite subject!" she announces. "This is one of the most underutilized treatments in reproductive medicine today. Post-coital pills can cut unplanned pregnancies in half." And that means fewer abortions.Well, Planned Parenthood of Western Washington (PPWW) has been selling over 100,000 units of this drug every year since 2004, and has made millions of dollars in the process because of a special pricing arrangement with Barr Labs. What about the abortion rate? In 2007 they did 50% more abortions than in 2004!
In other words, Dr. Tipton's words have been completely discredited.
(Two years ago we asked PPWW's spokesman Brian Cutler about this, though not in the context of Dr. Tipton. His response was: "Does it really matter?")
Tax returns from the now defunct Aradia abortion clinic in downtown Seattle show Dr. Tipton as having been on their payroll for a time. Interestingly, her file at DrScore.com (plus numerous other similar websites) shows her as still working there, even though it went out of business a few years ago. Ironically, the phone number on that page is the Cedar River Clinics number.
We attempted on several occasions to speak with Dr. Tipton. The farthest we could get was her office manager, who claimed neither she nor anyone in the office had any knowledge of her involvement in abortion. She said that Dr. Tipton would call us back if she was interested in talking about her experience as an abortionist. We have not received any calls.
This story goes to underline the fact that regardless what activists and political hacks might say about the supposed moral case for abortion and its legalization, if you try to talk to those individuals who actually do the dismembering and executing of the babies, they want to run and hide as fast as they can. They know exactly what abortion is, and they don't want to talk about it.
Put another way, on career-day at their kids' school (if they have living kids), are people like Nancy Tipton going to be giving a presentation with a photo of an aborted baby, describing in detail to a packed auditorium what 'Mommy' does for a living?
Not on your life.
Planned Parenthood of Central Washington Dealt Another Blow: Kept Out of New Walla Walla Health Center
This time it's a new health center in Walla Walla, called the Lincoln Health Center, next door to Lincoln Alternative High School. Owned by Providence St. Mary Medical Center, the health center terminated it's on-site partnership with PPCW last Thursday.
"We're not going to hand out little paper bags with condoms or have a fish bowl in the lobby where you can scoop and run," said Stan Ledington, board president of the new health center. "We don't want to be known as the place to get contraceptives, but as the place to get health care. Physical, mental, emotional care."
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion industry in the country, and advocate and legal bully of completely unregulated abortion on demand at taxpayers' expense, still has a clinic three blocks away, which they claim doesn't do abortions. Critics argue that they provide abortion clinic referrals and biased and dishonest pregnancy counselling.
On PPCW's facebook page, they predictably complain that "thanks to religious doctrine, Planned Parenthood will not be providing much needed, no cost services to teens at the Lincoln Health Center in Walla Walla." The only services the teens will be missing will be "drive-by" contraception dispensers.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The Tri-City Herald has published their version of events and also announced the pleasant news that the planning commission did approve a request for a corn maze. The children of Pasco will be safe from the perverts at Planned Parenthood for another few months.
The Pasco City Planning Commission met this evening (Thursday Sept. 17, 2009) to vote on the special permit request to locate a Planned Parenthood facility adjacent to Mark Twain Elementary. Since the last meeting Planned Parenthood has offered to place a 6-ft high brick wall separating the clinic (where abortions could potentially be performed) from the elementary school.
After much deliberation at the on how to present the vote to the city council, the commission voted 3 to 2 to recommend denial of the permit to Planned Parenthood. The denial recommendation now goes to the city council. During the meeting the director of the City Economic Development, David White stated to planning commission the "staff" are in favor of approving the permit.
After the meeting Planned Parenthood advised a television reporter they were going to appeal the decision. I learned their appeal will be presented to the City Council along with the decision by the commission. The next city council meeting is scheduled for October 5th, but the appeal process could run into early November.
It is very important that the Pasco Community keep up the momentum we have gained in the past two months to oppose the special permit by calling the city planning commissioner, their councilmen/women, and by prayers during the coming 40 days campaign. It is important to note that the permit appeal process begins at almost the very same time the 40 days for Life campaign begins.
* BELLEVUE / REDMOND - 148th Ave NE at NE 24th St south of Hwy 520, first Sunday of every month all year, including Oct 5, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Myron Miller 425-643-1246 or Robert Owen 425-746-5056
* BELLEVUE - 156th Ave NE at NE 8th St, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Myron Miller 425-643-1246 or 800-473-6175
* BOTHELL - St Rte 522 at Bothell-Everett Highway, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.; Ronald Fernandes 425-821-3599
* BURLINGTON / MT VERNON - S Burlington Blvd at E Cedar St, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.; Susan 360-757-3909
* CENTRALIA / LEWIS COUNTY - I-5 Fwy Exit 82 off ramp at Harrison Ave, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.; signs available at 2:15 p.m. at AM-PM side lot across from Wendy's on Harrison; Darlene Mackey 360-748-3706
* EVERETT - Everett Mall Way at 3rd Ave SE, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Arlene Noyes 425-778-0258
* FEDERAL WAY - S 320th St at Pacific Highway S, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Chaplain Mike Ballinger 253-927-3757
* KENNEWICK / PASCO / RICHLAND - Rd 40 at Court St, 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.; Jim Toth 509-546-9923
* LYNNWOOD / EDMONDS / MOUNTLAKE TERRACE - 220th St SW at Hwy 99, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Nicholas & Marie Harkins 425-775-9711
* OLYMPIA / THURSTON COUNTY - Legion Way at Adams, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.; Dani Sauley 360-491-0610
* RENTON - S 43rd St & Talbot Rd S, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Sarah Schaper 206-243-7515
* SEATTLE - NE 50th St at Interstate 5 overpass, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Terrance Brown 206-985-1578
* SEATTLE / WHITE CENTER - 15th Ave SW at SW Roxbury St, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Toni Halsey 206-856-0609
* SEDRO WOOLLEY - Hwy 20 at Ball St, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.; Pastor Bill Heberling 360-856-0509
* SILVERDALE - Silverdale Way at Ridgetop Blvd, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m.; Tom Holtsnider 360-830-0650
SPOKANE - Division Couplet between Mission and Indiana, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.; Violet Stephens 509-238-6356
* STANWOOD / CAMANO - SR 532 at 88th Ave NW, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.; Bill & Karen Majkut 360-939-2102
* WHATCOM COUNTY / BELLINGHAM - Guide Meridian at Horton Rd, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.; Juanita Verbree 360-354-8329
For more information: http://www.lifechain.net/
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We also left out a very important piece of information regarding Dr. Komarow. She was one of a handful of Washington State physicians who added their names to a letter from "doctors" to Congress in 2003 taking the extreme position that Congress should not ban the outrageous and despicable abortion procedure known as partial-birth abortion.
The abortion procedure involves delivering a live baby feet-first all the way until its head is still inside the mother's womb, then puncturing the base of the skull with something sharp (presumably surgical scissors, but presumably a pocket knife would suffice), and then sucking out the baby's brains with a vacuum. At this point the baby is dead, and its skull can be crushed, and the baby dumped into the garbage.
Dr. Komarow's letter predicted calamity should she and her colleagues not be allowed to do this anymore:
"The outcome of its passage would undoubtedly be countless deaths and irreversible damage to thousands of women and families. We can safely assert that without D&E and D&X ... we will be returning to the days when an unwanted pregnancy led women to death through illegal and unsafe procedures, self-inflected abortions, uncontrollable infections and suicide.
The cadre of physicians who provide abortions should be honored, not vilified. They are heroes..."
The bill has been law for a number of years now. To the best of our knowledge, Dr. Komarow's predictions have been proven completely wrong.
Friday, September 11, 2009
If you send Mr. Inslee a letter objecting to the well-documented fact that the health care reform proposals being considered in Washington would result in a massive increase in taxpayer funding of abortion, and thus a massive increase in abortions, you'll get a letter back assuring you that this is not the case.
In one letter from Mr. Inslee's office which we received, he assured us that the Hyde Amendment would prevent this from happening.
The fact is, however, that the Hyde Amendment does not provide a blanket ban on federal money going to abortion, but rather specifically applies to Medicaid and only Medicaid. The so-called public option health care plan that would come into effect under Obamacare is nothing to do with Medicaid. Thus Mr. Inslee is either completely uninformed -- which would be shockingly negligent on his part -- or is deliberately misleading constituents.
Moreover, Mr. Inslee sits on the House Energy & Commerce (HEC) Committee, which was considering the health care reform bill and passed it out of committee. Mr. Inslee voted no less than three times against amendments that would specifically have prevented the bill from including abortions as an insured health care service.
All of this is unsurprising when you consider Mr. Inslee's 100% rating from the abortion lobby, and the fact that his wife, Trudi, is on the board of Washington State's chapter of National Abortion Rights Action League.
We have contacted Mr. Inslee's office on two occasions by phone to find out why he is misleading constituents. The lady who answered the phone assured us that his office would never deliberately mislead a constituent, but she promised a response within a few days. With no response forthcoming, we called again. Same assurances, same result.
The fact is Mr. Inslee knows full well that the health care reform bill he supports would fund abortions, and would lead to tens or hundreds of thousands of extra dead babies each year, and huge increases in the standard of living of his abortion industry patrons.
If people don't feel bad about killing babies, why would they feel bad about lying about it?
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Julie Komarow, MD, was until recently an abortionist at Cedar River Clinics. Her "day job" was working at Covington Primary Care. But she recently quit Covington and is working full time for Sound Family Medicine, a division of Good Samaritan.
We tried to contact Dr. Komarow for an interview, to find out why she left Cedar River, and to ask, for example, if she got tired of tearing 23 week old babies apart limb from limb, or drowning them alive with saline solution, which burns them alive from the inside out. Her assistant confirmed that she was no longer doing abortions and passed on our request for an interview.
Rather than getting a call from Dr. Komarow, or someone from Sound Family, we later received a call from an individual who identified himself as Peter, who said he worked for Cedar River Clinics, also known as the Feminist Women's Health Center.
He said he didn't know any details, but was just following the instructions he received "in an email" to call us up and decline the interview. He didn't indicate why, if Dr. Komarow wasn't working there anymore, he was returning my call.
Attempts to call back Peter's number have been unsuccessful, as the number has been recently delisted.
We then contacted Komarow's previous employer, Covington Primary Care, where she was working while she was also doing abortions at Cedar River. We spoke with Paul Larson, Senior Vice President (Clinic Services), Valley Medical Center. Mr. Larson was audibly angry to discover that Komarow had been moonlighting as an abortionist, and insisted that they had no knowledge of this, and would not have condoned it.
We then attempted to contact her current employer, Sound Family Medicine, which is a "doctor-owned" medical facility. She has an extensive bio on the SFM website, including details on the car she drives, and her pet llamas, but no mention at all of her past as an abortionist. We wanted to find out if Sound Family was aware of her past when they hired her, and if they thought patients who trusted her to deliver and care for their babies would be angered to find out that she had recently been dismembering and killing similar babies.
Emails to SFM management and colleagues went unanswered. The SFM website lists no administration number, so we called the business office hoping to get in touch with the appropriate individual. Initially they misunderstood the nature of our inquiry and told us that while SFM didn't do abortions -- which is good -- they referred clients to Planned Parenthood, despite that organization's well documented abuse of numerous laws and ethical regulations requiring informed consent and rape reporting, not to mention their extremist and radical hostility to any and all regulations of the abortion industry.
After clarifying the nature of our inquiry, we were met with an incredibly rude and hostile "supervisor" who told us that she refused to give out the telephone contact information for any doctors or administrators. "Look them up in the phonebook," she snapped.
We will keep our readers updated on any further developments in this story. We applaud Dr. Komarow for leaving abortion behind, but it's important to note that usually only a personal encounter with the God of All Comfort is sufficient to deal with the guilt that comes with an honest assessment of what you have done. Trying to run and hide isn't a lasting solution.
Friday, September 04, 2009
The park is named after Dr. Morris Gold, and his wife Barbara, who used to own and operate an abortion clinic on that site throughout the 1970s. The clinic was not publicly advertised as an abortion mill. Instead, it was promoted as a pioneering childbirth clinic. It's not known how late-term the abortions they did were, but it is believed that second-trimester babies were executed in their clinic.
They even promoted their "abortion services" as far away as Calgary, Alberta, taking well-healed abortion tourists from Canada.
We're still researching details about the clinic, but it seems Dr. Gold "was ordered not to perform abortions under certain circumstances", and "freely prescribed diet pills to people who did not need them."
So why is a city park named after such an odious individual? We contacted Lynwood city council-member and mayoral candidate Lisa Utter about this issue. Ms. Utter was non-committal in terms of renaming the park, but after doing some research, she told us that the city of Lynnwood's Purchase and Sales agreement for the property had several conditions among them, including a requirement that "the name 'Gold' will be a part of the park's name for 99 years following the sale."
She also noted that while the city does have a policy regarding the naming of parks, "in my memory we have not changed the name of a park, and I don't believe we currently have a policy for that. Which means we would first have to go through developing a policy if one were proposed."
We consider it unconscionable that a city park should be named after an abortionist and will be pursuing this issue. Return back for updates on this topic.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
As we recently reported, Planned Parenthood filed a notice of appeal two weeks ago, but DSHS did not reveal any details as to the extent or basis of the appeal. We immediately requested a copy. It's finally here.
We are still reviewing it and will post a full report within days. The appeal is 26 pages long, written by their surly attorney, David R. Robbins, of Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, in Seattle. It seems to challenge all five categories of the audit findings. One of their main arguments seems to be that DSHS is applying rules governing pharmacies, but Planned Parenthood says they are not a pharmacy, and shouldn't be bound by such rules.
One of the major categories of illegal billing that DSHS found was for oral contraceptives that were not supported by legitimate prescriptions. Another was charging for condoms above the acquisition cost. According to original documents we have obtained from the government, during the course of the audit then PPS president CJ Gribble conceded in writing to the overbilling for condoms, and seemed eager to repay the state. But according to the appeal, PPS, now under the leadership of Anna Franks, is no longer conceding this error.
Interestingly, from what we've seen so far, like the audit document itself, the appeal makes no mention of "requiring too many office visits by its poorest clients", which is what Washigton Medicaid directory Doug Porter told the Spokane Spokesman-Review was the main finding of the audit. We have asked Mr. Porter to explain this discrepancy. We are still waiting for a satisfactory answer.
Keep checking back for more on this very important story.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Neither Planned Parenthood nor its attorney responded to inquiries, but DSHS spokesman Jim Stevenson told AIW late today that a notice of appeal was received by the government.
Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortions in Washington, and the country, faces the risk of keeping the financial scandal in the news by appealing the ruling. But, on the other hand, paying the bill means admitting to the overbilling and potentially inviting further scrutiny into their finances and those of their affiliates across the state.
Details to follow as they become available.
Repeated inquiries to both Planned Parenthood and the group's attorney, David B. Robbins, have gone largely ignored. We have left numerous messages with Anna Franks, the acting president of PP of Spokane, asking what they plan to do. Ms. Franks, who runs PP of Central Washington, took over PP of Spokane about the same time the financial scandal became publicized, though she claimed the one thing had nothing to do with the other, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
While Ms. Franks repeatedly described the audit as "routine" in her sole public statement on the issue, she has declined interviews, and claimed she was "strongly" considering appealing the findings. She did not give any indication as to which of the five separate categories of overbilling she disputed.
While Mr. Robbins is an expert at defending clients accused of Medicaid fraud, he suggested we not read too much into that, claiming he is equally experienced at helping clients with more basic Medicaid overbilling issues. (That was the only correspondence we received from him that even partially constituted an answer to our questions.)
We will find out by the end of the day whether DSHS has received a check, but either way, we are still eagerly anticipating word from Washington Medicaid director, Doug Porter, as to whether or not the state is going to bring fraud charges against Planned Parenthood, whether they are investigating other PP affiliates in the state for similar patterns of overbilling, and whether or not they are extending the overbilling investigation for Spokane beyond the period of the audit, which just covered three years from 2004 to 2007.
Perceptively, the Times linked the Spokane audit with the massive case of Medicaid fraud that Planned Parenthood was comitting over the course of many years in California.
While PPINW mulls an appeal, P. Victor Gonzalez, a former vice president of finance and administration at Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, is pursuing a whistleblower lawsuit against PPLA on grounds that he was fired for speaking out about "illegal accounting, billing and donations practices of Planned Parenthood."
He is seeking $1.2 million in damages and says he has evidence that PPLA overbilled the state close to $180 million.
A state audit released in 2004 of Planned Parenthood of San Diego lends some credence to Mr. Gonzalez's allegations. It found the state made $5.2 million in overpayments in 2003.
There are two notable differences between the California case and the Spokane case. First, the California fraud primarily involved the 340B Drug Discount Program, in which PP purchased huge quantities of drugs at enormous discounts -- about $2 per unit for oral contraceptives and the abortifacient 'morning-after pill' -- under the federal 340B program, and then illegally billed Medicaid at standard rates, about $20, when the law clearly required them to bill at "acquisition cost".
The Spokane audit didn't contain any findings of 340B Medicaid fraud, but we are conducting a separate investigation of that. What we do know so far is that there was at the very least some confusion between the federal government and the Washington State government as to whether or not Planned Parenthood of Spokane was enrolled in the program.
The second difference was that in California, PP shockingly and successfully lobbied the state Medicaid department, known as Medi-Cal, to call off the audit before it was completed. This was revealed in the lawsuit. You are not supposed to be able to lobby to get an audit stopped, but there have been widespread allegations of corruption in California, and critics argue that the Medi-Cal bureaucracy is filled with individuals friendly with and sympathetic to DSHS.
The same allegations have been made about Washington, but it does at least appear that they were unable in this state to get the audit canceled.
Interestingly, Washington State's Medicaid director, Doug Porter, was the chief executive of Medi-Cal before he came here in 2000. The lawsuit, which has been explained in detail here, doesn't cover the period of Mr. Porter's tenure.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The state government has not said whether the group is still engaged in these types of overbilllings today, and has thus far declined to answer questions as to whether other PP affiliates in the state are guilty of the same practices. They have also not indicated thus far what they have concluded as to whether the overbillings were deliberate, rising to the level of fraud. So far no fraud charges have been filed.
The "Take Charge" program was started in 2001, at the beginning of George W. Bush's first term. An experimental program, it required the permission of the federal government to get started, and needs the feds' review for re-authorization every three years. The initial trial ended in 2006, when it was renewed, despite objections.
"Free Birth Control For a Year"
The premise of the program is simple. Extend Medicaid coverage for birth control to more people by relaxing the income qualification threshold. The result is free birth control for a year for qualifying individuals, mostly women.
It is a fundamental and unquestionable dogma of the sexual left that putting women with dark skin on birth control is A Very Good Thing. Taking oral contraceptives is perhaps the closest thing our cultural Marxists have to a sacrament.
While theoretically any health care provider can sign up to be a "Take Charge Provider" -- i.e., someone who signs individuals up for the program, administers an exam, and provides them with birth control -- it didn't take long for Planned Parenthood affiliates across the state to position themselves as the primary face of the initiative.
Half of Planned Parenthood Clients are Take Charge
A review of Planned Parenthood of Western Washington's finances since 2000 shows a doubling of the revenues since the program began, from about $15 million a year, to about $40 million in revenues each year today! Their annual report freely admits that half of their clients are Take Charge enrollees.
We have conducted an exhaustive review of the Take Charge program, including interviews with Washington State and federal officials who oversee it. The overall objective of the program is to reduce the financial burden on Medicaid of all the birth expenses it pays for. If all these women who end up having babies at Medicaid's expense could be put on birth control, the thinking goes, Medicaid will save money.
Has it worked out that way? You be the judge: just before the program began, in 2000, Medicaid was paying out $200 million for childbirth expenses. Five years later, when the program came up for review and was approved for 3 more years, you might expect that this number had gone down. In fact, that figure had jumped 50% to a staggering $300 million!
The number of births paid for by Medicaid had gone up from about 33,000 to 40,000.
Program Has Led to Expansion of State Abortion Chain
Unfortunately, not all pregnancies end in birth. What about abortion? Since Take Charge began, while the overall abortion rate has declined slightly, the rate amongst Medicaid-eligible Washingtonians has jumped from just over 40% of all abortions to just under 60%.
As we've noted, the largest single gateway for Take Charge clients is Planned Parenthood. Not only have they made literally tens of millions of dollars off the program from birth control sales, their abortion business has mushroomed. They are doing 50% more abortions now than just 3 years ago. While they refuse to make abortion figures for 2000/2001 available, by any estimate they are doing more than twice as many abortions as they were when Take Charge began.
Brian Cutler, spokesman for Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, even admitted to us that they had used the windfall revenue from Take Charge to "upgrade" existing clinics -- including adding "abortion services" -- and to open new ones. In other words, Take Charge money has been used to open abortion clinics.
We confronted state DSHS and federal HHS officials who oversee this program with all this information. The state government has shown little to no interest in addressing our concerns. The federal government did hold a conference call with us to discuss the matter, but provided no meaningful assurances as to how this situation would be remedied.
Breaking the Law?
As if this were not enough, there are two additional matters. Federal law requires that these kinds of experimental programs, known as "Section 1115 Waivers", must be revenue neutral. In other words, the cost of the program -- all that "free" birth control -- must be balanced by savings in terms of births avoided. Nowhere in the Take Charge Final Report presented to the federal government in 2006 did the report's author, Dr. Leslie Cawthon, provide a figure indicating the financial cost of the program, let alone demonstrate its revenue neutrality.
Requests for these figures have been unmet. DSHS may have opened itself up for a lawsuit. We will be following up on this.
Finally, we have asked the federal government point blank: is the goal of the program to reduce the cost to Medicaid by reducing the number of births, or reducing the number of pregnancies? Clearly the former can be achieved through abortion, Planned Parenthood's specialty. The latter cannot. If the only measure is cost, since abortions are cheaper than childbirth, then the current situation would be perfectly acceptable to them. No-one was willing to provide a definitive answer to this question. This is an outrage.
We have called on the government to make it explicit that the cost-saving goals of the program must not be met through abortion. The only way to do this is to require unequivocally that no Take Charge provider can also be an abortion provider.
A long-serving state senator from Western Washington told us off the record that DSHS was so corrupt and "in bed with" Planned Parenthood that there was simply no chance that any program providing so much revenue to the abortion chain would be cut. We shall see soon enough if known Medicaid abusers get their primary source of revenue rubber-stamped.
Monday, August 17, 2009
John Stucke, the Spokesman-Review reporter, was able to secure an interview with Washington State's Medicaid director, Douglas Porter. Whereas our report relied on the written report, Mr. Stucke's story relied heavily on his interview with Mr. Porter. It was, perhaps, not unreasonable for Mr. Stucke to trust Mr. Porter's explanations, but it turns out that resulting article was very confusing.
In the Spokesman Review piece, which was subsequently picked up and retransmitted by the wire services, Mr. Porter claimed that the audit primarily found that Planned Parenthood "required unnecessary office visits by its poorest patients."
"At Planned Parenthood," said Mr. Porter, "Medicaid [birth control] patients were coming in every month," instead of every 6 to 12 months.
What is odd, though, is that the written audit report makes no mention of this issue. Rather, it called out 5 categories of overbilling, only one of which pertained to office visits, and the issues there were billing certain types of visits, like picking up a prescription, under more lucrative billing codes, or billing for visits for which there existed no chart notes.
Mr. Stucke indicated to us that he did not press Mr. Porter on this apparent discrepancy between this part of his interview and the written report. We have contacted Mr. Porter's office ourselves, but have been redirected through the public disclosure office. We have been promised a response, and will report on on our findings if and when that response arrives.
Those familiar with Planned Parenthood's clinical practices would be surprised to hear claims that the organization was guilty of spending too much time with birth control clients. Critics have long charged that the organization hands out birth control "like they were chicklets", and one reason the abortion business is so popular with the young and promiscuous is because they are a quick, easy, and "non-judgmental" source of protection from the consequences of "weekend fun".
Any time a health care provider is accused by an insurer of billing too many office visits, they usually jump to a standard defense that "this is what proper health care requires" and accuse the insurer, public or private, of not paying for proper care. Even Planned Parenthood itself, never one to miss a rhetorical opportunity, failed to make this claim.
The Spokesman Review did correct one thing since we contacted them. They originally titled the piece: "Clinic overbilled Medicaid," as is still evident from the URL. We pointed out that Planned Parenthood of Spokane operates five separate clinics. The headline was changed to "Planned Parenthood overbilled Medicaid."
Another odd thing about the Spokesman-Review report was that, at the very end, it did report that Mr. Porter said the audit found that "drug prescriptions were being changed by unauthorized staff," and that Mr. Porter considered this to be of "equal" importance to the too-frequent-visit issue. Yet the newspaper only dedicated one more sentence to the issue, the last -- and least read -- line of the whole article.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Ms. Franks repeatedly referred to the audit as "routine". Most of the release was a regurgitation of the "dates and dollars" of the audit.
Beyond trying to cast the audit as "routine", she said:
"It was clear in the audit findings that services had been provided; however the State auditor thought the documentation was incomplete."This, in fact, is not true. It's interesting that Ms. Franks raised the issue of whether they had billed for services that were never rendered, because so far this hasn't been discussed. The fact is, it's pretty much impossible for an auditor to determine if services were rendered, without interviewing clients, etc., which was beyond the scope of this type of investigation. All the auditor can do is see if there are chart notes corresponding to services that were billed. The existence of chart notes does not, however, prove that the services were actually provided, of course.
And in fact, much of the findings in the audit were that PP Spokane billed Medicaid for services for which there were no supporting chart notes. They did not, interestingly, discuss whether or not the procedures had actually taken place. Perhaps that is still under investigation.
As for the supposedly "routine" nature of the audit, again we think Ms. Franks protests too much. There's nothing routine about a $630,000 bill. There's nothing routine about doling out birth control without a prescription. There's nothing routine about billing Medicaid for condoms at three times the legal rate. There's nothing routine about billing Medicaid for doctor's visits that were never documented. There's nothing routine about unbundling abortion services.
As for the future, all she said was that "PPINW is strongly considering an appeal of the audit findings."
Ms. Franks, meanwhile, has declined to answer questions from the media, including the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Some critics believe this sort of defensive behavior does not bespeak confidence.
AIW has also attempted repeatedly to solicit information from her attorney, Mr. Robbins (pictured left), but his responses have been unhelpful at best, rude at worst. At first he simply demanded to know "who pays you?". We thought he might at least tell us when he had been hired by Planned Parenthood Spokane, but he dismissed the question with a "of what relevance is that?"
He did suggest, though, that his presence as an attorney for Planned Parenthood should not be interpreted as a sign that they fear a fraud charge. All of this behavior is raising more questions than it is answering.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Planned Parenthood of Spokane (PPS) has been caught overbilling Medicaid for condoms, charging for contraceptives without a prescription, "unbundling" abortion claims, and claiming patients were having doctor visits when they were just picking up a prescription.
All of this is in an audit of the organization just completed by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). And as a result, PPS has been ordered to reimburse the government $630,000 plus interest for the overpayments. The audit did not get into the question of whether the overbilling was part of a systematic fraud scheme, but it also was clear that if this practice continued PPS would lose its Medicaid billing priveleges.
The audit found 5 categories of overbilling:
1) Numerous examples of billing Medicaid for oral contraceptives either without any underlying prescription for the drugs, or where the prescription was completely invalid, e.g., "Continue with drug XYZ".
2) Many cases where male condoms were billed at some nicely rounded up price instead of the actual acquisition price, as has been required since 2003. For example, in some cases they billed Medicaid $3.00 where the invoices clearly showed that PPS paid $0.84. In other cases, they billed $2.00 where the invoice showed the acquisition price was $0.56.
3) Unbundling post-abortion antibiotics and billing them to Medicaid under Family Planning, which is strictly prohibited.
4) Billing office visits to pick up a prescription or get an injection as "Evaluation and Management" -- a sit-down consult with a doctor or ARNP, and which have a higher reimbursement rate, in some cases double.
5) Billing for pregnancy tests which were done when the client never even suspected she was pregnant, and without any indication of medical necessity.
The audit covered the three-year period from Spring 2004 through Spring 2007, and made a point that it didn't claim to have been exhaustive, meaning that PPS shouldn't assume that they are free and clear if they are guilty of additional overbilling from this period not discovered in the audit.
The audit didn't address the question of whether these practices were going on prior to 2004, or after 2007, including up to the present, or the question of whether it was systematic and intentional, thus rising to the level of fraud.
If it's any indication, though, PPS has lawyered up and hired a fancy Medicaid fraud expert from Seattle to defend itself. The audit was addressed to David B. Robbins, with Bennett Bigelow& Leedom. Mr. Robbins was "selected for inclusion in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2008 Edition," according to his website. That can't be cheap.
The audit itself also didn't deal with the question of who is going to ensure that these overbillings are not going on right now.
There is also the question of whether these practices are common to the other Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state, including PP of the Great Northwest (formerly Western Washington), and PP of Central Washington, and whether this audit will trigger audits of the sister organizations.
The audit made it into the news back in June when it was reported in the Spokane Spokesman-Review. The organization's then president was removed, and the group is reportedly being run by Anna Franks, president of Planned Parenthood of Central Washington, which is right now trying to expand into Pasco. But there's nothing to indicate that her practices are any different from the Spokane-centered affiliates.
A $700,000 bill would be a bitter pill for most "non-profits", but with over $11 million the bank, PPS can easily afford it. How did a supposed not-for-profit get into such a comfortable financial situation? Some critics argue that this huge cash reserve has been generated through schemes uncovered in this audit, and that there is more to be discovered.
In 2005, for example, they reported $2 million in profits off of total revenue of $6 million. That's a 33% (net) profit margin for a non-profit.
Some might argue that Medicaid billing is complicated and errors are inevitable. But no organization on earth should have more expertise in how to bill Medicaid correctly for contraceptives than Planned Parenthood.
In the days ahead, this blog will be contacting representatives of Planned Parenthood for comment, as well as representatives of the government to get answers to some of these questions.
The audit didn't mention what prompted the government to initiate this investigation in the first place.
View the Audit Documents here.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Cedar River, which also goes by the moniker of Feminist Women's Health Center, is registered as a non-profit, or 501(c)3. This means their tax returns are available, by law, for public scrutiny.
From those tax returns, we learn that they have annual revenues of just over $5 million per year. From documents accompanying their tax returns, we know that they have 5,700 abortion customers a year. According to a Yakima Herald article, they have more than 7,000 clients total per year. Previous IRS filings and reports put their client volume closer to 6,000. 7,000 unduplicated clients seems unlikely, given that unlike Planned Parenthood, Cedar River's business is almost exclusively abortion related. The higher figure would mean that somewhere between 1,700 and 2,000 clients were there for birth control alone. That is unlikely. So we're going with 6,500 unduplicated clients per year.
Dividing the $5m revenue across 6,500 clients gives an average revenue per client of $770. This is the number to focus on. This number is extraordinarily high.
If you compare it to the now defunct Aradia abortion clinic in downtown Seattle, that clinic reported revenues per client near $350. (About $1 million in program service revenue, and just under 3,000 clients).
Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country provide a very valuable reference point. Laughably, but conveniently for these purposes, Planned Parenthood is also a 501(c)3 with public tax returns. Planned Parenthood of Western Washington is notoriously aggressive when it comes to revenue generation, but even they only report $200 revenue per client ($22 million over about 110,000 unduplicated clients), and that includes the $7 million in allegedly illegal profits from 340b Medicaid overbilling fraud! Other Planned Parenthood operations in Washington State show similar revenues per client.
So how does Cedar River come up with $770 in revenue per client? Are they just catering to the rich and famous? Clinic CEO Beverly Whipple claims that they are mostly serving the low-income and indigent, to the tune of 65% of the total clients.
We don't see any legitimate way to explain this figure.
What is more, this abortion chain claims that they are writing off almost half their would-be revenues due to unpaid bills. In other words, their revenues should be closer to $9.5 million. The $5 million in revenues is just the actually realized revenue. That would put the claimed revenue per client at about $1,450!
Of further interest is the fact that for several years, the way in which they were accounting for this on their annual tax returns to the IRS (known as 990s) was highly suspicious. They were actually claiming $9 million in revenue and a single line-item of negative revenue called "Contracts and Other Allowances" in the amount of $4 million.
When we contacted them about this, they said that "Other Allowances" was the amount they were writing off in unclaimed revenue, or unpaid bills. Experts we spoke to informed us that it's not illegal to operate this way, listing a "woulda-coulda-shoulda" idealized figure for your top-line revenue and then subtracting the difference between that and actual revenue, but it is unusual, and it's not clear what purpose it serves.
Additionally, Ms. Whipple told us they started doing this because they changed accountants. When I pointed out to her that the tax returns clearly listed the same Yakima accounting firm of Alegria & Company before and after they started reporting in this way, she had no comment.
Also of interest is a blantant mistake on their 2005 return which they corrected after we brought it to their attention: they accidentally listed the $5+ million writeoff under their management expenses rather than their operational expenses. This made it look like they were spending close to 60% of their expenses on management! Which would make them the worst
"charity" on earth. When we asked them about this, they admitted it was a mistake, and actually refiled their taxes to correct the mistake!
Also, in their most recent tax returns, since we started asking them about the reasons for listing $9 million in revenue and $4-5 million in "unpaid bills" as a single expense, they switched back to the more "natural" way of reporting their finances.
Last year we decided that all these financial shenanigans and unanswered questions deserved the attention of the authorities. We filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General's office Charities Division. Unfortunately, this just consisted of the AG's office forwarding a letter to Beverly Whipple.
Ms. Whipple's response was astonishing, and seemed to suggest a certain lack of fear of the authorities.
First, she said if we didn't "understand" the finances of non-profit health care she didn't "have the time to explain it" to us.
Second, she indicated she was aware that we had made inquiries into her finances through other branches of the state government. There is no legal way she should have had any knowledge of these inquries. It would seem that Ms. Whipple has friends in DSHS who are illegally tipping her off, with names.
Third, she issued a threat that she would characterize any further inquiries into her affairs as harassment. What wasn't clear was whether this threat was aimed at us or at the AG's office! But the AG's office said there was nothing further for them to do here!
We are going to continue to press this investigation. Does Ms. Whipple really want to meet us in court and go through a discovery process whereby all her secrets will be revealed? It is our intention to find out how they are making such large amounts of money per client, who in DSHS is feeding them information, and why they seem fearless of being prosecuted.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
by Wendy Elizabeth Leigh
I came to Bellevue, Washington in the summer of 1973, just after Roe V. Wade. I was 19 and in the middle of a divorce with 2 small children and I needed a job. Having never worked before, but with some medical receptionist training, I went to apply at a medical office next door. The doctor was younger; mid thirties. The interview was going well, I thought, as I didn't have any experience. "How do you feel about terminations?", he asked. "I don't know what that is.", I answered sheepishly. "Well, we are a family practice office; that includes doing abortions two days a week... how would you feel about doing that?" He studied my face waiting for my answer. "Aborting babies? I'm not sure I can do that." - fearful I had just cost myself the job. "Oh, NO!" he explained, "We don’t do that! A baby is something that weighs nine pounds, has blond hair, blue eyes and bounces on a grandpa's knees. What we do here is simply dispose of tissue… Just a blob of tissue. I am the son of a Baptist minister; if this were wrong I wouldn't be doing it! Just remember...we do what we do for the women." I needed this job. I knew what I needed to say...and I said it. "Well, it's better than being an unwanted and unloved child like I was. "You're hired". I was excited to realize I was about to earn my first paycheck. What I failed to understand at that moment is what working for this doctor was going to cost me.
Even though my training was front office skills like making appointments, transcription, etc., I was hired to work in the back office lab. The three days a week of true family practice was mundane stuff. Taking blood pressures, helping with kids exams, re-setting exam rooms after patients had been seen. The real job was Tuesdays and Saturdays. These two days always began with the doctor coming out into the waiting room full of frightened or nervous women. He would always jump up on the receptionist counter and give his "pep talk".... always giving his "disclaimer" that he was the son of a Baptist minister..."
My training had been simple enough. The doctor's head nurse showed me how to sterilize instruments, arrange the procedure trays to the doctor's liking and how to set up the buckets of red liquid to soak instruments before going into the steaming chamber along with filling syringes; small and big. I was comfortable so far. It was explained to me that first "termination day" that I was also going to be responsible for disposing of the contents of the large, white suction machine before me. I watched dutifully as the nurse wrapped the jars with a sterile drape; securely taping the ends. "We don't want to upset these poor women who are going through enough already!" Then came the unexpected threat, "Just remember one thing; it's your job if even one woman finds even one drop of blood on the toilet when you flush the jars!" Message received.
And so it began. The women were scheduled like clockwork. A finely tuned operation. Five rooms loaded up with women of every description. Some looking very poor and desperate; most looking very wealthy...and very blaze'. The first abortion was in the exam room right next to the lab. When I heard the doctor turn on that suction machine and I heard the horrific sounds... a slurping, gulping...high pitched... like a vacuum cleaner with something stuck in the hose, it was shocking and awful! But, there were worse things yet to come. Soon after... the used tray was shoved at me. "Here ya go!", the nurse said, laughing... was that a snicker?
When I lifted the drape off the tray, it didn't seem that bad. Not too much blood I thought, I can do this...but as I began to do one tray after another I quickly learned that not all trays would be the same...and I began to systematically gag. Especially when I would unscrew the vaginal speculum and "blobs of tissue" would fall into my bare hands. I was never instructed to use or offered gloves. It was beyond disturbing... I had to find a way to endure this, so I would just turn my head away and quietly whisper, "I'm just washing dishes,..Just washing dishes..."
But by far, the worse part of the job was emptying those jars every day, and more than once, "tissue" by the handfuls plopped in the toilet every time making quite a splash. I hated having to wipe the blood off with toilet paper, so I quickly learned to lay the jar opening down close to the bowl and gently pour. The most unnerving part was spying out the hallway to make sure I didn't run into any of the women leaving after having their "procedures". I had been warned of that as well. They clearly didn't want these women knowing what we were doing to dispose of the "fetuses".
Part of my duties in setting up the trays was the preparation of the syringes. The small ones were atropine; the numbing agent for the cervix as I recall. But the big ones? I had to press them for an explanation. Well, we also do "saline procedures"; but I was told I would have no part in those since I was "new at this". It took some time before someone finally explained it. This doctor also did later term abortions removing the amniotic fluid and replacing it with saline to kill the "fetus". A small piece of some kind of seaweed was placed in the vaginal cavity to assist dilation and then these women were sent to a local motel room specially set up for this doctor's patients. Several beds in one room. The women were sent there to get bed rest and wait until they went into labor and then they were to meet the doctor at the hospital to deliver. I tried to imagine these women (8 beds to my recollection) all lying there waiting...what did they talk about? I decided I could not let my mind go there.
After a couple of months I finally stopped gagging. I took an almost robotic attitude about what I was doing...and kept reminding myself. "We do this for the women". But there was one part of the daily "ritual" in the office I could never quite reconcile in my mind with that statement - the "Count and the Amount" celebration at the end of the day. How many?/How much? After all, women were "done and gone", we all met in the reception area for the day's tally. I would always stand back in awe and watch. Piles of cash...always cash...no checks accepted. We were doing an average of 50 women two times a week. The price varied according to how far along women were: between $200-$500 a head. At an average of $350, that was $17,500 a day, times two: $35,000 a week for a total of over $140,000/month NOT including the other 3 days/week...and this was 1973! The goal was to make enough money to pay for the new building under construction that was to be a full time abortion clinic set to open at the end of the year...just in time for Christmas! The holidays were busier, they said. So, this day's end celebration always had a happy air to it.... for them. I witnessed high fives with the office manager and the doctor...and his nurse.... they were especially friendly. Later I was told she was the doctor's girlfriend and I should watch out and not make her mad; especially no flirting with the doctor. "You are too young and cute for your own good", the manager warned, "Watch out!" No problem there. There was something about this man... it was "all for the women.”
About six months had gone by and while I would love to say it began to get to me...it did not. I actually got very accustomed to it all. Until that day...
I am ashamed I have forgotten her name. I will never forget her face. She was blond, blue-eyed...and probably bounced on her grandpa's knee. And afraid. Very afraid. She had lied about her last period. She had a "tipped uterus". The doctor failed to recognize she was not the usual 8-10 weeks. She was 17 weeks pregnant. The doctor attempted to do the usual dilation "D & C" suction procedure... it went very wrong...horribly wrong.
My first clue was that the trays that I had waiting were backing up in the lab. No new trays that always "flowed like clock-work" were coming at me. I could actually hear voices "buzzing" in the waiting room. The front door of the office was opening and closing...and often. Angry voices at the front reception desk began to drift back down the hallway to me. I stood in the open door way...listening... what was going on? The exam room at the far end of the hall suddenly flew open and the head nurse came charging down the hall at me demanding I go in and "assist doctor..." I quickly did as I was told.
My accruing complacency was summarily shattered by what I witnessed when I stepped into that room. I stepped back against the door I had just closed behind me. The nice white exam room was awash in blood...splattered blood. Like some perverted artist who had dipped his paint brush in a gallon of crimson red paint and hap-haphazardly flung it all up and down the walls and across the ceiling... and this poor girl! She was laying there in obvious shock; shaking violently.. and splattered all over with her own blood…and her baby’s! Doctor was in his customary position with forceps in both hands swearing up a storm and feverishly attempting to extract - "it".
He seemed oblivious to me. My first instinct kicked me into action. I rushed to the sink and grabbed some paper towels. I leaned down close to this girl's ear and began to whisper comforting reassurances to her. Words truly failed me as I tried to gently wipe the splattered blood from her face. All I could muster was to simply say repeatedly, "I'm sorry. I’m so sorry” She had no response. Save the silent messengers pooling in her eyes and running down the sides of her face into her damp, bloody hair. Suddenly now, I was in pain! The door had opened and I felt a clinched hand firmly grabbing my elbow; nails digging into my flesh. "Come with me!" came a growling in my ear through clinched teeth. I was in trouble...but for what?
The doctor's girlfriend dragged me back into the lab and shut the door behind her. She erupted into an effusive, explosive rebuke. "WHAT did you think you were doing?! I sent you in there to assist the doctor, NOT the patient! Have you ever heard the word LIABILITY!?... ‘I'm sorry!?...I'm sorry’... was THAT your idea of assisting the doctor...talking to the patient like we had done something WRONG!?"
Just as suddenly as it had begun. It was over. The door opened and the doctor darted in. He didn't seem interested in joining in on her verbal assault. He reached up and threw open a cupboard door grabbing a small, white, garbage bag. He opened it with one hand and in the other hand held a small "single version" of the Gomco unit suction machine.... and without any hesitation or reservation, unceremoniously dumped the contents of the jar into the bag. He ordered his nurse to go prepare the patient for transport by ambulance for an emergency surgery procedure to complete her "termination".
He scurried around the lab grabbing some instruments from one of my clean trays, I was not happy. I would have to redo that whole tray... then...suddenly... that didn't matter. My eyes were fixed on the doctor...as he systematically began to "inventory parts"... body parts... NO!... BABY PARTS!... One perfect little leg...snapped off at the hip... then the other... one perfect little arm...snapped off at the shoulder...then the other... I could not even speak... I almost fainted with what came next! The entire spine...all vertebrae in-tack with the spinal cord and little wire like nerves dangling from both ends... no skin in sight...just bloody parts torn out of the back of this little child! "Good!", he declared with great relief. "I have everything here but the head and the trunk!” My stunned disbelief was interrupted with the doctor's hurried instructions as he rushed to peel off his grotesquely sullied, white medical jacket and doing a quick look in the mirror hanging by! the lab door and straightening his now disheveled tie, he flew out the back door to his car! "Don't touch that tray until I call you from the hospital to give you the 'all clear'...got it!" As he exited... I was clear... I waited for the call.
Over the next several minutes, I listened as women were rescheduled. Some leaving in tears...a few...a precious few, deciding not to reschedule. Were some babies saved that day? I will never know... all I remember is the waiting. I watched in disbelief as the nurse and office manager enjoyed the customary McDonald's Big Macs, fries and colas that I had to go get two times a week, as we were so busy "helping the women" we were not allowed to take a lunch hour. It was my job to walk the 2 blocks down the road and get take-out for us to gulp down in between each procedure. (I have not been able to eat a Big Mac since then.) My stomach that day was so nauseous I felt like I had morning sickness. Watching those two devour their food like nothing had happened was too much. But no time to indulge myself. The phone rang. It was doctor giving me the OK to clean up and call it a day. He sent word that all was successful.
I approached that single, stainless steel, medical tray with great trepidation. I knew this was going to be bad...messy. I reached out with my left hand and ever so slowly picked up the very soiled drape covering the instruments. I gulped with one eye closed and head turned sideways before looking... I was dreading this. As I held the drape to peer over the top of it... I felt something drop into my right hand that was resting open under the drape. I scarcely recall the gore of the instruments for the vivid, so indescribable... horrid recollection. I cast my eyes down; head tilted to the side to see what was in my hand. There...it... was.... One tiny little foot snapped off at the ankle... Perfect...and with five miniature little toes! Everything suddenly went into slow motion...and I could not hear anything around me... until... there was that brash and haughty office manager: she grabbed the foot out of my hand and flung open one of the counter drawers grabbing a stainless! steel, metric ruler. "COOL!" she exclaimed with gleeful delight! "THIS one was a whooper!"... And incredulously began to place the frail, little remnant on the ruler to measure it! All I remember is her face…eyes lit like fire... I think she said it was 5 cm. I just recall checking years later and realizing it was larger than the little foot pins pro-life supporters wear.
I thought I would vomit that day, even without lunch. I begged off completing my usual shut down procedures of the lab and said I had to get out of there and go home. I was clearly very ill. The office manager barely noticed and doctor's girlfriend was now there in the mix engaged in the speculations of that tiny foot. I slipped out the back door and relished the fact that I had Sunday off before I had to return.
Monday came too soon. I had a physical to do on a five-year-old little boy who had just moved into the area and needed to be seen before he could go to school. My job was to prick his index finger and draw one small drop of blood to get a reading on the health of his blood. That was all it took... the room began to spin...I stepped back, leaning against the wall, shell-shocked – like I had just witnessed a horrible crime! Suddenly the doctor was at my side throwing off his latex gloves and demanding I join him in his office!
I was ready. I knew what was coming... but this time I would have a few words to say for myself! I had barely gotten in the room and taken a chair when he began his tirade rebuking me for being so "unprofessional". I summarily interrupted and told him I didn't think I could do this anymore after what had happened on Saturday. He was clearly disgusted and offered me part time work for "family practice" days... Most of that conversation is a blur but I remember ending it with this: "Doctor, you said this was for the women... you said "they are just blobs of tissue! What fell off in my hand was NOT a blob of tissue!"... I hastened to finish my point before I lost it... “I can’t do this any more!” The doctor wasted no time in getting on the intercom and instructing the office manager I had quit and she should prepare my last paycheck, totally unaffected by my sudden combativeness. He tried to get me calmed down before I left his office but it was no use. I think because he didn! ’t want any scene as I left… The tears began to flow as I walked through a waiting room full of people. My last words were more to me than the puzzled spectators… "And what happened in that room was NOT for that woman!” I ran out of his office breaking into sobs as I rushed out the door, not bothering to pick up my last paycheck. I wept uncontrollably all the way home.
It would be only a few more months and I fled Washington State in the midst of my own personal crisis with my children. I wanted desperately to get away and never look back! I moved to Central California where I swore I would remain and never return to Washington State. I began engaging in reckless behavior of my own. Smoking marijuana... bars... going home with anyone who would have me...married or not.
I soon began to have a dreadful, reoccurring nightmare. I was in the bottom of a big, white toilet...suddenly huge amounts of bloody baby parts and buckets of blood began pouring down over my head, running down my face; leaving me gasping for air! "STOP, STOP. STOP!!!" , I would shout... "SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE IT STOP!!!!"...and then I would wake up panicked, helpless and soaking wet...and wailing... this went on for years.
I would find myself pregnant again 4 years later and standing in the same desperate shoes of the that tragic young lady in Washington. I was engaged. I had finally found someone to “love me”...and willing to care for my two children...even if, as I knew, he couldn't care less about them. I walked into his beautiful home that he owned out in the countryside and gave him the announcement, I was pregnant.... and without batting an eye he said, "Hold out your hand" as he reached for his wallet in his back pocket; clearly annoyed, he counted out $178 and told me in no uncertain terms, "Don't let me see your face again until this is taken care of! Go to the women's clinic on the west side of town and get this taken care of.” Funny how he knew right where to send me and with how much cash! I couldn't get there fast enough.
The woman seemed nice. That “sweet” countenance - too sweet – like I saw in Bellevue. I was immediately scheduled for an abortion. But, this had a difference. They offered sterilizations with their services. Ah, but alas, I was only 23; the minimum age requirement was 25. I knew what I was doing. I knew what this meant. It was wrong. But I could not end up with 3 children with 3 different fathers! I begged. I got a call later... it was all set...they would do it all... Women's Hospital of Oakland.
My sister who was 25, single, and unable to have children, offered at the last minute to take my baby. What?! How ridiculous would that be?, I thought. Seeing a child I had given away all the time? What if I wanted it back and she wouldn’t give it to me? No!
I showed up, and walked through the process like a zombie! I was told it was a good thing I would be "out cold" as I wouldn't feel a thing and there would be no emotional trauma for me being unconscious and all. What a stupid lie! I woke up to a nice looking doctor telling me all was well...well... except for one little complication...."You were a little further along than we anticipated... you were not 8 weeks... you were over 10 weeks... perhaps 13."... My mind flashed back to that girl in Washington... and the toilet dream continued. When I showed up at my boyfriend’s home to let him know I had followed his demands and we could go forward with wedding plans, he wasted no time making it clear where things stood. “Do you REALLY think I would marry a woman who would murder her own child?” Game over.
It was only about a year later; I couldn't take it any more. I fell on my face and cried out to God to help me! I thought I had been raised in a normal Christian home. I had accepted Jesus into my heart at ten years old: November 5, 1963. But at 18... just 2 years before Roe v Wade, I was told my dad was not my father. Then my dad walked out the door and never came back. It was all my fault. So many family secrets... but I had secrets of my own…I was emotionally unraveling on that floor! I now know my real father was my mother's pastor... and what he had done I tried to bury... he AND my mother had done something terrible to me when I was 3...but that was after my mother took me at 9 months old and left me in her car in the middle of a hot summer day, 100 plus degrees outside, windows rolled up; she left me while she went shopping. A passerby rescued me. No charges filed; the doors were not locked. Then, I had been raped at 9 years old in the middle of the night while my mot! her visited my father now living in another town. He put a pillow over my face and I was almost suffocated... Raped by my first boyfriend at 14... I wanted to die! There I was crying out to God, as I thought I was losing my mind! It would take over 30 years to realize it… I was flushing myself down that toilet!
The first Sunday after that "carpet time" with God, I began going to church...it wasn't long before I would be attending my first "Pro-Life Sunday" service. I sat in terrifying disbelief as I heard my pastor preach about what the Bible had to say about life...and when it began! I couldn't hold it in any longer. I burst into sobs and fled the sanctuary to the women's restroom just off the backend of the room. Only a swinging door between the attentive crowd and me. I slid down the wall wailing so hard as my voice reverberated off the whitewashed brick walls...and I slid down onto the floor unable to stand. I suddenly felt an arm around me, embracing me! Pastor's wife had slipped in and sat on the floor there comforting me! I wept and wailed all the harder at such mercy!... "I didn't know!... I didn't know!.... I didn't know!"... Then suddenly... my words hit my ears...and my heart... no... I didn't know... not about those babies I had flushed down the toilet for 6 months (about 1,200)... but I DID know... I DID know... my own baby was NO blob of tissue! NOT at OVER 10 weeks!"... I became hysterical... Suddenly there was another woman in the bathroom bent over and rebuking me to pipe down! I was disturbing the service! I thought pastor's wife would come to her feet and deck that woman! "JENNY!... THIS is why WE are HERE!... GET OUT!"... Jenny was an elder's wife...and very gone. As I sat there choking on my sobs, I began to wretch. Then I knew I was going to be sick. I crawled on my hands and knees into a stall...and laid my head on the nice, clean white toilet...and vomited more pain than anything else... begging God to forgive all those other trips to the toilet! I walked out of that bathroom well after the service had ended... very determined I would somehow make up to God what I had done.
I joined the pro-life group at church; one assistant pastor who led the group was clearly repulsed by me, my story...and my presence. I stopped going. But I accepted an invitation to go to schools to tell my story. I wanted to spare young girls from not just having abortions but from EVER getting pregnant!... That went well for a few months... until the day I got home after speaking at a school and I began wailing again as I had in that bathroom at church that day. I could not take the anguish any more. Revisiting the memories was also revisiting the horrible guilt! I surely had done enough to make amends... I put it all away... and walked away from pro-life ministry. That was the mid 1980's.
It would not be until the year 2000 that I found myself in Colorado Springs, and mentioning to an elder's wife the safer parts of my "pro-life story". She suggested I contact the local Pregnancy Life Center of Colorado Springs and offer to train as a volunteer; thinking that may help relieve my guilt. I did contact them and was told I would need to take the 24 week study, "Forgiven and Set-Free" as a requirement of service. I was very ready to do that but still very afraid to open up old wounds.
That class was a pure joy and delight. I was able to walk through the healing process of that study each week and see progress. I learned there I didn't have to "make amends to God; Jesus did that for me! I was also seeing opportunities to share encouragement with the 8 women in the group. One said, "If God could forgive YOU, He certainly could forgive ME!"...So it went... the last week of the group came and I was so excited. The leader of the group had prayed over us early in the study asking God to reveal to each woman what sex the aborted child was for each of us so we could give them a name. She said in all the years they had been doing this ministry, they had never seen even one woman not receive an answer. Mine was a girl; I named her Rachael Rose. She let us know we would be having a memorial service on the 24th and last week of meeting together. I could hardly wait.
During our study time, we made a keepsake booklet out of pictures in magazines, cut outs, words, phrases... what ever we could find to do a collage of our own story. I recall one particular phrase: Stop the Insanity! I placed that phrase right over a big picture of fashionable porcelain toilet! I wanted to frame mine; not put it in a binder to set on a shelf. Now it was time for the big event - the memorial service. We were each to bring a candle to light; have something to share for a few moments of dedication and remembrance and share their name...at last, a name for our babies.
I love to write poetry and had already written one for my own child. I asked our leader if I could write one for all the aborted babies I had flushed, could I read it to share? I thought, hopefully, it would help these women see that someone who had participated in what had been done to them was sorry. I was given permission. A church in the area donated the use of a small chapel on their church grounds. The chapel was beautiful, warm... the Spirit of the Lord was so strong in that room that day. We sang Amazing Grace together and after a few words by our group leader, each woman, one by one, came up and shared some thoughts, lit her candle and said the name of her baby. We would pause for a moment of silence for each one. I had been asked to go last as I had the poem to read for not only my baby but each baby's life I had flushed without a thought all those years ago.
It was finally my turn. I walked to the front. But I didn't just bring a single candle for my baby. I set out on the table that one candle but then a large multi-wicked candle...then... a small penny bank I had found when I bought the candles. It was a small trash can...silver...shinny...reflecting the light from all the candles now placed on the table of remembrance... I had also purchased a small packet of alphabet letters and put two words on the trash can lid as well as on the side of the trashcan.
It simply read:
STOP IT! 1,201
I read my poem and closed with a prayer for those women... one by one they came up to me and thanked me as they embraced me and wept on my shoulder. THANKING me?... It was amazing! I was one of last women still in the chapel after we had some fellowship and desert. I sat down in the front pew of that little chapel...just staring at the last 2 candles still left on the table.... the ones that belonged to me... I said, "Lord, I know I am forgiven... I want to FEEL set free."... "How shall I ever forget what I did?"... God's answer was immediate...Suddenly, a line from the poem I had read for those babies came to mind... and I saw in my mind's eye a huge cross. Blood was flowing from feet pierced and fixed to that cross.... blood was flowing down from those feet onto the ground. There was blood already lying there but the Blood from The Cross began to spill over and cover that blood... that is when I heard it... Just remember from this day forward... never forget...that their blood is under Mine."
Isaiah 49;15, 16 Can a mother forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the child of her womb? Even these may forget but I will never forget...