NRL News

What the hearing on the “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” tells us about abortion and abortionists Part One of Four

by | May 22, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Last Thursday the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on H.R. 3803, the “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”  What the bill would accomplish can be described almost clinically: it would ban abortions on pain-capable unborn children, beginning at 20 weeks fertilization age (22 weeks LMP) in the District of Columbia. 

But what it would mean in reality—in flesh and blood—cannot be genuinely appreciated unless you take the time to read prepared testimony and/or to watch the video of the oral testimony of three physicians.

In Parts two, three, and four, I will highlight portions of the testimony of Anthony Levatino, M.D., Colleen Malloy, M.D., and Byron Calhoun, M.D., respectively.

But by way of introduction, it’s important to understand that much of the limited media coverage was an exercise in diversion—the same “let’s quibble over the witness list”–intended (as always) to take the discussion down a rabbit trail, in the process ignoring what really happens to a baby who is pain-capable when aborted.

The Washington Post, helpful as always, ran “An interview with a late term abortion provider.” Abortionist Willie Parker is sanctified early, a great guy who only got in the abortion trade eight years ago “largely out of what he says was concern for women’s needs going unmet. Parker is primarily based in Washington and Philadelphia, but also travels monthly to see patients in Alabama.”

You can read the interview conducted by the Post’s Sarah Kliff, at, so let’s address just a couple of points in what is unintentionally an amazingly revealing interview.

Asked about the six states that already have enacted the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Parker tells us, “It’s a gambit around public opinion… I think it’s a very calculated strategy that fails to take into account the complexity of these cases.”

“Gambit”? Please. These laws, like the proposed District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, are as straightforward as it gets. Is it okay to rip pain-capable unborn apart limb from limb, or is it not? And what’s “complex” about grasping the baby’s body parts (in English, arms and legs) and then grasping her head and crushing it ‘in order to remove it from the vaginal canal” (see Brutal, yes, barbaric, yes, disgusting, yes. But not “complex.” It’s as simple as anesthetizing your conscience.

Speaking of which, Parker adds that these laws “create this impression that abortion providers are callous, and allow people to conflate murder and abortion. People feel morally justified to say ‘this is wrong’ because they’re led to think it’s close to murder.”

The implication is that ordinary citizens have to be persuaded, be talked into, moral revulsion at a “procedure” that makes what takes place at slaughterhouses look like daycare centers. Not so. Once most people understand what is taking place—when the gauzy rhetoric about “choice” is stripped away–they don’t need you or me to be scandalized.

One additional and VERY important point that NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson made in a follow up online comment:

“In his interview with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post, Dr. Willie Parker estimated that 1 percent of abortions occur after the first trimester. This is a gross underestimate. Indeed, in a printed statement opposing the bill that he posted on the internet, dated May 17, Dr. Parker himself wrote that “roughly 12% of abortions occur at or after 13 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period,” citing figures cited by the CDC. This is 12 times the figure he cited in the interview. However, Ms. Kliff stayed steadfast in the “wiffle ball interview” mode and did not challenge Parker’s wildly erroneous figure — or anything else he said, really.”

Take the time to read the full interview with Parker, to read the testimony of the three physicians, and, if possible, watch the video of the oral testimony. And be sure to share by use of your social networks.

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Categories: Legislation