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Is Kate Michelman Telling the Truth About Her Own Abortion Story?
Human Events Online ^ | January 24, 2006 | Jan LaRue

Posted on 01/24/2006 8:04:57 AM PST by ConservativeGadfly

Is Kate Michelman Telling the Truth About Her Own Abortion Story?

by Jan LaRue, Esq. Posted Jan 24, 2006

Why would four doctors increase their risk of felony prosecution for performing an abortion by requiring Michelman to obtain written consent from her husband who had abandoned her? If their concern was a civil lawsuit, wouldn’t that have been outweighed by avoiding prison time?

On January 12, 2006, Kate Michelman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) in opposition to the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On January 9, 2006, the Web site "Democracy Now" posted an interview titled: "Fmr. NARAL Head Kate Michelman on Alito and Her Own Pre-Roe v. Wade Experience Getting an Abortion and Consent From the Husband Who Abandoned Her."

Michelman testified that she had a "therapeutic abortion" in a Pennsylvania hospital in 1969 after complying with a "state law" that required her to obtain her husband’s consent. Her story raises serious questions. There was no Pennsylvania law that permitted therapeutic abortion. In fact, there were at least two doctors prosecuted for performing abortion around that time.

On January 11, 1967, a jury in Montgomery County, Pa., convicted Lamar T. Zimmerman, M.D., on a charge of performing an illegal abortion in violation of the state’s penal code, Commonwealth v. Zimmerman. In 1969, the Superior Court vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial. The court found “the circumstantial evidence did not establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

In 1968, in Commonwealth v. Page, a motorcycle mechanic pleaded guilty to performing two abortions in violation of Section 718 of the Pennsylvania penal code, which provided:

Any person who with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman unlawfully administers a drug or unlawfully uses an instrument is guilty of felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $3,000, or undergo imprisonment by separate or solitary confinement at labor not exceeding five years, or both.

Page challenged his conviction arguing that the statute violated provisions of the U.S. Constitution. On July 23, 1970, the Court of Common Pleas for Centre County reversed his conviction. The court held Section 718 unconstitutional citing Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), stating: “It is a ‘broad brush’ statute prohibiting all abortions without exception within the State of Pennsylvania.” The court noted that the statute “appl[ies] in bold fiat to medical doctors who possess the requisite skill to easily perform a safe abortion during at least the first trimester of pregnancy.”

The state appealed. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the ruling in 1973.

The court included in its ruling, a companion case, Commonwealth v. King (1968). An Allegheny County court had convicted Benjamin King, M.D., in 1968 of performing an abortion in violation of Section 719 of the penal code, which doubled the penalty for an abortion resulting in death. The court sentenced King to two-to-five years’ imprisonment. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the conviction citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973).

At trial, neither Dr. Zimmerman in 1967 nor Dr. King in 1968 claimed to be exempted from prosecution for performing a “therapeutic abortion.” There was no exemption in sections 718 or 719 of the penal code, and there was no Pennsylvania law that permitted therapeutic abortions.

Consequently, Michelman’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and her interview posted on the “Democracy Now” Web site raise several questions about her 1969 “therapeutic abortion,” including:

1. Michelman said, “And so I made the choice to have an abortion, finding that abortion was illegal in Pennsylvania at the time. And I had a choice between a back-alley abortion, which, I had heard, was devastatingly dangerous. I even had the number of an illegal abortionist that I carried with me at all times.”

Did she consider the abortionist “illegal” because abortion was illegal in Pennsylvania, or because the abortionist wasn’t a doctor?

2. Michelman said, “I was told by a doctor that I could apply to a hospital for a therapeutic abortion. But to get this therapeutic abortion, I had to be rendered unfit. I had to be medically designated as needing an abortion in order to get this hospital abortion.”

Did she ask what law required her to be “rendered unfit”? Did she ask what it meant? Did she ask what law permitted a “medically designated” abortion? Did she ask what medical reasons would qualify? Did she assume it was legal?

3. Michelman said “she was compelled to submit to two interrogations before an all-male panel of doctors. They probed every aspect of my private life -- from what kind of sex life my husband and I had to whether I was capable of dressing my children in the morning.”

Did she tell the doctors that her husband had abandoned her? Did she tell them that she no longer had a sex life with her husband? Assuming she didn’t claim to be unfit, what medical reason did she give? Did the doctors tell her what the abortion would cost?

4. Michelman said, “Eventually, they gave their permission.”

Was she informed in person, by phone or was a notification mailed to her? Was she told that she was “rendered unfit”? Was she told it was because of medical reasons? Was a reason given?

5. Michelman said “she had been admitted to the hospital and was awaiting the procedure when a nurse arrived to tell me that state law imposed yet another humiliating burden. The government required me to obtain my husband’s consent.”

She also said: “And just as I was about to have the procedure, almost, I was told that they had forgotten one more legal requirement, and that was that I needed the permission of my husband. I was -- I said, ‘You can’t be serious. My husband has left us. I don’t even know where he is.’ And they said, ‘That is the law. You need the permission or we cannot do the procedure.’ I had to leave the hospital and find my husband, who did give me his written permission.”

Had she or her husband filed for divorce or legal separation? Was she seeking an annulment? If so, did she tell the doctors or nurse? Did she ask what “state law” or “government” required her husband’s consent? If they were in the process of divorce, separation or annulment, did she ask if the law still applied? If she did ask, what was the answer? How did she locate her husband, since she didn’t know where he was? Did the hospital provide a consent form for him to sign naming the hospital and doctor(s)? Did he write a statement of consent naming the doctor(s) and hospital? Despite two different interrogations by a panel of four doctors, including “what kind of sex life my husband and I had,” how likely is it that four doctors forgot to tell her that she needed her husband’s written permission for the abortion? How likely is it that in 1969, none of the four doctors had heard of the felony convictions of Dr. King in 1968 or Dr. Zimmerman in 1967?

6. Michelman said, “Because this all occurred prior to Roe, I was legally prevented from acting privately on my decision.”

If she had a “therapeutic abortion” and fulfilled the “law” by obtaining her husband’s consent, how was she “legally prevented” from having an abortion?

7. Michelman said, “After a long period of searching -- of balancing my moral and religious values about the newly developing life with my responsibilities to my three young daughters -- I decided to have an abortion.”

Does she disagree with Roe v. Wade that “the developing fetus” is merely “potential life”?

8. Michelman told her story to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of her effort to defeat Judge Alito’s confirmation. She told the committee, “[T]he contrast between Judge Alito and the Justice he would replace is stark.”

Is the contrast between Michelman’s story and Pennsylvania law somewhat “stark”? Since Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) was a prosecutor in Pennsylvania from 1959 to 1973, wouldn’t he have been well-acquainted with the state’s penal code and case law in 1969? How well would Michelman’s story withstand the kind of aggressive questioning Specter did of Anita Hill when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to the confirmation of Clarence Thomas?

No doubt Kate Michelman would want her testimony to be fairly judged. One might expect her to do the same for Samuel Alito.

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Copyright © 2006 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; alito; confirmation; constitution; feminists; judicial; judiciary; michelman; naral; nomination; postabortivewomen; scotus; supremecourt
Kate Michelman, white courtesy phone....Kate, you might want to pick this one up......
1 posted on 01/24/2006 8:05:00 AM PST by ConservativeGadfly
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To: ConservativeGadfly

Therapeutic abortion? gee... now murder is therapeutic... come to think of it, I think I agree. A civil war might be just the right therapy for some of these liberals. Too bad it won't happen.


2 posted on 01/24/2006 8:10:25 AM PST by greenthumbedislndr
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To: ConservativeGadfly

Great, great thread.


3 posted on 01/24/2006 8:12:58 AM PST by syriacus ("Job discrim-in-i-Cation" --- Tedward Kennedy coinage, 1/23/2006)
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To: ConservativeGadfly

Damn! I love the internet. Those interested will build on this story just like we did with Dan Rather. You can't lie and get away with it anymore.


4 posted on 01/24/2006 8:16:01 AM PST by GWB00 (Barbara Streisand barely made it out of high school.)
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To: GWB00

Could not agree with you more!


5 posted on 01/24/2006 8:19:00 AM PST by ConservativeGadfly
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To: ConservativeGadfly
Yes, I really can believe Kate Michelman would go to a motorcycle mechanic for an abortion.

She probably sees rootworkers for the pains in her intestinal tract as well.

This woman is too stupid to be allowed to walk down a hallway alone.

6 posted on 01/24/2006 8:20:57 AM PST by muawiyah (-)
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To: ConservativeGadfly

Yay! Another lying lefty exposed!


7 posted on 01/24/2006 8:21:05 AM PST by originalbuckeye
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To: ConservativeGadfly

Do I hear the slow unraveling of Kate Michelman?


8 posted on 01/24/2006 8:22:17 AM PST by desherwood7
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mark for later


9 posted on 01/24/2006 8:25:58 AM PST by A Citizen Reporter
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To: ConservativeGadfly
I always thought the leaders of the abortion movement were full of it. Its too convenient for all of them to have these outrageous stories all neatly designed to make you feel bad for them and therefore not question their 'decision'.
Hers especially, I hope she is brought to account for all the inconsistencies, of course she will have long forgotten the actual names or places of the people involved. Unless it helps the abortionists.
10 posted on 01/24/2006 8:30:42 AM PST by DesignerChick
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To: ConservativeGadfly
How did she locate her husband, since she didn’t know where he was?

She didn't know where her husband was but apparently found him - perhaps through asking friends. Who cares how she found him?

Question # 6 is the relevant question. The bottom line is this woman was allowed to have an abortion prior to Roe-v-Wade. So why was she testifying in the first place since apparently the only thing she had to offer was her inconvenience with how it was done? That should have been the focus of the article rather than the rest of this list of lame and irrevelant questions.

11 posted on 01/24/2006 8:31:24 AM PST by plain talk
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To: ConservativeGadfly

I'm a little confused by the terminology here. There are technically three medical terms for abortion:

Spontaneous abortion: what we commonly refer to as miscarriage.

Theraputic abortion: Medically necessary procedure, such as for ectopic pregnancy or a fetus that has died in utero.

Elective abortion: When a woman decided she does not want to carry the child to term.

Theraputic abortions are always legal and are done everyday. Trust me, if her life had been in danger she would not have been grilled or needed her husbands consent. She was trying to justify an elective abortion.


12 posted on 01/24/2006 8:36:15 AM PST by rhetorica
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To: originalbuckeye
Actually, she took a swift boat trip to Cambodia, where abortion is legal... and this is seared, seared in her memory.
13 posted on 01/24/2006 8:36:20 AM PST by rmgatto
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To: rmgatto

Great connection!


14 posted on 01/24/2006 8:39:06 AM PST by originalbuckeye
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To: rhetorica

Pre-Roe, many hospitals had boards of doctors who would approve/disapprove abortions. TAB was the notation if they ruled an abortion would be "therapeutic", and was permitted. Knowing a doctor on the panel was helpful.

I know a fellow who ran for state office a few years ago; I was talking with him about the abortion question, and he was recalling the days when his father was on one of those hospital panels. Abortions were approved pretty easily, and it was seen as just a nod-and-wink formality. He didn't see what would be the problem with just going back to that. So, I guess it depends on whether you want abortion to be really illegal, or just have it be kept out of sight. In the old days, it was mostly just kept out of sight.


15 posted on 01/24/2006 8:53:07 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: linda_22003

Weird that she would lie?????...........


16 posted on 01/24/2006 9:14:14 AM PST by samadams2000 (Remember our Founding Fathers were REAL men- Unlike today's Rinos)
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To: GWB00

Her story seems like one fabrication after another. No doubt she would say "fake, but accurate." But I do hope the blogosphere picks up on this and gets some real investigative work done.

If her husband and abandoned them and she "didn't even know where he was," how was it she was able to leave the hospital and, in a seemingly timely way, find the guy and get him to sign . . . what was it again? A permission slip? Required by what?

Can someone produce one of these permission slips for a "therapeutic abortion" done during this time?

Katie also admits the only "therapy" at stake in this abortion was her desire to not have another child. What medical reason did she give this alleged four-doctor panel? Can the hospital confirm that such panels were held?


17 posted on 01/24/2006 9:37:45 AM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
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To: plain talk

I found the questions neither lame nor irelevant. I would like Ms. Kate to answer them and more.


18 posted on 01/24/2006 9:39:01 AM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
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To: samadams2000

That, I don't know. I'm not speaking of Pennsylvania in my post.


19 posted on 01/24/2006 10:02:26 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: ConservativeGadfly
Michelman testified that she had a "therapeutic abortion" in a Pennsylvania hospital in 1969 after complying with a "state law" that required her to obtain her husband’s consent. Her story raises serious questions. There was no Pennsylvania law that permitted therapeutic abortion. In fact, there were at least two doctors prosecuted for performing abortion around that time.

She got the abortion after watching a few Arkansas churches burn with Slick Willie...

20 posted on 01/24/2006 10:03:27 AM PST by an amused spectator (Bush Runner! The Donkey is after you! Bush Runner! When he catches you, you're through!)
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To: linda_22003

Sorry that was tongue in cheek regarding Kate. They are liars through and through.


21 posted on 01/24/2006 10:24:55 AM PST by samadams2000 (Remember our Founding Fathers were REAL men- Unlike today's Rinos)
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To: wouldntbprudent

She doesn't have to answer any questions from anyone nor should should she. Our side should simply have noted what I said earlier and left it at that. The author of this so-called "article" is making a mountain out of molehill. There's nothing here but a worthless list of questions.


22 posted on 01/24/2006 10:26:44 AM PST by plain talk
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To: plain talk

A major spokesperson for the abortion lobby who gets caught in a series of lies should be asked a lot of questions. You may not think the truth is important, but you speak only for yourself.


23 posted on 01/24/2006 11:47:35 AM PST by ozzymandus
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To: ozzymandus

What series of lies did she made? The so-called article was stretching so hard from such a partisan bent it's hard to tell.


24 posted on 01/24/2006 12:37:29 PM PST by plain talk
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To: ozzymandus
A major spokesperson for the abortion lobby who gets caught in a series of lies should be asked a lot of questions

*************

Agreed. Not to mention that she may have perjured herself in an attempt to prevent Alito's confirmation.

25 posted on 01/24/2006 12:47:27 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: linda_22003

I'd settle for out of sight over what we have now. Abortion is so readily available that some women in distress are tempted beyond what they can bear to have abortions. A seventeen year old who is panicking over her religious parents' potential response to hearing she's pregnant would have a hard time resisting quick and cheap abortions advertised in the yellow pages. If there were any kind of barrier to having an abortion quickly, the number of abortions would drop.


26 posted on 01/24/2006 1:07:16 PM PST by utahagen
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To: greenthumbedislndr
Therapeutic abortion? gee... now murder is therapeutic

That's the term that was generally used back then. This story, though, sounds like so many leftwingers' personal recollections. Serious epidemic of False Memory Syndrome among those creatures.

27 posted on 01/24/2006 2:50:19 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: ConservativeGadfly

Sha also claimed she had to kill her fourth child because she was on welfare -- welfare has always paid for pregnant women's heealthcare as far as I remember.

She could have carried to term and put her baby up for adoption.

I just wonder what her living children think about when they know how their little brother or sister died.


28 posted on 01/24/2006 2:59:18 PM PST by victim soul
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To: narses; Pyro7480; murphE; NYer; Salvation

Pro-Life ping


29 posted on 01/24/2006 8:13:40 PM PST by Dajjal
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