- Cullman, Alabama


May 16, 2013

COMMENTARY: Slate: There Is Only One Kermit Gosnell



Unable to find an epidemic of born-alive murders, Live Action says the videos underscore the general ugliness of late-term abortions. That's true. But late-term abortions are rare and getting rarer. According to the latest CDC data, only 8 percent of abortions are performed after 13 weeks gestation (the end of the first trimester), and only one percent are performed at 21 weeks or later. That's a decline, in both total and percentage terms, over the last decade.

Pro-lifers say the Gosnell case shows that "abusive, contemptuous doctors are more the norm in freestanding abortion clinics than the public is willing to admit." But the Live Action videos — the raw footage, not the edited versions the organization promotes — show the opposite. Most of the doctors and counselors seem more attentive and compassionate than the average nurse or physician. They help patients talk through their decisions. They offer financial help. They assuage anxieties. They answer endless questions.

The videos also show how concerned the providers are with safety. Even the least sympathetic of the taped doctors, LeRoy Carhart, carefully instructs his patient (who's actually a spy) to stay within 15 minutes of the clinic so that if she develops any complications, his 24-hour staff can get to her promptly. Pro-lifers have blamed Carhart for the recent death of a high-risk patient, Jennifer Morbelli, who came to him with a wanted pregnancy that had turned out, in the third trimester, to be fatally defective. On Monday, almost simultaneously with the Gosnell verdict, police announced their decision in Morbelli's case. Based on the medical examiner's final report, they're closing the investigation.

Women do die from legal abortions. But the fatality rate, compared to other procedures and options, is remarkably low. In 2010, for every 1 million women who gave birth, 155 died from pregnancy-related factors. By comparison, over the last 25 years, for every 1 million women who had abortions, six died.

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  • COMMENTARY: A break from the campaign rhetoric

    The collective sigh of relief felt throughout Cullman Wednesday morning signaled the end of another primary political season the previous night. As Wednesday’s Times headline told us, it was a clean sweep.

    July 21, 2014

  • Harris Coleman COMMENTARY: Billy Coleman, a true statesman

    King Solomon said, “Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.” He also said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Billy Coleman, the past elected superintendent of Cullman County Schools, is the living example of these wise statements of truth.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • COMMENTARY: Twisty road back to Cullman

    The young journalist who was somewhat listening to the elder newspaperman on the other side of the desk didn’t have a clue.

    July 19, 2014

  • Commentary: Why your Facebook friends are so gullible

    These stories aren't real. They're the work of the New Yorker's not-particularly-funny online satirist Andy Borowitz, but many people, not just your gullible Facebook friends, invariably believe them. Sometimes the official state news agencies of global superpowers believe them.

    March 19, 2014

  • OPINION: Who belongs in the delivery room?

    Should a father be allowed in the delivery room for the birth of his child, over the mother's objections? A New Jersey judge said no last November, in a ruling that was released in writing earlier this week.

    March 13, 2014

  • SLATE COMMENTARY: Should Detroit be allowed to issue its own visas to immigrants?

    Under the plan, immigrants coming to the U.S. under visas aimed at those with "advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts" would be "required to live and work in Detroit, a city that has fallen to 700,000 residents from 1.8 million in the 1950s."

    January 29, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: Rules for babies in restaurants

    "Maybe Don't Bring Your Baby to a 3-Star Restaurant," Jezebel suggests, in response to a kerfuffle over a Chicago couple bringing their 8-month-old to the ultraexclusive restaurant Alinea because their babysitter canceled.

    January 17, 2014

  • WORKOUT-WEAR2.jpg COMMENTARY: Workout Wear Friday? No sweat, boss!

    People in fitness gear are more likely to exercise — or at least to think about it. So let's get everyone in comfortable, moisture-wicking outfits once a week to demonstrate our commitment to physical activity.

    January 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Undead and the Unborn

    In this season of ghosts and ghouls, we seem to respect the undead more than the unborn. How unfortunate. Witness the popularity of television programs featuring blood sucking vampires and walking corpses, while in Texas, a new provision making it difficult for women to get an abortion is immensely unpopular. How unbelievable.

    November 28, 2013

  • Google Is Google wrecking our memory?

    Is the Internet ruining our ability to remember facts? If you've ever lunged for your smartphone during a bar argument, then you've no doubt felt the nagging fear that your in-brain memory is slowly draining away.

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo