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Victims who have names

Victims who have names

One of the saddest stories you will read is the story of Jennifer Morbelli, who died recently along with her unborn daughter during a very late term abortion in Maryland.

The story originally was reported by Jill Stanek.  In a series of posts, Robert Stacy McCain reported on the story, the tragedy, the abortion doctor’s history, and the media blackout, Media Embargo Slowly Crumbling on Jennifer McKenna Morbelli’s Death:

Jennifer Morbelli died last Thursday at Shady Grove Hospital in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. after undergoing a gruesome third-term abortion ordeal at Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health clinic. A 29-year-old married kindergarten teacher in the affluent Westchester County suburbs of New York, Morbelli had actually named her unborn daughter Madison Leigh, but reportedly decided to seek an abortion in her 33rd week of pregnancy after prenatal testing diagnosed her baby as suffering from a disorder that causes seizures.

As far as I can tell from the reporting, no one harassed the family, or did anything other than report the story.  Including the names of the victims.

This put human faces on a horrid story, a real-life reminder of the dangers and horror of late term abortions.

But apparently names and faces on this story were considered out of bounds for an activist at Fordham (someone you may recall from the Ann Coulter-Fordham debacle), who claimed that Stanek and others reporting the names of the victims could and should be sued, Why Does @BridgetteDunlap Want to Suppress the Truth About Abortion?

Read the whole thing and the Twitter exchange.  The legal accusations are frivolous.

The media blackout was broken by bloggers, as it should have been.  The Lower Hudson Journal (yes, that Lohud) now has reported on the funeral which took place on Ash Wednesday, including the names and photos of the family.  USA Today reports on possible lawsuits over the death.

If late-term abortion is defensible, why try to hide the reality that there are names and faces and lives destroyed, or that there is a doctor who allegedly engages in practices which are dangerous even for late term abortion procedures.

It’s not an esoteric law school discussion.

Defend the practice if you can, but don’t deny it.  Or try to silence it.


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“…or that there is a doctor who allegedly engages in practices which are dangerous even for late term abortion procedures.”

Golly. If it was a dentist, mechanic, or engineer we would all agree that the story was a public service for consumers.

I wonder what makes this ONE practitioner somehow sacrosanct…???

    For all the talk about taking abortion out of the backrooms (and all that “coathanger” stuff), abortion clinics are regulated worst that dog kennels.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Ragspierre. | February 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    What makes this practitioner sacrosanct? Carhart was a colleague of George Tiller, who was a fundraiser for Kathleen Sibelius. Coincidence, perhaps; perhaps not.

Every now and again, a story comes along that, for whatever reason, simply stuns me. This is one of those. I look at my own eight-year old daughter, who had absent seizures and still has a stereotypy, and the beauty that is her personality and soul and the joy she brings to us.

I would not wish death on anyone in this manner, but I find it difficult to muster sympathy for this woman. She was a victim of her own selfishness and fear – of the consequences, however indirectly, of a decision made to visit horror upon the most vulnerable. She was not likely poor, she had health insurance, she was married.

And now I see that they have held a Mass for both her and her unborn child. If the abortion had gone as planned, would there have been a Mass for the child? There is so much horror here.

    ThomasD in reply to jawats. | February 16, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Based upon available info it appears the abortion did go as planned insofar as the baby was killed and then subsequently removed.

    The Church will say Mass for any unborn, body or no body, miscarried or aborted. The child is truly innocent.

    Why some churches are willing to extend a Sacrament to someone who has excommunicated herself is a mystery to me. By Cannon Law she is not even entitled to a public service.

    I can only assume between the final procedure and her passing she repented, reconciled, and was granted absolution.

      jawats in reply to ThomasD. | February 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm


      I was not clear. My response was hasty, unfortunately. I think offering Mass for the baby in this instance is a good, but also lamenting on the fact that, had the mother not died in the process, nobody would be offering a Mass except as a general offering for all of the unborn.

      Also, I doubt the mother was excommunicate. While s/he who procures or assists in an abortion can be excommunicated latae sententiae, the individual must be aware that an abortion incurs the penalty of excommunication. Canon 1323 notes that “The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept…a person who without negligence was ignorant that he or she violated a law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance”.

      So, given the state of catechetics, I would tend to think that she had no idea that the act she was committing was contrary to canon law and incurred the punishment of latae sententiae excommunication.

      Therefore, a Mass is suitable both for her soul and that of the child.

        ThomasD in reply to jawats. | February 17, 2013 at 9:34 am

        Oh please, you can lawyer Cannon Law to your hearts content.

        The notion she, in this day and age and traveling across State lines to obtain a procedure not legal in her home State, was unaware that abortion is a grave sin?

        Laughable, but it does show the extent to which the pro-abortion crowd is willing to twist reason and faith beyond limit.

      JerryB in reply to ThomasD. | February 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      At the risk of going off topic: Having Mass for the child is not correct. The child was not baptized, so there is no benefit to the child. On the other hand, were it baptized, then there would be no need for Mass. A Mass for the mother might be permissible, as jawats noted. It’s all so sad and horrid.

        ThomasD in reply to JerryB. | February 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

        Not true at all, Mass can be said for anyone – Catholic or not.

        Being Catholic requiring one to also be catholic.

          JerryB in reply to ThomasD. | February 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

          For the living, yes. Not for the dead who have died outside the Church. The infant died outside the Church. In any case, there is not a Mass for an infant because it cannot have any actual sin on its soul.

          You may take the final word. We’re way off topic for the Professor’s blog.

The Left has no defense for their maleficence. That is why they chose to always change the subject.

They will jump up and down and yell about wanting gun control or “Republicans!” or “Sarah Plain said this…” or …anything other than talk about the evil they do.

It isn’t called Shady Grave Hospital for nothing.

This is easy to explain… First amendment rights ONLY apply to the progressive left.

The rest of us just had better keep our mouths shut if we know what is good for us!

This debacle is also due to the death of personal responsibility..

“If late-term abortion is defensible, why try to hide the reality that there are names and faces and lives destroyed, or that there is a doctor who allegedly engages in practices which are dangerous even for late term abortion procedures.”


Thank you to Jill Stanek and Stacy McCain for covering this tragic story, and to you Prof. Jacobson and all the other bloggers who have used your platforms to give it more exposure.

The “real” media’s reluctance to touch this one makes me wonder how many times a similar tragedy as this has played out but no-one in the wider community was aware of it.

If there’s nothing wrong with late-term abortion, if it’s just another procedure, no different from having a wart or mole excised, why do the procedure’s supporters feel compelled to go to such lengths to hide any incidents where it goes so wrong? If this were a healthy, pretty young woman who died during a routine liposuction procedure, for instance, we’d all hear about it.

1. If late-term abortion is defensible, why try to hide the reality that there are names and faces and lives destroyed, or that there is a doctor who allegedly engages in practices which are dangerous even for late term abortion procedures.

Maybe because of violence, past and potential, against abortionists.

2. Defend the practice if you can, but don’t deny it. Or try to silence it.

My immediate interest is not in defending or attacking the practice. My immediate interest is in knowing whether Ms. Morbelli (RIP) was adequately informed of the risk she was taking.

3. IMHO the least bad recourse is to defederalize regulation of social issues like abortion and leave them to the states. Since afaic the so-called debate is an exercise in “managed hysteria” (to the net disadvantage of the GOP), I’m not optimistic that that will happen.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to gs. | February 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Go over to Jill Stanek’s website and read the patient instructions that were found, along with copies of driver’s licenses, other personal information, and what can euphemistically be called medical waste, found in the Dumpster behind the clinic.

      1. There are many posts at that site. You did not specify the ones you mean.

      2. I found Stanek’s discussion of Justice Ginsburg’s position on Roe very interesting indeed. (According to Ginsburg, abortion should have been legalized incrementally.) In particular, this statement by Stanek caught my eye (boldface mine):

      Reading between the lines, Ginsburg believes there would be much less rancor about abortion had it slowly been eased into the public consciousness.

      This buttresses my thought that walking abortion back incrementally – as we are forced to do at present whether we like it or not – is a winning strategy.

      I suggest that those abortion opponents who, like Jill Stanek, accept that an incremental strategy is necessary take up the suggestion to defederalize this social issue.

      If the states regulate abortion, they can in effect vote to “pre-ratify” a Human Life Amendment. If a clear majority of states pre-ratify a Human Life Amendment, there will be pressure on Congress to present such an amendment to the state legislatures.

      3. I have tried to present the foregoing in a manner which is independent of my personal position. My point is that defederalizing social issues like abortion can serve as point of departure toward a national consensus. It facilitates an incremental strategy with quantifiable progress.

      Defederalizing addresses the vulnerability about social issues that the Left has exploited against conservative candidates for national office.

        9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to gs. | February 15, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        This link will take you to the article. There are two sets of patient instructions, one from before May 2012 which instructed patients not to go to the ER, and a different set of instructions given in July 2012 that gave instructions on when to go to the ER (outside of office hours) and have the ER contact Carhart. Carhart had left the state of Maryland after Morbelli’s abortion; stories said that the Shady Grove ER was unable to reach him.

        Multisylabic words like “defederalizing” obfuscate the scientific fact that abortion ends a human life. Steve Forbes said a long time ago that abortion would not end until hearts and minds were changed. I’m happy to defend Jill Stanek. As a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, she held and comforted infants who survived abortions but who were left on cold tables in closets to die. Illinois: the same state where the current occupant of the White House stated that providing a comfort room for infants who survived abortion was sufficient.

          Multisylabic words like “defederalizing” obfuscate the scientific fact that abortion ends a human life.

          sigh I guess Real Conservatives™ get their facts only from Real Scientists™.

          Steve Forbes said a long time ago that abortion would not end until hearts and minds were changed.

          For a time the anti-abortion movement got my respect when it set out to educate and persuade rather than, in contrast to the pro-abortion side, to impose its views. These days, afaic, both sides of the “debate” are dominated by fanatical take-no-prisoners crazies and by political and financial profiteers. IMO if the abortion issue magically disappeared, they would quickly find something else to disembowel each other about.

          I’m happy to defend Jill Stanek.

          Be my guest. My previous comment didn’t attack her. In a narrow sense it supported her.

          Multisylabic words like “defederalizing” obfuscate the scientific fact that abortion ends a human life.

          Well stated. And, as we see, ridiculed but not refuted. Even NARAL-types admit that the “choice” is a unique, living human being, e.g., Naomi Wolfe. But to borrow a phrase from another famous proabort, “What difference does it make?”

    n.n in reply to gs. | February 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Abortion is not simply a “social” issue. It is an act of premeditated murder. Our national charter recognizes that our unalienable right to life is endowed by our Creator from “creation.” Our Constitution establishes that our rights cannot be abridged without cause and without due process. The case of elective abortion is automatically a proscribed act under our law.

    Elective abortions are simple acts of premeditated murder of a human life before it has a voice to protest and Arms to defend its life. This is a violent act committed against an individual and society. It is therefore the responsibility of society to defend the rights of its citizens, especially at a time when they are uniquely vulnerable to the whims of others.

    The abortionist is legally classified as a murderer, while the mother is legally classified as an accessory. There are mitigating circumstances, including when the pregnancy threatens the life (not wealth or welfare) of the mother.

    There are choices to be made before men and women have sex. However, after having sex, and when a women is impregnated, then it is the responsibility of the mother and father to care for their child. Neither the mother nor the father have the right to prematurely end the life of their child.

      Abortion is not simply a “social” issue. It is an act of premeditated murder…The abortionist is legally classified as a murderer, while the mother is legally classified as an accessory.

      If you apprehend one of these “murderers” or “accessories” and turn them over to the police, you will get the opportunity to discuss your legal theorizing with a judge. However, the discussion will likely be extremely one-sided.

        n.n in reply to gs. | February 16, 2013 at 12:52 am

        It’s not a theory, it’s the black letter of our law.

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
        — The Declaration of Independence

        No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
        — The United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment

        Our national charter defines when (i.e. “creation”) our rights are accorded. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that our rights as citizens cannot be abridged without due process of law and equal protection of the laws. If elective abortion of a human life in the mother’s womb is considered legal, then elective abortion (i.e. premeditated murder) of a human life from birth to grave must also be considered legal to meet conditions imposed by the equal protection clause. We cannot arbitrarily discriminate between the legal protections accorded to one human life and another.

        There is no question that Roe vs Wade is a decision incompatible with our charter and supreme law.

        The only question is how long American men and women will tolerate this gross violation of a person’s unalienable right to life for the most capricious of reasons, to preserve wealth and welfare, to remove undesirables, or for population control.

        n.n in reply to gs. | February 16, 2013 at 1:24 am

        Notice that I recognize that a legal and scientific argument will neither be appreciated nor welcome in most courts of justice and public opinion.

        I understand why men and women choose to rationalize abortion as anything other than premeditated murder and a gross violation of a fundamental human right, and why others are “pro-choice”.

        I recognize why human and civil rights activists and businesses choose to rationalize abortion as anything other than premeditated murder and a gross violation of a fundamental human right.

        I recognize why politicians choose to rationalize abortion as anything other than premeditated murder and a gross violation of a fundamental human right.

        I recognize that the fulfillment of material, physical, and ego gratification would be impaired by accepting responsibility to care for a new human life.

        I recognize society’s liability of caring for human beings who are considered undesirable or rejected by their mother or father.

        I recognize that a slight majority reject the principles of evolution as they are inconvenient and impede their pursuit of personal gratification.

        I recognize all of this and yet the whims of men and women do not change the character of their dysfunctional behavior. There are consequences when men and women defy nature, when they defy civil behavior, when they deny a fundamental human right. The consequences of dysfunctional behavior, including those which reduce evolutionary fitness, are observable after only a single generation, and in some cases are intragenerational.

        That said, perhaps I shouldn’t care. I also recognize that every new human life will be a competing interest, who will vie to displace me at work, school, and throughout society. Who may one day vote for redistributive change and support discriminatory policies based on a person’s, my incidental features. Who may one day support laws and policies which will sponsor corruption and therefore harm me, my family, friends, etc. So, perhaps I shouldn’t care; but, I cannot presume the guilt of a new human life, and I cannot support laws, policies, and standards which serve to devalue a human life which is considered undesirable, inconvenient, or any other capricious classification.

Thank you Professor Jacobson for posting this.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I have had to re educate myself on abortion terminology.

There are late term terminations that induce early labor. Beats me what happens after.

Surgical terminations are those that are sucked out & most likely under 24 weeks.

Now I might go learn what this elusive reproductive health is.

I don’t have a particular view against late term approved abortions , but I have said I will take any baby my daughters don’t want .

None have turned up but I almost got a retired Explosive dog she took a fancy to , but just as I was thinking YES , the dog was snapped up .

What we need to do is get women to be able to gestate puppies & pandas & dolphins – even baby rhinos – then they would b overjoyed.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Btw that is a point – would you be prepared to step in & raise a related child & in what circumstances?

What would you do if this were your daughter & she was diagnosed with a defect in utero?

Would you want her name published if she were to die , other than in an official context & what would you prefer to be written ?

What would you say at the funeral?

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | February 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Little Madison could have been delivered the old fashioned way and have been held and loved and cherished for as long as she had the strength or wherewithal to draw breath. Instead, cozy inside her mother, a needle pierced her heart and she was injected with poison. Had she been allowed to be born, under Catholic belief she would have been baptized and at her funeral the priest would have considered the inscrutable will of God. Instead, according to Catholic teaching, little Madison joins the Holy Innocents along with those who were slaughtered by Herod.

    We’re adoptive parents; I’d take any child for any length of time. Our child could have been aborted.

    Perhaps you might consider stirring up trouble elsewhere for a time.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to 9thDistrictNeighbor. | February 16, 2013 at 3:09 am

      Why would a few questions be stirring trouble? I have been following this over at Stacey’s before this post on LI & thus your accusation is stupid. Seems to me the trouble already existed without me.

      I suspect the baby would not die shortly after as you describe but could live a life of serious seizures that could cause brain damage & physical disabilities until whenever. No doubt she & her husband & family considered this .

      Obviously these people & their Priest do not share your theology. Not much you can do about it.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to 9thDistrictNeighbor. | February 16, 2013 at 3:34 am

      Also 9thdistrictneighbour – from what source did you garner the exact method of termination.?

        9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | February 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

        Carhart worked with George Tiller in Wichita. After “Partial-birth” abortion was banned, Tiller developed a technique that injects digoxin into the heart. The process takes four days. A simple internet search can get you information. Pro-life websites often have information or links to information detailing exactly what happens. Pro-choice people don’t really want to discuss exactly what happens. Operation Rescue is one source:

      There are many people who would have adopted that baby in a heartbeat, defect and all. And, doctors have been wrong before about babies – Tim Tebow comes to mind.

        9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to JoAnne. | February 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        The adoption agency who helped us has a 100 percent record of placing disabled children in loving homes. Children who have Down Syndrome, children who need expensive surgeries…100 percent placement.

    Blood for blood, that’s what I would say at the funeral. Kill a baby and die like a dog. Yup, sounds good to me.

    Btw that is a point – would you be prepared to step in & raise a related child & in what circumstances?

    I did. I took my niece and nephew when they were just babies and raised them as my own. My children were just about grown when I did this. It was hard but most rewarding, especially as I am preparing to welcome my seventh grandchild (nephew and wife) and a new son-in-law (niece) later this year.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to JoAnne. | February 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Yes -this used to be very common before we entered the world of ultra neat homes, ultra neat mothers & nice & tidy 2 children families. Now we are that plus aspirational .

      In the adoptions stakes , to be a baby is much easier to find a new home than a 14 year old. I see pages of photos & bios of teens – almost always black – hopefully peering out from adoption & foster agencies in America. Locally I have seen pics & bios of foster kids in local newspapers. This is because they want them to stay locally but I was surprised at first. The loss of privacy was secondary to finding them a home. Fair call.

      On the other hand medical technology & social services allow disabled people to live far longer than previous. Societies self limit . Today abortions for future disabled are the balance to supporting those that do live. it is how humans have survived.

      We have indigenous with a culture that considers twins evil for example. They used to just leave one to die just as in their nomadic lives , they left those that could not walk on , behind. It is hard to shake that. This is no longer necessary . those that were sick would just go off by themselves to die . today they can do that even though there is a hospital in town. Consequently UNICEF is forever on our backs over numbers.

      A few years back the Asian community were dumping disabled kids into the system en masse . Now with improved Pre natal testing , it has declined markedly.& I am guessing e female – male ratio .

      Going back to Stacey’s thread ,I can’t see that anything has been resolved there or here.

I’ve seen the ambulance pull away from the mill. I’ve read about it from former mill workers. It almost never gets covered. “Safe” abortion is such a lie. It’s always best to carry the child to term.

The dirty secrets of abortion have to be covered up. It’s a tribute to the “legitimate” media that a half-million persons can march for life, and a half-million women can be injured or scarred for life, and there’s nary a peep. Then the people can lament, “Oh we didn’t know, we didn’t know.” They don’t want to know.

There should be a requirement that all late-term abortions be videotaped.

It would have made the news if he had used a gun instead of a medical instrument.

Time was you could another human being in bondage, and employ almost any means – physical violence, starvation – to compel the performance of manual labor.

And if you tried to interfere you’d be arrested if not immediately killed. Not only that but state and Federal government took an active interest in slavers maintaining possession of their ‘property.’

Thankfully times, and the law, change in response to public recognition of what is truly right and just.

Treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia sometimes being a mark of distinction.

Carhart has killed before, a woman and preborn baby in Wichita. Who remembers their names? Who mourns that loss?
Do you know not even the Centers for Disease Control have statistics on mothers who die as result of abortion? Nope, because then the public would realize that abortion is not safe, it is not right, nor is it a solution?
In Chicago two intrepid reporters found two cases of women that died along with their preborn infants after the Illinois Department of Public Health denied that any women had died as result of abortion. Ever see an ambulance in front of an abortion clinic? Nope, cause it’s bad for business. Operation Rescue has much information from abortionists who have seen the truth and converted. One testified that their local abortuary then would give the women such low dose hormones (birth control) that it would stimulate ovulation instead of suppress so there would be return business. Abortionists are all about money, not health care.
The local right-to-life center’s founder and director adopted a little infant that had been aborted. Yes, some survive. She was aborted because she was half black and she is particularly beautiful, now 8 years old. May G-d bless those grandmothers who take in their grandchildren to raise.
Babies are G-d’s best idea!

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to beloved2. | February 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I read that there was a woman GP in Kansas maybe even in Wichita – who bought Tiller’s equipment & wanted to set up shop. – I think it must have been around the time of Kermit Gosling’s Grand Jury because that w what I was follow ing.

    I have just checked to see if there is an update.and BINGO. This same person is about to reopen at the same site .

    I also read yesterday that the Us spends $2 billion per year on emergency interventions for illegals. ost of this is childbirth & 50% goes to California.

    You guys may not like my posts but you can’t say I don’t cover the angles .

[…] Prof. Jacobson rightly called the accusations “frivolous,” but let’s examine in more detail.  Invasion of privacy, according to Barron’s Law Dictionary, is a tort to protect “one’s private affairs with which the public has no concern against unwarranted exploitation or publicity that causes mental suffering or humiliation to the average person.”  So is Dunlap arguing that the public does not have a right to know when a doctor botches surgery and the patient dies? […]