Specifically, the Washington Post was responsible for this jaw-dropper. For anyone who has followed the groundbreaking work of pregnancy help centers, pro-life advocates and conscientious legislators in South Dakota over the past few years, WaPo’s praise for the bravery of the state’s only abortionist was astonishingly clueless.

In his glowing tribute “Minnesota Abortion Provider Helps Meet Need in South Dakota,” Slevin not only turned Ball into a hero, but sympathized with her “difficult” situation…Ball told the Post her decision to start performing abortions was easy. “It was legal. It was right…Why would anybody argue with that?” Talking about pro-lifers upset with what she does in South Dakota Ball said: “I think to myself, ‘What century do we live in?’”

Indeed. That sounds consistent with how Dr. Ball views her abortion involvement.

Let’s go back and look at the most comprehensive document written on the subject since Roe v. Wade, the 2005 ‘South Dakota Report of the Task Force to Study Abortion’. When you get the chance, read the whole document. For now, let’s look at a snip involving testimony from state Planned Parenthood director Kate Looby and Dr. Carol Ball.

Based upon the reporting of the women on the forms reviewed by the Department of Health, and the testimony of Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball, it appears that Planned Parenthood does not voluntarily convey other information about the fetus after women listen to the doctor’s taped recording. In fact, what is communicated to the women is misleading. Ms. Looby and Dr. Ball played a video for the Task Force illustrating what may be communicated to women about the abortion procedure. In this video, reference is made to the contents of the woman’s uterus in dehumanizing and misleading language. For instance, the video never mentions that an unborn child, embryo, or fetus is even present. It never refers to the unborn child in any way that would imply the existence of a second patient. The language used in the video simply implies that something is removed but does not identify what it is except to claim it is only “tissue:”

1. “The uterus is then emptied by a gentle suction.”
2. “As the uterus is emptied…”
3. “A spoon shaped curette may be used to feel the walls of the uterus to help ensure
complete evacuation.”

4. “Occasionally the contents of the uterus may not be completely emptied.”
5. “To remove the tissue it may be necessary to repeat the vacuum aspiration.”
6. “Very infrequently, the early abortion procedure will not end the pregnancy.”
7. “If the pregnancy has not been ended, another abortion procedure is

At this point, the Task Force applies the standards South Dakota’s legislators considered necessary to qualify any signed ‘consent’ as being truly informed.

We find first that Planned Parenthood fails to inform the pregnant mother in any language that her unborn child is in existence. It is impossible for a woman to give informed consent to an abortion if she does not fully understand that her child is in existence and that she is consenting to the termination of the life of her child.

Second, the doctor who in seeking consent to terminate the life of his or her second patient (the child)

[in this case Dr. Ball]

cannot, in a professional or moral sense, contend that proper authority has been obtained from the mother if she is not fully aware that she is giving such authority. Dr. Ball and Ms. Looby testified that the women who come to Planned Parenthood sign a “consent” to have an abortion without first speaking to the doctor. These consent forms are filled out before the doctorsees the patient.

The video, Dr. Ball, and Ms. Looby all verify that the women are told that they may ask questions of the doctor who is to perform the abortion. However, we find that the process which results in the pregnant  mother signing the consent form and making her decision before ever seeing or speaking to a abortion doctor is incompatible with the principles of a doctor’s duty to see that the patient’s decision is informed before she consents to an operative procedure.

We find that there is no true physician-patient relationship in this process…

And here’s the clincher:

Following her testimony, Dr. Ball was asked what she would tell a woman who asked her “Is this a human life?” or “At what point in the process does human life begin?” or similar questions. Dr. Ball testified that she would refuse to answer these questions. When pressed on this point, Dr. Ball stated that it is a subjective matter for the woman to decide, and an answer from her is nothing but her subjective personal opinion.

No, it is not a subjective personal opinion that human life exists from conception. Choosing to deny the facts doesn’t change the facts.

That someone with a medical degree can make such a testimony is simply stunning. That she performs abortions, and is praised by the Washington Post for her bravery in continuing to do so, is in the realm of the bizarre. And another measure of how irrelevant big media can really be.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....