Daily Dispatches
One of Dr. Bob's baby beanies.
Dr. Bob Sensonetti
One of Dr. Bob's baby beanies.

Vital Signs: Baby beanies, pro-life legislation, and an abortion death investigation


Knitting for newborns. Dr. Robert Sansonetti, an obstetrician from Maine, started knitting four years ago after buying a knitting book for his teenage children. His first tiny practice cap ended up being the perfect size for a newborn, and he gave it to the next baby he delivered, culture website PopSugarreported. Since then, Sansonetti has knitted a cap for every baby he’s delivered. He posts pictures of the capped babies on his blog, Dr. Bob’s Baby Beanies. “It provides a great deal of happiness for me in addition to providing an abundance of joy for the new parents,” Sansonetti told PopSugar. 

Pro-life progress. Pro-life legislation made progress in two state legislatures last week.  

On March 31, Democrats and Republicans in the Louisiana House overwhelmingly backed new abortion regulations covering admitting rights, safety inspections, and abortion pill wait periods. 

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The law requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their facility, which abortion rights supporters say would shut down three of the state’s five abortion centers. The bill’s author, Rep. Katrina Jackson, a Democrat, said her proposal would ensure women have access to proper care if they have complications during an abortion. 

The bill also stipulates that women who take the abortion pill meet the same 24-hour waiting period and ultrasound requirements as women who have surgical abortions. It also would require any doctor who performs more than five abortions a year to meet the health and safety inspections required for abortion facilities.

In Mississippi, the state legislature passed a 20-week abortion ban April 1. According to Department of Health statistics, Mississippi abortionists performed 2,176 abortions in 2012. Although Diane Derzis, owner of Mississippi’s only abortion facility, said the facility stops doing abortions after 16-weeks of gestation, the report listed two abortions at 21 weeks or later, and 382 at unknown gestational ages.

“This measure represents a great effort to protect the unborn in Mississippi,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. The bill allows exceptions for fetal abnormalities and cases threatening the mother’s life.

Court updates. Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and other abortion providers in Texas filed a second lawsuit April 2 against the admitting privileges law the state passed last summer.  

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law March 27, but now abortion rights advocates are attempting to block its enforcement, Life Site Newsreported. In addition to admitting privileges, the law requires all abortion facilities to meet the safety standards for ambulatory surgical centers. The law is currently set to take effect Sept. 1. 

Meanwhile, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a preliminary injunction April 2 against Arizona’s law limiting the use of abortion drugs. 

The law requires abortionists to adhere to the Food and Drug Administration’s protocol for administering the abortion drug RU-486. Planned Parenthood Arizona and Tucson Women’s Center originally filed suit March 5 to overturn the law and block its enforcement during litigation. Although a district judge initially denied the injunction request in a March 31 ruling, the 9th Circuit Court granted the injunction while the law is debated in court.

Under investigation. The Ohio Department of Health conducted a preliminary investigation April 2 of a Cleveland abortion facility after 22-year-old LaKisha Wilson died from complications due to a late-term abortion performed there. At a press conference held in front of the facility days after Wilson’s death, Molly Smith of Cleveland Right to Life said Wilson’s abortion procedure might have been performed beyond Ohio’s post-20 week abortion ban, Operation Rescue reported. The abortion facility reported six botched chemical abortions to the State Medical Board of Ohio between 2011 and 2013, according to Ohio Right to Life.

Mapping minds. A consortium of scientists and researchers have created a high-resolution map of human brain development at the mid-point of pregnancy. But to get the information, the scientists used thousands of brain tissue samples from four aborted babies, according to NPR. The research, released April 2 in the science journal Nature, visualizes which genes turn on and off during the development process. President Barack Obama previously approved medical research using aborted babies and funding for the project came from his 2009 stimulus package. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Courtney Crandell
Courtney Crandell

Courtney is a Virginia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyLeeC.


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