Blogger’s Abortion Article Sparks Controversy

Some question validity of harrowing account

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Blogger’s Abortion Article Sparks Controversy
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An article published on Salon.com last Thursday has been making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook due to it’s highly polarizing nature. The article, entitled “Abortion Saved My Life,” has drawn the attention of people on each side of the spectrum.

And let’s be fair – this is a volatile subject with both fierce proponents and fierce opposition. So any attempt to mince worlds and downplay the political and religious charge behind the issue of abortion would be a disservice. it makes sense, then, to identify the affiliations of the main two parties involved in sparking the controversy: The author of the story is Mikki Kendall, a self described “loudmouthed liberal.” The main disputer is Jill Stanek, a pro-life writer for NewsBusters, whose tagline is “exposing & combating liberal media bias.”

In the original article, “Abortion Saved My Life,” Kendall relives the incredibly frightening story of the say when something went wrong with her pregnancy. Kendall says that she woke up bleeding profusely in what turned out to be a placental abruption.

Kendall claims that the doctor on call at the Chicago hospital where she went refused to perform the necessary abortion to save her life. She says that she was saved, after hours of neglect, by another doctor who was called in later. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Everyone knew the pregnancy wasn’t viable, that it couldn’t be viable given the amount of blood I was losing, but it still took hours for anyone at the hospital to do anything. The doctor on call didn’t do abortions. At all. Ever. In fact, no one on call that night did.

A very kind nurse risked her job to call a doctor from the Reproductive Health Clinic who was not on call, and asked her to come in to save my life. Fortunately she was home, and got there relatively quickly. By the time she arrived, I was in bad shape. The blood loss had rendered me nearly incoherent, but she still moved me to a different wing and got me the painkillers no one else had during the screaming hours I’d spent in the hospital.

The doctor who didn’t do abortions was supposed to have contacted her (or someone else who would perform the procedure) immediately. He didn’t. Neither did his students. Supposedly there was a communication breakdown and they thought she had been notified, but I doubt it. I don’t know if his objections were religious or not; all I know is that when a bleeding woman was brought to him for treatment he refused to do the only thing that could stop the bleeding. Because he didn’t do abortions. Ever.

A story of this nature is obviously going to catch fire, and it did, spreading across social media outlets and in my experience, causing quite the debate on Facebook and Twitter.

An article posted yesterday to the NewsBusters site questions the veracity of Kendall’s story. In the article Jill Stanek discusses the “red flag” of the doctor who would simply let a woman die:

There were many red flags. But the biggest was Kendall’s claim that a doctor was willing to let her bleed to death after she presented with placental abruption, because he knew treatment would result in her baby’s death, a nonviable 20-weeker. This made no sense, particularly knowing nontreatment would ensure both the mother and baby died.

Stanek’s main point of contention, the one that prompts the summary that Kendall “admitted her story was a big, fat, fabricated lie,” is based on a blog post made by Kendall on Sunday. The words by Kendall in question are:

Some say I should name and shame the doctor that refused to do the procedure. If I knew why he refused I might have done just that, but since I know that there are many possible reasons that he did not do it? I’ve left him to deal with the internal procedures in place.

Stanek points to this statement as an admission by Kendall of embellishing or entirely fabricating her story. The reason for the emphasis on that particular statement is a little confusing. Even a commenter on NewsBusters who ultimately agrees with Stanek points this out:

I re-read this article and still missed where the lie(s) was proven. There are accusations, rebuttals, and very dubious statements made by Kendall but no admission or proof of lying that I can tell.

Mikki Kendal had this to say on her blog:

Lastly, no I wasn’t paid by Salon or anyone else to write that post. It’s not fiction…Hard concept to grasp for some, but this post wasn’t about revenge or money. It was about me coming to terms with what happened and about my disdain for a particular pro-life argument. Believe it, don’t believe it. That’s up to you. My life will go on either way.

Kendall (@Karnythia) has been battling with Stanek (@JillStanek) and “pro-life feminist” Sarah Mindek (@SarahMindek) on Twitter:

@_Ashbet_ I suspect that even with the records in front of her @JillStanek would still try to twist reality to suit her own agenda.(image) 18 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

@SarahMindek I was in the middle of a miscarriage when I needed an abortion. You want to proselytize? Do it somewhere else. I’m #prochoice.(image) 14 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

So @SarahMindek called me a bitch for blocking her spamming. I forgot bigots don’t believe people like me deserve boundaries. #prochoice(image) 4 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Don’t look now, @Karnythia, but your embellished @Salon #abortion story has made @Drudge_Report http://ow.ly/57bep #prolife #prochoice(image) 18 hours ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

@Karnythia idk why you consider my tweets trolling. You wrote a public article. I’m responding. Don’t like it, don’t write articles????(image) 14 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Hmmm… @JillStanek was right but shes still a lying evil anti-choicer? That’s classy. #prolife(image) 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Stanek also charges Salon.com with negligence for running the article, saying it wasn’t properly vetted and urging the site to retract it. This kind of topic can spark debate about media slant and responsibility and it’s proper to acknowledge that slant happens on both sides of the political spectrum.

Mikki Kendall is a blogger whose personal account of an event was co-opted by Salon.com and run as a guest story. Was Salon pushing a pro-choice agenda by running the article? Or did they simply run what they felt was an interesting story?

Does Kendall’s story sound believable to you? Are Stanek and NewsBusters creating a controversy to push a pro-life agenda? Or did Kendall admit that she embellished the original story? Let us know what you think.

Blogger’s Abortion Article Sparks Controversy
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  • Jennifer Ramirez

    I also find this woman’s report of what happened suspect. When a woman presents herself at a hospital with a case of placential abruption that early in the pregnancy, it means that she is suffering from a miscarriage. It’s a sad situation, but there is no moral dilemma here: The child has already died. No doctor would refuse to assist the Mother in stopping the bleeding. Doctor’s first oath is Primum Non Nocere:First do no harm. The doctor may not have had the surgical experience needed to stop the bleeding, but that is pure speculation.
    Also, patients make horrible witnesses. Even to their own cases they make horrible witnesses. There is too much going on emotionally and physically to reliably and honestly relate events. How many times have you heard accident victims that state they do not remember the events during and after an accident?
    Because there is no ‘other side to the story’ which would corroborate or refute the case of the Salon author, I’m going to go with what I know medically to be true: Doctors would not refuse to save this woman’s life in this case due to some moral dilemma on abortion. There was no abortion to perform.

    • Julia

      Thank you, Jennifer for your response. I appreciate your professional opinion and clear explanation. I also don’t know why they have to use words like “evil” and “pro-choice agenda”
      The only agenda of a nurse (as Jill is) is to choose to rescue and save life. Mikki and Josh, my experience is to protect and be the patient’s advocate and servant. That is my only agenda
      Julia D. RN/BSN

  • Mira

    I’m sorry, but as a person in the medical field, there is too much that comes to question about Ms. Kendall’s story. The amount of blood that this woman is claiming to have lost in the amount of time she is relating would leave her comatose. Even if the Dr. were Pro-life per say, leaving a person to “bleed to death” would be beyond gross negligence because if he were so concerned for the unborn more than the woman, he’d be trying to stabilize Ms. Kendall, anything less would cause trauma, severe life threatening conditions and potential brain damage to the child. Even a person with a basic EMT certificate is taught this in training and in continuing education. The constant changing of Ms. Kendall’s story also puts this woman under scrutiny, either she knew the Dr.’s motives or she didn’t. Medically,her story is full of holes and does not add up at all.

  • A. B. Reed

    With Kendall being so obviously “loud-mouthed”, why would she not disclose the Dr.’s name that refused to do the procedure? It doesn’t make logical sense. I’m with Jill Stanek on this one. Think about it.

  • The Goat Whisperer

    As an Illinois Emergency Medical Services Instructor who authored Medical Legal questions for the State Emergency Medical Technician examination; I’m entirely skeptical of the Ms. Kendall story.

    Clearly such immoral and unethical behavior on the part of an Emergency Room Physician for a patient suffering from the medical emergency of a possible placental abruption; this event would not have gone unnoticed and unreported by the triage crew.

    Frankly, Nurse Jill Stanek is living proof reports of immoral and unethical behavior will surface; and very likely would have been the first to take Ms. Kendall’s situation for action; had the story been plausible.

  • Veritas

    Pro Choice is simply Pro Death. You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.

    • Cassie Lakeland

      Good one! :)

    • lisa

      Wish I thought of that one!

  • Kristi

    In 2006 I, too, suffered from a severe grade 3 placental abruption, which threatened my life and the life of my baby. Like Mrs. Kendall, I also reported to the emergency room bleeding massively. I was 18 weeks pregnant.

    Drawing on my first-hand experience with life-threatening placental abruption, I can not dismiss the glaring red-flags and inconsistencies in Mrs. Kendall’s story. First of all, abortion is not even a treatment for placental abruption. If the abruption is less severe, the doctors adopt a wait-and-see approach, where the monitor closely as nature takes its course but ready themselves to jump in the moment things get risky for the mother. This is because often times the mother’s body will go into labor on it’s own during an abruption, and deliver the baby and abrupted placenta naturally (as it did in my case). If the abruption is severe, however, treatment involves getting the baby out ASAP. This is accomplished not through abortion, but through induction of labor and delivery, or by an emergency C-Section.

    Mrs. Kendall’s assertion that an abortion was necessary to save her life is not based in truth, but seems rather to be based on furthering her political agenda.

  • Diane Regan

    I do not believe Kendall’s account. I do medical transcription for several hospitals and it just does not ring true. When a woman goes into a hospital, pregnant and bleeding, there is not even an issue of it being anything like asking for an abortion and some pro-life doc refusing!! Hospitals don’t run like that. They would get her into surgery ASAP unless the bleeding was very mild. If they knew it was placental abruption, surgery would be done immediately. It would not be considered an “abortion” but a surgery to save the mother’s life. If Kendall knew more about how hospitals function, she would never have made such a bogus unbelievable, unsubstantiated claim! Not even a possibility, in a Catholic pro-life hospital because it would not be considered an abortion but a life-saving emergency surgery. Period.

  • Ryan Speicher

    Michelle Kendall needs to produce more facts if this account really unfolded. Who else can corroborate the doctor’s behavior? Who was the negligent doctor? Is there an investigation into the matter? How did she survive for “hours” if she was losing what seemed to be an life-threatening amount of blood? I think even an ardent pro-life doctor would have been able to carry out the necessary medical procedures on the fetus to save the mother if her life truly was in danger. That does not stand against traditional pro-life beliefs and I don’t think anyone in the pro-life community would really push back against that.

    And to Michelle’s Tweet on proselytizing…it works both ways. If this story is brought to the public your belief that you’re “pro-choice” and other’s belief’s should be taken “somewhere else” is an attempt on your behalf to persuade other’s to your belief system on this subject. To not allow it is to misunderstand free speech.

  • http://n/a Patrick Roach

    While I agree that Stanek’s conclusion about Kendall admitting to lying is unfounded, Kendall’s story is wildly untenable, and almost certainly embellished if not completely fabricated. It is incredibly unlikely that, given the extensive med-mal training that doctor’s receive in our super-litigious society, any doctor would simply allow a woman to bleed to death in a hospital room without attending to her at all.

    Imagine the scene – a woman is bleeding all over a hospital bed (as Kendall contends). Her attending physician sees that the woman has profuse vaginal bleeding that will cause her death if not abated. She’s in hysterics, desperate for the “necessary” abortion she requests. And the doctor just leaves her to die? Are you kidding me? His medical malpractice insurance wouldn’t even cover such an oversight! While a doctor cannot be compelled to perform an elective abortion, he always has a duty to provide life-saving treatment in emergencies. He would absolutely be required to exhaust any remedies available to stop the bleeding and prevent harm to the patient. A doctor would immediately lose his license to practice medicine and be subject to an almost presumptive case of medical malpractice if it was proven that he simply left a bleeding woman to die in a hospital room. Anyone who has been through medical school knows this and wouldn’t risk losing his medical license, facing expensive litigation and almost certain liability, or being left with un-payable medical school loans once it’s all said an done. Doctor’s may occasionally be opposed to abortion, but for crying out loud, they have a modicum of intelligence! After all, they did get through medical school …

    Moreover, who is Kendall to presume to know when an abortion is medically necessary to save her life? Is she a physician or a nurse? Has she attended medical or nursing school? Does she have the requisite credentials to recognize when placental abruption is so severe as to necessitate abortion, if ever? She presumes to have known an awful lot about such things AT THE TIME she initially requested the abortion. This claim is highly, highly suspect, especially given her pre-existing reputation as a rabid pro-choicer and “angry liberal” blogger. Even if Kendall had any pre-existing knowledge or awareness of this specific medical circumstance in which abortion is supposedly necessary, I would find it highly coincidental that a laywoman with no medical training would both be so well-versed in the circumstance AND THEN randomly find herself in that exceptionally-rare circumstance herself. The whole account is a little to specious for me to believe.

    In a nutshell, I think Kendall is full of you-know-what. She’s trying to score cheap political and journalistic points. And Salon? They were snookered …

    • Diane Regan


    • A. B. Reed

      You can ALWAYS find the truth in logic. Thank you for an educated response to the matter!

  • Cassie Lakeland

    @ Sarah, funny how you anti-life, pro-aborts call those who protect and love life liars. We know full well the lies of abortion and those who promote it. Roe V Wade was based on a filthy lie. Do your homework. I stand with Jill Stanek. People always have a choice you dolt. To kill or not to kill. Either you keep your child or you kill him or her. The pro-life movement will never rest. Think about those back alley doctors who botched abortions. What happened to them when abortions allegedly became legal? Any clue? Oh clueless one? Yeah, they put their murder for hire signs on the front door. Nothing changed. Stoopid.

  • prolifemomma@gmail.com

    First of All, A placental Abruption would be a medical emergency. Treatment for an Abruption would NOT be considered an Abortion ! No doctor in his/her right mind would allow a woman to bleed to death and risk the lawsuit that would inevitably follow… and NO Prolife doctor would even consider that an option. Bleeding can take place from many causes and A Placental Abruption must be dealt with immediately. The baby though Non-viable would be delivered if necessary, and could be treated. There would have been no abortion ! Any treatment given for an Abruption would be considered normal reasonable practice to save the woman’s life and a Prolife Doctor would do all He/She could do for BOTH patients ! This story sounds fabricated because it seems to be ludicrous for a woman to almost die and not to take action against the doctor.

    • Diane Regan

      Great post with the National Institute of Health link. Can’t fight with the facts. No matter if we agree, the truth is the truth. This woman’s claims do not line up. From what I’ve read about Stanek, she is not trying to mess with people’s rights, but trying to give them the whole truth so they know what they are involving themselves in when they “choose.” Truth is not always pleasant, but it is always better than living with a foundation of lies and having to build up walls and other lies to protect the delusion.

      Ms. Kendall is a self-described angry woman. I hope she will be able to find inner peace and healing and forgive herself and others for doing damaging things out of ignorance or intentionally. We all share that need. Life is too short to hold onto anger and revenge.

      Embrace truth, find healing and be at peace, Ms. Kendall and other hurting souls who have suffered abortions and other injuries to their being. God will forgive you, and help you forgive yourself and others and get on to enjoy the days you have before you and help you make a difference in the lives of your children and other loved ones.

  • Jody Ward

    In the 7 days since the article was published, 24,500 babies have been electively sliced, suctioned, poisoned, and/or had their skulls crushed so that their fathers could hide rape, sex trafficking, or child abuse, or so that their mothers could pursue careers or education or because they just didn’t want to be burdened with an imperfect child or with that child. I’m an “anti” all right. I am anti-genocide.

  • Terri K

    Letting a woman bleed to death because she has a baby in her womb isn’t a pro-life position. It’s negligence and stupidity. The fact that Mikki made this about the abortion debate makes her story extremely suspect. Negligence is negligence, not a pro-life bias (*if* her story it true). That’s why I don’t believe her. She’s totally ignorant of the principle of double effect, which would have been put into effect to save Mikki’s life because the baby was already dying. The whole thing makes no sense. If she got an idiot doctor, that’s one thing, but to make him representative of the pro-life philosophy is fabricating a fallacy. Either Mikki is outright lying or she’s made a grave error in characterizing what happened. DUMB either way.

  • Ceecee

    Strange Twitter post above: a woman says she was in the middle of a miscarriage when she needed an abortion. Huh???? If she’s in the middle of a miscarriage, what on earth does she need an abortion for? Nature will just take it’s course and she’ll lose the baby anyway. So why get an abortion at a time like that? It doesn’t make sense.

    Oh, I get it. If she miscarries on her own, she’s not in control of it. If she delibeately aborts the baby, then the process is under her control. Right? It’s all about controlling your body. But then you have to get that abortion, pronto, very fast; lest the miscarriage be completed and nature takes it’s course. That would prevent her from getting her power rush.

    These pro-aborts are a sad lot. They live in an alternate reality, where things have a very different meaning and interpretation from what the rest of us see.

  • Jess in PA

    I too feel that this story is just too full of holes to be believeable. And Mikki not wanting to “name and shame” the doctor or hospital because she doesn’t know what his motives were? Really? So it’s better to keep quiet so that other women are treated by such a negligent doctor? My 2 year old daughter nearly had a stroke because her pain was not properly managed following a thoracotomy. You better believe that not only did I write a letter to the executive director of Hershey Medical Center reporting the doctor, I was down in the administration office several times once her pain was under control. I get not wanting to be “sue-happy” in our litigious society, but if this really happened the way Mikki claims, I would hope she makes sure this doctor is reported and has his license revoked. Also as someone else pointed out, if you’re in the middle of a miscarriage, you can’t get an abortion because your body is already “spontaneously aborting” the baby.

  • http://www.operationoutcry.org julie thomas

    as a woman who made “a choice” at the age of 18 years old, i can tell you that i was given a first trimester abortion and was actually in my second trimester. i was taken to the hospital (to a different doctor who actually cared), had to have surgery, received blood (i almost bleed to death) and was told i had had an incomplete abortion. parts of my aborted baby had been left inside of me. by the grace of God, i survived. for the past 10 years i have been telling my story of how abortion put me in a prison cell for 24 years. women are still being lied to when they go to an abortion facility. they are still told “it is not a baby yet”, “it is a blob of tissue”. i went into this facility on my on believing the lies i was told. 2 years later when i saw my ultrasound at 18 weeks, i knew exactly what i had done. women like jill are PRO-WOMAN. women, men, families and certainly babies deserve better than abortion. thank you jill for speaking for babies like mine, that were never given the opportunity to speak for themselves. may God continue to bless you-

    • http://www.operationoutcry.org julie thomas

      and i also believe that that kendall is lying. no doctor would have denied her help. after doing a little research, you can see that there is surgery available for this condition that does not involve abortion.

    • A. B. Reed

      I am so sorry for you! Your story brought tears to my eyes. It seems as though you have found healing and that is good! God bless you and thank you for sharing your story. Keep telling it. Our society needs to hear it!
      …and you are right when you say that Jill and others like us are Pro-Woman. I, for one, am tired of the lies told to my generation and those after me. However, I do believe the tides are turning, Thank God!

  • Roe

    Referring to it as a religious issue does it a disservice. As a liberal, I resent the fact that all anti-abortion people are lumped together as religious. I hate religion and I am pro-choice, but I have the utmost respect for people who see it differently. It’s a tough call to make, and just because one person thinks life begins at conception does not mean that he or she is religious.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Of course not all pro-lifers are religious. But it is silly to deny that abortion is a religious issue. Many pro-lifers’ stances are informed by religion.

    • Raichu

      I agree with you completely – and I am both a Christian and pro-life. My views on abortion are framed by science, not scripture. The only part religion plays is in my belief that it’s wrong to kill – but then, the right to life is something considered very important in society. The only question is when does life begin…

      I’m also tired of people characterizing the pro-life movement as “religious”. I believe in the separation of church and state and the protection of rights for all…

  • Brian Walker

    If this really happened this is an excellent example of when an abortion should only to be used to protect the life of the mother. I’m not talking about the broad definition of Bolton, but a real life threatening occurence that a mother will die if the child is not aborted.

    There will always be exceptions, but it is wrong to base policy on them. The overwheling number of abortions fall under convenience, wheter it is financial, academic aspirations, extended family pressure or in my case, simply not wanting to “man up” and take the responsibilty to keep the child I help conceived.

    It’s accounts like this, fabricated or not that pro-abortion advocates always use to drive a broad conception to 9 month abortion agenda. If this account is true then we should expect a malpractice suit which will show up in the public record with all the the responsible parties involved. If she’s lying then she will perjure herself during the trail and she will face charges for that.

    Expect more stories as the the choice/abortion industry is moved to the “tipping point” of being defunded and discredited. Indiana is a leader in this regard and that’s the real story to follow.

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