News Center

May 16th, 2013

Meet Iowa’s Version of Kermit Gosnell: Dr. Jill Meadows

Earlier this week, the infamous Philadelphia abortion doctor/butcher was found guilty of hundreds of criminal charges, including three counts of first degree murder for the cutting of the spinal cords of three babies born alive after botched abortions.

Last week, we began digging into the various aspects of the larger question of whether the Kermit Gosnell atrocities could happen in Iowa.  So far, we’ve established that late-term third-trimester abortions are perfectly legal in Iowa for just about any reason or pretense the doctor might come up with.  The next question is whether the type of late-term abortions that Kermit Gosnell did (or, as the case may be, was attempting to do) are legal or utilized in Iowa.

Legislation prohibiting “partial birth abortion” prohibits one specific abortion technique in Iowa in which part of the baby is outside of the mother when the doctor kills the baby, usually by cutting the spinal cord (sound familiar?) and then often sucking the brains out, thereby crushing the skull.

The good news is that this barbaric practice is no longer legal.  The bad news is that doctors, including doctors in Iowa, have come up with a similarly barbaric procedure to kill babies in late-term abortions.

The procedure that Gosnell claimed to be using to kill third-trimester, viable babies involved an injection of poison using a needle inserted though the mother’s abdomen directly into the baby’s body.  This injection, typically of a drug called digoxin, is intended to kill the child.  After that, the woman is given medication to soften and open her cervix, and also another medication to induce labor for the delivery of the dead child.

At Gosnell’s trial, witnesses testified that this would be a standard protocol.  However, they also testified that this isn’t the procedure Gosnell actually followed.  Basically, Gosnell, in an effort to cut costs and corners, skipped the Digoxin injections.  The women were still given the other drugs to open the cervix and induce labor, which meant that late-term babies were often delivered alive.

So, could this happen in Iowa?  Would any local doctors cut corners like this?  Would any actually do these gruesome procedures?

Once again, the unfortunate answer to this question is, yes, Iowa doctors do cut corners to save money, even though that means the unborn child will experience excruciating pain.

Dr. Jill Meadows, formerly known as Jill Vibhakar, is an Iowa abortionst who, until recently, was employed by the University of Iowa where, among other things, she taught Iowa medical students how to perform abortions.  During this time, she also served as the medical school’s “liaison” to the Emma Goldman Clinic, a well-known abortion clinic in Iowa City where she also performed abortions.  Meadows once testified under oath that she personally performed 264 second trimester abortions at the Emma Goldman Clinic between 2001 and 2003.  During this time, she also performed one to three abortions per month at the University of Iowa Hospitals.  Abortion advocacy groups report that the abortions Dr. Meadows performed at the University were for babies of up to 23 weeks gestation.

In 2010, Dr. Meadows left her full-time employment with the University to take a position as the Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.   The University agreed not to enforce Dr. Meadows’ non-competition agreement under the condition that she volunteer to continue teaching medical students how to perform abortions.

Pro-life advocates believe that Dr. Meadows performs abortions much later than 23 weeks gestation.  First of all, Iowa Department of Vital Statistics reports from 2010 and 2011 indicate that abortions were happening in Iowa up until 29 weeks gestation.  So, someone must be responsible for performing these abortions, and the prime suspect is Meadows, in large part, because she was a co-plaintiff with Dr. LeRoy Carhart in the Carhart v. Gonzalez case in which several abortionists challenged a law prohibiting the gruesome procedure known as partial birth abortion, a procedure only used in very late-term abortions.

It is Dr. Meadows’ testimony in this case that provides insight into the procedures she uses when performing late term abortions.  Her co-plaintiff, Dr. Carhart, testified that he actually engages in pain relief measures for the baby, administering lidocaine before injecting the baby with a lethal dose of digoxin and then dismembering the baby’s tiny body.

In contrast, Dr. Meadows testified that she does not administer either lidocaine or digoxin when performing late-term abortions.  She stated that it was “not deemed necessary and it would add an increased burden to the girl/woman with an additional procedure and small risk associated with that, and more anxiety and discomfort and expense and time involved.”

You know who else didn’t bother using digoxin or any kind of pain relief for the babies when performing late-term abortions?

Kermit Gosnell.

One of the things that made his case so egregious and upsetting to so many people was that the fact that Gosnell deviated from the generally accepted standard of care all in the name of saving a few bucks.  Apparently Dr. Meadows and Kermit Gosnell have that in common.

So, if Dr. Meadows doesn’t kill these late-term babies using digoxin injections, how do they die?

She tears them apart and crushes them while they are still alive.

According to court testimony, “[t]o facilitate removing large pieces of the fetus, Dr. Vibhakar (Meadows) grasps fetal parts that start coming through the cervix, and then regrasps or twists those parts at a higher level in the cervix or uterus, rather than continuing to pull on the part such that it disarticulates.  When a part of the fetus is too large to fit through the cervix, it separates from the rest of the fetus’s body, causing ‘multiple passes’ to be made to remove the entire fetus.”

Dr. Meadows has been quoted as saying she “[c]an’t think of a time when it’s [the baby has] come out without being compressed,” and that “100% of her second trimester D & E procedures involve fetal dismemberment.”  The Carhart case testimony indicates that the procedure Dr. Meadows uses for third trimester abortions is also D & E (dilation and evacuation).

So, here’s a question for you.  If it is so outrageous and morally wrong for Kermit Gosnell to cut the neck of a baby minutes after it’s born alive at 25 weeks gestation, why is it any less outrageous or morally wrong for Dr. Meadows to rip that same 25-week-old baby to pieces minutes before its born?

This is just one of many questions Iowans must answer as the national headlines force us to face the reality of abortion in our own backyards.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson serves as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prior to founding Iowa's largest conservative news site, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. In that capacity, Robinson planned and organized the largest political event in 2007, the Iowa Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. Robinson also organized the 2008 Republican caucuses in Iowa, and was later dispatched to Nevada to help with the caucuses there. Robinson cut his teeth in Iowa politics during the 2000 caucus campaign of businessman Steve Forbes and has been involved with most major campaigns in the state since then. His extensive political background and rolodex give him a unique perspective from which to monitor the political pulse of Iowa.

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