April 18, 2024

Abortion Wars

I’ve been contemplating the latest Time.com article titled “The Grassroots Abortion War” for a while, wondering if it was worth commenting on. I was about to let it go when I wondered on a whim what Planned Parenthood’s budget looked like in terms of government funding. This subject is probably covered extensively in conservative blogs, so let me just say that, according to Wikipedia, “Planned Parenthood receives almost a third of its money in government grants and contracts”.

Alright, it’s “go time”!

Time’s article, which is only somewhat slanted to the left, starts off good:

The pregnancy-center clinic, with its new ultrasound machine, has been open only since December, but already the staff can count the women who came in considering an abortion and changed their minds: five women converted, six lives saved, they declare, since one was carrying twins. “They connected,” nurse Joyce Wilson says, recalling the reaction of the women who saw the filmy image of their fetus onscreen. “They bonded. You could just see it. One girl got off the table and said, ‘That’s my baby.'”

“Another got up,” Deborah Wood says, “and said, ‘This changes everything.'”

Wood is the CEO of Asheville Pregnancy Support Services in Asheville, North Carolina, one of the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. that are working to end abortion. Hers is the new face of an old movement: kind, calm, nonjudgmental, a special-forces soldier in the abortion wars who is fighting her battles one conscience at a time. Her center helps women navigate the social-service bureaucracy, sign up for Medicaid and begin prenatal care. She helps pregnant girls find emergency housing if their parents threaten to throw them out. Free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are just the latest service.

This is a terrific idea for one simple reason: it shows the truth to people. That’s the one thing that any mind-changing idea does – cuts away the clutter of sloppy thinking and reveals the shining truth beneath the garbage.

Later in the article:

Wood and her team talk of changing hearts. They are part of a whole other strategy that is more personal and more pastoral, although to some people it’s every bit as controversial.

Some loons, perhaps, whose social agendas have such value in their own eyes that they’re willing to make any moral compromise to get their way, regardless of who and how many oppose them. For instance:

The movement toward “medicalizing” the centers particularly concerns groups like Planned Parenthood that define their mission as offering the most accurate information about the most complete range of reproductive options. The motive behind offering free ultrasounds, which would typically cost at least $100, is more emotional than medical, critics argue, and having them performed by people with limited training and moral agendas poses all kinds of hazards. “What is really tragic to me is that a woman goes into a center looking for information, looking to be able to make a better, healthy choice, and she doesn’t get all the facts,” argues Christopher Hollis, Planned Parenthood’s vice president for governmental and political affairs in North Carolina. “That’s taking someone’s life and playing a really dangerous game with it.”

I suppose Hollis didn’t consider the obvious mortal danger a baby faces during one of his clinics’ D&C operations to be valid. Or perhaps he simply didn’t think past his own rhetoric. Or maybe I’m missing his logic; after all, I don’t have the luxury of spending my time at work twisting my thoughts into unnatural contortions of the truth.

Obviously new competitors like Woods’ clinic are cutting into PP’s business – I’m sure they don’t like that one bit, especially since the Bush administration has been funding the competition. Of course, PP’s budget is 30+% from the government, which is all the more reason for them to resent someone else getting part of the pie.

Lorrie, whose last name was kept private, says:

“No one wants to go into abortion providing. But it’s so important. I know that I’m providing a service to women that no one else will.”

…later, speaking of a client’s experience at a Christian pregnancy center:

“She was a basket case when she got here. They had told her that if she had an abortion, she’d probably never be able to have a child.” Now Lorrie is plainly furious. “These [pregnant] women are scared out of their minds,” she says. “It doesn’t change their minds–it just scares them. It’s cruel and un-Christian to lie to patients.”

She’s right about the lying. It’s uncalled for on both sides of the debate. The truth is sufficient and that is that most abortions are about convenience. Liberals want to go on and on about birth control, how their abortion clinics are providing that as a primary goad, and the so-called woman’s right to choose (there’s no such thing, as we’ve discussed here before) but none of their dogma is valid. Neither is Lorrie’s claim that “these women are scared out of their minds”.

99.99% of sexually active Americas know what birth control is. 99% of those have it available to them, even if it means shoplifting rubbers like I did as a teenager. And I would suggest that while abortion is a safe medical procedure for most women, if they’re scared it’s just as likely because of what Lorrie will be doing to their bodies and the fact that they might well be sentencing themselves to hell as a result of their opting for the lazy way out of a situation that, in most cases, they knew better than to create in the first place.

The lies should stop. But the pictures aren’t lies, Lorrie, as you well know. They are disgusting, I’ll grant, but they are also the truth.

Woods again:

You can talk about choice all you like, she argues, but if a woman feels overwhelmed and all alone and thinks she can somehow “turn back the clock like the pregnancy never happened,” then she doesn’t understand what abortion really entails. “We need to counter the message that abortion won’t have any consequences,” she says. “That’s unrealistic. All decisions have consequences.”

How true. For example, here’s a link to a post by the Texas Rainmaker discussing a recent miracle of science, a 21-week old baby born who was born prematurely and will live to tell.

Born only 21 weeks and six days after conception, Amillia Taylor weighed just under 10oz and was only 91/2 inches long.

And now, four months later and weighing 4lb, she has been allowed home – the world’s most premature baby to have survived.

He goes on to discuss, from the fervently anti-abortion perspective, how this demonstrates that even mid-term abortions are taking a life.

With reservations, I agree. It’s not a viable life, little Amillia notwithstanding, because such a baby could never, ever survive without the best medical care in the world and tens of thousands of dollars in expenses, costs that most parents could never dream of absorbing.

While I think that medical costs must be considered in these situations, his point that a life is being taken out of existence even at 21 weeks is made.

That, my friends from Planned Parenthood, is another inconvenient truth that you do not want to admit or have people think about.

While I support your right to exist and perform your function, I neither approve of that mission nor of the fact that my money is being spent killing for the convenience of your clients.

And that, I think, is my definitive statement on this subject.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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