Forty years after Roe, Planned Parenthood is calling for changes in its PR strategy.
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As it embraces “reproductive justice,” Planned Parenthood targets minority women for abortions: Black women have 3.5 times the abortion rate of white women; while blacks make up only 12 percent of the U.S. population, they have 35 percent of the nation’s abortions. Further, research by Life Issues Institute reports that 79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are in minority neighborhoods. In addition, ironically, 51% of Planned Parenthood’s “family planning clinics” are in minority neighborhoods.
While pro-choice activists claim a desperate need for abortion-on-demand to save women’s lives, the facts stubbornly reveal that women seek an abortion for reasons unrelated to health. According to the Allan Guttmacher Institute, about three-fourths say a baby would interfere with their work, school, or other responsibilities. About three-fourths say they cannot afford to have a baby and about half do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with the father of the baby. The National Abortion Federation reports that only 12 percent of women claim a health problem is causing them to seek an abortion and that only 1 percent report that the baby was conceived in rape.
Other uncomfortable facts that abortion advocates try to avoid concern repeat abortions. As reported in Children at Risk: More than half of the women who seek an abortion already have at least one child; more than a third already have two or more children. Between 8 to 10 percent of women having abortions have had multiple abortions –– as many as three or more –– to the point of using abortion as a form of birth control. Over time, the percentage of repeat abortions has increased, with over half of all abortions to women who have had previous abortions. Tragically, we have come to the point that one in three women will have an abortion by age 45.
WHILE ACTIVISTS PORTRAY abortion as a “minor procedure that resolves a major problem,” the facts tell a different story. We do a grave disservice to women to falsely reassure them despite the potential health problems, leaving them to deal with the unforeseen consequences when they are often “not even aware of the worst possible complications.” A study in Finland, using official government data, showed associations (there is no way to show causality) between abortion and dire outcomes: in a one-year study, abortion was 3.5 times deadlier than childbirth, suicide was 7 times higher among post-abortive women, and deaths from homicide were 4 times higher among post-abortive women. A British study (published in the British Journal of Psychiatry) reviewed over one hundred international studies and found a link between abortion and mental health problems.
Abortion advocates have gone to great lengths to discredit the evidence linking abortion and breast cancer. They point to nearly a dozen articles denying the link; yet a peer-reviewed analysis of those articles published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons points out serious methodological weaknesses and flaws in the studies denying a link, concluding that there is, indeed, an increased risk for breast cancer after an abortion.
Obviously, not all women suffer serious consequences from abortion, but abortion activists are unwilling to be rational or even truthfully acknowledge possible consequences; nor are they willing to fully inform women of the possible dangers. Problems are so prevalent, in fact, there is a medical designation: “post-abortion syndrome.”
Another disturbing aspect of today’s abortion problem are the so-called “therapeutic” abortions. At least “92 percent of babies found in prenatal testing to have Down Syndrome are aborted” and at least 73 percent (some researchers believe the rate is 80 to 100 percent) of unborn babies believed to have neural tube defects such as spina bifida are aborted. In effect, the doctors and abortion advocates are playing God and “saying that human beings born with physical and mental disabilities are not fit to live.”
There is also the ugly contradiction between the fact that abortion is being “sold” as a matter of “women’s rights” when at the same time the more frequent target of abortion is the “girl child” in the womb. The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) ) reported in 2007 that there were at that time at least 60 million “missing” girls as a result of sex-selection abortions or neglect of the girl child.
Time magazine points out that the abortion activists oppose “nearly all abortion-specific regulations,” making it chillingly obvious that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are driven by bottom-line financial considerations and that, in spite of the caring rhetoric on their PR materials, their concern for the health and well-being of women is minimal. Planned Parenthood pushes the idea that women facing abortion are alone; that nobody understands them and abortion is a quick fix without consequences.
The Pro-Life message is that women in a crisis pregnancy are not alone; they have choices, including adoption, and that help is available. Many of the women at Crisis Pregnancy Centers have gone through similar experiences and now they can help others make better choices. Churches, counselors, and caring communities can convince the girls and women that their life is not over and they can still realize their dreams. These very committed people truly care about women and they know that God can redeem any situation, no matter how difficult, and turn it into good for those who believe and trust His grace and mercy.
Margaret Cho, a stand-up comic who is ardently pro-abortion, even militantly so, described pregnancy in a way that is more revealing than she intended. She said, “pregnancy feels like there is somebody in there.” Not something, but “somebody.” With callous indifference, she went on to say about her own abortion, “The tenant was evacuated.” Abortion advocates are having to face the reality that women don’t move on and forget an experience like that, if it happened to a friend. The “Silent No More” campaign which has given increasing visibility to thousands of women who regret their abortions has also helped expose the term “pro-choice.” The experiences of post-abortive girls and women combined with the facts about the child in the womb revealed by science and technology, are changing America’s view of abortion. “One study tracked seventy-five patients and all but five changed their minds about an abortion after seeing a sonogram of their baby in the womb.” Even the cynical and hardened Cho revealed that her abortion left her feeling “hollowed out and alone.”
This is the Catch-22 confronting the abortion movement: the unborn child can be “evicted” from a woman’s body far more easily than it can be blotted out of her heart and mind. As women experience first hand the pain — suppressed or not — of abortion or even if they just see the complicated, conflicted emotions of a friend after an abortion, the truth cannot be contained. Neither nuanced rhetoric about the complicated nature of abortion nor hip younger leaders are enough to sustain a movement which at its heart is characterized by “hollowed-out emptiness.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?