Category archives: Abortion

Warning to Northern Ireland: Science Without Faith is Dead

by Patrina Mosley

June 11, 2018

On May 25th, the world turned its eyes to Ireland for a historic vote. For the first time ever, a nation’s populace democratically voted to take away protections of the God-given right to life of unborn children, which had been established in Irish law since 1861. Now the pressure is upon Northern Ireland to do the same—members of Parliament have called for an emergency debate to decriminalize abortion.

Although Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, where abortion was legalized under The Abortion Act of 1967, that Act has not been extended to Northern Ireland as it has maintained its respect for life under their Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Opponents are seeking to repeal articles 58 and 59 of the Act which makes it a crime for any man or woman to procure or cause an abortion. This Act also covers other crimes such as “conspiracy to commit murder, manslaughter, assault and child abduction.”

Here’s what I would warn Northern Ireland about in the debate:

It’s hard to ignore the irony here—having a debate about whether a person should have a right to life as protected under the Offences Against the Person Act. What could possibly be more offensive to a person than killing them?

Abortion is not a “right” but a crime against humanity and denies what we already know in our natural consciences. Abortion is not “progress” as some have held in praise towards Ireland’s vote. Abortion is not a “woman’s right.” It is not “women’s healthcare.” Nor is it about “ women’s dignity,” as some have claimed. Abortion is the taking of innocent life for the convenience of another. There is no dignity in that.

Abortion does not make women’s lives better; it is often done because they don’t feel empowered to care for the child by their partners, parents, or community. Countless women have shared their experiences of how abortion has not made their lives better but only complicated it. Thousands of testimonies (see here and here), many anonymous, have been written by women who are left with the devastating psychological and emotional effects of abortion.

Emotional personal testimonies of women who had abortions due to physical ailments were shared during the debate, but according to the U.K.’s abortion statistics, less than one percent of abortions occur to save the life or health of the mother. Northern Ireland already has protections for instances like these when the physical or mental health or well-being of the mother is at risk. We should not use rare cases to justify the demand for the convenience of abortion.

Abortion is not progress, but instead permission to start a culture of death. Make no mistake, the legalization of abortion in the Western world has opened the door to the legalization of assisted suicide, the elimination of the weak or disabled in society, and so much more. It corrupts the value of life in all facets of society—look no further than the rampart mass shootings we’ve endured.

According to a recent Pew Research report, nearly 80 percent of Irish adults identify as Christians, but church attendance rates have decreased from 54 percent in 2002 to 36 percent in 2017. What Ireland has shown us is that a society can have all the facts and science in the world, but without faith, there is no moral compass. Anything goes. It would appear that science without faith is dead.

In the words of Alexis de Tocqueville: “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” Northern Ireland, do not be deceived. I say it again, a disregard for life is not progress, but merely permission to start a culture of death.

More information on U.K. abortion statistics.

Keep up with live updates on the Northern Ireland abortion debate.

Politically Motivated Research Underestimates Risk of Suicide After Abortion

by Martha Shuping

June 8, 2018

A study published recently in the American Journal of Psychiatry online claims that abortion does not increase the risk of suicide. If only that were true. The study by M. Antonia Biggs and colleagues (which I will refer to as “the Biggs study”) used data from the University of California San Francisco’s Turnaway Study. But the results are very questionable because they are inconsistent with many other studies, and the final results of this study are based on only 18 percent of the original sample.

The Turnaway Study was intended to provide a comparison between women who aborted and those unable to obtain an abortion due to waiting to come to the clinic until the pregnancy was too advanced (past the limits for the clinic chosen, or for their state). But only 38 percent of eligible women consented to participate in the research, with 15 percent of those dropping out before the first interview (see study). With further dropouts over the five years of the study, only 18 percent of the original sample remained—even though women received a $50 gift certificate for each telephone interview (see study).

The low participation rate and the additional dropouts make the results questionable, because it is well known that the most distressed individuals are more likely to avoid participating. This has been reported in research on abortion and other reproductive losses, and in more general trauma research.*

The Biggs study concluded that rates of suicidal ideation were comparably low in women who obtained abortions and those who were refused abortions. The authors further conclude that their results show that state laws requiring informed consent about suicide risk should be scrapped as unnecessary. But we lack information on 82 percent of the women who either declined to participate or dropped out. The results may be meaningless if those women included those who were most distressed.

In addition, the Biggs study contradicts a large body of research on suicide and abortion. A study from Finland published in the British Medical Journal linked medical records to death certificates, showing that women having abortions had a 650 percent increased risk of suicide compared to women who gave birth.

One of the highest quality studies of abortion and mental health was done by Donald Sullins of the Catholic University of America in 2016 using data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (“Add Health”) which was funded by 18 different federal agencies and which provided a nationally representative sample of 8,005 women, with 81 percent of the sample completing this 13-year longitudinal study. In his analysis, Sullins controlled for 13 different potential confounders, and showed increased suicidal ideation in the women who had abortions compared to those who completed pregnancies. In addition, Sullins showed that women having abortions had increased risk for a total of seven different mental health outcomes. The results were statistically significant.

The Biggs study is an outlier, giving results that are very different from the results of a number of high quality studies of suicide risk and abortion. The truth is, we have the words of actual women who have attempted or completed suicide. The British artist Emma Beck said in her 2007 suicide note: “I told everyone I didn’t want to do it, even at the hospital … now it is too late … I want to be with my babies.” The authors of the Biggs study show their political bias in their conclusion that women like Beck have no need to be warned about suicide risk before their abortion.

Martha Shuping, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist who lives in Winston-Salem, N.C.

 

*Broen, A.N., Moum, T., Bødtker, A.S., & Ekeberg, Ø. (2005). The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study. BMC Medicine, 3,18. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-3-18. Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/3/18   

Shuping, M. (2016). Counterpoint: Long-lasting distress after abortion. In R. MacNair (Ed.), Peace Psychology Perspectives on Abortion. Kansas City: Feminism and Nonviolence Studies Association.

Weisaeth, L. (1989). Importance of high response rates in traumatic stress research. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplementum, 355, 131-137.

State Department Defends Actual Human Rights Instead of Made-Up Rights

by Travis Weber

April 24, 2018

Some activists are upset that the current State Department is going back to conducting worldwide reporting on violations of human rights law instead of the activist flavor of the day. “We are a nation founded on the belief that every person is endowed with inalienable rights. Promoting and defending these rights is central to who we are as a country” (emphasis added), the report began, before going on to report on human rights around the world.

Yet to hear international legal activists describe it, the Trump administration is taking us to the dark ages once again. The administration has allegedly “erase[d] reproductive rights” from the reporting. Over-used and hyperbolic language aside (the term “erase” must have poll-tested well), articles like this are entirely wrong about human rights law and fail to provide historic context on this issue.

If President Obama injected “reproductive rights” into the process in 2011, as the article admits, how was the issue dealt with before then? Is President Trump merely stopping the last administration’s activist approach to the issue, and bringing us back in line with the (bipartisan) approach we enjoyed for decades before? This would be nice to know. Yet we are left without any objective picture or understanding of human rights law from such “news” stories. The irony is that sites like Rewire only further cement and confirm the “fake news” narrative.

The truth is, as the State Department pointed out, the Trump administration was only returning to the clear requirements of international human rights law—which contains no “right to abortion.” In the face of this fact, abortion activist groups like Amnesty International USA could only try the feeble response: “Reproductive rights are human rights.” Except, they’re not. I welcome anyone at Amnesty to show me where such a notion is contained in international law.

It’s not for lack of trying on the part of those who want such a “right” in place. Abortion advocates ceaselessly push their agendas in international forums, eliciting public statements and “rulings” in the context of international organizations to try to claim there is a “right to abortion.” But none of this actually changes the law.

The State Department’s approach to human rights in this report is fair, neutral, and objective. Its critics should aspire to the same standard.

Cardi B Chooses Life

by Patrina Mosley

April 12, 2018

I don’t know that much about Cardi B or listen to her music, but you gotta give props where props are due when a pop culture icon is speaking truth and just keeping it real!

I first saw her go viral on Twitter for her rant against the government, basically asking, “What are you doing with my money?” when she sees nearly 40 percent of her paycheck gone because of taxes, something most of us probably wondered about when we got our first pay check.

Cardi B has now confirmed the unexpected news that she’s pregnant at the height of her success, and to the apparent surprise of many of her fans, she is keeping her baby.

It just really bothers me and it disgusts me because I see a lot of women online like, ‘Oh, I feel sorry for you. Oh, your career is over,’” Cardi B said. “And it’s like, why can’t I have both? Like as a woman, why can’t I have both? Like, why do I gotta choose a career or a baby?… I want both… I don’t want people to make me feel like a blessing should be a regret.”

She also said that the people around her in the entertainment business wanted her to abort her child. This is yet another tragic example of the fact that women commonly feel pressured into abortion, either by other people or by circumstances. A recent study found that 73.8 percent of women who have had abortions said that they felt pressure from others to abort.

She did admit to being a “schmillionaire” and that she is prepared to accept responsibility for her lifestyle choices. Most importantly, she said that she “didn’t want to deal with the whole abortion thing,” intimating that she didn’t want to face the emotional and psychological injury that comes with having an abortion.

And she’s right. According to the same study referenced above, 67.5 percent of post-abortive women sought out professional counseling services after their first abortion, compared to only 13 percent who reported seeking counseling before their first pregnancy that resulted in an abortion. Only 6.6 percent of the women reported using prescription drugs for psychological health before their first pregnancy that ended in abortion, compared with 51 percent who said they used prescription drugs after their first abortion.

A 2011 peer-reviewed research study on the mental health effects of abortion included a survey of 22 published studies combining data on 877,181 participants, showing that abortion increases the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and reckless behavior such as alcoholism, drug use, and sadly, suicide.

Few women in the survey spoke of the contemporary feminist rhetoric of “empowerment” or the need to be competitive in the workplace when it came to their abortion. They instead reported carrying a toxic mix of negative emotions. Both the aforementioned study and Psychology Today attest to the fact that Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) occurs for women who’ve had an abortion—the symptoms include guilt, anxiety, numbness, depression, flashbacks, and suicidal thoughts. Nearly 32 percent of them expressed no positives from their abortion experience, except to note that it led them to either spiritual growth or pro-life advocacy to persuade other women not to get an abortion.

The vast majority of these respondents were older women who are continuing to seek out help, which shows how that one choice is still affecting them to this day. Most women seek an abortion between the ages of 20 and 34, which is typically the education or career engagement season of our lives. Over half of abortions are committed by women who claim a religious affiliation, which is a wake-up call to all of us in the church to be more aware of the needs of those in our own congregations.

If you or someone you know is suffering from the emotional aftermath of having an abortion, there is help for you. The number one thing you can do today is repent and receive the forgiveness that is offered in Jesus Christ. There is nothing he won’t heal and nothing he can’t make new again. Allow him to give you a fresh start and an assurance of eternal life. Secondly, it’s okay to admit that you need help, even if you already profess to knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior. Salvation is the starting point, healing is the journey. There are ministries out there who are waiting to hear from you to help walk you through the healing of God’s forgiveness.

Cardi B – Congratulations, and thank you for speaking a truth that’s unpopular but is truly empowering for women.

If you or someone you know needs to start the healing process of a post-abortive experience, here are some resources to help:

Books:

Retreats/Community:

Other Resources:

Does Down Syndrome Keep the “Good Life” Out of Reach?

by Patrina Mosley

March 23, 2018

Across the globe this week, families are taking the time to show what a gift it is to have their brother, sister, daughter, or son with Down syndrome in their lives. It was just recently that Washington Post opinion columnist Ruth Marcus candidly stated that she would abort her own child if she knew from prenatal testing that they would have Down syndrome:

There is a new push in antiabortion circles to pass state laws aimed at barring women from terminating their pregnancies after the fetus has been determined to have Down syndrome… This is a difficult subject to discuss because there are so many parents who have — and cherish — a child with Down syndrome… I can say without hesitation that…I would have terminated those pregnancies had the testing come back positive. I would have grieved the loss and moved on.

For many, this sounded a little too honest and just down right offensive—especially for ranking Republican congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has a son with Down syndrome. She took to Twitter to take Ruth Marcus to task (respectfully) to illustrate all the joys and happiness that loving families experience with their Down syndrome children.

Both Rodgers and Marcus acknowledged that over two-thirds of women in America choose to have an abortion in those circumstances but according to Marcus, Rodgers’ happy face response is not how the majority of women may feel about having a child with Down syndrome. In a follow-up piece responding to Rodgers, Marcus highlights the emails she received from women confiding in her that they would’ve made the decision to abort and support a woman’s right to choose. One woman wrote:

I’d never knowingly bring another Down syndrome child into our lives … My son turned 50 last September. He lives in a group home, has worked … for 29 years and has a good life, with lots of fun and quite a bit of independence. My life has been filled with advocacy for those with developmental disabilities. We are the lucky ones with our son. Nevertheless, I would fight to the dying breath for a woman’s right to choose.

Marcus says women like this represent the “silenced majority.” I don’t how true that is, but both women—the one who chooses to keep her child with Down syndrome and the one who doesn’t—should not be ignored. Everyone dreams for their lives and their children’s lives to be healthy, happy, and prosperous. I doubt any mother with a child that has Down syndrome or any disability would tell you it’s easy and that if they could they would do anything to make their child’s life easier and happier. But l believe Marcus’s words bring attention to a deeper issue in our society than simply the abortion of the disabled.

I’m grateful for Ruth Marcus’s audacious opinion piece because I believe it forces us to really think about what we may treasure most: “the good life.” It speaks to where we are placing our hope and begs the question: is it better to have no life if it can’t be the good life? Why does it matter if they will be born with challenges or discomfort? Is it better to die than to be born with difficulties in life?

In the aftermath of Roe v. Wade, we as a society have tended to emphasize the definition of a good life as one that is easy and comfortable, one without much self-sacrifice. However, the end goal of life should not be comfort but goodness, and sometimes goodness is not always pleasant. It’s the pursuit of what is good (or the lack thereof) that shapes a society. Our laws should reflect what is naturally good, and intrinsic to this is protecting and valuing all innocent life made in the image of God. We do not seek such virtuousness so we can boast of our own achieved morality; we instead pursue goodness because it draws us closer to God—by understanding who he is and who he wants us to be.

We should not live strictly by the creed “you only live once,” as many pop stars have mistakenly sang as an excuse for hedonism. Jesus talked about where your treasures are, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:21), so we should store our treasures in heaven where they cannot be destroyed. In this life, we will have troubles—this is not a utopia. The goal of this life is to prepare for the next, and that will give us strength to deal with today. Are we building our life on a firm foundation of truth so that when bad or unpleasant things happen we can stand strong, or are we only putting stock in what we can get out of this life? If we abandon the pursuit of God, it will quickly be replaced with the pursuit of the good life.

Disability, discomfort, or making personal sacrifices does not automatically mean we will have no chance of a “good” life. In fact, the exact opposite occurs when, in those difficult moments, we come face to face with a divine strength and help. I say this not to bash anyone for the decisions they’ve made but to explain that the comfortable life is not necessarily the good life, and this life is not all there is. The natural law is written on our hearts and convicts us to pursue that which is good, and that will in its truest form lead us to God.

As Science Advances, the Pro-Life Movement Swells

by Patrina Mosley

March 19, 2018

For all the progress since 1973, I just know in my heart of hearts that this will be the generation that restores life in America.” These inspiring words were spoken by our very own Vice President Mike Pence at a pro-life luncheon held on February 27th.

Of course, NARAL didn’t miss an opportunity to retort back with their antiquated and overused rhetoric to accuse the Vice President of trying to “normalize” the idea that “women don’t get to…control their own bodies.”

Pence is not trying to normalize anything except the right to be given a chance to live, which we have denied to nearly 60 million children since Roe v. Wade.

These days Pence and other pro-life advocates don’t really have to use slick marketing gimmicks to change people’s minds on abortion when science is pretty much already doing that for us, so Pence may be right—this could be the generation that sees the sanctity of life restored, given Americans’ changing opinions. 

A recent Marist Poll on “Americans’ Opinions on Abortions” found that:

  • Only 12 percent of Americans think abortion should be available to a woman any time during her pregnancy.
  • 56 percent believe abortion is morally wrong.

Now more than ever, Americans are changing the way they feel about abortion and want more restrictions on obtaining an abortion.

When the first oral arguments of the Roe v. Wade case occurred in 1971, the attorney for Jane Roe argued that since obtaining an abortion when the life of the mother was at risk was already legal in the Texas statue (where the original Jane Roe appeal was heard), then it was not the child who was the victim but the mother. She argued further that since there was no acknowledgment of death by the state, it was safe to conclude the baby should be treated as biological waste:

There is no requirement of — even though the State, in its brief, points out the development of the fetus that in an eight-week period, the same State, does not require any death certificate, or any formalities of birth.

The product of such a conception would be handled merely as a pathological specimen.

The “it’s just a clump of tissues” argument has a long history. 

What Roe. v Wade couldn’t predict was the advancement of scientific technology capable of detecting the intricate design inherent in the unborn child and the astonishing level of development taking place earlier and earlier in the womb.

The same Marist Poll asked Americans the question of when life begins: 47 percent said “at conception.”

Contrast this to what presiding Justice Blackmun wrote in 1973 in the majority opinion in Roe:

We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.

There’s no “speculation” anymore. Science, in its respective fields of embryology and bioethics, has given us breakthrough answers. Scientists within the past few years have detected that a bright flash of light erupts when a sperm fuses with an egg, signaling when human life begins.

In addition, we are now seeing that early-stage embryos with abnormalities can still develop into healthy babies if given the chance to live. Thanks to 4D ultrasound technology, we can see an unborn child at 14 weeks respond to the sound of music. Previously, many believed a baby in the womb could not hear music until 26 weeks.

At 20 weeks we can scientifically prove that a baby has developed a mature enough nervous system to feel pain. The Marist Poll indicates that 63 percent of Americans now support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and 17 states have already enacted some form of a “Pain-Capable bill” to protect unborn children who are able to feel pain from the brutal abortion methods used at this stage.

Even MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough recently had to admit: “You are seeing poll numbers move on abortion for banning abortions after 20 weeks.” He went on:

Why? Because for the past decade, younger Americans have been going in and they have been seeing 3-D imagery where they can look into the womb. If some activist said, ‘Your child is a lump,’ I must tell you, I’ve had four kids, I’ve never once had a doctor go to me, ‘we’ve got your lump, let me show you your lump, look at your lump’s profile.’ This is an example of science, technology changing that is going to change the politics of abortion. This is an issue that culturally is going to change. Americans, younger voters are going to become more conservative on abortion because they see their child very early on in the womb.

It is a marvel to see science catch up to where the morality of most Americans has always been, and where truth will always stand.

These scientific discoveries are just the tip of the iceberg and will inevitably continue to evolve. Many more Americans may begin to doubt the weight of the words from the seven Roe v. Wade Justices who declared abortion the law of the land when the evidence of unborn life right before their eyes cannot be denied.

She Persisted: Star Parker’s Mission to End Abortion

by Family Research Council

March 8, 2018

March is Women’s History Month, and this year’s theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” One shining example of this fortitude is Star Parker. FRC recently spoke with the Founder and President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), who stood strong in the face of a personal attack by Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.) during a congressional Subcommittee hearing on the pro-life “Heartbeat Bill” last November that went viral.

Star spoke about her experience of breaking free from a life of crime, drugs, reckless sexual activity, and abortion through God’s help, and how it inspired her to share her experience with others and to start CURE in order to work for pro-life, pro-family public policies in the places that need it most: underprivileged urban areas that suffer not just from economic poverty but also suffer from spiritual poverty.

As Star said, “All of the economic problems in our society today connect to abortion.” That’s why her organization CURE is focused on ending abortion through three primary strategies: a clergy program to help educate pastors so they can in turn educate their congregations about abortion, a policy center that works to change abortion law, and a media center to get the pro-life message out. View the Facebook Live video of her chat with FRC’s Patrina Mosely to learn more about CURE’s mission.

Pain-Capable Senate Vote: The One Percenters’ Club

by Jay Sappington

February 9, 2018

How often does Congress have the chance to directly prevent, with a single legislative act, the certain infliction of extreme physical pain on thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of helpless and innocent victims?

Last week, the U.S. Senate missed an opportunity to do just that when 44 Democrats and two Republicans closed down debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The Act would have prohibited abortion after 20 weeks (five months) gestation, a stage at which unborn children can experience excruciating physical pain.

The science is so clear on this point that hospitals now give anesthesia to children at this age when they undergo surgery in utero. But not when they are aborted by dismemberment or by piercing their bodies with a large needle to inject poison that causes heart failure.

What would possess an individual, much less 46 members of Congress, to oppose legislation prohibiting this cruelty?

Only One Percent

Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is quoted in The Washington Post saying that he voted against the Pain-Capable bill because “ninety-nine percent of abortions take place before 20 weeks, so this is a solution in search of a problem.”

Really? Let’s take a look at his numbers.

An estimated one million abortions are performed annually in the U.S. If one percent of those abortions take place after the fifth month, then there are some 10,000 abortions in which unborn children are subjected to the extreme physical pain of dismemberment or lethal injection. Preventing cruelty to 10,000 pre-identified human victims is “a solution in search of a problem”?

King and his Senate colleagues are permitting the violent and cruel treatment of unborn children—behavior that we forbid against prisoners of war, that we strive to prevent in human trafficking, and that we prohibit in treatment of animals.

They’re about to die anyway,” some might argue. But we forbid this kind of treatment for death row inmates when they are being executed. Whatever you may think of the death penalty, at least efforts are made to protect its recipients from pain during execution. Not so for unborn children.

Another One Percent Argument

Senator Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska) tweeted that, though she opposes post-20-week abortion, she refused to support the Pain-Capable bill because it lacked “sufficient” exceptions for “victims of rape and incest and in cases where the life or physical health of the mother is threatened.”

Murkowski illustrates her concern this way: “For example, requiring a teenage girl who was raped by her father to report to law enforcement or a government agency prior to obtaining an abortion simply is not workable.”

Let’s take a look at her logic.

In Murkowski’s world, it is better for a teen to be subjected to a high-risk, late-term abortion and to then return to her home—where she is at high risk for further sexual abuse—than for the girl, or her doctor, to inform authorities of the crime that has been committed against her and protect her from ongoing danger.

And, in Murkowski’s thinking, ensuring that the girl can be placed in this physical double jeopardy is so important that it warrants leaving not only her unborn child and those of other rape victims unprotected from the extreme physical pain of abortion, but the 9,900 other five-month-old children, as well.

Where did that 9,900 figure come from? Some estimates of abortions obtained in cases of rape are as high as one percent. So, of the 10,000 post-five-month abortions performed in the U.S. annually, approximately 100 are performed on rape victims. In other words, Murkowski voted to permit the excruciatingly painful abortion of 10,000 late-term children because 100 of them may be children of rapists.

Senator King says one percent (10,000) is too small a number of victims to be worth protecting from the equivalent of torture. Senator Murkowski seems to think that most of them do deserve protection, but shouldn’t receive it because one percent (100) of them may have been conceived in rape. The logic itself is tortuous.

Rare, But Not Non-Existent

Opportunities to pass legislation with such immediate humanitarian impact are rare, but not as rare as you might think. Versions of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act have been passed by the House of Representatives not once, not twice, but three times (in 2013, 2015, and—the bill the Senate just nixed—in 2017). Each time, the Senate has voted in favor of continuing the cruelty.

How many times will it take before the Senate votes in line with science and basic humanitarianism?

Jay Sappington is a bioethicist, researcher, writer, educator, and policy advocate. He has worked with Heartbeat International and The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, among others.

With Cecile Richards’ Resignation, It’s Time for Planned Parenthood to Come Clean

by Jay Sappington

February 6, 2018

Cecile Richards has announced she will resign this year as President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America after 12 years at the helm.

Under her leadership, Planned Parenthood has come under federal investigation by both the Department of Justice and the FBI for illegally selling body parts of aborted children. Two of Planned Parenthood’s California customers for those baby parts have already admitted guilt and have payed over $7 million in a legal settlement for breaking state and federal laws that prohibit the practice. But this is only one of many scandals during her tenure. Planned Parenthood has been convicted of Medicaid billing fraud in several states. It has failed to report suspected physical abuse of clients, covered up alleged prostitution pimps, and recommended that underage clients falsify documents, for example. And, tragically, women have died from Planned Parenthood abortions.

Under her leadership, Planned Parenthood has consistently claimed that abortion is not their core business. This has again and again been exposed for the sham that it is. Even as the overall abortion rate in the U.S. declines, and their own client base shrinks, Planned Parenthood remains the abortion industry’s largest business, performing over 320,000 abortions per year, about a third of the nation’s annual total. Former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Abby Johnson, who left the organization in 2009, wrote that being assigned abortion sales quotas was the beginning of the end of her relationship with the abortion giant.

Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports belie Cecile’s claim that they are an essential provider of non-abortion services to women. In fact, their non-abortion services are in steep decline. Out of 9.5 million “services” provided in 2016-17, for example, only 7,762 were for prenatal care—a miniscule 0.0008%, which is an 80% drop since 2009. Adoption referrals were even more rare at just under 3,889 (0.0004%). Breast exams are down 64% since 2004 (these are the equivalent of self-exams—no Planned Parenthood center is licensed to do mammograms, despite Richards’ years of public assertions to the contrary). At an organization claiming to be the nation’s premier and essential provider of reproductive health care, that’s a remarkable failure to serve.

During Richards’ tenure, Planned Parenthood has continued the veneration of its founder, Margaret Sanger, a leading proponent of racial eugenics, who saw Planned Parenthood (originally named The Birth Control League) as a way to prevent the propagation of “human weeds”—reproduction by segments of society she deemed deplorable and unfit to live. Today, 22 of Planned Parenthood’s 25 new abortion “mega-clinics” are strategically placed within walking distance of minority neighborhoods. And every year, Planned Parenthood awards their “highest honor”—the Margaret Sanger Award—to political leaders, members of the media, and others who promote the organization’s abortion business and support funding the organization with tax dollars.

Meanwhile, Americans are catching on to the scandal of Planned Parenthood’s tax dollar revolving door. The organization receives a whopping half a billion dollars in tax money each year from grants and Medicaid reimbursements. Its political action arm in turn donates millions to the election campaigns of candidates who will vote for continuing the tax funding. “Your tax dollars at work.”

Cecile Richards knows most Americans oppose paying for elective abortions with taxes, and she knows Planned Parenthood is poised to lose substantial tax monies in the coming months. Several states have already begun redirecting Medicaid subsidies away from Planned Parenthood to existing community health centers that provide more services than Planned Parenthood, but do not perform abortions. There have also been moves in Congress to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s business. With Planned Parenthood’s network of clinics shrinking (they have closed over 250 centers in the past few years) and their non-abortion services declining precipitously, there is no justification for the increased tax funding the nation’s largest abortion business has garnered each year for so many years. The money would be much better spent to support the over 13,500 community health clinics nationwide that provide a wider array of services to a much broader geographic and demographic swath of the population than the abortion giant does.

Cecile’s resignation gives Planned Parenthood the opportunity to come clean and clean house.

It’s a good time to come clean about the baby parts business some of their centers have been running out the back door, and clean house of anyone involved.

It’s a good time to come clean about the central purpose of their business—performing abortions—and clean house of anyone misrepresenting that crucial truth.  

It’s a good time to come clean about Margaret Sanger’s eugenicist vision, and to renounce the practice of targeting communities of color.

And it’s a good time for Planned Parenthood to stand on its own two financial feet instead of demanding that taxpayers provide over half a billion dollars annually to a business whose main product—abortion—is something Americans don’t believe taxpayers should pay for.

Jay Sappington is a bioethicist, researcher, writer, educator, and policy advocate. He has worked with Heartbeat International and The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, among others.

A Woman’s Right to Not Be Pressured to Abort

by Daniel Hart

January 18, 2018

A new study of women who have undergone abortions reveals what many in the pro-life movement have known for years: that “a woman’s right to choose” is more often than not no choice at all.

The study was recently published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by Bowling Green State University professor Priscilla K. Coleman. Of the 987 post-abortive women who were surveyed, 58 percent said that they had their abortions in order to “make others happy,” with over 28 percent saying they had the abortion because “they feared their partner would leave them” if they did not. In addition, almost half of the women believed that their unborn baby was indeed a “human being at the time of the abortion.” In perhaps the most heartbreaking statistic, fully 66 percent of women “said they knew in their hearts that they were making a mistake when they underwent the abortion.”

This study explodes a number of myths perpetuated by abortion activists. Chief among them is that abortion must be available on demand in order to preserve women’s “reproductive freedom” and “choice.” But what is painfully clear from this most recent study is that just the opposite is true. Instead of empowering women to make their own reproductive choices, abortion on demand more often empowers men to use abortion as a kind of cudgel to hold over their wife or girlfriend’s heads and demand that they make an appointment down at the local Planned Parenthood to get rid of the unwanted baby for a quick and easy $300. In other words, abortion provides an easy way for men to avoid the responsibility that is inherent in the sexual relationship that they share with their wife or girlfriend.

Meanwhile, the woman is left to pick up the pieces. As the study reveals, a majority of these women are completely unprepared for the emotional devastation that abortion causes. Only 13 percent visited a mental health professional before their abortions, but after the procedure, the percentage skyrocketed to 67.5 percent. Similarly, only 6.6 percent of women reported using prescription drugs before their abortions; afterwards, 51 percent reported prescription drug use.

There are so many devastating lessons that can be drawn from these findings—the failure of men to own up to their responsibilities and show true love for their wives and girlfriends; the failure of the abortion industry to properly warn women of the psychological effects of abortion; the failure of our culture to see sex as a sacred act that should be treated with respect due to its inherent power of human procreation.

One positive that can come out of this study is just the fact that it exists at all. This is precisely the kind of information that the abortion industry is desperate to cover up, because it so clearly and directly contradicts their “woman’s right to choose” mantra that they have been espousing for decades. This study is the latest example of a light of truth illuminating the darkness of abortion, and when it is shared on social media and blogged about by thousands of people (hint, hint), the darkness cannot overcome it (see John 1:5).

Studies like these should strengthen the resolve of all of us in the pro-life movement, and give us an extra spring in our step as we join the March for Life tomorrow in Washington, D.C., not only to speak up for millions of tiny innocent lives, but to speak up for millions of mothers who are forced to carry the excruciating yet invisible weight of their offspring’s death on their shoulders, a weight that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

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