An entry was posted recently on the blog Abortion Witness that you may find a bit eye-opening for its unusually honest language about abortion and what it does to
fetuses babies. The author of the blog, “Jeannie,” worked previously for 12 years in an abortion clinic, and is still hard-core pro-choice. In this long post, titled “Talking about the Babies: Saying ‘Things We Cannot Say'”, she writes this:
We all know that an unborn child dies in each abortion. And the majority of abortion care workers accept responsibility for our roles in these deaths. We have, for various reasons, determined for ourselves that having a part in these deaths is an importantâ€”and ethicalâ€”thing for us to do. At the same time, we realize that while our work brings us in direct contact with death on a regular basis, the majority of people (even those who identify as â€œpro-choiceâ€) are uncomfortable talking about death. Add to this the way abortion-rights opponents have long invoked death to condemn abortion, and you have a perfect recipe for silencing people. [emphasis added]
Jeannie then goes on to say:
About three years ago, one of my physician colleagues broke this silence, speaking and writing about how it felt to be performing an 18-week abortion and suddenly feel her own 18-week fetus move. She writes that she cried. She also calls on abortion-rights advocates to have honest conversations about abortion and death, no matter how uncomfortable we might feel, because to avoid these conversations is to seem uncaring and out of touch with our patients and our society.
(Although Jeannie doesn’t link to it, I’m nearly certain that the first-person account she’s talking about was originally posted on The Abortioneers blog with the title “Second Trimester Abortion Provision: Breaking the Silence and Changing the Discourse” â€” it’s no longer there, but there is a fairly long excerpt of it posted here.) Later in her post, Jeannie asks, “So what would it sound like if abortion-rights advocates were to speak openly and honestly about the death of unborn babies?” Among her recommendations:
[W]e should never deny that abortion kills an unborn child. When the topic comes up, a simple â€œyes, I knowâ€”and so do women who have abortionsâ€ will often suffice.
Really? Every single woman who has an abortion is fully aware that what is inside her that’s killed is a child â€” a baby, an actual human being, a person â€” and not merely “tissue” or something? Because if you judge by the “counseling” abortion-minded women get when they go to the country’s largest abortion chain, you might doubt that:
Does Abortion Kill Babies, or Not? The Pro-Choice Movement Can’t Decide
Now, it’s worth pointing out that although openly admitting that abortion takes a life may seem, by today’s standards, uncommon among pro-choicers, it’s not a new development. Early advocates of legal abortion like Judith Arcana made no attempt to tapdance around the question of whether abortion destroys a life, and, more recently, neither have prominent abortionists like Curtis Boyd and William Harrison, nor Princeton professor Peter “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Sometimes it is not wrong at all” Singer. For that matter, even Planned Parenthood itself at one time admitted that “abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun”. Ah, but those days are long gone. Here’s how Planned Parenthood now deals with the question of when life begins:
My friend says that life begins when the egg and sperm join together. I say that it begins when a baby takes its first breath. Which of us is right? All kinds of people â€” theologians, philosophers, scientists, lawyers, legislators, and many others â€” hold very different views about when life begins. In fact, both the egg and the sperm are living things before they meet and join. There’s no real argument there. The really hot question is, “When does being a person begin?” Most medical authorities and Planned Parenthood agree that it starts when a baby takes its first breath. Some of our oldest religions have changed their views about this question many times over the centuries. Today, some people sincerely believe that being a person begins when the egg is fertilized. Some, just as sincerely, believe that it begins with birth. And lots of others believe it begins somewhere in between. What we are all sure about is that a pregnant woman is a person. We know for sure that she has morals, feelings, human needs, and a conscience. Because of this, we know that she is the only one able to make a decision about her pregnancy options. She does it based on her own needs, ethics, and religious belief about when being a person begins. It would be wrong to force her to observe someone else’s religious belief.
Interesting, isn’t it, how Planned Parenthood completely avoids answering the question about when life begins? And then, how they shift the discussion to “the really hot question” of personhood, which they claim “most medical authorities” agree (really? And yet they couldn’t name even one?) begins when a “baby takes its first breath”?
Planned Parenthood Is Never This Candid
I suspect that Planned Parenthood would prefer that pro-choicers like Jeannie and others who candidly admit that abortion kills babies would just keep quiet. The “average” pro-choice person finds it a lot easier to rationalize his belief that abortion is OK if he has first convinced himself that a fetus is not really a baby/human being/person. So when we find ourselves in an exchange with a pro-choice person who follows this line of thinking, it’s worth our while to point out the fact that there are people who are pro-choice who are intellectually honest enough to admit that abortion really does kill babies â€” and maybe even to ask straight up: Certain pro-choice people are honest enough to admit that abortion kills babies. Why aren’t you? We’re not necessarily going to change someone’s mind on the spot, but it may make the person we’re talking to a lot more squeamish about their beliefs on abortion, which in turn may cause them to start reconsidering their position. It takes a really high level of ideological commitment to believe (a) abortion kills babies/human beings/persons, and (b) it should be legal anyway. And that’s a level of commitment most people who call themselves “pro-choice” don’t have.