Lately I’ve been getting a lot of overwrought e-mails from the pro-abortion lobby (I’m signed up on all their lists), warning that “anti-choice” legislators are on the verge of taking away women’s access to abortion.
Hyperbole is common enough on both sides of the abortion battle, but the kind of outrageous exaggeration coming from the pro-choice side in recent weeks has side has been off the charts—and in the end it may backfire.
Abortion Becoming “Virtually Impossible to Access”?
Take this, for example, from the National Organization for Women’s Terry O’Neill: “It’s part of the radical right’s core strategy to chip Roe v. Wade to bits. They won’t outlaw abortion per se, they’ll just make it virtually impossible to access.”
Now, it’s true that we pro-lifers want to reverse Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling which nullified legal protection of the lives of unborn children. And if we can’t get the high court to overturn Roe outright, we’ll work to “chip away” at that tragically unjust ruling over time.
But what isn’t true is that we’re anywhere near the day that abortion will be “virtually impossible to access.”
In fact, it’s hard to imagine how abortion could be easier to access than it is now—with nearly 700 abortion clinics around the country aborting 1.2 million children in the womb each year.
So what has O’Neill (pretending to be) so worried about access to abortion being cut off?
It’s the Protect Life Act, which was passed on a bipartisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, a bill which would prevent taxpayer funding of abortion and protect health care workers from being forced into involvement with abortion against their will.
This modest piece of pro-life legislation was also the target of the Jen Sorenson cartoon I wrote about last week, which accused pro-life legislators of “making abortions harder to get.”
In truth, the Protect Life Act simply attempts to maintain the status quo on taxpayer funding of abortion and conscience rights established by measures such as the Hyde Amendment.
Pro-Life Senator Wants to Ban Talk of Abortion from the Internet?
To take another example, in an e-mail NARAL’s Nancy Keenan accuses pro-life Senator Jim DeMint of trying to “ban discussion of abortion care over the Internet”—as if DeMint wants to stop us all from blogging or chatting about subject of abortion!
In reality, Sen. DeMint was trying to ban the practice of so-called “telemed” abortions, in which a doctor prescribes abortion pills remotely by computer, without ever seeing his “patient” face to face.
You’d think those who claim to be concerned with women’s health would see the hazards of this kind of scheme, especially given the many side effects and possible complications involved with these medical abortions.
A final example of pro-choice hype arrive in my inbox today: a message from Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards with the alarming subject line, “Last chance to protect access to abortion care.”
Richard’s subject line makes it sound like abortion is on the very verge of being criminalized. But read her message and you find out she’s just talking about expanding insurance coverage of abortion under Obamacare.
Pro-Choice Rhetoric May Backfire
The kind of hysterical rhetoric coming from O’Neill, Keenan and Richards may be effective for fundraising (which is what it’s really all about, with the Senate under pro-abortion leadership and the veto pen in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history). But all this hyperbole about “limiting access to abortion” may backfire, becoming a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
O’Neill, Keenan, Richards and others in the pro-abortion lobby know—just like we in the pro-life movement know—that abortion is widely accessible. But as their overwrought message works its way into the public mind, people may begin to get the idea that we “anti-choice radicals” actually have made great strides restricting access to abortion.
That could lead some women—especially young women—to believe that they have less access to abortion than they really have, and to make choices based on that false belief.
So in the end, the ones ultimately restricting access to abortion may be the likes of Terry O’Neill, Nancy Keenan and Cecile Richards!