Yes, Let’s Have An Honest Conversation About Abortion

In an op-ed in this morning’s Baltimore Sun, Planned Parenthood of Maryland CEO Jenny Black wanted to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. She wants to do this in “order to ensure that abortion remains safe and legal for future generations, we must replace misinformation with facts and start having honest conversations about abortion in America.”

If Jenny Black wants to have an honest conversation about Abortion in America, we should welcome this conversation.

The first honest conversation that we need to have is about the number of people who actually support abortion. Black claims that this barbaric procedure “is supported by the majority of Americans” but the majority of Americans are pro-life, and they have been since 2009A recent KofC-Marist Poll shows that 84% of Americans want to ban abortion after three months of pregnancy, 68% oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, and 59% believe that abortion does a woman more harm than good. 60% of Americans think abortion is morally wrong.

Even in Maryland, support for abortion is overblown by abortion proponents. Remember, just last fall Governor Larry Hogan was elected governor despite being personally pro-life, despite supporting a late term abortion ban, and despite wildly hysterical accusations about abortion issues from the Anthony Brown campaign and their surrogates.

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The next honest conversation that we need to have regards this morally repugnant statement:

We believe there is a link between being able to control one’s own reproductive health and being able to control one’s own destiny for the betterment of the entire family. Not only women benefit from access to abortion, their whole families do.

Without access to abortion, women lose their ability to determine their education, careers, marriages and the impact on the other children they either already have or may choose to have in the future.

Except none of that is actually true. Yes, there may be a benefit between controlling “one’s own reproductive health and being able to control one’s own destiny for the betterment of the entire family,” except that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. There are any number of ways to control your ability to reproduce without having an abortion. Even Catholics like me, who believe that artificial birth control is a sin, have ways to safely handle the size of a family through Natural Family Planning and other natural means of avoiding a pregnancy.

And you know, there’s one really easy way to not have an unwanted pregnancy: don’t have sex if you’re not ready to accept the consequences of your actions. Having sex has the ability to change the course of your life if you find yourself with child. Yes, it does change your future plans. But no, the fact that your schooling, your work schedule, and anything else that may be “inconvenienced” by an unexpected pregnancy is no excuse to run out to the nearest clinic and get an abortion.

And oh, the biggest lie in her statement there? “Not only women benefit from access to abortion, their whole families do.” Which can never be an accurate statement considering that an abortion invariably leaves one member of the family dead.

What’s truly sick about Ms. Black’s op-ed is this paragraph:

“At Planned Parenthood of Maryland we work every day to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and keep women healthy. Planned Parenthood of Maryland health centers provide care that helps women avert an estimated 5,009 unintended pregnancies and prevent an estimated 2,103 abortions every year.”

By “reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and keep women healthy”, she means by providing as many abortions as possible.

Let us not forget that abortion does more than kill an innocent, unborn child. As the saying goes “abortion leaves one dead, one wounded”, and women often find themselves in danger from this so-called “safe” procedure. In a document put together by Americans United for Life entitled “Summary of Known Health-Risks of Abortion“, here’s a small sample of some of the health issues that post-abortive woman face:

  • Complications during the procedure
    • blood clots;
    • hemorrhage;
    • incomplete abortions;
    • infection;
    • injury to the cervix and other organs;
    • cardiac arrest;
    • respiratory arrest;
    • renal failure;
    • metabolic disorder;
    • shock;
    • missed ectopic pregnancy.
  • An increased risk after the procedure of:
    • ubsequent preterm birth;
    • placenta previa (a complication during pregnancy where the placenta partially or totally covers the mother’s cervix and which can cause severe bleeding before or during delivery);
    • serious mental health problems;
    • breast cancer as a result of the loss of the protective effect of a first full-term pregnancy;
    • miscarriage;
    • death;
    • pre-term birth in future pregnancies;
    • psychological risks, including increased risks of depression, anxiety, and suicide.

I’m trying to figure out which of those health risks Ms. Black finds to be “safe.” And those are just the medical risks. That does not address issues like we have seen in the Kermit Gosnell case, where abortions were conducted in disgusting, deplorable conditions and babies who were born alive were subsequently murdered by Gosnell and his staff. Even The Atlantic, hardly a pro-life outlet, noted the barbarity of the Gosnell clinic. There are many situations like the Gosnell situation. And before Ms. Black says that “it can’t happen here”, it already has and it’s happened more than once.

And a truly honest conversation about abortion would talk about the racist views of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, who was an early adopter of eugenics and said some truly horrifying things about non-whites. Given that statistically African-American women were having three times as many abortions in Maryland as white women, I’d like to see Ms. Black address that statistic.

Last year in the Baltimore Sun (in what might be one of the few pro-life op-eds ever published in that paper), I wrote. “It’s time for politicians and medical policy makers to expand their thinking on abortion. Abortion cannot and must not be predicated around the idea that the only life impacted is that of the pregnant mother.” That’s the real honest conversation that we have about abortion. Every year in this country over 330,000 children do not have the opportunity to be born in this country. Abortion has legally killed over 56,000,000 unborn children since 1973. That’s more children in the United States killed in utero than the population of all but 23 countries in the world. How many lives would be better if those procedures never happened? How many medical cures could have been invented? How many great works of art were never made because we, as a society, couldn’t do the morally correct thing and ban an uncivilized and barbaric practice?

So if Jenny Black wants to have an honest conversation about abortion, I’ll be glad to have it. Because honest conversation about abortion show the process at its reprehensible and immoral worst.

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