Women have a right to the truth on abortion
Journal Sentinel Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posted: Dec. 17, 2009
If you want to know what really goes on behind the closed doors of Planned Parenthood, Google "Live Action" and click on the Planned Parenthood Appleton clinic. It's clear nothing has changed in the 35 years since I visited Planned Parenthood.
An unintended, undesired pregnancy clearly constitutes a significant life crisis for many women and demands responsible crisis counseling. Lila Rose, president of Live Action, confirmed that the young woman in the undercover video received no counseling except that of the nurse and abortionist.
The nurse was adamant that a fetus is not a baby "until birth," while the abortionist suggested it "may be seven or eight months." The nurse was equally strong in her assertion that a fetus has no heartbeat until 17 to 18 weeks. So much for medical accuracy and professional ethics. Equally stunning was the response by Planned Parenthood: "Our standard is to provide honest, medically accurate information, and that is what the physician in this case did." Really?
Embryologist Dr. Dianne Irving of the National Institutes of Health and professor of medical ethics at Georgetown University, and Dr. Ward Kischler, professor emeritus of cell biology and anatomy with a specialty in embryology at the University of Arizona, have publicly denounced the "absurd and scientifically erroneous" information by Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood might want to consult a standard embryology textbook. As to the heartbeat, they were off by a whopping 14 weeks. Irving and Kischler want to see Planned Parenthood held accountable for "inherently unethical behavior and destructive lies and procedures."
This episode appears to be standard operating procedure for calloused professionals who make a living off the plight of desperate women. It sadly coincides with the experience of post-abortive women in counseling who routinely report being strong-armed by clinic staff while receiving no "counseling" prior to undergoing what proved to be a life-altering experience.
Since abortion is Planned Parenthood's bread and butter, the last thing it wants women to see are in utero real-time ultrasound images of their developing unborn child. Abortion is definitely big business. In 2008, Planned Parenthood received $349.6 million in federal funding, reported revenues of $966.7 million and generated profits of $85 million. Not bad for a "nonprofit."
Former pro-choice advocate and NPR commentator Frederica Mathewes-Green listened to stories of real women about their abortions as part of the National Listening Project by the Common Ground Network for Choice and Life. She summed it up: "There is tremendous sadness and loneliness in the cry, 'a woman's right to choose.' No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg." The overwhelming majority of women (more than 80%) reported coercion as a primary reason for aborting, which is especially troubling since it poses even greater risk for post-abortion distress.
David Fergusson is a renowned psychological researcher and is politically pro-choice. He is also a strong critic of the APA Task Force on Abortion for its selective review of outdated literature and flawed conclusions characterizing abortion as a benign event with low risk of psychological harm.
Fergusson's landmark 2006 longitudinal study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines is the most comprehensive and rigorous to date. After controlling for pre-existing mental health issues, Fergusson found that compared to women who carried a pregnancy to term and those who had never been pregnant, young women who aborted were at greater risk for depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance abuse disorders.
At its core, "choice" is fundamentally about telling people the truth and allowing them to make a fully informed decision without duress. Planned Parenthood's blatant disregard for the truth and lack of professional ethics fly in the face of the intent of "Women's Right to Know" laws. When it comes to abortion, women deserve the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
In helping to expose Planned Parenthood's ugly underbelly, Live Action deserves a medal.
Kathy Banaszak of Waukesha is a professional counselor and volunteer mentor. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org