By Carol Tobias, President
National Right to Life
Who really cares about women?
The so-called “war on women”, launched by President Obama and his supporters, is nothing more than a rhetorical smokescreen and political ploy designed to get women to re-elect Obama and his pro-abortion allies.
In reality, it is a direct attack on pro-lifers, including Republican Mitt Romney and those with deeply-held religious views, who don’t believe our country should be killing unborn children at the rate of 1.2 million each year. Using the flawed logic being employed by President Obama, Rachel Maddow, Nancy Pelosi, NARAL and their allies, if you don’t agree with them on “choice,” then you must hate women.
For years, we have heard that pro-lifers only care about the baby, not the woman. And it is supposedly those who advocate for abortion who are the real champions for women. Really?? Let’s look at what’s happening in this country right now and consider who really cares about women.
Abortion is the least regulated invasive procedure in the country. Many states do not require that women be fully informed about the abortion procedure, its potential risks, or alternatives – something required for every other medical procedure performed in the United States.
A hallmark piece of legislation for the pro-life movement would require abortionists to provide to a woman considering abortion an ultrasound of her unborn child before the abortion occurs. Ideally, the legislation should require that the screen be positioned so that the woman can view the real-time ultrasound image of her unborn child if she wants to.
In March, when the Virginia legislature passed a bill requiring an ultrasound before an abortion is performed, the outcry from abortion supporters and the media was loud and intense. Their battle cry was that women should not be forced to undergo this horrible, degrading procedure. (They were referring to the ultrasound, not the abortion.) They even went so far as to compare ultrasound to “rape.” Never mind that 24 states already have some type of legislation offering the woman an opportunity to view an ultrasound, or that almost all abortion providers already include an ultrasound in the process and pricing of the abortion.
A woman seeking an abortion is about to make an irreversible life-or-death decision. She should be given all medically relevant information before the abortion is performed, including letting her see an ultrasound of her unborn child.
For many mothers, a picture of the unborn baby, taken through an ultrasound, is commonly referred to as “baby’s first picture.” These pictures are taped to refrigerator doors, emailed to family and friends, and posted on Facebook pages.
An aborting woman will likely see an ultrasound picture of someone’s baby. Why not let her see it before the abortion? Abortion advocates want to rush the pregnant woman into the abortion facility and rush her through the abortion procedure because they’re afraid that if she sees her baby, she’ll change her mind. (A changed mind means lost revenue.) How is that pro-woman?
In state after state, National Right to Life state affiliates have faced sometimes overwhelming odds to enact even the most basic protections for women who would otherwise be brutalized by an abortion industry that rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Abortion advocates (those stalwart “protectors” of women), who supposedly care about women, even fight legislation requiring abortion facilities to meet the most basic health and safety standards of medical clinics.
Abortion providers are not content to just have women walk through their doors. Some Planned Parenthood facilities are now offering so-called “webcam,” or telemed, abortions. Rather than meeting the abortionist in person, a pregnant woman sits in a Planned Parenthood office and converses with him long-distance via computer. The abortionist is able to push a button on his computer that opens a drawer in the room where the woman is seated. Inside that drawer is the chemical that will kill her unborn child. (Chemical abortions are a two drug process: the first is mifepristone–RU486– which kills the developing human being in the uterus; the second is a prostaglandin that expels the dead child.)
Webcam abortions pose serious dangers to women. RU486 itself is a dangerous abortion method for pregnant women– fourteen women who took RU-486 have died in the United States since 2000, according to the FDA, and thousands of women have suffered complications. If there are complications, a woman who has received the chemical abortion will be far from the doctor who would most readily understand and diagnose her condition in an emergency.
In 2000, when the FDA approved RU486 for use in the United States, it established a protocol that specified that RU486 be administered “under the supervision of a qualified physician.” An abortionist dispensing the drug to someone perhaps hundreds of miles away via computer isn’t exactly supervising the procedure. How is this pro-woman?
This spring, the California State Assembly considered legislation that would allow non-physicians to perform first-trimester surgical abortions. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse-midwives are already allowed to prescribe chemical abortion drugs in the state. The people in these positions provide valuable medical services, but they are not doctors. For those who think abortion should be “safe,” how does reducing the required standard of care help?
Why the need to allow abortionists to prescribe chemical abortions over a computer or allow non-physicians to perform abortions? Not enough doctors are doing abortions. The doctors who perform abortions are getting older and retiring. New doctors know that, after 40 years, abortion is still not a culturally acceptable procedure and fewer and fewer of them want to be part of it.
Abortion advocates aren’t content to push abortion in this country. They support it overseas as well.
In 2009, President Obama restored U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to the tune of $50 million. His budget request for 2013 includes $39 million for UNFPA. Under President George W. Bush and his pro-life predecessors, U.S. funding to the UNFPA was cut off because of the UNFPA’s support of China’s population-control program, which includes forced abortion.
Stories abound of pregnant women in China who are dragged out of their homes, taken to “family-planning” centers against their wishes, and have an abortion forced on them. Instead of abortion advocates screaming at the top of their lungs that this is a war on women, the Obama administration tolerates this program by financially supporting the UNFPA.
If the “pro-woman” abortion advocates see some horror in what’s happening, they certainly aren’t very loud or visible.
The use of abortion as a means of sex selection is a major problem in a number of Asian countries, including China and India. According to various reports, more than 160 million girls are “missing,” having been the victim of sex-selection abortions. Unfortunately, the practice of sex-selection by abortion is increasing in the United States. When gender is the reason for the abortion, a disproportionate number of babies killed are girls. Abortion advocates who claim to be pro-woman should recoil at the notion that “freedom of choice” includes even the choice to abort a little unborn girl, merely because she is a girl. But when given the opportunity to support legislation in Congress to prohibit sex-selection abortion, abortion advocates fail the baby girls. Rather than oppose sex-selection abortion, they oppose the legislation.
Where are the pro-woman abortion advocates in this battle? They aren’t speaking up for the lives of these unborn girls killed by abortion because they are girls.
Another distressing attribute of abortion advocates is that they refuse to acknowledge any real problems of or consequences from abortion. Post Abortion Syndrome is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ending the life of your unborn child is more traumatic than having your appendix removed, but since abortion is supposed to be a good thing for women, aborted women are not supposed to grieve their loss.
Women who have abortions may experience physical, mental, or emotional problems.
A leading complication of abortion is that the procedure may harm a woman’s reproductive system, damaging her uterus or cervix. This leads to reproductive problems, including a doubled risk of sterility, a 50%-90% increased risk of having a subsequent ectopic or tubal pregnancy, early cervical failure and miscarriage or premature birth in future pregnancies, and in rare circumstances – death.
Women who have had one or more abortions report damaged relationships with their partner and/or their parents. Women who have abortions are more likely to abuse their other children, and children of aborting women have higher rates of behavior problems.
Aborted women report a sense of helplessness, feeling of loss of control, emotional numbing, guilt, pain, grief, depression, irritability, and aggressive behavior. They may have difficulty recalling the event, eating disorders, higher psychiatric admissions, difficulty sleeping, sexual dysfunction, flashbacks, nightmares, anniversary reactions, withdrawal from relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, and in some cases, suicide. A study in Finland found that the suicide rate for women having abortions is three times the national average and six times what it was for women giving birth.
But instead of letting a woman grieve over her decision to kill her child, those who advocate abortion refuse to acknowledge that abortion is anything more than an appendectomy. The “problem” is gone– don’t let it bother you. In fact, there’s something wrong with you if it does bother you.
Along with post-abortion syndrome, many women are dealing with the added possible burden of breast cancer. Thirteen out of 17 studies in the U.S. reported more breast cancer among women who chose abortion, but abortion advocates refuse to even consider that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. Why? Because to do so would be to admit that there are problems with abortion.
The pro-life movement considers the aborted woman to be the second victim of the abortion. Many of these aborted women are speaking up and speaking out, saying, “Don’t make the same mistake I did.” They have become eloquent and forceful spokespersons for the unborn child.
While the pro-abortion movement offers only a dead baby as the solution for a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, the right-to-life movement has taken up the challenge to help these moms through a difficult time, opening their arms, their homes, and their hearts. There are an estimated 4,000 pregnancy resource centers in the United States, more than double the number of abortion providers.
These resource centers offer practical support such as free pregnancy tests, information about abortion and pregnancy, clothing, supplies, and when needed, a place for the pregnant mom to stay. Many will do an ultrasound for the mother. The centers offer legal and medical referrals, provide adoption assistance, and offer counseling, either about the pregnancy or post-abortion counseling for those who do choose abortion.
Abortion advocates who say they are pro-woman are anything but. They aren’t interested in making abortion “safe” for women. They aren’t interested in defending girls who are being killed because they are girls. They aren’t interested in women who suffer from their abortion. The bottom line for abortion advocates is making sure that abortion remains legal. That unborn child must be sacrificed at all costs.
Again I ask, who really cares about women?
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