By Dave Andrusko
Why do those pro-lifers talk so much about women dying from legal abortion? So laments Amy Sullivan, as part of her New Republic article [mis]titled, “Pro-Life Activists Conveniently Ignore the Abortion Drop.”
“That isn’t to say,” Sullivan eventually adds, “that anti-abortion activists are upset about the falling abortion rate. But many are shoving that headline aside to focus on what they say is the real story in the CDC report—the fact that deaths from abortions have doubled.”
First things first. National Right to Life didn’t ignore the 5% drop. I wrote about the happy news the day the CDC issued its report; NRLC Director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon brilliantly analyzed the results yesterday. (See www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/11/reasons-to-be-thankful/#more-19871 and www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/11/cdc-shows-large-drop-in-abortions-for-2009-part-one, respectively.)
If you are going to make sweeping pronouncements about “anti-abortion activists,” you might want to take the time to see what the leading organization of our Movement has to say about the matter at hand.
What’s fascinating is how Sullivan tries to have it both ways, over and over again. “Yes, it’s terrible that even one woman died” from legal abortion but let’s not go crazy. Sure, “abortion-related deaths rose from six to twelve between 2007 and 2009,” but let’s put this in perspective.
She gets her math messed up, but her point remains the same. Why are you guys talking about twelve women dying when there’s all this good news? Shouldn’t pro-lifers be happy and, by the way, take attention away from the reality that women continue to die from legal abortions?
We are happy that fewer babies have died and fewer mothers finding themselves in the position of enduring possibly a lifetime’s worth of guilt and regret. But that doesn’t make any of the more than 400 women who have died from legal abortion since 1973 less dead.
I would have stopped here, except I happen to read one of the responses to Sullivan from someone who described themselves as having “no problem with the current place we’re at today on abortion.” The respondent did what we’ve done so many times—quote from a pro-abortion source, and then (as they put it in the response) “try the argument from another angle in the author’s own words.”
In other words, take the same logic and apply it elsewhere.
Sullivan had written, “But the way to prevent abortion-related deaths isn’t to outlaw abortion—doctors who treated the mangled bodies of women who endured illegal abortions prior to 1973 can testify to that reality. The best approach is to make sure that abortions are performed in excellent medical facilities by doctors well-trained in the procedures.”
The respondent countered:
“[Men will beat women whether legal or not.] But the way to prevent beating-related deaths isn’t to outlaw beating—doctors who treated the mangled bodies of women who endured beatings prior to 1973 can testify to that reality. The best approach is to make sure that beatings are performed in excellent medical facilities by doctors well-trained in the procedures. [That way, doctors can stop the beating before it gets too severe. Medically supervised beatings are superior to back ally beatings, and safer for the woman, too].
“Sounds odd, even repulsive? Perhaps a little medieval? Indeed.”
Medieval, indeed. One other quick point.
If I were arguing the pro-abortion side, I would adamantly insist that the ethos that permeates the abortion mindset can be hermetically sealed off. Even if they really meant that (so many are soft on physician-assisted suicide, for example), it can’t be.
When you make the lives of one category of people wholly dependent on the will of another, every powerless person is ultimately in mortal danger. And, as the statistics from the CDC demonstrate, that includes the mothers of aborted babies.