Editor’s note. This appeared at Secular prolife perspectives and is reprinted with permission.
Back when Kermit Gosnell’s slaughter was exposed, the abortion lobby tried valiantly to blame it on pro-lifers. This is what happens when the evil anti-choicers start winning, they said. Never mind that there were other abortionists doing business legally in Gosnell’s Philadelphia, and never mind that the abortion industry there was effectively subject to zero regulation under a pro-choice gubernatorial administration. Somehow it was our fault.
Recently, three illegal abortionists have been caught, and I expect to hear the same disingenuous arguments again. Let’s look closely.
First up is Michael Roth of Michigan, who is strongly suspected of having committed abortions out of his car; an investigation is underway but no charges have been filed yet. Roth is a licensed physician. In addition to being an abortionist, he splits his practice between legitimate women’s health care and cosmetic procedures. He had a medical office, but his landlord evicted him for lease violations in December of 2014.
At which point Roth allegedly moved his so-called medical practice to his car, because he just loves women so goshdarn much.
Michigan is home to about 20 abortion centers of the non-vehicular kind.
Next, an unnamed couple in South Carolina is also accused of committing abortions out of their car [www.nydailynews.com/news/national/s-traffic-bust-finds-mobile-abortion-clinic-sheriff-article-1.2392133]. Details are scarce, but apparently the couple is involved in the drug trade, and in the process of investigating the drug angle, police found evidence of illegal abortions—exactly how Gosnell’s horrors were discovered. South Carolina has three abortion centers, spread evenly across the state.
And finally, there’s Rick Van Thiel, or “Dr. Rick,” of Las Vegas, Nevada. Van Thiel is accused not only of committing in-home abortions, but also doing vitamin injections, hormone injections, and possibly some back-alley dentistry.
While Michigan and South Carolina have fairly robust pro-life laws in place, Nevada is at the bottom of the pack. Beyond requiring that abortions be done by a physician, it has no health and safety regulations to speak of. Like Pennsylvania, it’s a perfect testing ground for the theory that women are better off when the abortion industry self-regulates. No one can argue with a straight face that there is any lack of “abortion access” in Nevada; in fact, there are seven abortion businesses in Las Vegas alone.
But that didn’t stop Van Thiel from making a quick buck off of vulnerable women.
Pro-choice advocates like to say that there will be abortions no matter what, so we might as well make them legal and safe. But perhaps it’s time to turn that on its head.
If there will be illegal abortions no matter what, we might as well enact abortion laws that recognize the humanity of the preborn child and the predatory nature of the abortion industry.