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Planned Parenthood: Committing an Abortion is Like Swimming

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During my research on Planned Parenthood I stumbled across a quote from a Planned Parenthood clinic director that I’d like to share. It is from an old article (Sandra G. Boodman, “The Dearth of Abortion Doctors; Stigma, Low Pay and Lack of Personal Commitment Erode Ranks,” The Washington Post, April 20, 1993), but the quote is so revealing of PP’s attitude towards abortion that I thought it deserved a mention.

Irving S. Rust, director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in the South Bronx, was asked about the declining number of doctors doing abortions. His response was that abortions are “boring” to perform, and that is why many doctors won’t do it.

It’s an argument I have seldom encountered. A first trimester abortion is “like swimming,” he said. “It can be sort of boring and kind of monotonous, but unless you’re good at it, you can wind up with some major complications.”

It is amazing how many incriminating quotes by Planned Parenthood one can find when digging through news archives. It is disturbing (but not surprising) that a Planned Parenthood director viewed killing unborn babies so casually. Planned Parenthood campaigns to allow non-physicians to perform abortions and opposes even modest safety regulations for abortion clinics.

But these candid words from a Planned Parenthood director reveal that they are well aware of the dangers of abortion, especially when done by people without much experience. They know that even first trimester abortions can be dangerous to women, contradicting their public position that abortions are safe because they are legal.

The comparison to swimming is particularly callous. Does Planned Parenthood believe that an abortion is no more morally significant than a swim in the pool? It’s stunning how lightly the largest abortion provider in the United States views killing unborn children.

Even midway through the first trimester, the baby is very well developed. By 7-8 weeks after conception, the child has arms and legs with fingers and toes. He or she has a beating heart at 21 days. Jewels Green, who worked in a clinic that performed abortions in the first trimester only, nevertheless testified to sorting through recognizable body parts. (If you have a strong stomach, see for yourself what an aborted baby at 8 weeks looks like.)

Since 1993, the number of doctors committing abortions has declined even further. Abortion advocates are getting nervous:

“[T]he number of state-based restrictions on abortions has increased significantly over the last two years. Defining a ‘scarcity’ of abortion providers to mean a state where either 60 percent of the women live in a county without an abortion provider, or where there are 200,000 or more people for each abortion provider, we found that fully 32 states were experiencing scarcity as of 2008, the last year for which these data are available.”

The number of abortion facilities in the United States continues to decline rapidly. May the trend continue.

Editor’s note. This appeared at the blog of Secular Pro-Life.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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