By Dave Andrusko
Operating out of the University of California at San Francisco, a beehive of pro-abortion academic orthodoxy, it is Diana Greene Foster’s mission in life to persuade the world that any abortion “denied” is a colossal “harm” extending as far as the eye can see.
As Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC director of education & research, explained in a five-part series, that message was touted far and wide by a sympathetic media when it came out in 2013.
“Given the way that the same press has dismissed or ignored study after study appearing in reputable journals connecting abortion to depression, substance abuse, suicide, and other mental health problems,” Dr. O’Bannon wrote, “the ready acceptance and promotion of this study, before its findings have undergone peer review or public scrutiny is all the more remarkable.”
Foster et. al’s argument in their “Turnaway” study was that women denied abortions fared poorly. Dr. O’Bannon questioned the many dubious assumptions and leaps in logic and showed in exhaustive detail how women positively adjusted after their abortion had been denied because she was too far along even for most abortionists.
Indeed, Foster herself supported that conclusion, as revealed in a quote that appeared in a story in the New York Times Magazine. When the reporter told Foster of a mother who, having been denied an abortion, was made sick by even the thought of losing her child
“That would be consistent with our study,” Foster said. “About 5 percent of the women, after they have had the baby, still wish they hadn’t. And the rest of them adjust.”
Foster’s latest “victim” of women unable to abort are the woman’s other children! Writing at Stat News about a study that appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics, Foster concludes “we found significantly worse socioeconomic outcomes for children whose mothers were denied abortions than those who received them.”
But that’s just dollars and cents, and (as Dr. O’Bannon explained in his series) that conclusion can be very misleading.
The more important conclusion by Foster et al. was that “Women are also much more likely to report poor maternal bonding.” Foster doubles down, telling us how much better the maternal bonding is with “the next child born following a wanted abortion.”
Two quick points.
*The aborted baby is not better off dead. The child has been deprived of the greatest gift of all—the gift of life. Many of us grew up in less than ideal conditions. Is that not preferable to being annihilated? I think almost anyone not affiliated with Foster’s team would come to that conclusion. But that, of course, cannot be part of her ethical arithmetic.
*I couldn’t help thinking of the rigorous studies that demonstrated how happy were the siblings of children born with Down syndrome. Dr. Brian Skotko has done pioneering work, showing (as Dr. Peter Saunders paraphrased) that
More than 96% of brothers/sisters who responded to the survey indicated that they had affection toward their sibling with DS; and 94% of older siblings expressed feelings of pride. Less than 10% felt embarrassed, and less than 5% expressed a desire to trade their sibling in for another brother or sister without DS.
Among older siblings, 88% felt that they were better people because of their siblings with DS, and more than 90% planned to remain involved in their sibling’s lives as they became adults. The vast majority of brothers and sisters described their relationship with their sibling with DS as positive and enhancing.
Foster and her colleagues will milk their “Turnaway” studies forever and a day. But the rest of us understand that we must turnaway from an ethical calculus that turns unborn babies into things and familial ties into calculations about commodities.