By Dave Andrusko
It’s a very personal story with a tragic beginning, a predictable conclusion between which the new president of Planned Parenthood goes hither and yon to weave together disparate arguments to reach the “correct” answer.
The most important bottom line from Dr. Leana Wen’s op-ed in the Washington Post is that she very recently miscarried. The fact that as many as one in five babies are lost, usually because of chromosomal anomalies, didn’t make the loss of her baby any the less painful.
Wen tells us she and her husband had “been trying for months” to have a sibling for their two-year-old son. (As an older couple, “we didn’t want to wait much longer.”) When she learned she was pregnant, “I was thrilled.”
Then comes the first of the political uses of her tragic loss.
“Though I worried about how I would do my demanding job with two small children, I also believed that fulfilling my deep desire to expand our family would send a strong message for the organization I represent: We support all people in their decisions when and whether to become parents.
Have a child, abort a child; be a parent, don’t be a parent. What’s the diff?
For starters, a pregnant woman already is a parent. It is the mission of Planned Parenthood to persuade a woman that if, and only if, she says yes, a switch is magically switched, turning a “potential child” into a real, flesh-and-blood child.
Wen then goes on an extended pro-abortion diatribe against laws intended to protect unborn children and allow their mothers to make a genuinely informed decision. What has that have to do with the loss of her baby? The canard that miscarriages could be (or will be, in Wen’s imagination) be grounds for criminal charges.
This is then folded into her argument for “health care,” which is part of “women’s health,” which is the mantra under which abortion is smuggled in. But abortion isn’t health care. It doesn’t cure any disease, it doesn’t improve any medical condition. It simply takes the life of an unborn baby, leaves a woman empty, and fills the abortionist’s pockets.
Wen begins her final paragraph with a noble and caring objective:
As I recover over the Fourth of July weekend with my family, I decided to write about my experience because I want to break the silence and shame that often come with pregnancy loss.
Wen’s final sentence is spot on:
If we truly care about the health of women, children and families, we must commit to policies that provide pregnant women with the care, humanity and dignity that all people deserve.
In between Wen writes
I also write because my miscarriage has made my commitment to women’s health even stronger.
Dr. Wen never refers to her lost baby as a “fetus” or a “potential life.” Wen and her husband wanted “another child” who would be “sibling” for their son. Later she writes about “Baby No. 2.”
This is the language almost everyone uses—and why not? The little one, planned or unplanned, perfect or “imperfect,” is ours. We brought him or her into existence and whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, we’ve assumed a moral obligation to protect them.
Wen asks herself questions that many women ask when they miscarry. The common denominator is, am I somehow responsible? (Too much work resulting in too little sleep? too much stress? she asks.)
But since she has counseled many women who’ve miscarried, Dr. Wen knows “self-blame” and “guilt” are irrational. As she had told these women, “no one knows what caused the miscarriage, and there’s nothing that could have been done differently.”
Our prayers go out to Dr. Wen and her entire family.
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