This week Rolling Stone Magazine ran a piece that promised readers the truth about abortion. It was written by Lauren Rankin and presented as a news story. But Ms. Rankin is not an unbiased reporter. She is a graduate student who serves on the board of the New Jersey Abortion Access Association, which raises money to buy abortions for women who can’t afford them. They hold bowl-a-thons for abortions. You can’t make this stuff up.
The seven “lies” she sets about “debunking” are based on information available at pregnancy resource centers. This nationwide network of centers – some affiliated with organizations like CareNet or Heartbeat International, and some operating independently or as ministry outreaches – exist solely to provide actual choices to women facing unexpected pregnancies. When pro-aborts talk about “a woman’s right to choose” they only mean her right to choose abortion. But a woman who knocks on the door of one of some 3,000 pregnancy centers in the U.S. will often be given a free ultrasound onsite, but that’s just the beginning. If she’s poor or homeless, she will get help finding a place to live and referrals to agencies – government and charitable – that will help her with finances. Her first visit will lead to a continuing relationship with the people at the center, many of whom are volunteers. They will be with her through her pregnancy and often, accompany her in the birthing room. There will be assistance to get back into school or assist with job opportunities and even rides to doctor’s appointments. Will she be encouraged to choose life? Absolutely. Should we apologize for that? Absolutely not.
About a year ago, a college gymnast showed up at Life Choices Resource Center in Metuchen, N.J. I serve on the board there. She knew from the moment 10 pregnancy tests confirmed her suspicions that she would have her baby. She needed help from Life Choices because she knew that everyone else in her life was going to push her toward abortion. There’s a truth about abortion you won’t read about in Rolling Stone: Many women are coerced by parents, boyfriends, husbands, employers, even guidance counselors and coaches, into abortions they would never have chosen on their own. Had this young woman gone to Planned Parenthood, she would be the mother of a dead child now. Instead, she has a three-month-old son with a full head of black hair and an angelic smile. Which choice was better? You decide.
To rebut Ms. Rankin’s biased advertorial in Rolling Stone, I will now debunk the lies that abortion profiteers and their supporters tell about abortion.
1. Lie: Abortion is not linked to breast cancer. Pro-aborts love to cite a 2003 workshop conducted by the National Institute of Health and a 2009 study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to conclude that abortion has no link to breast cancer. That’s a lie. The 2003 workshop would not allow scientists whose research showed an abortion-breast cancer link to present at the conference. Also, many, many studies, performed before and since the 2009 study, show the so-called ABC link is a reality. In China, where abortion is mandatory for millions of women, a new study found that abortion is “significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer,” and that risk increases with each subsequent abortion. In India, another recent study found that multiple abortions were among the factors that caused an increased risk of breast cancer (oral contraceptives also were on the list). A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a significant increase in aggressive breast cancers in young women, starting in 1976. Although the researchers said they couldn’t pinpoint a cause, they theorized that a sedentary lifestyle could be to blame. But the spike in cancer started three years after abortion became legal everywhere in the country and that can’t be a coincidence. To learn about dozens of additional studies that point to an ABC link, go to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute’s fact sheet.
2. Lie: Abortion is not linked to infertility. As compelling evidence that breast cancer and infertility are not even tangentially related, abortion advocate Rankin offers this quote from the Mayo Clinic web site. “Abortion isn’t thought to cause fertility issues or complications in subsequent pregnancies.” Isn’t thought to cause? In case you’re not convinced, she points to research from the Guttmacher Institute (a kissing cousin of Planned Parenthood that is falsely described as “nonpartisan”) that suggests first-trimester abortion is not harming women’s fertility. Not so fast. Another study from China showed a correlation between first-trimester abortion and subsequent miscarriage. And what I know from my work with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is that botched abortions do lead to loss of fertility or cause women to have hysterectomies. Many women who speak of their abortion regret, like Donna, aborted the only child they would ever conceive.
3. Lie: Women don’t regret their abortions. Rachel’s Vineyard is one of the world’s largest post-abortion healing ministries. Since it began in 1993, it has helped 250,000 women and men heal from their abortion experiences. In 2013 alone, more than 1,000 weekend retreats were held, and the Rachel’s Vineyard model has spread to 49 states and over 70 countries. The retreat is currently offered in 22 languages, with other translations in progress. Rachel’s Vineyard wouldn’t continue to grow if women weren’t dealing with feelings of regret after abortion. Women don’t need the endorsement of the American Psychological Association to validate their feelings. What they need is help dealing with those feelings, and they get help at Rachel’s Vineyard.
4. Lie: Women who see an ultrasound image of their baby have the abortion anyway. The Rolling Stone puff piece pointed to a report of a study that looked at 15,000 women who went to Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles for an abortion. Of those who chose to look at the ultrasound image, most had the abortion anyway. But hang on a second. The lead researcher, Dr. Mary Gatter, was on the Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles senior management team in 2012-2013. The rest of the research team has solid pro-abortion bona fides as well. Randi Zung of the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal wouldn’t divulge who funded the study, but it was very likely the same cast of population control characters who ordinarily fund studies that always come out on the side of abortion. So this is the situation: Planned Parenthood and its supporters fund research that is performed by its very own people, and the results favor those who profit from abortion, namely Planned Parenthood. One hand washes the other, and the baby is thrown out with the bath water, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. Something else to consider: A woman who is on the table for an ultrasound at an abortion clinic is probably not getting out of there with her baby alive, even if she decides to choose life. Tales of women being held down and forcibly aborted are common, and even if force isn’t used, women in this vulnerable state are repeatedly assured that once the “contents of the uterus” are gone, everything will be all right. No abortionist wants to lose a sale.
5. Lie: Abortion is not psychologically damaging to women. This is basically the same lie as number three. Rolling Stone relies on a 2008 statement from the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion that said there’s no evidence that a single abortion causes mental health problems. But in that very same paragraph, it says: “The Task Force found some studies that indicate that some women do experience sadness, grief and feelings of loss following an abortion and some experience ‘clinically significant disorders, including depression and anxiety.’ ” So, in other words, mental health problems. Dr. Vincent Rue, a psychotherapist with more than 30 years’ experience working with people suffering trauma and grief after abortion, first used the phrase “post-abortion syndrome” in 1981 to describe what his patients were experiencing. The pro-abortion medical establishment has been trying to discredit the term ever since. But the syndrome doesn’t have to be officially recognized for it to cause suffering. We see it in our work every day.
6. Lie: Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws make abortion unsafe for women. The abortion industry is a master of spin. When Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors” was discovered in Philadelphia in 2011, pro-aborts crafted a tale so ridiculous it was hard to imagine reporters would use it in their stories, and yet they did. They insisted that toughening up oversight of abortion clinics was forcing good clinics to close and leaving the worst of them open to kill children and maim their mothers. Gosnell’s clinic had not been inspected in 17 years, even though its deficiencies were well-known and reported to city and state officials. Can you imagine a nail salon, or a veterinarian office, or a portable toilet for that matter, going so long between inspections? In West Virginia, abortion clinics have never been inspected! Unfettered access to abortion is seen as so important that pro-aborts think nothing of exposing women to the most horrific conditions as they fight every single proposed regulation. Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic was not an anomaly. Here’s a house of horrors in Michigan. In Delaware. In Virginia. In New Jersey. You can find a house of horrors in every state if you’re willing to put in the time to look. This strange situation puts pro-lifers in the position of working to make abortion safer for women. Do we hope that some of these abortion regulations will close clinics? Absolutely. Does the strategy work? It does! A record-setting 87 abortion clinics closed last year alone. The latest weapon in the TRAP war is for states to pass laws, as Texas, Ohio and others have done, that force abortionists to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a reasonable distance. Many abortionists can’t get these privileges because they are quacks. They lose licenses in one state and they set up in another. Or they are circuit- rider abortionists, hopping from state to state on a weekly basis. Third-trimester abortionist LeRoy Carhart wasn’t even in Maryland anymore when Jennifer Morbelli died after an abortion at 33 weeks. That’s the state of safe, legal, rare abortion in our country (i.e. not safe, not rare).
7. Lie: Abortion does not endanger women’s health and lives. This week, GM recalled 1.37 million cars because a faulty ignition had led to 13 deaths. Although we know that many women are killed by abortion and the cause is covered up on their death certificates, the Centers for Disease Control concedes that eight women died after a legal abortion in 2009 in the U.S. But isn’t that eight too many? Aren’t the lives of these women, these pregnant women – these mothers – as valuable as the drivers whose faulty ignitions killed them? We know that by September 2011, 14 women had died from RU-486 abortions, and yet instead of being recalled, the drugs are still considered the next best thing in abortion. Post-abortion depression is also killing women, and you don’t have to reach back very far to find examples. The Australian actress Charlotte Dawson committed suicide this week. In a television interview that was later reported in the Daily Mail, the actress discussed her marriage to Olympic-hopeful Scott Miller and the abortion she had to keep him from being distracted from his swimming career. That abortion triggered a depression from which she never recovered. Also this week, LifeNews reported on the tragic suicide of a young woman in England that also was linked to her abortion.
Abortion is the real war on women, and it’s killing us.
My colleagues Georgette Forney, who co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign with me, and Bryan Kemper, Priests for Life’s Youth Outreach director, also were outraged at the Rolling Stone piece. Read what they had to say here and here.