Today’s front page LA Times article on abortion offers a clear picture of the attitude and philosophy behind this insidious practice. Between the sheer emotional callousness of the doctor (and many of the patients) to the outright idiocy of the “reasons” they present to support their actions, it is a wonder anyone can take this movement seriously at all.
A few examples, first of the callousness:
[Dr.] Harrison opened an obstetrics and gynecology practice, but after the Supreme Court established abortion as a constitutional right in 1973, he decided to take on an additional specialty. Now 70, Harrison estimates he’s terminated at least 20,000 pregnancies….
He calls himself an “abortionist” and says, “I am destroying life.”…
An 18-year-old with braces on her teeth is on the operating table, her head on a plaid pillow, her feet up in stirrups, her arms strapped down at her sides. A pink blanket is draped over her stomach. She’s 13 weeks pregnant, at the very end of the first trimester. She hasn’t told her parents.
A nurse has already given her a local anesthetic, Valium and a
drug to dilate her cervix; Harrison prepares to inject Versed, a
sedative, in her intravenous line. The drug will wipe out her memory of everything that happens during the 20 minutes she’s in the operating room. It’s so effective that patients who return for a follow-up exam often don’t recognize Harrison.
The doctor is wearing a black turtleneck, brown slacks and tennis shoes. He snaps his gum as he checks the monitors displaying the patient’s pulse rate and oxygen count.
“This is not going to be nearly as hard as you anticipate,” he tells her.
She smiles wanly. Keeping up a constant patter — he asks about her brothers, her future birth control plans, whether she’s good at tongue twisters — Harrison pulls on sterile gloves.
“How’re you doing up there?” he asks.
Harrison glances at an ultrasound screen frozen with an image of the fetus taken moments before. Against the fuzzy black-and-white screen, he sees the curve of a head, the bend of an elbow, the ball of a fist.
“You may feel some cramping while we suction everything out,” Harrison tells the patient.
A moment later, he says: “You’re going to hear a sucking sound.”
The abortion takes two minutes. The patient lies still and quiet,
her eyes closed, a few tears rolling down her cheeks. The friend who has accompanied her stands at her side, mutely stroking her arm.
When he’s done, Harrison performs another ultrasound. The screen this time is blank but for the contours of the uterus. “We’ve gotten everything out of there,” he says.
Just in case it isn’t clear, let’s emphasize that the “everything” means not just the hands, head and elbows that were mentioned in the story, but legs, feet, heart, lungs and every other piece of human anatomy that you and I have and “gotten it out of there” means “I’ve ripped your baby apart with forceps and sucked out the pieces of his body with a vacuum cleaner.”
As for the ridiculous arguments offered up in support of this barbarism, they include such classics as the “I don’t want to get fat” defense:
a) “A high school volleyball player says she doesn’t want to give up her body for nine months. “I realize just from the first three months how it changes everything,” she says.”
b) “His first patient of the day, Sarah, 23, says it never occurred to her to use birth control, though she has been sexually active for six years. When she became pregnant this fall, Sarah, who works in real estate, was in the midst of planning her wedding. “I don’t think my dress would have fit with a baby in there,” she says”
And the ever popular “everyone does it”:
Amanda, a 20-year-old administrative assistant, says it’s not the obstacles that surprise her — it’s how normal and unashamed she feels as she prepares to end her first pregnancy.
“It’s an everyday occurrence,” she says as she waits for her 2:30 p.m. abortion. “It’s not like this is a rare thing.”…
She regrets having to pay $750 for the abortion, but Amanda says she does not doubt her decision. “It’s not like it’s illegal. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong,” she says.
In a similar vein, the abortionist’s helper has given that argument a creative theological twist:
For the few women who arrive ambivalent or beset by guilt, Harrison’s nurse has posted statistics on the exam-room mirror: One out of every four pregnant women in the U.S. chooses abortion. A third of all women in this country will have at least one abortion by the time they’re 45.
“You think there’s room in hell for all those women?” the nurse will ask.
Let’s not forget the standard argument against adoption, that it is better for your child to be dead than for you to have to wonder how they are doing:
Kim, a single mother of three, says she couldn’t bear to give away a child and have to wonder every day if he were loved. Ending the pregnancy seemed easier, she says — as long as she doesn’t let herself think about “what could have been.”
And last, but certainly not least, we can rest easy knowing that, although abortion is a bit of a “bummer”, it’s a lot better than the alternatives, like having to remember to take birth control pills:
The last patient of the day, a 32-year-old college student named
Stephanie, has had four abortions in the last 12 years. She keeps
forgetting to take her birth control pills. Abortion “is a bummer,” she says, “but no big stress.”