“A one-hour Fox News Reporting special, Planned Parenthood: Hidden Harvest, digs deep into the ghoulish but profitable practice of dissecting aborted babies and selling their hearts, brains, lungs, eyes, arms, legs and livers to the highest bidder.
Our friends at the Center for Medical Progress conducted a 30-month sting to get top officials from Planned Parenthood and the “procurement” companies they partner with to talk about this unfathomable practice while being covertly filmed.
With Hidden Harvest, anchored by veteran TV journalist Shannon Bream, Fox News will reveal to a national audience the way abortionists alter the way they extract these innocent victims from their mother’s womb to ensure intact organs and the callousness they demonstrate toward these babies. These are not clumps of cells being aborted; they are tiny humans whose hearts are more valuable to Planned Parenthood than their souls.
Does that sound like health care to you?
It’s not health care, and it’s not legal.
Hidden Harvest will premiere at 10 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 4, on Fox News Channel and will be rebroadcast at 1 a.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 5.”
Fr Frank Pavone
“Who do you say I am?”
Who do you say I am?
The jars lined the walls.
Each one marked:
A weight and words,
“Products of conception.”
Parts, just parts!
Parts, just parts?
Who do you say I am?
©2012 Joann Nelander
by Gabrielle Timm
A few weeks ago, I read an opinion piece in The Hustler titled “The hypocrisy of anti-abortion extremists” by Molly Corn. The entire piece was written from a pro-choice perspective, and while I am pro-life, my response is prompted by the author’s direct and indirect comments about adoption.
Corn states that she believes “it (abortion) is right because every child deserves to be a gift, not an accident.” While the debate about when life begins will go on, a statement implying that because a child results from an unwanted pregnancy, he or she is not a gift is absurd.
I am adopted. To be more specific, I am the unplanned result of a one-night stand that likely involved alcohol. After my birth mother became aware of her pregnancy, my birth father wanted an abortion and she seriously considered that option for a while.
While I am an “accident,” I think it is possible to be both an accident and a gift. To my parents, who weren’t able to have biological children, I am a gift. To imply otherwise is insensitive and offensive to me, to my parents and to many adopted children and their parents, as well as to the courageous people who chose adoption over abortion.
The piece wasn’t directly about adoption, but Corn links to a column that disparages adoption as a genuine alternative for those with an unwanted pregnancy and includes several misrepresentations about adoption and the pro-life movement. The message seems clear: Life is only a gift if it is planned and/or wanted by its biological parents.
The column states that the pro-life movement often makes adoption out to be “the easy choice.” My birth mother, and others like her, did not make an easy choice. But, to many people, adoption is the only moral solution to an incredibly difficult situation when a birth parent does not want to raise the child or is unable to do so. To interpret the pro-life position so superficially, or to state it as a fact, is a gross misrepresentation of the pro-life movement’s stance as a whole regarding adoption.
The article also cites that the number of adoptions that occur annually is stagnant. Combined with the discussion about the danger of babies ending up in foster care should abortion cease to be legal, this article seems to imply that there is not a very large demand for domestic infant adoption. However, in recent years, the rate of babies being placed for adoption has dropped for a variety of reasons, including the widespread and common acceptance of abortion services and changing attitudes toward single parenting. While there are no readily available national statistics that track the number of couples looking to adopt, Richard Pearlman (executive director of the Adoption Center of Illinois, who has worked in the field for more than 26 years) notes that there is still a strong demand to adopt infants, evidenced by waiting lists which average six to 12-month waits.
A large part of the linked column discusses emotional negatives surrounding adoption, failing to fully address the serious problems abortion causes. Dr. David Ferguson, a pro-choice researcher, conducted a study that found women who had abortions were significantly more likely to experience mental health illnesses such as depression. Ferguson continues to be pro-choice, but noted in an interview that it would be foolish to not take the risks and benefits into account when considering abortion.
Adoption is a challenging and courageous choice. The adoption agency I was adopted through (Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center) even has links on its blog discussing the emotional difficulties birth mothers face. Judging the adoption alternative requires thoughtful consideration of the real issues associated with both adoption and abortion.
Finally, fewer than 140,000 total adoptions occur annually in the United States, which include international adoptions, adoptions from foster care, adoptions by step-parents, etc. Fewer than 20,000 of those are domestic infant adoptions. I would be very skeptical when reading statistics or articles arguing that many adopted children suffer from emotional problems due to separation from their biological mother, since the studies include all ages of adopted children and do not account for early experiences in foster care, orphanages, etc. A child’s emotional health, whether they are adopted or not, recognizes the important truth that families are bound not solely through biological ties, but through unconditional love.
I do not feel abandoned by my birth mother, who at the time of my birth had recently graduated from college. If I ever meet her, my first words would be to tell her how grateful I am that she decided to place me for adoption and how I think she is incredibly brave for giving me the gift of life and the gift of a child to my parents.
My life is a gift, even if it was an accident.
This is the text of a speech that was due to be given at Christ Church college yesterday. The speech was not delivered following protests by the Oxford University Student Union Women’s Campaign.
I’m not here tonight to debate whether or not abortion should be legal – so if anyone wants to ask what should be done about abortion in cases of incest or rape please don’t waste your time. Most people accept that abortion is in certain circumstances a tragic necessity and is here to stay. No, I’m here to debate this specific motion – whether or not the abortion culture harms Britain.
I define the abortion culture as a culture in which abortion is used so often that it begins to look like it’s being treated as a regular form of contraception (which the numbers suggest) and in which there is a widespread view that it is a right, carries no risks and in fact represents some kind of liberation for the women for whom it is available. In an abortion culture, it would be controversial to near-impossible to debate the this of terminating a pregnancy – and the attempts to close down this reasonable discussion suggestions that such a culture exists.
But I think that the abortion culture actually makes certain injustices in our society worse. And anyone who truly cares about the freedom and rights of women – and that is all of us – has to be prepared to look again at the evidence of what abortion on demand does to us. And how silence on its effects harms certain minority groups.
First, the numbers. The abortion statistics for 2013 tell a grim story. There were 185,331 in that year. Of which, only 1 per cent were due to a risk of the child being born handicapped. 99.84 per cent of those carried out under Ground C of the Abortion Act 1967 were due to the “the risk to mental health of the woman” – a provision that is notoriously easy to get around. Vincent Argent, the former medical director of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, admitted on record earlier this year that doctors routinely pre-sign abortion forms without meeting the woman. It’s worth noting, by the way, that 64 per cent of abortions take place in the private sector financed by the NHS. There is money to be made in this.
Now if you dig down deeper into those numbers you find some interesting things about class and race, which suggest that abortion is something that is found in particular concentration among particular groups. We know a lot about this in American society: the first legalised abortion clinics were heavily located in black-dominated areas and in 2012 data showed that in New York City more black women had abortions than actually gave birth. In Mississippi, African-Americans represent around 37 per cent of the population but 75 per cent of abortions. Those figures are not so dramatic in the UK because our population is more demographically homogenous. But consider this: “Black or black British” people only make up 3.3 per cent of the population but account for 9 per cent of abortions.
Some 37 per cent of all women having abortions in 2013 had had one or more before (up from 32 per cent in 2003) and around one in seven women who had abortions were actually in a relationship. This data suggests that abortion might be being used by some people as a form of contraception. This is extraordinary given that our society is saturated with messages about safe sex and given that abortion industry advocates insist that the procedure is safe, legal and rare.
So why is abortion being used in this way? One explanation might lie in a Joseph Rowntree Study from 2004 that found that girls with few educational prospects choose to keep their babies while those who planned to go to college and find work were more likely to have an abortion. In other words, certain groups of people are still having regular, unprotected sex and still getting pregnant (despite decades of education) – and what they do next is a choice framed not necessarily by personal will but by economics.
Now you might say “that’s good because it means that women exerting control over their bodies are also in control of their economic future”. But turn it on its head. What it also means is that a) certain groups are ignoring all the information about contraception and relationship advice, getting pregnant and then returning to the clinic again and again as thought it was no different to the pill. And b) it means that decisions about child rearing are determined less by genuine personal choice and more by cultural pressure. It suggests that women aren’t given serious alternatives to abortion – they’re not getting support from families or their government, but they are receiving cultural messages about the terrors and pressures of child rearing. You might take some of that message from Tory policy on withdrawing child benefit, which I would argue runs counter to their family friendly image.
While we’re talking about cultural pressure, let’s talk about the issue of disposability. Abortion on demand feeds the idea that we all deserve full autonomy and liberation from responsibility for others. That’s great for the strong; bad for the vulnerable.
Consider this strange hypocrisy. We live in a society where we care very deeply about the rights of disabled people – the backlash against the government’s welfare reforms showed that – and we’re always telling ourselves that they have a right to full citizenship. Yet we also tell pregnant women that if the child is disabled then they have a total right to abort it. The results are pretty troubling. Nine out of 10 unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida are aborted. The proportion is about the same for kids with Down’s Syndrome. In fact, a 2009 study found that three babies were aborted every day due to Down’s.
Now, again, I’m not saying that women shouldn’t necessarily be free to make that decision. All I’m saying is that in an abortion culture, there is a bias towards choosing abortion as a mythically easy option. Peter Elliott, Chairman of The Down Syndrome Research Foundation, who has a 24-year-old son David with Down’s Syndrome, said of that 2009 study: “Why are the abortions at such a high rate unless they have been given the impression the situation was terrible and it warranted an abortion? I don’t think the choice is presented to the parents in the light of the true situation where the children have a good life and are in fact viewed as a blessing to the parents, not a curse, and I don’t think these parents getting the abortions know much about Downs syndrome at all.”
Moreover, it makes perfect sense that a culture that regards human life as disposable at one end of the lifecycle should regard it as equally disposable at other points during its cycle. That point of view was eloquently expressed in an article in The Journal of Medical Ethics by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, who argued that newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life” – after all they are not, like that embryo in the womb, entirely autonomous of their parents. They said that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.
It’s perfectly natural to extend this logic to euthanasia – which has been legalised in the Benelux countries and is now being discussed seriously in Britain. Dr Joseph Fletcher, one of the godfathers of modern bio-ethics and a celebrated proponent of both abortion and euthanasia rights once reminisced fondly about about the days when he and the family planning advocate Margaret Sanger joined the Euthanasia Society of America, in order to “link the two [abortion and euthanasia] causes so to speak the right to be selective about parenthood and the right to be selective about living”. Fletcher explained, “We’ve added death control to birth control as a part of the ethos of life style in our society.” His argument was that life really has no value unless it is of a certain quality – a point reinforced by Richard Dawkins when he advised of a child with Down’s, “Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world”.
By the way, Dr Fletcher would have agreed. He once said that there was “no reason to feel guilty about putting a Down’s syndrome baby away, whether it’s ‘put away’ in the sense of hidden in a sanitarium or in a more responsible lethal sense. It is sad; yes. Dreadful. But it carries no guilt. True guilt arises only from an offense against a person, and a Down’s is not a person.” A horrific attitude, you might think, but not so strange really when you consider the great violence that abortion does to our very concept of personhood.
Perhaps the greatest irony of this whole phenomenon is that while abortion was supposed to give women greater autonomy, we have evidence that it was being used in England by some families to terminate pregnancies entirely because the fetus was female. In other words, abortion was being used in such a way as to validate the medieval idea that girls are worth less than boys. Happily, this abuse looks set to be officially and explicitly outlawed for the first time.
All these problems are all the more troubling for the fact that we don’t discuss them. This reflects how modern capitalist societies deal with issues surrounding poverty, suffering, abuse etc – it pushes them out of view, using medical jargon or political phraseology to cover up for a variety of problems that need to be discussed in far blunter terms.
I was not always pro-life. I became so when my historical research into the American conservative movement compelled me, reluctantly, to read pro-life literature.
I was shocked to discover how messy abortion is. How painful it can be. How there is evidence to show it having long-term psychological effects. For instance, research by Professor Priscilla Coleman published in the British journal of psychiatry argues that, “abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure. Women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.”
Why did I not know this? Because while abortion deals trauma to our society, we deal with it by ignoring it. It’s no different to the fact that we ignore shockingly high rates of suicide in prison. Appalling standards of care in elderly homes. The abuse and rape of children in children’s services. And this is what is so doubly perverse about the abortion culture: we effectively open the floodgates on something – and then refuse to talk about its reality. Abortion is at the very centre of the therapeutic state: the state that dulls pain with simplistic solutions rather than addresses their complex causes.
And all I’m asking for here today is that we have a serious conversation about it. Thank you for listening.”
When I worked NICU, I cared for a preemie that fit in my hand just like this. Though it was tiny, and it’s skin so thin I could see the veins that circulated its blood, there was no doubt that this was a human being, young, out of the womb or in the womb, fully human,fully alive!
Anyone think its not a person?
Prayer for anyone considering abortion, or troubled by their pregnancy:
Lord of Life and Love
O Lord of Love and Life,
Bless me and Your child entrusted to my care and keeping.
Though the forces of Hell conspire against me,
You, O God, are for me,
And for my little one growing beneath my heart.
May the beating of our hearts proclaim You Holy,
And this life sacred to Your glory.
God is for us!
May no power on earth,
No friend, no relative, no worldly voice,
Or power from the Pit,
Persuade me otherwise.
O Lord of Love and Life
When we step on an ant,
An ant smaller than a fetus,
We acknowledge killing an ant.
We may not fret,
After-all, it’s an ant!
Haven’t we the right to kill an ant?
We do confess, we killed an ant,
Though it be smaller than a fetus.
When a mother, a nurse,
A doctor, a bio-scientist,
Or technician trained in the art,
When “we the people, a nation,
Cut short the life of a fetus,
All deny the killing.
"It’s too small to matter."
Do we really believe,
We are doing good?
Have we a care beyond convenience and profit?
Do we have the right?
Are we in the right?
How big does Truth have to be?