A multimillion-dollar industry directly linked to countless deaths every year suffered a powerful blow recently. “Today, the FDA took a crucial step toward reducing the tremendous toll of suffering and death caused by abortion by proposing to dramatically change how doctor’s visits are conducted in this country,” a spokesman said. “The health consequences of abortion will be obvious every time a woman sees her unborn child.”
Oh, wait, that never happened.
The above is similar to a quote by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who wasn’t talking about abortions at all. She was talking about a new law that will require tobacco companies to cover their cigarette packages with graphic photos of rotten teeth and black lungs. Here’s how the actual quote went: “Today, FDA takes a crucial step toward reducing the tremendous toll of illness and death caused by tobacco use by proposing to dramatically change how cigarette packages and advertising look in this country. The health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes.”
Well, nobody wants to be addicted to cigarettes, right? The American consumer should be protected, and the best tool we have to defend the consumer is education. We won’t make tobacco illegal; but we’ll make sure the consumer knows what he’s getting into. The more information, the better.
Who could argue with that?
Maybe this website, which argues, “Graphic photos of diseased lungs are particularly demeaning to tobacco consumers, implying both that they do not understand their choices and that they cannot make reasoned decisions without receiving information the state deems important.”
Oh, wait, that never happened, either.
That “quote” was from the website of The Center for Reproductive Rights, protesting a law that would require abortion providers to show an ultrasound to women before an abortion.
Here’s the actual quote: “Ultrasound requirements are particularly demeaning to women, implying both that they do not understand their pregnancies and that they cannot make reasoned decisions without receiving information the state deems important.”
So: When the government requires private companies to plaster their product with explicit images of what might happen to your body if you smoke, then that is a huge stride forward for the public good.
But if the government requires doctors to show patients images of their own bodies before an elective medical procedure — not gruesome images, just a simple ultrasound — that is exploitative, demeaning, intrusive, misleading and cruel.
According to Vicki A. Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, ultrasounds “inappropriately interfere with the patient-doctor relationship, and they don’t respect women’s ability to make informed choices.”
We hear that the abortion industry is all about information, all about informed consent. That’s why we never hear stories like this one from a young woman in an abortion clinic:
“When it was my turn to talk to someone I had two questions to ask, ‘Is this going to hurt?’ and ‘What does it look like?’ I was quickly told, ‘No, it does not hurt,’ and ‘What youve [sic] got going on inside you is just a clump of cells.’ I was 12, almost 13 weeks pregnant.
“I wish I knew then what I do know now! That at 12-13 weeks my baby had a heartbeat, could feel pain, had fingers and toes, had brainwaves, and all its organs.
“When it was my turn to have the abortion done, I do remember how very painful it was. I was told to ‘push, push hard.’ I said, ‘What am I pushing, its [sic] just some cells.’ I started crying and screaming, ‘Stop it, this is too painful.’ The abortionist stood up and began yelling at me, ‘Shut up and just push!’ Afterwards, my baby was wrapped in plastic and thrown into a garbage can right in front of me.”
Oh, wait. That did happen. It happens every day.
Keeping women in dark
The abortion industry weeps crocodile tears for the dignity of its clients, but let’s be clear: Information and informed consent are the sworn enemies of an industry that pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars every year by spilling the blood of innocents, and denying that its post-abortive clients suffer — and the U.S. legal system is in collusion to keep women in the dark.
A 1998 settlement forced the tobacco industry to give $206 billion to states for, among other things, smoking cessation and public education programs.
Can you imagine Planned Parenthood giving a cent to adoption agencies or post-abortion counseling services? They perform 62 abortions for each adoption referral, because that’s where the money is.
Tobacco companies will be required to cover the top 20 percent of their ads with graphic images of what happens inside the bodies of its consumer. And Planned Parenthood? Will the top 20 percent of its billboards show what a “clump of cells” or a “blob of tissue” really looks like?
Of course not. The American legislative system is abusively inconsistent when it comes to protecting the consumer. It’s not about health; it’s not about choice. Just like big tobacco, big abortion depends on silence, lies and exploitation. And just like the tobacco industry it’s all about the money.
Simcha Fisher writes from New Hampshire and blogs at I Have to Sit Down (simchafisher.wordpress.com/).