How ironic. That’s what I thought as I watched the coverage of the U.S Supreme Court decision regarding Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. How ironic, sad and maddening that hundreds of pro-abortion activists, mainly women, who gathered at the steps of the high court on June 27, were celebrating the news and using a particular song to express their utter glee; a song that claims women can’t be “owned” or treated like a toy or an object, when in reality, that’s exactly what the Supreme Court’s ruling cemented.
The song used to capture the moment was “You Don’t Own Me,” by Lesley Gore.
“You don’t own me. I’m not just one of your many toys …”
The song, when it was released, was promoting women’s independence and liberation. But abortion has just the opposite effect. Abortion tells women they don’t deserve more than the legal ability to take the life of their own children. It makes it much easier for a man to treat women as a play thing or the object of sexual gratification, because abortion is so readily available thanks to another infamous Supreme Court decision: Roe v. Wade.
Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, abortion clinics have hardly been a bright beacon when it comes health and safety regulations. As Priests for Life national director Father Frank Pavone reminds us, Roe v. Wade basically took back-alley abortions to main street overnight. Cases of women being subjected to dangerous conditions happen all too frequently. And now, thanks to the June 27 ruling, it will only get worse.
At issue in the Texas case were two provisions of state law. One required abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and the other required abortion clinics to be regulated as ambulatory surgical centers. Why these measures are such a “burden” — as the plaintiffs argued — defies logic. And why would abortion providers who claim to care so much about women’s health be so adamantly opposed to such regulations? The regulations meant hallways had to be wide enough for gurneys to get through in case of an emergency and that abortionists would be able to provide continuum care for their patients during a botched abortion.
Here is another irony: When comedienne Joan Rivers died two years ago from complications following what was considered a routine throat procedure at an outpatient clinic, there was a public outcry demanding better conditions at outpatient facilities. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman said in an 2014 interview on “Today” that a doctor having admitting privileges could mean the difference between life and death.
“The really important thing here is that every time you think you’re going to have a procedure, no matter how minor, you have to constantly remind yourself that although these things are rare, they can happen,” she said. “And one more thing I should say, make sure your doctor has admitting privileges to the local hospital, because in this case it may well have saved Joan Rivers’ life.”
But when it comes to abortion, all bets are off. The abortion industry is a big business that rakes in more than a billion dollars a year in the United States. It’s an industry that wants to be able to perform as many abortions as possible but with as little investment as possible. This means that unlike the popular Lesley Gore tune, the lives of women in this country are in many ways “owned” by an industry that could care less about their safety. And now abortionists have been given cart blanche to harm women even further with the blessing of the highest court in the land.
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Channel 130.