Sometimes those of us who are committed to the pro-life movement can be under the assumption that those who share the same beliefs also have at least a similar level of awareness when it comes to the horrific fallout from legalized abortion. However, that’s not necessarily the case.
This was made abundantly clear to both me and my husband a few months ago, as he was involved in a prayer vigil taking place outside of the abortion clinics in Detroit. After the prayer vigil concluded, the group went to a local parish for fellowship and refreshments. My husband struck up a conversation with a woman he had seen praying many times outside the same facility. They were discussing the then-upcoming presidential election and the impact the results could have on pro-life efforts, especially regarding Supreme Court justices. When my husband referenced the fact that the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions gave us legalized abortion through nine months, the woman practically gasped and then stood there stunned. She told my husband she had no idea and up until their brief exchange had always believed abortion was only legal in the first trimester of pregnancy. Now, mind you, this was someone obviously committed to the pro-life cause. There was a similar shocked reaction by many following the final presidential debate where the candidates were questioned and had to either defend or denounce late-term abortions. It was an “aha moment” for many, and some polls showed the debate discussion had an impact on their final decision as a voter.
These examples can serve as stark reminders. Even though we may be in the same choir, the choir still needs a lot of fine tuning. That fine tuning should involve updated and solid information on the most important civil rights issue of our time: the protection of the most vulnerable among us. This month, as we move closer to the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court abortion decision, we should be increasing those awareness efforts. There are so many myths and so much pro-abortion propaganda that have been accepted as fact. A new report released right before Christmas from Americans United for Life is a great tool to help others realize the truth about abortion.
How many times have we heard about abortion being part of so-called “reproductive health care”? Little do many Americans know what goes on behind the closed doors of many of the country’s abortion facilities. “Unsafe: How the Public Health Crisis in America’s Abortion Clinics Endangers Women” (unsafereport.org) is a comprehensive analysis detailing “horrific abortion clinic conditions.” It documents that 227 abortion providers in 32 states were cited for more than 1,400 health and safety deficiencies between 2008 and 2016. It reveals hundreds of significant violations of state laws regulating abortions. If this type of information regarding health violations was happening at any other type of medical clinic other than abortion centers, it would be front-page news. But because it’s centered on the sacred cow and political hot-button issue of abortion, it’s ignored, denounced or buried.
If the fact that abortions are legal through nine months of pregnancy in the United States is shocking news to a good portion of the American public and even some who are pro-life, imagine the impact this information compiled from the reports of health inspectors could have. Whether it’s the so-called “choir” or those hardly in the same pew, knowledge is power that can be used to motivate us and make a difference, and what we know or don’t know can make a big difference.
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and SiriusXM 130.