Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Abortion hurts women

One GW Catholic started an online discussion about how to talk to Planned Parenthood supporters who have popped up consistently on or around campus trying to get support from passer-bys. Here’s what she wrote, “so I'm walking to class today and the Planned Parenthood people were out canvassing, one goes ‘Hi do you have a moment and want to help save Planned Parenthood?" I said "Sorry I'm late to class and I'm prolife".

In the discussion, she asked other pro-lifers for good, quick replies as they passed by. One of our classiest (she was called this by the others) students said that she always tells them that she will pray for them. That’s amazing, but I’m not sure that always goes over real well with them!

Another GW Catholic posted the following article which gives three simple points to make to Planned Parenthood advocates. It comes from and is pretty good. It helps make the point that I would make to them: abortion hurts women. While it’s a tragic reality, it’s probably the best argument currently in the debate. The article below touches on the physical and emotional harm abortion does to women. The link it offers for the abortion/breast cancer connection is very technical and scientific. Please click on today’s title for a more general site about how abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.

The article below suggests that money is the driving force behind the pro-abortion movement. It’s a big force, no doubt. But, the fact that 95% of all abortions are chosen as a means of birth control present other major factors that might be just as potent or even more so: lifestyle, freedom (or more accurately, license), and power. I might flush these out a bit more in a future post.

Here then, are three arguments to make in defense of women, and thus against abortion.

1. Abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. This truth, evidenced in prestigious, peer-reviewed cancer-research journals is a very important truth to disseminate. Why? Because the anti-breast-cancer movement – in its walks, marches, fun-runs, pink ribbons, shirts – is one of the most pro-woman movements in existence. Breast cancer is a modern plague on the women of our society, and abortion is augmenting its power. To support women – one assumes – is to be against that one disease that so effects women, to stand strongly against the cancer that has caused such tragedy in the lives of our sisters. To be pro-abortion and simultaneously set against breast cancer is to say that the lack of a child is worth the risk of terminal illness. I don’t claim that this position cannot be maintained – perhaps one could weigh the various costs of feeding a baby versus having chemotherapy treatment. No, I simply claim that this position chips away at the pro-choice foundation, that their’s is a movement in defense of the woman.

2. Abortion makes women sad. I do not mean that in some vague way. A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, synthesizing data from 1995 to 2009, shows that “women who had undergone an abortion had an 81% increased risk of mental health problems.”

From the European Journal of Public Health 2005: Researchers examining deaths among the entire population of women in Finland found that those who had abortions had a 3.5 times higher death rate from suicide, accidents, or homicides in the following year. Suicide rates among aborting women were six times higher compared to women who gave birth and two times higher compared to women who miscarried.

Have you ever brought up the issue of abortion, not knowing some one has experienced it? Now there’s a heartbreaking situation, akin to speaking flippantly about the death of a family member to someone who has experienced such a loss. I can only speak from experience: Away flies the tolerant “we all have our beliefs, you your own, and me mine” position. Instead, post-abortion women react violently, shakily, and tearfully, full of anger, or guilt, or both. If abortion makes women sad, which seems to be readily apparent, then once again, the pro-choice movement is placed in the awkward position of claiming to have the health of women as their highest priority, while attempting to increase the availability of that-which-makes-women-sad.

A study that has never been carried out: Suicide rates in mothers who were strongly considering abortion, but chose life. Why not? Probably because it would be a very boring study, with lots of not-depressed mothers being not-depressed.

3. There are other women in existence! And no, I’m not talking about the fact that most children aborted are girls, though it is an interesting question to ask: When, exactly, do women’s rights begin? I’m talking about mothers who want to adopt! A 2008 study by National Center for Health Statistics found that 33.1% of women have at some point considered adoption. Of that number 4.9% were currently seeking adoptions. That’s 901,000 women looking for babies. By most recent statistics, there are approximately 129,000 children seeking adoption. Now I’m no mathematician, but that’s 772,000 women who want to adopt a child, but will not. It seems that if we killed less of our children, this would not be a problem. Shoot, even if we take the women who were currently seeking adoptions AND had already begun taking steps – 560,000 – there aren’t enough children to go around.

Why, oh why, do we put women at risk of cancer, depression, and in the terrifying position of violence against their own children, when there are so many women looking for children to adopt? It seems obvious that between hurting one woman and helping two, the most pro-woman action one could take would be to counsel a woman to consider adoption. The most pro-woman action one might take would be to rapidly reduce abortions in America, and thereby increase adoptions.

Though I understand why there exists the rather insane idea that the better choice for all women would be an abortion: Abortion brings in cash. Who is going to pay for all those Planned Parenthood ‘don’t-defund-us’ campaigns if everyone’s putting their children up for adoption?...


Anonymous said...

Kudos to GW students and graduates who stand up for life via their blogs.

Being a counsellor at a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, I can empathize with those who want to say something effective, something thought provoking to those on the other side of the abortion issue. It can be a challenge.

Maybe you have heard of a book titled unPlanned, by Abby Johnson. She was approached by a PP supporter on her college campus, began volunteering at PP as a college student, and eventually worked her way up to become a PP clinic director. Her story of conversion is a must read, in my opinion, offering perspective from both sides.

I am also wondering how many are aware of the Susan G. Komen, Planned Parenthood link. Having reserached the abortion/breast cancer link myself, there are also medical studies which have come out which do not support such a link. For additional info., go to the Susan G. Komen site and search Planned Parenthood for their response, as well as these articles:
Planned Parenthood Statement, June 2011
Abortion and Breast Cancer, October 2011
Cooperating with Philanthropic Organizations, March 2008
Norman Roberts: A pro-life Catholic supports Komen, May 2009

The greater our knowledge, the better prepared we can be to prepare effective responses.

Anonymous said...

The English Department would like to point out that the plural of "passer-by" is "passers-by."

Anonymous said...

What's with this GW dude hating on CUA?

Anonymous said...

Here are a few thoughts on this blog post:

- Only 3% of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services ( PP supporters, trying to rally support for their "don't-defund-us campaign" (as you put it), are not trying to encourage abortion. They are advocating for funding for comprehensive women's (and men's!) health services. While there is a genuine argument for the morality of preventative services, the religious argument loses grounds when they incorrectly re-frame the political issue.

- Also, I'd like to address this "classy" student: telling a PP supporter that you'll "pray for them" in passing is just rude. You may think it's funny. You may not. You may believe in the power of prayer wholeheartedly; however, it sounds like you're using your religious convictions to take a cheap shot. This is a shame; it is phrases like these which give the pro-life movement a bad public campaign.

- Finally, I'd like to say that not many people are pro-abortion. Being pro-choice and being pro-abortion are NOT the same things. The pro-life movement needs to realize that if they focused on the realities and stopped trying to make grandiose claims regarding pro-choice individuals, their argument would become much more moderate... thus, much more effective.

Anyways, that's my food for thought. Thanks for the post and encouraging discussion on these issues!

Anonymous said...

Planned Parenthood's website states that 332,278 abortions were performed in 2009. ( an increase from previous years ) Perhaps abortion only accounts for 3% of services provided, but as former director Abby Johnson has testified, abortion services bring in more revenue than non-abortion services that PP provides.

Also, PP's annual report shows that revenue for that same year was 1.1 B, 363 million coming from federal, state and local taxes. 404million was documented under Health Care Income.

More fruitful discussion...
It would indeed be sad and a shame, if the words " I will pray for you," were meant as a cheap shot, or funny. I do believe that the majority of those using such a phrase are saying it from the heart, that they care about the person.

I truly don't understand...
If a person is pro-choice doesn't that mean that they support a woman's right to choose life or not for their unborn child? And if you support her right to abort, then doesn't that in some way also mean you support abortion?

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck on the point that someone thinks "I'll pray for you", is a rude remark. That really saddens me. I'd relish prayers. Hope you would too.