Here’s one of those ever-so-rare topics that I view as “off-limits,” even for our show (a radio show, I remind you, that talks about seemingly everything ranging from anal sex to artificial grape flavoring to the Iran Nuclear deal).
But when it comes to abortion, there’s not much left to be said in a reasoned, constructive way. And, based on the events of this past week, that trend will continue, despite plenty of reasons that we should be talking openly and honestly about the subject. Chalk up another win for freedom of expression.
To be blunt and clear I am neither Pro-Choice nor Pro-life, I am a realist. Abortion, to me, is one of those things in America that has been settled law the entire time I have been alive and it’s similar to Alcohol consumption in this nation; you can outlaw it (again) if that makes you feel better, but that will just lead people to do it at least as often and in much more harmful ways to all involved, just as they did during prohibition. If you outlawed abortion tomorrow in America, more women would die trying to abort their babies than babies who would be saved. That is reality, and in no way is an endorsement for the Pro-Choice point-of-view.
I have said many times, in an effort to display the weakness of compromise, to please show me the compromise on abortion. Where’s the middle ground? Do we only abort half of the fetus? Do we only allow half a million abortions every year (as opposed to the average of 1 million we have right now)? Do we allow every woman the ability to have one abortion only her lifetime? Where’s the compromise? Pro Life Supporters would accept none of those as a final compromise (and rightfully so given their viewpoint) because we are still killing babies in their eyes. Pro choicers fall into two camps; they either want unfettered abortions for all, or they’ll allow some restrictions, but they would clearly never accept the compromises I’ve suggested above for this isn’t one. We either have abortion (which we do and will for the foreseeable future) or we don’t.
I respect with great passion those who are Pro-Life and defend your right to speak and act, especially when the goals mirror those of perhaps the greatest public statement ever made on the subject. Whether he meant it or not, Former President Bill Clinton famously said he believed that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare.” In a nation that allows abortions, if enacted as public policy, that would be as close as we’d ever get to a reasonable compromise.
The general public still supports abortions, but not like it used to. Overwhelmingly, Americans are against using abortion as birth control (same woman keeps getting knocked up and keeps getting abortions), and partial birth abortions, which is the termination of a late-term baby of 7 months or older. These positions became clear to 75% of people as they learned more and more that yes, some women were cavalierly not worrying about protection during sex and simply saying “eh, I’ll have it aborted,” and as details about babies being fully able to live outside of the womb at somewhere around 6-7 months. That last tidbit changed the landscape for those who had argued when life began. Once more people saw clearly that it was irrelevant where life began, what mattered was that there clearly sustainable was life at some point, they said “ok, we can’t abort that.”
Honest, transparent knowledge is all we have left in debates like abortion. Many states with conservative Governors, most recently Scott Walker of Wisconsin, have passed laws forcing a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. The logic is that if she sees her baby first, she won’t be able to kill it. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that this actually works, but it is transparent. Whether or not we need waiting periods in this country on things ranging from legal gun ownership to abortion is a debate for another time, but one that should be had. This constant parenting by the government drives me nuts; if we agree…sorry, if the courts have decided that we’re all adult enough to make the decision to abort a fetus or buy a gun we don’t then to be told to stand in the corner and count to 100 before carrying out our decision. Grow up, America.
Last week the Pro-Life movement both exposed something that should be transparent, known and discussed, and did so in a vile, underhanded, manipulated, dishonest way. Two wrongs don’t make a right and today’s political and social battle cry of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em in the mud,” is not what I call progress. But I do acknowledge the reality of its existence.
This week, a group of abortion rights opponents released a hidden camera video of a conversation with an official from Planned Parenthood. On screen is Dr. Deborah Nucatola, national medical director for Planned Parenthood. Off screen are two anti-abortion activists who spent months posing as medical researchers looking to purchase fetal tissue. The legal question here is, is Planned Parenthood, provider of 40 percent of abortions in the U.S., selling fetal tissue? That is illegal. But donating fetal tissue or recovering your costs from such a donation, that’s legal. And it’s part of a fast-growing medical research field.
Some cells are used to help patients with immune disease or for things like Alzheimer’s research. The potential controversy here is whether Planned Parenthood is profiting from the aborted fetal tissue.
If you actually view the entire three-hour video, in its’ unedited form, as opposed to the 2 minute snippet played over and over again this week on Fox News, you see and hear Planned Parenthood repeatedly stress that tissue transfers are for research, and clinics can only charge to recoup their costs. At one point the doctor, who is talking to actors she believes are medical researchers trying to buy fetal tissue, “No one’s going to see this as a moneymaking thing.”
This is a repeated theme in the whole video and absent from the Web posts.
Now, do most women know that their aborted fetus’ are chopped up and sold for parts? If any did would it change their minds? The answer is that the answer doesn’t matter…we should transparently make sure that they know and leave the decision making to them. And of course we should insure that all laws are being followed and if there’s any reason to believe that any organization is engaging in any sort of sale of human tissue, fetal or otherwise, they should be investigated thoroughly. Bear in mind that if you actually watch this entire video, there is no indication at all that’s occurring. Not that the truth matters in public debate any longer.
The truth in this video is truth that I’ve already known for decades; depending on the size of the fetus doctors use clamps to remove it and are very careful to crush certain parts of the fetus and preserve others. In other cases it’s the more traditional vacuum like machine method. It’s a horrific procedure either way, but one that is not going away in America. If making sure more people know what happens during and after the process causes fewer women to abort babies, fine…but the reality that the only way to convey truth is by distorting it is one I only acknowledge, not one I endorse. Shame on all involved.