Profit or Principle?
"Principled" support of abortion often brings significant financial perks as well.
Are all abortionists simply "in it for the money"? Probably not. But how many abortionists would there be if they had to volunteer their services, or even pay for the opportunity to put their principles in practice? It's very easy to follow your "principles" when those principles earn you lots of money.
Dr. Warren Hern is one of the nation's most prominent and well-known abortionists. He has been director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic in Colorado since 1975, and has written prolifically on abortion, both technically and philosophically. His 1984 book Abortion Practice remains the only single-author abortion textbook in publication. If you visit his website, and read his commentaries, you can't get far without realizing that Dr. Hern is far more dedicated to supporting and promoting legal abortion than most pro-lifers are to opposing it. He says in "Life on the Front Lines", that "we must risk our lives for our cause by continuing to provide safe abortion services in the face of [all] threats and attempts to intimidate. Only our own moral courage in doing what we see as right and ethical could be an effective counterpoise to the antiabortion movement." In a New York Times Op-Ed piece from March 31, 2001 he states:
It is unusual now for me to lift the coverings of windows in my home so I can see out. I have a nice view from my home of the famous Flatirons mountains that rise above Boulder, but it is a luxury now to enjoy that view. As my life is now, the windows cannot be uncovered at night. Sometimes I look into the homes of my neighbors and see them moving about and relaxing with their families. My office is a fortress of steel fences and bulletproof windows, and my home has become a hiding place from which I emerge and hope that I will not be the next assassin’s target.
This is the cost of being an abortionist. Warren Hern has a beautiful home with a view of the Flatirons, but he lives in fear. He cannot enjoy it, or so it seems from his testimony. Being an outspoken, late-term abortionist has brought Dr. Hern face to face with (as he puts it) pro-life "terrorists", "tyrants" and "fascists". Abortion has cost him his marriage, and the ability to live a normal life, but still he persists. He keeps on aborting, "feeling defiant". This raises the question, why does he do it? Why does he keep doing the very thing that keeps him from the care-free life that he envies his neighbors? Is Dr. Hern's unyielding devotion to abortion motivated by profit or is he motivated by principle?
If you asked him, no doubt he would say he is motivated by principle. Every abortionist would likely say as much, but Dr. Hern has more evidence than most to indicate that such claims may actually be true. While most abortionists hide in the shadows, content to grow rich in obscurity, Dr. Hern remains a very public abortion proponent. He is certainly not shy in supporting his grisly business, though he is careful to never speak to the procedure itself. Rather he works to demonize the opposition, and speculates that pro-lifers (a term he hates) don't really care about abortion, they just want to sieze power, repress freedom, and terrorize society. In another article, he suggests that pro-lifers are motivated by contempt for "individual dignity", contempt for women, contempt for free thought and a desire to supplant individualism with "fascist totalitarianism". "When [pro-lifers] get through with people who provide abortions," Dr. Herns asks, "who will be next? People who read books?"
While this sensational rhetoric does nothing to actually justify abortion, Dr. Hern seems dumbfounded at the notion that anyone could possibly take offense to such a "positive event" in the first place. He blithely asserts that abortion does not kill children, but rather saves women's "lives and futures," and he marvels at the fact that anyone would oppose someone who is just trying to "help women". But is Dr. Hern just trying to help women?
Pastor Jack Hughes asks an interesting question in a January 9, 2005 sermon on abortion. He asks, "If the government pulled all their funding of abortion, and if insurance agencies said, 'We aren't doing abortions anymore,' and the law said, 'You can have an abortion, but doctors have to volunteer and do it for free', what do you think would happen?" Would Dr. Hern's principled support of abortion quickly find another vocation? What if Warren Hern, in order to continue performing abortions, had to do what most full-time, pro-lifers do, solicit donations and live on a tight budget? What if instead of not being able to look out his window onto the beautiful view of the Flatirons, he couldn't afford to buy a house with such a beautiful view in the first place?
It may be true that Warren Hern, and perhaps others, are driven into abortion more by principle than they are by profit, but it is also true that their skewed principles are buoyed by huge financial gain. That makes their "charity" very convenient. But even if such doctors would continue aborting if it cost them money, any principle which believes that killing one person is a justifiable way to "help" another person is not a principle worth having or protecting by law.
This page was last updated on May 28, 2009. To cite this page in a research paper, visit: "Citing Abort73 as a Source."