Salon.com regularly publishes articles that paint abortion-advocates in a fairly glowing light—while depicting those opposed to abortion as backwards and imbecilic. Their latest offering, "Doctors Caught in the Abortion Wars," is no exception. Author, Irin Carmon, labels pro-life physicians a "stubborn minority" who refuse to accept "reliable-evidence based information"—comparing them to scientists who doubt the veracity of climate change or evolution. Her piece opens with a call for civil disobedience (in regard to state-mandated abortion restrictions) and complains that doctors, not lawmakers, should have the ultimate say in abortion practice and policy. Carmon points to the Supreme Court's 2007 prohibition against dilation and extraction (D&X), also known as partial-birth-abortion, as evidence that politics is trumping medicine.
Though it sounds reasonable to suggest that doctors are more qualified than civil servants to make difficult, medical decisions, Carmon's argument is a tired and dishonest one. In all but the rarest of cases, abortions are performed by full-time, professional abortionists. These are not family physicians with an existing patient relationship. The National Abortion Federation (NAF) tells us that only 2% of U.S. abortions are performed in a doctor's office. An additional 5% are performed in hospitals. The rest are performed in free-standing abortion clinics. Why is this significant? Because Carmon's entire argument is built on the assumption that doctors should be trusted to have their patient's best interest in mind. She quotes and clearly sympathizes with journalist, Linda Greenhouse's assessment that the Partial-Birth-Abortion Ban is unreasonable for being built on "a harsh and cynical view of doctors from whom women must be protected.”
Completely lost in her noble prose is the fact that abortionists aren't doctors. Not in any traditional sense of the word. This fact is made abundantly clear in another abortion-related news story. Mississippi is set to become the first state in the country without an abortion clinic. New state legislation requires all abortion clinics (that's any facility that performs more than 10 abortions a month) to have admitting privileges at an area hospital. The only remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi has three abortionists on staff, but none of them have admitting privileges. Last year, the clinic performed 2,378 abortions. In a five-day work week, with time off for vacation, that means each of the three abortionists performed roughly 17 abortions per week. And it's almost certain that most of the aborting women didn't meet the "doctor" until their procedure began. It's also worth mentioning that 98% of the pregnant women who visit Planned Parenthood for counseling (the nation's largest abortion chain) end up having an abortion. Less than half of one percent choose adoption. Abortion clinics don't deliver babies. They kill babies (and sell birth control), which is why it's absurd to suggest that the physicians in their employ are objectively concerned about what's in the best interest of their "patients." As former Planned Parenthood director, Abby Johnson, reveals, Planned Parenthood's primary operating objective is to keep their abortion revenue up.
The second reason why it's dishonest to say that the appropriate regulation of abortion must be left to doctors instead of politicians is because the National Abortion Federation explicitly trains their physicians to take an amoral, "nonjudgmental" view of abortion. Abortionists are instructed to yield to the wishes of the aborting woman whether there is any medical indication for the abortion or not and no matter how capricious her reason for aborting might be–even if it is simply because she wants a boy instead of a girl. After demanding that the decision to abort be left up to a woman and "her doctor," they turn around and tell the doctor that he must never object to any abortion, under any circumstance
According to the Salon article, "the most egregious" of the recent anti-abortion legislation was a proposed law in Arizona that would have granted OB-GYNs the right to withhold certain information from their patients (such as a perceived genetic defect) if they had reason to believe such information would lead to an abortion. Carmon quotes Harvard Medical School professor, Michael Greene, who says the proposal is "analogous to not telling a sentient adult that they have cancer.” It was Greene and his colleague, Marcia Angell, who urged abortionists in May to conscientiously violate any state mandate requiring them to disclose information not specifically requested by the aborting woman or mandated by medical necessity. Thinking about his assertion further, it strikes me that withholding medical information from abortion-prone parents is far more akin to withholding information from parents who would euthanize their 8-year-old daughter (if they knew she had leukemia) than it is to the scenario laid out by Greene. After all, if abortion were not the treatment of choice for genetic irregularities in the womb, pro-life physicians would have no more reason to fear full disclosure than they would for genetic irregularities outside the womb. Full disclosure is only problematic when the primary treatment option is a morally reprehensible practice. Be that as it may, we must not lose sight of the fact that well over 90% of all abortions are performed on perfectly healthy babies—reminding us again that these arguments in the extreme help gain sympathy for legal abortion, but have no ethical bearing on the vast majority of abortions that take place.
So the next time someone demands that abortion be left up to a woman and her doctor, remind them that there is a big difference between a doctor and an abortionist, and then explain to them why.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.