That was the admonishment of the deceased late-term abortionist, Dr. George Tiller. It’s also the admonishment of the rest of the pro-choice crowd. Too bad they really don’t mean it.
Pregnancy resource centers are filled with women who are being coerced to abort their babies, who are desperate for someone, anyone to throw them a lifeline. They’re the lucky ones who find the help and hope. The women entering abortion clinics are not so fortunate. I listened to quite a few of them at the Supreme Court steps this past Monday.
Most spoke of coercion from their boyfriends, other friends, family, and abortion clinic staff. Coercion manifests in a host of ways.
Boyfriends threaten an end to the relationship unless the woman aborts. They become petulant and emotionally distant. In the end, they move on anyway.
Parents use shame and guilt, again the threat of loss of love, of standing, of belonging.
Friends will do pretty much the same. Along with boyfriends and family, they will remind the woman of the education and/or career that she stands to lose by having the baby.
Abortion clinic staff will tell the woman that “It’s just a blob of tissue, just a clump of cells,” for babies at 4,6,8,12, 16 weeks of gestation. They lie about the link between abortion and breast cancer. They withhold vital data on the psychological and gynecological post-abortion sequelae.
Ob/Gyn’s and genetic counselors will use the most base coercive pressures on women whose tests show even the possibility of genetic anomaly or defect. They offer up such sagacity as, “Why would you make your child suffer for the rest of its life?”
Gone in such practitioners is any trace of human compassion. Even for the mother who wishes to keep and love her less-than-perfect child, she is pressured to contract for the murder of that child. Whether or not she aborts, the message from such physicians and genetic counselors is clear and unambiguous:
You did this to your child. This is all your fault.
That’s a nice little burden to pile on the backs of parents.
The etiology matters little, if at all, compared to the opportunity for encountering and growing in love and integrity presented by the special needs of the most vulnerable among us.
Medicine is beset by a metastatic malignancy within its ranks. It’s a perverse and ironic timing for that malignancy, as medicine now has the means to heal, or at least attenuate the worst effects of many genetic conditions. Add to that the daily miracles being wrought by Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapists, as well as Special Education teachers.
All of this begs the question:
Who are the people that authentically trust women?
The answer is simple:
Those who tell women the truth, offer hope and healing, and respect their autonomy.
I wish the other side would.