Dave Andrusko


Pro-abortionists’ post-HB2 imaginings grow wilder by the day

Dave Andrusko

Although it’s only been a week since the Texas Senate passed HB 2, like an avalanche picking up momentum, the tale that pro-abortionists spin of a dystopian future grows darker and darker, more and more ominous, and less and less connected to reality.

They are not reacting well to a succession of pro-life laws (like HB 2) that say such awful things as you can’t separate the head from the torso of a pain-capable unborn child and it will no longer be okay for hellholes like Kermit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic to go unregulated and uninspected for decades at a time.

What I hadn’t seen until yesterday was the apocalyptic prediction that the clinic regulation portion of these bills will not only “regulate [abortion] clinics out of existence,” but that what will follow will be worse than the days of “back alley abortions.”

There is so much wrong in Amanda Marcotte’s Daily Beast long post that it would require a response twice as long to get to all of it. So, while what follows is extensive, trust me, it could have been much lengthier.

Here’s the headline and subhead: “From Back Alleys to Abortion Drugs: With Texas trying to get around Roe v. Wade by regulating clinics out of existence, Amanda Marcotte talks to historians about why abortion access in red states will actually be worse than in the 1950s.”

The “historians” is actually one, Rickie Solinger. I’ve written about her twice, once in passing in a book review for “First Things,” and then at much greater length for NRL News (which we are re-running today). We’ll return to her in a second.

Marcotte’s argument is, to be polite, convoluted, so here goes.

Like all abortion advocates, Marcotte says that the new clinic regulations (in this case in Texas) will close practically all the abortion clinics. We heard this in Virginia, we heard this in Pennsylvania, we will ALWAYS hear this.

We’ve already addressed this canard which is so transparently false that even some of the usual suspects are already walking it back. Our most recent story on this was “Planned Parenthood exaggerates impact of abortion clinic regulations to raise money,” http://nrlc.cc/13imMRN.

But it’s the kind of free-floating, the sky-is-falling threat the abortion industry rolls out every time their lethal style is marginally cramped by laws to protect women and babies.

Solinger’s function is to prove that things will be even worse in the (invented) scenario where a given state’s abortion clinics are effectively shut down by regulation. How can it be worse than the days of “back alley abortions”?

Back in 2008 I wrote a review for First Things (www.firstthings.com/article/2008/11/briefly-noted-12) about a pro-abortion anthology to which Solinger contributed an essay. She conceded —contrary to everything we’d been told countless times—that pro-choice advocates knew that prior to Roe there actually were “astonishingly high rates of technical proficiency” among those who performed abortions!

Those “skilled practitioners” performed illegal abortions “as a form of protest against unfair laws banning abortions” (according to Solinger/Marcotte) at a time when abortion was illegal in most cases in almost all states. They warn/predict that this kind of “thriving black market in abortion that was notable for the professionalism and competence of most people offering illegal abortions” won’t exist but I’m not entirely sure I understand why.

I THINK it’s because they are saying (a) there will be plenty of states where abortion clinics will still be unregulated and/or under-inspected—think California and New York— and thus (b) there won’t be the cache attached to “fighting the system,” and because there will be places to abort that means (c) there won’t be the urgency to perform abortions there was back in the bad old days.

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This is where Solinger’s argument sprouts wings. It IS true, she maintains, that there were terrible “back alley abortions” but they were not performed by the “skilled practitioners” she’s lauded but were the product of attempts at self-abortion. (What she manages to avoid addressing is how it obviously follows that the number of women who died from “illegal abortions” was grossly inflated, as abortionist-turned-pro-lifer Dr. Bernard Nathanson has written, numbers made up on the fly.)

With the imaginary scenario where most abortion clinics are closed (in “red” states), that means “the huge numbers of women who can’t make a multiday journey to another state to get an abortion will have no access to safe providers at all,” Marcotte argues. “Places like Texas may actually have worse abortion access than they did in the 1960s.”

But what about chemical abortions? That’s the “one other factor that changes the story.” Here Marcotte runs head-on into an important pro-abortion talking point.

Remember, in this new world women supposedly won’t have the time or resources to have a surgical abortion (although the word surgical is not used, that’s what Marcotte is talking about). So the “abortion pill” RU-486 replaces the “coat hanger” as the agent of self-abortion.

But remember everybody but Marcotte is singing off a different page of music: chemical abortions are ridiculously safe. But in order to keep the nightmare scenario on course, Marcotte tells us “Pills present their own problems, of course, since an incorrect dose can lead to incomplete miscarriage and even infection.”

Thus “Emergency rooms will likely start treating patients who botched self-abortions, something that hasn’t been a problem in 40 years, but at least they won’t be showing up with perforated uteruses,” she writes. “In fact, most of them will be indistinguishable from plain old miscarrying patients and may not even register on the national consciousness as botched, illegal abortions.”

And on and on and on.

Some abortion clinics will close not because of “draconian” requirements but because they should never have been open in the first place and choose not to put the money in to upgrade their facilities. Or, as Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon explained yesterday, because the Megatron of the abortion industry—Planned Parenthood—wants to close down clinics that aren’t huge profit centers (largely because they do not do abortions) in order to build gigantic abortion hubs.

The rest of Marcotte’s argument alternates between silly and contradictory. But it is helpful to be reminded by a pro-abortion partisan that the legend of back alley abortions and thousands of women dying from illegal abortions was made out of whole cloth.

Reprinted with permission from NRLC

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