Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Freedom of "Choice" Act

This is a video of a talk I gave this morning at the Youth and the Future of the Pro-Life Movement Conference at Nassau Community College. It's followed by a transcript of my speech because the video is kind of hard to hear.

Being that “surgical abortion is an invasive procedure in which sharp instruments are placed inside the uterus, a small organ in the woman’s body” and which in some cases requires an anesthetic, it would seem that all people, both pro-life and pro-choice, could agree that certain safeguards need to be in place to protect the woman undergoing this procedure. Certainly we should at least be able to agree that abortion merits the same safeguards as other surgeries. However, abortion supporters in the government have, in the past five months, focused much of their attention on trying to force through a bill, questionably titled the Freedom of Choice Act, or FOCA, which repeals all safety measures currently in place, and bans any future such safeguards.

The Freedom of Choice Act would make invalid any state laws regarding parental notification and consent. Such laws typically require that the abortionist notify at least one parent of “an unemancipated minor daughter prior to abortion.” Most states with such laws only require notification of the parents, however, some require their consent. Mr. Stephen Wagner, in his book Common Ground Without Compromise, offers that if we were all to “adopt the pro-choice position for a moment and say that abortion is the removal of a mass of tissue,” it would then resemble liposuction. “Can’t we all agree that no minor girl should be allowed to get liposuction without parental notification? Abortion and liposuction are similarly invasive. We would never trust a minor child to select her own physician for liposuction or make sure on her own that she receives the correct post-operative care in order to heal properly.” It seems to make sense that parents of minors should at the very least know about any sort of surgery, particularly such an invasive and dangerous surgery as abortion, that their daughter will be undergoing, especially, being that, if the girl suffers any complications from the operation her parents are responsible for her. Proper medical care can not be given to anyone if the cause of the medical problem is unknown. Therefore, if a girl’s own parents do not know that the injuries she is suffering from could be due to her recent abortion, how is a doctor supposed to administer proper treatment? Especially, considering that the girl herself has most likely not been informed of the possible complications of abortion.

This highlights a further issue with FOCA. In all other surgeries, “the doctor is required to explain in detail what the procedure is, its possible complications, etc. Only then does the patient give ‘informed’ consent.” Once again FOCA would overturn all current laws requiring informed consent and ban all future such laws. Surely, this can not be in the best interests of women. Essentially, while elected officials trumpet the Freedom of Choice Act they are removing the ability for any sort of informed choice. Under the Freedom of Choice Act abortionists are not only allowed to withhold information from their patients but even to avoid direct questions by the patient. This attitude was deplored by pro-choice feminist Naomi Wolf in her 1995 article “Our Bodies, Our Souls” when she stated that “To insist that truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy. Besides if these images are often the facts of the matter, and if we then claim that it is offensive for pro-choice women to be confronted with them, then we are making the judgment that women are too inherently weak to face a truth about which they have to make a grave decision. This view is unworthy of feminism.” Though I certainly have no expectation of abortionists showing photos of aborted children to women wishing to have an abortion, as Naomi Wolf speaks of pro-lifers doing, I believe it is at the very least to be expected that these so-called respectable doctors would inform a woman going in for an abortion of “the full factual information on the surgery, its possible complications [both] immediate and long-term, and, also, full details about ‘what she carries,’” as is done in other surgeries, such as liposuction, to use our previous example. Certainly, it is insulting to women to forego presenting them with “the best arguments and facts on both sides,” thereby effectively refusing them “choice.”

Of course, in all my references thus far to those who perform abortions I have used the word doctors. However, FOCA proposes to make it acceptable for any medical professional, such as nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and even dentists, to perform abortions. Abortionist Dr. William Rashbaum stated that “A high level of operator skill is at least as important in abortion as it is in any surgical endeavor. Abortion is a blind procedure that proceeds by touch, awareness of the nuances of sensations provided by instruments, honesty, and caution. While competent orientation in the performance of an abortion is essential, abortion, almost more than any other operation, demands experience to develop skill . . . Well trained, highly experienced and reputable gynecologists found, to their dismay, that when abortions became legal and they began performing them, the complication rates were frequently quite high.” If the complication rates are so high even among such “highly experienced and reputable gynecologists” what can we expect from medical professionals who have no experience in the gynecological field? I am reminded of a case in 1980, right here on Long Island, at an abortion mill run by Mr. William Baird, in which an ear, nose, and throat doctor attempted to perform an abortion. Nineteen year-old Robin, on whom he operated, was 20 weeks pregnant, not the 11-12 weeks that the physician had supposed. Robin went into shock during the procedure, was walked downstairs by staff members, and sent in a taxi to the hospital. Robin underwent a hysterectomy, needed 16 units of blood, and 6 hours of surgery. A month of Robin’s life was spent in the hospital, 4 days of which were in the Intensive Care Unit. After her discharge from the hospital Robin continued to suffer physical problems with her legs and bladder. This is only one example of what can happen when unqualified persons perform complex and potentially life-threatening surgeries. In fact, let us reverse the situation, would you want an abortionist to remove your tonsils? Then why would you allow an ear, nose, and throat doctor to perform the far more complex abortion procedure? Another honest abortionist, Dr. William Rashbaum, stated that “After I had done a thousand [abortions], I thought I was an expert, but, by the time I had done 5,000, I realized I was learning a lot. At this point, having done somewhere around 12,000 procedures, I’m beginning to think I’m reasonably competent.” After performing 12,000 abortions this doctor is only reasonably competent and yet the pro-choice politicians wish to allow dentists and ear nose and throat doctors, who have no training and no experience in the realm of abortion to perform this complex and dangerous procedure. These politicians could in no way be more flippant towards the health and safety of women.

These are only a very small sampling of the horrors which the Freedom of Choice Act wishes to inflict on women. With the strong public outcry against FOCA following President Obama’s election, politicians have resorted to underhanded tactics in order to deceive the American people. While the president continues to insist that the Freedom of Choice Act is no longer a priority, he and the Congress continue to pass it piece-by-piece. Do not allow them to get away with this! I encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with this heinous act in order to oppose it in all its forms.

1 comment:

Purple Hawaiian Catholic said...

Very nice speach, Clare! You should be very proud of your performance. Keep up the good work!