coathanger

Safe. Legal. Rare. False.

What happens when the “reproductive rights” you fought for result in deplorable, unsanitary, and even murderous practices?  You have two choices.  You ignore it.  Or you reevaluate your position.

In the early days of the abortion rights movement, proponents argued that desperate women and girls, the victims of rape or incest or abuse, would seek abortions regardless of legality.  They evoked the specter of back-alley abortion mills run out of filthy facilities by unscrupulous or unlicensed doctors time and again, as well as the images of bloodied coathangers – symbolic of self-induced abortions.  Advocates argued that women’s lives were at stake, and that the laws must be changed to allow women the option to terminate pregnancies safely.  And legally.  On the rare occasions that they required the procedure.

Forty years ago, “legal” was accomplished with the Roe v. Wade decision.  However, with hundreds of clinics operating in the United States today, one can hardly call abortion “rare” – Democrats don’t even include the word in their platform anymore.  And “safe” is coming into question all too often these days.

Just this year we’ve seen some striking examples.  Many have already forgotten the February death of a kindergarten teacher who was undergoing an abortion in Maryland.  Two nurses recently quit working at a Delaware Planned Parenthood clinic, citing unsafe, unsanitary conditions and assembly-line abortions.  And the news of Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic with its horrific practices goes unreported by most every major news outlet as he stands trial.

If you happen to be pro-choice, you have a dilemma on your hands, don’t you?

If you still believe abortion should be an available option, the very least you should do is start advocating for some oversight to, you know, actually protect women.

Doctors performing abortions ought to be meeting some minimum standards, agreed?  Then fight for those standards.  If you truly support women’s health, you should be advocating for policies that actually help women.  Making sure a doctor is qualified to perform surgical procedures safely should be the top of the priorities list.

Abortions should be performed by highly-trained professional doctors, not just anyone, right?  Yet California is considering legislation to allow nurses and midwives to perform surgical abortions, when even doctors are botching them across the country.  If you truly support women’s health, you should be fighting against that legislation with everything you have.

Every abortion clinic should also be meeting minimum standards of cleanliness and treatment, yes?  Yet some states don’t even require the level of licenses or inspections that tattoo parlors must comply with.  If you truly support women’s health, you should be advocating for stricter quality and safety guidelinesin every facility where abortions are available.

And when a particularly heinous, unscrupulous operator is profiting from cutting corners, jeopardizing women’s health and safety, and practicing infanticide, the world needs to know about it so it can never happen again.  Yet the Gosnell trial is going nearly unreported in the major media outlets.  If you truly support women’s health, you should be spreading the word about this bad actor, and holding the media accountable for their malpractice while Gosnell is being held accountable for his.

If you are unwilling to do all of these things, you have lost your ability to say you truly support women’s health, and should probably ask yourself just why you DO still support abortion.