Politics & Policy

Abortion Always Kills a Baby

A sign in support of Planned Parenthood outside a town hall meeting for Sen. Bill Cassidy in Metairie, La., February 22, 2017. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
Pro-choice activists have always perpetuated lies while refusing to accept medical and scientific advancements over the past five decades.

Have you ever asked someone who is pro-choice to answer this simple question: “What is abortion?” Try it. They’ll never directly answer. Here’s why.

The pro-abortion movement is wedded to euphemisms and misinformation. Jessica Valenti, a well-known feminist author, recently wrote in a guest essay for the May 13 issue of the New York Times that “the primary political strategy of abortion foes relies on the claim that abortion is brutal and dangerous, a myth that is much harder to perpetuate when people can easily access medicine to safely end their pregnancies at home.” This represents a fundamental misrepresentation of pro-life arguments.

Pro-choice activists have always perpetuated lies and mischaracterizations while refusing to accept medical and scientific advancements over the past five decades. It is the only reason the abortion movement survives. The entire abortion movement relies on failing to deal with the reality of abortion on its terms. This is because acknowledging the fundamental truth of abortion — a procedure that violently ends the life of a human being — would be the undoing of the movement. You’ve seen this in some of the nervous dread shown by abortion proponents after the announcement that the Supreme Court would take up a case concerning the permissibility of Mississippi abortion regulations, as proponents sense that the edifice of lies that they’ve built up over the years — with the Court’s help — may be threatened.

So let’s tell the truth: Abortion is dangerous, brutal, and harmful. But the primary victim of abortion isn’t the woman; it is the human baby that abortion kills. A woman may be capable of undergoing an abortion without permanent physical damage, but an innocent human life is always violently ended. During abortion procedures, babies were once burned alive with saline solution; today, they are more often pulled to bloody pieces while alive by a surgeon’s instruments or expelled in a bloody clump by “safe and effective” pills. This kind of killing is what “terminating a pregnancy” really means. To deny these facts is to deny reality.

The unjust, barbaric, and bloody reality of abortion — rather than “myths” — motivates me and millions of Americans like me to oppose abortion. Since 1973, when the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade first legally protected abortion, 62 million babies have been killed. No civilized society should tolerate widespread and medically sanctioned killing.

But Valenti and other pro-choice advocates simply refuse to acknowledge abortion’s medical reality or the humanity of the preborn child from conception. Inevitably, they grasp at straws to determine when a preborn life becomes endowed with human personhood. A truly marvelous thing “human rights” must be if they do not exist before a human is born but become absolutely inviolable after a human passes through the birth canal! Preborn babies are biologically human, but the pro-abortion movement will never admit that. We know that a preborn baby’s heartbeat can be heard as early as six weeks. Sonograms show wiggling fingers and sweet baby yawns as early as twelve weeks. And doctors are increasingly capable of saving premature babies born at ever earlier stages of pregnancy, making the number of genuinely “non-viable” pregnancies ever smaller.

To conceal their lapses in logic, pro-choice activists resort to bizarre neologisms and artificial turns of phrase. The pro-choice movement today has all but stopped using the euphemism of a “clump of cells” to describe a baby. But one euphemism has merely been swapped for others. Valenti herself used the words “embryo,” “fetus,” and even simply “pregnancy” to refer to the growing, developing, and living preborn child in the womb.

This habit of relying on dehumanizing misdescriptions to categorize the preborn can often reach absurd extremes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in its attack on the validity of heartbeat bills designed to protect preborn life, goes so far as to say that “what is interpreted as a heartbeat in these bills is actually electrically induced flickering of a portion of the fetal tissue that will become the heart as the embryo develops.” If there was an award for verbal gymnastics, the abortion lobby would receive first prize. But no amount of twisting of the English language will change the fact that abortion kills a preborn life.

But while the greatest moral evil of abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being, we cannot ignore the fact that abortion does negatively affect women and mothers, both emotionally and physically. And I would be remiss if I didn’t draw attention to the fact that pro-life organizations are often the only groups to come alongside women and truly care for them as they wrestle with the emotional and physical costs that accompany an abortion. Unlike the abortion industry, which translates telehealth as sending women abortion pills in the mail, pro-life organizations offer meaningful, holistic care, whether through in-person consultations or conversations over the phone. What the abortion industry doesn’t understand is that most women don’t want the “quick fix” of a euphemized abortion procedure; we have discovered in our own clinics that 75 percent of pregnant women seeking abortion say they would choose to carry their babies to term if their circumstances were different. Women want options, not abortions.

We listen to women, and we give them access to the full spectrum of care and pregnancy options that more perfectly corresponds to what they actually want to do with their lives and the lives of their preborn children. This kind of care is not an example of controlling women, as Valenti claims; much to the contrary, we are empowering women with the resources they need to make their own choices. Feminists used to stand for women’s empowerment, too. But that was before the for-profit abortion industry starting pumping money into the feminist movement, I suppose.

Chelsey Youman is the National Director of Public Policy for Human Coalition, one of the largest pro-life organizations in the nation, which operates a growing network of Telecare and Brick-and-Mortar Women’s Care Clinics across the nation.


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