Several of my most recent posts have focused on how abortion providers and activist groups are using the coronavirus crisis to promote at-home chemical abortions and demanding special treatment so that they may keep their doors open while other businesses are shuttered across the country. (And this isn’t for the sake of helping to manage the spread of COVID-19. Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania, for instance, has closed all of its health centers that don’t perform abortions.)
The latest group to take up the refrain is the New York Times editorial board, which never misses an opportunity to proclaim from on high about abortion policy in talking points that more closely resemble a NARAL Pro-Choice America press release than a well-researched argument.
“This crisis has underscored the need for greater access to reproductive health care,” is the subtitle of the article. Well, no. What this crisis has underscored is that the U.S. was woefully under-prepared — thanks in large part to the delays and deceptions of the Chinese government — for a highly contagious, sometimes fatal disease to reach our shores. It has underscored the need for us to rely on someone other than China to produce the medical equipment that our health-care professionals and institutions need.
Only the most unthinking abortion supporters could manage to concoct the argument that, during a global pandemic, one of our country’s top priorities ought to be ensuring that every woman can get an abortion on demand as easily as possible — perhaps even by mail, in the comfort of her own home, as the Times outlines.
“It’s hardly new for anti-abortion politicians to seize on any excuse to try to restrict women’s bodily autonomy,” the Times editors write, “but it is a new low to exploit a pandemic that’s already cost hundreds of American lives, and threatens many thousands more.”
The irony of this statement appears entirely lost on them, as it is on most people who have trained themselves to disregard the biological fact that every successful abortion results in a dead human being. That is the crucial question at the heart of this debate over abortion in the time of coronavirus: Is abortion “essential health care”?
In Texas and Ohio, lawmakers say no, and face swift lawsuits from abortionists, who apparently have nothing better to do during a health-care crisis than take politicians to court. In Massachusetts and Washington, lawmakers say yes, and, unsurprisingly, groups that profit from performing abortions or suing pro-life politicians agree.
We ought to consider whether, properly speaking, abortion is health care at all, let alone essential. Health care is an effort to maintain or restore health by treating or preventing disease. As much as some might wish otherwise, pregnancy is not a disease; it is the natural result of a properly functioning reproductive system. Asserting that it is “health care” — essential or otherwise — to kill a living human being, simply because his or her mother wishes not to be pregnant, requires a radical redefinition of health and medicine.
This redefinition has taken place almost entirely behind the scenes, led by radical abortion activists who realized the need to cloak their political agenda in palatable terms. Thanks to prominent organizations such as the Times, those terms are now engrained in the public imagination, making it possible for Planned Parenthood to solicit donations for personal protective equipment to continue performing abortions even as doctors and nurses lack the equipment they need to save people suffering from COVID-19.
Our priority as a nation, and the priority of our health-care professionals in particular, should be saving as many human lives as possible. It is unsurprising that abortion providers and their defenders in the media would prefer to preserve opportunities to end them.