The Other Scarlet Letter

The Other Scarlet Letter

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Do you hate abortion? Me too. Every form of the procedure sickens me, and has since the first one I ever heard about, when I was 10 years old.

My mother had come home early, distraught and bathed in tears, from her job as a teacher in a special high school for pregnant teenagers. Her school had let out early, following the news that a 15-year-old student had just died in the hospital from sepsis, a few hours after delivering a second-trimester, stillborn fetus she had impaled the night before with a knitting needle. It was 1972, a year before Roe vs. Wade.

No, it was not appropriate to explain abortion to a 10-year-old. And perhaps it was my overexposure as a child to the nasty realities of the world that continues to inspire my utter impatience with the nonsense running out of some peoples’ mouths, in particular moralizing politicians who are probably cheating on their wives, but that’s another story. The starkness and radicalization of my upbringing gave me a hair-trigger for spotting and calling out hypocrisy and collective self-delusion – especially when both are so obvious, no one else in the room seems to see them.

To wit: those who claim to be “pro-life,” whatever the hell that means, should get real about how the real world works. The “pro-lifers” in Congress leading the charge to dismantle Planned Parenthood should try listening to their own rhetoric about the inexorable power of market forces. Demand will always seek and find supply; and as demand for abortions will never go away on its own, neither will those who “supply” them, be they overseas physicians for the wealthy, discreet, chart-buffing physicians for the middle class, back-alley butchers for the poor, or desperate, do-it-yourself teenagers. Anyone who thinks I am kidding – and who has not had the benefit of an OB/GYN rotation in a public hospital and/or a politically furious mother with poor boundaries – should read or watch the blistering Revolutionary Road through to its bloody end.

The ugliness of abortion is one of the ugly facts of life, and it always has been. We just happen to talk about it now, the same way we talk about other previously taboo medical subjects like cancer, depression and erectile dysfunction. Perhaps I was hit on the head with too many economics textbooks, or maybe it is my inability to join in the decades-old group-pretend about the colossal waste of lives and money that is “the war on drugs,” but the rock-bottom fact of this ugly problem is simple: making abortion illegal and/or unfinanceable for poor girls and women will not make it go away; it will make it go underground, later-stage, bloodier, and far more horrifically violent to the very fetuses the “pro-life” people claim they want to protect.

So let’s start with a little bit of common sense, drowned out completely in the latest screaming match over abortion: the best way, paradoxically, to increase the already appalling number of elective abortions in America is to financially disable Planned Parenthood, as many in Congress have been hellbent on doing this week. Planned Parenthood is not “Planned Abortionhood,” as the demagogues would have us believe. It is a safety net provider of health screening, sex education, and birth control for three million American women every year, most of whom live in economic gray zones between Medicaid and good insurance and thus have nowhere else to go for pap smears and free condoms.

If the crusaders for the “unborn” actually wanted to eliminate abortions, they would be doing everything in their power to expand Planned Parenthood’s funding and full range of services. They would seek to fund this and every other avenue for the provision of basic health services for vulnerable girls and women. They would, of course, also hold their noses and support the health care reform bill – any health care reform bill – that increases access to basic health care services for poor women. They would work to create massive new systems to enable the adoption of unwanted babies of girls and women who choose not to abort. And they would be doing everything in their fiscal power to increase sex education in our schools.

Give girls and women access to all of that, and then you can run your mouth about what they should do with their bodies.  By contrast, if you are against providing girls and women with access to services that will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country, then you are either naïve, or stupid, or a shameless hypocrite who obviously cares more about punishing girls and women for their sexuality than you do about preventing abortion, and you should shut up for a minute and take a hard and honest look at your own attitudes about sex.

Now That I Have Your Attention

Among the tactics of the “pro-life” zealots who masquerade as “pregnancy counselors” and entrap terrified girls and women struggling with unwanted pregnancies is this brutal condemnation: “if you abort your baby, you will regret it for the rest of the life.” While this is tantamount to emotional terrorism, it also happens to be – for some unknown number of women who do terminate a pregnancy – sadly and painfully true. And while it would be a coup de grace if these same zealots and their clinic-bombing militia wing diverted their considerable free time and energy from the harassment of girls and women to the adoption of their unwanted children, the burden of course would be too great for them alone.

Luckily, there is a more scalable solution to the nation’s abortion conundrum, lurking not that far from the picket line in front of the women’s health clinic. In many cities, it is actually housed in a different wing in the very same clinic, the one where otherwise infertile women spend tens of thousands of dollars a year flooding their bodies with hormones and technology, in the hope that they might establish and carry to term a pregnancy their body obviously does not really want. In wildly disproportionate numbers, of course, these pregnancies do not go to term; many fetuses conceived through in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination come in twos, threes and fours, are born prematurely, and end up in the NICU, costing all of us hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

Welcome to the wild, wacky US health care system! OB/GYN residents get a special case of whiplash as they cross over, usually on one magical summer day, from residency into private practice, and they confront a near inversion of the world where they trained to the world they were training for: many of the poor, uninsured women they see in residency women’s health clinic struggle to deal with unplanned pregnancies; many of the well-off, well-insured women they see in private practice struggle to get pregnant.

And so – just sayin’ here – how difficult would it be to solve one problem in part by solving the other?  Large numbers of girls and women do not want children but also do not want to abort, while just around the medical complex’s corner, large numbers of parents will spend small fortunes and endure miserable, protracted interventions trying to have children. I understand that a major part of parenting involves the primacy of one’s own progeny; but everyone I know who has run the fertility technology gauntlet to no end, only to relent and adopt children, has all said – to a couple – “Why did we go through all that? Why didn’t we just do this in the first place?” And indeed, they appear to love their children every bit as much as parents with their own progeny.  How hard would it be to connect one set of desperate people with another?

Apparently, harder than it sounds. Around the country, there are a small number of poorly funded and barely promoted programs that match unwanted pregnancies with eager adoptive parents. But these programs, usually the only recourse for male couples and the last resort for other couples who have failed with fertility technology and want native kids, are highly marginalized. Might this have something to do with – surprise! – markets and money?  With the fact that overseas adoption is a huge cash business?  With the fact that the “fertility business,” and the high-risk pregnancies and complicated deliveries they tend to yield, generate billions per year in cash income for fertility specialists and third-party payer revenue for hospitals?

If the fulminators in Congress who claim to hate abortion wanted to do something useful about the problem, this would be the place to start. Social workers and normal deliveries are far cheaper than fertility specialists and NICU time; everybody wins, right?  Well, everybody except the doctors and hospitals, of course, which have been known, on occasion, to lobby Congress. But really: is this rocket science? Or is it simply another thing that is so obvious, no one has thought of it?

Or Maybe You Just Hate Hester Prynne More than You Hate Abortion

Meanwhile, back at our regularly scheduled screaming match.

As mentioned at the outset, since the age of 10 I have experienced and understood the visceral hatred of abortion shared by many Americans. And I commiserate fully with all who oppose everything about abortion (if not who oppose abortion rights) because of a spontaneous, heartfelt love of babies that is our humanity at its most tender. I too have held the miracle of a newborn in my weathered old hands, imagining with every nerve in my fingertips that I could feel its soft, warm, pink head growing right there, the cells dividing riotously, a precious new life emerging. And yes, this most blessed of all sensations makes the idea of anyone venturing into a pregnant women with their own hands and aborting a fetus at any stage absolutely repugnant to me.

But it is this very repugnance that should inspire us to do the exact opposite of what those who claim to be “pro-life” are trying to do right now. We should be doing everything in our power to stop unwanted pregnancies from ever occurring in the first place – and blocking girls’ and womens’ access to health care services at places like Planned Parenthood is exactly not how to accomplish this goal.

So let’s put a fine point on it: anyone who claims to hate abortion but does not support expanded funding of sex education, birth control, and women’s access to basic health care is a hypocrite. They are lying to themselves, imposing their own neuroses about sex on the rest of us, and actually helping to make the problem worse. They are miserable Puritan scolds who, unconsciously, obviously care more about punishing girls and women for their sexuality than “protecting the unborn.” They are stuck in the 17th century, with the cruel and mindless mob in The Scarlet Letter, one of the quintessentially American novels for woefully good reason. Worst of all, they are inadvertently helping stimulate demand for abortion.

It is safe to say that all reasonable Americans yearn for the elimination of elective abortion in America.  Some of us are grown up about the realities of the problem. We understand that girls and women have sex, many while under-age and out of wedlock, whether or not that happens to meet with our moral approval. We also understand that the best way to prevent abortion is by increasing rather than shutting down their access to birth control, education and health care benefits. Others by contrast would rather vilify, chastise and control women. They would rather force the government not just into their bedrooms, but all the way into their uteruses.  How odd that, on a different day in Congress, some of these very same people might actually mouth a homily or two about the virtues of market forces, individual liberty, and limited government.  They should be forced to wear a scarlet “H” – for hypocrisy – on all their clothing.

The rest of us who are willing and able to connect the dots between the heinousness of abortion, the realities of human behavior, and how markets actually do work recognize one overriding fact about abortions: they did not start with Roe vs. Wade, they will not stop with its overthrow by the mob, and they will not stop with the dismantling of Planned Parenthood. Abortion has been around for centuries, since the discovery of high-saline baths and “special teas” that induced uterine contractions.  Also around for centuries has been the realization that markets work, and that restricting supply in the face of fixed or increasing demand always results in black markets, the criminalization of desperate citizens, and often immense dislocations and suffering.

The best way to drastically reduce the number of abortions in America is simple: ruthless honesty about its causes and our own political compulsions; massive mobilization of systems to increase adoption; and doing everything in our power to increase girls’ and womens’ access to health care services, like Planned Parenthood, to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

J.D. Kleinke is a medical economist, author, and health information industry pioneer. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, JAMA, Barron’s, the British Medical Journal, Modern Healthcare, and numerous other publications.  His books include “Bleeding Edge: The Business of Health Care in the New Century” (1998), “Oxymorons: The Myth of a U.S. Health Care System” (2001), and “Catching Babies” (2011), a novel about the training of OB/GYNs that will be published in March.

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76 Comments on "The Other Scarlet Letter"


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Guest
Apr 2, 2012

Abortion is “a crime against humanity” while the invasion of Iraq was a “defensive” war, vasectomy “causes auto-immune disease,” and everyone should have perfect pregnancies like me. Wow. Michele Bachmann for President!

I’m with Shelley and have had quite enough of this discussion as well.

But I will finish where I began this post: abortion is awful, but black market abortions are worse…for women, fetuses, and the public health.

Keep abortion safe and legal.

Guest
Pat
Apr 2, 2012

JD, wake up and smell the coffee! LEGAL abortions are killing women. Making it legal makes it LESS safe. That’s because abortionists are no longer afraid of being caught, so they have grown careless. Health departments are shutting down LEGAL abortion mills everywhere because they don’t meet the most basic health standards. They are filthy. Abortionists do not sterilize their instruments properly, if at all, and re-use disposable instruments. They let non-medical personnel prescribe drugs. I attended a hearing of the medical board where they considered disciplining an abortionist for doing that. They just slapped him on the wrist and let him go. Abortionists abandon women in medical distress. They butcher women right and left.

“Keep abortion safe and legal” is an oxymoron. Go educate yourself.

Guest
Apr 2, 2012

I think it’s time for this thread to be closed for further comments. It happens all the time at other blogs.

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Shelley
Feb 28, 2012

Thank you for a very, very good article. The only area where I think you are off — I think the idea that if we only encourage poor women who want abortions to just give up the baby, so that rich women who have fertility problems can “just adopt,” is a gross oversimplification — not that there aren’t thousands of waiting parents who would be thrilled to adopt, but it is harder than hell to give up a child — and going through an unwanted pregnancy is no cakewalk, especially for women whose lives are unstable in any number of ways (socially, financially, drug or alcohol dependence, spousal abuse or whatever). That doesn’t mean that we can’t make that option more readily available. But I don’t see it making a huge dent no matter what kind of support we provide.

Guest
Pat
Mar 30, 2012

Shelley, sure, it is agonizing to give up a child for adoption, but it is MORE agonizing to realize you killed your own child, and now it’s too late to do anything about it. Pregnancy is a NATURAL CONDITION. We women are made for it. If being pregnant is “no cakewalk”, it’s because of circumstances that really have nothing to do with the pregnancy itself. We need to encourage responsible behavior: no drugs, ever, no sex when you’re not prepared to have a child, etc. We can do plenty to make adoption a more attractive option, but the ready availability of abortion has meant there isn’t much effort being expended to do so. Open adoption allows a woman to know how her child is doing, perhaps even spend time with him or her. The whole point is, though, you are suggesting that *I* should be forced, at gunpoint, to pay for some other woman to have her body invaded, her reputation and self-esteem tarnished. Let’s teach women honor and self respect, and that will take care of the matter. Sure, there will always be those who slip anyway. But we can minimize that number and get the problem down to a size where we can deal with it more easily. It’s not just the poor who deserve their honor and their bodily integrity. All women deserve that. And the idea that the most helpful thing we can do for poor women is help them kill their children, frankly, stinks.

Guest
Shelley
Apr 1, 2012

Wait, where did I say that the most helpful thing we can do for poor women is to help them kill their children?

Pregnancy is a natural condition but it is still no cakewalk. I agree that we should make it easier for women to adopt if they are so inclined (as I stated in my response), but the idea that women whose lives are very unstable will suddenly be able to pull it together in the face of an unwanted pregnancy is naive.

Your assert “we can do plenty to make adoption a more attractive option, but the ready availability of abortion has meant there isn’t much effort being expended to do so.” Oh, give me a break. From where I sit it’s because it’s a heckuva lot easier to protest abortion than it is to actually do something about the number of unwanted pregnancies. (And those, like you, who would defund Planned Parenthood — about which you are clearly a misinformed zealot — have no reasonable alternative, which pretty much proves my point). And a lot of these people are against sex ed and now even CONTRACEPTION has become a political topic.

Finally, do us all a favor and stop crying about your tax dollars. My tax dollars support a lot of things I don’t personally support, such as the war in Iraq. That’s part of living in a democratic society.

Guest
Pat
Apr 1, 2012

Shelley, you didn’t say the most helpful thing we can do for poor women is to help them kill their children. Margaret Sanger did. She founded Planned Parenthood.

Pregnancy CAN be a cakewalk. I had six pregnancies, and five of them were cakewalks. During my second pregnancy, I swam a mile twice a week. I played judo until four days before I gave birth. That last day, I was horsing around with my sister, who didn’t study judo, and she kicked me in the thigh and made a nasty bruise. It was fun when the nurse in the delivery room asked me where I got the bruise, and I watched her face as I told her, “Playing judo!” :) My last labor was pretty rough, yet I was able to go outside right after I had given birth, and milk my goats. How do you make pregnancy a cakewalk? Eat right, take care of yourself, all your life. Some pregnancies will have problems, but most won’t. There is even an effective remedy for morning sickness: ginger tea or ginger ale (with real sugar). And if we would stop forcing women to THINK about choosing to kill their babies, their pregnancies would go a lot better, too. A woman has a right to experience the JOY of pregnancy, and millions of women are being robbed of that, and of their own child.

You seem to be uninformed. There are over 4000 organizations in the United States that offer significant help to pregnant women. They are staffed by volunteers, they have connections to good doctors who will help for free or very little cost, they can help with financial problems and counseling, with baby supplies, with adoption, and many other things. So don’t tell me that we need to do something about the number of unwanted pregnancies. We ARE. But people who want to save abortion and make money off women’s bodies are keeping that information from the public. That includes the lamestream media.

It’s not contraception that is the issue. It’s abortifacients, and our right to practice our religion unhindered. I don’t have a duty to help women kill their own children. Not with my money. Your views on Iraq are a separate issue. Iraq is a defensive war. It is legitimate to defend the nation. Being forced to kill unborn babies is NOT a part of living in a democratic society. It is an outrage! Abortion is a crime against humanity, and I am being compelled to participate. It’s either help pay to kill innocent children, or go to jail. Some choice for a democracy, don’t you think?

Guest
Apr 2, 2012

Shorter Pat — If everybody will agree with me all these hateful problems will vanish.

Guest
Pat
Apr 2, 2012

Hey, Shelley, it’s OK not to continue the conversation. If you really mean it when you say you want to protect a woman’s right to choose, you need to do something about the 63% of women who say they were coerced into abortions they didn’t want. Even women who think they want an abortion can suffer terribly afterwards. One woman who was absolutely certain later became suicidal. I sat up with her all night, exchanging messages over the internet so she wouldn’t do it. I tried to call the suicide hotline in her city, 3000 miles away, and they left me on hold (without having spoken to anyone) for 20 minutes, so I gave up. The woman who had promised to help was out of town, and I didn’t know it. I was never so scared in all my life!

I don’t think we can decide whose view is more legitimate.

It’s real simple. If we teach women enough self respect so they don’t let men use them for pleasure and then discard them, there will be a lot fewer unwanted pregnancies. I don’t understand why this is so hard for people to grasp. They think I have NO right to choose not to be involved in their decisions by paying for what they decide to do, at the point of a government gun.

Guest
Shelley
Apr 1, 2012

Pat, I’m so happy you had great, wanted pregnancies surrounded by supportive people. That’s generally not the reality of someone facing an unwanted pregnancy. And I’m genuinely glad your pregnancies were good for you physically. But before you congratulate yourself too much on that count, please understand — I eat right and take care of myself too but was not nearly as fortunate in my pregnancy, although I won’t bore you with the details.

And you’re right — there are a lot of organizations who want to help pregnant women who might want to carry to term — and I applaud their efforts, I genuinely do. But I am and will always be for a woman’s right to choose. (By the way — when I say “we need to do something about the number of unwanted pregnancies,” what I mean is, enable women to avoid becoming pregnant, not take care of them so that they can provide a healthy infant for some deserving family to adopt. Just so we’re clear.)

I am not here to debate Iraq with you, but believe me when I say I am as against that as you are against abortion. And that view is as legitimate as yours.

And I am very done with this conversation and will not respond further. I think we’ve both made ourselves clear enough.

Guest
Edilyn Y.
Feb 28, 2012

I agree that Planned Parenthood is good resource for those seeking preventative care such as birth control, health screenings which include pap smears, free condoms, and proper sex education. All of these things, if appropriate access is available, can help decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies and therefore decrease the number of abortions. The fact that Planned Parenthood touches base with the majority of taboos doesn’t sit too well with these politicians, but they have to remember that everyone should be entitled to the same healthcare rights and preventative care options.

You are correct in that if these politicians wanted to end abortion altogether they should go the opposite route by not only increasing funding to Planned Parenthood but to also increase sex education in schools and focus on the wellness of this vulnerable population. Your recommendation of them facilitating the adoption process for those with unwanted pregnancies who chose not to abort makes sense, but of course, that wasn’t included anywhere in their proposal. By supporting health care reform bills that increase access to basic health care services to this vulnerable population, politicians can put their money where their mouth is.

As a nurse, educating our patients regarding preventative care and managing illnesses is our duty. We took an oath upon graduation that we would “do no harm” and take care of our patients to the best of our ability. In order to do this, however, we must also advocate for our patient’s rights in the realm of health care reform bills put into legislation. Our medical expertise can pose a positive impact by providing the information that may be overlooked by politicians who may not have any medical background.

Guest
Pat
Mar 30, 2012

Edilyn, as a nurse, your duty is to BOTH your patients, and your oath requires you “do no harm” to EITHER of your patients. When you have a pregnant woman, you have TWO PATIENTS. The mere fact you can’t see the other one means harming that one is all the more despicable.

Look into what Planned Parenthood really does. It sells abortions to women who don’t want them, aids and abets sex trafficking of minors, lies about fetal development, refuses to report child molestation and statutory rape, and in every way does its darndest to make sure nothing stands in the way of another abortion sale, not even the well being of the women and girls who come to them. The fact PP sometimes (not always) offers other services doesn’t redeem the horrible damage they do to women in general. And it doesn’t redeem the fact that they go around in the schools using known propaganda techniques to encourage sexual activity among people who are neither mature enough to handle the ramifications, nor well enough off financially to care for a child. ABORTION IS NOT HEALTH CARE, whether through pills or surgery, so claiming it’s basic health care services is simply a fabrication.

Women deserve better than abortion, and they deserve better than being used as a sexual plaything to be discarded when they fully express OUR sexuality. Part of our sexuality IS the experience of carrying a child, giving birth, and breastfeeding. We deserve our bodily integrity and our honor. And guess what! If we are allowed to keep our honor and our bodily integrity, we won’t even “NEED” birth control services. It’s free!

Guest
Mar 30, 2012

If you are against abortion, do not have one. If you are a nurse who is against abortion, do not assist with one. The law protects your rights on both counts – and a whole lot more effectively than it protects women forced to face this horrifying choice.

And if you are a male nurse who is against abortion, then get a vasectomy, as it is the single most effective birth control method after abstinence. Most abortions are the result of female birth control failures, not the result of girls and women who use it as birth control method because they are stupid and lazy, no matter what the hateful, repressed, Neo-Victorians like Bachman and Santorum think.

In the meanwhile, stop repeating the moronic, uninformed, propagandist nonsense against Planned Parenthood. As a first-line provider of health care services for women and girls – staffed by embattled health care providers every bit as committed to their patients’ health as you claim to be – Planned Parenthood has in effect PREVENTED more unwanted pregnancies and thus PREVENTED more abortions than any other organization in the history of this country.

Guest
Mar 30, 2012

Thanks for this, Dr. Kleinke.
Keep up the good work.

Guest
Mar 30, 2012

Unfortunately, in this instance you are peeing into the ocean.
This person seems to have drunk too much of the wrong Kool-ade.

Guest
Pat
Mar 30, 2012

Hey, it’s not quite that simple. About 63% of women who had abortions reported being coerced. You’re right; the law doesn’t protect them. And no, the law does not protect a nurse’s right not to assist with one. It also doesn’t protect my right to go to ethical doctors only. The law forces doctors to participate, and this warps their ethics and their medical judgment. I speak from PERSONAL experience about what that does to decent medical care. Obamacare mandates that I must help pay for them, as do other federal laws. A woman deserves better than abortion. She should never HAVE to face such a horrifying choice. It robs her of her right to experience the joy at being pregnant (which many women will experience if you give them half a chance).

If you are a male nurse (I’m female, so it doesn’t apply to me) and you want children someday, getting a vasectomny is not an option. Vasectomies are also a cause of auto-immune disease. How about you just keep your fly zipped shut until you are in a position to protect your baby? This whole thing is so ASININE. Why do people have casual sex in the first place? It takes the meaning out of sex.

And if you believe THAT about Planned Parenthood, I’d sure like to sell you a bridge. I could use the money. Yes, a lot of the personnel are committed, at least for awhile. Then they discover, as Abby Johnson did, that PP is a pack of lies. They’re not trying to reduce the number of abortions. They’re trying to INCREASE them. They SELL abortions. Believe me, if what they did prevented pregnancy, they wouldn’t be doing it!

If you want to make abortion a private decision, keep it that way. I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to be involved. I don’t want my doctor involved. As things stand now, the government PROMOTES promiscuity and abortion, and we have to pay for it.

Guest
Sep 8, 2011

Genuinely beneficial appreciate it, I’m sure your visitors would possibly want a whole lot more blog posts like that maintain the great work.

Guest
Pat
May 31, 2011

Your article outraged and infuriated me. What right does anyone have to force ME to pay for an organization that does over 300,000 abortions a year? If you are right about market forces, we don’t need Planned Parenthood. Someone else will take up the slack. I find your implication that women will naturally resort to having sex to be extremely demeaning. It is not in our nature to sleep with men who don’t cherish us enough to protect us from abortion.

Here is what your argument says to me. We are never going to stop rape completely. So let’s have rape centers that teach women martial arts and other methods of protecting themselves, but will allow any man to rape the woman of his choice in perfect safety, and let’s force the taxpayers to pay for it.

Here’s how I see abortion. It is medical rape of the mothers and axe-murder of the babies. I am supposed to subsidize this willingly, even if it only means that Planned Parenthood can take my money to support “other services” (what a joke!) so that they have more other money to devote to abortion?

65% of women report their abortions were coerced. 90% report they received inadequate counseling, or no counseling at all. Do you believe in informed consent? This figure should appall you.

Educate yourself. Pro-life people have adopted in huge numbers. (We have four adopted children in our family.) The mechanisms for adoption are already in place; only the babies are missing. They provide REAL services to women who face a troublesome pregnancy. They offer viable alternatives. Don’t go around defaming people who provide these services. Planned Parenthood’s founder, “The most loving thing a family can do for one of its children is to kill it” Margaret Sanger associated with the Nazis who brutally murdered millions of your own people.

I spend many, many hours helping women pick up the pieces of shattered lives after abortion, or find medical care after suffering a horrendous complication from a so-called legal and safe abortion. Women are far more likely to agonize over an abortion on their own, than as a result of anything another person can say to them.

Planned Parenthood offers contraceptives and sex “education” because they KNOW the result will be MORE abortion revenue for them. At the very least, if you believe the stuff you said, you need to condemn Planned Parenthood and support an organization (if it even exists) that won’t have the corruption Planned Parenthood has. If you don’t understand the problem, just go watch LiveAction videos on YouTube.

Would you come over to my house, point a gun in my face, and say, “Hand over your money, so I can give it to Planned Parenthood”? If you wouldn’t, don’t ask the government to do your dirty work for you. I have a right to refuse to pay for medical rape and axe-murder and for organizations that commit them.

Guest

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Sam
Mar 6, 2011

oh, and to answer J.D.’s opening question, I hate abortions too, Every form of the procedure sickens me, and has since the time I was called to pick up a woman whose BP was mysteriously in the 60’s, about 20 minutes post procedure. The physician had apparently nicked her uterus on his way out, confirmed by the OR resuscitation team at the hospital, who performed an emergency hysterectomy on the patient. Her parents had to be called to tell them not to pick her up after school, the patient still didn’t have her license.

Guest
Sam
Mar 6, 2011

Interesting article. Peppering in demand and supply to a moral dilemma presently restrained by legal positivism is a first for me. It is legal positivism that the pro-abortion on demand crowd uses to shield from any form of disagreement from anyone who is convinced that destroying a human in utero is murder.

In regards to framing abortions within the context of market economics, it is an erroneous assumption and a straw man argument to propose that pro-lifers (whatever that means!) are naive about the demand for on demand abortions. The issue so seemingly glossed over throughout the article is the fact that there is a majority of the population that wants to remove the federal/state bureaucracy from the equation of providing subsidized pregnancy terminations and/or contraception, and rightly so.

I would think that anybody chanting demand and supply for abortions would be able to see that reproductive services would be run more efficiently and not trample on citizens rights, should it be left, completely and utterly, on the belief that the aggregate demand will dictate a proportionate supply of providers. It is naive to believe that politicians are removed from the profit motive, and therefore any choice they make is good for the people.

It is incredibly easy and sophomoric at best, to throw out the H bomb on opposing points of views, when the author plants himself first on the side of a moral objection to abortion, followed by diametrically denouncing government subsidized abortion opponents. R v W might be where many people derive their feelings regarding the freedom to kill a developing fetus, but it sure doesn’t state that funding should come from government revenue.

At this point in time, the question is not wether abortion is right or wrong (R v W settled that for most), the issue is wether or not PP should be continued to be funded by government revenue. To discard that question, since it’s just coming from some “hyprocrite” “stuck in the 17th century” with an inherent “visceral hatred of abortion” is a cop out. Reading this article confirms the fact that government revenue is funding abortions, based on the fact that the act is legal. Why else would the author write such a heartfelt piece on his belief that abortions should be free for all?

Guest
Mar 3, 2011

Very interesting concept of the difference between someone who is ‘pro-life’ and someone who is ‘anti-choice’.
Defunding the largest organization that promotes responsible sex is like shooting one’s self in the foot if you are pro-life.
Defunding Planned Parenthood makes perfect sense if you wish to control the reproductive choices of women, thus you are anti-choice.

Adoption is a beautiful wonderful thing, but it is not an alternative to pregnancy. Many women choose abortion because they cannot or do not want to be pregnant. Yes, let’s expand our adoption services!
But one must always remember, a woman who wishes to not be pregnant will choose an abortion.

I chose an abortion, because I did not/could not be pregnant. Had it been a year later, I might have carried to term and put the resulting child up for adoption. A few years later, i would keep the resulting child.

Financially, it makes more sense to provide birth control than to provide for the otherwise resulting children. Less birth control = more unwanted pregnancies = more abortions/more births = more money being spent in general.

I’m no genius at math, but that seems like grade school stuff.

Do you mind if I link this to my blog?

Guest
Nate Ogden
Mar 1, 2011

” The shouting match that erupted since my last comment thanking Dr. Kleinke reminds me of something I left earlier.”

What are you reading? The comments are far more tame then the name calling post they are discussing. I know you love to frame the argument and distort it as much as possible but by THCB standards this is nothing more then friendly chit chat.

“an abortion provider who killed several live babies by cutting their spinal chords with scissors.”

And a few dozen more by equally gruesome methods.

“but the details of that case is not the point. ”

Its not the point if you were on the wrong side of the argument. Someone claimed there was no bright line in abortion of wrong and acceptable. I hope to God or whoever everyone agrees what happened there was wrong. Many pro abortion people are unilling to draw that line or even admit there is a line. Vast majority of Americans agree late term elective abortions are wrong, many on the left still fight for the right to have one.

“I’m making the point that conflating criminal activity with legal activity is exactly the dynamic that has poisoned abortion discussions ever since the Roe decision”

Until you have a clear line of what is criminal and what is legal how do you have any discusion? This is one of the major problems with law by judiciary. I would consider any late term elective abortion illegal and I would consider giving minors medical procedures without parental notification illegal as well. PP does both of these.

“And the same messy thinking is evident when fraudulent billing methods or other illegal abuses of the system are used as broad brush evidence that the entire system is corrupt and should be abolished altogether.”

Apparently you like killing straw men as much as babies. Who said abolish the system? I see this dishonest argument runs rampant on the left, both you and JD use it. PP is not the system, PP is one corrupt political organization. We can get rid of PP and all their problems and still have a system. We would have a better system if PP was gone. Your comment just supports my point that the left has no problem with waste and fraud as long as it furthers your ideology.

What shouting match? If you repeat it enough people mighht believe you?

“My hope is that the hateful rhetoric being demonstrated in the last dozen or so comments will cool to more reasonable tones.”

Hypocrisy hath a name and it be John Ballard. The most hateful statements by anyone where from JD and his demonization of those that disagree with him, and you congradulated him. As long as they agree with you all the name calling and hate is ok, disagree and say nothing ill of another and you get branded. Sure thing John.

“I take reverences to the Left as a personal insult because I’m an old-fashioned Liberal still wearing that label without apology. ”

Apparently you do apologise otherwise you wouldn’t be so hurt and ashamed to be called a liberal. How in one sentenance do you both claim and reject the label?

“an illustration of the Last Word Game which aims to overcome an opponent with humiliation instead of persuasion. It is the tool of tyrants and bullies and I want nothing to do with such arguments.”

like calling people tyrants and bullies? is a hypocrite. They are lying to themselves, imposing their own neuroses about sex on the rest of us, and actually helping to make the problem worse. They are miserable Puritan scolds who, unconsciously, obviously care more about punishing girls and women for their sexuality than “protecting the unborn.” They are stuck in the 17th century, with the cruel and mindless mob?

then you respond

By making a compelling and sincere attempt to find safe footing in one of the most contentious issues of our day, Dr. Kleinke appeals to the better angels of everyone’s nature.

Can’t have it both ways John.