Posted on March 1, 2002


They See NUTH-thing

"Pro-choicers" can't handle the truth


Daniel Clark



There comes a time in many people's lives when they learn to recognize the existence of things which they cannot see. For most of us, this occurs at a very young age. It's at about the time in your infancy when peek-a-boo stops being fun, because after the initial shock (Grandma's gone!) the truth finally sinks in. (Oh, wait. She's right there behind those hands. What was I thinking?)

Planned Parenthood's board of directors

For some, it seems, this revelation never comes. There's a whole classification of people for whom certain things cease to exist once they're no longer in plain view. These people retain their seeing-is-believing view of the world all the way to adulthood. Many of them even rise to positions of responsibility in the fields of politics, medicine and education, all the while believing that they can eliminate facts simply by concealing them. They identify themselves by the title "pro-choice," which they say reflects their support for a woman's ability to choose whether to have an abortion, but it really signifies their belief that they may freely choose to dispense with the immutable facts of life.

This position was summed up nicely by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has cast crucial votes to swing both the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey and the 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart rulings to the pro-abortion side. In the majority opinion she wrote for Casey, O'Connor declared, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

But of course! It makes perfect sense, if you really think about it ... while stoned. This must be what was on Patrick Henry's mind when he uttered those immortal words, "Give me the right to define the universe, or give me death."

The "pro-choice" movement has learned not to argue on factual grounds that a human fetus is something other than a person, because this encourages public debate on the facts, and ultimately, a refutation of their entire case. So instead, abortion advocates have embraced Justice O'Connor's philosophy, that each person has a right to his or her own reality. To the degree to which they've succeeded in persuading the public to accept this premise, they've rendered the facts moot, and in so doing, made arguments futile.

Their problem is that this approach can only be effective for as long as the issue remains in the abstract. When the truth is laid bare, all but the most committed pro-abortion activists will recognize that facts aren't optional after all. Hence the "pro-choice" movement, among all political causes, is uniquely threatened by the existence of objective truths.

This conflict has manifested itself most recently in the use of ultrasound for counseling pregnant women. Tom Glessner, president of an organization called the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, has been working toward the goal of providing ultrasound equipment for 1,000 crisis pregnancy centers (or "so-called crisis pregnancy centers," as the Associated Press calls them).

Obviously, the aim of this project is to dissuade women from having abortions. Ergo, the "pro-choice" crowd figures, it must be illegal. Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, charges the CPCs with "malpractice," adding that, "They're using medical technology as political propaganda." Mind you, in her line of work, "malpractice" is defined as a procedure from which all parties involved come out alive.

Define this, Sandra

"Propaganda" is what Feldt calls an accurate image from inside a pregnant woman's womb. Her suggestion that this is in some way unfair to her cause is as damning an indictment of the PPFA as any that has ever been leveled by its enemies.

Remember that the purpose for which the PPFA was founded is population control, not women's health, prenatal care, or any of the other standard euphemisms. To that organization, once a child has been conceived, any result other than an abortion is considered a failure. That's why Planned Parenthood believes that ultrasound is only being properly utilized when its use results in an abortion.

Wichita abortionist George Tiller uses ultrasound to assist him in second and third-trimester abortions, by locating the baby's heart so that he can reach it through the mother's abdominal wall with a hypodermic needle. He then injects it with a drug called digoxin, which causes the baby to suffer a cardiac arrest.

Another approved use of this technology has been revealed by Carol Everett, the former owner of two Dallas abortion clinics. Since 1987, Everett has spoken at numerous "Meet the Abortion Providers" conferences hosted by the Pro-Life Action League, where defectors from the abortion industry give shocking first-hand accounts of their former professions. She explains that women who came to her clinics to find out whether they were pregnant were often told that they were, even if they were not, so that the abortionists could perform -- and charge for -- phony abortions.

In one of her more recent speeches, broadcast last month on Cornerstone Television, Everett explained how ultrasound is used to aid this dangerous and fraudulent practice. She says that clinic employees will show a sonogram to a woman who's not pregnant, and point out some indiscernible mass that they will identify as a fetus. The trusting patient is led to think that (a) whatever she's looking at somehow indicates that she's pregnant, and (b) she sees nothing on the screen that looks anything like a baby.

But to allow an actually pregnant woman to actually see her baby, now that's unethical. Moreover, according to National Abortion Rights Action League president Kate Michelman, it's an insult to women's intelligence. "It never fails to amaze me how little respect they have for women's capacity to understand what goes on in our bodies," she says. "I faced a crisis pregnancy after having three children, and I didn't need anyone to show me a sonogram to inform me that my pregnancy would result in giving birth to a person."

The degree of difficulty of that evasion shows just how aware Michelman is of both the purpose and the effectiveness of the CPCs' use of ultrasound technology. When a pregnant woman is shown her sonogram, it shows her much more than that her pregnancy "would result in giving birth to a person" if she carried it to term. It shows her that she's carrying another person right now. That's why Colorado abortionist Warren Hern wrote in his manual, Abortion Practice, that "[M]ost professionals in the field feel that it is not advisable for patients to view the products of conception, to be told the sex of the fetus, or to be informed of a multiple pregnancy."

This 'would result' in a person

Abortionists, and others who call themselves "pro-choice," know that women are less likely to choose abortion the more they know about their babies. Maybe Michelman is an exception. Maybe if she'd been shown an ultrasonic image of a baby moving around inside her, she'd have said, "Oh, sure. You can't fool me with your anti-choice misinformation campaign."

On the other hand, she might be afraid that ultrasound could do to her what it did for her predecessor, former NARAL president Bernard Nathanson. The ex-abortionist gives the invention almost sole credit for his conversion. Having originally used ultrasound to assist his abortions, Nathanson decided that it could be a valuable tool for persuading others to change their views on the abortion issue. The result was the much talked about but seldom seen film entitled The Silent Scream. Abortion advocacy groups charged at the time that the sonogram in the film was a fabricated animation. Now that the public is familiar enough with ultrasonic imaging to debunk that argument, the opposition has shifted to the position that sonograms, while themselves genuine, are used by anti-abortion activists in misleading ways.

This is where New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer comes in. Spitzer has launched an investigation of crisis pregnancy centers, for which he's already issued 34 subpoenas. He has indicated that the probe is based in part on concerns that the CPCs may be practicing medicine without a license. The timing of the investigation suggests that Mr. Glessner's ultrasound project has fallen under scrutiny, despite the fact that off-duty nurses are being recruited to operate the machinery, which itself is not even invasive.

Another stated reason for this investigation is the possibility that the CPCs are misrepresenting themselves, which a few of them indeed have done in the past. However, the obvious irony of a wholesale investigation of the anti-abortion movement for alleged deceptions has led Bishop Henry J. Mansell of Buffalo to call for a similar investigation of the thoroughly dishonest "family planning" industry. Of course, he doesn't expect Mr. Spitzer to take him up on it, but he's made his point, and it ought to be clear to anybody.

If the attorney general were to direct his attention toward the abortion peddlers, the misrepresentations he would find would not be confined to a few overzealous activists, but would instead lead him straight to the core of the pro-abortion movement. CPCs often come under fire for not being specific enough in identifying themselves as pro-life entities which will not refer a woman to an abortionist. Imagine if abortion clinics and referral services had to be just as transparent. Planned Parenthood would have to change its name to "Abortions R Us."

Another deceptive reality

A little forthrightness from Mr. Spitzer wouldn't be a bad idea, either. The A.G. denies that his actions have been taken at the bidding of NARAL, which had given him a $2,800 campaign donation, and once invited him to speak at one of its conferences. It's probably true that nobody at that organization picked up a phone and gave him his marching orders, but there's no question that he's sympathetic to the pro-abortion cause, and that he's more than a little familiar with its literature.

On NARAL's website, there's a 1999 publication entitled "Unmasking Fake Clinics," which voices the same concerns that Spitzer does about CPCs using non-medical personnel and having names confusingly similar to abortion clinics. It even bellyaches that "abortion alternatives" appears before "abortion providers" in the yellow pages. At the end of the report is a link to a survey which asks for anecdotes about deception at CPCs, and helpfully points out, in upper-case bold italics, that respondents' names will be kept COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL unless they specify otherwise. It's quite clear that Spitzer has volunteered to spearhead this public relations offensive. For him to deny that would be barely more credible than abortion advocates' "safe, legal and rare" mantra.


The PPFA claims to offer women complete and unbiased information about all the options available to them, yet will only refer a woman to an adoption agency once all its efforts to sway her toward abortion have been exhausted. According to that organization's own figures, it now performs sixty-one abortions for every adoption referral.

Planned Parenthood and other "family planning" groups are in the business of selling abortions. They do not enable women to make an "informed choice"; they "inform" them that the only suitable choice for them is abortion. To them, that 62nd woman, the one who chose adoption, is the one that got away, and they resent it.

Abortion clinic employees don't really need Dr. Hern's advice. They already know instinctively that a woman will be much more likely to agree to an abortion if the most fundamental facts are hidden from her. Understanding that, what must they do when she starts asking questions about her baby? They can't tell her what they really think -- that the contents of her own womb are none of her business -- so instead, they have to play dumb. They know NUTH-thing. They see NUTH-thing.

They accuse the CPCs of "intimidation" for their use of ultrasound, but a pregnant woman's reaction to the images is not merely visceral. What really scares abortion advocates about ultrasound is its ability to transmit information. It shows the mother that her baby is at a far more advanced stage of development than the "mass of tissue" she'd been told to expect. It also allows her to watch it suck its thumb, and make other voluntary movements of which it is supposed to be incapable. Facts, unlike emotions, are not fleeting. Once a woman has learned that her baby is a person, and not an inert growth, she will never un-know that for the rest of her life.

This helps explain why NARAL and friends become so upset about images of living fetuses, just as they do pictures of dead ones. According to O'Connor's theorem, abortionists aren't killing people, because the way they've defined the mystery of human life, nobody really exists until birth anyway. That's their reality, and they're sticking to it. It's the anti-abortion activists, who display pictures of tiny dismembered human beings, who are the ones making them be dead. The carnage is psychosomatic.

A human life, not a mystery

Likewise, CPC nurses must be making women pregnant by showing them their sonograms. No wonder pro-abortion activists accuse their enemies of forcing women to have unwanted children. According to their story, the children don't exist until the ultrasonic images cause them to.

The concept that reality is a matter of individual choice may be the only way that abortion advocates can explain their own actions to themselves, because their movement is based on a series of contradictions right out of 1984. Ignorance is knowledge. Coercion is choice. To destroy is to provide.

Explaining themselves to the rest of society, however, is becoming increasingly difficult. For that, we can thank the educational application of ultrasound, which is making the truth as plain as the nose on a product of conception.



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