The Abortion Industry: A Study in PredationBy Rob Schwarzwalder Senior Vice-President
Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Vice President at Family Research Council. This article appeared in Christian Headlines on January 22, 2015.
The abortion industry is predatory.
Many women who are considering abortion are in a vulnerable position. Struggling with a decision about ending the life within one’s womb and worrying about the physical, psychological and spiritual effects of that decision create an inner emotional landscape replete with rough places that are difficult to make plain.
The abortion industry is quite mindful of these things, and in good marketing form approaches women in an alluring and comforting manner.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the nation’s largest provider of abortion. Its webpage on “In-Clinic Abortion Procedures” features the image of a strikingly attractive young woman in a lab coat smiling warmly. Then, the abortion procedures offered (“aspiration,” or dismemberment and vacuuming-out of the unborn child, and “dilation and extraction,” or the notorious and particularly brutal partial-birth abortion) are described entirely in terms of how the woman will feel and what she will experience – no information is given concerning what happens to the unborn child. PPFA makes abortion sound less traumatic than having a tooth pulled.
Women wrestling with the decision to give life or abort it are thus soothed into an act so odious that can lead to the equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder (see below).
Though seeking to create a comfortable experience for the mother, the website offers no descriptions of what an abortion is or does can one find a single mention of what – that is, who – is being aborted: A developing unborn baby. Not one.
Similarly, the National Abortion Federation (NAB) features soft-toned colors and photos of warmly smiling, invariably attractive, and oddly joyous-looking young women. Again, the descriptions of abortion offered range from the clinically technical to the soothingly mellifluous.
But unlike PPFA, the NAB does at least allude to the child being dismembered. “The provider (abortion doctor) uses suction as in a first trimester abortion,” the NAB writes, “and additional instruments to remove the pregnancy and pregnancy tissue.”
“Remove the pregnancy” – that doesn’t even make linguistic sense. But “pregnancy tissue?” If the “tissue” were planned and longed-for, we would all call him or her a baby.
And then there’s www.abortion.com, which offers “a list of abortion facilities, abortion doctors, and abortion providers of many types. They will all provide a variety of Abortion [sic] care and stand ready to be your partner in exploring your options and finding an abortion solution to your needs.”
This sounds almost perky, a quality that only adds to the obvious, perhaps even frantic effort of abortionists and their marketers to avoid having to talk about what they really do at all costs.
Like its associates in unborn death, Abortion.com never mentions the unborn child, except in the most opaque of allusions: “Later abortion requires an ultrasound to accurately date the gestational age of the pregnancy.” So now a pregnancy has a gestational age? Personification of a condition (pregnancy) to avoid having to mention the unborn child is a disingenuous way of seeking to avoid having to deal with the reality of what an abortion is – the excision of a developing human life through dismemberment.
Women reading these sites are thus soothed into an odious act, one with profound psychological effects likened in clinical literature to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
By omitting the grimness of a woman’s potential undertaking in aborting her child and their manipulation through pleasing visuals and reassuring ads, abortion providers prey upon their customers. Such predation is augmented by the recent finding of researchers at London’s King’s College that nearly 25 percent of women who have abortions “had experienced at least one domain (physical, sexual, or emotional) of intimate partner violence (IPV).” The researchers reviewed 74 studies of women who had had abortions in countries around the world and found that violence against them has been a common thread throughout their experiences.
Here in the U.S., a study published last year by the Jacobs Institute on Women’s Health and carried on the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information webpage, “nearly one-third of women” reported feeling pressure from an “intimate partner” to have an abortion.
Lulling a person into an action that causes death is immoral. Pressuring clients into an abortion is even worse, a form of emotional and sometimes physical marauding that only augments the abortion industry’s innate predation.
The undeniable fact is that abortion means killing an innocent life. This is wrong in the sight of God. It is an abrasion of the human conscience. It is a bleeding slash on our country’s national life. It is predation on millions of women—and men.
There is another dimension to the marketing strategy of the abortion industry: While professing to help underprivileged and vulnerable, the abortion industry also lines its own pockets. For example, PPFA, though legally classified as a non-profit, pocketed $540.6 million in taxpayer dollars and reported a $58.2 million profit for 2012-2013.
The profit motive can be a very honorable and well-justified thing and, in our society, usually is. But profit at the expense of death? No. Never.
Manipulation, deception and coercionare acts of hostility. Rather than subjecting women to them, child-bearing women considering abortion need love, hope and practical help, both during and after their pregnancies. These mothers often need coaches and mentors to help them strengthen strained relationships with their boyfriends or husbands, cheerful friends to help them learn how to parent, and strong advocates to help protect them from abusers.
For millions of Christians, Elisabeth Elliot’s has been a voice of mature, comforting, and sometimes bracing biblical counsel for decades. Mrs. Elliot is now in her waning years, but writing some time ago of the “abortion culture,” her questions still penetrate:
If any human life, however frail, however incapable of retaliation, is entrusted to us shall we nourish and cherish it, or may we–by some enormously civilized and educated rationalization–convince ourselves either that it is not a person, or that, although it is a person, its life is not worth living, and that therefore what we do with it is a matter of individual choice? We are faced with only one question. Are we talking about an object, or might it by any stretch of the imagination be a person? If we cannot be sure of the answer, at least we may pick up a clue or two from the word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you for my own; before you were born I consecrated you, I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ To God, at least, Jeremiah was already a person. For my part, I will try to regard whatever bears the marks of humanity as God’s property and not mine.
Her part is wise, for it’s the part of any Christian who believes that the God of the Bible, the Author of Life, begins that most noble of all creational enterprises at the moment of conception – and that the women in whose wombs that enterprise begins merits not predation but compassion, respect and help, indeed all that can be done to ensure the safe delivery of and persistent, loving care for a healthy, joyous baby.
If you or someone you know is wrestling with how to deal with a troubled pregnancy, find out what resources are available to you by going to Lifecall’s Resources for Pregnant Women and Their Babies and CareNet’s “Find a Pregnancy Center” site.