Friday, March 18, 2011

A suggestion for a new law

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has signed into law an ordinance which may be unconstitutional demanding that crisis pregnancy centers make a series of ten disclosures in their signs, writing, advertising, and interactions with clients to let them know that--newsflash!--crisis pregnancy centers don't kill babies.

Dr. Alvada King has a good question:

Dr. Alveda King, a pro-life advocate who is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said that abortion providers would not appreciate being forced to make disclosures similar to those being asked of crisis pregnancy centers.

“We help women, and we help babies,” she told CNA. “Why don't the abortion clinics put up signs, saying 'We kill babies, we often hurt mothers, and our clinics are unregulated and often not up to good standards'? Why don't they put up those signs?”

I think that's an excellent question. In fact, I have the wording for a sign I think should be required, by law, to be placed in every abortion butchery in the nation--in red, below:

Notice: This is an abortion clinic. We do not want you to choose life, as we will then lose the $350-$1000 we would otherwise make by killing your unborn child. We will not counsel you to choose life. We will not ask you if you are sure you want the abortion or if you have considered adoption for your baby. Rather, we will insist that your baby is a clump of tissue. We may tell you the following things, all of which are false after the sixth week of gestation:

  • that your baby does not have a heartbeat
  • that your baby is simply "a few cells" in size
  • that your baby does not yet have a head, arms, or legs
  • that your baby can't yet move in the uterus
  • that there is no difference between your baby and an animal embryo
or anything else that dehumanizes and depersonalizes the child you carry inside you.

In fact, we will never use the words "child" or "baby" except in extremely negative contexts. Rather, we will say "cells," "the pregnancy," "the embryo," or, perhaps, "the fetus." We will imply that whatever is inside you, it has nothing to do with those images of unborn babies you sometimes see.

We will not provide you with an ultrasound of your baby unless the state requires it. We will not tell you about fetal development or your baby's gestational age and development unless the state requires it. Even if the state requires it we may fail to meet state requirements; we will definitely encourage you to sign away your rights to see such images or to hear about your baby's development as state laws generally permit, on the grounds that it interferes with your "choice" to think for even a moment that you are carrying a living human being inside your body.

You are carrying a living human being inside of you, and your abortion will end the life of the developing human being inside of you. He or she will likely be either dismembered alive and removed, shredded alive via a suction device, poisoned to death and delivered, or simply delivered alive and left to expire. You will not cease to be a mother via this abortion, as you will remain the mother of a dead human child. If you are having an abortion because you are poor, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or in a bad relationship, you should be aware that after the abortion you will still be poor, addicted, or stuck with the kind of jerk who doesn't want children. Abortion will not solve any of your present problems and may create future ones. If you are unhappy about your abortion, your abortionist does not offer any money-back or other guarantees, as once he has killed your child he doesn't give an expletive deleted about what happens to you, and isn't about to refund any of your cash, most of which is conveniently untraceable by government taxing authorities.

Our clinic is not in the business of helping clients straighten out their lives after their abortions. In fact, we hope you will continue to make the kind of choices that lead to unplanned and unwanted pregnancy; repeat business is good for our bottom line. Unlike many crisis pregnancy centers, we will not help you finish your education, find a job, or learn the kind of life skills you will need to be a good and responsible parent. We would rather keep you in a state of perpetual irresponsibility so you will continue to need our services.

If you expect us to care about you as a person, to offer you life counseling or any other form of compassion--get over yourself. We kill human babies for a living, and we're proud of it. That should tell you something about what kind of people we are.

I think we should start requiring abortion clinics, by law, to post that or some similar notice. At least then the crisis pregnancy centers wouldn't be the only ones in the position of having to advertise what they don't do.


Charlie said...

Testing testing testing, Google seems to have lost my post but I don't want to post twice.

Red Cardigan said...

Charlie, I checked my blog's "spam folder" just in case, but I don't see your first comment. Sorry!

Charlie said...

OK. let me try again. I don't really agree with the proposal Ms. Manning offers, for the same reason that I think the New York ordinance will fail. Both violate freedom of speech by putting words into the mouth of an unwilling speaker.

I read that the NY City Council tried to draft their ordinance in a way that would avoid the successful challenge to a similar ordinance in Baltimore:

However, I don't think that is possible. ANY ordinance which does what this ordinance does is going to run afoul of the First Amendment. As the court observed in the Baltimore case, IF there is actual fraud going on, or a genuine truth-in-advertising issue, the city can vigorously enforce its existing, viewpoint-neutral, anti-fraud ordinances.

There is already a well established precedent that the organizers of an event, e.g. a St. Patrick's Day parade, may not be required by an anti-discrimination ordinance to include messages the sponsors don't wish to sponsor, e.g., an Irish Gay and Lesbian contingent.

What's the connection? It is all about freedom of speech, about one party putting words in someone else's mouth. That is constitutionally barred to all levels of government. America is founded on letting many viewpoints compete openly in the public square.

Anonymous said...

24 years ago I needed to talk to someone who had no agenda for me and no an ax to grind, about an unplanned pregnancy. The counselor at the abortion clinic picked up within 1 minute of beginning the conversation that abortion was not something I wanted.

She helped my husband and me see that the panicked way we were thinking about an UNPLANNED pregnancy had nothing to do with the realities of parenting. We were seeing a quarter of a century of work as if it would all come down on one day, as if it was any different from the rest of life, which is lived moment by moment.

We left after 45 minutes, relieved of our anxieties and ready to prepare for having a baby. Our son is now 23, a gorgeous, warm, good-hearted, hard-working, smart, funny human being. The "abortion" counselor didn't talk about my "right to choose" or discount fetal development - unlike nearly everyone else in my life. She gave me the room I needed to speak from my heart.

You paint too with too broad brush strokes, as usual, but I'm sure it felt good to vent. This really doesn't add much to the conversation, however. If anyone had approached me your way, back then, I'm not sure I would have had my baby.

Think about it.


Red Cardigan said...

Elizabeth, with all due respect (and you know I mean this sincerely), I think your experience is not typical. Certainly when I read what post-abortive moms have written I have not seen any accounts of an abortion clinic worker trying to talk anyone out of abortion. I have, however, heard accounts of women begging and pleading to the effect that they've changed their minds, only to be told it's too late, they're already prepped for the surgery, and they can't leave now.

Aside from the woman whose boyfriend was trying to make her abort at gunpoint, and who got the clinic employee to call the police because she didn't want an abortion, I haven't heard of any clinic workers in this day and age acting like pregnancy and birth are viable alternatives. Maybe 23 years ago, but not too often these days.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

It all depends on whether the clinic is providing a voluntary service, or has been suckered into the abomination that non-profits should adopt a "business model" for organizing their work.

The "business model" relies far more on paid staff, and far less on volunteers. Paid staff "just do their job" and are more likely to follow a "standard procedure," whereas volunteers are more likely to follow their conscience and be attuned to whatever motivated them to volunteer their time.

More important, business model staff want to sell a product. Sales men and women are not attuned to what the customer is ready for, but are trying to close the deal.

When it comes to how to handle a pregnancy, that's a huge difference.

Anonymous said...


The stories you hear do not ring true to me. It is the law in probably every state that a patient can refuse treatment at any time - even in the middle of the treatment. And no one is going to wrestle down a woman who begins to get off the table before a procedure is under way.

Where are all the lawsuits about this? Surely at least some of these women would have the courage to try to stop this from happening to someone else. If it really did happen.

I worked in a medical clinic many years ago. Patient have the legal right include the right to say "stop" at any point in any procedure. I was even offered the right to refuse treatment during delivery, when my blood pressure shot up and my liver, kidneys and bile ducts were under severe stress.

I recall a magazine article many years ago a journalist writing about her abortion. She merely asked what the pantibiotic pill she was being given was for and the whole procedure (abortion not yet performed) was halted immediately because she had "expressed a lack of trust" in the providers. They hustled her out the door and would not see her again.

I believe that you are hearing from women who deeply regret their abortions, after the fact. They insert that little bit about changing their minds on the table into their story because they are ashamed.

Clinicians are enjoined by law against telling anything about what happened with any patient. Patients can make up any story they like.

I know from 30 years of experience as a manager that people routinely lie about why they were fired. They are ashamed, humiliated, angry. As the employer, we cannot, by law, tell what we did or what we think happened.

There is an imbalance of freedom about the information, so the people with a story to tell carry the day. If people are willing to believe them, and my dear, I sense you are deeply willing to believe any bad thing you hear about any abortion provider, there is nothing the "storied about" party can do to refute that.

Take a look at this:

Most women go to abortion clinics with their minds made up. That is a fact.

In that case, counselors do not try to change their minds. Women who are truly uncertain will not be talked in to having abortions.

I am truly no longer willing to argue the pro-choice case. While I leave it to women to decide for themselves if they are willing to die for a difficult pregnancy, I am not a pro-choice thumper any longer (actually, I think I stopped being that the minute I learned I was pregnant).



Anonymous said...

Erin, I left a comment over an hour ago and it is not posting. Too long?


Red Cardigan said...

Elizabeth, I just found it in the "spam" folder and freed it. Probably length plus link--though I don't know what metric Google uses to determine spam comments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. And now I wish I'd proofed it more carefully. Ouch.


Karen said...

Anonymous Elizabeth, I loved your comment post. I think you are spot on. I am "pro choice" in name because I simply can't say that Abortion should NEVER be allowed. I don't like it. I find it abhorant. I also don't think that most abortion providers are ghouls who just love killing babies. There was the grizzly case not too long ago that would churn anyone's stomach. That guy seemed more like a serial killer who had found his niche. I think that most clinicians, if guilty of anything, are guilty of steeling themselves against the reality and sadness of the situation. Yes, I'm sure that there are some ignorant and even cold hearted women who use abortion as "birth control", but I think that the majority of women seeking abortions are scared and feel alone and trapped.
Don't like abortion? Let's work to end poverty, and that would probably take care of a third of them? I know it's contrary to many of your natures, but if there was free contraception offered to people, that would likely eliminate many more. I don't know the numbers, but I wonder how many girls/women get abortions who didn't use birth control because of the Church's rules? That's a little bit sick.

-----Anyonymous Karen

Anonymous said...

Thanks Karen,

Yes, abortion is revolting and deeply sad. That is why it is hard for me to understand a belief that very many people find it easy.

When I worked at a medical clinic in the 70s, there was a conflicted woman - with a Master's degree so not dumb - who came three times for pregnancy confirmation, each time going for an abortion. She could not bring herself to "plan" for sex, because planning sex is evil, so she never used birth control of any kind. I'd much rather she had used ABC than continually aborting the products of her inability to get a grip.

This is a Catholic blog, and I respect Erin's personal choices and those of the other readers who choose NFP only, even when they themselves have medical risks involved with pregnancy.

I'm not quite there with telling everyone else that they must take those risks, but I am very much on board with letting pregnant, lonely women and girls know that there is a network of care available for them. In fact, if it weren't for my objections to government mandates in the health care arena, I wouldn't have a problem with requiring an ultra-sound prior to an abortion.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

This may be apocryphal, but among the more comprehensive compilations I've found at pro-choice web sites is the story of the president of the local campus Students for Life who came to a clinic for an abortion. The doctor gently asked what her fellow pro-life students would think of it all. She asked "You're not going to tell are you?" The doctor assured her that she could count on complete doctor-patient confidentiality. She was relieved, because her pro-life work was very important to her.

I don't consider that anything to be snide about. I simply think it shows that human beings are rather complex creatures, subject to many more imperatives and incentives than our political debates generally give credit to.