Our country has many points of divisiveness. One of the most polarized is the issue of abortion. It is unlikely that opinion will ever move decisively in either direction. None of this “information” presented through the carefully edited videos is new nor surprising. The graphics display what any thinking person has already understood about the process of abortion. Visualizing the procedures of removing the organs that I will donate upon death is just as unappetizing, and also just as (un)relevant to the separate discussion of legalizing either action. Where do I go for civil, productive discourse on this subject when faced with distractions such as the interjection of irrelevant factoids? It may very well be that Planned Parenthood provides a very tiny percentage of women’s health care nationally, but for their clients, they are almost always the only option.
How do we find a starting place for dialogue when you disrespect their cancer screening work by saying that they don’t even do the mammograms in house, when you know that no other primary caregivers do those in house either? Planned Parenthood arranges the appointments and payments/insurance for mammograms to be done at specialized radiology departments off-site, just like my private doctor does for mine.
The “Greater Access Act” will not replace Planned Parenthood’s efforts to get birth control to those who want it, yet can’t afford to pay for it. This will mean more unplanned pregnancies. That will mean more abortions, legal or not. Your casual slander of people like my mother and aunt, people you haven’t met, along with their many colleagues at Planned Parenthood who have a much more Christ-like understanding of compassion, inhibits civil dialogue.
Reflect on an example we can take directly from Christ. Adultery is one of the grave sins listed in our Ten Commandments. When Jesus is facing a woman guilty of this, and a crowd of people ready to enact the legally encouraged punishment of stoning her to death for this, does He ask to throw the first stone? Does He preach that we should punish her for the crime? Say that we should make an example of her as a deterrent to others contemplating adultery? That we should “teach her a lesson?” He does not say that adultery is no longer a sin or crime. He does not seek to make more laws restricting behavior, or dispute her guilt. Where do you see yourself in this scene, Senator? Standing with the crowd, with a stone in your hand, staring with gaping mouth at Jesus, wondering why He isn’t jumping at this perfect chance to punish sin? Can we not find room in this example to let abortion be the private issue that it is, and not the government’s concern?
Given that women throughout time have sought abortions, and will continue to do so regardless of laws, let us examine the goals and efficacy of anti-abortion laws through that lens.
We know from past experience that a zero abortion rate will never be reached. Women will continue to get abortions, but through unregulated providers, with higher maternal death rates. Women will die specifically from anti-abortion laws. Knowing this, do we see the goal of these laws being to punish women who seek abortions? This seems fruitless and vengeful. Or do we find a place where we can turn together towards our common goal of reducing the number of abortions to as few as possible? Better knowledge of the biology of reproduction, and access to birth control lower abortion rates. We will never get all humans to agree on sexual morality boundaries, but we can promote the use of contraception and get closer to the goal of fewer abortions.
Soldier up, Senator. Come visit the “front lines” of a Planned Parenthood office with me. Hear their words, respectfully, in person. Ask the clients in person about their other options and the compassionate care they do receive.