Saturday, January 29, 2005

Planned Parenthood's relationships w/ Adoption Agencies: does PP do enough options counseling?

OK, so I was on a board earlier and there was a thread about the original judge in the Roe V Wade case ripping the ruling, etc. which obviously generated some discussion. One of the guys who is adamantly pro-life (honestly thinks pro-choice is really pro-abortion, I think I've partially disuaded him of that notion) with the belief life begins at conception therefor abortion is murder. He's very active in his church and involved in some sort of pastoral counseling of women post-abortion, and these women have pretty much implied a big lack of options counseling and pressure to abort from PP and other clinics. Anyway, among his comments included a concern that PP and society at large doesn't do enough to promote abstinence and a feeling that if we in the pro-choice movement really are about keeping abortion "safe, legal and rare" and not big propopents of abortion for convenience, PP would do more to facilitate and promote the adoption option. I gave him some information and started thinking about whether there were any formalized relationships between PPFA and adoption agencies; I knew there were some informal ones and but I think less than 5% get referred (which could be for many reasons). I came across some interesting information on the individual regions and adoption referral and then I came upon this:
Virginia Planned Parenthood Facility First in Nation to Offer "Choice"
from The Pro-Life Infonet, August 6, 1999

Ronoake -- Women walking into the confines of Planned Parenthood of Blue Ridge Inc. have two choices regarding their unborn child: Through one door, they may choose to abort her. Through another, they can put her up for adoption.

Although there are 900 Planned Parenthood agencies and 130 affiliates nationwide, this is the only Planned Parenthood facility where the false pro-abortion notion of "choice" is partially a reality.

This combination of abortion and adoption, which has gotten mixed reviews from pro-life groups, is the brainchild of David Nova, 38, president of the Roanoke clinic. He is also the past president of the local Reform Jewish temple, and "choice," he says, is part of his religion.

"This new building will be operationally pro-choice," he says refering to the new 2-million dollar facility they are building. "All choices will be available: abortion, adoption and prenatal care."

To date, there have been no adoptions resulting from the arrangement, but one is under consideration.

According to Virginia Department of Health figures, there were 821 abortions in the greater Roanoke Valley in 1997. Mr. Nova's facility averages 15 abortions a week; one of the few places in Southwest Virginia where women can get them.

Will the new system bring down abortion rates? "It might," he says.

Mr. Nova, a past deputy director for Amnesty International, took over the abortion facility 10 years ago. He was on staff when it began doing first-trimester abortions in 1995.

Its long-term business plan also included adoptions, a possibility that has been a hot topic in Congress this summer.

According to the Adoption Awareness Act, introduced July 14 in the House and co-sponsored by 40 members, federally funded health clinics such as Planned Parenthood must present the "adoption option" to their clients. Otherwise, they lose their funding under Title X of the Public Health Service Act.

This would greatly affect Planned Parenthood, which receives $45 million annually from Title X. In 1998, the abortion agency provided prenatal care to 17,000 people, performed 166,900 abortions, and made 5,500 adoption referrals -- 3,881 less than in 1997.

The Adoption Awareness Act would establish a $7 million-a-year grant program for adoption training. The "adoption option" had been the subject of casual conversation at Roanoke Planned Parenthood for years, as the agency had an informal relationship with several adoption agencies.

Peter Pufki, executive director of Children's Home Society of Virginia, stepped in. Planned Parenthood was already referring women to CHS, which does 45 adoptions a year. However, there was no in-house counselor with whom women could discuss adoption.

"We felt it was more powerful to provide that option here instead of sending them along," Mr. Nova said.

In April, a licensing agreement was announced whereby Planned Parenthood would give CHS office space and CHS would pay Planned Parenthood $1 for each woman referred to it. CHS' nameplate was then stenciled on the clinic doors. A CHS staff member comes to Planned Parenthood one day a week, usually on the days when the most pregnancy tests are done.

The new facility, which will increase the clinic's space from 7,000 square feet to 11,000 square feet, will include free pregnancy tests, prenatal care for uninsured and Medicaid women, a drive-through window for pill pick-up (another first for Planned Parenthood clinics, Mr. Nova says), and a garden for "contemplative thought."

The reason for the pregnancy tests? The local Crisis Pregnancy Center does them free. Tom Clark, director of the CPC of Roanoke Valley, declined to comment about the expansion.

"It's irrelevant," he says. "What Planned Parenthood does is their business." There has been some bad blood between the two groups in the past, dating from the time a few years ago when Planned Parenthood bought the building that housed the CPC offices. When its lease came up, Planned Parenthood refused to renew it.

It was an "awkward" situation, Mr. Nova admits, which is why the adoption license has been an attempt to secure some good publicity. "This gives us greater legitimacy in having the interests of the mother first," he says.

This fall, Mr. Nova plans to offer adoption services in two other affiliated abortion centers in Blacksburg, Va., and Charlottesville. The latter clinic recently received an $800 grant from an Episcopal church to train staff on adoption procedures.

Jim Sedlak, founder of Stop Planned Parenthood in Stafford, Va., says offering adoptions is a ploy to get the public's mind off of abortions at the agency.

"This announcement by Planned Parenthood in Roanoke came after a major effort last year by the state of Virginia to offer a 'Choose Life' license plate, the proceeds from which would go to places that provide adoptions," he said. "Just observing the way Planned Parenthood operates, it interests us that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Virginia would be the first to offer these services."

The Roanoke abortion facility stands out in several ways. Not only is it the first in the country to offer the adoption option, but it also employs a female "Southern Baptist" minister to counsel women regarding abortions --another first, apparently. She told a local newspaper that Scripture is "ambiguous" on the subject.

Mr. Nova will travel to Chicago this month to describe his program to a national gathering of CEOs of Planned Parenthood clinics. He has already received a phone call from one Chicago adoption agency about his program.

"I certainly think this is a great idea," he says. "I think there's a lot of interest out there, but it requires a great fit . . . two agencies that can work well together."
http://www.ohioroundtable.org/library/articles/life/vaplanned.html
Obviously, as you read through, it's apparent that any attempt a Pro-Choice group/agency makes at reducing unwanted pregnancies, discouraging sex for those who are ill-prepared to handle it, and adoption referrals/counseling will be viewed as disengenuous by those whose agenda is something other than wanting to discourage irresponsible behavior and the consequences of it, but I think this is the sort of thing we should be promoting in addition to better education and contraception.

In order to be eligible for Title X funding, PP needs to perform options counseling to all women seeking abortion services. Many state laws mandate options counseling as well. By options counseling, I am not advocating PP staff tell a woman/girl she must consider keeping the baby or putting it up for adoption and try to talk a woman out her decision to abort (though, I'm sure the religious right would advocate and mandate that if they could). This being said, I think it would be wise to expand on the relationships the regional PP offices already have with adoption facilities and, possibly, have more official ties either akin what's been enacted through the Blue Ridge PP facilities or have a counselor on site from the adoption agency/WIC/etc. should someone ask more questions about options and/or seem unsure about their decision (to ask that woman if she wanted to speak with one of the other counselors - not to force them on her). While most women go in for both appointments at a PP clinic (many states require informed consent and procedure w/counseling sessions at least 24 hours apart) with their minds made up and unwilling to accept even the mandated options counseling, some are ambivalent and some do second guess their decision - those could be offered information on referrals (if appropriate), etc. when they are sent home to ensure they do want to go ahead with the procedure. In many instances, having someone readily available on site would be extremely helpful to these women (and very convenient for them as well).




Tags:;;

Sphere: Related Content

17 comments:

Annie said...

“In 1998, the abortion agency provided prenatal care to 17,000 people, performed 166,900 abortions, and made 5,500 adoption referrals -- 3,881 less than in 1997.”

“I think less than 5% get referred [to adoption].”
In FY2002-03, less than 1% of their services were adoption referrals, and that was 3,537 fewer referrals than in 1998. The number has declined for at least 6 years. They don’t spend more than about 5% of their annual revenues of $766 million to help women keep their babies or give them to loving adoptive couples.

This is all from PPFA’s 2002-03 annual report, described here and actually found here:PPFA Services …………...2002…….. 2001Surgical abortions………. 227,375…….. 213,026
Emergency contraception.. 633,756……..469,578
Prenatal care ……………..15,860 ………..15,618
Adoption referrals …………1,963…………1,951

“Planned Parenthood did 115 abortions for every adoption referral [that's only 0.8 % of all pregnancies seen that year] to an outside agency and 14 abortions for each prenatal care client.”As the largest provider in the $1.3 Billion abortion industry for a number of years, PPFA did 227,375 abortions out of 243,235 possible pregnancies they saw in the 2002-2003 year (adding # of abortions to prenatal care delivered). That's 93.5%. And that doesn’t even count the number of babies possibly terminated by the Morning After Pill they dispensed 633,756 times. If even one-tenth of the MAPs dispensed aborted a baby, then that’s 290,750 total babies lost that year.

They claim to want to reduce abortions and yet, that annual report shows the opposite: they performed 6.7% more abortions in 2002 and made a 300% increase in profits from those abortions over 2001, or $36.6 million profit. They also showed record income in 2002 of $766.6 million and the taxpayer funds that they received hit an all-time high of $254.4 million. That taxpayer money exceeded the amount donated from 2002 and 2001 combined.

They may need to say they do adoption counseling for $45 million annually in Title X funding,but their bread is more than buttered-cheesed-and-garliced-up by the $254.4 million in taxpayer dollars plus other charitable donations.

You can’t do much less than 1% of something that qualifies one for Title X, and to start doing it only AFTER a Choose Life license plate campaign is successful in a state?

It’s the same as Hillary jumping on the “common ground with prolife” rhetoric bandwagon post-lost-election. The horses are already out of the barn.

I’d like to see more adoptions come out of PP and all those making $1.3 BILLION on abortion. I really would. I’m just not going to give them “credit” until about half their clients choose adoption instead of abortion.

But they don’t make any money off adoptions. $45 million in Title X is a drop in their bucket: it’s only 17.7% of the amount they get from taxpayers. Only 5.8% of their total income. They can live without it, really, and would probably, if not for the oh-so-nice windowdressing it provides them.

GrannyGrump said...

Isn't it a little odd that for all their talk about making choices available, PPFA requires all affiliates to provide abortion or abortion referral, but does NOT require adoption services, adoption referral, or even prenatal care?

Why are they called "Planned Parenthood," when they offer very few services for planning parenthood, just a slew of services for avoiding parenthood?

Just food for thought.

Ol Cranky said...

All Planned Parenthood facilities perform options counseling (including adoption/adoption referrals) for unplanned pregnancies as required to receive funding under Title X. The mission of Planned Parenthood is:

to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual;

to advocate public policies which guarantee these rights and ensure access to such services;

to provide educational programs which enhance understanding of individual and societal implications of human sexuality;

to promote research and the advancement of technology in reproductive health care and encourage understanding of their inherent bioethical, behavioral, and social implications.

Planned Parenthood is a healthcare provider/facility, not an adoption agency. They provide medical counsel, educational outreach, information and means for prevention of disease, and to address acute conditions (including, but not limited to, unwanted pregnancies.) PPFA provides an invaluable service to low-income women who need gynecological check-ups and/or reliable birth control (they are not just abortion providers) on a sliding scale based on a patient’s income/financial status. Most women utilize PP for routine GYN services; prenatal care is not offered for the same reason many OB/GYNs have discontinued practicing obstetrics – medical liability/malpractice (PP’s liability would be significantly higher due to their high profile).


During a counseling session for an unintended pregnancy, they will discuss adoption as an alternative and will put a woman who expresses interest in going to term/considering adoption in touch with appropriate agencies. Truth be told, very few women who make an appointment at PP due to an unplanned pregnancy do so if/when they plan to go to term (regardless of whether they plan to raise the child or are considering adoption). As such, you cannot logically expect PP to have a high adoption referral rate. Additionally, it would be completely inappropriate for a Planned Parenthood counselor (or any healthcare provider) to attempt to sway or coerce a woman to take a pregnancy to term and/or put a child up for adoption. Their role is as healthcare providers, not pastoral counselors who are permitted to make moral/value judgments on decisions regarding pregnancy.

Annie said...

Planned Parenthood is an abortion provider. 93.5% of its services, as I wrote above, are abortions. Not healthcare.

"Most women utilize PP for routine GYN services"Perhaps, but then they use them mostly afterward for their abortions.

"prenatal care is not offered" As shown in their annual report, it is. Just not that much since they don't make money off it.

When a company's services are 93.5% accounting, as opposed to Information Technology consulting, they are called an accounting firm.

When they're 93.5% fitness gym services, versus massages and manicures, they're a fitness gym.

You can call them something else, that doesn't make them something else.

Ol Cranky said...

"but then they use them mostly afterward for their abortions."

It is completely inappropriate for you to so much as imply that the women go there for a routine check up and then don't waste their time with contraception as their primary follow-up afterward is for abortions.

"prenatal care is not offered As shown in their annual report, it is." I guess your average OB/GYN that no longer provides any GYN services is an "abortionist" The fact that they, like many Gynecologists in private practice, do not provide pre-natal care is not some nefarious scheme. Many of the women I know have been directed by their regular GYN to find an OB when they become pregnant because their doctors do not provide pre-natal care. It's not particularly good practice to offer some routine OB services but not others; women who plan to continue a pregnancy to term should be under the care of a full service OB (and in some cases, one that specializes in high risk pregnancies)through-out their pregnancy, not a provider that performs limited pre-natal care. Additionally, as I've previously mentioned, the liability/malpractice is prohibitive.

"Just not that much since they don't make money off it." Their not supposed to make money, they're a non-profit.

Yes, they perform abortions. Last time I checked abortion was a medical procedure (a legal one at that). Whether you like or approve of what they do has no bearing on the fact that the organization provides much needed clinical services to needy patients.

Annie said...

I DIDN'T say OR "imply that women go there for a routine check up and then don't waste their time with contraception as their primary follow-up afterward is for abortions."

I said and implied that women may go there for contraception/checkups, but if 93.5% of their services are ABORTIONS, then you can't say that most of their business is straight contraception.

"Prenatal care ……………..15,860 in 2002………..15,618 in 2001"
I'd say that's offering prenatal care. I wasn't arguing a thing about OBGYNs, you were.

"I guess your average OB/GYN that no longer provides any GYN services is an "abortionist" You said it, I didn't, but in fact, there aren't too many OBGYN's who'd refuse to do abortions. In fact, all new ones are REQUIRED to do them.

"they're a non-profit" who made $300 million in profit over the last 5-6 years, including a 300% increase in profits from those abortions over 2001. From 1977 through 2001, $894 million in abortion income has been estimated for PP.

As for "providing clinical services to needy patients:"

“Do women want abortion? Not like she wants a Porsche... Like an animal caught in a trap, trying to gnaw off its own leg, a woman who seeks abortion is trying to escape a desperate situation by an act of violence and self-loss. Abortion is not a sign that women are free, but a sign that they are desperate.”

Frederica Mathewes-Green, NPR Radio Commentator, and formerly very prochoice, said that.

Ol Cranky said...

“I DIDN'T say OR "imply that women go there for a routine check up and then don't waste their time with contraception as their primary follow-up afterward is for abortions."

You said:
"Most women utilize PP for routine GYN services "Perhaps, but then they use them MOSTLY afterward for their abortions.”By saying that you most certainly did imply the primary use of PP by these women is for abortion.


“I said and implied that women may go there for contraception/checkups, but if 93.5% of their services are ABORTIONS, then you can't say that most of their business is straight contraception.”

I never said the majority of their business was contraception (and since when is and internal/pap/trmt for infection contraception?). I was arguing that they are a legitimate healthcare provider, you claimed otherwise b/c they do that many abortions.

"Prenatal care ……………..15,860 in 2002………..15,618 in 2001"
I'd say that's offering prenatal care. I wasn't arguing a thing about OBGYNs, you were.” You were complaining that they don’t do pre-natal care as if there is something nefarious about that and the fact that they don’t and do perform many abortions makes them something other than a healthcare provider.

"I guess your average OB/GYN that no longer provides any GYN services is an "abortionist" You said it, I didn't, but in fact, there aren't too many OBGYN's who'd refuse to do abortions. In fact, all new ones are REQUIRED to do them.”

You’re wrong, anyone who does a residency in OB/GYN is required to learn the D & C procedure as it is a standard medical procedure for conditions completely unrelated to abortion. You do not have to perform D & C (or other abortions) to complete a residency in OB/GYN at every accredited residency program. There are quite a few OB/GYNs who refuse abortion services in private practice; regardless, do you think the fact that many do perform this procedure (against your better clinical judgment) makes them less qualified or appropriate healthcare providers? I drew the correlation b/t PP and other OB/GYN practitioners to make the point that they are both legitimate healthcare providers (despite your implication that the fact they do a great # of abortions makes them something other than that) performing many of the same activities and not performing others for similar reasons. Additionally, in private practice, these physicians can make their own decisions as to what elective procedures
they do and do not perform.

“As for "providing clinical services to needy patients:"

“Do women want abortion? Not like she wants a Porsche... Like an animal caught in a trap, trying to gnaw off its own leg, a woman who seeks abortion is trying to escape a desperate situation by an act of violence and self-loss. Abortion is not a sign that women are free, but a sign that they are desperate.”

Frederica Mathewes-Green, NPR Radio Commentator, and formerly very prochoice, said that.”

I gather she is a medical expert and knows that no abortions are warranted, as she seems to be claiming they’re all due to some irresponsible woman trying to get out of an inconvenient situation. From your including her quote, I gather you feel the same and have exceptional expertise and the ability to know what is right for all women regardless of knowing anything about their given situation. I wholeheartedly disagree with both of you as do many of the people I know (even those who would not consider abortion themselves for their own personal reasons/beliefs). Personally, I think there are reasons that are legitimate reasons for terminating a pregnancy and ones I don’t; I also know some of the reasons I think are legitimate are ones that others consider selfish. As such, I think decisions regarding continuing or terminating a pregnancy is (and should remain) a personal, medical decision that should be made by those intimately familiar with a particular pregnancy. Those directly involved must be comfortable with any decision they make regarding pregnancy/abortion/adoption as if they are not comfortable with the decision (any decision) they will have additional regrets/discomforts long after the fact.

My opinions about abortion itself are elsewhere on the blog. This post was about the fact that while I knew all PP’s have relationships with adoption agencies and offer referrals, I thought the Blue Ridge organization had a good idea that should be expanded. It’s sad that regardless of what they do, PP will be criticized as disingenuous unless they try to sway a woman’s decision to make her continue a pregnancy to term instead of providing the abortion she thinks appropriate given the circumstances of her pregnancy. I had hoped/expected comments to this particular post would be related specifically to this instead of used as an anti PP forum b/c they provide abortion services.

Annie said...

If I’d said "Perhaps, but then they use them MOSTLY DIRECTLY afterward for their abortions.” then you could conclude that I was implying that THOSE particular women did. But I didn’t say or imply that. I do mean to restate that “the primary use of PP by women IN GENERAL is for abortion.”

You wrote “Most women utilize PP for routine GYN services.” I was pointing out that is not true, that most women use them for abortion services, as proven by their own annual reports. Look at most any PP website: health services are listed in the following order: Birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, then sometimes GYN care (Pap tests, breast exams) and in other sites, Emergency contraception and then abortions and later, GYN care. Their list, not mine.

Not once did I “complain that they don’t do pre-natal care.” Pls. read again what I wrote. YOU said, “prenatal care is not offered for the same reason many OB/GYNs have discontinued practicing obstetrics.” I wrote “Planned Parenthood did 115 abortions for every adoption referral [that's only 0.8 % of all pregnancies seen that year] to an outside agency and 14 abortions for each prenatal care client.”

Doctors are in fact required by their superiors to learn how to do abortions: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42462 is just one article discussing this fact.

Read what Joseph Randall, M.D., of Atlanta, Ga., said in the above article: "As part of our medical training, abortions became a necessary procedure, according to the chief of my department. This was in 1971, before the law had changed in the country, but it had changed in New York a few years before. We needed to serve women, we needed to know all the procedures that we had to do for women, and we had to know how to do them well. Otherwise, we weren't considered effectively trained. Our chief said that if we didn't do the abortions, we might as well get out of obstetrics and gynecology because we just wouldn't be complete physicians."

There are other doctors quoted who confirm this did and still does happen.

“There are quite a few OB/GYNs who refuse abortion services.” Really? And how do you know this? How many is quite a few? Please name them, and name your source for this, so we can all benefit. I know a lot of women who’d like to know so they can switch to those doctors. There isn’t one in private practice in the entire state of Connecticut.

It isn’t MY implication that the fact they do a great # of abortions makes them something other than healthcare providers. It’s their own Hippocratic oath, the original one, which reads in part, “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” Some however have bastardized it to suit their current purposes, eliminating the above phrases and rewriting it to say this instead, “Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life.”

It is all so convenient.

The overwhelming, vast majority of abortions are by women who have been inconvenienced by their pregnancies, myself included, 26 years ago. But precious few “abortions are warranted” literally to save the mother’s life. As in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, that is a valid reason for the woman to consider aborting, if her life is truly at stake.

Your sarcasm aside, though, even the founding feminists knew “what is right for all women;” shall you diss them as well? It isn’t me, or Mathewes-Green who first spoke of women’s desperation in this event.

Susan B. Anthony said, “No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who...drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime." Anthony's newspaper, The Revolution, made this claim: "When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged." She recognized the need to "eradicate the most monstrous crime" of abortion from society.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote: "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."

Alice Paul (the author of the original Equal Rights Amendment, 1923), said, “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women."

Victoria Woodhull (America's first female presidential candidate), wrote: "Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never think of murdering a child before its birth."

Mary Wollstonecraft (author of the feminist movement with the book, A Vindication of the Rights of Women), condemned those who would "either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast it off when born."

There are more feminist quotes at FeministsforLife.org .

As I said, I’m just not going to give PP “credit” until about half their clients choose adoption instead of abortion.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should take up the issue of the decisions PP patients make with the patients themselves as they are the ones who make the decisions. These women are not innocent victims who are forced or coerced by PP to terminate their pregnancies; these are women who make these decisions, their decision that affects lives, based on their personal and/or religious beliefs.Your agenda to force your religious beliefs on everyone else is showing

Ol Cranky said...

Annie:

I don't know where you got the idea that I'm a feminist or that statements by feminists (leaders or not) would have any meaning for me based solely on who they are.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a feminist. I consider myself a humanist (a religious humanist, to be specific) and do not think that the founding feminists or many of today's leading feminists have the capability or understanding to know what is right for all women (many of them are very disconnected with women of my generation and, as such, few of us identify with them).

Anyone with the hubris to claim they know what is right for all women have no right to my respect. You don't know what is right for me any more than I know what is right for you. The only thing I could tell about what is/isn't right for you based on your comments is that you would not approve of termination of pregnancy for any reason (except, possibly ectopic pregnancy) and therefor would not only be unable to terminate a pregnancy yourself but would not be able to understand (or even try to understand) why any woman would make that decision since you seem to think they are always a matter of confusion, irresponsibility and/or convenience.

Annie said...

Anonymous, show me where anything I said indicated a religious belief.

You can't, because I didn't. Yet, you fell into the same trap countless people who support abortion do: assuming it comes from or has the foundation of religious belief. It is a MORAL belief. Quite different from religion, and one of the reasons why even atheists are against abortion.

YOUR agenda to assume everyone who is against abortion has a religious agenda is showing.

MANY women are forced or coerced into having abortions. Check your facts. There are MANY innocent victims forced by parents, grandparents, boyfriends, husbands, friends, pressured by bosses, friends, coworkers, family to have abortions. You don't know one-tenth of that truth.

Read just a few stories here:
http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2005/02/blogger-hosts-this-blog-but-we-use.html

http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2004/09/memory-was-triggered-by-emilys-post.html

http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2005/01/we-now-return-you-to-your-regularly.html

http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2003/05/coerced-abortions-in-church-of.html

http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2004/05/u.html

http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2003/07/this-article-from-at-center-is-good.html

http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2004/01/number-of-fine-articles-are-posted-at.html

Ol Cranky, I never assumed you were a feminist. Again, you put words in my mouth. Your wrote, "I gather you feel the same and have exceptional expertise and the ability to know what is right for all women regardless of knowing anything about their given situation." I was answering that statement that no, *I* don't have a lock on "what is right for all women" but since you brought up how anyone could "know this", the founding feminists who are so often touted and lauded (rightly so) certainly did. I let them speak for me in answering your sarcastic accusation toward me. If they said something that supported your contention about abortion, then perhaps you'd have quoted them as "knowing what is right for women." I don't buy that "They're old, from another time, out of touch" stuff either. If they said what you supported, you'd sure as heck be glad to quote them. I often get into discussions with so many prochoice people who raise up feminism's defense of abortion and praise the founding feminists UNTIL they learn what they REALLY felt about abortion.

So by your statement, you think all the founding feminist foremothers had the same "hubris" you think I have and "have no right to [your] respect." That is pretty sad; it's all in the defense of something that exploits us as women.

Also, when you argue about "what is right for me, vs. what is right for you," you dismiss "what is right" for the unborn baby. If one of our inalienable rights in this country is to "life," then you vote that your right to life is more important than the child's. I don't, not anymore.

Life precludes all. The right to life usurps all. Without life, one has no chance at any other "rights" to privacy or reproduction. You're quite bent on the individual liberty of free reproduction but only so you can be in support of avoiding reproducing! The "logic," by mass repetition, has been twisted around.

No one’s “rights” overrule a pre-born infant’s right to live, either. With the right to drive, people must drive responsibly and consider other human beings on the road. With the right to drink, they must drink responsibly and not drive or otherwise put other human beings in danger. There are laws governing these responsibilities: with all rights, we must still honor the rights of other human beings to life. “Reproductive rights,” today, are the only rights that don’t come with this same responsibility to our fellow human beings. At least for the last 32 years or so. The 140 years before that, our laws DID hold that same responsibility to the unborn human being. They will again, as they ought to from a moral, natural law standpoint.

AGAIN, pls. read more carefully what I wrote:
"But precious few 'abortions are warranted' literally to save the mother’s life. As in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, that is a valid reason for the woman to consider aborting, if her life is truly at stake." That means just what it says: that I do consider not just ectopic pregnancy but also one where the mother's life is truly at risk of being lost (and not the way the "health of the mother" has been stretched to include anything under the sun as an excuse) to be cause for considering an abortion.

How can you say that I "would not be able to understand how any woman would make tha decision???" Did you not read that I said I had one myself? I'm one of those hundreds of thousands of women who now regret my abortion and wish I could go back in time and throw away all that I have if I could just change what I did? And there ARE hundreds of thousands of us. Probably tens of millions, but most can't come out and admit their grief and regret, because of arguments such as yours.

I made that decision out of "confusion, irresponsibility and convenience." And it is the worst mistake I and millions of us have ever made. Please don't tell me I don't know of which I speak. I know all too well. It stayed buried inside me, denied for 22 years before breaking through. And it is pretty common for that to happen, just that way, with lots of women I personally know and whose many stories I've read. Check out our blog if you really want to learn about this: www.afterabortion.blogspot.com

AND lastly, I went to Planned Parenthood for my pregnancy test 26 years ago. They didn't have an abortion clinic in the area, but they referred me right away to the one that is there, not once mentioning adoption or any other options to me. They gave me "credit" for being so "decisive" about my "reproductive rights and health."

I've heard many more stories like mine than like what you reported, and I've read tons on both sides of this coin as well.

Ol Cranky said...

Why include quotes of founding feminists in reply to me, what effect should that have on me were I not a feminist? My point is, these women know nothing of me or my life and, as such, cannot begin to understand my circumstances. Anyone who claims that they know what is right for everyone (or every woman, or every man, etc.) has a severely overinflated impression of themselves.

If women are forced/coerced into abortions that they don't think are right (or right for them), you (and they) should take issue with those in their inner circles that did the coercion and in themselves for buckling to the will of others. Since you express concern about those situations, would you agree it's equally unfair or innappropriate to force or coerce a woman into continuing a pregnancy against that woman's better judgment? Or is that OK because you approve of the fact she is coerced into having a child? Either that coercion is fair and appropriate in all cases or it is unacceptable in all cases. Ultimately, the woman (or couple, depending on the circumstances) is the final arbiter of this decision and she must make a decision that she feels/knows is right and that she can live with.

How can you say that I "would not be able to understand how any woman would make tha decision???" Did you not read that I said I had one myself? I'm one of those hundreds of thousands of women who now regret my abortion and wish I could go back in time and throw away all that I have if I could just change what I did? And there ARE hundreds of thousands of us. Probably tens of millions, but most can't come out and admit their grief and regret, because of arguments such as yours.You can’t admit you made a mistake or that you regret your decision because I argue that a woman has the right to make a decision and the responsibility to make the one that’s truly right for her? Have I written somewhere that women have no right to regrets and/or if they have them that’s tough? I don’t think so. You made a decision, admittedly out of convenience, that you now regret. I’m sorry you didn’t know your own heart or were young and didn’t have appropriate guidance from your friends and family to make sure you really thought about what you were doing. This is not the fault of women who’ve had abortions that they do not regret (regardless of the reason)? This is not the fault of those who will perform abortions.

Arguments such as mine say a woman needs to know her heart, mind, beliefs and do what is the right thing for her in consideration of the circumstances. I do not argue a point that says if you get knocked up just have an abortion, it’s no big deal.

You generalize from your personal experience and those who had similar ones and since you made a decision you later regretted that means other women aren’t capable of making the decision without regrets? In doing so, you denigrate those of us who made the decision to terminate a pregnancy for what we consider legitimate medical reasons and would take away the right of responsible women to make this decision.

I got pregnant 18 years ago as a result of contraceptive failure (I was one of the statistics that helped determine that certain classes of anti-infectives can interfere with the pill such that ovulation can occur). I was actually quite ill, the pregnancy wasn’t diagnosed and I’d been prescribed medications that are known teratogens (1 class C and 1 class D), I was in the 9th week when the pregnancy was diagnosed. Chorionic Villi Sampling was new in the US and only being done at Cedars and Jefferson, even if I were at home instead of away at college I was just too far along to have the test at Jeff. The only alternative would have been to wait 7 more weeks to have an amnio (or miscarried) so I could have an idea of fetal status by week 20 at the earliest and then decide whether to terminate (I was in college and only had major medical at the time). Had I thought there was a decent possibility that I would have given birth to a relatively healthy adoptable child, I would have gone that route but there was too great a risk of significant fetal defect. I regret the fact I was ever in the position to have to make that decision, but I do not regret the decision because I know it was the right decision based on the information that was reasonably available to me at the time.

I’m sorry to be harsh, is it possible you/women like you can’t come out to admit your regret and grief because you are ashamed of your actions and the reason for them. Maybe the reason you don’t hear stories like mine is because women like you help maintain a stigma felt by make women who abort for reasons other than their own whim/convenience. Additionally, most women like me think of abortion as a personal, medical decision that we don’t wish to discuss with anyone other than those closest to us. I wouldn’t tell anyone but my closest friends I was pregnant until I passed the 3 month mark, I don’t want to have to explain I had a mis or that I’d terminated when I received less than pleasant results from pre-natal testing. That selfish stigma casts aspersions on the woman who terminates when she discovers the baby she & her husband wanted has Patau’s or Edwards when you made the decision for your own convenience? Regardless of your intent, that’s what you’re doing.

AND lastly, I went to Planned Parenthood for my pregnancy test 26 years ago. They didn't have an abortion clinic in the area, but they referred me right away to the one that is there, not once mentioning adoption or any other options to me. They gave me "credit" for being so "decisive" about my "reproductive rights and health."Just out of curiosity, did you ask them for help or information about adoption or are you one of the millions of girls who had never heard of adoption and without PP coming right out to say “have you considered adoption?” were completely unaware of there were options? Did you talk to your parents or anyone else in your circle of friends? Did they not point out the possibilities and options to you (or was this the sole/primary responsibility of PP)? Why did you go to PP instead of your regular doctor, did you have your mind set on terminating pregnancy and go to PP because you wanted the referral for an abortion? You don’t have to be honest with me, but be honest with yourself: if the counselor at PP had tried to sway your decision to adoption would you have suddenly changed your mind or would you have been angry that the counselor had the audacity to tell you that you didn’t know your own mind. From the comment you relayed, it sounds as though you went in there pretty darned decisive and may not have been as open to other solutions as you’d prefer you’d been.

I used PP (a few different locations) as my primary GYN starting in college (starting the year after my abortion) through grad school, my experiences are very different from yours. I’ve been accosted/verbally abused/called a murdering whore when going into the facility for a routine check up (not the most pleasant of experiences, I doubt you get accosted when you go for your internal). I did some escorting and counseling at two facilities as well. I’m sure, like at any facility, there are some counselors who are great and some who are so great (this is true for any clinic/hospital/physician’s office). Regardless, information is much more readily available (while maintaining privacy) now than when we went through our decision making process. You can get information about abortion, adoption, WIC, etc. in the privacy of your own home and you can get it from PP both online and in person. The women in these situations need to take full responsibility for the decisions they make and that includes doing the research and soul searching.

Neither I, nor my religion believes that live begins at conception. A zygote/morula/blastocysts/embryo/fetus is not living, sentient, human being. They have the potential to become a human being, but they are not yet a human being. My decision was not inconsistent with my morals or religious convictions. G-d knows everything that went through my mind and how I struggled to ensure I made the right decision (as I wanted to make sure that my decision was not one of convenience).

Annie said...

You didn't read any of those links I gave on forced abortions. If you had you wouldn't have said some of the things you just wrote, as they show a certain ignorance.

I have been admitting my regret and grief for 3 years now. Believe me, that is NOT a problem I have anymore, though I did for 22 years. In public, multiple times, in private, many more times, and on this blog, www.afterabortion.blogspot.com , for the past year with several other PA women. It's fairly widely read by now. It would open your eyes to read what we've written, and how many commenters are in the same place as us, or worse.

This is just one example, of how publicly I've admitted my regret: http://afterabortion.blogspot.com/2004/04/march-4-25-04-continued.html

I honestly don't see where you assumed that I can't admit it. You've made so many assumptions about me that are just plain wrong. Sorry, but because of that and because I know too many women who also aborted because they were deathly ill, literally at risk of losing their lives and who still are in agony over what they did, I won't try to rationally debate with you anymore. You've just entrenched yourself with too many wrong assumptions and conclusions. You're so intent on defending abortion and making sure that no one does anything to "hurt abortion," that you're willing to trash women like me. I won't let you do that.

I'm sorry you felt you were too ill to carry the pregancy through to term. I'm sorry you were too ill. I'm sorry you made the same mistake I did.

Annie said...

As for your question about whether I "knew about adoption as an option"...

I'm adopted. Have always known it. Please don't tell me I didn't know about that option. Perhaps you ought to think about things like that before you ask such crass questions.

I don't know what your religion is, but it really doesn't have anything to do with religion, which I never brought up and never do, unless someone else like ANON brings it up first. It's scientific fact that human life begins at conception.

Pls. don't give me the Peter Singer school of thought on personhood. He's an infanticide advocate.

Why is this so impossible to grasp, when 6 huge, world-renowned scientists say that a human being begins at conception, under oath in 1981 in front of the Senate committees on this very question?But you and your readers probably won't buy any of it since it doesn't come from Planned Parenthood and their ilk. Did you know the proponent of this personhood/sentience pseudoargument, Peter Singer, thinks that monkeys are more "human persons" than young children are?

Quotes and paraphrases from the article by Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, for the American Bioethics Advisory Commission:

Imposing philosophical terms such as sentience or personhood on scientific data is illegitimate. The brain--supposed by your theories to be the physiological support for both "rational attributes" and "sentience," isn't completely formed until young adulthood. Quoting [noted embryologist Keith L.] Moore: 'Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after birth) periods, birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment. Development does not stop at birth. The brain triples in weight between birth and 16 years; most developmental changes are completed by the age of 25. [medical textbook _The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology_, Keith L. Moore, 2nd Ed., Philadelphia W.B. Sanders, 1977; http://www.cslifecenter.com/truth.htm ]

"... if a 'person' is defined only in terms of the actual exercising of 'rational attributes' or of 'sentience,' what would this mean for these...adult human beings with diminished 'rational attributes:' the mentally ill, the mentally retarded, the depressed elderly, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients, drug addicts, alcoholics - and for those with diminished 'sentience,' the comatose, patients in a 'vegetative state,' paraplegics and other paralyzed and disabled patients, diabetics or other patients with nerve or brain damage, etc.? Would that mean that they would not have the same ethical rights and protections as those adult human beings who are considered as persons?

"This is the position of bioethics writers such as the Australian animal rights philosopher Peter Singer, the recently appointed Director of the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. Singer argues that the higher primates (dogs, pigs, apes, monkeys) are persons - but that some human beings, e.g., even normal human infants, and disabled human adults, are not persons. Fellow bioethicist Norman Fost actually considers 'cognitively impaired' adult human beings as 'brain dead.' Philosopher/bioethicist R.G. Frey has also published that many of the adult human beings on the above list are not 'persons,' and suggests that they be substituted for the higher primates who are 'persons' in purely destructive experimental research. The list goes on."

The above quotes are from the article, "Abortion and Rights," in a special edition of the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, edited by Doris Gordon and John Walker of Libertarians for Life (Vol. 19, No. 3/4, 1999).

You can try to turn the world on its ear with convoluted "personhood logic"--which is all just mental masturbation--but it still doesn't make the truth go away.

Here's those scientists I mentioned who testified before the Senate and what they said {this is from http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdf/courses_pdf/hsc0308.pdf AND
http://www.apologeticspress.org/inthenews/2003/itn-03-17.htm , which detail information from the "Report of the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee [S-158], 97th Congress, first session":

The discoverer of the Down's Syndrome chromosome pattern, Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Genetics Professor at Paris’ University of Descartes,
"To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence."

Dr. Landrum Shettles, discoverer of male- and female- producing sperm and in-vitro fertilization pioneer, said: "I accept what is biologically manifest—that human life commences at the time of conception."

Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School: "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."

Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman of the Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."

Keith L. Moore (in his well-known med-school textbook): "The cell (a single-celled zygote) results from fertilization of an oocyte by a sperm and is the beginning of human life." (The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 2nd Ed., 1977).

Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania: "I have

Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania: "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception . . . I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life. I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty . . . is not a human being. This is human life at every stage..."

Again, just because someone doesn't believe them, doesn't make them wrong.

DYOR, don't take my word for it. Your assumptions and conclusions are just so misled, and you don't seem to want to learn anything you don't already "know" anyway.

Good luck.

Ol Cranky said...

I've spoken with a few lay/pastoral counselors who deal with women who regret abortions. Many of those women claim that because their provider (PP or another clinic) did not spend a great deal of time discussing adoption or try to sway their opinion, as such, they blame the provider for letting them do something they fully intended to do at the outset. Others claim their boyfriend or other friends pressured them telling them that they couldn't take care of a baby and decided to terminate because they couldn't handle having a baby and putting it up for adoption. Sorry, that's just plain irresponsible and cowardly. If you now think you made a mistake, admit it and take responsibility for it. One thing you and I can probably agree on here is that these women apparently lacked the maturity they should have had before engaging in a sexually intimate relationship.

You advocate for the minors who's parents forced/coerced them into the decision to abort but what about those who were forced to go to term and raise the child as a sibling (there was news of an 11 or 12 year old girl who was raped by a family friend, the parents have decided she'll have the baby and they'll raise it as their own, yeah, that's in the best interests of both children) or put the child up for adoption (there are some women from Ireland who can tell you those horror stories) but I guess that coercion is acceptable to you.

When it comes to an adult woman, unless she's dragged to a clinic kicking and screaming with a threat of violence (sadly many pregnant women abusive relationships are murdered by the father), she has free will and has to take responsibility for her decision. [Your feminist models really have to stop the women as victims mentality. Either we're essentially equal and should be treated and empowered as such, or we need to be protected from ourselves & the world around us since we are incapable of doing so]

I am sure (people being what they are) there are many cases of coercion both to terminate as well as to go to term. I think it's horrible when people are coerced into doing something they are not comfortable doing or that they think is wrong, as it has obvious consequences but making abortion illegal will not stop people from being encouraged or coerced into actions that are not right for them. In many of the cases of those guilt ridden women on your blog, I think we need to remind ourselves that it's always easier to place blame on others, especially when we look in the mirror or back at "what could have been" and don't like what we see. I am sorry they are having difficulties with their guilt, but this in no way is the fault of women who do not regret their decision to terminate. Hindsight is 20/20, that's why people need to think their decisions through, pros and cons and try to figure out as many of the possible ramifications there are - especially to such an important decision.

In your case, you admit yourself that you are adopted and knew that you could have considered that option, but did not because it was "not convenient." How dare you cast aspersions on the motivation of others? Women with a conscience have abortions because they are forced into it the majority of the rest do it for convenience, is this your take? Or is it that women who terminate for their own convenience but later regret it are moral because they made the wrong decision and those of us who are not emotionally hobbled by our decision later in life are just misguided, misinformed souls who just don't know the damage we've done to ourselves and others by not regretting our decision? My gosh, what must you think of couples who terminate a much wanted pregnancy for medical reasons other than the imminent death of the mother when there (only when there is no chance for fetal development and live birth)? Is is crass for me to point this out? No, I'm being honest and I most certainly have a right to be so blunt considering the comments you make.

It's funny that Dr. Bongioanni learned from his earliest medical schooling that life begins at conception. Apparently this must be some hidden information since not all physicians would concur. Maybe the good doctor is allowing his personal beliefs to cloud his general understanding of developmental biology. Of course, as a pediatrician, I'd like to know what he's doing about the horrible public health problem of spontaneous miscarriage (the blastulas that don't implant).

Arguing actual development with you would be wasted, because you believe the second the sperm penetrates the zona pellucida, the diploid single cell is a human being. Scientific evidence shows that it can develop into a sentient human being. Not all human cells are sacred or constitute a human being. If there were some vast scientific evidence that life does being at conception, there would be no argument and yet, we do not hear that the scientific community has proven life begins at conception or has endorsed this view. I guess the majority of scientists and physicians who disagree are just not a intelligent as you and those you cite?

You seem to get very upset when I bring up religion. I don't care what yours is (or isn't), I do care what mine is. Since we still have freedom of religion in this country, I think I should be allowed to live in accordance with the tenents of my faith. Like most religions, my religion confers personhood at the point of "ensoulment" (that is the argument most commonly used for the life begins at conception; though kudos to your movement for using the point of becoming diploid angle) and clearly states the life of a potential human being does not supercede the life/rights of the mother.

As I do not believe sentient human life begins at conception or that the rights of a fetus supercedes the rights of the woman whose body is necessary for it to reach the potential of personhood, I support the right of a woman to make private medical decisions for herself in conjunction with her physician and do not think the government or you should intervene in this decision. Additionally, I should not be forced to try to go to term in an effort to have a baby with a lethal defect; I should not be forced to prolong my own act of dying or that of a loved one in accordance with my own personal and religious beliefs.

At least I'm consistent in my views and actions.

Based on your views, you should be out protesting fertility clinics and women using them. There are a lot of zygotes that never get implanted and if you think life begins at conception you must agree those babies have the same right to a chance at implantation in a receptive womb as every other blastocyst that makes it to the uterus.

You can bombard me all you want, but there are circumstances under which I believe abortion is a legitimate decision and think that if someone really wanted to do something to decrease abortions, they'd focus on the demand.

price per head service said...

Very interesting post. I think this advice can be very helpful for many people.

call center voip solutions said...

Hello I want to congratulate to them by its site of the Web of the excellent looks like entertained and very good very to me it elaborated.