an informed decision

With the next presidential election coming up this November, there has been no shortage of political and social issues floating around on the news and other media.  Everyone has an opinion about everything from same-sex marriage laws to protecting endangered Arctic puffins.  (Ok, I actually have no idea if they’re endangered or not – but I’m sure some similar animal somewhere is).  Lately, I have come across several articles that address the issue of abortion – specifically, laws passing that are requiring ultrasounds prior to an abortion.  According to an article from The Washington Post,

Seven states require ultrasounds before abortions. Twenty states regulate some aspect of ultrasound exams, including requiring abortion providers to give women the option to view the image or listen to the fetal heartbeat if an ultrasound is performed.

Similar legislation is pending in 11 other states. If all of the measures pass, more than half of the states will have laws governing ultrasound exams before abortions.

Where you personally stand on the issues of abortion and choice will ultimately decide whether or not you think this is good or bad news.

Many states are requiring the availability of ultrasound imaging as well as a 24 hour waiting period before making a final decision on the procedure.   As of February of this year, Texas has become the lone state to not only require a viewing of the sonogram, but also a detailed description of the ultrasound.  Additionally, patients must listen to the sound of the fetal heartbeat as well.

Several voices from the pro-choice arena have spoken out against this decision (and other ultrasound decisions in surrounding states), stating that such a decision is infringing on the rights of women and encouraging them to make the choice to not have an abortion.  Additionally, they insist that such policies imply that women cannot make a decision on their own or do not know what they are doing.

The Senate in Virginia voted on a bill a few months ago about this same issue: mandating ultrasounds prior to an abortion (the amendment ended up passing).  According to The Washington Post:

“This is really a bill that is about shaming and demeaning women seeking reproductive health,” said Laura Meyers, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.

So it seems that one overwhelming school of thought is that offering or requiring ultrasound imaging is forcing women to make a decision against abortion, and therefore infringing on women’s rights.  One woman in Texas believes this so strongly that she is setting out to provide iPods to various Planned Parenthood locations throughout the state.  Why?  So they can listen to music rather than heartbeats.  If you can’t hear it, it’s not there, right?

Further, these new laws often require two separate doctors appointments – one for ultrasound and counseling, and then a separate appointment for the actual procedure.  It is argued that this makes the process that much more difficult and is not cost effective.  Some even say that because an ultrasound is not medically necessary for the actual abortion, it is not right to force women to pay the cost for the sonogram (costs for the test can range anywhere between $50 and $200 – keep in mind an abortion can be anywhere between $300 and $950).

However you look at it, the one issue that consistently surfaces when talking about abortion is this: rights.  Women’s rights, a fetus’s rights, your rights, my rights, everybody’s rights.

The big argument is this – by allowing women to hear descriptions of a fetus or to see pictures of the fetus, it is putting women in a position to potentially change their original decision about an abortion.  The doctor-patient relationship is being infringed upon, and a woman is losing her right to make a choice for herself.

Does anyone else think that this makes absolutely no sense?

Since when was informing a patient of the full details of a procedure considered “infringing on rights”?  If anything, it would seem that educating a patient/customer on a service that they are potentially paying for would be enabling their right to choose – they are being given the maximum amount of information in order to make the best possible decision.

I used the word “customer” very intentionally because, in reality, that is what any woman seeking an abortion is: a paying customer.

Think about this: we are constantly bombarded with advertisements every day, begging us to buy or use various products or services.  Every one of those advertisements claims that their product is the best product, will produce the best outcome, and will leave the consumer the most satisfied.  I think it would be safe to say that there are some advertisements and marketing tools that are misleading – customers are led to believe that a product is better than it actually is.  The brains behind marketing may not be completely honest about every detail of the product.

Why?

Let’s be real.  It’s almost always about the money.  If I am offering a service that provides the majority of my company’s income, I’m not going to want anything to get in the way of that service.  And if the success of that service is dependent on ignorance – or what the customer doesn’t know – then I will probably do my best to make sure the customer stays in the dark.  No one’s really getting hurt, so it’s no big deal.  But let’s say that the government suddenly decides that my customers need to be fully informed about the service I am providing.  Seeing as how my success could have a positive correlation to my customers not being fully informed, my business may be in a bit of trouble.  The solution?  Claim that my customers’ rights are being violated by requiring that they be informed; the government has no right to imply that my customers are not capable of making a decision on their own.

Sounds like a pretty dirty business, doesn’t it?

Welcome to the world of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood won’t tell you in their inspirational ads that the majority of their clinic income is from abortion services – quite the opposite actually.  PP likes to report that abortions only account for 3% of their income.  Seems like quite a discrepancy.

What it comes down to is this: abortion is Planned Parenthood’s largest money maker.  It’s what keeps them in business.  PP continuously maintains the position that it represents the voice of choice for women; however, annual reports shed light on a completely different reality.  It would seem that women are being coerced into making decisions that end in abortion.  Consider this:

  • For every prenatal service Planned Parenthood provided in 2010, it committed 10.5 abortions.
  • For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood committed 392 abortions.
  • Planned Parenthood’s cumulative income is estimated at $2.06 billion (based on annual reports back to 1970)

On the Planned Parenthood website, they make these claims:

“For more than 90 years, we’ve worked to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.”

“For more than 90 years, Planned Parenthood has promoted a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning.”

“We deliver comprehensive and medically accurate information that empowers women, men, teens, and families to make informed choices and lead healthy lives.”

Those at Planned Parenthood are self-proclaimed advocates of a woman’s right to make “informed and responsible choices.”  And yet as soon as the government begins requiring that women be informed, PP begins complaining that rights are being stripped away.

So when PP says that such decisions are “demeaning” to women and “infringing” on rights, maybe what they really mean to say is that these new laws are costing them money.

Earlier this month, Utah became  the first state to require a 72-hour waiting period before having an abortion.  Predictably, pro-abortionists where furious.  According to the Director of Planned Parenthood of Utah,

“…Women make good decisions and think about their decisions and the legislature telling them how long they need to think about their decision — it’s insulting.”

I think House Representative Steve Eliason summed it up quite well (in reference to the bill in Utah) –

“I think it’s a positive change for women and children…At the end of the day, it’s a consumer-protection law. The focus of this bill is women having time to consider all of the information that is given to them when facing a life-altering decision that somebody else is making money off of.” 

Abortions make money.  A lot of money.  By putting laws in place that allow women to make more “informed and responsible choices”  (something that, supposedly, is of deep importance to Planned Parenthood), the government may unknowingly be hurting the very organization that they so willingly fund.

If Planned Parenthood truly desires for every woman to make individual, fully informed decisions, then these recent events should be cause for celebration.  The mask of compassion for women and their rights must be stripped away to reveal the true motives of this organization.

As long as Planned Parenthood lives, lives will continue to be lost.  Truly and fully informing women could  be the beginning of change.

Refuse to be silent.

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