Letters to the Editor

Informed-consent legislation and mandatory waiting period, requiring that women be informed about what they are about to do and be required to wait 24 or 48 hours as reflection-time

Letter Number: 351

An abortion advocacy group is up in arms against the proposed informed-consent legislation. They claim that the so-called "counselors" at abortion mills provide all the information any woman needs to make an abortion decision.

I suppose we don't need lemon laws either, because used-car "counselors" educate the consumer about automobiles!

The truth is, when you talk to a car salesman, he is trying to get you to buy the most expensive car he can sell you. You and the salesman are at cross-purposes. But because you recognize this, you take what he says with a grain of salt, and you are less likely to be bamboozled.

The same thing goes in an abortion mill. Your "counselor" is there to sell you the abortion, along with "frills" like general anesthesia. But if you assume that she is just a counselor looking after your best interests, you are at a disadvantage. You don't know that what she says may not be true. You don't know what your options are. You are likely to be bamboozled.

We need a "lemon law" against these sleazy abortion salespeople. Perhaps if women could directly sue the "counselor" who sold her the abortion, the air would clear.

Letter Number: 352

An abortion advocacy group is up in arms because they want the school district to let them "provide sex education" to teens in our city schools.

It's strange that the same people who claim that teenagers need to be told every tiny detail about sex want to keep those same teens in the dark about abortion.

Teens are to be taught how to select, purchase, unwrap, unroll, use, and dispose of condoms. But don't tell them that the baby's heart starts beating at 18 days after conception! Teens are to be taught various foreplay techniques (supposedly as an alternative, rather than a prelude, to intercourse), but not taught that a baby has measurable human brain waves at 42 days after conception. Teens are to be taught about various homosexual practices, but are not taught how abortion kills the unborn baby by ripping off her tiny arms and legs.

This abortion advocacy group wants to do everything in their power to get teens whipped into a sexual frenzy. Then the kids will engage in the activity that leads to pregnancy. And since they're kept ignorant about the reality of abortion, they make easy sells. Can't you just hear the cash register ringing?

These pregnancy vultures need to be kept out of our schools.

Letter Number: 353

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

When a woman is considering abortion, she is deciding two different issues: Is it medically safe for me? And is it morally acceptable for me?

Abortion fanatics say all informed consent does is frighten women with a bunch of pro-life literature. That's nonsense. No state legislature has ever required women to be shown pro-life literature. What we're talking about is accurate scientific, medical, and biological information. What's the problem in giving the mother factual information about her unborn child at the gestational stage at which she's considering aborting it? What's wrong with requiring abortionists to show the woman a sonogram of her unborn child? Or a picture of what the fetus looks like at her stage of pregnancy?

And what's wrong with telling her the risks? Sure, it may frighten her--it should, since abortion is dangerous. Shouldn't she be allowed to decide that the risks just aren't worth it?

Not according to the self-appointed Apostles of Choice. Women are to be kept ignorant so that they make the only Choice that pays. Otherwise, how would the abortionists make payments on their BMWs?

Letter Number: 354

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

They claim that if someone asks, they will answer. Even if they did, what's wrong with making it part of the informed consent requirements? Sometimes they even say it's not necessary because the woman can go to the library if she wants to know these things!

Let's say a doctor--a legitimate doctor, not an abortionist--was treating a patient with a powerful drug that had the potential to cause blindness in some patients. But the doctor chose not to tell the patient about it. If this patient went blind, how many people do you think would absolve the doctor of responsibility toward that patient simply because the patient could have gone to the medical library and found out about the risks?

Can you imagine a car dealer asking a customer to sign an installment contract that didn't spell out all the legal particulars, and when the customer got ripped off, saying that he could have just stopped by a law library if he really wanted that kind of information?

If women are going to be making this kind of life and death decision, they have a right to be doing so with every single piece of information available. If having more knowledge causes them to change their mind, then abortion wasn't right for them in the first place.

Letter Number: 355

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

They claim that they deprive women of information because the truth might be irrelevant or frightening. Well, if a particular piece of information is disturbing, the harm can be avoided by giving her the information when she can still decide not to have the abortion. The harm comes after it's too late to do anything about it.

The clinic may think risks are so rare that they're irrelevant--say, the small risk of having to have some of your fingers amputated because the medication they gave you caused a local reaction. What if you play the flute for a living? To you, this specific risk might be the thing to make you decide abortion is not for you. Isn't that your right?

And the idea of possibly being left in a coma is frightening. It should be. If you decide you'd rather change a baby's diapers for two years than risk having your husband change your diapers for the rest of your life, isn't that your right?

Opposing informed consent is patronizing. It's saying women are too frail or hysterical to handle reality. It's saying they don't know what's important or relevant in their own lives.

It's also very profitable. An ignorant customer is every salesman's dream.

Letter Number: 356

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

They claim their "counselors" give women all the information they need. Be serious! Do you honestly think they believe someone who is an employee of the abortion industry is going to give women information that might make them decide against abortion? Get real. Nobody with three brain cells functioning would buy the notion that a woman would go into one of those places wanting an abortion and be talked out of it by a so-called "counselor" on commission. I suspect that in the highly unlikely event such a thing were to ever happen, the "counselor" involved would very shortly be looking for another job.

Some states do not allow optometrists to be employed by businesses that sell eyeglasses. There is a conflict of interest when people deciding whether patients need glasses or not are employees of a business that would sell them the glasses. Now if there is that suspicion about legitimate health care providers, do you really think they should continue to let abortion mill employees "counsel" their customers about whether they need to buy an abortion or not?

Naturally, these radical abortion fanatics don't want informed consent because they know that in every instance where it's been required, the abortion rate has plummeted, and abortion profits along with it.

Letter Number: 357

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight informed consent legislation?

If abortion were really the innocuous event they claim, the more information the woman got, the calmer and more certain she would be about an abortion. But those who profit from abortion know their interests are best served if they control what information is given to women.

In the book Abortion and Health Care Ethics, abortion advocate E. Dorsey Smith wrote: "The individual client and her characteristics should be evaluated before deciding just what is informed consent. Communicating information can be punitive or supportive."

In other words, she shouldn't worry her pretty little head. She should just let the doctor do the thinking for her, and he'll make sure she makes the right "choice." That seems to be a strange attitude from an institution that supposedly respects women's rights to make decisions for themselves.

Letter Number: 358

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

They claim that they assess each woman and give her information they think is relevant--as long as it will not "alarm" her. This ability to selectively decide what information their customers should be told doesn't help the women--it reduces the risk that women might make decisions that are unprofitable for the abortionist.

If R. J. Reynolds tobacco company were given the ability to control all the information given to everyone considering smoking cigarettes, that would be pretty beneficial--to R. J. Reynolds. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that R. J. Reynolds is naturally going to give information specifically designed to encourage the purchase of their cigarettes. Sure, information about the health risks of smoking might be alarming, but for the sake of high profits the tobacco industry would probably protect people from that alarming information.

The same thing is true of abortion. The only difference is that while America would never tolerate such a thing from legitimate business, it tolerates it from one as totally depraved as the abortion industry. Even if someone believes that there are circumstances in which abortion should be legal, surely he can see the absurdity of saying we will allow the people who profit from abortion to be the ones who decide what information should be given to women considering abortion. It is absolutely outrageous!

Letter Number: 359

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

These abortionists ask us to believe the lie that they are not in business for money, but to help women. But if these guys were really concerned for the well-being of women, we wouldn't even need legislation requiring informed consent because they would already be providing it voluntarily. If a piece of information is true and relates to abortion, what possible justification could there be for saying that it shouldn't be given to women considering abortion? Who is being protected when women are told--by the people who profit from abortion--that there is certain information about abortion that they don't need to know? I can assure you it's not the women involved!

How would you like to be the young wife who was told abortion could not affect future fertility, now suffering Asherman's Syndrome and unable to conceive? Or the mother who was told that her daughter would be fine, only to have her left in a coma by her abortion? Wouldn't these people all be better off if they'd been told the truth?

If women knew the truth, they might not choose abortion. Shouldn't women have the right to be informed when they're making such significant choices? That's what the argument is all about.

Letter Number: 360

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

No matter what someone thinks about abortion, they surely can't believe abortionists have a right to have uninformed customers. It really says something about the pro-abortion position when those who espouse it fight so hard to keep accurate information from being given to their customers. This is proof that the correct term for these people is indeed pro-abortion, not pro-choice.

How can they say they are protecting women's right to choose while fighting to keep them from hearing information with which to make that choice? Real choice is impossible unless the one making the choice is completely and accurately informed. If someone was truly for choice, and not abortion, their attitude would be that if a certain piece of information might convince a woman not to have an abortion, she especially has a right to have that information.

If we enact this legislation, it would not make one single abortion illegal. Informed consent does not reduce choices, it reduces the abortion rate, and therefore abortion-industry profits. To abortionists, that's the only unforgivable sin.

It's obvious that the abortion industry wants women to receive only that information which was very carefully designed to encourage them to choose abortion. Period. They realize that the abortion industry's interests are best served when women make abortion decisions in an information vacuum. And that's not choice, that's exploitation.

Letter Number: 361

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

Abortionists argue that women who want information about fetal development, risks, and alternatives can find it on their own. But back in 1991, during all the fuss over Title X, abortionists were crying that they had to be able to use government money to tell women that abortion is legal and where to get an abortion, because women wouldn't be able to find this out on their own. Now, how is it that the same women who are too ignorant to pick up the Yellow Pages and find an abortion mill are suddenly smart enough to sift through thousands of medical journals to assess the risks of abortion relevant to their own current health status? How can the same woman who can't read a phone book read the New England Journal of Medicine?

Can a woman who's so clueless that she doesn't even know abortion is legal somehow know that it can lead to disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and pulmonary thromboembolism?

That seems like a stretch.

Letter Number: 362

Why is it that abortion advocates say they want women to have all their options, but then fight legislation to require informed consent?

Abortion is by far the most commonly performed major surgical procedure in America today. It has not only significant physical risks for the woman, but sometimes devastating emotional consequences as well. But you will never hear radical abortion advocates suggesting that women get information prior to submitting to the procedure. The same people who would advise a second opinion to a woman who's considering an elective tonsillectomy would never even bring up that subject if she was thinking about an elective abortion. And this is true despite the fact that no other elective surgical procedure has anything remotely approaching the potential emotional trauma for women that an abortion decision has. If a woman regrets a tonsillectomy, that's one thing. But, if she discovers her abortion was not just the removal of a glob of tissue like she was lead to believe, but was instead the slaughter of her child, that's something else altogether. If she was told that the only risk was bleeding or fever, both of which are easily treated, and she winds up with such a horrible infection that she has to have her arms and legs amputated, was she making an informed choice?

Let's stop kidding ourselves. Abortionists are not interested in women's well-being, just their money.

Letter Number: 363

An abortion advocacy group is up in arms against the proposed informed consent legislation. They claim that the so-called "counselors" at abortion mills provide all the information any woman needs to make her "choice."

If that is so, "choice" must be a function of ignorance.

How can you make a choice when you don't know what your options are? But abortion advocates insist that if a woman wants other options besides abortion, she should find out about them on her own. If she knew about the other options, she wouldn't be sitting in an abortion clinic, would she?

Abortion fanatics claim that information about the risks of abortion just "frighten" the woman and "heighten her anxiety." When you are contemplating something that is frightening, isn't it best to know all the risks so you can decide if it is worth the risks?

Abortion advocates claim that information about the unborn child is "designed to make her feel guilty for having an abortion." But if destroying that fetus is going to make her feel guilty, shouldn't she know while she can still change her mind? The time to find out that the baby has a beating heart and arms and legs is before you kill it.

We have consumer guidelines covering everything from magazine subscriptions to real estate. We require second opinions for surgeries from adenoids to hemorrhoids. Yet for something as monumental and irreversible as an abortion, we have an information vacuum.

Something is seriously wrong here.

Letter Number: 364

The abortion fanatics rallying at the capitol yesterday were complaining that women should be kept ignorant of abortion's risks, and of fetal development, because such things might "frighten" them.

They remind me of Zaphod Beeblebrox from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Zaphod had "peril-sensitive" sunglasses. At the first hint of danger, they turn completely black, to keep the wearer from seeing anything that might cause alarm. Of course, these sunglasses can't offer protection from real danger, any more than keeping women in the dark about abortion can protect their well-being. Zaphod's sunglasses were supposed to be a parody of human stupidity. Only an abortion advocate could consider them a legitimate safety device.

Letter Number: 365

An abortion advocacy group is up in arms against the proposed informed consent legislation. They claim that the information is "irrelevant" because the woman already knows she wants an abortion.

Let's move away from the emotional topic of abortion so we can examine this logic rationally. Imagine you inherited an old locket. You don't want it--it's ugly and you can't get it open. You take it to an antique dealer. She pops the locket open and finds what she suspected--that it contains miniature oil portraits of Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV. It is worth big bucks. Imagine that she doesn't show you the inside of the locket. She tells you that it is ordinary costume jewelry. She offers you five dollars for it. You are willing to sell it for five dollars. Is she stealing from you by lying about its real value? Does she owe you the truth? Or does the fact that she knows more than you entitle her to get rich from your ignorance?

Abortionists know that the unborn baby is a fully formed, unique, and irreplaceable human being. They know that you would never consent to abort her if you knew the truth. You only want the abortion because you don't know what it really is that you are considering destroying.

Do they have an obligation to tell you the truth? Or does the fact that they know more than you entitle them to get rich from your ignorance?

Letter Number: 366

An abortion advocacy group is screaming that the new 24-hour reflection period before an abortion is "an unnecessary intrusion." They claim, "When a woman schedules an abortion, she already has thought it over. She knows what she needs."

Funny, Planned Parenthood's medical director, Mary Calderone, had something different to say on the topic in 1960. She said, "When a woman seeking an abortion is given the chance of talking over her problem with a properly trained and oriented person, she will in the process very often resolve many of her qualms and will spontaneously decide to see the pregnancy through, particularly if she is assured that supportive help will continue to be available to her."

What has changed since Calderone made that statement in 1960? Only one thing: abortion became legal. Women haven't changed. But the ability to profit from their initial panic and fear has increased dramatically. Abortion is, as one clinic administrator put it, "a cash cow."

What the current abortion advocacy groups ought to be saying is, "But we'll lose the sale if we give her information and time to think about it!" They should drop the bogus "women's rights" line, and turn it into what it is--a dispute over business techniques.

Letter Number: 392

Last week, abortionists were at the capitol, boo-hooing that if the new abortion law passes, they will have to give women 48 hours after being informed of the risks to decide if they want to go through with an abortion.

They claim that such waiting periods aren't necessary because women are sure they want abortions before they even call the clinic. If that's true, why do so many women change their minds when the abortion fails? These cases often are tragic, because just as the woman comes to love her baby, the child dies from the abortion injuries; because earlier the woman had been duped into believing that the normal early-pregnancy jitters were a sign that she could never love her baby, and that abortion was the solution.

If even one woman could be spared this agony, wouldn't it be worth the inconvenience to the women who go through with their abortions after the waiting period?

Letter Number: 393

What's the problem with a short waiting period between the time a woman is informed about the risks of abortion, and its actual execution?

In the midst of a traumatic and emotional crisis, we can all make hasty and poorly thought-out decisions. And abortion is a life and death matter in which too much care can't be exercised. One reasonable way we could help women be certain they are making the right decision for themselves is by requiring that they have time to reflect on the risks and alternatives before the abortion.

Abortion proponents claim that women already know the risks before they go to the abortion clinic. This is silly. How many pregnant teens know about disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, pulmonary thromboembolism, and clostridium perfringens sepsis? What single mom struggling with a job and child-rearing is going to hop over to the medical library and look up amniotic fluid embolism, cervico-vaginal fistula, and hypernatremia? How many people reading this letter would even know where to begin to investigate how often these complications occur, and how serious they are, and what long-term effects they might cause?

Of course, abortion advocates and their political stooges know that women don't know about these things before they get to the abortion clinic. They aren't even likely to find out once they get there. If they ever were to find out about these risks, they'd probably decide abortion isn't worth the risks.

And that's one choice no abortion advocate can tolerate.

Letter Number: 394

Again we have abortion advocates and their political stooges fighting a bill requiring abortion mills to give women at least 24 hours between being warned of the risks of abortion, and the actual execution of the abortion.

The real reason these people oppose giving women time to reflect is that this causes the abortion rate to drop. During this waiting period, women sometimes change their minds and decide they don't want abortions after all.

In other words, waiting periods costs the abortion industry money, thereby reducing lobbying money available for pro-abortion candidates. Clearly, both abortion providers and pro-abortion politicians have a financial interest in women choosing abortion. Anything that gives women an opportunity to change their minds definitely has the potential to eat into the profits. These guys obviously don't mind women choosing abortion, but they will fight tooth and nail against anything that might cause them to "un-choose" it. Choice is apparently a one-way street. As former abortion clinic director Carol Everett pointed out, advertising and public relations campaigns cost money. The clinic has spent money luring the woman into the clinic. Once she's there, they're going to want to recoup what they spent on advertising to get her there, plus make a profit. Allowing her to walk out the door without having bought an abortion means losing money.

Letter Number: 395

Last week, abortionists were at the capitol, complaining that if the new abortion law passes, they will have to give women 48 hours after being informed of the risks to decide if they want to go through with an abortion.

They claimed that the two-day waiting period is unnecessary because women have their minds made up before they get to the abortion clinic. Even if that were true, information about risks, fetus development, and alternatives might lead some to change their minds.

It's only logical that women who change their minds about abortion during this waiting period are the ones who'd be most likely to change their minds after having an abortion. But by then it's too late. If a woman has an abortion, only to later discover that it was not just the removal of a "glob of cells," as the abortionist told her, but the killing of her own baby, the effects can be devastating. Abortion is not reversible. It's a decision that can follow a woman or girl for the rest of her life. If she is not absolutely sure about abortion, she needs to find out beforehand while she still has the opportunity to make another choice.

Obviously, abortion advocates want to deny women the opportunity to take new information into account when making the abortion decision. That's not just anti-woman, it's anti-choice.

Letter Number: 396

Last week, abortionists were at the capitol, complaining that if the new abortion law passes, they will have to give women 48 hours after being informed of the risks to decide if they will go through with an abortion.

Many women suffer emotional trauma after abortion. One of the most common themes we hear from them is that they were rushed into making a decision without adequate information. We can argue all day long about the percentage of women who suffer emotional trauma from having had an abortion, but it's indisputable that some do. And there's no way to deny that a reasonable waiting period will save these women a lot of misery. The women most likely to change their minds are the women who didn't really want abortions in the first place.

No woman who wants an abortion will be denied it by this short waiting period. If she's convinced she wants an abortion, waiting will not be an undue hardship. And many women who might choose an abortion for themselves would consider the inconvenience of waiting a few hours a small price to pay to keep another woman from making a decision that could devastate her for the rest of her life.

As a society, we need to recognize that while the abortion industry, its lobby, and its politicians may be best served by hasty abortion decisions, the woman deciding whether she should have one is not.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org