What Hath Roe Wrought?

On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade abortion advocates have plenty of reason to be frightened and pessimistic. During 2012, an average of 7 abortion clinics closed each month. No wonder Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider is frantic about securing federal funding --70 percent of abortion clinics in the U.S. have closed over the past 22 years. By their recent abandonment of the "pro-choice" rhetoric, it is obvious that they, too, recognize that pro-life forces are prevailing with the American public. To name just a few reasons: Far too many abortions are for frivolous reasons and the abortion movement does, as one pro-choice insider criticized, lack gravitas; its arguments and its rationale lack depth, legitimacy, and logic. The pro-life movement is getting increasingly more sophisticated and effective. Plus, science and technology are on the pro-life side. As sonograms get higher definition and more parents-to-be post them on social media the pro-life cause strengthens. One study tracked seventy-five patients and all but five changed their minds about an abortion after seeing a sonogram of their baby in the womb. The facts about the child in the womb revealed by science and technology , are changing America's view of abortion and many Americans are now asking, "What Hath Roe Wrought?"

Studies Document Harms to Many Women from Abortion: The harmful experiences of many post-abortive girls and women are raising questions about the unquestioning promotion of abortion in America and the refusal of abortion advocates to even consider the potential harms to women's health and well-being. A study in Finland, using official government data, showed associations (there is no way to show causality) between abortion and dire outcomes: in a one-year study, abortion was 3.5 times deadlier than childbirth, suicide was 7 times higher among post-abortive women, and deaths from homicide were 4 times higher among post-abortive women. A British study (published in the British Journal of Psychiatry) reviewed over one hundred international studies and found a link between abortion and mental health problems. Abortion advocates have gone to great lengths to discredit the evidence linking abortion and breast cancer. They point to nearly a dozen articles denying the link; yet a peer-reviewed analysis of those articles published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons points out serious methodological weaknesses and flaws in the studies denying a link, concluding that there is, indeed, an increased risk for breast cancer after an abortion. More and more Americans are asking why these concerns are so quickly dismissed. Do we not care about women's well-being?

Too Many Abortions Are Driven by "Designer Baby" Goals: Another disturbing aspect of today's abortion problem are the so-called "therapeutic" abortions. At least "92 percent of babies found in prenatal testing to have Down Syndrome are aborted" and at least 73 percent (some researchers believe the rate is 80 to 100 percent) of unborn babies believed to have neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, are aborted. There are numerous reports of women being pressured to undergo prenatal testing in order to "diagnose disorders or undesirable disabilities early" so that the mother can "easily undergo an abortion." In effect, the doctors and abortion advocates are playing God and "saying that human beings born with physical and mental disabilities are not fit to live." There is also the ugly contradiction between the fact that abortion is being "sold" as a matter of "women's rights" when at the same time the more frequent target of abortion is the "girl child" in the womb. Obviously, these two alternatives are mutually exclusive -- you cannot embrace abortion and then turn around to condemn sex-selection abortions. The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) reported in 2007 that there were at that time at least 60 million "missing" girls as a result of sex-selection abortions or neglect of the girl child.

As more Crisis Pregnancy Centers open up around the nation, more abortion clinics close. As more information about Planned Parenthood is exposed (all the criminal charges brought against them, the cover ups of underage rape and abuse, the videos of personnel protecting pimps involved in child sex trafficking, the unseemly profits of an organization that claims to be non-profit, the misuse of taxpayer funds and overcharging the government) and as their abortion numbers continue to climb, the less people buy into their advertisements about being a "women's health facility." Americans are discovering that the abortion industry actually targets minorities for abortions. Black girls and women have more abortions than white women and they have more than one-third of the total number of annual abortions. Further, abortion clinics are disproportionately located in minority neighborhoods. In addition the public is learning that abortions are, increasingly, a matter of selfishness and/or convenience rather than a health necessity; worse, far too many abortions are 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th abortions, making it obvious that with repeat abortions the girl or woman is using abortion as a means of birth control.

While public policy organizations analyze "trends" and look at abortion in the aggregate, each and every abortion "statistic" is a tragedy for two, an individual girl or woman and her baby. The pro-abortion advocates offer that girl or woman the opportunity to erase her "mistake" and get on with her life, as though nothing happened. But science and technology are now showing her that, indeed, something did happen. With the widespread use of sonograms, more and more people are realizing that "abortion stops a beating heart." In addition, more and more Americans are understanding that the abortion industry, founded on Roe 40 years ago and led by Planned Parenthood, is a business -- a very lucrative business -- more dedicated to the bottom line than to women's or children's well-being.

Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow at Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, and is author of Children at Risk (Transaction, 2010).

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