October 22, 2002
Pro-choice or anti-catholic
(Maggie Gallagher, October 21, 2002, Town Hall)
Here are the facts: Most doctors do not like to perform abortions, and most abortionists like to make money. They tend to locate clinics in lucrative urban areas, leaving rural women to travel sometimes as much as a few hours in order to get abortions.
For some abortion rights groups, this constitutes a grave crisis: "Eighty-four percent of counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider," announces a Maryland NARAL fact sheet.
What are people who believe in abortion doing to expand access? Are they collecting donations to build and subsidize charitable rural abortion clinics, as they are entitled to under the law? Oh, no. Instead, NARAL and other abortion advocacy groups have launched nationwide campaigns to use the courts and legislatures to force hospitals (including Catholic hospitals) to provide abortion services.
Perhaps it would be useful to provide training so that abortion advocates can do the killing themselves rather than allow them to force others to do their dirty work.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 22, 2002 2:24 PM
Nothing strange about it at all, Steve. This has nothing to do with providing abortions and everything to do with suppressing free speech and free opinion.
The abortionists got even the Supreme Court to ignore the First Amendment on the clinic protest law. They are out to extinguish even the concept of opposing abortion.
On the issue of access, I agree that county statistics obscure as much as they reveal. In Iowa, for example, a disproportionate number of abortions are done in Iowa City, to the extent that a stupid colleague of mine wrote a story calling Iowa City the abortion capital of the country.
The real explanation is that Iowa City is the home of the University of Iowa Hospitals, and indigent women from around the state tend to get their abortions there, because of the way the state welfare system works.
To really understand who has how much access to abortions would require real reporting, not just data mining of county statistics. But that would be work.
Nevertheless, I accept Steve's general argument. In my county, no one stays home to be treated for acute cardiac disease. They are always taken to the big city, and to one particular hospital among the many there.
This is not a political issue, though, is it? There is no Cardiac Care Rights Action League.
I'm horrified by this story. The only moral argument the abortionists have is that government proscription of abortion means the introduction of coercive power to tell a woman what she can or can't do.
Now they want the government to force people to perform an action they don't want to. Utterly disgusting.
I once had a discussion about abortion with a friend and mutual acquaintance. Being all men, it was somewhat liberating to be able to talk about the issue without fear of a woman attempting to silence the fact that we dare even have an opinion on it. The one element that caused a true argument was my assertion that some pro-choice people are simply pro-abortion and aren't really concerned with any moral question over it. My acquaintance disagreed saying that whatever position a woman takes, the moral question is always at the heart of it.
This story pretty much destroys that opinion.
There's no such thing as being "pro-choice." You are either pro-abortion or anti-abortion, unless you are me and Jimmy Carter who figure this is an issue government ought to stay away from.
To say "I am pro-choice but not pro-abortion, I would never have an abortion myself" (a line I have heard many times) is like saying, "I am pro-capital punishment as long as it's not me."
A distinction without a difference.
I believe normal people are uneasy (they should be) about abortion even if they believe it is a "right." But the NARAL and the hard feminists and their allies are in love with abortion. There are three positions in this country: pro-abortion but disguised as pro-choice, anti-abortion and hate-children and men, ove-abortion.
It is the latter group driving the California movement, and the first group who are too morally insecure not to part company with them.
I appreciate your comments. I agree that limiting the catchment area to counties is not the right way to do this -- far better to use Census Bureau data on economic service areas. One's ability to purchase/offer services indeed doesn't end at the county line. The NARAL of Maryland (OJ's original story) makes the claim about 84% of counties not having an abortion doc. My analysis, almost completely off the cuff (I did hit the NCHS web site), allows one to understand why the NARAL claim is superfluous. Of course the boonies don't have a lot of abortion docs -- they don't have a lot of other stuff as well.
I've read stories similar to what OJ cited, and you and others here note the key point: one can simply hop in a car and drive to the nearest city that has the medical service you want, be it a cardiac bypass or an abortion. I've occasionally seen NARAL or PP claim that such a drive is an "impediment" to abortion access. In their minds, I suppose it is.
Finally, OJ and all of you might be interested to know that there is a companion movement to require all OBGYN residents (doctors in training after medical school) to participate in providing abortion services, even if morally opposed. This has had some press play, and has been discussed by the American Committee on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the accrediting boy for post-graduate medical education. The argument is that OBGYN physicians need to know how to do the procedure, since it's part of the full range of procedures and services they offer. So the moral beliefs of a resident must be seconded to their training. This argument has some support in certain circles as one might imagine, but very few training programs (so far) require their residents to do abortions if they opt out.