Copyright © 1997 AFLM
November/December, 1997 Volume XII Number 9
Grim Fairy Tales
California's Supreme Court recently determined the state's parental consent law was unconstitutional because it violated minors' "autonomy privacy." California parents are now asking themselves why their children can have an abortion without parental consent when their children cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental consent?
Justice Baxter, in his dissenting opinion calls the majority decision "judicial legislation."
While Justice Baxter is absolutely right, what was the philosophical motivation underlying the majority opinion?
Consider the old saying that if you repeat a lie enough, eventually people believe the lie is true. Well, the abortion fundamentalists have been telling tales about parental consent and abortion, and, a majority of the Justices bought into it. Their decision has resulted in a drive by California citizens for a ballot initiative restoring parents' fundamental liberty interest to direct the upbringing of their children, historically regarded as a natural right.
Some of us are old enough to remember Grimm's Fairy Tales and a time when abortion was not legal. The times have changed, and so have the stories we tell our children. Because abortion fundamentalists has been telling grim fairy tales, abortion is legal, women are dying, children are being butchered, and our teens can experience it all, without parental consent or knowledge. Aren't our children fortunate to have such a legacy?
"Safe, legal abortion" kills women.
Ask Curtis Hamptlon, an orphan whose mother died from a "safe, legal abortion" (see Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, Volume Four, Number 4, April, 1997).
Of course we want equal treatment under the law for immigrants, like Magdalena Ortega Rodriguez. She came from Tijuana to San Diego to meet her death after having a "safe, legal abortion" at the hands of abortionist Suresh Gandotra, who was never even trained as an OB/GYN (see The Wanderer, Volume 130, Number 2, January 9, 1997). It appears all that has been accomplished by legalizing abortion is to legitimize abortionists like Suresh Gandotra.
Abortion also kills unborn children. This is not an opinion, but scientific fact. Even feminist Naomi Wolf concedes the point in her article "Our Bodies, Our Souls," which was published in the New Republic in October of 1995. Ms. Wolf writes, "....I will maintain that we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death...." Later she states, ".... the pro-life slogan, 'Abortion stops a beating heart is incontrovertibly true.' "
But fairy tales tend to obscure facts.
The abortion industry's marketing strategy is clever, cloaking abortion in terms of privacy and choice. Couched in those terms, the reaction is emotional and individuals who would not even consider abortion a viable choice react as if their freedoms are being impinged when measures are taken to limit abortion in any way.
The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report 800,000 abortions are done each year in the eighth week of pregnancy. At three-hundred dollars each, quite a lucrative business considering the average first trimester abortion takes about ten minutes. America, the land of opportunity, unless your mom gets to the clinic first, of course.
Adding fuel to the fiery debate is the media portrayal of abortion foes. There is no attempt to use neutral language when depicting the philosophical beliefs of abortion opponents. They are described as zealots, extremists, and fundamentalists, even though the facts are on their side. The media freely quote these depictions and there is no reciprocity when describing abortion advocates. How often have you heard "anti-life," "pro-death," or even "pro-abortion" to describe abortion supporters? They are all "pro-choice," and what right thinking American would oppose choice?
In addition to the media depiction of abortion opponents, there are the self-appointed watchdogs of society proclaiming that they have their eye on these right-wing extremists. One example is the movie star who announced at a Women's Rights Rally that she considered it her "job" to keep abortion "safe and legal."
Her proclamation is nothing more than the fairy tale of an abortion fundamentalist. Look at the facts.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control statistics show that back-alley abortion was not the problem it was presented to be by abortion advocates. The numbers of
deaths from back-alley abortion decreased from 39 in 1972, to 21 in 1977, after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.
"We spoke of '5,000-10,000 deaths a year.' I confess that I know the figures were totally false...it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?," admits Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who testified before the U.S. Supreme Court. From under 40 per year to between 5,000-10,000 is quite a stretch. But thus began the inception of the abortion fundamentalist mantra, "Keep abortion safe and legal."
Then there is the "safe and legal" abortion procedure, intact dilatation and extraction, or partial birth abortion. The American Medical Association points out that the preferable term is the medical term, dilatation and extraction (D&X).
Dr. Pamela E. Smith is the Director of Medical Education, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago. Dr. Smith testified both before the United States Senate and the California State Assembly Health Committee regarding partial birth abortion. She stated during her testimony that a D&X is exactly what the term "partial birth abortion" implies. "There are absolutely no obstetrical situation encountered in this country which require a partially delivered human fetus to be destroyed to preserve the life or health of the mother."
Her testimony was undisputed. Yet at hearing after hearing with respect to partial birth abortion, the fairy tale is told that this inhumane procedure is necessary to save women's lives and to protect their health.
Newspaper accounts document Ron Fitzsimmons, the Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitting that he "lied through his teeth" when he claimed partial birth abortion was used rarely and only on women whose lives were in danger.
The tale that partial birth abortion is necessary to protect women's health has been told so many times, the truth is now obscured. Senator Ray Haynes authored Senate Bill 102, which would have banned partial birth abortion in California. He read the accounts of Ron Fitzsimmons recanting lies to members voting on SB 102. The bill died and partial birth abortion, a barbaric and gruesome form of infanticide, remains legal in California.
Even with the D&X procedure exposed, Chief Justice George spins another abortionist fundamentalist tale in California's parental consent decision:
[F]inally, in some instances, a minor who does not wish to continue her pregnancy but who is too frightened to tell her parents about her condition or go to court may be led by the statutory restrictions to attempt to terminate the pregnancy herself or seek a "back-alley abortion...." or, alternatively to postpone action until it is too late to terminate her pregnancy, leaving her no choice but to bear an unwanted child.
Justice George believes a scenario exists where the law will not allow a teen to terminate her pregnancy. It is, simply put, just another fairy tale. Doe v. Bolton, with its broad definition of health, made abortion legal the entire 9 months of pregnancy, for any reason, or for no reason at all.
The abortion fundamentalists have been repeating their grim fairy tales since before the inception of Roe. The media, the courts, and legislative bodies are so entrenched in the tales, their bias influences an entire country to the detriment of women and children. They too have become abortion fundamentalists.
The self-appointed watchdogs of society who proudly proclaim they have their eye on the right-wing extremists better start watching the abortion fundamentalists. The next statistic entitled to her "autonomy privacy" could be their daughter. Then the question will be how to classify the statistic. Will she be categorized as a minor who had an abortion, a minor injured by an abortion, or a minor who died from safe, legal abortion?" The sad thing is, you won't know which category unless you have to rush her to the emergency room, or even more unfortunate, unless she dies. Grim fairy tales have tragic endings.
Dana Cody formerly practiced Constitutional Law in the area of First Amendment Rights, which included Parental Rights. She was subsequently hired by California Assemblymember Steve Baldwin (R-37) as Principal Consultant to the Assembly Education Committee, then chaired by Mr. Baldwin. Currently she works with Life Legal Defense Foundation, a non-profit legal organization committed to defending the sanctity of human life.