A Supreme Court abortion decision is expected any day. Here’s what you need to know.

The U.S. Supreme Court traditionally releases its major opinions in the month of June. We have already seen blockbuster rulings on LGBT employment discrimination and DACA. Next up: June Medical Services v. Russo, which will determine the fate of a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

Image via the Katrina Jackson for
Senate District 34 facebook page

The common-sense, bipartisan law was spearheaded by then-state representative (now state senator) Katrina Jackson (pictured), a Democrat. It is not a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Instead, it seeks to harness the power of existing medical institutions to identify and stop abortionists who are especially dangerous to women. As pro-choice author William Saletan noted years ago in his chilling Back Alley series, the medical community knows full well who these shoddy abortionists are and quietly declines to work with them — but historically, they have refused to speak up for political reasons. Admitting privileges requirements make these “open secrets” truly open, and force the abortion lobby to live up to the “safe” part of its empty motto.

Side note: Any news coverage of this case that fails to mention Kevin Work is sham journalism. He’s exactly the type of abortionist that Louisiana’s law is meant to address. Read more about him here
Louisiana’s law is similar to the Texas law that the Supreme Court tragically struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals noted some differences when it upheld Louisiana’s law in 2018. Pro-life advocates were horrified by Hellerstedt, which prioritized abortion access and industry profits over women’s safety. Hellerstedt was a 5-3 decision, when the Court had only eight Justices due to the death of Justice Scalia. (The three in the minority were Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Alito.) Since then, pro-abortion Justice Kennedy has retired, and Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — widely believed to support the right to life — have joined the Court. 
Here are the possible outcomes to watch for in Russo, from worst to best:
  • The Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana’s law. This would mean that at least one of the Justices believed to be an anti-abortion vote is not, and that pro-life groups have received little in return for their decades of putting up with the Republican Party. If this happens, expect absolute chaos to ensue.
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law without overturning Hellerstedt. This would essentially ratify the Fifth Circuit’s approach. Lower courts would be instructed to consider other states’ admitting privileges laws on a case-by-case basis, depending on such factors as the number of abortionists in the state and what criteria the state’s hospitals use to grant or deny admitting privileges. 
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law, recognizes its past mistake, and reverses Hellerstedt. This would be a victory for women’s health and babies’ lives.
  • The Supreme Court finds that the plaintiffs lack standing. This is a long shot, so don’t get your hopes up, but a decision on the basis of standing would be huge. The legal concept of standing means that a person can’t sue merely because they dislike a law; they have to have a certain level of direct involvement. To give an obvious example, the plaintiffs in the LGBT employment discrimination cases decided earlier this month were, not surprisingly, LGBT people whose employers discriminated against them. In Russo, the plaintiffs are arguing that Louisiana’s law unduly burdens women’s right to an abortion — but the plaintiffs in Russo aren’t women, much less pregnant mothers seeking abortions and facing legal burdens. The Russo plaintiffs are abortion companies whose hired abortionists don’t have admitting privileges. Although many past cases have involved abortion companies legally standing in for abortion-seeking mothers (e.g. Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Hellerstedt), allowing that type of substitute standing in a safety regulations case creates a serious conflict of interest. Women’s desire to obtain the best possible care and avoid quacks like Kevin Work is directly at odds with abortion vendors’ desire to cut costs. If the Supreme Court finally expresses some long-overdue skepticism at the idea that abortion businesses represent women’s interests, our legal system could finally escape, or at least reduce, the influence of abortion industry money.
Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute puts it best:

A Supreme Court abortion decision is expected any day. Here’s what you need to know.

The U.S. Supreme Court traditionally releases its major opinions in the month of June. We have already seen blockbuster rulings on LGBT employment discrimination and DACA. Next up: June Medical Services v. Russo, which will determine the fate of a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

Image via the Katrina Jackson for
Senate District 34 facebook page

The common-sense, bipartisan law was spearheaded by then-state representative (now state senator) Katrina Jackson (pictured), a Democrat. It is not a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Instead, it seeks to harness the power of existing medical institutions to identify and stop abortionists who are especially dangerous to women. As pro-choice author William Saletan noted years ago in his chilling Back Alley series, the medical community knows full well who these shoddy abortionists are and quietly declines to work with them — but historically, they have refused to speak up for political reasons. Admitting privileges requirements make these “open secrets” truly open, and force the abortion lobby to live up to the “safe” part of its empty motto.

Side note: Any news coverage of this case that fails to mention Kevin Work is sham journalism. He’s exactly the type of abortionist that Louisiana’s law is meant to address. Read more about him here
Louisiana’s law is similar to the Texas law that the Supreme Court tragically struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals noted some differences when it upheld Louisiana’s law in 2018. Pro-life advocates were horrified by Hellerstedt, which prioritized abortion access and industry profits over women’s safety. Hellerstedt was a 5-3 decision, when the Court had only eight Justices due to the death of Justice Scalia. (The three in the minority were Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Alito.) Since then, pro-abortion Justice Kennedy has retired, and Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — widely believed to support the right to life — have joined the Court. 
Here are the possible outcomes to watch for in Russo, from worst to best:
  • The Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana’s law. This would mean that at least one of the Justices believed to be an anti-abortion vote is not, and that pro-life groups have received little in return for their decades of putting up with the Republican Party. If this happens, expect absolute chaos to ensue.
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law without overturning Hellerstedt. This would essentially ratify the Fifth Circuit’s approach. Lower courts would be instructed to consider other states’ admitting privileges laws on a case-by-case basis, depending on such factors as the number of abortionists in the state and what criteria the state’s hospitals use to grant or deny admitting privileges. 
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law, recognizes its past mistake, and reverses Hellerstedt. This would be a victory for women’s health and babies’ lives.
  • The Supreme Court finds that the plaintiffs lack standing. This is a long shot, so don’t get your hopes up, but a decision on the basis of standing would be huge. The legal concept of standing means that a person can’t sue merely because they dislike a law; they have to have a certain level of direct involvement. To give an obvious example, the plaintiffs in the LGBT employment discrimination cases decided earlier this month were, not surprisingly, LGBT people whose employers discriminated against them. In Russo, the plaintiffs are arguing that Louisiana’s law unduly burdens women’s right to an abortion — but the plaintiffs in Russo aren’t women, much less pregnant mothers seeking abortions and facing legal burdens. The Russo plaintiffs are abortion companies whose hired abortionists don’t have admitting privileges. Although many past cases have involved abortion companies legally standing in for abortion-seeking mothers (e.g. Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Hellerstedt), allowing that type of substitute standing in a safety regulations case creates a serious conflict of interest. Women’s desire to obtain the best possible care and avoid quacks like Kevin Work is directly at odds with abortion vendors’ desire to cut costs. If the Supreme Court finally expresses some long-overdue skepticism at the idea that abortion businesses represent women’s interests, our legal system could finally escape, or at least reduce, the influence of abortion industry money.
Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute puts it best:

Recap: 2019 Pro-Life Women’s Conference

The fourth annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference gathered 800 passionate advocates together in New Orleans, and what a weekend it was. This blog post will only capture a fraction of the amazing presentations, projects, and camaraderie. (Be sure to check out our photo album too!) I left feeling so enthusiastic about helping moms, saving babies, and defeating the exploitative abortion industry.

On Friday, we joined a pre-conference coffeehouse meetup organized by New Wave Feminists; they shared their plans to start local chapters and engage in new charitable projects, like delivering supplies to immigrant shelters in Texas and offering new clothes to rape survivors whose clothing is confiscated as evidence. The conference kicked off that evening with dinner and a speech by Michele Sterlace-Accorci of Feminists Choosing Life of New York, who provided an excellent introduction to Erika Bachiochi’s pro-life feminist scholarship.

Saturday brought many worthwhile presentations. A panel of physicians spoke on women’s health issues. Interestingly, abortion was not their primary focus; for this audience, the risks of abortion are well-known. Instead, they spoke about how modern medicine has largely failed to take women’s menstrual symptoms seriously, find root causes, and treat them appropriately. Pro-life women’s health groups have an opportunity to do better and build trust with patients, giving them holistic care at every stage of their lives.

A panel on abortion regret and healing featured Christian women who are working within their faith traditions to improve churches’ responses to pregnancy outside of marriage. One woman explained that she aborted—twice—after seeing her congregation act judgmentally toward another unwed pregnant woman. Another shared that her mother pressured her into an abortion in the interest of avoiding embarrassment at church. These attitudes must change if we are going to achieve an abortion-free society.

At the Secular Pro-Life exhibit booth, we recruited over 60 volunteers for the launch of a new project (stay tuned!) and had countless delightful conversations. One Catholic woman told us that her favorite response to the “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” nonsense is to say “Ewwww, I don’t want to get my rosaries dirty!” I can’t recommend that as part of a productive dialogue, but I appreciated her sense of humor!

My favorite presentation on Sunday came from Morgan Hill of the National Safe Haven Alliance. When she was a newborn, she was abandoned in a dumpster and left for dead. Thankfully, she was discovered and given necessary medical care. She is now an advocate for Safe Haven laws, which allow scared mothers to drop off their unharmed newborns at fire stations and hospitals, no questions asked. Every U.S. state has a Safe Haven law, and over 4,000 babies have been safely surrendered. The National Safe Haven Alliance operates a hotline (1-888-510-BABY) that supports mothers in crisis; they focus on finding other solutions, such as parenting, temporary care programs, and adoption, and offer Safe Haven as the last resort. One woman called the hotline after scheduling a late-term abortion. After she was reassured that the Safe Haven law would allow her to remain anonymous, she cancelled the appointment and gave her baby life!

Former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson closed out the conference with a call for pro-life organizations to begin the task of societal reform within their own houses, by ensuring that their staff have paid parental leave. Planned Parenthood is notoriously bad at this, and we must lead by example. In Abby’s words: “We can’t afford NOT to do it.” Abby also cited the conference’s ASL interpreters and other accessibility measures as leading by example.

If you’re sad you missed out on this year’s conference, I have good news for you! Tickets are already available for the 2020 Pro-Life Women’s Conference, to be held in Indianapolis.

Recap: 2019 Pro-Life Women’s Conference

The fourth annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference gathered 800 passionate advocates together in New Orleans, and what a weekend it was. This blog post will only capture a fraction of the amazing presentations, projects, and camaraderie. (Be sure to check out our photo album too!) I left feeling so enthusiastic about helping moms, saving babies, and defeating the exploitative abortion industry.

On Friday, we joined a pre-conference coffeehouse meetup organized by New Wave Feminists; they shared their plans to start local chapters and engage in new charitable projects, like delivering supplies to immigrant shelters in Texas and offering new clothes to rape survivors whose clothing is confiscated as evidence. The conference kicked off that evening with dinner and a speech by Michele Sterlace-Accorci of Feminists Choosing Life of New York, who provided an excellent introduction to Erika Bachiochi’s pro-life feminist scholarship.

Saturday brought many worthwhile presentations. A panel of physicians spoke on women’s health issues. Interestingly, abortion was not their primary focus; for this audience, the risks of abortion are well-known. Instead, they spoke about how modern medicine has largely failed to take women’s menstrual symptoms seriously, find root causes, and treat them appropriately. Pro-life women’s health groups have an opportunity to do better and build trust with patients, giving them holistic care at every stage of their lives.

A panel on abortion regret and healing featured Christian women who are working within their faith traditions to improve churches’ responses to pregnancy outside of marriage. One woman explained that she aborted—twice—after seeing her congregation act judgmentally toward another unwed pregnant woman. Another shared that her mother pressured her into an abortion in the interest of avoiding embarrassment at church. These attitudes must change if we are going to achieve an abortion-free society.

At the Secular Pro-Life exhibit booth, we recruited over 60 volunteers for the launch of a new project (stay tuned!) and had countless delightful conversations. One Catholic woman told us that her favorite response to the “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” nonsense is to say “Ewwww, I don’t want to get my rosaries dirty!” I can’t recommend that as part of a productive dialogue, but I appreciated her sense of humor!

My favorite presentation on Sunday came from Morgan Hill of the National Safe Haven Alliance. When she was a newborn, she was abandoned in a dumpster and left for dead. Thankfully, she was discovered and given necessary medical care. She is now an advocate for Safe Haven laws, which allow scared mothers to drop off their unharmed newborns at fire stations and hospitals, no questions asked. Every U.S. state has a Safe Haven law, and over 4,000 babies have been safely surrendered. The National Safe Haven Alliance operates a hotline (1-888-510-BABY) that supports mothers in crisis; they focus on finding other solutions, such as parenting, temporary care programs, and adoption, and offer Safe Haven as the last resort. One woman called the hotline after scheduling a late-term abortion. After she was reassured that the Safe Haven law would allow her to remain anonymous, she cancelled the appointment and gave her baby life!

Former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson closed out the conference with a call for pro-life organizations to begin the task of societal reform within their own houses, by ensuring that their staff have paid parental leave. Planned Parenthood is notoriously bad at this, and we must lead by example. In Abby’s words: “We can’t afford NOT to do it.” Abby also cited the conference’s ASL interpreters and other accessibility measures as leading by example.

If you’re sad you missed out on this year’s conference, I have good news for you! Tickets are already available for the 2020 Pro-Life Women’s Conference, to be held in Indianapolis.

Male abuser gets abortion pills online; vendor shows no remorse


Mother Jones has an article in its April/May issue entitled “She Started Selling Abortion Pills Online. Then the Feds Showed Up.”

Quick pause for alternate headlines that more accurately capture the tone of the piece:
  • She Broke The Law. But It Was An Abortion Law, So It Shouldn’t Have Counted.
  • Evil Police Fail to Recognize That Brave Abortion Provider is Above the Law. 
  • Abortion Access Uber Alles 
Anyway, moving on. The article is about Ursula Wing, who sold abortion drugs out of her apartment and advertised in the comments section of a blog. This is, unsurprisingly, illegal. As stated in the article, abortion drugs “may be distributed only in a clinical setting by a certified provider” per FDA regulations. 
Ms. Wing did it anyway, because “she needed money to pay legal fees during a protracted custody dispute with her former partner.” She didn’t see herself as an activist at first, although she was an abortion supporter and had herself terminated the life of one of her children with drugs purchased over the internet before becoming a vendor.
She sold abortion drugs to over 2,000 customers before finally getting caught. And how was she caught? Glad you asked:

An attorney told her that the FDA learned about her business when a Wisconsin man named Jeffrey Smith was arrested in February 2018 for allegedly slipping mifepristone into the drink of a woman who was pregnant with their child. Smith had twice ordered packages from Wing’s site, according to police documents. He has pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree homicide of an unborn child. Wing is still waiting to be indicted.

If Ms. Wing were actually “pro-choice,” actually a feminist, actually cared at all about women, you’d think she would be horrified that her product was used to end a wanted pregnancy against a woman’s will. You’d expect, at the very least, some discussion of how online abortion vendors might verify that their customers are actually pregnant. (Kind of like those FDA-certified people verify in a “clinical setting.” Gosh, might there be a reason for that requirement?)
But no, of course not.

Among people advocating or providing access to self-managed abortion, there is some tension between those who aim to serve women in need without drawing attention and those who want to stir things up. Wing has found herself unexpectedly in the latter group. She was glad to go on quietly undermining the law, providing pills to customers who came across her website. Now, against her own attorney’s advice, she’s speaking out. “I want some copycats,” she says. “There’s not enough people doing this.”

She wants copycats. She wants more women put at risk. She thinks she’s a hero
I hope Ms. Wing is indicted as an accessory to homicide, and soon, before anyone else gets hurt.
P.S.—In October 2017, the ACLU sued the FDA to get rid of the abortion drug restrictions. If the ACLU is successful, abortion will become even more “accessible” to abusive men. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Male abuser gets abortion pills online; vendor shows no remorse


Mother Jones has an article in its April/May issue entitled “She Started Selling Abortion Pills Online. Then the Feds Showed Up.”

Quick pause for alternate headlines that more accurately capture the tone of the piece:
  • She Broke The Law. But It Was An Abortion Law, So It Shouldn’t Have Counted.
  • Evil Police Fail to Recognize That Brave Abortion Provider is Above the Law. 
  • Abortion Access Uber Alles 
Anyway, moving on. The article is about Ursula Wing, who sold abortion drugs out of her apartment and advertised in the comments section of a blog. This is, unsurprisingly, illegal. As stated in the article, abortion drugs “may be distributed only in a clinical setting by a certified provider” per FDA regulations. 
Ms. Wing did it anyway, because “she needed money to pay legal fees during a protracted custody dispute with her former partner.” She didn’t see herself as an activist at first, although she was an abortion supporter and had herself terminated the life of one of her children with drugs purchased over the internet before becoming a vendor.
She sold abortion drugs to over 2,000 customers before finally getting caught. And how was she caught? Glad you asked:

An attorney told her that the FDA learned about her business when a Wisconsin man named Jeffrey Smith was arrested in February 2018 for allegedly slipping mifepristone into the drink of a woman who was pregnant with their child. Smith had twice ordered packages from Wing’s site, according to police documents. He has pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree homicide of an unborn child. Wing is still waiting to be indicted.

If Ms. Wing were actually “pro-choice,” actually a feminist, actually cared at all about women, you’d think she would be horrified that her product was used to end a wanted pregnancy against a woman’s will. You’d expect, at the very least, some discussion of how online abortion vendors might verify that their customers are actually pregnant. (Kind of like those FDA-certified people verify in a “clinical setting.” Gosh, might there be a reason for that requirement?)
But no, of course not.

Among people advocating or providing access to self-managed abortion, there is some tension between those who aim to serve women in need without drawing attention and those who want to stir things up. Wing has found herself unexpectedly in the latter group. She was glad to go on quietly undermining the law, providing pills to customers who came across her website. Now, against her own attorney’s advice, she’s speaking out. “I want some copycats,” she says. “There’s not enough people doing this.”

She wants copycats. She wants more women put at risk. She thinks she’s a hero
I hope Ms. Wing is indicted as an accessory to homicide, and soon, before anyone else gets hurt.
P.S.—In October 2017, the ACLU sued the FDA to get rid of the abortion drug restrictions. If the ACLU is successful, abortion will become even more “accessible” to abusive men. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Pregnant Woman Fired for Premarital Sex

BackgroundA former employee at San Diego Christian
College (SDCC), Teri James, 29, was fired for engaging in premarital sex
.
She was pulled into her supervisor’s office, asked if she was pregnant (she
was), and then let go. Despite signing a contract which included a provision
agreeing not to engage in “sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex,”
Teri is suing.

What’s rich about this story: SDCC then offered the job to
her now-husband, even though they were aware he had premarital sex as well.
I understand wanting employees who can serve as role models,
especially in religious schools where the code of conduct is held in high
regard. And perhaps Teri won’t win the suit because of the contract she voluntarily
signed. But still the question remains: are “lifestyle contracts” that tie pregnancy
to your career and finances a good idea from a pro-life perspective?
Teri said, “I was unmarried,
pregnant and they took away my livelihood.” This disturbs me. Because of
her pregnancy, Teri was stigmatized and she lost her job. That’s not exactly a “Choose
Life!” message, is it? If we aren’t going to actively help pregnant women in
need, we could at least try not to hurt them. And does anyone else see the
irony in throwing pregnant women under the bus in the name of setting a good
example?       
That’s assuming
example-setting was the true reason for Teri’s termination. In a Florida case
last year, the court determined that a school may have fired a woman not because she
got pregnant while unmarried, but because the school didn’t want to find a
replacement for her while she would be on maternity leave. Considering SDCC
hired Teri’s fiancé right after firing her for premarital sex with her fiancé, dodging
maternity leave costs seems all the more likely.  
But let’s assume the school is truly
concerned with the example Teri has set. In that case I ask you: is it more
pro-life to discourage premarital sex or to encourage support of pregnant women?

RH Alternate Reality strikes again

Two items from RH Reality Check today. First, I’m in a minor comment war over this post about the pro-life view on ectopic pregnancy. Pro-lifers generally don’t even think of ectopic pregnancy treatment as being an abortion at all. If an unborn baby is doomed to die, and the mother is at risk if the baby’s body is not removed, what moral objection could there possibly be?

Physicians for Life basically agrees with that assessment. However, they point out that some ectopic pregnancies resolve on their own, and so women who are not facing an immediate threat may want to take a “wait and see” approach to possibly avoid surgery. They also point out that it is a very bad idea to just reflexively use methotrexate, without checking to see if there is a twin correctly implanted in the uterus:

One patient was diagnosed with a tubal ectopic pregnancy by her obstetrician, and he informed her that they were fortunate to have made the diagnosis early and that she should have a methotrexate abortion. The patient was pro-life, and did not want to take the medicine, but the physician insisted. The baby was not going to survive, he argued, and a chemical abortion now could prevent the need for a surgical procedure later. The chemical abortion would lessen her chances of a rupture of her fallopian tube and subsequent life-threatening hemorrhage. The chemical abortion was also better at preserving future fertility than surgical removal of the ectopic pregnancy later. Feeling like she had no other reasonable alternative, she took the methotrexate.

However, there was a complication. Two weeks later, she still had vaginal bleeding and pelvic discomfort. A repeat ultrasound confirmed the physician’s worst fears: his patient was pregnant with twins – one in the fallopian tube, and one in the uterus! He missed the uterine pregnancy in his ultrasound examination, and that baby was dying from his prescription.

Holding off surgery and watchful waiting in this case might have resulted in spontaneous resolution of the tubal pregnancy or would have required surgical removal of the tubal pregnancy when the embryo was likely to be dead, but in both cases the uterine pregnancy would probably have survived. Unfortunately, the chemical abortion killed both babies, much to the dismay of this young pro-life woman.

The RH Reality Check article finds Physicians for Life’s position to be completely unreasonable. The article was passed around the #prochoice echo chamber on twitter as “proof [that] #prolife is about #misogyny.” When of course, the opposite is true: these pro-life physicians are trying to do whatever is best for the patient’s particular circumstances. So it goes.

The second RH Reality Check post I’d like to bring to your attention is a guide to instilling pro-abortion beliefs in your toddler.

Let me just allow that to sink in for a moment.

SPL’s facebook fans had some great responses. Starting with Nick:

Wait what? You mean using obscure words like “discontinue” or “terminate” gives us less understanding about what abortion truly is? Gee, you don’t say?

Monica:

“… she was about as disgusted by the anti-choice position as you could ever expect a pre-schooler to be.”

Well I, for one, am shocked that a pre-schooler would take the same side as her parent on something she has no way of comprehending.

And finally Jen:

I personally am amused at the “fetus is no bigger than an orange” statement. So, I ask, “what exactly is going on with that orange, anatomically, anyway?”

Obese and female? Too bad.

A disturbing Sun Sentinel article has been making the rounds this week:

Fifteen obstetrics-gynecology practices out of 105 polled by the Sun Sentinel said they have set weight cut-offs for new patients starting at 200 pounds or based on measures of obesity — and turn down women who are heavier.

Some of the doctors said the main reason was their exam tables or other equipment can’t handle people over a certain weight. But at least six said they were trying to avoid obese patients because they have a higher risk of complications.

In other words, the women and unborn babies who are most in need of a doctor are the ones who are being turned away.

Secular Pro-Life fully supports the right of physicians to refuse a particular service— such as abortion– on grounds of conscience. But should they be able to turn down particular patients on the basis of things like weight? The state of the law is unclear.

Happily, pro-life pregnancy resource centers and clinics are committed to caring for all women who come through their doors. I hope private practice ob/gyns will follow their example.

[Side note: I tried to determine whether or not the ob/gyns mentioned in the article perform abortions, but did not come up with any information. If you know, please share in the comments.]

In their own words: why abortion is not health care

Today is World Health Day. To mark the occassion, The A Word has suggested that pro-life blogs write on the theme “Abortion Is Not Health Care.”

The central objections to abortion are based upon the human rights of the unborn child, as well they should be. This means that secondary arguments are often overlooked; one of these is the objection that abortion corrupts medicine.

The Hippocratic oath famously commands that a physician shall “Do No Harm.” In modern ethical terms, this is the principle of non-malfeasance. The classical Hippocratic oath also specifically bans the use of abortifacients.

At most medical schools, the Hippocratic oath has been replaced by a more recent version which, shockingly, does not require a commitment to do no harm. It does, however, include the statement “I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”

Abortion differs from legitimate health care in a number of significant ways. It is the only “medical” practice that is considered “failed” when it does not do lethal harm. There is often no meaningful doctor-patient relationship. Abortion centers have shown that they cannot be trusted to provide informed consent. In short, abortion is fundamentally incompatible with basic medical values. Abortionists and their employees know this to be true– and in their more self-aware moments, many have admitted it:

No doctor, for ethical, moral or honest reasons wants to do nothing but abortions…” ~Edward Eichner

“You have to become a bit schizophrenic. In one room, you encourage the patient that the slight irregularity in the fetal heart is not important, that she is going to have a fine, healthy baby. Then, in the next room you assure another woman, on whom you just did a saline abortion, that it is a good thing that the heartbeat is already irregular….she has nothing to worry about, she will NOT have a live baby…” ~Abortionist Szenes

You are doing a destructive process. Arms, legs, chests come out in the forceps. It’s not a sight for everybody.” ~William Benbow Thompson

“You certainly know that you will start with a living fetus and that it will be dead by the end of the procedure. But when you start a second-trimester abortion, you don’t know when the fetus will die. Every patient is different. ~L. Carhart

“It’s necessary to remember that these days abortion is done on request and therefore not a procedure you undertake in the interest of the fetus…” ~Gordon Douglas

“I dismember the fetus – pull it apart limb from limb – and remove it piece by piece and two hours later I’ve forgotten them.” ~Phillip Bennett

“This can burn you out very, very quickly…not so much by the physical labor as the emotional part of what’s going on. When you do an ultrasound, particularly if you have children, and you see a fetus there, kicking, moving, living, doing things that your own child does, bringing it’s thumb to its mouth, and things like that- it’s difficult.” ~Ed Jones

“We’ve come a long way since my mother’s time. The idea of abortion to save the mothers’ life is something that people cling to because it sounds noble and pure- but medically speaking, it probably doesn’t exist. It’s a real stretch of our thinking.” ~Don Sloan

“[I’ve seen women] who have just had an abortion … lie in the recovery room and cry, ‘I’ve just killed my baby. I’ve just killed my baby.‘ I don’t know what to say to these women. Part of me thinks, ‘Maybe they’re right.'” ~Anonymous nurse, quoted in American Medical News

Abortion has no place in the healing profession. I applaud physicians of conscience who are attempting to practice ethically in a field that has abandoned its responsibilities toward its youngest patients. On this World Health Day, let us renew our commitment to ending abortion and restoring the integrity of medicine.