Safe, Legal, and Rare - Editorial

October 1, 2008

By Neva Hernandez

McKinney, TX (DFW Catholic) — Amongst the many ridiculous lies pro-abortion advocates convey to the public is that, though they are “pro-choice,” they want to see abortion as safe, legal, and rare. Unfortunately, out of that list, the only aspect they have succeeded in is the legal part. As to safe and rare, those have not been achieved, mainly because in reality they are not issues that pro-aborts care about.

Obviously, abortion is not safe for the child being attacked in the womb — however, when people discuss the safety of abortion they are referring to the mother. It turns out that legality has little effect on safety and women who present themselves for abortions are putting themselves at great risk physically and mentally, often without being informed of all the possible consequences.

The recent case of Dr. Tiller and his patient S. in Kansas provides a terrifying and vivid picture of just what can go wrong (for previous coverage see here and here). However, specific numbers for abortion injuries, deaths, and side effects, including post abortion trauma syndrome are somewhat difficult to come by. The Guttmacher Institute, the research of arm of Planned Parenthood, claims that less than 0.3% of patients have complications which require hospitalization. This claim leaves out the fact that many women do not report that they just had an abortion or that their injuries can be coded in several different ways so as not to embarrass the patient at the hospital or to hide why they are truly there. It also does not address women who have complications that require outpatient, and completely denies that women can have emotional issues caused by abortion.

The existence of Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS) has been debated in the medical and political community. Abortion advocates simply cannot afford to admit that such a thing might exist. However, evidence does exist that this is real problem and most likely accounts for the high rate of self-destructive behaviors found in post-abortive women including substance addiction and suicide. The issue is a politically charged one and scientists and researchers who do not follow the party line are shunned by their peers. Regardless of the “scientific” research, many women come to post abortive support groups devastated by their abortions and seeking help. Organization like Project Rachel offer the assistance that mainstream medicine will not, as do many pregnancy centers and churches around the country.

According the Guttmacher Institute, twenty-two percent of all pregnancies end in abortion, and it is estimated that within the near future a full third of women will have had an abortion. Perhaps abortion advocates believe that is rare, but to most people that seems like a lot. Since Roe v. Wade there have been nearly 50 million abortions performed in this country. Although the abortion rate has been declining in the past several years, it is hardly rare. Moreover, the truth is Planned Parenthood and other abortion “clinics” make a lot of money by convincing women that they do not have a choice, that they “need” abortion. According to their 1995 IRS form 990 Planned Parenthood has just fewer than 40 million dollars in net assets, in other words, after all their yearly expenses had been paid. Yet somehow, they received over 200 million dollars of federal money to “help” their work. Some estimates find that, based on the average costs of abortion, almost a billion dollars is spent annually to procure abortion. With that much money involved in the easy availability of abortion there is no reason for its advocates to try to reduce the number of abortion.

So, though certainly legal, abortion is neither safe nor rare. Whether one realizes it or not everyone knows someone who has been affected by abortion. The month of October is Respect Life Month, if you want to get involved in helping to stop abortion check our calendar for events in your area or go to the 40 Days for Life website for locations near you.

Parental Consent Just Makes Sense — Editorial

September 24, 2008

By Neva Hernandez

McKinney, TX (DFW Catholic) — Over the course of the  40 Days for Life campaign there will be much prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. This offers an opportunity to think more deeply about many of the issues which surround abortion, how to talk to others about them, and how best embody the Culture of Life. Today we start with the issue of minors and parental consent for abortion.

Here in Texas parental consent laws do exist, however, they have almost no weight due to the judicial bypass option. An organization called Jane’s Due Process, based in Austin, exists solely for the purpose of “helping” minor girls obtain abortions without letting their families know.

One of the clear purposes of the pro-life movement is to protect children. While most efforts obviously focus on the unborn there is also concern for young girls who find themselves in crisis pregnancy situations. Meaningful parental consent and notification laws would go a long way towards providing that.

The fact that minor girls can obtain abortions without parental consent is quite disturbing. It simply does not make sense that a girl who would need her parents knowledge and consent to be given over the counter pain killers would not need those things to get an abortion. Sometimes abortion advocates claim that abortion is as safe as a tonsillectomy - this is difficult to believe, but even if it were true, is abortion safer than aspirin? Highly doubtful.

Furthermore, many teenagers are unaware of their complete medical history, they may not know all their drug allergies, or the names and amounts of medications they are taking, in other words, they do not have the same knowledge that their parents do. Many common prescriptions for allergies and other conditions can interact with other medications, or have side effects which could be confused with present symptoms (dizziness or fatigue for instance). Treating a patient without full knowledge of their medical history can be dangerous and lead to dire consequences, overall the medical community is well aware of this. They are also aware of the ignorance of teenagers in these matters - as a result, they must speak to a responsible adult to get the information they need and permission to treat. Except of course, for abortion.

This exception for abortion is very disturbing. Despite all the claims of the safety of abortion, it is still surgery. Many of the girls who go in for abortions may not be able to give a full medical history, or may give a false one out of fear. Abortionists are preying on the fears and insecurities of these girls who have found themselves in a difficult situation. They are being cut off from their families at a time when they need them most. Furthermore, girls who are sexually active should be receiving routine tests for STDs and pap smears. Once an abortionist has performed his little “procedure” does anyone believe that he is ensuring she is getting the care she needs afterwards? If a girl were to have complications from an abortion her parents knew nothing about, how would they know to get her the emergency treatment she would need if something went wrong? If she were to go into emotional shock or begin to exhibit symptoms of post-abortion trauma, how would they know how to care for her? She would be dangerously separated from the love and care of her parents because of her “little secret.”

The pro-aborts’ great fear is that a girl will tell her parents she is pregnant and they will not allow her to have an abortion. There are many good reasons not to have an abortion. The physical and emotional risks to the young woman as well as the loss of a grandchild being the most obvious.

If a minor girl finds herself pregnant she needs to tell her parents. She needs to be given proper medical care and receive emotional support and guidance. Parents cannot do this without full knowledge of what is going on in their daughters lives. The law requires that parents have the responsibility of caring for their children until they are eighteen, hiding major information from them makes that impossible and endangers children and families.

Young women need their parents more than ever when they find themselves in difficult situations. Lack of parental consent in the case of abortion takes away knowledge, wisdom, and trust from teenagers. It just doesn’t make sense. 

Mothers in the Public Sphere — Editorial

September 10, 2008

By Neva Hernandez

One of the many issues being raised by Sarah Palin’s candidacy is that of the proper role of women, especially mothers, in the public sphere.

Liberals and conservatives alike have asked whether she can be an effective mother and leader. Many Christians and Catholics see a mother’s place as being in the home and are uncomfortable with the idea of a woman in such a high position — especially when she has young children who still need her.

A great deal of the problem is that too many conservatives believe the feminist idea of what things were like before women’s “liberation.” Feminists would have us believe that women used to be cast into shadows, forced to marry and have children against their will, that they were not allowed to do anything intellectual, artistic, or interesting. This view is patently false and demeaning to all the women who came before and shaped history.

However, even during the height of the Cultural Revolution and the rampant feminism that came with it, Catholic women tended to be less attracted to it than many others. Perhaps the reason is because Catholics have plenty of examples of strong women in the Saints of the Church and throughout Catholic history. Catholic women always knew they had a choice of vocation, they did not have to get married, they could become nuns or even remain single and still live respectable, upright lives in the eye of the Church. Many did just this.

Now the issue of becoming a nun is, of course, much different than that of becoming a political leader or a working mother. However, Catholicism is full of those too. For instance, Queen Isabel of Spain who arranged her own diplomatic marriage, defeated the last of the Moors who were occupying her country, and sponsored Christopher Columbus’ voyage that led to the discovery of the new world. She had several children and made sure that both her sons and her daughters were well educated. She was bestowed the title of Servant of God for her faith and dedication to the church. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was a widow with children when she founded the first free school for children and her religious order. St. Gianna Molla was a practicing physician with three children when her fourth pregnancy had complications and she refused to abort the child, instead giving her child life at the cost of her own. Many more examples exist.

While mothers should never be forced to leave their children, neither should they be barred from the work place and public life. Some women who are married with children are called to great things outside the home, just as many women are called to great things within the home. The choice to go into public service is a legitimate one and as long as she has the support of her husband there is no reason why she should not be able to. There is no reason why Catholics should be uncomfortable supporting mothers in the public sphere.

Palin Serves as an Example of Choosing Life — Editorial

September 4, 2008

By Neva Hernandez

Irving, Texas (DFW Catholic) - No matter what your political beliefs or opinions on the various candidates one thing is undeniably clear — Sarah Palin has brought the issue of abortion clearly to the forefront of both campaigns. The mainstream media is now forced to admit that there is such a thing as a pro-life woman. Not only does she exist, she is also well educated, poised, and a strong leader.

This is not to say that strong women leaders have not existed, Phyllis Schlafly, Nellie Gray, and Judie Brown certainly disprove that. However, they are ignored as much as possible — a Vice Presidential nominee is impossible to ignore. Even more to the dismay of radical feminists and pro-abortionists around the country, she has clearly lived the pro-life message.

Mrs. Palin’s youngest son Trig has Down syndrome, many point to her joy in his life as proof positive of her commitment to life. I would like to put forth that it was not the birth of her fifth child that really shows her pro-life dedication but the third and fourth. A woman’s third pregnancy is usually when she starts getting “looks,” and people start saying things like “this will be your last one, won’t it.” A fourth child people stop looking you in the eye and start whispering to their friends about “isn’t it a pity.” To give birth, knowingly, to a baby with Down Syndrome is stunning to much of the world. As if that were not enough, it has now come to light that her seventeen-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant, keeping the baby, and marrying the father. The pro-abortion elite cannot understand what they are seeing and therefore must attack.

These two women share an experience with each other and millions of other women in this county. The experience of being told that their baby was not good enough to be born and that they did not deserve to be mothers. In an era of dedication to convenience, the Palin women both followed the inconvenient path.

There is a myth that children should be convenient, that there is one absolutely ideal time and place to have a perfect and healthy baby. The reality of the fallen world we live in is much different. Sometimes babies are sick, sometimes they come about in unfortunate circumstances, but no matter how a baby comes to be or in what condition they arrive each one is a gift from God.

The Palins’ story is a little sad perhaps, but it certainly is not tragic. Neither baby Trig, nor the baby that is on its way, is doomed to ruin the life of its mother. Neither baby will live a horrible life of misery. Unplanned pregnancies can often be a great blessing and help a mother to end up leading a better life than she was before the baby came.

No matter what happens in the election hopefully the Palins’ example will serve to help other women realize that their babies are worthy of life and that there truly are alternatives to abortion — even in difficult situations.


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