Thank you, Marc Barnes, for questioning abortion statistics provided by the Guttmacher Institute. Read his recent post on how Guttmacher manipulated numbers in a Mexican study to link “unsafe” abortions and maternal deaths.
Ironically, some states including New Hampshire refuse to mandate collection of abortion statistics: how many women seek them, whether there are adverse effects, where the abortions are done, and who does them, for starters. All reporting is voluntary here in the Granite State. The Guttmacher Institute’s NH figures are obtained from Planned Parenthood affiliates and are accepted without scrutiny by legislative committees, as I have seen time and again.
The fact is that none of us knows how many women are dying or suffering irreparable harm due to abortion, whether legal or illegal. I believe each of these women deserves respect and truth, and so do the people who love them. Policymakers and the medical community need accurate data. No one works harder than abortion providers to keep them from getting it.
Fortunately, writers like Marc Barnes and agencies like the Charlotte Lozier Institute are pressing to discover the truth. More power to them.
Roe v. Wade turns 40 in eight short weeks. I just got my ticket for a quick trip down to Washington for the March for Life on January 25. The March is an annual event, but it’s been many years since I was able to go. The expense is a factor. The White House is still occupied by a Roe supporter, though, and he needs to see that Roe isn’t settled, even after four decades, no matter what he hears from advisors or donors or even Sen. McCain.
I went to the March in 1993, the 20-year anniversary, on a day when newly-inaugurated President Clinton was featured on the morning news shows signing executive orders rolling back pro-life policies. By noon that day, I was marching with tens of thousands of people, including an astonishing number of high school and college students whose presence lifted my spirits sky-high.
The March will do more than serve notice to President Obama that we’re watching. It’ll give thousands of people a chance to be renewed and encouraged in their defense of life. It might even show Republicans a thing or two.
Abby Johnson posted an update today about And Then There Were None, her ministry to abortion workers who want to leave the industry. See my earlier post here. Johnson reports that business is brisk for ATTWN, and resources are too limited. This is a ministry worth supporting.
ATTWN’s update includes a report about a judge telling one abortion-industry refugee to “get over it” when she told him she would not return to abortion work, no matter how lucrative. Thanks to ATTWN’s supporters, she is getting over it – just not in the way the judge anticipated.
Abby Johnson used to work for Planned Parenthood, and I reviewed her book Unplanned in an earlier post. She has launched an new ministry to what I can safely call an underserved population: workers in the abortion industry who would like to get out. Since leaving PP and going public with her story, Johnson has heard from other ex-workers, as well as from current abortion participants who are having second thoughts about their line of work. In a webcast last night, Johnson unveiled this new ministry, “And Then There Were None” (ATTWN).
The banner on the ATTWN web site says “no abortion clinic workers, no abortion clinics, no abortions.” Ambitious goal, indeed. If that had been written by anyone other than an industry veteran, I’d roll my eyes and dismiss it as hopelessly unrealistic. It sounds like a wish, not a plan. Johnson is making it real by building a team to offer the practical assistance that people need in a difficult time of transition. Leaving the abortion industry is not easy. In addition to wondering where to go to find new employment, the worker may be threatened with legal action, as Johnson learned when she left PP.
ATTWN will give workers leaving the abortion industry access to pro bono legal representation if needed, along with financial support while looking for new work. Emotional support and spiritual counseling are part of the ministry as well.
Leaders in the abortion industry will not be happy to lose workers, and I expect PP and the National Abortion Federation will push back hard against ATTWN. That’s a backhanded tribute to Abby Johnson. We can help her out with prayers & donations. We can help exit-minded abortion workers by referring them to ATTWN – after helping them with our personal support and welcome and acceptance.
Here’s one for the annals of creative protest: Six Rivers Planned Parenthood of Eureka, California is having “40 Days of Prayer” hosted by “Clergy for Choice” (see details) in response to the nationwide success of the “40 Days for Life” campaigns (about which more here).
Pro-lifers on Twitter & Facebook have expressed dismay at this effort. I say bring it on. Prayer in my experience is a powerful and unpredictable phenomenon. The results are not always what the petitioner intends. And if the California event gets some pro-lifers indignant enough to get involved in the next 40 Days for Life campaign, so much the better.