“Dear Clinic Escort,” by Catherine Adair

Catherine Adair
Catherine Adair

I’m reblogging this from The Harvest is Abundant, written by Catherine Adair, who has had an abortion herself and has worked for Planned Parenthood in its Boston facility. Now defending life, she has a message for the “escorts” outside abortion offices. She gives us all food for thought. The post is from today, 28 May 2013.

Dear Clinic Escort,

Today I saw you, with your bright orange vest emblazoned with ESCORT on the front and back. You refused to make eye contact with me. I saw your gritty determination as you grabbed arms with that young woman and whispered in her ear, “Ignore them,” you said, “Don’t look at them, they are here to intimidate you, to scare you. I’ll keep you safe, don’t worry.” You walked quickly, head up, steel in your eyes, never letting up your grip on her arm. Her head was down, following your lead, mutely keeping up with your fast trot to the abortionist.

You ushered her in through the doors and soon emerged, alone, smiling at us triumphantly, a glimmer of malice in your eye, a smirk of arrogance and joy at having bested us – another woman you saved from the anti-choice fanatics. You rejoin the other escorts, laughing and joking, until the next car pulls up, and your face resumes the mask of the militant soldier, ready to do battle for women’s reproductive rights.

As I watched you I wondered, have you ever been inside the clinic? Have you ever been in the waiting room, filled with the silence of trepidation and fear? Have you listened to the stifled tears?

Have you ever been in the counseling room? This place, where instead of asking questions and listening, the worker masks the truth, or outright lies about the third life in the room, the life growing inside the woman’s womb? Have you seen her sad and scared eyes? Have you asked her why she is there? Do you know if she is being pressured or forced into this abortion, if she is safe at home…all the questions she won’t be asked inside the clinic? Does she know about all of the help available to her if she keeps the baby? Does she know how many couples would love to adopt her baby?

My dear Clinic Escort, have you been there for the ultrasound, where you can see the fully formed baby kicking its arms and legs? Have you heard the worker tell her it is just a bunch of cells? A blob? A product of conception? Have you been with her, holding her hand as she screams in pain, ignored by a doctor who doesn’t even know her name? Have you heard the suction machine, watch as the blood, tissue, and body parts flow from her body into a cold jar? Have you heard the sound of the currette scraping her uterus? Have you seen the body parts – an arm, a leg, a piece of a rib cage, poured into a baggie as though it were scraps of meat?

Have you sat with her in the recovery room as she stares off into space, desperate to get away from this place so she never has to think of it again? Have you been with her through the depression and the anxiety that plague her after the abortion? The breakup of her relationship? Have you helped her through her drug addiction, her binge drinking? Have you been there when she is unable to bond with her children? When her marriage falls apart? Will you be there when she attempts suicide? Will you be at her funeral when she succeeds?

Dear Clinic Escort, look into my eyes. They have seen things you could never imagine. Things that have made me scream in the middle of the night. Things that are never discussed in the intellectualized, feminist world of abortion rights. Because while you see a job well done when you usher her through those doors, her nightmare is just beginning.

NH HHS official: “In New Hampshire, there is no such thing as an abortion clinic”

Sunday paper, front page, above the fold: good old-fashioned public-service reporting can’t get better placement than that. The May 19 New Hampshire Sunday News featured an article, credited to “staff report,” headlined “Officials say NH abortion sites need state scrutiny.”

Why aren’t the sites getting the scrutiny now? Because they are classified as physician offices. Here is a quote from the article, giving us the information straight from the New Hampshire department responsible for overseeing public health.

“Kris Neilsen, communications director for the state Department of Health and Human Services, explained in an email that abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood and the Concord Feminist Health Center are exempt from state licensing and inspection requirements because they are considered physician offices. Twenty-three health care providers such as hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and dialysis centers are licensed by the state, but not abortion clinics. ‘In New Hampshire, there is no such thing as an abortion clinic – the majority of abortions are done in doctors offices … and doctors’ offices are exempt from licensure under RSA 151:2 II,’ Neilsen said.
Because they are exempt, we have no jurisdiction over them, and neither does anyone else.'”

Click on the link to the Sunday News article to read the responses from New Hampshire’s abortion providers, who have clearly not taken the Gosnell case to heart except as an opportunity to circle the wagons. Remarkably, the public policy director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England gave the Sunday News nothing beyond the formal post-Gosnell statement issued by the national PP office. No improvisation allowed on this one, apparently.

Words like “exempt” and “no jurisdiction” should not apply to any facility where abortions are performed. How did New Hampshire policy get to this point?

  • Enough legislators and over the years bought the claim that abortion is “health care,” no different from cancer screenings or annual checkups.
  • Enough legislators have bought the claim that “choice” and “women’s health” are synonymous.
  • Abortion advocates in New Hampshire have done a good job of building coalitions fearful of losing Roe, ensuring that all attempts at regulating the industry are met with public opposition from medical and pastoral professionals as well as abortion-facility clients.
  • Arising from and reinforcing all these factors is New Hampshire’s refusal to demand full and accurate reporting of adverse abortion outcomes for women. Without accurate and objective statistical information, abortion providers can get away with saying that there is no evidence that New Hampshire women are at risk when they seek abortion.

None of these factors takes into consideration the medical and legal status of the fetus. One need not accept fetal personhood to see that abortion providers in New Hampshire have an unjustifiably privileged status under law. Why should such providers escape the regulations that govern dialysis or medical labs or end-of-life care? It makes no sense from the point of women’s health. Put an abstract “right” to abortion ahead of concern for actual women, though, and the current situation makes a weird sort of sense.

References to physicians’ or doctors’ offices are ironic in this context. There is no restriction in New Hampshire on who may perform abortions, with or without medical training. The “reputable” abortion providers who employ physicians and nurse-practitioners are silent on whether they would support legislation to change that.

It depends on which has the higher priority: women’s health, or unrestricted access to abortion.

One also wonders where the HHS representative quoted by the Sunday News got the information that most abortions in New Hampshire are performed in doctors’ offices. That would indicate that someone is keeping track. In fact, no one is.

And finally, that’s news.

 

Congressman seeks national inquiry into abortion facilities; Concord should act 1st

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has a post in the Red State blog today about his request that states provide information about Gosnell-like crimes. See post here: We must ensure this never happens again | RedState.

Hooray for Congressman Goodlatte, who holds the exalted position of chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. But why should it take an inquiry from Washington for New Hampshire women to find out what they’re letting themselves in for when they go to an abortion provider?

New Hampshire does not require collection of abortion statistics. Everything is “voluntary.” There is no attempt at all to collect information on post-abortion complications for women. Keeping track of born-alive babies? Nope. All the state will be able to report to Congressman Goodlatte is what public health authorities know, which is nothin’.

Instead of looking to the Beltway for enlightenment about what happens in New Hampshire, let’s look to Concord.

Gosnell: guilty

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. He was also found guilty of premeditated murder in the deaths of three children born alive despite his best efforts.

There’s much more to be said tomorrow. Today, I am grateful to the prosecutors and jury members, who must be exhausted in mind and spirit.

The President’s recent shout-out to PP

http://t.co/WCHVSluqj8

On Twitter, columnist J.D. Mullane summed it up: “In time, video of Pres Obama invoking God to bless nation’s largest abortion provider during #Gosnell trial will stun.”

Almost as stunning, I hope, will be today’s casual and mendacious conflation of “abortion” with “health care.”