Analysis

Abortion clinic owner on pro-lifers: “They’re winning”

On October 8, Live Action News ran an article about an interview radio host Alan Colmes did with Diane Derzis, the owner of the last abortion clinic left open in Mississippi.

Derzis says several things that should be encouraging to pro-lifers.

She first complains about a law which requires all abortion doctors in Mississippi to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Her clinic is currently fighting the regulation in court. Derzis makes a point to say that the abortionists who work at her clinic are excellent doctors. When asked by Colmes why they cannot get admitting privileges, she blames pro-lifers.

She claims that there is an “intimidation factor” preventing hospitals from associating themselves with abortion clinics. Hospitals are afraid of pro-lifers, she says, because they know that pro-lifers will demonstrate and engage in activism against them if they shelter abortionists. So they refuse to grant admitting privileges.

Although Derzis lays the blame solely on pro-lifers, there may be additional reasons why hospitals are won’t give admitting privileges to  abortionists. For one thing, there is a great deal of stigma against abortionists in the the medical community. According to Glamour magazine:

[Hospital administrators say] abortion is a sleazy and offensive procedure… The doctor who does abortions – even if they are only a small part of her practice – is known as an abortionist… This label is the kiss of death for any professional hopes a doctor might have.

And Michelle Collins, director of another abortion clinic, was quoted saying, “It’s just so difficult to provide abortions for patients here when there’s zero support from the medical community.”

There are many more quotes on abortionists and stigma here.

Although stigma likely plays a role, the threat of pro-life activism is no doubt a factor preventing hospitals from embracing abortionists.

Later in the interview, Alan Colmes asks Derzis about any violence she has experienced while working in the abortion industry. The actions of a few anti-abortion hypocrites who have resorted to violence against abortion providers is condemned by every reputable pro-life organization. Derzis comments on the fact that the number of violent incidents against clinics and abortionists have been dropping, and says, “[T]he other side of this is that they’re winning right now. There’s no reason to kill us.”

Colmes then says:

I can’t imagine in spite of all the attempts, particularly in red states to infringe on Roe versus Wade, I can’t imagine that we’ll ever have a country again where abortion is not legal. Do you see that as a possibility?

Derzis answers:

I certainly do Alan, I mean, I have to tell you, who would’ve believed, I mean I’ve been doing this 40 years. I could not believe we are making the same arguments, things are worse now than they were when I became involved in this business in ‘74. I mean, they are far worse now than they were then.

Her answer should give all pro-lifers hope. The abortionists know how strong the pro-life movement is, and how dedicated pro-lifers are to stopping abortion once and for all. In the course of the past 40 years, the pro-life movement has only grown in strength, becoming more and more savvy. We have learned ways to reduce the number of abortions and shut down clinics. We have succeeded in keeping the abortion issue front and center in the minds of the American people. We have fought to maintain our movement and keep it going, continually spreading the message. By utilizing the Internet, pro-lifers are spreading pro-life information and planning activities. Young people are getting involved more and more in the pro-life cause. For example, Students for Life has 600 more groups on campus than Planned Parenthood does. Planned Parenthood has 200 campus groups spreading the pro-choice message compared to Students for Life’s 838 pro-life groups.

Pro-lifers indeed have reason to be optimistic. The pro-life movement is stronger than ever, and we have made tremendous progress. Derzis – in her claim that things are “far worse now” for pro-choicers than they were when abortion was first legalized – should give all pro-lifers hope and energize us to continue fighting.

You can see the full interview here.

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