Opinion

NARAL doesn’t fight for choice, but you can

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Recently, I described how some really nice folks put me on Planned Parenthood’s fundraising list. While I’m hesitant to give money, I did offer America’s largest abortion chain some PR advice. For example, I pointed out that it sounds kinda bad when clinic staff refer to an aborted fetus as “a baby” or “another boy.” Also, providing child rapists with cover-up abortions doesn’t look great either.

Planned Parenthood isn’t the only outfit that has my email address, however. NARAL does too, which is why I get stuff like this…

NARAL letter

You know, at least Planned Parenthood bothers to use my name.

What is NARAL Pro-Choice America?  “NARAL” originally stood for “National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.” Then it was “National Abortion Rights Action League” and later “National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.” They don’t say what it stands for now.

But despite staying vague about the first half of their name, the group has a clear definition for the second. According to them, “Being pro-choice means protecting women’s access to safe, legal abortion.” Now, I don’t really agree with conflating the terms “abortion” and “choice,” but I admit they’re connected. After all, abortion is a choice.

Just not always for the woman who’s having it.

For a man who’d rather not pay child support, abortion can seem like a great alternative. Mom might not be so enthused, though. Perhaps she’s read about fetal pain research or the link between abortion and suicide. Whatever the reason, getting her to an abortion clinic can require some incentives… like blackmail and financial threats. It isn’t unusual: there are studies that suggest more than half of women who have abortions feel pressured to do so.

But what if that doesn’t work? Well, some men go with arson instead. Joseph Minerd did; his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her daughter both died when he firebombed their house.

Others prefer to inflict multiple stab wounds, like the ones Leah Diver and Tasha Rossette suffered. Or, like Christian Ferdinand, they may opt to smother a girlfriend who refuses to abort.

Those who live in colder areas might copy Roxanne Fernando’s boyfriend; Roxanne was beaten to death and buried under a snowbank after she insisted on keeping her child.

Still others favor bullets. Shamari Jenkins took one when she wouldn’t kill her son, as did Tanika Rachelle Fox, Jennifer Peck, and plenty of others.

Given these facts, it’s not surprising that the CDC lists homicide as a leading cause of death during pregnancy.

Obviously, having “the right to choose” doesn’t mean much when one of the choices involves blunt force trauma. Consequently, you might think policies “that are good for women’s freedom” would include laws to better protect them from coercion. NARAL thinks otherwise.

Last year, Texas state representative Molly White proposed legislation requiring abortion clinics to offer a private room equipped with information about support services and a telephone to contact law enforcement. Instead of getting behind the bill, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas said it was “not needed.”

And NARAL continues to support Planned Parenthood despite its history of helping abusers hide their crimes. In multiple cases, child sex predators used coerced abortions to stay out of jail and keep harming their victims. Time and again, Planned Parenthood staff failed to alert authorities despite seeing girls who were pregnant and well below the age of consent.

Live Action has documented a similar attitude. In 2011, Planned Parenthood facility director Amy Woodruff was willing to arrange involuntary abortions for underage prostitutes who “can’t speak English” and “won’t know what’s going on.” As she put it, “If they’re 14 and under, just send them right there if they need an abortion, OK?”

I was going to give NARAL some advice on how to start defending “women’s freedom,” but it’s pretty clear they don’t read what I have to say anyhow. So here’s some for you instead: tell your elected officials that you want laws to protect women from forced abortions.

And while you’re at it, tell Congress you want Planned Parenthood’s half billion dollar subsidy redirected to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) – places that deliver needed care without enabling violence and abuse. In 2014, FQHCs performed over five hundred thousand mammograms whereas Planned Parenthood did zero.

Until NARAL starts fighting for choice, the rest of us need to handle the job. And from the looks of it, we’re going to be waiting a while.

Author’s Note: If you are being pressured to have an abortion, go here to find out where to get help.

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