Opinion

NARAL has questions for the Democratic candidates. So do I.

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Ilyse Hogue is one of the abortion industry’s loudest defenders. As president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, she’s fought to keep late-term abortion legal and unsafe facilities in business. She also said something I agreed with.

Hogue wants to see the Democratic candidates talk more about abortion, complaining that it wasn’t mentioned at all during their first six debates. To fix that, she suggested some questions for the moderators to ask.

I have to say, I’m on board with the concept. In fact, I’d be thrilled if pro-abortion candidates had to advertise their views. The truth is, most people don’t really have positive thoughts about abortion, and the more they learn about it, the less positive those thoughts usually get.

I feel like Hogue’s questions just don’t cover the right issues, though, so I came up with a few of my own. I doubt they’ll get much air time, but feel free to pass them around.

1. Abortions at 20 weeks typically involve a technique known as dilation and evacuation (D&E), whereby a fetus is pulled apart one piece at a time. Given that Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand’s research at the University of Tennessee suggests that a fetus can feel pain by this point, don’t abortions at 20 weeks amount to torture?

It would be nice if that got asked by someone who knows abortion firsthand – somebody like Dr. Anthony Levatino. Dr. Levatino performed over twelve hundred abortions, and in the video below, he explains what a D&E entails.

Both Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton have opposed 20-week abortion bans, so the question is especially relevant. After all, if Donald Trump’s promise to torture terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay has brought scrutiny, you’d think torture in the womb would deserve the same.

2. There are studies indicating that a significant number of women who abort feel pressured to do so, with some facing violence when they say no. You both describe yourselves as “pro-choice” – how will you protect women who choose life?

If there was time, I’d want the moderator to add that across the country, women have been shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, burned and smothered for refusing to have an abortion, which might have something to do with why the CDC lists homicide as a leading cause of death during pregnancy. Perhaps a few of these women’s stories ought to be told to the Democratic candidates, since they seem to think abortion is always a woman’s choice. They need to hear about Shamari Jenkins, Roxanne Fernando, Deana Mitts, Shaniesha Forbes, and this 16-year-old girl.

3. Planned Parenthood receives over half a billion federal tax dollars annually. In case after case, the group has also helped sexual predators stay out of jail and keep harming their victims. By funding Planned Parenthood, aren’t we subsidizing sexual abuse?

It should also be pointed out that when Planned Parenthood staff say things like “being thirteen and pregnant alone is not a red flag,” sexual predators are going to see it as a green light.

Timothy Smith apparently did – he took his thirteen year-old stepdaughter there for an abortion after getting her pregnant. Gary Cross, Luis Gonzalez-Jose, John Blanks, Jr., Adam Gault, Joseph Coles, Kevon Walker, Edgar Ramirez, and Grey David Woods brought their victims to Planned Parenthood as well. And as the video below demonstrates, abusers can get a hand without even showing up.

As Live Action News reported late last year, one judge in Colorado noticed the outrageousness of Planned Parenthood’s abortions on abused minor girls:

In Sisk v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, Inc., a 13-year-old girl’s mother sued the abortion giant for performing an abortion on her daughter without notifying her and for failing to report the girl’s rape and sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, who brought her in to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Planned Parenthood later settled the case in a closed settlement, after the judge commented that PP’s conduct was so outrageous that punitive damages would be appropriate.

While these issues probably won’t get raised at a Democratic debate, there’s still ways we can address them. You can fight torture by supporting laws against dismemberment abortions. And you can help protect women from violence by backing anti-coercion legislation (the kind that NARAL opposes).

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Finally, you can tell Congress you want Planned Parenthood’s funding redirected to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and community health care centers (CHCs) instead. With more than 13,000 locations, FQHCs and CHCs are more accessible than Planned Parenthood is. The care they deliver is also more comprehensive: FQHCs perform over five hundred thousand mammograms each year. Planned Parenthood? Zero.

According to Ilyse Hogue, the folks at NARAL “want to hear a plan to address the issues we care about.” Pro-lifers already have a plan to protect women and children; what we’re demanding is action.

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