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Published: January 5, 2013 3:33 pm to Opinion Column

What do we stand to gain – or lose – from abortion?

I am pro-life not because I want to take away the rights of women or control people’s sex lives – and certainly not because I’m going to get rich from it. And it’s not to get rich that tireless sidewalk counselors offer women life-saving alternatives to abortion, either. I believe that the ultimate motivation for being pro-life, whether you sidewalk-counsel, write, or do something else, is to save babies.

sidewalkcounseling_786x430-300x164Sidewalk counselors are there to help unborn babies, as well as their mothers. They have life-saving information about alternate options, but oftentimes abortion-minded women walk right by them as if they’re not even there. It can be a thankless activity, with many stories like this one, about a girl who was prayed for but went along with an abortion after all. Yet sidewalk counselors still carry on.

I saw an exchange between a sidewalk counselor and a clinic escort where, as the counselor was trying to hand out a pamphlet with pro-life information, the clinic escort told the young woman not to listen, claiming that the sidewalk counselor was lying to her. What the sidewalk counselor was trying to say was that this young woman did not need to get an abortion, that she had other options, and that there were people who wanted to help her. Apparently, though, that was just some lie.

What do sidewalk counselors stand to gain, then, if by trying to help women, they’re lying? In what sort of ways would they benefit by convincing women not to abort their babies? For most, there’s a sense of satisfaction that not only the life of the unborn child has been saved, but also that the well-being of the mother has been protected as well. Some sidewalk counselors have also maintained contact and even built friendships with the women whom they have been able to convince not to abort. There’s no monetary gain or ill-contrived benefit there.

On the other hand, abortion workers will “counsel” women and convince them that abortion is really the right choice for them. Workers may hold a woman’s hand during the procedure, but there isn’t really any contact or friendship maintained once the woman leaves.

Abortion businesses not only counsel women with an abortion-minded attitude, but they also have a history of opposing informed consent laws. The situation in South Dakota is just one example. Planned Parenthood didn’t want to have to tell women that having an abortion may increase the risk of suicide, because doing so “violates the free speech rights of the physician.” What seems more likely is that abortionists and other staff at abortion clinics are worried that if they tell women the truth about what an abortion may do to them, it’s not so much their free speech that is put at risk, but the likelihood that they’ll keep customers and thus gain money.

In abortion, money is all too often the name of the game.

In abortion, money is all too often the name of the game.

There are abortion advocates who like to ignore studies showing an aborti0n-suicide link. In a statement about the South Dakota law being upheld, Planned Parenthood refused to accept the studies and claimed that “there is no sound scientific evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between abortion and suicide.” Such advocates also like to point out that women who have committed suicide after an abortion may have done so for other reasons. Regardless of why a post-abortive woman has committed suicide, shouldn’t abortionists and staff at Planned Parenthood, if they really want to be regarded as participating in “health care,” be willing to at least acknowledge that an abortion may in fact really be damaging to women, and be willing to inform women of this risk? You would think that they should – that is, unless they predominantly see women as customers and unfortunate souls off whom to make money.

If pro-lifers are successful in convincing a woman not to abort, they have the satisfaction that they have saved a life. If they are unsuccessful, there is sadness and grief over a life lost, and possibly another life damaged. Financial gain is not factored. On the other hand, when an abortionist performs an abortion, he (or she) is participating in a lucrative procedure for himself and the abortion business he works for. When a woman changes her mind about an abortion, the abortionist and the abortion business lose money.

Now, are there people who are pro-life for the wrong reasons? I’m sure that there are. And are there people who volunteer or work for an abortion business with good intentions beyond financial gain? I’m sure that those people exist as well. But if we want to consider who’s lying, let’s look at the motivations involved in abortion and who stands to gain, and lose, based on what a woman decides.

About Rebecca Downs

Rebecca Downs graduated from Fordham University in August 2012, where she was a member of the Respect for Life club and College Republicans. After writing for Live Action News since March 2012, she is thrilled to be involved at the Live Action office. She has also written for IRD's Juicy Ecumenism, Secular Pro-Life Perspective's and C-FAM. She first became interested in the Live Action campaign at the March for Life in 2010.
View all posts by Rebecca Downs