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Jewish World Review Sept. 7, 1999 /29 Elul, 5759

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'Rights' include those to informed consent -- TODAY'S FEMINISTS say they are pro-choice -- but they don't really mean it. Pro-choice implies an informed decision. Too many so-called feminist organizations are determined to limit "free speech" to only those views which serve their activist interests. Often, information to the contrary is attacked on various specious grounds -- most typically under the ironic guise of "rights."

On July 14, 1999, Laura Meckler, an Associated Press journalist, reported that Republicans want family planning clinics to talk adoption when pregnant women look for help. "Legislation being introduced today would require federally funded clinics to counsel women on adoption. 'We don't intend for it to force a woman to make one decision or another,' said sponsoring Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C."

According to the AP article, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood said counselors already talk about adoption.

If that's so -- then what's the beef? If Planned Parenthood is giving complete information about adoption to women in pregnancy crises, why are they objecting so vehemently to this legislation? Why do they give the appearance of being more pro-abortion than pro-choice?

The AP article quotes Rep. DeMint as saying "... family planning clinics have a financial stake in encouraging abortions while they get nothing out of adoptions. He cited a study that found many women are never told about adoption."

Nor, I understand, do they routinely show a woman models, photos or diagrams indicating the developmental stage of their "child" when they are prepped for an abortion. After mentioning this on my radio program, I asked listeners who have had abortions to write to me and let me know if seeing the developmental stage of their "baby" might have changed their mind about abortion. The unanimous answer was "yes."

Furthermore, SELF magazine (May 1999) published a Health Alert concerning the fact that some 22 states have passed laws requiring a woman seeking an abortion to receive informed-consent counseling. The article describes the situation in Utah, wherein a woman who wants an abortion must first undergo a counseling session with a clinic worker. She is given a 53-page booklet to read during the mandatory 24-hour waiting period.

The booklet includes a listing of adoption services and a section of color photographs of fetal monthly development. It also includes warnings of the possible negative psychological consequences of having an abortion.

The SELF article then states, "While these warnings may seem reasonable to some, abortion-rights activists argue that Utah is twisting the medical notion of 'informed consent' (telling a patient facing a treatment or procedure about any risks involved so she can make an informed decision about going ahead with it) in order to deliver thinly disguised propaganda."

There it is. Truthful, helpful, factual information against abortion is propaganda. What IS information about abortion that leaves out the above discussion? Revelation?

And listen to this: In this same SELF article, the director of legal affairs for Planned Parenthood is quoted as saying, "The state is using informed consent to blatantly encourage women not to choose abortion." I still don't get it. Information might influence women to make the decision not to kill their unborn babies -- and these feminist types are upset! Why?

In response to this article, one of my listeners (who had an abortion at 17) wrote a letter to the editor: "I also think the comment that 'waiting-period requirements result in a financial inconvenience' (overnight in a motel!) is extremely selfish. I'm sure that these 'inconveniences' are not even looked upon by those women who have changed their minds and decided to keep their children. Is a child's life not worth one or two hundred dollars? A decision to have an abortion or not is the hardest decision on the face of the Earth that a woman has to make. And I believe that if there is counseling and waiting periods (and if it saves only one mother and child from harm), then it is worth all the inconvenience to those who decide to terminate their pregnancy. I know that if I had had some sort of counseling or waiting period ... I would have changed my mind and not be dying inside like I am now. I am certain of this. There are many women who regret having an abortion, but there are very few, if any, women who have had a baby and wish they had aborted it."

There is no legitimate choice without complete information. Those against informed consent for women contemplating abortion have a misguided idea of "rights," devoid of and accompanying responsibility. Sexual politics based on rage at the "patriarchy" blinds feminists to the singular beauty and meaning of the mother/child bond.

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©1999, Universal Press Syndicate