Opponents of reproductive rights are doing pretty well with their campaign to imbed a phantom image in the public consciousness: The Abortion Industry.
Dingy, windowless, cavernous rooms filled with grim-faced workers on assembly lines featuring a never-ending procession of dead babies? Add background images of a horde of grinning men and women counting their money, and you have the overall image that seems to be the goal.
Charmaine Yoest, the attractive and articulate head of Americans United for Life advanced the image considerably with her persistent references to “The Abortion Industry” during a recent appearance on PBS NewsHour. Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America made a lot more sense and stuck a lot closer to facts — a large majority of Americans believe the complex decision about abortion should be made by a woman and her doctor, rather than by politicians; a probably larger majority do not believe that life begins at conception or that fetuses must have across-the-board “protection.”
It’s a catchy phrase, but the “abortion industry” is a myth. Here’s the reality:
A virtual army of highly trained, compassionate men and women who believe in the constitutionally mandated right of a woman to make her own reproductive choices does indeed exist.
They work, often for very little pay and against daunting odds, to protect that right.
They teach, they offer advice on contraception and family planning, they counsel and console, they work to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, they serve in countless ways to make life better for men and women in need — and yes, occasionally they perform abortions.
Where, in all this, does one come up with “The Abortion Industry”?