Abortion activists around the country are getting tattoos of coat hangers, according to InStyle Magazine. The “secret” meaning? The tattoos are in support of unregulated, unrestricted abortion, and in protest of laws calling for stricter oversight and regulation of abortion facilities. As one activist stated in the article, “I feel like to some degree, abortion providers are freedom fighters. The coat hanger tattoo is about the fight to be free from having to endanger our own health and lives to be able to determine if, when, and how to have a family. Nobody should ever again feel desperate enough to risk self-harm to end a pregnancy.”
“It represents the idea that we can never go back to pre-Roe times, where people were dying due to unsafe abortions,” added another woman. “It reminds me why I do the work I do when things are difficult, and it reminds me of what’s at stake, which are the very lives of people who can get pregnant.” Of course, all of this ignores the reality of the situation: before Roe v. Wade was passed, women were not dying from coat hanger-inflicted back-alley abortions in the way abortion activists try to claim.
Women are getting coat hanger tattoos in support of abortion rights — and it’s incredibly powerful. https://t.co/Af332iueuj
— InStyle (@InStyle) October 12, 2018
The statistics about illegal abortion deaths were — according to one of NARAL’s male founders, Dr. Bernard Nathanson — completely fabricated. Abortions pre-Roe were also not most frequently committed by women against themselves using coat hangers; according to former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher, over 70% of abortions were committed by OB/GYNs and physicians. The “back alley” in “back alley abortions” refers to women entering and exiting these physicians’ facilities for clandestine illegal abortions, using the businesses’ back alley entrances.
The whole point of Roe v. Wade, though, was to supposedly put an end to dangerous unregulated abortions — which were actually being committed by physicians, according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s then-medical director Mary Calderone. And yet, today, abortion activists fight against health and safety regulations for abortion facilities — regulations that could prevent abortionists like Kermit Gosnell from harming women and their children.
Gosnell’s house of horrors is, by now, infamous. His facility was flea-infested, the carpet soaked with urine and feces, blankets blood-stained. Medical instruments used on women were unsterilized and rusty. Gosnell allowed untrained, uncertified staffers to administer medication and drugs, and kept jars of severed baby feet in containers on display. He butchered women, injuring many of his patients and killing at least two.
A long line of failures allowed Gosnell to continue killing babies and maiming women for as long as he did. The Pennsylvania Departments of State and Health, as well as the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, looked the other way despite receiving numerous complaints dating back decades. They were notified that women were being injured, even infected with sexually-transmitted diseases, and looked the other way. But it wasn’t just local officials who failed Philadelphia’s abortion-vulnerable women.
The National Abortion Federation promotes legal abortion, and claims that it “sets the standard” for “quality abortion care.” Yet they, too, looked the other way when it came to Kermit Gosnell. Former NAF President Vicki Saporta blamed pro-lifers for Gosnell’s crimes, and boasted of how the NAF ensured that women would receive safe, quality abortion “care”:
In addition to complying with state and federal regulations, many abortion providers are members of professional organizations like NAF. NAF members must complete a rigorous application process, including a site visit, and must comply with our Clinical Policy Guidelines, which set the standards for quality abortion care in North America. Women can be assured of receiving high-quality care at NAF member facilities.
The problem? Gosnell previously worked at a NAF-certified facility in Delaware. NAF facilities referred women to Gosnell for late-term abortions at his facility in Philadelphia. More disturbingly, NAF did inspect Gosnell’s facility — and did not report him, despite the inspector calling it the worst abortion facility she had ever seen. Yet she still took no action, allowing women to continue to be harmed there.
When Gosnell patient Karnamaya Mongar died, it was after Gosnell’s unlicensed staffers gave her an overdose of Demerol. After she stopped breathing, Gosnell attempted CPR and eventually called paramedics, after taking the time to rearrange her body to make it appear that it had been a safe, routine abortion procedure. Paramedics were able to get a weak pulse, but the cluttered maze of narrow hallways and padlocked emergency doors took up crucial time just to get her into the ambulance.
Sadly, Gosnell is not an outlier. These kinds of disgusting abortion facilities are far more common than they should be, and the abortion industry is doing a terrible job of policing itself. And yet, women are continually told that any increased regulations against abortion facilities makes health care more dangerous for them.
The question is, if abortion is completely unregulated and unrestricted, then how is it any different from the supposed back alleys that abortion advocates say they want to prevent?