Issues

Abortion worker: Adoption counseling at abortion facilities is ‘abysmal’

An anesthesiologist who worked in an abortion facility came forward to criticize the counseling that abortion facilities offer women. She says abortion facilities do not give accurate information about adoption.

First, let’s see how the pro-abortion guidebook book Abortion: Facts and Feelings: A Handbook for Women and the People who Care About Them describes abortion counselors. Facts and Feelings is written as a handbook to guide women through their abortions and help them choose between abortion and motherhood. It says:

Abortion counselors vary in style and approach, but every counselor should help the woman to think through her situation, including her religious beliefs, her financial resources, her living arrangements with lovers, parents, other relatives, and friends. The pregnant woman and the counselor will also discuss the options and how the woman might expect them to play out over the coming weeks, months, and years. Discussion with a neutral, informed, and helpful third party can help a person to see things from different perspectives or to realize possibilities she had not considered. (1)

Contrast this to the words of Dr. Shirley Bond, abortion facility employee:

I think the counselling for adoption is abysmal – it’s virtually nonexistent. Sometimes adoption is raised all right, but in such a negative way – “I don’t suppose you want it adopted,” kind of thing. Or “Have you thought about adoption?” And that is adoption counselling.”

Most of the pregnancy counselling, Dr. Bond points out, is “done by people who are very pro-abortion. Basically, it’s geared to pro-abortion. I don’t think there are enough people around who know about adoption, so women are put off the whole procedure…. I just think the whole climate about adoption is wrong in this country. It’s negative. (2)

The revelation that abortion facilities neglect to mention adoption or paint it in a bad light is far from new.

In 1985, Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood put out a pamphlet for abortion-minded women that states:

But aren’t there alternatives to abortion? Yes, there are. A pregnant women can carry the baby to term and she can then keep it or relinquish the baby for adoption. Relinquishment is often not a very humane procedure.

Abortion is presented as a more “humane” option than adoption. Planned Parenthood tells women that killing their babies is more ethical than finding their babies a loving home.

More evidence that Planned Parenthood discourages adoption was found in Planned Parenthood records that were acquired by pro-lifers. The papers documented a 1988 survey of Planned Parenthood workers that asked workers if adoption should be part of Planned Parenthood’s “mission statement.” Only 20 percent of workers thought it should be. Here is how Planned Parenthood workers answered the question: (3)

No. It would present an apparent and possibly actual conflict of interest. Difficult to finance. Very draining on staff time and overall effort.

Only as a referral. It might be very confusing to maintain a pro-choice stance when an agency also is invested in finding an infant to place.

I think we have to look very carefully at the issues involved. For our clients, we need to be sure that the information and services we provide are really in their best interest. A pregnant fifteen-year-old should not be seen as the ‘solution’ to an infertile couple’s problems. We need to be very careful not to cast women in the role of ‘baby producers’…

A fourth worker said:

We have historically presented adoption as an option in a most matter of fact way without presenting the whole picture.

Disdain for adoption is not limited to abortion workers. Debbie McKenney, chair of Pittsburgh NARAL Pro-Choice America, wrote about how she reacted when she saw a commercial advocating adoption over abortion on television: “I probably hopped out of the chair and started screaming and pacing. I was very, very angry.”

She does not explain why a commercial advocating adoption threw her into such a rage.

Abortion facilities often do not present an accurate picture of adoption to women coming in for abortions. At best, they neglect to mention it. At worst, they paint a very negative picture. Whether this is done because the workers genuinely feel adoption is a bad choice or because they want to sell more abortions, they steer women away from choosing adoption. This is just another way in which abortion facilities, including Planned Parenthood, promote abortion.

  1. Nada L. Stotland, MD Abortion: Facts and Feelings: A Handbook for Women and the People who Care About Them (Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1998) 46
  2. Mary Kenny Abortion: The Whole Story (London: Quartet Books, 1986) 88-89
  3. Robert H. Ruff Aborting Planned Parenthood: Documented Proof of Planned Parenthood’s Systematic Exploitation of Teenagers and Taxpayers (New York: Life Cycle Books, 1988) 30
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