In an article on Care2 entitled “Pregnant Teens are Just Political Pawns to Anti-Abortion Activists,” a pro-choice author blasts pro-lifers for filing a complaint against abortionist Dr. Ulrich Klopfer. On February 7 of this year, Klopfer performed an abortion on a 13-year-old girl in Indiana. State law mandates that abortion clinics report abortions done that early within 3 days of the procedure.
This law is in place because children that young are often raped or molested by older men, who then hide their sexual activity by taking their underage “girlfriends” for an abortion. The law was inspired by actual cases. Testifying for a similar law, the mother of a 12-year-old rape victim told the following story:
My child was provided [with] alcohol, raped and then taken out of the state by a stranger to have an abortion. This stranger turned out to be the mother of the adult male who provided the alcohol and then raped my daughter while she was unconscious. The rapist’s mother arranged and paid for an abortion….to destroy evidence that my 12 year old daughter had been raped. (1)
Klopfer eventually did report the abortion, but not until 5 months later. Because the abortionist dragged his feet, the girl, if she was being raped or molested, may have had to put up with a further half a year of abuse.
The Care2 article opens with:
Illinois Dr. Ulrich Klopfer has long been targeted by the Indiana anti-abortion community, who appear especially bothered by a provider who comes across the state border in order to provide pregnancy terminations.
Perhaps this is because “fly-by-night” abortionists who travel from clinic to clinic are often not there when women are recovering from their abortions. An abortionist who operates on multiple women and then catches a flight out of the state while the women are still recovering will not be on hand if a patient suffers a complication. In fact, women have died in clinics after their abortionists left the scene, leaving untrained clinic workers in charge.
The article goes on to say:
What’s most disturbing about the use of young pregnant teens as political pawns in the battle to end abortion is the callousness with which the girls’ own lives are regarded. In the Indiana case, the teen must have been accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, since the state has a parental consent law. Yet the activists filing the complaint argued that both she and her parent must have come to the wrong decision about the pregnancy, alluding to the “pain” she will have “for the rest of her life.
First of all, parental consent laws generally do not require parents to actually accompany their children to the abortion clinic; they merely require the parents’ written permission. And there is almost always a judicial bypass option, which an older abuser could make sure the girl obtains. Also, abortion clinics are notorious for letting such laws slide.
Former clinic director Abby Johnson once told me that clinics in states that require parental notification will sometimes simply hand a teenage girl the phone book and ask her to randomly pick a number, then put the number in the paperwork as the parents’ number, claiming that the parents were notified. It is not such a stretch to think that a clinic may be dishonest.
And sometimes parents themselves are complicit in the child abuse. In Dr. David C. Reardon’s book Aborted Women: Silent No More (2), one young woman who was a victim of incest coerced into an abortion told the following heartbreaking story.
Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and I felt a sense of loss.… Even if my daughter had been put up for adoption, instead of killed, some of the pain would not be present. Often, I cry. Cry because I could not stop the attacks. Cry because my daughter is dead. And I cry because it still hurts. They say time heals all wounds. This is true. But it doesn’t heal the memories, at least not for me.… As you can see, the abortion, which was to be “in my best interest” just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only “saved their reputations,” “solved their problems,” and “allowed their lives to go merrily on.”
If there is even the slightest chance that the 13-year-old girl who went to see Dr. Klopfer was in a similar situation, her case should be investigated for her protection.
The Care2 article claims that pro-lifers violated the privacy of a young abortion victim even though her name was never released to the public. The article goes on to state:
They [pro-lifers] have no compassion for the pain that the girl may also experience should she remain pregnant and give birth, her only other option and no doubt one that was weighed as well.
Pro-lifers know that abortion can be emotionally devastating to young girl. One study found that teens who have abortions are 6 times more likely than other teens to commit suicide within 6 month of their abortions. Another study found the risk 10 times greater (3). Teens who have abortions are also 3 times more likely to have trouble sleeping and 6 times more likely to use drugs. Some of them may be self-medicating to hide their pain.
Considering the terrible emotional devastation abortion can wreak on young teenagers, is it really the pro-lifers who don’t care about these children? Crisis pregnancy centers exist in every state to help teenage mothers find support. Abortion clinics simply take their money, kill their babies, and send them home to cope as best they can.
It is also interesting to note that the article in Care2 completely omits the fact that this was not the first time Dr. Klopfer failed to report an abortion on a young girl. In fact, he is a repeat offender.
- Chrystal L— was testifying in support of the Child Custody Protection Act, House, Op., Cit 58. Quoted in William Saletan Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War (Berkley: California: University of California Press, 2004) 242
- David C Reardon Aborted Women: Silent No More (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway books, 1987) 217
- B. Garfinkel, et al., “Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota,” Responding to High Risk Youth (University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service, 1986); M. Gissler, et. al., “Suicides After Pregnancy in Finland: 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Medical Journal, 313: 1431-1434, 1996; and N. Campbell, et. al., “Abortion in Adolescence,” Adolescence, 23:813-823, 1988