Analysis

Abortionist pens op-ed insisting abortion is ‘health care’ — but fails to prove her case

women clinic abortion

Leah Torres, an abortionist known for some of the most rabid and dishonest pro-abortion histrionics you’ll find anywhere, has a new op-ed at Self.com in which she petulantly declares, “Abortion Is Health Care—End of Story.”

Alas, if this really was the story’s final chapter, then Torres left in more plot holes than a Michael Bay script.

Pregnancy is a medical condition. Call it what you will—miracle, blessing, burden, number one fear—it’s a health condition for which people seek medical and/or health care. But people, and our government, treat it like some special exception. People often say to me, “It’s not a disease, it’s a natural part of life.”

It’s not a good sign when your very first paragraph sets the stage with a straw-man. Nobody denies that pregnancy is a medical condition; what we deny is that it’s a disease, for which abortion would possibly constitute a cure. Yes, pregnancy can have negative health effects, but it also has positive ones, and ultimately “disease” has a real definition: it’s a “disorder of structure or function,” not a biological process functioning correctly. (Say, isn’t Torres’s side always telling us what sticklers they are for accurate terminology?)

In fact, a more critical thinker might stop to wonder if, just maybe, abortion’s litany of medical dangers signifies that, as the violent interruption of one of human biology’s most important functions, it’s the very opposite of a cure.

There’s a reason she’s misusing a simple medical term, of course: to set up the argument that it’s “reproductive coercion” for insurance and/or government to cover prenatal care but not “abortion care.” Even I was genuinely surprised by an analogy this bad:

If you need surgery, insurance doesn’t merely reimburse for the removal of the appendix (for example) and then forego reimbursement for the incision to open the body and the stitches to close it up. Who would stand for such an a la carte insurance plan? Everyone in this country would, apparently. We should vote intelligently, but we don’t.

Covering multiple steps of the same treatment is the same as covering two different procedures? This argument is either incompetent or just lazy… maybe because the target audience isn’t looking for a logical argument anyway.

Let’s say your sister, Rose, has high blood pressure and she needs treatment […] imagine that our legal system, health care system, and value system make it relatively easy and affordable to receive Treatment A, and makes Treatment B expensive and difficult—or impossible—to get. Rose’s health and life background are such that Treatment A carries much more risk to her wellbeing than Treatment B. The government has passed laws ensuring that taxpayer funds go toward paying for Treatment A, but it is against the law for virtually any to go toward Treatment B. (Never mind that Treatment B saves taxpayers a lot of money.)

Such a situation would indeed be awful. It’s not the situation abortion-seekers find themselves in, though, because childbirth actually doesn’t “carr[y] much more risk to her wellbeing than” abortion. (As for the link claiming that Planned Parenthood funding is a money-saver, I think we’ll wait until some studies not authored by Planned Parenthood’s close associates concur.) More importantly, blood pressure treatment doesn’t kill any third parties.

With such an abysmal grasp of the points that should be right in her own profession’s wheelhouse, it’s no surprise that Torres absolutely flunks when venturing beyond it. Because abortion “fulfills your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” she writes, “It seems crystal clear that this kind of reproductive coercion is unconstitutional.”

Sure. Never mind that every scrap of historical evidence and context we have tells us the Constitution’s guaranteed right to life (by the way, “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” is a phrase from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution) was meant to apply before birth, or that scores of legal experts who agree with you that abortion should be legal can find no evidence that the Constitution requires it to be legal.

Before anyone chimes in with “But what about the baby’s rights?” I will first direct you to a lovely article by Andrea Grimes regarding appropriate language (zygote/embryo/fetus/etc.) and why it matters.

Grimes is another honestychallenged abortion advocate, but okay, we’ll bite. Sure enough, the Rewire piece declares that “baby” is an emotionally manipulative term, “not a medical term”… but at no point explains how it’s inaccurate in any way. Grimes cites no medical source for this claim whatsoever (other than Torres herself, laughably enough).

It’s just as well—a truthful treatment of the subject would have required Grimes to explain why Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all use “baby” to describe the preborn; why Collins English Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, Macmillan Dictionary, and Vocabulary.com all expressly include the preborn in their definitions of “baby”; or why the definitions of “baby” in Merriam-Webster, Cambridge Dictionary, and Oxford Dictionaries are broad enough to include the preborn.

So please, let’s not pretend Torres and Grimes dislike calling preborn babies “babies” for any better reason than they know full well how bad it sounds to admit what they do to babies. An example can be found in former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino’s description of the most common second trimester abortion procedure below:

Then I will assert that a fetus is not equal to the person pregnant with it and never can be whilst it depends on the bodily functions of said person. To equate a fetus to its pregnant mother is factually incorrect, even though philosophically you may be able to argue it. Even still, a philosophical argument of their equality can be put forth until the cows come home. But once they do, the only philosophy that matters is that of the person who is pregnant.

Why are mother and child not equal? Why does dependence reduce gestating children to a status lower than slaves? Why do mothers get to be absolute dictators over the very lives of their sons or daughters prior to birth? Torres doesn’t show her work. The bodily autonomy argument is an old one with plenty of substantive challenges to its logic and ethics, yet Torres pretends it’s some unassailable truth that has settled the matter once and for all.

Ultimately, that’s all you can do when you’re defending the indefensible: skip the defense part entirely.

Editor’s Note: All op-eds are the opinion of the writer, and not necessarily the official position of Live Action.

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