New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett has a dream of making New York an abortion destination. She had her own abortion in 1979 because she didn’t think she could be a first-year medical intern while pregnant and parenting. It’s the false mentality that women have been conditioned to have — that motherhood makes women weak and incapable. Now Bassett is advocating for more abortion while seeking to shut down the very organizations that help mothers succeed.
Bassett explained in a piece for Elle that years ago, she was “surprised” to discover she was pregnant, but “not shocked.” She and her “partner” had used contraception but she admits she knew her contraception could fail. As a medical student, it’s safe to assume she knew women don’t spontaneously become pregnant. She had full knowledge that she could become pregnant even on birth control, and, therefore, full knowledge that she would likely kill any child she created. She said her decision to abort was “swift.”
Mothers are not incapable of career success
“How could a first-year intern who was expected to work 30-hour shifts also carry and care for a child? She — I — could not,” she claimed. “I turned to the same institution that had provided me, and generations before me, with safe contraception: a Planned Parenthood center in New York. Only this time, I needed a safe, legal, and affordable abortion.”
This statement carries red flags. First, her baby was never the problem. The attitude towards expectant mothers and children is the problem. So many women don’t know how to stand up for their own rights as pregnant students. No one has empowered them with this information, and Bassett isn’t making any attempts to do so.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex — including pregnancy and parental status — in educational programs. According to Title IX, pregnant students can request adjustments based on basic pregnancy needs or pregnancy-related complications. This includes breaks as needed, rescheduling of exams, and excused absences. There are also excused absences allowed for mothers and fathers who need to take their children to medical appointments or care for them when they are ill. The list goes on.
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Though it was after Bassett’s appointment, the 2017 ruling of Jane Doe v. Mercy Medical Center by the Third Circuit states that Title IX rules on discrimination and harassment also apply to private hospitals’ medical residency programs.
Women don’t need abortion to succeed in their education or career goals. This has been proven by single mother Stephanie M. Jackson who became a doctor this year and Jessica Dalton who also became a doctor as a single mother. Marlise Pierre-Wright at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine offers advice for women who are pregnant in medical school, ensuring them that it is possible to succeed. She writes:
… let us flip the script in our mind. Our mindset should not be a question: “Can I have a baby during my training?” Instead, let us decide, ‘I will have a baby during my training, and this is how.’ Own it. Do not apologize for it. Just as we bend our lives to fit this goal, medicine must also bend itself to fit our goals. Our childbearing years are short, yet our careers are long. It would be wise for medicine to work around these years to secure the talent of its female trainees for the long term.
The second red flag in Bassett’s statement is that Planned Parenthood is the one that sold her birth control and abortion when that birth control failed. It’s part of their business model to make repeat customers out of young, vulnerable women and girls.
Increasing abortion access
Bassett’s solution for pregnant students, despite Title IX, is not for them to stand up for their rights, but to make it easier for abortionists to reach them. She urges, “For those of us in public health, we must consider ways to increase the availability of oral abortion medication and expand the number of providers who can work across states, not just within. We must continue to break down barriers for those who continue to need more education, resources, and support to access safe abortions. And we must demonstrate the sweeping individual, societal, and economic success that follows safe abortion access as a fundamental component of health care, for all.“
A woman’s success is not defined by whether or not she has an abortion. No one has to kill a child in order to succeed. What Bassett should be advocating for is even more accommodations for pregnant and parenting women, not further oppression through abortion. Mothers are strong, capable, determined, and equal. They deserve to be treated as such.
Attacking pregnancy centers
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, and even in the weeks leading up to the decision, pregnancy centers around the nation have been under attack because they don’t offer abortion or abortion referrals as a service. Abortion advocates call pro-lifers “forced-birthers” and complain they do nothing to help women and children after birth. But pregnancy centers have been doing the work of helping women, children, and families for decades — and at every turn, abortion supporters have attempted to stop them from doing this work in one way or another.
Stunningly, rather than seeking to arrest and prosecute those who are firebombing and vandalizing these centers, Bassett is helping to target them.
CompassCare Pregnancy Center in upstate New York was firebombed, but on June 13, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law pro-abortion bills that will allow Bassett to investigate pro-life pregnancy centers like CompassCare for not committing abortions. Jim Harden, who runs CompassCare, told the Catholic News Agency that the state wants him to turn over information on CompassCare’s donors, patients, service processes, affiliates, and more. Yet no arrests have been made in the June 7 attack on the center.
“They want to know anything and everything. They want an open book,” said Harden, who does not intend to comply. “It’s absolutely ironic and crazy.”
On EWTN’s “The World Over” with Raymond Arroyo on June 16, Harden noted the irony of New York law calling pro-life pregnancy centers “limited.” He said abortion businesses are actually the ones with limited service because they only have one so-called service: abortion.
“The only intent here is to draft more legislation to regulate us,” he told Arroyo.
Bassett wants more abortion, less help for women
Hochul’s and Bassett’s agenda is clear: increase access to abortion. Truly caring about women should involve informing pregnant women of their rights under Title IX and allowing women to choose life with the help of pregnancy centers, but instead, those who call themselves “pro-choice” are working to shut down centers offering real choices.
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