Watching the chatter on lefty and pro-abortion blogs this week, you’d think Christmas came early this year. The whack-a-kid crowd is positively giddy about a RH Reality Check overview of documents from 38 state attorneys general and 32 state health departments, originally requested as part of a House Republican investigation into state clinic regulations and the relative safety of abortion for women. Their conclusion:
An analysis of these documents shows that congressional Republicans will find no support for their arguments in favor of new restrictions on abortion care in the evidence presented by the states. In particular, to the extent that anti-choice advocates claim that women are being put at risk by abortion services, these documents—from the very state entities charged with overseeing and regulating abortion—show the contrary. They show that abortion in the United States is highly regulated and overwhelmingly safe.
That sparked a flood of smug, jubilant declarations that a right-wing “fishing expedition” backfired on us, this proves “abortion remains a safe choice,” debunks a mere “media’s narrative,” further restrictions on “ridiculously safe” abortion would “only put more people in danger,” “actual data typically hasn’t made a difference” for pro-lifers, “an utter lack of evidence” is the “anti-choice movement’s Achilles’ Heel,” “forced birthers thrive on myth,” women “need to be protected from extremist legislation,” the evidence fails to “substantiate conservatives’ calls for greater oversight,” and Republicans are “wasting tax payer money and time dealing with a problem that doesn’t exist.”
Uh, guys? Not to spoil the mood or anything—okay, that’s not true; I live to spoil pro-aborts’ twisted moods—but it’s a little early to declare victory.
First, as Live Action regulars know, RH Reality Check is a profoundly dishonest website that routinely engages in misstatements of fact, omission of key information, indefensible logical gymnastics, and egregious smears, all to serve abortion on demand. If the fact that they publish Amanda Marcotte’s deranged fantasies isn’t enough to demonstrate all you need to know about their nonexistent standards, just consider their “legal experts” who endorse censorship, their senior reporters who misrepresent science and defame people as sexists, and their bloggers who misstate basic, easily-available facts in hit pieces they never bother to correct. And obviously, as good little pro-choice foot soldiers, they commonly regurgitate their side’s standard lies about embryology, abstinence, crisis pregnancy centers, Roe v. Wade’s legal merits, pre-Roe maternal deaths, fetal pain, etc.
So we’re gonna need a little more than RHRC’s worthless word before giving Big Abortion a clean bill of health, especially considering that Jill Stanek has already found at least one instance of a born-alive abortion their report claims don’t happen, and that, as congressional aides have told the Washington Times, “conclusions made at this point are premature,” as the investigating committees are still awaiting state responses.
UPDATE (8/28/13): Stanek also has a much more extensive piece refuting a related RH Reality Check attempt to whitewash the “myth” of born-alive abortions, in which she documents the reality in devastating detail. (End Update)
When all the documents are in and we have a comprehensive report to really scrutinize and compare with RHRC’s (hopefully with the insight of crack researchers like Reproductive Research Audit), then we’ll talk. It will be interesting to see how it squares with the numerous confirmed cases of Planned Parenthood misconduct in recent years.
Second, A-OKs from state agencies don’t automatically settle the issue. No pro-lifer denies that the average abortionist has basic common sense about avoiding punishment and lawsuits, getting paid, or ensuring repeat customers. The bigger issue is that when abortionists do skirt the rules, liberal government officials and abortion movement leaders can’t be trusted to hold them accountable.
The least-acknowledged detail of the Kermit Gosnell case, after all, is that both the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the National Abortion Federation deliberately ignored Gosnell since the early 1990s. Indeed, when faced with those supposedly-nonexistent born-alive abortions, the current occupant of the White House decided nothing should be done about them.
Third, these declarations of victory and moral superiority are ultimately empty because they have absolutely nothing to do with abortion clinics’ primary offense: they’re death camps.
Every last one of them could be the pinnacle of maternal safety, spotlessness, transparency, and regulatory mindfulness, and it wouldn’t change the fact that their business is murdering living, innocent human babies for mothers who have decided their existence is undesirable. No amount of medical caution for their customers will make their work humane, compassionate, respectable, or tolerable. None of it lessens the justice or necessity of shutting down every last butchery. And none of it will bring them any closer to the moral high ground they so desperately crave.