The abortion advocates at the RH Reality Check website, which describes its area of expertise as “Reproductive Sexual Health and Justice News, Analysis & Commentary,” are extremely concerned about the pro-life changes coming in the wake of Texas legislation that passed earlier this year (as evidenced by these RH Reality Check website searches of “Texas” and “HB-2,” respectively).
Some of the new requirements for abortion facilities in Texas will begin to take place on November 1 this year, while others will not be fully implemented until September 2014. The regulations that take effect in November include a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and a provision mandating that abortionists secure admitting privileges at a hospital.
The first provision, the 20-week abortion ban, is based on the sound, peer-reviewed science of fetal pain, which indicates that pre-born children feel excruciating pain as early as (and perhaps earlier than) twenty weeks of pregnancy. Compassionate Texas lawmakers recognized the inhumanity of allowing abortions to continue past twenty weeks based on this evidence, and the highly debated HB-2, a “pro-life omnibus bill,” succeeded in mandating protections for fetuses after this stage of pregnancy. The second provision that will be implemented on November 1, which mandates that abortionists obtain hospital admitting privileges, exists because of the well-documented and common occurrence of mortally dangerous circumstances following abortion procedures. This provision is strictly directed towards the health and safety of the woman, who, as the result of the abortion procedure, may experience life-threatening complications.
Despite the pro-woman, pro-child nature of the scientifically based mandates of HB-2, abortion advocates in Texas continue to decry the omnibus bill as a step backwards in the so-called movement of “women’s reproductive rights” – a term which is seldom defined with any type of specific language by the abortion-rights movement, but which loosely translates into “a woman’s right to obtain affordable abortions for any reason whatsoever, and a woman’s right to possess free/inexpensive birth control, preventive care, and anything else that allows her to practice an unlimited array of sexual behaviors without consequence or inconvenience.”
RH Reality Check writer Andrea Grimes decried the reality that Texas boasts at least 108 pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), calling the contrast between that number and the number of abortion facilities “sobering.” For an organization dedicated to women’s rights, one wonders at the supposed problem of Texas housing 108 centers dedicated to helping women. However, the pro-abortion outcry over PRCs has long been based on a perception of the centers that is simply and gravely untrue. Groups like RH Reality Check characterize PRCs as centers that exist to shame women into choosing life on a strictly biblical basis, touting faulty science and promoting behaviors that pro-life advocates largely view as good alternatives to the culture of death (i.e., abstinence outside marriage).
Are there Christian, faith-based pregnancy centers? Absolutely! Do they shame women into choosing life? Absolutely not. As NARAL Pro-Choice America itself has documented, PRCs consistently offer free pregnancy testing and counseling, baby items to support mothers in need, and alternatives to the situations and decisions that landed women in the precarious situations that brought them the PRC in the first place. They often counsel women in crisis about the love of God for them, and inform them candidly of the documented after-effects of abortion. Somehow, according to NARAL, RH Reality Check and the like, this is deplorable behavior.
Grimes goes on to explain that, after the last of HB-2’s provisions – namely the mandate that all abortion mills be equipped as ambulatory surgical centers to accommodate the life-threatening emergencies which abortion centers are privy to – go into effect next year, there may be only six abortion facilities equipped to carry out their precarious work. This is, of course, blamed on the pro-life community. However, perhaps the pro-life community could respond by asking abortionists and abortion facilities:
-Why wasn’t your business equipped as an ASC from the beginning?
-If you truly care about women’s health and women’s rights, why didn’t you build a facility that could accommodate a stretcher in the event that a woman who is bleeding out needs to be taken to the hospital?
-Why would you build a center where you intended to operate on women without taking the same precautions as every other human surgical center in Texas?
Perhaps it is time to turn the tables. Rather than shouldering the constant assault on pro-lifers for mitigating the businesses of abortionists, pro-lifers need to start asking abortion advocates to demonstrate how they really care about women. Maybe then they will see that, in actual practice, they do not.