Abortion: An Emotional Topic: Keep the Facts Accurate

I am pro-choice.

As a man who believes that all women have the right to make decisions about their body, no legislation should stop a female from making a decision dealing with her body. As a man I have not experienced what women have experienced. I have no right to make a decision for any female.

On the other hand, if married to a husband, I would be against a surrogate aborting a child my husband and I wanted. Personally, even if doctors stated that the child would be disabled, that child would still receive the help it needs in a loving and nurturing household. That is a personal decision, even though there is a question about the right of the surrogate to abort as well as possible legal parameters. There are many women who are pro-life and have decided to bear their child even if their child is going to have a disability. Abortions should not be banned based on any specific disability such as Down Syndrome; the decision must be up to the woman carrying the child.

The present attempts to not fund Planned Parenthood (PPFA) are based on way too many false reports, individuals being unaware of what Planned Parenthood is all about, and distortions presented by candidates for President. In Wednesday’s debate, Ms. Fiorina said, “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'”

While this sounds like a first hand compelling account of the dark side of abortion, there is a problem with Ms. Fiorina’s statement. There is no such video. The issue on if the video exists or not has been heavily covered by various news media outlets, like The Wall Street Journal, The Federalist, and Vox, since the debate. One of the videos attacking Planned Parenthood shows a woman identified as a former tissue procurement technician, who tells of an experience in a Planned Parenthood pathology lab where she saw a fetus. According to the woman, her supervisor said they would procure the fetus’ brain for tissue use, and the video’s creators added stock footage of an aborted fetus on what appears to be an examination table. The fetus’ feet are not kicking as Ms. Fiorina states but there appears to be some movement. It’s very possible that it could be postmortem tremors rather than cognitive movement. Regardless of that, the source of the video and circumstances on what happened to the fetus (if it was actually aborted or not) are unknown.

It is also interesting to note that Ms. Fiorina did not refer to the fetus as a baby but as fetus. In the video, which was produced by an anti-abortion group, the person interviewed states that she is unsure if the fetus is alive. Also, the footage of the fetus in that video isn’t from the Planned Parenthood videos along with several images appearing to be stock images of fetuses. As far as the donation of organs or the use of research is important for life.

A great percentage of the work done by Planned Parenthood is family planning and related services while abortions are a smaller percentage of what they cover. Planned Parenthood gives women and couples input on alternatives, if the feeling is that a child is not wanted, staff members can discuss all options. PPFA is the largest U.S. provider of reproductive health services, with 97% of services focused on breast and cervical cancer screening, HIV screening and counseling, contraception, and only 3% on abortion. According to PPFA’s own estimates, its contraceptive services prevent approximately 612,000 unintended pregnancies and 291,000 abortions annually. Federal funding of PPFA began under President Nixon’s administration.

People who are “pro-life” should also be respected, as well as their opinions and beliefs. But there are many issues with those who use false facts and scare tactics for political reasons. Personally I do not like the terms “pro-life” or “pro-choice”. In writing this column I communicated with four friends who are female, one is a very close friend who feels that abortion should be outlawed. We agreed to disagree. In her comments she stated that there is a lot of false information on both sides and feels that the videos were concocted to bring Planned parenthood down. Also, she feels that most of those women and girls who go to Planned Parenthood are not told about the emotional, traumatic, physical and spiritual side of having an abortion.

Let us keep in mind that if a candidate feels he or she can lead our nation, blatantly false stories and facts have to be kept out of the conversation and be discredited.

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