The Psychosis of Anti-Abortionists
Copyright © by Dan Schneider, 4/5/03
I was tempted
to title this essay The Misogyny Of Anti-Abortionists but that is too
obvious a statement. Far more unsettling is their utter detachment from the
world of the real- hence the more clinical word- psychosis. Basically,
anyone who has seen a fetus up close can attest to the fact that there are not
many globs of cells running corporations, or barely formed 2 inch beings who can
do a mean soft shoe. After all they’ve not been born yet! We do celebrate birthdays,
not conceptiondays. These obvious facts were pointed out to me
over a quarter a century ago in Junior High School 119 by 1 of the 2 or 3 best
teachers I ever had- Ronald Wallenfels. Mr. Wallenfels 1 day brought in a
pickled fetus in a jar- ok, it was really a formaldehyded fetus, but you get
where I’m going. This was only a few years after Roe vs. Wade & Mr.
W. asked us all if this seemed like a human being. Everyone laughed, & then
Mr. W. explained the political brouhaha, the folly of such statements, &
their connections to the political agendas of people who also believed in
Creationism, White Supremacy, & Fundamentalist Christianity. All of what he
said was true then, & just as true today. At the core of every
anti-abortionist is either a deluded bleating sheep, or a reinvented Klansman,
or –woman. [Don’t believe that? Well, right her in Minnesota there’s an
Anti-Ab group called Pro-Life Across America that has a billboard across
from the Metrodome with the photos of 13 babies & the caption: ‘Our
greatest natural resource’. Not a single baby is of a minority persuasion.
& a recent online group of Christian bigots I dealt with were similarly
Anti-Ab, & 1 of their members told me in person that abortion is a plan that
‘they’ are using to try to commit genocide against ‘us’. The ‘us’
being white Christians & the ‘they’ being minorities- of course, under
the direction of sinister Jews.] But, Mr. W. was also a great teacher
outside his personal discipline of science. I also recall Mr. Wallenfels invited
a Vietnam Veteran he knew to speak to the class on ethics. The Vet did &
explained to us how he once had to kill a young Vietnamese girl who saw him up
in a tree because he did not know whether she was VC or not. I still remember
the agony that Vet described as he stifled tears. Ronald Wallenfels was a GREAT
teacher, 1 that should be commended & the type every school should have at
least 1 of. Sadly, because Mr. W was so outspoken, & correct, he would be
excoriated by the simpleminded heads of school boards today.
A few years later I got my 2nd gander at a fetus- this time under far less pleasant circumstances. A young hooker I knew, named Carmen, came to me with her pal Migdalia. Carmen was bleeding from a miscarriage, & Migdalia had wrapped her bloodiness in towels. I drove them out to Far Rockaway beach & the girls said their Catholic prayers, but it was left to me to dispose of the fetus. It was a bloody little clump of cells the size of my pinky nail. I shoved it down the top & neck of a Coke bottle & we buried it in the sand. Not many human beings can be shoved into a soda bottle. Yet more evidence of the psychosis of anti-abortionists?
Well, maybe. But I think the psychosis lies with the sheep-like followers, not with the leaders. They know damn well that fetuses are not people- & don’t shovel the Bible Says So shit. Many a theologian I’ve met have said the Bible says no such thing. To me- who cares 1 way or the other? But it’s a good issue to hook in to to gain power over simpletons. The basic formula is simple- tell lies, & tell them over & over again until they are so old they feel like accepted wisdom. It’s the old ploy of controlling the argument by controlling the words. The Right Wing fascists are adept at this- recall the 1980s when ‘The Silent Scream’ hoax was perpetrated? This is where a sonogram image of a fetus supposedly being poked was to have screamt in utero as it was being aborted. Well, it turned out that the fetus was not ‘screaming’, that it was merely the physical contortion of the fetus being prodded by a microscopic filament. If you are sleeping & someone pushes on your stomach you are liable to open you mouth to exhale- same deal. & the supposed ‘abortion’ that was filmed was not really an abortion, but a college medical lab video of a routine amniocentesis. By the 1990s the anti-abortion asses tried a different tack- the canard that most women regretted their abortions, that they had delusions their ‘babies’ were still alive, & that abortionists had ‘tricked’ the women into abortions. Well, this lie evaporated even more quickly than The Silent Scream nonsense. By the turn of the century the Anti-Abs were desperate. Anecdotal & scientific evidence were against them. Then, into their laps fell a new ploy- fetal research- Now the abortionists were aborting children so they could do medical experiments. The Anti-Abs were ecstatic- that is until it turned out a # of high profile politicians had relatives with diseases that could benefit from fetal research. Then, well- need you ask if they changed their tune? The death of a loved 1, I guess, out-motivates the desire for power. The same, of course, is true with Lefty hypocrites who scream about animal testing- until a test can possibly give info to save 1 of their loved 1s. But this kind of hypocrisy is most rife in the virulent Anti-Ab movement- where a large portion of the women in that movement have had abortions, yet now wanna deny that choice to their poorer, younger sisters.
But those dastardly Cons (as in Conservatives & Con Artists) would not let things rest with knowing fetal research was a GOOD thing. No. They had to whip out the old propaganda machine. Next in their ceaseless conveyor of lies was a spurious claim that women who had abortions were more likely to get breast cancer. Chief purveyor of this pap is a doctor named Joel Brind- www.abortioncancer.com - whose website is a virtual font of mis- & disinformation, & has been an ‘expert’ witness in a # of high profile court cases. In the February 2003 issue of Discover Magazine writer Barry Yeoman exposed many of the lies. The piece gave a profile of Dr. Brind: ‘Brind, who teaches human biology and endocrinology at Baruch College of the City University of New York, made an impressive expert witness. A lanky 52-year-old with a slender, equine face, he has spent most of his career investigating the connections between reproductive hormones and human disease.’ Basically, the Dr. was a rabid religiot & fanatical anti-abortionist who skewed data to fit his beliefs: ‘The vast majority of epidemiologists say Brind's conclusions are dead wrong. They say he conducted an unsound analysis based on incomplete data and drew conclusions that meshed with his own pro-life views. They say that epidemiology, the study of diseases in populations, is an inexact science that requires practitioners to look critically at their own work, searching for factors that might corrupt the results and drawing conclusions only when they see strong and consistent evidence. "Circumspection, unfortunately, is what you have to do to practice epidemiology," says Polly Newcomb, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "That's something Brind is incapable of doing. He has such a strong prior belief in the association [between abortion and cancer] that he just can't evaluate the data critically."’ Here’s a description of what he found, & its flaws: ‘Brind was at home the day his fax machine spit out the results of Chinchilli's analysis: Women who had induced abortions appeared to suffer from breast cancer at a rate 30 percent higher than those who didn't. In biostatistical terms, this is called a "relative risk" or "odds ratio" of 1.3. (A risk of 1.0 means there's no danger.) Because there are so many variables that can corrupt data, epidemiologists regard any risk under 2.0 with skepticism unless it appears consistently from one study to the next. (For example, scientists at the National Cancer Institute once argued that mouthwash users had a 50 percent higher chance of contracting oral cancer. Critics later showed that once other variables such as alcohol and tobacco use were properly controlled for, the risk all but disappeared.)....One conclusion researchers have drawn is that the poor design of many abortion-cancer studies produced results that exaggerated risks faced by women who undergo the procedure. Until recently, most of the published papers on the subject were based on what epidemiologists call case-control studies. Researchers would find a group of cases—women diagnosed with breast cancer—and ask them whether they had had abortions earlier in their lives. They would also survey a group of controls—healthy women who were contacted by random telephone dialing or some other method. The scientists would adjust for variables such as age, reproductive history, and family health history, then perform a calculation to determine the relative risk of having an abortion.
One variable, though, that epidemiologists can't eliminate is whether a woman admits to a researcher that she has had an abortion—because such an admission is still a source of shame for many people. This is the point at which results are most likely to go awry. By contrast, patients are always looking for clues to their illnesses, and so "women who have breast cancer will search their souls, and be very likely to search deeply in their memories, and disclose things that might be embarrassing," says David Grimes, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. "But a woman who does not have the disease and is picked at random from the community is very unlikely to disclose to an anonymous researcher knocking on the door that she had an abortion in 1992." Epidemiologists call this phenomenon response bias, and they've found evidence that it can contaminate studies on abortion and breast cancer.’ Not only was the evidence skewed, but it was nonexistent: ‘In January 1997, three months after Brind's analysis appeared in Epidemiology and Community Health, a Danish epidemiologist published a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine that, according to many of his colleagues, made much previous research on the subject moot. Mads Melbye of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, looked at the records of 1.5 million women born in his country between 1935 and 1978. Like neighboring Sweden, Denmark records all abortions; it also has a national cancer registry. Melbye linked these two databases—and found a relative risk of 1.00. In other words, women who underwent abortions developed breast cancer at exactly the same rate as women who didn't.’ Whether or not Brind consciously or unconsciously fabricated his ‘evidence’ only he knows. But the abortion-breast cancer link has now joined The Silent Scream & post-abortion trauma on the trash bin of anti-abortion lies.
So, what was next for the recreant Anti-Abs’ agenda? Fabricating new terminology. Thus enters ‘Partial Birth Abortion’. This term has no scientific validity & was designed by the Anti-Abs to mislead people into thinking that babies were being killed while a woman was in labor. Total nonsense!
1st off, not even 1% of abortions occur after the 21st week of pregnancy (according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Most states outlaw such with these exceptions: 1) to save the life or health of a women experiencing a deteriorating health problem- most often diabetes or heart disease. Or 2) the delivery of the fetus can go terribly wrong, threatening the life of the woman. There are generally 2 options when either of these 2 scenarios play out: 1) a D&X abortion (Dilation & Extraction- the true scientific term for Partial Birth Abortion) where the cervix is dilated, the fetus is delivered feet-first, its brain is removed via a needle-sized vacuum tube, shrinking the head, killing the fetus so it can be removed with less damage to the woman. Only about 0.04% of abortions are a D&X. The 2nd option is the riskier (to the woman) hysterectomy- removal of the uterus.
D&X’s are known by only 1 other term, & it’s not Partial Birth Abortion, but Intrauterine Cranial Decompression, or ICD abortion. PBA is a totally ad hoc term created by Anti-Abs for the sole purpose of deceiving layfolk in to believing, yet again, that abortionists are monsters. Typical of their lies is this incident: ‘On 7/19/95, on the radio show Focus on the Family a Dr. Dobson referred to PBAs as "Nazi era experimentation" in which doctors "suck the brain matter out of a living, viable baby for use in medical experiments". Of course, this is typical of the Anti-Abs- calling anyone who disagrees with them a Nazi, even as they are the 1s who murder innocents & terrorize people via the Internet, & outside abortion clinics. An online Pro-Ab website relates this other lie: ‘Senator Rick Santorum, one of the leaders in the Senate of a D&X ban, said that the procedure is a gruesome form of infanticide. [The term infanticide refers to the killing of a newborn infant; it is not applicable to an unborn fetus during a D&X procedure.] Senator Santorum also said that it is a lie to argue that a D&X is sometimes required to protect a woman from a serious health risk. But if he truly believed that statement, then he would not have objected to President Clinton's request that an exemption be added to the bill in cases of serious health risks to the woman. After all, if there was no risk of a devastating health problem, then the exemption would never be exercised, and there would be no harm in including it in the bill.’
Fortunately, the often gullible American public strongly rejects both the arguments & the tactics of the Anti-Abs. Probably because far more women than #s reveal have had abortions (often at the behest of the would-be father). Polls throughout the 30 years since abortion was legalized consistently show a nearly 2-1 margin of support for a woman’s right to corporeal sovereignty. Anti-Abs disingenuously counter, but wait- when people learn about PBA & The Silent Scream (or fill in the latest lie from the Anti-Abs- a distinction currently going to the Right To Know laws; wherein a poor woman must wait 24 hours so that Anti-Ab propaganda can be shoved down their throats, in hopes of scaring, or guilt-tripping them out of an abortion) the #s drop & most people disapprove of abortion. True- BUT, when those same people learn about the lies & get true scientific & medical information about abortions the support levels shoot back up, & even surpass those abortion supporters with a less informed view.
Let me end this essay with a few points that I want people who believe in liberty for all people to ponder: 1st off, true Liberals & Libertarians have been far too lax for far too long. They have let the lying Anti-Abs terrorize them in to silence. They even have ceded the terms of the debate. Witness how Pro-Abortionists don’t even call themselves Pro-Abortionists- as if the word abortion is dirty. This is a victory for the Gyno-Nazis. By using the euphemism Pro-Choice they have wimped out. What are they Pro-Choice about? Free Linoleum for all? No. Abortion. Say the word & say the term Pro-Abortion with pride. YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT. All of time & human history proves that those with the more Liberal & Progressive agendas win in the end. In 30 years, when the Anti-Abs are a relict of the last century, how will future Progressives & Libertarians judge those who had to fight if they could not even vocalize their beliefs? That said- I am Pro-Abortion, not just Pro-Choice- we need less people in this world. 2ndly, Pro-Abortionists must be on the offensive, not simply reactionary to the vile tactics of the Gyno-Nazis. A fetus is not a human being because it’s a non-autonomus being, totally dependent on its mother. Most Pro-Choicers wimp out & say a fetus is not a human being because of (mumble, mumble, mumble….). STOP IT! What’ll happen in a couple of decades when all pregnancies can (for a cost), for their full 9 months of gestation, be done without a body- i.e.- be done in a laboratory? You will need a SPECIFIC reason(s) to be Pro-Abortion. Reason 1 was the aforementioned autonomy argument. Reason 2 is that every human being has an absolute right to determine whether or not his/her genes get passed on- or not. Point #3- as part of pre-emption Pro-Abs should point out over & again the intimate connections the Anti-Ab movement has with both the scurrilous pedophilic Roman Catholic Church, &- even more chillingly- with White Supremacist/Neo-Nazi movements who believe abortion is a plot to genocidally wipe out the GREAT WHITE RACE! In short, these are not peaceful, smiling old Grannies, but KKKers a generation or 2 removed. & a 4th & final point to consider is this: deep down, in the very core of the Republican Party, there’s not a politician who truly wants Roe vs. Wade overturned. Huh?, you say. That’s right- real Conservatives, & their more reasonable counterparts, are just throwing a bone to the fanatical Christian Rightists, so that their support remains intact. But why? Because the real Republican power brokers know that the day that Roe vs. Wade is overturned will mark the beginning of the end for the modern Republican Party as we know it. The backlash from Liberals & feminists, not to mention moderate Republican women who would leave the GOP in droves, would be a Death Blow the Republicans could not recover from. It would be the 1968 Democratic Convention x 100 on the political self-immolation scale. It would not only doom the Republicans, but unleash a firestorm that would spell the end of the Conservative movement. The GOP would fracture into at least a ½ dozen smaller parties which would be a cacophony of permanently minority voices which would make the diversity of the modern Democratic Party seem harmonious by comparison. These are the realities. The future is far brighter, despite the recent Supreme Court ruling which overturned the application of RICO laws to the criminal Anti-Abs, than Pro-Abs realize. In a few decades people will be wondering what all the BS was about- just as people today wonder what all the BS about Civil Rights was about. After all- it seems so manifest, in retrospect, that only a true psychotic could deny its truth; almost as manifest as a young teenager’s seeing an actual human fetus in formaldehyde & realizing he’s never run into someone like that on the street. Thanks, Mr. Wallenfels!
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