Enough Is Enough, Mr. Trump: You Must Be Pro-Woman to Be Pro-Life

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

This piece was co-authored by Bob Morrison.

Is it possible to be pro-life without being pro-woman? The answer to that question may help pro-life Americans sort out the GOP field. After all, nearly all of the Republican candidates have endorsed the two cardinal priorities of the pro-life movement today: supporting a national limit on abortions late in pregnancy and ending public funding for Planned Parenthood. But check-the-box assessments of the candidates carry an inherent danger – overlooking the plain and obvious.

Here is one thing that is plain and obvious to us: Donald Trump can lay no claim to being pro-woman.

Let’s stipulate right off that Mr. Trump is an egalitarian when it comes to insulting his rivals. Both Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina have felt the sting of his ugliness about their personal appeal. Having said that, his cruel and vulgar taunts about women are especially telling in a way that pro-life Americans should instantly “get.”

The pro-life movement today is characterized by women leaders. Two years ago, the House debate over the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was led, beginning to end, by women members of Congress. Their presence and eloquence sharpened the debate, stifled the liberal feminists’ gender-based rhetoric, demonstrated true compassion, and carried the day.

For groups like the Susan B. Anthony List, the House debate was a watershed. It did not mean that men were demoted in the fight. Far from it. The recovery by men of their sense of responsibility for the tiny lives they help to create is crucial to turning the page on the radical ruling in Roe v. Continue Reading

Is Abortion Safer than Childbirth?

A Planned Parenthood facility in St. Paul, MN (photo credit: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

You have probably heard the phrase, “abortion is safer than childbirth,” just as you have probably heard late-term abortions are “rare” and performed only for serious medical reasons.  But that’s only because the media repeats these authoritative-sounding clichés so often, not because they “emerge from the data,” as scientists like to say.

How safe is legal abortion?  How rare are late-term abortions?  The honest answer is: we don’t know.  Almost 50 years after Roe v. Wade, we still haven’t bothered to create an abortion reporting system that gives us the data to answer those questions. As leading attorney Clarke Forsythe and University of North Carolina OB-GYN John Thorp, M.D., thoroughly write in their recent op-ed, “[N]umerous, long-standing problems at the state and federal level illustrate that the abortion data collection and reporting system in the United States is haphazard and dysfunctional.”

Most births take place in hospitals, and complications from childbirth for mother and child therefore are well-documented.  Most abortions take place at freestanding clinics that have little incentive to collect and report data on problems or complications.  Abortion clinics also often receive odd political protection from ordinary health regulation and oversight.  When women develop complications, abortion clinics tell them to go to the emergency room, because abortion clinics don’t really have much in the way of healthcare resources to offer. Whether the health complication gets reported as a consequence of abortion or miscarriage or something else depends on what the hospital is told and chooses to record. Continue Reading