Unsafe access: What’s really at stake in Texas’ abortion battle
In the chaos that is the fight over the abortion bill in Texas, it’s difficult to see the real story behind the circus of filibusters, “mob rule,” and Satan-hailing. But I recently had the privilege of speaking to someone who has been on both sides of the argument.
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director and now a pro-life advocate who testified during the Texas Senate hearings this week on the abortion bill, claims the ban on late-term abortions is not the most disputed portion of the bill.
“What’s being highly contested by abortion supporters in this bill is not really the 20-week ban,” she said. “It’s the requirement that all abortion facilities be ambulatory surgical centers, which would require either they be compliant of these regulations by abortion centers or they would be closing down.”
Opponents are calling the new restrictions “draconian” and “aggressive.” But supporters maintain it’s all in the name of safety.
Johnson explained only five out of Texas’s 42 existing abortion centers would meet the new standards. The others would be shut down by September 1, 2014 if they did not comply with the new regulations.
After the revelations about the horrors committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell, one might think women’s rights advocates would be demanding heavy regulations to reform clinics and ensure the safety of women who choose to abort their pregnancies. Instead they are sacrificing safety for ease of access.
“The abortion lobby has said they want abortion to be safe, legal and rare,” Johnson told me. “But clearly we see that they’ve dropped the safe part and the rare part because they are trying to increase abortion.”
There is no question the abortion industry is big business. According to Planned Parenthood, the organization performed a record 333,964 abortions in FY 2012, pushing the organization’s three-year abortion total to just shy of one million. Planned Parenthood received an astonishing $542 million in taxpayer funds last year, accounting for 45 percent of its total operating budget.
Johnson told me that during her time with Planned Parenthood, staffers were given abortion quotas to meet. Workers could easily influence vulnerable women into choosing an abortion, not necessarily for the benefit of the woman, but to meet the monthly quotas set by management.
Johnson also described seeing a 13-week-old fetus fighting for its life before ultimately losing its battle while she was assisting with an ultrasound-guided abortion. That was when she chose to leave Planned Parenthood. The organization sued Abby in an effort to make an example of her, but the lawsuit was eventually thrown out of court.
It’s difficult to understand why those who claim to care about protecting women are willing to sacrifice safety for convenience. Maybe it’s about money. It’s certainly not about safety.
Donlyn Turnbull is a conservative blogger and the host of The Donlyn Show on FTR Radio. You can visit her work at DonlynTurnbull.com