Debunking Rolling Stone’s “Seven most common lies about abortion” (part one)
Rolling Stone’s Lauren Rankin recently wrote about “outright lies told by abortion opponents.” She claimed the goal of these “lies” is to “dissuade women out of seeking safe and legal abortion care.”
But just because something is “legal” does not make it wrong to convince someone not to do it. In Kenya, rape is widespread and treated as culturally legal. Would it be wrong to convince men to stop raping women?
Whenever an action violates basic, human rights, anyone can – and should – attempt to persuade people not to participate. Abortion violates the most basic human right – the right to live and remain alive without suffering cruel and undeserved harm. Civilized people should persuade others against abortion.
Abortion is neither “safe” nor “care.” When one human being walks out of an appointment dead, and often torn to pieces, it’s hardly safe. When the other human being is all too often forced, pressured, and physically harmed, it’s hardly care. Abortion cannot be our standard of safe care for women and babies.
Let’s take a look at Rolling Stone’s seven “outright lies”:
1. Abortion causes breast cancer.
Rankin cites 2003 and 2009 studies, claiming that there is no causal relationship between induced abortion (IA) and breast cancer. However, there are separate studies – released in 2013 – that demonstrate a close link between abortion and breast cancer. As Barbara Kay writes for National Post:
“The researchers from the Tianjiin Medical University Cancer Hospital point to China’s one-child program, which has seen 336 million babies aborted since the 1980s, as the culprit. Their findings…pegged one IA to a 44% rise in risk of breast cancer, two IAs to 76% and three to 89%. …
“A study in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine in May found a six-fold greater risk of breast cancer among Indian women with a history of IA as compared to non-aborting women.”
Kay notes that the governments of China and India are supportive of abortion: such research is embarrassing to them. The countries have no reason to release such research if it were not indeed true.
2. Abortion causes infertility.
Rankin’s own link to the Mayo Clinic disputes her claim. Read what the Mayo Clinic actually says, and you can see for yourself that abortion can, at times, cause serious pregnancy complications as well as possible infertility.
Pro-lifers aren’t claiming that every woman who has an abortion will be infertile. Instead, we believe in letting women know the facts. Abortion does carry the risk of future serious complications (some of which risk the mother’s life) and possible infertility.
Additionally, it’s rather disingenuous for Rankin to call the Guttmacher Institute a “nonpartisan organization,” seeing as it was founded by a former Planned Parenthood President and a former Vice President of the American Eugenics Society, Alan F. Guttmacher.
But even Planned Parenthood admits that abortion can result in infertility:
“Infections can occur from an abortion,” PPE writes. “At worst the infection can become a case of endometriosis (the pelvic area becomes inflamed) and the uterus has to be removed surgically.
3. Most women regret having an abortion.
There are a number of problems with Rankin’s claims in this section. First, the study she cites is a Guttmacher Institute study (bias noted above). Second, the study was conducted on women one week after they had an abortion (or were denied an abortion). Third, even the Guttmacher Institute’s summary of the study is more honest than Rankin’s. Guttmacher admits that many women have “mixed emotions” and that women can experience regret and relief at the same time.
Admittedly, it’s very hard to measure what “most” women feel after having an abortion. “Most” is often a subjective measurement. However, take this iReport by CNN, in which they asked their readers whether they had had an abortion and how they felt about it. The majority of women wrote in with stories of deep grief and regret. Here are additional stories [www.teenbreaks.com/abortion/girlswhoaborted.cfm?start=35] from teens demonstrating regret after abortion.
Most major events in life require much more time than one singular week to accurately gauge a person’s feelings about it. It’s easy to immediately feel relief when any “problem” is “solved.” But when time passes, true feelings set in – especially when people realize they may have been lied to, that they were given inaccurate information that led to their decision, or when they realize that there were other valid options they were not encouraged to explore – options that wouldn’t have included the permanent, irreversible death of their own child.
Look for part two on Live Action News in the coming days.
Editor’s note. Kristi Burton Brown is a pro-life attorney, volunteering for Life Legal Defense Foundation and also as an allied attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom. This appeared at liveactionnews.org.