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In what my husband, at least, regards as a masochistic quest to understand the phenomenon of abortion in America, I watched yet another documentary, this one entitled “Hush.” In it, a pro-choice director, Punam Kumar Gill, investigate the question of whether the health effects of abortion on the women who have them are being generally, even systematically distorted or concealed.
The short answer, it seems, is yes. The supposedly debunked link between abortion and breast cancer hasn’t been debunked at all. And there are excellent reasons to believe that abortion rates explain why our neonatal intensive care units are full of wanted infants delivered too soon. There are also (duh) clear links between abortion and increased vulnerability to mental illness in women. Why aren’t women warned about these risks?
It can’t just be that the data is inconclusive. There are many dangers that are unproven — mere correlation, not proven causality — that we are given urgent warnings about, and told we must make adjustments or even significant sacrifices to protect ourselves from even remote risks. Don’t use plastic in the microwave! Discard your kitchen sponge! Coat your entire body with SPF 50 every day! And, of course, don’t smoke or drink, and for God’s sake, lose some weight and take a walk!
As Gill, to her credit, repeatedly makes clear, “choice” is meaningless unless it is a truly informed choice. If breast cancer, depression or premature deliveries are part of a woman’s family medical history, for example, the possibility that abortion would increase those risks could (and even should) tip the balance in favor of her choosing to continue the pregnancy, for her own sake (if not for the sake of the baby). Given what the data shows, even if it cannot be called “settled science” the way, say, the melting of the polar ice caps can, wouldn’t any responsible doctor want to take a medical history that reveals these risk factors, and introduce them into the cost-benefit analysis that pre-abortion counseling of panicked (if no less “trustworthy”) pregnant women presumably entails?
And surely any truly comprehensive sex education program should include information about these risks, even if they aren’t proven 100 percent, if the aim is to empower young people to make good, healthy decisions about their bodies and lives? My denomination will happily frighten its youth into believing that the sight of a deer in the backyard is a harbinger of doom; wouldn’t you imagine they’d be willing to say “oh, and by the way … it is possible that having an abortion increases your risk of breast cancer, depression, and premature birth?”
Gill is an honest storyteller, and she really does go where the facts lead her. That’s impressive. To her great credit, she documents exactly how strenuously the scientific establishment protects abortion from inconvenient truths; she does not spend as much time as she might on the question of why this is happening.
She primarily ascribes it to the anxiety pro-choice advocates and abortion providers feel over the imminent threat Pro-Lifers pose to a woman’s right to choose.
And indeed, “protecting choice from those religious nutters” is probably the motivation when it comes to physicians, journalists, public health advocates, state regulators and other groups that are not directly concerned with abortion, and yet nonetheless are found helping to maintain the manifold deceptions that the abortion industry demands — e.g., parroting the line that late-term abortion is rare and only used when the mother’s life or health is endangered or the baby is catastrophically deformed.
Because everyone would prefer to believe this to be the case, Americans, in general, go along with it too. Invited not to think too much about the grubby details, we … don’t. Then we dress in pink, join in those “Awareness” 5k fun runs, and encourage our friends and relations to have mammograms and donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation.
However, to put it mildly, this culture of defensive deception is putting the lives of women (as well as babies) in jeopardy.