Okay, so maybe I’m a little past my child-bearing years – but even so, I care more deeply than ever about a woman’s right to choose, womens’ access, nationally, to safe and affordable abortions, the need for good, solid, accurate information about our health in general and abortions in particular, comprehensive sexual education in our kids’ early years . . . you know, all that pesky lady-sexy-liberal’ish stuff Republicans are salivating to get rid of.
Abortions . . . well, the anti-choice industry has learned that deception and lies and astonishingly misleading medical information about abortions (abortions cause breast cancer! you’ll never bear children again! you’ll grow hair on your palms!) works just as well as the truth. They’ve even passed laws, in some states, shielding doctors from malpractice for offering misinformation to prevent abortions. So, given all the putrid missives foes of choice disseminate so widely, I was heartened by recent legislation, proposed by Democratic Senators Robert Menendez (NJ), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), and Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY), that might just have an impact on the deception inherent in the anti-choice industry. These three Congresspersons have reintroduced the “Stop Deceptive Advertising For Women’s Services Act” – and, if this law were to pass, facilities that pretend to offer abortions, but which are actually front organizations for rabid anti-abortion folks who “counsel” women about the horrors of abortion and offer no accurate medical information whatsoever, could be, finally, held accountable (what a concept) “for any deceptive marketing tactics that falsely advertise abortion services they don’t actually provide. The measure encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on the facilities that falsely advertise abortion services that don’t actually exist, while the organizations that are already accurately depicting their services wouldn’t be penalized.”
Where do I sign?
Just for kicks and giggles, I Googled, “I want an abortion.” One of the top sites that came up was teenbreaks.com, a site that – on the surface, anyway – appeared to offer a hip and jolly opportunity to get the skinny on abortions. I clicked on the tab, “Girls Who Aborted” – and imagine my surprise when every single personal story was that of a young girl either bemoaning her abortion (and being suddenly lit up with joy at the “motherhood at 16″ thing) or realizing, pre-abortion, that she would be much, much happier just carrying the little critter to term.
Asks one former abortion doctor, who claims to have performed, 75,000 abortions, “How did I change from prominent abortionist to pro-life advocate?” Another abortion mill doc allegedly hung up her abortion meathooks and instead began to tread the pro-life path; she was horrified, it seems, with the medical disasters which invariably accompanied abortions (which would only happen if she were a really, really bad doctor along the lines of Kermit Gosnell). Then there’s the heartstring-pulling section called, “Abortion Survivors” – the ones who weren’t suctioned into a sink full of swirling water, but instead lived to become the cherished offspring of, well, somebody.
One such site was all I could stomach; I quit buying bullshit after my first divorce. But one site was all it took to convince me that “truth in advertising” is essential for anyone in the abortion industry (either pro or con). A young woman emotionally overwrought by the decision-making attendant to an unwanted pregnancy isn’t in any mental place to sort out truth from lie. The fact that the anti-choice industry firmly believes that lies are the only things that will sell what they’re peddling tells you quite a bit about what, exactly, they’re peddling.
Good luck with the “truth” bill, Congresspeople. Yes, Republicans will beat it back with a steel-spiked club – but that doesn’t mean it’s any less admirable to at least give it the old college try.