The flesh and blood, of course, belongs to the children that these "doulas" are assisting into the specimen container in ragged shreds, but this fact seems to be lost on the author.
The most disturbing aspect of the whole thing is the degree to which these activists have embraced abortion not so much for as in spite of the women that they purport to help.
I find the whole thing hard to stomach, starting with the photo of the two smiling young "doulas" who find it just as satisfying to help a demoralized woman kill a baby as to help a joyous woman deliver a baby. Also creepy is the fact that the "doula" class reportedly includes some pediatricians. It's like finding out that a dogfighting ring is run by a bunch of volunteers from the Humane Society.
The world of the "abortion doula" is one where abortion is embraced and women are trivialized.
“We often ask patients their star-sign,” Ms. Mitchell told The Observer in an interview after the class let out. .... “When a patient is nervous or anxious, telling them a little about their sign can take their mind off the abortion—everyone loves to hear about themselves.”The focus on small talk, on keeping the woman's mind off of what's happening, speaks of a profound disrespect. The woman isn't getting a splinter removed. She's doing something that is ending a life and changing forever who she is. But it's so much easier to just tell her her horoscope. (If I were clever enough, I'd note something pithy about the "horrorscope" through which the woman will view this day for the rest of her life.)
"Doula" Rebecca Stanton recalled parents who brought their 13-year-old honor-student daughter to New York for a 21-week abortion.
“The girl was very quiet,” Ms. Stanton recalled. “I am not even sure if she knew she was having sex. She was overweight, and her family didn’t find out she was pregnant until she was 21 weeks along.”I'm not noticing any concern about whether or not the girl was the one choosing this abortion, or whether her parents had chosen it so they didn't have to be embarrassed that the subject of their bumper sticker had gotten knocked up. There is no concern on the "doula's" part about why the girl was so quiet or why she had kept her pregnancy a secret. Was it to prevent being dragged off for an abortion? The "doula" neither knows nor cares.
Equally absent is any concern about how a 13-year-old girl ended up pregnant. Was the baby's father a peer? A teacher or coach or other adult that needed to be arrested? Or -- God forbid -- the father who was so eager to sweep his grandchild away? Again, the "doula" neither knows nor cares.
During the doula training, one instructor explained how to help clients who don’t speak English. She sucked in her breath, and moved her arms encouragingly. “I try to mime how to breathe, like an owl: ‘who, who.’ At first they think you are crazy, but they realize you are trying to help.I'm not reading any concern about whether or not these women have gotten counseling and informed consent in a language they understand. If they need to have a total stranger as a hand-holder, odds are they don't have anybody who has been translating for them except perhaps a clinic worker, who has a vested financial interest in the situation. Just like the quiet 13-year-old honor student, their actual hopes and dreams and beliefs aren't relevant. The abortion itself, not the woman, is the focus.
It gets worse:
Ms. Mitchell estimated that doulas see about 15–20 later term abortions a week, and about 75 first trimesters. .... She handed out flash cards with real-life situations. The first read: “A woman tells you, ‘I just killed my baby.’ How do you respond?” The students broke into groups to discuss the question. Many came up with a similar answer: Explain that the procedure is legal because the fetus is not a baby, it just has the potential to be one.In other words, totally stomp down the woman's own feelings, beliefs, and thoughts and replace them with your own. Is anybody seeing a pattern here?
In an interview with The Observer, [Mitchell] joked that she sometimes wants to automatically reject the abortion doula applications of pro-choice activists, because it’s so hard to go from pro-choice rhetoric to supporting real people who don’t necessarily find their abortions empowering.And rather than try to understand where those women are coming from -- and daring to question whether or not this non-empowering abortion really is what the women wants or needs -- the "abortion doula" movement seeks to train its members in how to ignore the issue, just as it needs for them to ignore what's coming up next.
“Those pictures pro-life activists flash are real,” Ms. Mahoney said. “That is what a fetus looks like when its head is crushed. When you see the procedure, you must decide, as a pro-choice person, whether you are in or out.”So Mahoney is admitting that being close to abortion -- to women who cry that they've killed their babies, to women who feel trapped and not empowered, to the crushed remains of what you've just insisted isn't a baby but sure looks like one -- isn't very conducive to being cheerfully pro-choice. (She's not the only one to observe this.)
The very next sentence raises the creepy quotient:
She’s thought about it a lot. “I have never been more in,” she said.Seeing how un-empowered the women are, listening to them cry about their dead children, and seeing the mangled bodies makes Mahoney even more devoted to the cause. Which raises the question, "Why?" It's a question she doesn't really answer. What is it about abortion that so engages her?
The "abortion doulas" -- who, let me reiterate, immerse themselves in abortion to the point where they deliberately teach themselves to tune out not only the destruction of the baby, but the qualms and despair and anguish of the mother -- then turn the discussion to strategies for "access" if abortions become criminalized or harder to arrange outside New York. One plan is to use insurance fraud.
At many public hospitals in New York, abortion is on a sliding-fee scale like any other surgery. With proof of residence and a low income, a patient can be treated for around $150, payable over time. “Find a friend in New York City, get an address and mail yourself something, go to New York the next week and get your abortion fee scaled,” one pro-choice advocate suggested.Good luck to the taxpayers of New York trying to collect the $150 "payable over time" from somebody who has provided a false address and lives out-of-state.
These "abortion doulas" have entered a state of thrall, where abortion is the master, they are the servants, and the women they're ostensibly there to help are merely the means by which the master is served.
And even if you consider yourself pro-choice, that ought to be a pretty disturbing thing.