We need to take a lesson to prevent needless tragedy -- a specific needless tragedy that the abortion advocacy movement desperately needs to regain momentum.
It's important to note up front that it is not the average pro-choice citizen who is gearing up to create and exploit a tragedy. It's Big Abortion -- an unholy alliance of population control zealots, abortion practitioners, eugenicists, and Sandra Fluke-style feminists. Make no mistake about it. They are putting the pieces in place, and average prochoice citizens are being primed to play their part in protecting Big Abortion's interests under the guise of protecting women.
Big Abortion is losing traction. The main thing they need to regain momentum is a corpse. If you think they're not gearing up to produce one, think again. We only need to look back to 1976.
Lessons From the Past
In 1976, the Hyde Amendment went into effect, banning the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions except to save the mother from an immediate threat to her life. The measure was named for its author, Congressman Henry Hyde. Abortion advocates had been keening from the moment the Hyde Amendment was up for vote. They painted a ghastly picture of coathanger-impaled women littering the streets as poor women were driven to desperation by lack of "access," just as today abortion enthusiasts are keening about what will happen if we start actually holding abortion clinics up to standards more rigorous than what you see in a bus station men's room.
When the Hyde Amendment went into effect, abortion advocates ramped up the hysteria and waited for a death, any death, they could hang around Henry Hyde's neck.On October 3, 1977, the Big Abortion vultures got what they'd been waiting for: a dead woman they could use as leverage in the fight to once again force taxpayers to fund elective abortions.
On September 26, 1977, 27-year-old Rosie Jimenez had shown up at the emergency room of McAllen General Hospital in the Texas border town of McAllen, suffering from septic shock caused by an infection from an illegal abortion. She was put in intensive care, but died on October 3.
The initial response of the abortion lobby to news of Rosie's death was little short of euphoric. They had their trophy, their dead woman whose face they could hide behind in order to push for the restoration of tax money flowing into abortion clinics.
An Unexpected Investigation
One voice stood out from the crowd: Ellen Frankfort, author of Rosie: the investigation of a wrongful death. Ms. Frankfort was disgusted with the bulk of the prochoice movement, who seemed content to pounce on Rosie's death and then milk it for political gain. She began an investigation into what had led Rosie to her death, and she found a lot that neither the Centers for Disease Control nor abortion advocacy organizations had been willing to look for, since all they'd wanted was political leverage. Unlike Ellen Frankfort, they weren't looking for the real culprit behind Rosie's death: they'd had a bogeyman in mind even before she'd died, in the form of Henry Hyde.
Off to McAllen Ms. Frankfort went, to learn all she could. She learned:
- Rosie had already undergone two abortions at taxpayer expense. (Hence, she had no idea what an abortion would actually cost, and had been taught that it was the government's job, not hers or her lover's, to keep her uterus empty.)
- (Thanks to the efforts of the abortion lobby) Rosie's friends and relatives knew that there were no more free abortions, and told her so.
- Her regular doctor abandoned her; he simply told her there were no more free abortions, without referring her for any help (either for a sliding-scale abortion or help with addressing her life issues that made her feel like abortion was her only choice).
- Rosie's cousin brought her to a lay midwife in McAllen who charged $120 to perform an abortion using a catheter, a procedure once used by doctors but since abandoned because of infection risk.
- The sliding-scale abortions (that Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates pointedly failed to raise awareness about) cost $130 -- only $10 more than the illegal abortion. (This is something Rosie probably would have known if not for the fact that the government, not Rosie herself, paid for the previous two abortions.)
- The day before her abortion, Rosie had spent $8 on a cake for a friend's baby shower. She had a scholarship check for $800 in her purse. (Rosie could have afforded a legal abortion; she just evidently was never told that such an option was available.)
- Rosie, predictably, took ill, waited to go to the hospital until she was moribund, and in spite of heroic efforts by the doctors there she died.
The doctors reported the death to the CDC. The CDC notified their allies in the abortion lobby. Rosie's death was quickly trumpeted nationwide as proof that Henry Hyde was a murderer and that taxpayers should immediately resume funding elective abortions to prevent another such death.
It is worth reiterating, when we look at Rosie's death, that prochoice groups had been very successful in spreading the word that public funding for abortion had been cut -- Rosie's friend and cousin, as well as her physician, were well aware of this fact -- but they had pointedly failed to also pass out the word that Planned Parenthood still referred for abortions on a sliding scale, and that private funds were available. It's almost as if the public-relations departments of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-advocacy groups had deliberately increased the odds of a tragedy like Rosie's death in order to provide the corpses needed in order to prop up a drive to restore tax monies to abortion facilities.
Lessons for Today
Let's start with what we know:
- As long as people perpetrate abortions, there will be a certain number of women who die as a result of those abortions.
- If the woman dies from a "safe" legal abortion (Jennifer McKenna-Morbelli, Christin Gilbert), the abortion rights machine will minimize the death and wait for any bad press to blow over.
- If the woman dies from a quacktastic legal abortion (Karnamaya Mongar, Carolina Gutierrez), the abortion rights machine will do the convoluted routine of "It's all the antichoicers' fault because they regulate and inspect abortion clinics and won't give them money."
- If the woman dies from a politically useless illegal abortion (Daisy Roe, Kris Humphrey), the abortion machine will ignore it.
- If the woman dies from a nice gory "back alley" style illegal abortion, the full-blown, aggressive Blame Game will begin in earnest. It will be Rosie Jimenez all over again but with the aid of social media.
We are close to achieving the first state with no dedicated abortion facility. The first woman that an abortionist kills in that state will become a martyr to the abortion cause in a way we haven't seen since Ms. published the crime scene photo of Geri Santoro in 1973. But it's not 1973 any more.
In 1973, it was hard to muster a groundswell of fear and outrage because after all Geri had been dead for nearly a decade and Roe vs. Wade had just supposedly put an end forever to women's gruesome abortion deaths. (Except, of course, that it didn't, but it did put an end to prochoice outrage over women's gruesome abortion deaths.)
Abortion rights groups, from the local NOW chapter to the International Planned Parenthood Federation already have established relationships with the mainstream news organizations. The new martyr that the abortion machine creates will become the focus of a campaign that will have all the fury and media hype that Big Abortion can muster. The result will be a well-coordinated assault that will make D-Day look like it was thrown together haphazardly and indifferently.
We also need to remember that Big Abortion will find out about the dead woman long before we will. They have connections in public health agencies that we simply don't, because they began planting them there back when Planned Parenthood was still calling itself the Birth Control League. Those connections will give them adequate lead time before allowing the story to break. Public health officials will not be neutral sources of information -- though of course they will pretend to be. They will be a key part of the orchestrated media blitz, just as the Centers for Disease Control was a key player in the media campaign when Rosie Jimenez died. The specifics of which woman they manage to get killed, and under what specific circumstances, will be well known to them but will blindside us and leave us playing catch-up to find out what really happened.
Look at the traction they're gaining in Ireland from the death of a woman who was not promptly given antibiotics during a miscarriage. It took a wild stretch of the imagination to blame that woman's death on lack of "safe and legal abortion," but that hasn't stopped the abortion machine and its media lackeys. Ireland is poised to come under the control of Big Abortion. Can you imagine what they'll accomplish with a death they have actually engineered and prepared for?
I don't have all the answers, but I have a good starting point: The prolife movement already has everything in place necessary to prevent there from ever being another abortion death. We have pregnancy help centers. No woman needs to be without friends, help, and hope. The abortion machine has recently launched another assault on those who dare to stand in their way. Exposing this effort for what it is -- a way to fatten abortionists' purses and give more power to the abortion lobby -- needs to be a key part of our strategy to prevent Big Abortion from creating and exploiting another Rosie Jimenez.