Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Achieving Peace, End of Chapter 5

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. For the past two days we've been discussing Chapter 5, When Ideas Don't Fit. We'll look at more of this chapter today.
Deliberately keeping information from someone is in direct contradiction with the doctrine of helping women to take control of their lives. Raising consciousness is a technique that, among other things, helps to locate, and thereby helps to eradicate, any self-destructive behavior.

Dr. McNair then contrasts the concept of consciousness-raising and empowerment with points raised in pro-choice writings. First she quotes abortion nurse Sallie Tisdale:
I describe the procedure to come, using care with my language. . . . It is when I am holding a plastic uterus in one hand, a suction tube in the other, moving them together in imitation of the scrubbing to come, that women ask the most secret question. I am speaking in a matter-of-fact voice about "the tissue" and "the contents" when the woman suddenly catches my eye and asks, "How big is the baby now?" These words suggest a quiet need for a definition of the boundaries being drawn. It isn't so odd, after all, that she feels relief when I describe the growing bud's bulbous shape, its miniature nature. Again I gauge, and sometimes lie a little, weaseling around its infantile features until its clinging power slackens.

Here, Tisdale openly admits to "dumbing down" information about the embryo or fetus in order to protect the women and keep them ignorant of what it is that they are about to do. A Toronto abortionist, at a National Abortion Federation session, admits to hiding the ultrasound screen from the patient. Warren Hern, in Abortion Practice, writes, "[M]ost professionals in the field feel that it is not advisable for patients to view the products of conception, to be told the sex of the fetus, or to be informed of a multiple pregnancy."

McNair continues also quotes former abortion worker Luhra Tivis, about George Tiller's notorious late-term abortion facility in Wichita:
"I was required to falsify the medical records. But not just that, related to that, I was required to lie to the women over the phone. And the way he'd explain it to me was, without coming right out and saying it, these are really third trimester abortions, but we're going to tell them they're only in the second trimester. They would say, well, I've already had a sonogram, and my bpd was 7.8 or 8.3 or whatever. He said, when they tell you that, don't turn them away as being too far along. Tell them to come in, and we'll do our own sonogram, and it will show they're not that far along. Tell them that sonogram reading is an art, not a science. He explained to me that the bpd is a measurement of the angle of the baby's head, where at that angle, the baby's head is roughly egg-shaped. The usual way that you measure the bpd is from the top of the egg to the bottom of the egg, which is at the widest point. But we measure it from side to side, at the narrowest point."

It's hard to reconcile these behaviors within the abortion clinic itself with the slogans such as "Trust Women."

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