Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why check facts when you can pass along lies?

Patty Fisher of the Mercury News actually has the unmitigated gall to drag the fictitious Becky Bell "abortion" into the fray over "Sarah's Law.

This is something I couldn't just let slide.

Dear Ms. Fisher:

In your piece, "Anti-abortion ballot measure still bad idea", you urge readers to pass on the tale of "The Indiana girl who died from an illegal abortion because she was afraid to tell her parents." This is an ironic suggestion, since it seems the main bone you have to pick with "Sarah's Law" is that the law's proponents made what you consider a poor choice of girls to use as an example. But you counter with the example of a girl who never even underwent an induced abortion in the first place. A double standard, perhaps?

That "Indiana girl" was Becky Bell. Becky died from the same strain of pneumonia that killed Muppets creator Jim Henson. She was still pregnant, carrying fliers from homes for unwed mothers in her purse, when her parents brought her to the hospital. She miscarried. Her parents saw the word "abortion" on her autopsy report and became confused. Nobody in the abortion lobby bothered to tell them that "abortion" is the medical term for a miscarriage. The abortion lobby took an abortion that never even happened and used it as leverage to defeat parental involvement laws.

And you want people to continue the subterfuge.

Jammie Garcia, on the other hand, did really die from an abortion done behind her parents' back. She died such a hideous death that I cried when I read her autopsy report.

I also cried when I read about how Dawn Ravenelle's mother got the call from the hospital because 13-year-old Dawn was "fighting for her life". With the help of school counselors and a relative of the boy who got her pregnant, Dawn had undergone a secret abortion. Her mother said later, "I was going, 'How can she be fighting for her life? She left for school this morning, looking healthy, never been sick.' While I was there at the hospital -- they were doing tests -- I had to keep my hand pressed over my mouth to keep from screaming in horror. I kept going, 'This is all a bad dream. I am going to wake up and this will not have happened.'" Of course, it did happen. Dawn's parents spent weeks at her bedside, talking to her, playing gospel songs she'd sung in the choir to her, praying. She never woke up. But her death is considered beneath your notice.

How about the shock 15-year-old Tamiia Russell's mom got when her daughter confessed that she had been brought for an abortion by her abuser's girlfriend? Tamiia had been so far advanced in her pregnancy that several other Detroit abortion clinics had turned her away -- one even offering prenatal vitamins. But the abuser's sister persisted, the abortion was arranged. And Tamiia hemorrhaged and died. Another dead teenager beneath your notice.

Attack "Sarah's Law" on its merits or lack thereof, if you will. Or rather, if you can. Which you can't, or you'd not be reduced to dragging up a 20-year-old lie and trying to breathe new life into it.

Christina Dunigan


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