Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rich and poor, black and white, the end was the same

Today's abortion victims couldn't have been more different. One was white, the daughter of privilege, a globe-trotting society girl who had eloped after a whirlwind romance. The other was Black, studying hard at a community college. One died from a "brutal and inept" abortion at the hands of a perpetrator who was never identified. The other went for her abortion to a facility held in the highest regard by those who champion abortion -- safe, easily accessible abortion -- as an absolute and non-negotiable right.

What both these young women had in common was the belief that a secret abortion was a good idea.

One would expect that the rich woman would enjoy the services of a high-end practitioner, and that the financially-strapped student would be scraping the bottom of the barrel. But that's not how life played out. It was the wealthy heiress, Florence Nimick Schnoor, who was the victim of a criminal quack. Her less privileged sister, Edrica Goode, went to a reputable facility.

We will never know why Florence, who could have afforded the best quality medical care in the world, went to an unnamed butcher in New York City. But we can guess why Edrica stepped confidently into a Planned Parenthood. All she would have had to do was buy into popular belief, and to trust that the Beautiful People, people like Scarlet Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow, would never lend their names to a den of quackery where a woman need fear for her life.

Aside from their belief that abortion was a solution to life's problems, Florence and Edrica share one more thing: Neither one will ever be featured on the National Organization for Women's web site lamenting needless abortion deaths. Their deaths just don't fit the narrative.

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