Ribald rhetoric

Commentary by Judie Brown, American Life League president

If there's anything the pro-abortion crowd is especially adept with, it's the subtle use of words — shades of meaning, nuanced turns, linguistic sleight-of-hand. If, for instance, I described their rhetoric as "ribald," you might think one thing. But in actuality, I'm disguising the true meaning of my critique to prove a point. When I say they employ ribald rhetoric, I'm aligning the word with the synonyms suggested in my thesaurus: abhorrent, disgusting and atrocious. That's probably not what you imagined when you read the title of this commentary.

The pronouncements of these culture of death architects are indeed abhorrent, disgusting, atrocious — and deceptive. But every now and then they slip up and raise the level of their rhetoric to such hyperbolic heights that it's clear there's more going on than meets the ear. Such was the case recently when Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, weighed in on proposed parental notice legislation:

"Senator [Tom] Coburn (R-Okla.), Senator [Rick] Santorum (R-Pa.) and the other anti-birth control zealots behind this bill are determined to impose their values on others, even if it means more unintended pregnancies and an increased need for abortions. They know their opinions are unpopular with Americans, so they are trying to endanger the health of young people to score points with the radical right."

What is this allegedly vile, dastardly proposal that threatens the health of the youth of America? It's the Parents Right to Know Act. It would require recipients of Title X funding to notify parents and give them three days to respond before a birth control prescription (or birth control itself) may be given to their adolescent child. Frankly, I cannot fathom why any parents would want to make sure their children were on any kind of birth control, but that's another topic.

The bill Keenan targets with her venom is actually a rehash of an old idea. It would require Title X ("family planning") clinics to end the secrecy and involve the parents of a minor before anything is done. This is necessary for many reasons, including the fact that a minor could have a physical condition which would be aggravated if the pill were taken. The adolescent might also be the victim of rape or incest, and there is no way for a parent to discern this problem if he or she is kept in the dark.

This bill does not block adolescents from receiving the pill, the IUD or other forms of birth control; it merely imposes restrictions on those entities that currently receive taxpayer dollars under Title X. The bill is rather narrowly drawn, and certainly not the draconian danger Keenan wishes everyone to see.

Senator Coburn, whom Keenan labels an "anti-birth control zealot," is a physician. He said he backs this proposal because parents need to be in charge of their adolescent daughters. He told CNS News, "As a practicing physician, I am required to receive parental authorization, except in emergency situations, before I can provide any medical care to a child."

Clearly, according to his oath as a physician, Coburn is also obliged as an elected official to take whatever steps he can to maintain the well-being of the family unit, not to mention the health and continued well-being of the adolescent population. To do otherwise would be not only unprofessional but also dangerous. As he so accurately tells the media, "Our schools require a permission slip from a parent before the school can give their child aspirin. Yet, at the same time, children can obtain prescription contraceptives [sic] at public health clinics without even notifying their parents."

Coburn did not say that the "contraceptives" most likely to be given to these teens are going to at least occasionally abort a baby, will never protect them from sexually transmitted diseases, and perhaps even lead to a deadly condition such as AIDS.

So what bee got under Keenan's bonnet? Is she against parental authority? Does she believe the state should handle medical care for adolescents without parental knowledge? Is she in favor of continuing the lie about the "safety" of birth control methods? Or is there something more sinister behind her verbal attack on Coburn and others?

"All of the above" is perhaps the most accurate response I can give you. First of all, when a proponent of abortion "rights" starts talking about "reproductive health care," the bottom line is that unlike any other type of health care, the reproductive kind takes a stab at treating a healthy female as though she had a disease.

Keenan and company treat pregnancy is if it were a disease in need of a cure. They tell us that abortion is safer than childbirth, though the numbers never add up that way. Their purported solution to this dilemma of the "unintended pregnancy" is to make certain that every mother has a legal option to have her baby killed. Of course such a horrendous premise is false from beginning to end, but who cares? If such deceptions get the public on their side, then so what if they're fudging the facts?

They tell us that birth control will curtail the "need" for abortion. Wrong again. Study after study shows that birth control use always leads to more abortion. But if the public will believe their lies, then why bother with a little thing like accuracy?

You see, Keenan and her confreres are not really concerned about the health and welfare of our nation's female adolescents; they simply want to assure a growing patient base for "health care" facilities such as Planned Parenthood and their ilk. In order to do that they must take every step to make sure that parents are either cowed into silence or denied information about their own children — unless, of course, the parents are all in favor of the deadly "services." Then everything is fine, but woe to the parent who truly wants the best for their female children.

Keenan's verbal volley against this bill simply reeks. Nobody should give her the time of day. She is merely attempting to preserve the availability of paying patients for her cohorts, with no regard for the escalating rates of sexually transmitted disease, emotional trauma, or the moral and spiritual health of those who are the target of her ongoing campaign: the teenage girls who, without parental guidance, are least likely to understand the truth about abortion.

Using the term "protecting women's rights" hides the fact that abortion kills children and damages women — much the same as the term "ribald rhetoric" hides the fact that pro-abortion lies are abhorrent, disgusting and atrocious. I'm willing to stop speaking in riddles. Are Keenan and her cohorts?

Release issued: 24 Jun 05