an After abortion

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Newsweek/MSNBC's Martha Brant has an article up at MSNBC's website, Pro-choicers Seek New Strategies.

Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice has called a small meeting in DC this week, for people who are professional advocates of abortion rights who want the moral ambiguities of abortion to be taken out of the closet.

Technology has made it nearly impossible to talk about the fetus as just a clump of cells. Medical euphemisms like “cardiac activity” just don’t fly when patients can see a heartbeat with a sonogram at six weeks into a pregnancy.
Actually, lots of other strong supporters of abortion rights do not find it impossible to talk about the small, developing baby as a clump of cells but since we have had to post our large variety of links about that almost every week for weeks, I'm too clump-o-cells fatigued to do that right now.


“The way we talk about this issue freaks parents out,” agrees Frances Kissling, head of Catholics for A Free Choice, who came up with the idea for the meeting and is co-sponsoring it. “It’s hard to trust us when we present ourselves as callous. The answers to all the questions are technocratic. If we were more honest about the ambiguities and the conflicts people would feel they could trust us and wouldn’t need to pass all those laws against us.”
The reason that Frances Kissling's view is a small minority view within the contingent of professional advocates of abortion rights is that the other advocates believe that if there is moral ambiguity around abortion, it's the kind that suggests that abortion might amount to the destruction of an innocent life. And they don't want to go there, because they don't think this is a safe road to keeping abortion legal.

The article starts out talking about Aspen Baker and her pro-choice post-abortion counseling service Exhale. The claim is made that Exhale is part of a strategy to keep abortion legal. This will probably annoy Aspen Baker, because this is not part of her media strategy for positioning what she does.

I learned from the article that only twelve Planned Parenthood clinics refer women struggling with their decision to Exhale. It's amazing to me that the denial and anti-those-who-struggle attitude is so deeply entrenched at the huge majority of PP clinics that they can't even be bothered to give out a referral to an avidly pro-choice hotline.

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