On November 13, I quoted former abortionist Dr. Robert Siudmack, who was featured in a video series called “The Truth about Abortion.” The series was released by Coral Ridge Ministries and was divided into 10 parts.
The sixth video, which you can watch below, addresses the issues of abortion profits and the lack of doctor-patient relationships within abortion facilities.
First, Dr. Siudmack explains how an abortionist only sees a patient on the day of her abortion. He has no ongoing doctor-patient relationship with her. Usually, the abortionist is too busy performing abortions to counsel the patient and does not interact with the woman until her actual abortion procedure. He never lays eyes on her until he walks into the operating room and finds her on the table, her feet in stirrups. Siudmack says:
I would like to believe all doctors share a genuine concern for the health and well-being of their patients. The doctor-patient relationship is unique one that is started on the first visit and develops over the course of time. In an abortion clinic, there is no doctor-patient relationship. The doctor enters the room, there’s a brief introduction. The patient is already on the table ready to have the procedure done. There is no sort of opportunity for any sort of meaningful relationship to develop.
This lack of communication between doctor and patient could make it harder for the abortionist to view the woman as a unique, valuable person. Without any previous introduction, the abortionist walks in and sees the woman in a vulnerable position, her legs splayed open and her private parts exposed. It could be easy to see the woman not as a person, but as an object. Abortionists who go from room to room, doing abortions as if on an assembly line, barely even see the faces of the women they are operating on.
Other abortionists have commented on the lack of contact with patients. According to abortionist Eugene Fox:
They would put up these clinics and then they would bring in doctors, and the game was, how many can you do in an afternoon?… You didn’t get a chance to know the patients ahead of time… We were like cogs in the wheel. (1)
According to abortionist Edward Allred, who owns a chain of abortion facilities called Family Planning Associates:
We’re trying to be as cost-effective as possible and speed is important… We try to use the physician for his technical skill and reduce the one-to-one relationship with the patient. We usually see the patient for the first time on the operation table and then not again. More contact is just not efficient.
(Incidentally, at least a dozen women have died from botched abortions at Family Planning Associates abortion clinics. You can read more about that here.)
After commenting about the lack of doctor-patient interaction, Dr. Siudmack then talks about how making money was a huge motivation for his fellow workers in the abortion business:
I worked at the [Planned Parenthood] Margaret Sanger Center in downtown Manhattan for about a year before moving to South Florida, and it was all about the money, and how many abortions we could do in a short period of time. There was a set price, and obviously the more abortions one did, the more money they would make…. Abortion is big business.
Another article I wrote back in October 2014 presented 10 quotes from abortion providers about how profitable abortion is for doctors who perform them and for those who own abortion facilities. While some abortion workers may genuinely want to help women, the abortion industry is first and foremost a moneymaking industry. No facility performs abortions for free (unlike pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, which have all kinds of free services for pregnant women). The abortion industry has a long history of cutting corners and endangering women’s lives in order to increase profits.
- Carole Joffe. Doctors of Conscience: the Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe Versus Wade (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon press, 1995) 175
The Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board (CAB) represents diverse denominations and faith traditions finding common ground in their respect for a woman's ability to make her own personal health care decisions without political or government intrusion. I am proud to be a member of this dedicated group of faith leaders.
In response to the tragic violence at the Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains Health Center in Colorado Springs, the Clergy Advocacy Board issued the following statement and interfaith prayer.
In the wake of the violent assault on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We pray healing for the injured, comfort for those who mourn and give thanks for the devoted staff of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain and first responders who put themselves in harm's way to protect and defend their fellow citizens. We stand with Planned Parenthood and their continued commitment to provide care in the safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust for quality healthcare. We also pray for an end to the climate of violence and polarization that grips our nation -- asking for the will and wisdom to overcome hatred with hope, fear with trust and violence with compassion.
And so we pray with heart and mind that God of many names, Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that all nations and peoples may make known your values of love, hope and justice. Amen.
My hope is that sharing these words as widely as possible will give voice to the good people of deep faith across this nation who support the work of Planned Parenthood -- not in spite of their faith but because of it. My prayer is that we can work together to bridge the divides that polarize our nation and challenge the violence that contaminates our country. And my faith is that these words of the Jesus I follow -- "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32) -- are as true in the 21st century as they were when they were spoken in the 1st century.
Because the truth is we are a better nation than we have allowed ourselves to become: and speaking the truth about Planned Parenthood is one way we can begin to set ourselves free from the violence, polarization and victimization that plagues us.
This is from Mathew Chapter 7:
The hypocrisy displayed by radical ideologues in their ruthless effort to end abortion (and/or to use the abortion issue for political gain) is breathtaking. Most fundamentally hypocritical is their strident espousal of the principal that all human life is sacred from conception to delivery, while simultaneously showing callous indifference to life once it has taken its first extra-uterine breath.
Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.
There could not be a more dramatic example of hypocrisy than "right-to-lifers" who commit murder. Spurred on by hate spewing political and religious leaders, deranged and anger-filled followers somehow find justification for cruel and criminal violence. How tragically ironic are the gun toting "lovers-of-life'"who are willing to murder innocents, as in the recent Planned Parenthood slaying.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the killings occurred in Colorado Springs, the fourth most right wing city in the U.S., center of radical speech directed against abortion in general and specifically against Planned Parenthood.
Life is passionately defended only if the subject of concern is fetal life. "Right-to-life" politicians are often vehement supporters of the death penalty, seemingly oblivious to the obvious internal inconsistency in their attitudes to the beginning and the ending of life. And they generally oppose gun control, despite the fact that guns are now responsible for about as many deaths as car accidents. And you won't see "right-to-life" politicians leading peace marches opposed to the heedless killings of civilians consequent to our careless foreign wars.
And it gets even worse. Paradoxically, the most vocal "right-to-life" politicians, seemingly so solicitous of the welfare of the fetus, are the very same people who suddenly care not a jot for the needs of the living baby. Save the fetus at all costs, but then shamefully neglect the child it inevitably will become. The politicians who insist most that every fertilized cell must be considered a fully formed human are most likely to vote against all social, educational, and medical programs that might assist the resulting child to have a decent and healthy life.
Once born, human life is suddenly no longer sacred. Attention to baby and child welfare suddenly becomes less important than lavishing welfare on corporations and bloating the hoards of the mega rich.
And then there are the radical hypocrites who would withhold abortion even if those fetuses were resulting from incest and rape, even if the birth directly threatens the health of the mother. Dogged adherence to dogma trumps their compassion and common sense.
World class hypocrites are the fake libertarians who argue strenuously for the protection of individual liberty and personal privacy, but are blithely willing to intrude upon a woman's most intimate decision about her own body and the welfare of her family.
We are approaching a crucial tipping point in the abortion battle, occasioned by a case soon to be decided in the Supreme Court, and by the concerted propaganda campaign against Planned Parenthood.
My wife, the psychiatrist Donna Manning, discusses these issues from the perspective of a woman who lived through the struggle to legalize abortion. She writes:
Abortion became a constitutional right with the Roe v. Wade case in 1973. The Supreme Court ruled that the protections provided by the 4th, 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments are "broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." The right to abortion, however, is not absolute. It might be overridden by a "compelling state interest" to protect the health of the woman.
The 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey Supreme Court decision constrained Roe v. Wade by recognizing the states' right to consider the health of the woman involved so long as rulings didn't place an "undue burden." The crucial question was left unclear: What constitutes undue burden?
Sandra Day O'Connor who wrote the decision, defined "undue burden" as existing when the "purpose or effect of the regulation is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability." But how substantial does the obstacle have to be?
Since 2011, 24 states have passed some 200 pieces of legislation intended to limit a woman's ability to excercise her constitional right to abortion. Here listed are some of the obstacles and restrictions that have been passed by different state legislatures:
● Mandatory waiting periods
● Scripted texts that MD's have to read to patients to dissuade them from having an abortion
● Mandatory ultrasounds
● Requiring patients to listen to fetal heart beats
● Limiting liability coverage MD's can receive for abortions
● Intrusive patient reporting requirements
● Restrictions on medication abortions
● Reducing the gestational limit to 20 weeks
● Allowing employers to disallow coverage for contraception on religious grounds that would redice the need for abortion
● Abortion clinics must qualify as ambulatory surgery centers
● Abortion providers must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
● Women are diverted to 'Pregnancy Centers' to coerce and discourage them from having an abortion.
The Supreme Court's current review of undue burden originates in a Texas case. This is not surprising because the Texas legislature and governor have been particularly aggressive in passing laws to incrementally make abortion a practical impossibility for its citizens. Starting in 2011, Texas women were forced to submit to an ultrasound the day prior to an abortion -- to hear the fetus' heartbeat and see its body.
Subsequent restrictive state laws governing providers have already caused the closure of more than half of Texas' previous 41 clinics and threaten to leave no more than 10 surviving ones- none west of San Antonio. One fifth of the women in Texas would face hundreds of miles of travel to receive an abortion.
The Supreme Court will determine the constitionality of Texas' HR2, whose provisions require abortion clinics to adhere to surgical-level building requirements and abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
The justices' deliberations do not concern whether abortion is a woman's constitutional right. The constitutional right to abortion is already settled law. The question instead will revolve around the intent of the Texas legislature.
Was the law passed to protect the health of the women, or was it intended instead to provide such practical burdens to receiving abortion services that these would be curtailed?
The answer is crystal clear. Texas' incremental legislation is intended to prevent and obstruct abortion. It hides this real intention under the fake sheep's clothing of protecting the mother from the presumed physical and/or psychological risks of having an abortion.
In fact, delivering a baby is significantly more dangerous than abortion, especially if a pill is used. A first-trimester abortion is one of the safest of medical procedures, with minimal risk (less than 0.05%) of complications requiring hospital care. The risk of death by surgical abortion is about 14 times less than death through with completed pregnancy.
There is also no credible research to support an increase of psychiatric problems after an abortion. A report by the American Psychological Association concluded that the "relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if the woman has an elective first-trimester abortion than if she delivered the pregnancy."
A study of women who terminated pregnancy compared to those turned away because their pregnancies were too far along showed no difference in subsequent levels of depression and anxiety. The turnaways actually had significantly worse outcomes in their physical health and economic stability. Women forced to have unwanted babies are disadvantaged economically and three times more likely to be below the federal poverty line two years later. Kids are expensive and prevent mothers from working. Living in poverty is bad for the baby, for sibs, and for the mother.
The "undue burden" considered by the Supreme Court justices should include all the many problems that accrue from having to undergo a full term pregnancy and bring up a child who is unwanted and difficult to provide for.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Medical Association have submitted briefs to the supreme court arguing that the Texas law:
"Does not serve the health of women in Texas, but instead jeopardizes women's health by restricting access to abortion providers. There is no medical basis to require abortion providers to have local hospital-admitting privileges."
Preventing abortion is also very expensive as public policy. Medicaid pays for almost three-fifths of Texas births. When the state cut $73 million from family planning in 2011, poor women delivered an estimated 24,000 more babies, costing taxpayers $273 million. And this doesn't even count all the considerable downstream extra public costs for providing the extra kids with medical and mental health care, education, social services and prison beds.
The same legislators who fight desperately against abortion also fight desperately against budget deficits. The two goals are completely incondistent unless you are willing to deprive vital services for those children you insisted be born. Save the life and then ensure it will be miserable.
Justice Kennedy, who will undoubtedly be the Supreme Court's swing vote, has been on both sides of similar cases in the past. His decision in this case will be especially difficult, coming as it does in the midst of a particularly ugly election campaign in which Planned Parenthood has become a major target of the Republican Party. I haven't agreed with many of Justice Kennedy's previous decisions, but he has been known often to do the right thing despite party fealty and political flak. I am hopeful that he will rise to this occasion.
Thanks, Dr Manning. I hope you are correct in your optimism.
Everyone has the right to be religious. But equally, everyone has the right not to be religious. And no one should have the right to impose their own religious or non-religious beliefs on anyone else. And people who really care about life should not be so ready to resort to violence or to neglect the needs of kids once they are born.
Those women who believe that abortion is immoral should, of course, never be forced to have one. But equally, those women who don't have this belief should be free of arbitrary interference in the exercise of their constitutionally protected rights.
Any libertarian, who is not a hypocrite, will defend women, as well as men, from unnecessary state interference in what should be private, personal decisions.
Any promoter of the sacredness of life and positive family values, who is not a hypocrite, will support changes in the tax code to reduce inequality and to increase government funding of social services.
Anyone worried about women's health, who is not a hypocrite, will support Planned Parenthood because it provides the only healthcare available to many hundreds of thousands of women.
And as for the hypocrites, I would borrow Pope Francis' "who are they to judge" and Mathew's "stop judging, that you may not be judged."
It would also be nice if, for once, the Supreme Court followed the law and not loyalty to the party line or personal religious belief. Chipping away at abortion rights in piecemeal fashion provokes and intensifies the conflict and brings out the worst in opportunistic politicians and radical right religious leaders. Much of the civil discord caused by the abortion issue would end if the Supreme Court were finally to clarify unequivocally that the law of the land is the law of the land. It can do this by discouraging Texas hypocritical legislative incrementalism. Its decision in this one case could further the current trend of allowing abortion to be a tool of ambitious politicians or it could help return decisions to the privacy of the doctors office where thdy belong.
Several of the Republication presidential candidates and Congressional leaders have openly targeted Planned Parenthood for political gain. The Colorado killer's first words to the police -- "no more baby parts" -- was clearly a horrid distortion of their false and imflammatory rhetoric.
The decent thing for the politicians to do now is to condemn the Colorado Springs violence and vow to avoid future remarks that might provoke similar violence. Don't hold your breath. If this election cycle proves anything, its that dirty politics often trumps simple decency (pun fully intended).
A small, but highly committed, radical minority is fighting foul to undo hard won constitutional rights that have the broad support of a majority of people in the U.S. and everywhere else in the developed world. We can't be intimidated by their violence or fooled by their tricks.