If so-called pro-choice advocates are truly neutral about which "choice" women actually make, why do they seem so threatened by measures aimed at protecting the fetus in those cases where the woman chooses life?
The answer is that the leaders of the pro-choice movement are not neutral. They have a clear preference, which was illustrated in their hysterical reaction to President Bush's recently announced plan to allow states to classify an unborn child as a "targeted low-income child" eligible for medical coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Program.
CHIP is a federal-state program created in 1997 that aids children whose low-income families earn too much to receive Medicaid. The program benefited 3.3 million children last year by way of doctors' services, hospital care and prescription drugs.
William A. Pierce, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, insists that the purpose of the proposed regulation is to enhance health care for the unborn, not to make some symbolic statement about abortion.
"This will increase access to prenatal care for pregnant women, the ultimate goal being healthier babies and healthier children. It is well established that access to prenatal care can improve health outcomes over a child's life," said Pierce.
But militant pro-abortionists remain implacable. Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, said Bush's plan "is cynical politics rather than sound public health policy." Laurie Rubiner, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, said, "This is a backdoor attempt by the Bush administration to perpetuate its opposition to abortion rights. The real goal is to establish a legal precedent for granting personhood to fetuses."
Kim Gandy, NOW's president-elect agrees. "This is a transparent ploy to undermine birth control and abortion rights by granting 'personhood' to embryos and fetuses."
Why don't these feminist organizations dispense with the euphemisms like a woman's "reproductive rights"? I ask you: Can you find anything in their literature encouraging a woman's right to take her unborn to term? Their emphasis is invariably on the right to terminate a pregnancy, not the right to reproduce.
Scan the Websites of Planned Parenthood, NOW or NARAL if you don't believe me. In addition to encouraging abortion, they place an almost narcissistic focus on the woman, to the abject exclusion of the rights of the unborn.
Consider Planned Parenthood's advice to pregnant women. "One of your choices is to continue your pregnancy and raise a child. Being a parent is exciting, rewarding and demanding. It can help you grow, understand yourself better and enhance your life." It's all about you, you, you, the baby be damned. The same is true with their comments about adoption. "Some women find that the pain of being separated from their children is deeper and longer lasting than they expected."
And catch their not so subtle display of preference for abortion. "Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are rare. They are more likely after childbirth."
NARAL cites with approval a message from the American Medical Association that minors should not be required to obtain their parents' consent as a condition to an abortion. Don't glaze over this one lightly. Children, they say, should have the right to decide whether to end pregnancy. "The patient – even an adolescent – generally must decide whether, on balance, parental involvement is advisable. Accordingly, minors should ultimately be allowed to decide whether parental involvement is appropriate."
Similarly, in opposing the parents' right to access their children's medical records, NARAL abandons any pretense to normalcy by adopting the twisted view of "empowering" minors. "The ability to consult health care providers confidentially allows teens to get critically needed medical care and empowers them to make more informed and responsible choices."
The inescapable truth is that for many of these extremists, the notion of choice is a cynical facade. If choice were their goal, they would not display such a bias against the ultimate object of that choice (the baby) – when that choice is to bring the child to term. If a mother chooses to give birth, shouldn't her unborn children (who will be born in a matter of time) be allowed access to the same medical aid as children already born?
The bottom line is that protecting the sacred right to choose is so important to some that they are obviously willing to sacrifice the health even of those children in the womb destined for birth as a result of the woman's supposedly hallowed right to choose.