In his dissent of the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt opinion last week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence “has gone off the rails.”
But not only have a majority of the justices jumped the tracks of the law with their latest abortion decision, they have broken through the bounds of reality to try to justify the so-called right to unfettered, unregulated abortion.
The Court’s majority states that Texas’s laws to protect women’s health and safety would make it “less likely [for women] to get the kind of individualized attention, serious conversation, and emotional support” that less regulated, cheaper-to-run abortion clinics offer.
We’re not sure in which alternate universe women receive “individualized attention, serious conversation, and emotional support” in abortion clinics, but it’s not the one in which we live.
As one who was part of the abortion industry and one who has counseled its victims for decades, we can categorically state that abortionists’ one overriding concern is this and this alone: perform as many abortions as possible, as quickly as possible. Time is money.
I, Carol Everett, became rich selling abortions to women and girls in Texas. After aborting my third child, I later ran a chain of abortion clinics. During a six-year period, I oversaw 35,000 women who chose to terminate their unborn babies’ lives. Today, as a former customer and marketer of abortions, I lead the Heidi Group, where pregnant and hurting post-abortive women come for help and guidance.
I, Father Frank Pavone, have worked to end abortion for all of my adult life. Leading Priests for Life since 1993, I have seen the life-changing and sometimes life-ending injuries inflicted on women by abortion businesses. I helped document some of those many cases in the Life Dynamics book Lime 5. As Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel’s Vineyard, I have for many years personally counseled those harmed by abortion.
Both of us oppose abortion, but we also believe that states have the right to ensure that at least mothers should survive the procedure. That’s why the Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health is so incredibly detrimental, not just to the rule of law, but to women’s health.
It’s instructive that this lawsuit was brought not by women seeking abortions, but by those providers who don’t want to abide by the health and safety standards which other outpatient surgery centers must meet.
The abortionists claim that it’s too expensive to have clinic hallways that are wide enough to allow emergency responders to take a hemorrhaging woman on a gurney to an ambulance. Even though 200-to-1,000 women a year in Texas have to go to hospitals because of abortion complications, providers don’t want to hire enough nurses to care for their patients. And they say that having a sterile environment for an invasive procedure like abortion is of no consequence.
Never mind that doctors testified before the Texas legislature that such protections are both necessary and beneficial. And never mind that at least nine abortion clinics in Texas already meet the standards set forth in the laws that have been declared “undue burdens.” The Supreme Court simply ignored the expert views of those who support the minimum standards set by Texas’s statutes and relied only on the unsupported conclusions of those who oppose them.
In short, the Court has declared that the rights of abortion providers who want to minimize patient care in order to maximize profits supersede the rights of women who want to exit the hallways of abortion clinics on two feet.
Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion in Whole Woman’s Health, may fantasize that less professional abortion clinics will offer individual attention, serious conversation, and emotional support to women and girls who seek abortion counseling. But as a former abortion provider and as counselors to post-abortive women, we can tell you that such attention and conversation will be limited to, “Will this be cash or credit?”
The world that the Court has sustained is one in which unscrupulous abortion providers continue to push women through their disassembly lines as cheaply as possible — as cheaply as possible for the abortionists, that is, not for the women who pay for them. It’s a world where not only unborn babies, but also their mothers take a back seat on the runaway train of unrestricted abortion.
Somewhere in a prison cell, the convicted serial killer and proprietor of a “house of horrors” abortion clinic Kermit Gosnell must be smiling.
Father Frank Pavone is national director of Priests for Life, Carol Everett is founder of The Heidi Group.