This week Think Progress published an article lamenting the shortage of abortion doctors in Arkansas, Kansas, and elsewhere.
The article claims the stigma associated with abortion coupled with the lack of training at medical schools like UAMS is contributing to a decline in doctors who will perform abortions, saying,
The shortage of physicians who perform abortion is particularly acute in the midwest and south. Similar to Kansas, for example, there are about four full-time abortion doctors in Oklahoma. In neighboring Missouri, there are three abortion doctors. Just south of that in Arkansas, where over 1.5 million females live, there are three physicians who perform abortions. Only one performs surgical abortions and the other two perform medication abortions, where women take two drugs to terminate a pregnancy up to 10 weeks.
There are two key points the article fails to adequately consider:
- Abortion causes the death of an unborn child. That isn’t a political statement. It is a scientific fact. Abortion is not simply another medical procedure. It ends a human life, and that is the reason so many doctors choose not to perform abortions.
- Given that abortion rates are plummeting and that Arkansans generally oppose abortion, it makes sense that the number of doctors performing abortions would decline as well.
The article also misses the mark when describing the circumstances in Arkansas and our state’s pro-life policies.
For example, the article describes the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as a medical school where abortion is taboo.
However, just 4 years ago Dr. Curtis Lowery, chairman of the OB/GYN Department at UAMS, testified against a pro-life bill Family Council supported during a legislative committee meeting.
And contrary to the article’s claims, in 1997 the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled UAMS could perform abortions, provided state tax dollars were not used to pay for the abortion procedure. Family Council was among the plaintiffs in that lawsuit against UAMS.
The article also says the Arkansas Legislature “has passed the most restrictive abortion policy in the country in recent years.” The article doesn’t say what the “most restrictive policy” is, but here are some of the things Arkansas’ newest pro-life laws do:
- Protect babies who survive an abortion;
- Prevent Medicaid funds from going to Planned Parenthood;
- Ensure women are given adequate information about abortion, including its risks and alternatives;
- Require abortion doctors to give women at least 48 hours to review this information before deciding to have an abortion;
- Ensure an abortion is not performed on a minor without the consent of a parent or guardian — except in certain circumstances;
- Ensure abortion drugs are administered according to FDA protocols
- Require abortion clinics to contract with a doctor who has admitting privileges at a local hospital, in case of emergency;
- Prohibit abortions performed based on the unborn baby’s sex;
- Require doctors to request some of a woman’s medical records before performing an abortion;
- Prevent the sale of organs or tissue harvested from unborn babies;
- Require abortion clinics to be inspected at least annually, and ensure a clinic that fails inspection does not perform abortions;
- Prohibit some abortion procedures in which the unborn baby is dismembered;
- Prevent the state from awarding grants to abortion providers;
Does anyone really think a doctor ought to be able to perform an abortion without explaining the procedure to the woman first?
Shouldn’t a woman be given adequate time to consider her options before having an abortion?
And isn’t it reasonable to say abortion clinics ought to be able to pass inspection before doing abortions?
Abortion is wrong, immoral and reprehensible to all but the most ardent abortion supporters. Even to many who call themselves pro-choice, abortion is something to be avoided. A few doctors like those profiled by Think Progress may be willing to end unborn babies lives, but most realize the truth that the medical profession is about caring, not killing.
Photo Credit: By Rafael Alcarde Palomares (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.