What Exactly Is Abortion?

A new draft regulation (which is still being revised and debated) from the Department of Health and Human Services will label most birth-control pills and intrauterine devices as “abortion,” because they can work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.  The regulation would consider those items as devices for destroying “the life of a human being.”  The current administration could enact the regulation at any point without Congressional approval.  The next President will have the power to reverse it.

The regulation’s stated purpose is to improve enforcement of existing Federal laws that protect some medical professionals’ “right to refuse to participate or assist in abortion.”  Evidently, the draft argues that “state laws too often coerce health-care workers into providing services they find immoral: requirements that emergency rooms offer rape victims the ‘morning-after’ pill, insurance plans cover contraception as part of prescription-drug benefits, and pharmacists fill prescriptions for birth control.  The draft regulation would weaken these laws by expanding the right of conscientious objection.” (Wall Street Journal, 7/31/08).

I’ve been aggravated by the objections of “Un”-Planned Parenthood and most women’s activist groups to the required 24 hour waiting period, after a woman receives a consultation and mandated description and visualization of her fetus, before a final decision about abortion is made.  I would equally be aggravated if women were not given sufficient informed consent to know what their options were, including the option of contraception.

If a health-care provider believes in good faith that any of these techniques is “killing a child,” then they have the moral and ethical obligation to make a referral, so that any woman can know all of her legal options.

I’d like Planned Parenthood to put an adoption service in every one of their clinics.