Tag Archives: Jessica Valenti

Abortion supporters clash on whether late term abortions are tragic or trivial


It was pro-abortion President Bill Clinton who first coined the term “safe, legal, and rare” in the early 1990s to describe his supposedly moderate view on abortion.

The phrase served Clinton well during the years-long partial birth abortion debate, making him sound reasonable even as he vetoed a ban against the heinous procedure twice. The conflicted masses liked it as well.

But abortion zealots got stuck on that word “rare.” As proponent Jessica Valenti wrote in The Guardian last year:

It’s a “safe” pro-choice answer: to support abortion, but wish it wasn’t necessary….

In a 2010 research article, Dr Tracy Weitz wrote that “rare suggests that abortion is happening more than it should, and that there are some conditions for which abortions should and should not occur”.

“It separates ‘good’ abortions from ‘bad’ abortions”, she added….

The “rare” framework adds to the stigmatization around the procedure – and that has further-reaching complications for abortion care than just how women feel about it.

Weitz wrote that calling for abortions to be rare has tangible negative consequences for women and women’s health because it legitimizes efforts to legally restrict abortion – i.e., make it more “rare”.

Hence, the 2012 Democrat platform called for abortion to be “safe and legal.” Period.

Jump ahead, and we are launching into another national debate on late-term abortions, this time on two fronts: a federal bill to block abortions past 20 weeks and an emerging state ban on “dismemberment abortions” past 12 weeks.

And already some abortion proponents are violating their own embargo on the word “rare.”

Furthermore, they’re adding acceptable “conditions” for late-term abortions.

Planned Parenthood is calling late-term abortions “a deeply personal decision [made in] unimaginable situations… for serious medical reasons.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights says there is a susceptibility factor that sets late-term abortions apart:

Apparently, one can be cavalier about abortion just in the first trimester. After that only hardcore zealots can stomach the “any time, any reason” line – like Valenti:

Am I actually arguing that there should be no legal limitations on abortion?

The short answer: yes.

I think abortion should be legal without any restrictions – no parental consent laws, no mandated ultrasounds, no waiting periods, no bans on late term abortions and no bans on federal funding for abortion….

If that were the law of the land, it would also mean an end to rape and incest exceptions – because we wouldn’t need them. Women wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) have to prove that their abortion is of the “acceptable” variety….

RH Reality Check’s editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson agrees:

Valenti concludes:

Particularly when it comes to later term abortions, there is a myth that women are so evil, misguided or stupid that they go seven months into a pregnancy before deciding willy-nilly to end it. This is simply not true.

Actually, it is true. (And so what if the decision was made “willy-nilly” anyway, right?) According to the National Abortion Federation, late-term abortions are most often procured by those sorts of women or girls. From its 2009 handbook (page 160):

Second-trimester patients in the USA undergo termination for a variety of reasons, but most often because of delay in recognizing pregnancy or obtaining necessary funds and support.

This type of delay may reflect inadequate access to health services, ambivalence about the decision to terminate the pregnancy, familial conflict, or peer-group pressure. Teenagers are likelier than older women to delay abortion until the second trimester.

Abortion zealots are trying to destigmatize abortion by saying anything goes, but I doubt Americans will empathize with mothers who seek late-term abortions simply because they procrastinated.

There’s also something amiss with claiming a $375 abortion is unaffordable but one costing $2$10,000 suddenly is.

And is the safest way to help a confused teen or abused woman to give her a dangerous late-term abortion – or give her support and guidance?

Valenti maintains talk like Planned Parenthood and CFRR are engaging in plays into our hands “as part of the rhetoric that anti-abortion activists use to try to demonize abortion as a whole.”

I’d say something demonic requires no demonization.

But as far as stigmatizing goes, if abortion proponents want to help, sure, anytime.

Meanwhile, it’s fun to continue watching the other side unravel.

“Let all those who seek to end my life be confused.” ~ Psalm 40:14

Pro-life blog buzz 8-8-14

pro-lifeby Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

  • Wesley J. Smith says the bioethics community is finally beginning to criticize artificial reproduction techniques like IVF – but not for the reasons you might think:

    But now, in the ever more radical Journal of Medical Ethics, Cristina Richie, of Boston College’s Department of Theology, argues that these technologies should be regulated to limit the number of children – called “carbon legacies,” as a means of fighting climate change.

    Smith opines:

    I don’t know if Richie coined the term, but it is ridiculous. Children are children, not bundles of carbon producers…. No, grim is the exploitation of surrogates in biological colonialism and the eugenic impetus that has sunk its fangs deep into the heart of the industry. In the face of such human objectification, sorry, I can’t get upset about global warming.


  • Reflections of a Paralytic highlights a growing craze from GoFundMe – funding IVF treatments with prizes attached for each level. The New York Post noted two of the campaigns, with one (prizes pictured left) standing out as a perfect example of exploiting children even before they are conceived.
  • ProWomanProLife quotes research linking certain types of birth control pills to an increased risk of breast cancer. What pesky timing, when the abortion industry is pivoting from abortion talk to contraception talk:

    Women taking newer formulations of birth control pills could face a 50 percent or higher increased risk of breast cancer than those not using oral contraceptives, according to a study by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists.

  • Pro-Life Wisconsin is happy to announce the rescinding of a free speech restriction in the capital city:

    Citing a lawsuit by Madison pro-life advocates, and reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in McCullen v. Coakley striking down a Massachusetts law requiring pro-life witnesses and sidewalk counselors in the public way to remain 35 feet from the entrance to an abortion clinic, the Madison Common Council last night unanimously repealed their own anti-speech zones created by an ordinance passed in March.

  • At National Review, Michael J. New discusses the pro-choice movement’s effort to rebrand themselves as something other than “pro-choice.” New believes the reason for this is that they are “struggling to find messaging that will engage young voters, while pro-lifers continue to make quiet inroads among young adults.”


  • Saynsumthn’s Blog comments on the announced winners of the Excellence in Media “Maggie Award” from Planned Parenthood, named after their eugenicist founder, Margaret Sanger. One winner, pro-choice feminist writer and NARAL board member Jessica Valenti, called for a “safe sex f***-in” inside Hobby Lobby’s “glitter aisle[s]” (photo and tweet pictured right) following the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the company’s right to refuse providing abortifacient drugs in employee insurance packages.

    Another winner? Cosmopolitan, that paragon of feminist empowerment, with their plethora of articles on how to sexually please men. (Standards for the award must be pretty low.)

  • At our newest blogroll addition, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, Jonathon Van Maren debunks an article written by the aforementioned “safe sex Hobby Lobby f***-in” supporter Jessica Valenti (who has time to tweet but apparently no time for research), in which she claims the pro-life movement is dying:

    Basically, Valenti claims every pro-life tactic—from sidewalk counselling (which features evil bullies that, if you listen to her, closely resemble Disney villains), to Crisis Pregnancy Centres (where quack science such as embryology is used), to legislation restricting abortion clinics (because we don’t care for butcher shops like Gosnell’s House of Horrors, or any other dead-baby-producing establishment) — is a sign of demented desperation.

    Actually, based on our track record thus far, it is simply a sign of smart strategy combined with a helpful thing called “the truth,” which in regards to abortion, can be found in any embryology textbook which Valenti has not read. If she wants to write about the pro-life movement, she might want to actually take a closer look at our movement so she knows what’s going on. She’d still be outraged, sure. But she’d be less bewildered.

    One final point: The only way the anti-abortion movement will “end” is if abortion “ends” and our culture stops glorifying as a right this barbaric version of in-utero infanticide. Which isn’t all bad for Ms. Valenti, I suppose. She will have occasion to write many more such columns.

[Valenti photo via times.co.uk, Tweet via ]

Stanek wkend Q: Is the push for unconditional acceptance of abortion hurting or helping the pro-choice side?

Josie Cunningham Emily Letts abortionColumnist Eva Wiseman wrote at The Guardian wrote:

Pro-choicers are facing some uncomfortable truths….

When, at the end of April, escort, aspiring glamour model and mother-of-two Josie Cunningham [pictured top right] told the Sunday Mirror she was planning an abortion to ensure her place on Big Brother, there was mild uproar. The earliest response was from Mirror readers, 93% of whom said they’d boycott Big Brother if she appeared on the show… These alongside disgusted tweets from high-profile doctors and liberal commentators….

A week or so later, a YouTube video of an abortion went viral. The clip, by 25-year-old abortion counsellor Emily Letts [pictured bottom right], focuses on her face as she breathes, calmly, through the short procedure. At the end she says: “I feel good.”…

Again, the reaction has been fierce – both from anti-abortion protestors… and from those who are passionately pro-choice….

For me? The reactions have illustrated a widening gap between the theory of being pro-choice and the real, day-to-day “Oh sh**… oh well” of abortion….

These two cases have brought uncomfortable truths about many pro-choicers’ feelings to the surface. They’ve shown that many believe that not only are there right and wrong reasons to get an abortion but that women’s (legal, considered) decisions are up for examination….

There is no right or wrong reason for a woman to get an abortion, and there is no right or wrong way for her to feel about it. For pro-choicers, there should be no confusion.

Similarly, columnist Jessica Valenti wrote at The Guardian:

I think abortion should be legal without any restrictions – no parental consent laws, no mandated ultrasounds, no waiting periods, no bans on late term abortions and no bans on federal funding for abortion….

If that were the law of the land, it would also mean an end to rape and incest exceptions – because we wouldn’t need them. Women wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) have to prove that their abortion is of the “acceptable” variety. We wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) have to pretend that women who are forced into sex are somehow more deserving of medical care than women who chose to have sex. We could rid ourselves of the hierarchy of “good” and “bad” abortions.

I particularly found Valenti’s thoughts on the rape/incest exception quite interesting.

It’s true that to decry abortion in any way is to cast judgment on the act itself.

Is it possible to expect people who consider themselves “pro-choice” to reach this level of acceptance? Or is pushing this level of acceptance working in favor of the pro-life position?


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Pro-life news brief 3-20-14

by JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • A Lutheran charity has purchased the former Delaware abortion clinic where Kermit Gosnell worked part-time.
  • In Arizona, all health clinics are inspected without warning – that is, except for abortion clinics, which get a 10-day warning:

    Inspectors work through observations, interviews and reviews of documents, like patient files and policies. They’re checking, for instance, to see if a clinic has a disaster plan or if employee experience matches up with job duties. If it passes, the facility gets a stamp of approval for up to 24 months.

    “All of the surveys are unannounced,” Belden said.

    But there’s one big exception. Abortion providers get a 10-day heads up.

  • “Pregnancies they can carry” is the latest jargon Jessica Valenti is using to attempt to ignore the unborn child:

    Anti-choicers cannot escape the truth of their movement: despite
    rhetorical efforts to the contrary, the foundation of fighting against abortion accessibility is the idea that women are less important than the pregnancies they can carry.

    This is why the pro-choice side is losing. They can’t accurately describe the pro-life position. Therefore, they can’t make solid arguments against it. They’re stuck trying to come up with lamer and lamer ways of dehumanizing the unborn.

Pro-life news brief 12-13-13

by JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • Indiana/Illinois abortionist Ulrich Klopfer will lose his “Physician Designee” in Fort Wayne after failing to quickly report statutory rape and for admitting he encourages victims of statutory rape to go to other states. This means Klopfer may not be able to legally perform abortions in Fort Wayne in the new year:

    The Allen County Patient Safety Ordinance requires that doctors who practice but don’t live in the county to have a relationship with a local doctor who can legally practice in Allen County. State law requires abortion doctors to have local admitting privileges or have entered into an agreement with a physician who has admitting privileges at a hospital in case of an emergency.

    Dr. Geoffrey Cly, OB/GYN, notified Dr. Ulrich Klopfer in a letter dated December 12 that he will no longer serve as the “back-up” physician for Klopfer effective December 31, 2013.

    Big thanks to RH Reality Check for posting the article in which Klopfer admits he encourages victims of statutory rape to go out of state.

  • New York Magazine has an article on “The Heroic Commutes of Abortion Providers.” It’s funny how some abortion advocates act like abortion isn’t a big money maker, yet how else would these abortionists/clinics be able to afford such long commutes?


  • Abortion advocate Jessica Valenti has an interesting piece in which she chides abortion advocates for calling Michigan’s abortion insurance legislation “rape insurance.” She points out that focusing on the hard cases doesn’t help (and actually undermines) the pro-choice movement’s goal to win support for abortion in more typical situations:

    I understand why many in the pro-choice movement focus on the most extreme examples when we talk to the media; they are truly harrowing and serious issues. And we need public support — but not at the expense of our feminist values.

    As Merritt Tierce, executive director of Texas Equal Access Fund, told me in an interview last month: “The lawsuits and the media coverage always focus on the most sympathetic cases, without acknowledging that while of course those cases absolutely deserve our sympathy, most women will not experience anything like what they see and hear in the media.”

How abortion proponents view the current abortion landscape

pro-abortion abortion proponentsPro-abortion authors Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo have co-authored a fascinating new book, Crow After Roe.

Marty is senior political reporter for RH Reality Check, and Pieklo is a senior legal analyst there. Over the past year or so I’ve developed a collegial relationship with Robin. Even as we both stand our ground, it’s refreshing to discuss and debate sans animus.

Robin was kind enough to give me a copy of her book, which I have been reading with interest. Even though Robin writes from a biased perspective, which she freely acknowledges, she writes intelligently, another refreshing difference from the typical pro-abortion fare I usually read.

Crow After Roe is written from a standpoint of alarm but offers solutions. “[T]he book will shock and move you to action,” notes Feministing founder Jessica Valenti on the back cover. “Most importantly, though, Crow After Roe gives you hope and a roadmap for what we can do to change the current anti-woman tide.”

It is precisely those two points that interested me. Why are abortion proponents alarmed? And how do they envision the way out of their perceived predicament?

The book title refers to Jim Crow laws, created by southern whites after blacks were freed from slavery, which allowed oppression and segregation to continue. The authors believe pro-life laws serve the same purpose of oppressing poor and minority abortion-vulnerable mothers.

Further, Crow After Roe makes the case – with which pro-lifers will readily agree – that, of late, certain pieces of our proposed legislation have been written with the goal of triggering the overturn of Roe v. Wade. To that end the book “examines 11 states… that since 2010 have each passed a different anti-abortion or anti-women’s health law explicitly written to provoke a repeal of Roe….” (It was fascinating reading the names of many people I know on those pages.)

In her forward to the book, former Planned Parenthood CEO Gloria Feldt writes:

[T]he anti-choice right has leveled a volume and variety of attacks never before seen in this nation….

But we can stop them if we change our tactics and bring the struggle for reproductive justice out of the “women’s issues” ghetto focusing only on abortion….

We must also face the fact that privacy is not and has never been a strong enough legal justification for reproductive rights. Therefore, it is essential to bolster jurisprudence affirming women’s civil rights to make their own childbearing choices, and to pass laws such as the Freedom of Choice Act….

The latter seems like a long haul, when even a liberal state like New York just failed to pass an increasingly rare pro-abortion bill, and, as Feldt noted, Obama bailed on FOCA.

Another solution suggested by Robin and Jessica is to borrow from a surprising pro-life page:

According to… Feldt… what is needed is a strong, energetic core, not unlike a feminist version of the “personhood movement” that has been popping up in a variety of states. “Just as the personhood efforts are not coming from the mainstream anti-chice groups,” she says, “I’d love to see a band of feisty young feminists out there leading the charge on this, saying, ‘Excuse me, we are persons and we want our personhood guaranteed.'”

The problem, there, of course, is the abortion movement claimed these “feisty young feminists” weren’t persons before they were persons and killed a huge chunk of them off.

On Robin and Jessica’s “to do” list:

  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans government funding of most Medicaid abortions
  • Increase the number of abortion providers by ensuring all med students have abortion training and allowing nondoctors to commit abortions
  • Make contraception “easily accessible and affordable,” which they think Obamacare goes a long way toward ensuring (although they’re leery of all the lawsuits)
  • Toss pro-life Democrat politicians from the tent
  • Elect more pro-abortion women
  • Get more liberal judges appointed to the courts

Those are all proactive steps. “However,” they write, “the most immediate step is to stop anti-abortion and anti-contraception bills from becoming law in the first place.”

To that end the authors think a spark was lit in Virginia last year when abortion advocates rallied against an ultrasound bill:

[I]f there is a silver lining to the anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-women laws that have been passed or enforced since 2010, it is that they have created the beginnings of a powerful activist backlash.

Despite the Virginia bill’s eventual passage, “[t]he fight over the bill… took its toll,” they write, saying support for ultrasound legislation and pro-life politicians in that state dropped.

Robin and Jessica maintain that even if a bill passes, vocal opposition can weaken it, which may also serve a dual purpose of “fracturing… anti-choice community” support.

Nevertheless, the authors admit their first order of business is to stop our onslaught. (Coincidentally, the Washington Times reported today that only midway through 2013 we have already tied the second-highest number of pro-life bills passed in a year, which was only last year, and 2011 holds the record.)

In other words, they can never get to their “to do” list while playing defense. As I wrote the other day, abortion proponents now find themselves racing from brushfire to brushfire, many of which they are unable to put out. They think pro-lifers have galvanized them; I hearken back to Proverbs 24:16, i.e., it won’t last.

Is it anti-life for me to admit I smell blood in the water – and like it?

I do recommend reading Crow After Roe as good recognizance.

Pro-life news brief 6-6-13

by JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • In First Things, Clarke Forsythe discusses how the Supreme Court helped create abortionists like Kermit Gosnell:

    Because the Justices foolishly believed that abortion had few risks, and that abortion providers should have complete discretion to decide how to perform abortions in the first trimester, the Justices said that state and local officials could not regulate them in the first trimester. The Justices prohibited state health and safety regulations for abortion clinics in the first trimester of pregnancy when 90 percent of abortions are performed.

  • At National Review, Michael J. New has a piece discussing the predicted “post-Roe abortion decline” and a piece on Gallup’s recent poll on morality, which held some good news for pro-lifers:

    Since 2001, Gallup polls have shown that opinions toward the morality of abortion have remained fairly constant. However, the percentage of Americans willing to identify themselves as “pro-life” has increased. Six of the last nine Gallup polls taken since 2009 have shown that Americans are more likely to describe themselves as “pro-life” rather than “pro-choice.”


  • The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle have the AP article covering the closure of 4 abortion clinics in Maryland owned by abortionist Stephen Brigham (pictured left), and the license suspension of three abortionists. The AP article features quotes from Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation and the attorney of the abortion clinics, but no quotes from a pro-lifer:

    Four affiliated abortion clinics in Maryland have been shut down and three doctors have had their licenses suspended after a patient died at one clinic and regulators found lax procedures at all four, according to documents filed online by two regulatory agencies.

    The clinics in Baltimore, Cheverly, Frederick and Silver Spring were initially shut down in March. They were later allowed to reopen, but they were shut down again in early May after state regulators received a complaint about a patient who was given a drug used to induce abortions without a doctor present, according to documents posted online by the state Office of Health Care Quality, which regulates the clinics and ordered them to close.

    I’m still waiting for an abortion advocate like Amanda Marcotte or Jill Filipovic to blame the problems at these clinics on pro-life laws.


  • Abortion advocate Jessica Valenti (pictured right) has an intentionally deceptive piece in The Nation in which she describes abortions pre-Roe. She writes:

    This isn’t even the most dangerous thing that anti-choice organizations go out of their way not to acknowledge. The Pro-Life Action League, for example, insists that before Roe, “there were not many illegal abortions, or illegal abortions were relatively safe.” The truth? According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion was listed as the cause of death for almost 2,700 women in 1930 — 18 percent of maternal deaths. In 1965, abortion accounted for 17 percent of deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth — and those were just the reported cases.

    Valenti’s information is taken (nearly word for word) from this Guttmacher Institute web page.

    Here’s the pertinent paragraph from the Guttmacher Institute (note the highlighted portions which Valenti conveniently leaves out):

    One stark indication of the prevalence of illegal abortion was the death toll. In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women—nearly one-fifth (18%) of maternal deaths recorded in that year. The death toll had declined to just under 1,700 by 1940, and to just over 300 by 1950 (most likely because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion). By 1965, the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200, but illegal abortion still accounted for 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year. And these are just the number that were officially reported; the actual number was likely much higher.

    Why does Valenti leave out the specific numbers for the deaths in 1950 and 1965 but keep in the much larger number for the 1930?

    Also note the year. Why is Valenti discussing 1965 when Roe wasn’t decided until 1973? Is it because there were 39 reported deaths from illegal abortion in 1972 (and also 24 reported deaths from legal abortion)?

    Now maybe Valenti thinks 39 deaths from illegal abortion vs. 24 deaths from legal abortions in 1972 proves that there were a lot of unsafe illegal abortions pre-Roe and that overturning Roe would lead to large number of illegal abortion deaths. But if she thinks that, she should actually make that argument instead of trying to deceive The Nation’s readers by leaving out facts which are inconvenient to her position and basically prove the argument of the pro-lifers she’s trying to vilify.

    For what it’s worth and to show how deceitful Valenti is, here’s the Pro-Life Action League web page where Valenti gets her quote from them. The web page (which isn’t linked to or cited in The Nation article) discusses the effect of penicillin in dropping the number of deaths from illegal abortion (just as the Guttmacher Institute does) and notes there were 39 deaths from illegal abortion in 1972.

[Photos via nrlc.org and cornellcollege.edu]