Another View: Abortion access bill is misleading and unnecessary

Published: Friday, Sep. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am

In a masterpiece of irony, a recent Viewpoints commentary (“Bills would protect women’s, children’s health,” Aug. 29) informed us that if we “want the best for our state’s children,” we must support Assembly Bill 154, which allows non-physicians to perform surgical abortions.

The piece was disturbing on many fronts.

The authors claim that we need AB 154, which allows non-physicians – including midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants – to perform early-term “aspiration abortions,” because there is not enough “access” to abortion in our state. But according to the Guttmacher Institute, 99 percent of California women live in counties with an abortion provider. California, in fact, has nearly one third of the nation’s abortion providers and a high abortion rate.

The authors also proclaim that abortions are safe, despite serious complications from the procedure, including incomplete abortion, failed abortion, injury within the cervix, uterine perforation, infection and hemorrhage.

They even dismiss its mental health consequences, despite multiple studies finding that women who had an abortion are at a higher risk of suicide, long-term clinical depression, post-traumatic stress and hospitalization for psychiatric illness and other problems.

What is the real motive behind AB 154?

The University of San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health study the authors cite as demonstrating that lower-level clinicians can safely perform surgical abortions specifically targets “low-income and minority women” for increased “access” to abortion. Since Medi-Cal pays for abortion, clinics have a financial incentive to expand abortions in poor neighborhoods. It also cites the Affordable Care Act, which will vastly expand the number of people on Medi-Cal. Abortion providers hope to tap this new market by expanding the number of clinicians and clinics that can provide surgical abortions.

Meanwhile, the abortion industry is thriving. According to 2010 tax records, nine “nonprofit” Planned Parenthood affiliates in California spent $1.8 million on lobbying alone.

The authors further assert that those who oppose AB 154 don’t really care about women and children unless they also support AB 271, which allows an additional $122 a month for mothers on welfare who have another child.

This is an amazing comparison – asserting a moral equivalence between life and income. A child not even allowed to be born not only won’t be helped by an extra $122 a month but her entire life is ended.

Margaret A. Bengs is a former contributing columnist for The Sacramento Bee and political speechwriter.

Read more articles by Margaret A. Bengs

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