Opinion: Columnists

Star Parker: There is an alternative to the abortion culture

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With the convictions in the case against abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell -- three counts of murdering live babies and one count of involuntary manslaughter -- abortion is back in the national discussion.

It's pretty clear from the grand jury report that, during Gosnell's 30-plus-year career, he likely murdered hundreds, if not thousands of babies. But because of the difficulty in documenting it all, he was convicted of just three.

Reports now are coming in from around the nation indicating that more Gosnells are out there. The abortion lobby claims that as long as we have tight regulations on abortion, a black market will exist.

Abortion, they argue, is like any product or service that consumers want and government prohibits or overregulates. If they can't get what they want legally, they will get it illegally.

We also hear that we get Gosnells when government refuses to pay for the abortions of poor women. The Hyde Amendment, they say, which prohibits Medicaid compensation for abortion, makes unsafe abortion inevitable.

Poor women, according to this reasoning, desperate because of an unwanted pregnancy, pressed because regulations and costs make abortion difficult to get, turn to sleazebag doctors, who will do it cheaply, with no regard for the woman, the law or safety.

But it is ironic that those who call themselves "pro-choice" argue that the only alternatives facing low-income women are unsafe abortions done by sleazebags or government-subsidized abortions.

There is another choice, but those who call themselves "pro-choice" don't want women, particularly poor women, to consider this option. This option is called "birth."

When conservatives talk about a culture of responsibility, we're not just talking about the personal responsibility of the individual in trouble. We're talking about the personal responsibility of the rest of us toward that individual.

There are now thousands of crisis pregnancy centers operating nationwide. More than 2,000 are affiliated with either Care Net or Heartbeat International. I maintain a regular active speaking schedule for and consult with these centers.

They work with pregnant women in trouble and provide them the services they need to have their child. They provide ultrasounds, parental counseling, life-management counseling, help with the physical needs of the mother and child and, if need be, help with adoption services.

Unwanted pregnancies often are the result of loneliness, fear and lack of information. Crisis pregnancy centers deal with all this.

The so-called pro-choice activists have an interesting concept of a culture of responsibility. That is to promote a culture that detaches sex from love and responsibility, that minimizes the central importance of family, that justifies youth sex, promiscuity and the "hook-up" culture.

In short, a culture which encourages people to relate to each other in the same callous way as it encourages women to relate to the unborn children that often result from it all. Then they want taxpayers, other people, to foot the bill.

Is it any wonder we live in a country in which we are drowning in debt directly as the result of this culture of entitlement?

Planned Parenthood, which rakes in hundreds of millions in the abortion business, actively discourages women from going to crisis pregnancy centers.

On the Planned Parenthood website, it calls these centers "fake clinics ... that have a history of giving women wrong and biased information."

These crisis pregnancy centers are financed and run by committed Christian Americans, where often women, for the first time in their lives, experience love and meaning.

The information they get, that Planned Parenthood calls "wrong and biased," is that life should be chosen over death and that responsibility is a community affair.

It is not a given that we must live in a country of promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies and abortion. We do have choice. We can reprogram the destructive culture that we have created and in which we now live.

Washington Examiner columnist Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. She can be reached at urbancure.org.

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