When you think of abortion, what comes to mind? Is it tiny, fragile babies, being ripped apart, piece by piece? Does it bring to mind images of tiny fingers and toes, perhaps lying on the face of a coin? Do you think of the abortionists who have stated in interviews and debates how they would pull arms and legs off one by one, and squeeze the skull with forceps until the brain flowed out? Perhaps when you think of abortion you think of a brother or a sister, a niece or a nephew; someone you might have known, but never will know.
No matter who they are, everyone has some sort of image in their mind when they think of abortion. For many, it is accompanied with emotion. Sadness, or anger. Perhaps for some, it brings up feelings of regret. For others, it may be a feeling of missing someone, someone they don’t know, but should.
Now, a clinic in New York is advertising first trimester abortions using a new approach. No longer do they refer to the procedure as “manual vacuum aspiration.” Instead, EarlyOptions provides a service called SOFTouch. (Soft, of course, as opposed to hard. Gentle, versus rough and painful.) What’s the difference? you might ask. Literally nothing, except the name, and how it is discussed.
You see, when you choose SOFTouch, you don’t have to feel like you are exterminating a baby. In fact, no mention of a baby, or a fetus, or even an embryo or zygote is made on the EarlyOptions website. No, when you choose SOFTouch, you are merely “bringing down” menstruation.
So you missed a period. In just a few minutes, the caring, all female team at EarlyOptions can fix that for you. As stated in a video on their website:
SOFTtouch is a gentle procedure to treat early abortion and miscarriage. SOFTouch is best used between 5 and 10 weeks of the first day of your last normal period. It doesn’t involve any surgery and takes about 2 minutes longer than your regular PAP test. SOFTouch is a handheld device attached to a soft, flexible tube. Our doctor inserts the tip of the tube through the natural opening of your cervix. She uses the SOFTouch device to apply some light pressure. This quickly and gently releases your menstrual flow.
Problem solved. Your period is back.
The website goes on to assure you of all manner of nice things. SOFTouch is safe, they claim, because when you choose this non-invasive procedure, there will be no scarring to the wall of the uterus. As well, you WILL be able to get pregnant if and when the time is right for you. So they claim.
Wait a minute. Let’s talk about that. Safe? Safe for whom?
Is it safe for the tiny developing human being growing in the womb? I find it interesting that when they talk about “bringing down your period,” they fail to mention why this is necessary. Of course, this procedure would be non-invasive, if you weren’t actually removing another life. When you frame the conversation around the induction of a period, of course it’s non-invasive and safe. Nothing should be mentioned about the embryo that has implanted into the wall of the uterus, and if left there in its proper environment for another five to eight months, will grow until it is viable outside of the womb. In a place that should be the safest place on earth for a child, right under its mothers’ heart, a battle rages. The enemy always wins. Safe, indeed.
As I read through the reviews on the website, I found something interesting. One person, presumably a woman, wrote: “I know that finding a place like this that treats you with dignity, respect, and without judgement is pivotal to making peace.” What? I thought. In 10 years of periods, not once have I ever had to make peace with a single one of them. Another woman wrote: “They literally held my hand each step of the way and comforted me.” Again, comfort for what? While EarlyOptions does an extremely good job of moving the conversation far away from the politics and pain of the abortion debate, the reviews themselves bring it right back to the crux of the issue. Nerves, fear, emotions, vulnerability. All the testimonials speak to a loss.
Abortion horrifies me. 300 times a day, tiny lives are snuffed out. 4000 kindergarten classes a year. 100,000 children that Charlotte will never know, will never be able to play with on the swings, or make friends with at the park. Yet, it happens. 300 babies, each and every day. And my life goes on. While trying to figure out how to write about this, I was reminded of what a colleague once asked, in tears: “Whose idea was this anyways? Whose idea was it to kill babies?”
Whose idea, indeed? Dr. Joan Fleishman, the abortionist behind EarlyOptions, writes:
I created Early Options® because I feel that “how” abortion is provided and “how” we talk about abortion with each other is important . . . We openly share our perspective on ending early pregnancy. We feel that it’s responsible to end it early, and that you should feel good about making a hard decision.
Abortion horrifies me. It makes me sad, sad for the women who don’t see another way. Sad for the women who have been lied to. And abortion makes me mad: mad at “doctors” like Dr. Fleishman, who continues:
In our opinion, ending an early pregnancy is more like having a natural miscarriage. In the first months of pregnancy, you don’t even know if it would have been viable.
Really, Joan, really? Do you believe that? In your 20 years of killing babies to make a living ($1200 each, not a small fee), have you really convinced yourself that ending an early pregnancy is like having a natural miscarriage? Not once did you consider the hundreds and thousands of babies whose lives you ended? I can’t think of anything that could be more offensive to a parent who has lost a child to miscarriage, as equating abortion with miscarriage. I have not lost a baby, but I know those who have, and I have grieved with those who have. Those parents loved their children. They would have sacrificed anything for their children to still be alive.
Everyone has an image in their mind when it comes to abortion. For me, I think of Charlotte and how every day I marvel at how such a tiny human can be so perfectly created. I remember the first time I felt her movements in the womb, and I wondered how women could kill their babies after feeling that. For others, abortion conjures images of babies, once loved, always loved, that were lost to the tragedy of miscarriage. Perhaps it makes them angry, that while they so deeply loved a child that did not live to see the light of day, others were actively seeking an end to their tiny child’s life. For Dr. Fleishman, perhaps she cannot see past the dollar signs. Or maybe it isn’t the money. Maybe she really believes in what she does. I think that must be it. For as her letter concludes at EarlyOptions:
We are living in a time when women are having sex, enjoying sex, and experimenting with new ways of being in relationships. Sex, at its best, is passionate. Mistakes happen. But there is no reason to judge ourselves too harshly when it happens. Many women spent their lives fighting for us to be able to make new kinds of choices. It’s important to live a life of gratitude, and not regret.
Be not afraid. Whatever happens, whatever you do, EarlyOptions is there for you.