Secularprolife has a webpage that it calls; “Abortion Safety.com”. Abortionsafety.com is designed to give the appearance that secularprolife is concerned about the well-being and safety of women who are seeking abortions.
The reality is the page was created to spread uncertainty and fear to women who use the site. The scenario plays out as follows; a woman sees the abortionsafetey.com site, looks through it and based on what she sees there she comes to the conclusion that an abortion is such an unsafe procedure that she’s better off avoiding the danger and should instead carry the pregnancy to term.
The site also doubles as an intimidation tool to be used against doctors. It doesn’t matter what type of doctor you are, if you’re a family health doctor and abortion consists of 1% of your medical activities, they’ll label you an ABORTION DOCTOR and list your name next to numerous other doctors who secularprolife have judged to be unsafe doctors ( judgment passed using their hard earned degrees in Looking Shit Up On-Line from Internet University).
Some things never change. This is just a modern version of the same tactics the anti-abortion movement has been using since the 1910s. Strike fear into the female populace, isolate and ostracize them, and persecute the doctors who treat those women. For over half a century this was the strategy used by the anti-abortion movement and with the official legalization of abortion in the 70s along with the newly empowered female populace it took a few decades for the anti-abortionists to adjust their old fear and intimidation strategies to the then liberal brave new world (Operation Rescue finally perfected it with their so called “Summer of mercy” in 1992).
If you doubt the claims I’m presenting then let me ask you this:
If the site was really genuinely concerned about the well-being of women then why do they present this false dichotomy-description of malpractice suits?
Barring a passing mention of the possibility of patients losing cases, their entire “about this site” page is written to suggest that the fault of the lawsuit always falls on the doctor’s head, there’s no suggestion that the lawsuits might be unwarranted.
The reader easily infers from the page that not only are abortion medical mistakes common, but statistics on abortion medical mistakes are not representative of what’s really going on. According to Abortion Safety.com there are many reasons why abortion mistakes are not reported. The reader is left with the ominous feeling that there’s a massive cover up of what is in reality a very dangerous medical procedure. It’s with this in mind that the reader then sees not just the names of doctors who have been involved in medical malpractice suits but also doctors who have not. Tossed in with their support of the myth of abortion trauma syndrome, abortionsafety.com has placed itself clearly in the realm of being no more than a propaganda tool designed to spread misinformation.
Nowhere does secularprolife mention that there’s such a thing as frivolous lawsuits, or that insurance companies will often settle a claim and pay off the patient because it’s the cost effective option. Where I come from we call that paying “the douche-bag tax” and it is often cheaper to pay the douche-bag tax than to go to trial. Considering we live in the most litigious nation in the world; that some patients might be wrongly pursuing lawsuits is a possibility worthy of mentioning. I think that a site that was truly concerned about the safety of women would present all the facts and not cherry pick details to skew perspective, wouldn’t you agree?
Also, consider this:
There were approximately 840,000 abortions done in 2004 of which ten women died due to medical mistake or complications. That’s less than a 0.0005% death rate. The death rate from medical misadventure in 2004 where the cause was random foreign objects being accidentally left in patients during surgery was 6.25% (that’s about 55 deaths, five times greater than abortion medical misadventure deaths). To give you a little more perspective, the total number of deaths from decubitus ulcer in 2002 was 34,320 deaths out of 98,000 preventable medical misadventure deaths.
Another name for decubitus ulcers is bedsores.
So assuming these rates are fairly static from year to year (they are) that means that 35% of people die from bedsores compared to 0.0005% of women dying from abortions. Let’s repeat that so it can really sink in:
35% die from bedsores compared to 0.0005% from abortions.
But SPL (secularprolife) doesn’t want you to know or think about that because it gets in the way of their trying to drum up fear over a fictional safety issue they’ve created to try to scare women into not getting abortions.
I’ve now done three videos that show that Secularprolife uses three of the more highly questionable tactics used by the religious pro-life groups.
First, attacking Planned Parenthood by using both misrepresented numbers and quote-mining what they say. Second, the Holocaust baiting they’ve done by using the magic six million number, plus the use of the same (but reordered) name as the holocaust remembrance site projectsixmillion, and actually mentioning the holocaust in their debate with Matt Dillahunty (to name one example of an incident of usage), and third promoting a false impression of abortion being dangerous while using intimidation tactics against doctors by posting their names on a site designed to suggest only irresponsible doctors end up on it, and if they aren’t listed as guilty it’s only because they haven’t been outed yet.
I’d like everyone to keep in mind that while all of this is morally reprehensible, none of it actually proves that their positions on abortion are incorrect. That’s an entirely different matter; although if their arguments are based on reason and not emotion you have to wonder why they rely on tactics so heavily grounded in misrepresenting facts and appealing to emotion?
What I’d like to do now is address some of those arguments however I’ve had some trouble locating an official list of what they consider sound secular pro-life arguments against abortion. I’m aware there’s been some trouble with people who have addressed their arguments in debate being told afterward that “that person wasn’t representing our positions properly” and I don’t have time to waste with that sort of silliness. So what I’m going to do is request that Secular Pro-life make up an official declaration of their position.
If they don’t respond to this request then I’ll just ask them for it when I see them at the Salt Lake City Atheist Convention in two weeks and then we’ll take it from there.
SecularProLife was a no-show at the Salt Lake City Convention. Since then there’s been a handful of instances were I was offered the opportunity to debate the topic of abortion from the secular perspective, only to have the anti-abortionist activist cancel or not follow up (the last was Albany Rose, a speaker at the DC “March for Life”).
With the present women’s rights crisis happening in America and the ongoing political and physical attacks on Planned Parenthood, it is more important than ever that we continue to challenge the anti-abortion position on all fronts.
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Video of this blog post can be viewed here.
*Note that I’ve used comparative data from two separate years (2002 & 2004). However an examination of the available data shows that these numbers are fairly static from year to year (although there is some question about whether the hospital medical misadventure deaths are overall much higher).
*Edited to add video link.