Explain This “Saved from Abortion” Number

Here’s the first line of a recent news story:

The 40 Days for Life campaign, a period of fasting and prayer to save babies from abortion, is in its final two weeks.

If that was all they were doing, I wouldn’t care, because both of those things are ineffective ways to reach their goal.

But they’re also harassing and intimidating women who visit health clinics — protesting and proselytizing — and that’s interfering with the womens’ choice. That’s a problem.

They say these are peaceful protests. They’re lying.

And Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Aurora Jewell had a wonderful line about what Planned Parenthood does on a regular basis:

“We’re doing more in one day to prevent unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion than these people are doing in 40 days,” Jewell said.

Anyway, I’m posting this for a completely different reason:

Various events are being held outside abortion facilities throughout the country, and David Bereit is spearheading the campaign. “We have a total of 268 children who have been spared from abortion, 268 women who have been spared from a life of regret,” he comments. “We have had tens of thousands of people on the streets participating in peaceful vigils in front of abortion facilities in 179 cities across 47 states.”

Where on earth are they getting that number from?

I can’t find justification for it anywhere on their website.

I don’t even want to say they’re making it up. But is it based on how many women they scared off at the abortion clinics? On the women who have told them they said no to having an abortion after an encounter with the group?

  • eL_sTiKo

    “All babies want to get borned!”
    /juno_quote

  • Elsin Ann Perry

    My daughter was held at gunpoint by a man who broke into her apartment at two in the morning. She was brutally raped…and other things…for three hours.
    The man who raped her was caught several months later after he broke into the house of an 11-year old girl, kidnapped and raped her.
    He’s in prison, now, for 164 years.
    But Sarah Palin is still out there, wanting to deny abortion for victims of rape.
    If my daughter (whose sexual experience was limited and who had never been pregnant) had had to carry a baby from this rape to term, it would have destroyed her mind. (And what kind of human would have been created from this? The man was clearly insane, planning to kill his future victims.)

  • Simon

    268 women that got scared and ran away?

  • http://madmansparadise.blogspot.com Asylum Seeker

    268 ain’t a hell of a lot of people, considering how many abortions actually occur (according to other pro-lifers…). Piss-poor attempt at playing the hero, in all honesty. Especially since they probably just shamed them into giving up (or returning on a different day).

  • Aj

    The only reason women regret abortions is because of ignorant views about human development and magical thinking. If it wasn’t for religion and irrational thinking this wouldn’t be a problem. It’s these influences, helped by anti-abortion propaganda, that have the potential to cause unnecessary distress.

    It’s somehow become common “wisdom” that abortion is “horrible”, “wrong”, and must be limited. Even people who are “pro-choice”, Obama called it “always tragic”. There’s massive inconsistencies in views on what deserves a right to life, and I’ve heard no ethical position that doesn’t contain arbitrary conditions to resolve the ambiguity of the situation. In this case personal preferences of others shouldn’t be a factor, Obama’s views or anyone else’s shouldn’t matter, it should be the woman’s choice.

    This consensus in society is based on disturbing views, not a problematic reasoned ethical approach:

    a) Babies as punishment for having sex, having unprotected sex, being stupid enough to get raped. Sadly people like to see others suffer for the mistakes they make.

    b) Fetuses look like babies, therefore they must be babies, and babies are given a right to life. We are programmed to have an emotional response to this, we do not like seeing dead babies, even if they’re not babies at all.

    c) Personhood, the basis of the right to life, is gained through ensoulment. There’s no evidence for souls, or when it would occur. It’s not a position that can be reasoned with. This is the basis of the Catholic Church’s position.

    If we should try to limit abortions it should be grounded in reason. If we can only base our viewpoint on personal emotions and values, not universals, then we shouldn’t be looking to limit abortions, we should be looking to maximize the ability for women to choose.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jenigray2000 Jennifer Gray

    I have a family friend who took part in “40 days for life” in Louisville earlier this year. They counted the women going into the clinic. He would update his blog every night and say “_____ babies lost their lives today.” He also told us about approaching the patients as they were walking toward the clinic and questioning them. This is a direct quote from his blog:

    “I went to talk to a guy who came out of the clinic to put more coins in the meter and I asked him if he know someone in there and he said yeah his sister. I asked him if she knew what she was doing and he didn’t say anything. I said she’s killing her baby, and he walked away. As he walked away I said that’s your nephew, but he kept walking. Another guy came out and I told him to ask whoever he was with to come out and tell me what amount of money would change her mind. No one came out.

    What would you say? Give me some idea’s on what to say to someone walking in to the abortion clinic. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to speak, may the Holy Spirit also give you the words to tell me.”

    I calmly asked him not to approach the patients, reminding him that he doesn’t know the situation. I also told him that not every woman going into Planned Parenthood is getting an abortion. I went there for several years for annual exams because of their sliding-scale payment plan. I had no health insurance at the time.

    He blasted me for being “pro-abortion.” Pro-lifers are exasperating.

    I have no idea where they get the “______ babies saved from abortion” number unless they question the women as they’re leaving the clinic. That’s entirely possible.

  • Awesomesauce

    Eww, nasty flashbacks…

    Anybody else remember the case of that poor girl in Ireland. Actually it was close to my home.

    Long story short, this girl is impregnated after being raped by her father. As she was to leave the country (presumably to terminate the pregnancy) she was denied access to leave. She was literally forced to carry her incest/rape spawn to term. I highly doubt she could have raised the money to go to England regardless. Quite tragic.

    For a biased, but accurate portrayal of the societal context, I recommend clicking here.

  • Dylan Armitage

    They’re in my town too! (Fresno, CA)

    I was beginning to wonder about them, especially after the first week.

    And for some reason, all it made me want to do was visit Planned Parenthood every day I drove by. Actually, I think I will do that now, and leave a little donation too.

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    I wonder how many of those “saved” babies will be thrown in dumpsters, beaten, sexually abused, ignored, neglected, or otherwise physically or emotionally damaged by the parents who didn’t want them in the first place.

  • http://cranialhyperossification.blogspot.com GDad

    The human factor is almost overwhelming here, so I’m going to deal with that part offline. One question in my mind, though, is how they knew that none of the 268 women were carrying twins (or more).

  • Randy

    We have quit a few freaks here in the Omaha/Bellevue Nebraska area. In Bellevue they protest with pictures of dead babies (they look kinda fake). This is right across from a “good Catholic” school. They also drive a large semi with the same pictures through neighborhoods. The last thime they were confronted about this the started screaming “free speech”. My wife, who is from Russia, summed it up pretty well. We have so many “rights” in this country that people really don’t know what they are, mean or how to use them.

  • Anonnie Mouse

    ITA with Aj. I have received a lot of flack for being both a mother and pro-choice. The key word I focus on is CHOICE. Choice doesn’t mean I think everyone should run out and get abortions, it means I trust another woman to know what is and isn’t right for herself, and make a decision whether or not she wants to carry a pregnancy. I am pro-choice because I am a mother, not in spite of it. I know how challenging, draining and downright effing hard parenting can be a lot of the time, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone who was unsupported and unprepared, let alone traumatized by rape or incest.

    Ok, off my soapbox now!

  • Polly

    Actually, if they want to reduce abortions, the USA is one of the least effective places to start. They’d do better to target Asia (by far) and then Eastern Europe.

    The fasting is part of “spiritual warfare.” They believe they are channeling the Holy Spirit more strongly when they fast.

    The 268 are probably those women who were convinced by their efforts not to go through with the abortion as reported by those on the scene.

    Ironically, these are usually the same people who oppose condomns in high schools, comprehensive sex-ed, and who vote for “small-government” that makes carrying to term a much more improbable feat for many poor women.
    I don’t doubt the statement by Aurora Jewell. Sadly, it’s the “abortionists” who tend to do more to actually reduce abortions. Where will the 40-Days-for-Life people be when the girls/women need pre-natal care and at delivery time and afterward? They’ve voted for Republicans in order to have justices installed into the supreme court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Those same Republicans oppose anything that helps the middle class and below as well as “socialized” health care. But, of course, socialized banking, socialized weapons development, socialized bribing of foreign nations, socialized farming, etc is spot on.
    (The Democrats aren’t any better. But, at least they’re paying lip service to the people.)

  • http://notreallyalice.wordpress.com Alice

    I used to know a guy who was on a pro-life activist team, and they would go every weekend to try to talk women out of abortions. They succeeded once, and I wonder what that woman is up to now…

  • T’s Grammy

    I too am pro-choice because I am a mother. Nothing like giving birth to wake you up to the reality of it. My daughter was wanted and planned but childbirth (and I admit I had complications, including a blood transfusion, that in an earlier day might have killed me) was hell. My daughter’s about to turn 26 and I’m still thinking no woman that doesn’t want a child should have to go through this.

    Not too mention caring for that child once it gets here. They like to say put it up for adoption but, hell, I think that would be far more traumatic than aborting one. Abortion is final, it’s over, no baby. Put one up for adoption and you’d spend the rest of your life wondering about it and if they are being treated well. Well, I know I would.

    We never do hear they might have grown up to be a crook, a pervert or some other slime — only that bullshit about they may grow up to be president (so what, this country won’t have one without them?) or discover a cure for cancer. No reality check that an unwanted baby is far more likely to be screwed up emotionally than one welcomed into this world and loving arms.

    Elsin, sympathies to your daughter. What a truly awful thing she had to endure. No victim of rape or incest should be forced to have the creep’s baby. That’s an individual choice she’d have to make but to force them to have it is just cruel and inhuman. I’m old enough to remember when the anti-abortion nutters used to at least recognize that by couching it with except in cases of rape or incest. When we called them on that, suddenly, it wasn’t even acceptable then.

  • Danny

    Unfortunately some of the 268 spared from abortion won’t be spared from miscarriage…

  • Jen

    I have been to four separate Planned Parenthoods, and two of them had regular protesters that I was aware of. The first one specifically mentioned them as being there on Saturdays, and would I rather avoid them and come in on Thursday? The second one had two guys separately protesting, and it did freak me out that they 1. knew my license plate 2. had access to my car while I was in the building that was in its own space, with a small parking lot and no other shops nearby. Of course, that one I had helped get built, by counter-protesting the protesters, so I wasn’t going to back down, and the security measures, including bullet-proof glass, certainly comforted me.

    My guess is that most of these 268 women either rescheduled, came back later in the day, or choose to go to a different, less visible clinic.


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