For some time now, pro-life supporters have been saying that the counseling provided in so-called “clinics” can only be of a biased and slanted variety. After all, it is argued, abortuaries are not in business to dissuade women from having abortions.
In the past month, I had the opportunity to experience such counseling first hand, specifically, I sat on a telephone conversation between a young woman Jane (name changed) and the counselor at the newly-opened “Scott Clinic.”
Jane began by introducing herself as a 19-year-old school girls who was nine weeks pregnant and in need of counseling. What follows are the answers given by Caroline, the counselor at the “Scott Clinic,” regarding various concerns raised by Jane.
On assistance to teenage moms:
“It’s hell,” said Caroline. “You can get some emotional support but it’s not always available, especially when you really need it.”
Caroline went on to mention a support service for teenage mothers known as Jessie’s. “It’s called emergency babysitting,” she said. “They’ll take the child if you just can’t stand it for a few days…but, like, when you think of it, it’s so short a term.”
Caroline indicated that adoption would be a very difficult thing to accept, given the natural bond between mother and child.
“You deliver a child and that’s a really intense kind of bonding situation. I mean, you go through lots of heavy-duty labour,” she said.
“It’s so different when you have an abortion or a miscarriage – there’s no bonding.”
On the development of the unborn child:
When asked about child development, Caroline said that at nine weeks the child has already started to develop limbs but that there are “no physical facial structures at all.” She indicated that the heart had started to beat but that “it has not developed in any way to capacity, neither would it begin working on its own at that point.”
She also pointed out that the brain had not yet been formed, nor could the sex of the child be determined.
On the possible side-effects of abortion:
“Spotting off and on for a couple of weeks maybe. That’s all,” said Caroline. “It doesn’t intrude the body. I mean, it doesn’t destroy the body in any way.”
The counselor went on to say that, after two abortions of her own, she had no problems conceiving a third time.
When is it best to have an abortion:
“Up to 12 weeks is fine. That’ very easy. Eight to 12 weeks is the really perfect time to have an abortion.”
On the morality of abortion:
“This is not a moral issue right now. I was raised a Catholic and you have to forget, sometimes, that B.S. That’s not where it’s at, right now.”
On the other side
The counseling given to Jane was, to say the least, lacking in professionalism. No mention was ever made of the many organizations seeking to help pregnant mothers in distress. Nor was nay mention made of the certain joys of childbearing – only that it would be “hell.”
The information given on adoption is simply false. To suggest that there is no “boding” during pregnancy and, hence, no substantial sense of loss after an abortion or a miscarriage, is simply untrue. We know that there is a natural bond between a mother and her unborn child. TO this very day, many women continue to grieve over the loss of a child they could not, or would not, carry to term.
The information regarding the development of the unborn child is also incorrect. At only six weeks, the unborn child is in full possession of all vital organs. Its heart is beating on its own, brain waves can be recorded and the sex of the child can be determined. By eight weeks, the child responds to painful stimuli, will grasp an object and make a fist. These are simple, basic facts that can be found in most public libraries.
The counseling given to Jane, regarding the possible side effects of abortion, also runs counter to the facts. Surely spotting (bleeding) off and on for a few weeks is not the only side effect. Aside from the very serious psychological effects there are many physical side effects, not the least of which are possible sterility, and an increase in the risk of future miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
What more can one say, about the misinformation that is being given to prospective clients at the Scott clinic – other than that it confirms what we have suspected all along.