The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 22, 1998, Page 5, Image 5

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sophomore political sci
ence and advertising
major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
On Monday, we remembered and
honored a man who spent his life
battling social injustice. Today, we
remember a Supreme Court decision
that has led to one of the greatest
social injustices this nation has ever
On March 6,1857, the U.S.
Supreme Court decided by a margin
of 7-2 that a black man “had no
rights which a white man was bound
to respect,” and that blacks were
non-citizens - essentially non-per
sons in society. Twenty-five years
ago to this very day, our Supreme
Court ruled that children in the
womb were not legal “persons” and
had no rights which their mothers
were bound to respect.
It is often stated that history
repeats itself. In this case, that
seems disturbingly true.
For myself and most students on
this campus, Roe vs. Wade has been
in effect our entire lives. Most of us
could legally have been exterminat
ed. Millions of our brothers, sisters
and classmates have been taken
from us.
What did we do to deserve this
early execution?
Some of us were conceived at the
wrong time, some of us were
t i ' ,
W.f ■, *
believed to be mere “clumps of tis
sue, like one’s tonsils or toenails,”
some of us were the innocent off
spring of unfortunate rape, and still
more of us were simply not wanted
by those who brought us into exis
Today, 25 years and more than
35 million innocent deaths since the
installment of Roe, members of my
generation face a dilemma. Do we
continue to listen to and naively
believe every word that the ridicu
lously pro-choice biased media tells
Do we blindly accept the popular
concept that abortion is all about a
woman’s right to choose without
ever exploring the other side of the
Do we ignore this issue that
never seems to go away and say
nothing, never seeming to care and
never daring to take a stand?
Or do we seek to learn the other
side of the story, however unpopular
it may be, and decide that it’s time to
tell the truth about what Roe has
really done to this country?
In order to tell the truth, we must
first discover it.
Unfortunately, many disturbing
facts regarding abortion are pur
posely hidden from us by the nation
al media. An interview by Marvin
Olasky in his book “The Prodigal
Press” showed that out of240 jour
nalists and editors in the media elite,
a full 90 percent approve of abortion
for almost any reason.
This bias is often obvious in
their reporting. Pro-life demonstra
tions that officially number 300,000
people are reported to number
60,000, while pro-choice rallies that
number 125,000 officially are
reported to number 300,000.
How many times have you heard
peaceful abortion opponents labeled
as militant radicals and fanatics? We
are exposed to this bias every day.
News reports often feature and
praise die pro-choice position while
either ignoring or belittling pro-lif
ers. It is no wonder many of us come
to accept pro-abortion arguments -
it is all we were ever told.
In the past, the goal of good
journalism was to report objectively,
exposing both sides of any story.
Apparently, the rules have changed.
Self-education is a must for
those of us who seek the truth.
Reliance on the press will provide us
with only one side of the story. Like
in any issue, one must make himself
aware of all the facts pertaining to it.
Listed below are just a few
examples of information on abortion
and the pro-choice movement that
most media would never voluntarily
offer you:
■ From the beginning, the pro
choice movement has relied on and
deceptively used fabricated lies to
promote its causes. Former abortion
rights activist and co-founder of the
National Abortion Rights Action
League, Dr. Bernard Nathanson,
admits that he and other leaders in
the pro-choice movement fabricated
the figure that 1 million women
were getting illegal abortions per
year prior to legalization.
The real figure, he confesses,
was about 98,000.
He also admits to having lied
about the “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a
year” he and others claimed resulted
from illegal abortion. Research now
confirms the actual number of abor
tion deaths in the 25 years prior to
1973 averaged 250 a year. In 1972,
when abortion was still illegal, there
were only 39 maternal deaths result
ing from abortions.
More currently, Dr. Ron
Fitzsimmons, the executive director
of the National Coalition of
Abortion Providers, has admitted
that, on a November 1995 episode of
“Nightline,” he “lied through (his)
teeth” when he said that the proce
dure known as partial-birth abortion
was used rarely and only on women
whose lives were in danger. In fact,
he claimed that in the vast majority
of cases, the procedure is performed
on a healthy mother with a healthy
fetus that is 20 weeks or more along.
■ Life begins at conception. In
1981, a U.S. Senate Judiciary
Committee invited experts to testify
as to when life begins. Numerous
prominent scientists testified that
human life begins at conception and
no time else. Pro-abortionists could
not find one single expert witness
who would testify that life begins at
any point other than conception.
■ Contrary to widely held public
belief, third-trimester abortion is
perfectly legal in the United States
under the loosely defined “woman’s
health” statute in Doe vs. Bolton.
■ Abortion is the only surgical
procedure in which the surgeon is
not obligated by law to inform the
patient of die possible risks of the
surgery, or even the nature of the
■ Prior to the earliest first
trimester abortions, the unborn child
has every body part that he or she
will ever have. At eight weeks,
before most abortions are per- ^
formed the child’s every organ is in
place, and his fingerprints are begin
ning to form.
■ A majority of Americans did
n’t want abortion-on-demand in
1973, and 25 years later, a majority
still don't. Colorado, in 1967, was
the first state to legalize some abor
tions. Fourteen states shortly there
after allowed abortions under very
restrictive conditions. Another 33
states debated the issue in their leg
islatures and all 33 voted against
legal abortion.
Just two months later, seven men
on the Supreme Court decided that
abortion-on-demand should be
enforced in every state.
Many legal experts were baffled.
Bob Woodward wrote, “As a consti- ,
tutional matter, it was absurd.” Even
Newsweek proclaimed, ‘With a
wave of the judicial wand, abortion
had become a constitutional right, y.
without an accounting of why”
And today, according to a
CNN/Time poll, only 38 percent of
the nation favors abortion-on
I cannot change your mind. I
cannot make you care. All I can do is
ask you to think ami seek out the
whole story on abortion.
Know that from the time of con
ception, you were a living, growing
human being. Don’t fall into believ
ing that the right to choose is some
how more important than every per
son’s right to live. Know that being
pro-choice means supporting a pro
cedure that results in die death of
innocent human life. Know that 150
years ago, slave owners justified
their possession of slaves using a
similar pro-choice argument. Learn
all that you can.
Decide which side of history you
wish to fall on.
after the
senior news-editorial
major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
Not long ago, those who didn’t
believe in the tenets of the Bible
and/or die most popular organized "
religion of die day were not tolerated
to exist among the faithful.
We now realize that everyone need
not believe in die same diings. We live
in a country where the Constitution
affords us the right to differ widely in
what we accept as the truth.
Twenty-five years ago today, the
Supreme Court of the United States
reaffirmed this basic right when it
voted in the Roe vs. Wade case. In
that landmark decision, die majority
for the court recognized the fact that
we are the supreme owners and
guardians of our bodies and that no
government body should have the
right to dictate a specific use for a
person’s body and internal organs.
What was important in that deci
sion was not the fact that abortion
was made legal, it was die fact that a
woman has the RIGHT to CHOOSE
for herself what her internal organs
will and will not be used for.
But the rising tolerance of dictat
ing personal and religious beliefs
frighteivus that many ofusarecom
and wfflnotdowith their bodies.511
decision that split a nation
Women still need choice over their bodies
John Keller, director of patient ser
vices for Planned Parenthood of
Lincoln, said many lawmakers on the
federal and state levels have been pres
sured by anti-abortion organizations to
pass laws restricting a woman’s access
to this legal procedure.
And they are making progress.
Ail but eight states and the
District of Columbia have restric
tions placed on a woman’s right to
seek a legal medical procedure, with
Nebraska being one of the most
restrictive - parental notification for
women under 18, a 24-hour waiting
period and a limited ban on late-term
abortions (almost all of which,
according to the literature, is done
because of health concerns to the
pregnant woman).
Last year, Congress passed a law
prohibiting federal employees from
choosing health insurance which covers
abortions. Also, abortion options have
been banned for women in prison and
for women using military hospitals.
In addition, former President
Bush affirmed many anti-abortion
ists’ views in 1989 by vetoing a bill
that would have allowed pom women
on Medicaid, pregnant as a result of
rape or incest, the option of abortion.
Even many in the anti-abortionist
camp concede that women should be
allowed to get --
cies resulting fi
But as Busb
National Right to Life Committee,
has stated she wants nothing less
than a reversal of Roe vs. Wade.
“We’re doing these other things
in the interim until the political situa
tion changes so we can make (a
reversal) happen,” Franz said in a
Jan. 17 Journal Star article.
Even Sarah Weddington, the
attorney who argued for the pro
choice verdict in Roe vs. Wade, con
cedes that there could soon be so
many obstacles to getting an abor
tion that many women won’t make it
to die procedure.
This is because all the efforts by
anti-abortion lobbyists have not been
focused in the legislatures. It’s harder
today for a woman to even get infor
mation about or find a doctor willing
to perform an abortion. And in places
where the legal right for a woman to
choose abortion is still being exer
cised, employees are harassed, and
women must be shuttled by volunteer
escorts through crowds of protesters
- some screaming profanities, a few
resorting to violence.
Keller said of the thousands of
medical practitioners, gynecologists
and surgeons throughout the state of
Nebraska, only four or five - mostly
in Omaha - are still willing to endure
the harassment and protests to per
form a medical procedure declared
by the Supreme Court to be a
woman’s right to receive.
Even public opinion seems to be
turning toward keying the law allow
ing a “choice” of abortion on the
books so long as the “choice” made is
a result of a narrow list of specific cri
nancies resulting from rape or incest
According to a recent New York
Times/CBS News Poll, 32 percent
support available legal abortion,
down from 40 percent when the poll
• r. I rif’/iJYiiii1 fiSif ryirt aurnrr
was last taken in 1989. Of that 32
percent, 45 percent thought restric
tions should be placed on a woman’s
legal right to seek the procedure, up
5 percent from 1989.
It is the overall attitude of many on
both sides of die abortion issue that
women arrive at the decision to have an
abortion lightly and carelessly, which
shows a general misunderstanding of
the torment marry women go through
before deciding upon the procedure.
These women do not decide on
their way to the supermarket to pop
by the doctor’s office for an abortion.
It is, for most, an extremely private,
personal decision arrived at after
days or weeks of heart-wrenching
decision-making and discussions
with their doctors.
But if the anti-abortion organiza
tions ever succeed in a reversal of
Roe vs. Wade, women will return to
being little more than procreation
machines in the eyes of the law. -
Never mind the fact that millions
of girls and women underwent tor
turous methods of abortion before it
was legalized and that those same
methods will certainly resurface
along with “Joe Butcher” and his
coat hanger if a reversal is achieved.
It’s happened before.
According to a 1992 San Jose
Public Television documentary,
“When Abortion Was Illegal” which
aired Monday on Lincoln public tele
vision, abortion was not only a legal
procedure performed by midwives
until the mid-1800s, it also was a
procedure sanctioned by medical
doctors and church officials.
But by 1850, efforts by estab
lished medical practitioners to domi
nate the medicinal world and squelch
midwifery resulted in abortion
becoming an illegal procedure.
Church and legal officials soon
fell into the party line.
The documentary went on to
report that on any given day in any
emergency room in any large city,
women would check in to receive
treatment from botched abortions.
Some bled to death, and others died
from infections. Some luckier
patients were just rendered sterile.
Many pro-choice believers hail
the Roe vs. Wade decision as some
thing long overdue. “Thank God,”
many say, “that coat-hanger abor
tions in back-alley clinics don’t have
to happen anymore.” T
Keller said representatives of
Planned Parenthood are not raalcmg the
issue “a big deal,” and that toe organi
zation’s position was only to protect a
law already on toe books. But he added
that as the grass-roots-level restrictions
mount, “some mobilization” will have
to happen to protect that law.
Make no mistake, the opposition
is making progress in chipping away
at the rights guaranteed in Roe vs.
Watte. These groups will continue to
do so until toe dark days of botched,
back-alley abortions return and toe
government will again hold the final
authority over and ownership of a