Recently I was in a California restaurant bar, chatting with two other patrons. As our discussion turned to volunteering, I mentioned that I was on the board of directors of an organization that helps expectant mothers and their unborn and then newly born children. “Who could be against that?!” exclaimed the woman patron I was speaking with.
Well it turns out NARAL Pro-Choice America can. As well as New York Magazine.
New York Magazine recently published an article asserting that my organization is “horrible”. We provide expectant and new mothers the material, emotional, and spiritual assistance they need as they move into motherhood. Anyone who is a parent knows that becoming a parent can be very challenging financially and emotionally.
Who wouldn’t welcome a little extra support? I personally found this perplexing until I read the article. The reason the article finds us horrible is because we do not counsel expectant mothers to abort their unborn child. I’m not sure why an organization has to push abortions on expectant mothers to avoid being “horrible”, but this seems to be the litmus test that nymag.com sets.
The article is based exclusively on material provided by the organization NARAL Pro-Choice America.The article states that organizations such as mine spread “lies” to clients. Unfortunately, the NARAL report includes only a single citation and provides no verification of their claims of lies. None of the targeted organizations were interviewed in the article, so there was no opportunity for both sides to be heard.
My own organization, Heartbeat International, has a Commitment of Care and Competence, which we require all affiliate organizations to adhere. Among other things, the Commitment requires that “Clients always receive honest and open answers” and “All of our advertising and communication are truthful and honest and accurately describe the services we offer”.
I did a search through the website of NARAL Pro-Choice America and I could find no similar ethical code that they claim to adhere by.
The article also asserts that “post-abortion depression” is “completely bogus”. Alex Ronan, the author of the article, immediately backpedalled on this claim when a woman wrote in the comments that following her abortion she is “still dealing with the emotional effects 10 years later.”
Instead, he acknowledged that abortion can indeed lead to depression.
NARAL Pro-Choice America is an organization obviously dedicated to choice, as their name implies. Yet in a report issued in January this year, NARAL accuses us of wanting to “dissuade women from exercising their right to choose”. Now since we obviously offer women a choice, this statement makes no logical sense.
Unless of course NARAL is really upset if women choose the option we provide.
Gary Thome serves on the Board of Directors for Heartbeat International.