WASHINGTON (BP)–New post-abortion electronic cards from an organization with a decidedly pro-choice bent are “infuriating,” says a pro-life leader who has experienced the deadly procedure.
Exhale, which describes itself as the United States’ “only nationwide non-judgmental after-abortion talkline,” is promoting the first e-mail greeting cards for women after they have abortions. The ecards “provide friends and family with an opportunity to express support and respect for loved ones after an abortion,” according to a March 13 news release from the Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit organization.
Each of the five greeting cards on Exhale’s website includes a message, with space also provided for a personal note from the sender. Three of the ecard messages are:
— “I think you’re strong, smart, thoughtful and caring. I believe in you and your ability to make the best decision. I think you did the right thing.”
— “There are no words to express my sympathy for your loss. As you grieve, remember that you are loved. I am thinking of you.”
— “The promise of God is to be with us through all of life’s transitions. God will never leave you or forsake you. May you find comfort in God’s constant love. Know that my prayers are with you at this time.”
Caron Strong, national director of Operation Outcry, decried the incongruity of the messages.
“It is absolutely tragic to affirm life in one card and support the taking of life in another,” Caron said, according to LifeNews.com. “On one hand, ‘You did the right thing’; on the other, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ What contradictions!
“Can you imagine sending a woman a greeting card for murdering her five-month-old son or daughter?” Strong said. “No moral absolutes whatsoever. How can they claim to be truly helping post-abortive women when they will say whatever the woman wants them to say? It’s infuriating.”
Operation Outcry seeks to give voice to women who regret their abortions and now oppose the procedure’s legal status. Strong, a former television and movie actress, had four abortions before her life was changed by “the grace of God,” she says on the organization’s website.
Exhale’s website provides links to two of the country’s leading abortion-rights organizations, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the National Abortion Federation. Exhale’s national advisory council includes representatives from pro-choice organizations such as Catholics for a Free Choice and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, plus Planned Parenthood.
A CROWN FOR A CHILD — Sara Lawrence has resigned as Miss Jamaica World, rejecting an abortion that apparently would have enabled her to retain her title.
Lawrence, 22, announced March 14 she would surrender her position because she is pregnant. Lawrence, who finished in the top six in the Miss World contest in September, told The Jamaica Gleaner she would not consider abortion.
“I believe with all that is within me that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and follow what I believe in my heart to be right,” she said in a written statement on the Miss Jamaica World website.
The Jamaica pageant’s promoter seemed to acknowledge an abortion would have enabled Lawrence to keep her crown.
In a statement on the pageant’s website, Mickey Haughton-James said, “There was another way out of the predicament that Sara found herself to be in and many, perhaps most young women, would have chosen that path. The path Sara has taken is a very difficult one.”
Lawrence is facing the consequences of her “error of judgment,” he said, adding she was doing so “in a forthright manner, with class and in keeping with her moral dictates.”
Lawrence, who is 12 weeks pregnant, told The Gleaner her boyfriend agrees with her decision. Lawrence’s parents also announced their support for her action.
She was scheduled to give up her crown in August.
In January, Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey-USA, surrendered her crown and the opportunity to compete in the Miss USA pageant March 23. Like Lawrence, she did so because she was pregnant.
The Miss USA rules bar contestants from being pregnant, married or a parent, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, leaving open the possibility a secret abortion would have enabled Harder to participate in the national contest.
“Initially, I was a tiny bit disappointed I wouldn’t be competing,” said Harder, 20, according to The Inquirer. “But there was no comparing the two: Miss USA or a baby, a baby that had been sent to me by God.”
NO PARENTS WELCOME – The British Parliament has rejected an attempt to require doctors to inform parents before offering abortion or contraceptive counseling to girls less than 16 years of age.
The House of Commons voted 159-87 against a parental notice measure March 14, thereby maintaining Great Britain’s permissive confidentiality policy for young teenagers, the BBC News reported. About 4,000 girls under 16 have abortions each year in England and Wales, according to the BBC.
Angela Watkinson, a member of Parliament, defended her Contraception and Abortion (Parental Information) Bill, saying the “plethora of information” by means of sex education as now taught is harmful to young teens. “All the indications are that many children are becoming sexually active well before they are either emotionally or physically mature,” Watkinson said, the BBC reported.
Free access to the morning-after pill, a heavy dose of birth control pills that has abortifacient qualities, has not cut into teen pregnancies, Watkinson said. There were nearly 7,500 teen pregnancies in 2005, according to the BBC.
“In education about the real risks involved and the likely outcomes, the advice to underage girls should be to abstain, to wait, to delay, to resist -– not to use contraception and believe they will not come to any harm,” she said, the BBC reported. “Parents need to be part of this process.”