By David Sanders
December 5, 2005
LifeNews.com Note: David Sanders is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau based in Little Rock.
For many Americans abortion is a choice, a concept, a constitutional right, an issue relegated to political campaigns or a simple medical procedure, which is ultimately, something they’d prefer not to think about.
This week the Los Angeles Times’ provided its readers an enormous service.
Dr. William Harrison, Fayetteville’s self-proclaimed abortionist, opened his doors to Stephanie Simon, a Times staff writer, providing her an all-access pass to the realities that exist within an abortion clinic’s walls.
"I am destroying life," Harrison told Simon. It was a brash statement rooted in honesty, but it’s also a point that many in the pro-choice community aren’t willing to concede. They believe that cells, tissue or, at best, the potential for life are housed in the womb.
It’s ironic that many on the left, who lecture on about the need for science’s preeminence when foundations of life on Earth are taught in America’s classrooms, cast aside science as it relates to basic questions about life’s beginning in the womb. They claim that questions about when life begins are better answered by philosophy or religion.
Not Harrison. The 70-year-old doctor knows exactly what he does.
He has been in the business since 1973, when Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion on demand. He estimates having performed "at least" 20,000 abortions.
He described what he does in paradoxical terms. While admitting to being a life-taker, Harrison also claimed to be a life-giver: Harrison calls his patients "born again." Simon quoted him as saying: "When you end what the woman considers a disastrous pregnancy, she has literally been given her life back."
Simon moved from the interview with Harrison to his "operating table," where an 18-year-old who was 13 weeks pregnant, laid with her feet in stirrups and her arms strapped down.
The nurse injected her with drugs before the abortion, including a sedative that would "wipe out her memory of everything that happens during the 20 minutes she’s in the operating room. It’s so effective that patients who return for a follow-up exam often don’t recognize Harrison."
Simon detailed the image from the ultrasound, taken prior to the abortion where "the curve of a head, the bend of an elbow, the ball of a fist" could be seen. Harrison warned the young woman of cramping she would feel and a "sucking sound" she would hear while he worked to get "everything out."
Two minutes and it was all over. Simon saw tears in the patient’s eyes, a blank post-op ultrasound — another life ended — and a confused young woman, who was barely an adult.
There were those who arrived at the clinic undecided about abortion. Simon observed Harrison’s nurse showing those women a couple of statistics about the number of women who have abortions and then asking them, "You think there’s room in hell for all those women?"
There were many other women who arrived seeking to end the lives inside them, some for very specific reasons.
A high school volleyball player who was three months pregnant said "she doesn’t want to give up her body for nine months" and a 23-year-old real estate agent said, "I don’t think my dress would have fit with a baby in there." She was busy planning her upcoming wedding.
A 32-year-old college student sought her fourth abortion because she kept "forgetting to take her birth control pills." A single mother of three would rather end the life of the little boy in her womb than give the child up for adoption because she "couldn’t bear to give away a child and have to wonder every day if he were loved."
What a choice.