It’s Never Too Late to Become Pro-Life: Why Education on Abortion Still Works

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 18, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

It’s Never Too Late to Become Pro-Life: Why Education on Abortion Still Works

by Maria Vitale Editorial Columnist
February 18, 2009 Note: Maria Vitale is an editorial opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

An 86-year-old woman called me recently with a question. She had studied some pro-life fact sheets, and, as a result, she had switched her position from “pro-choice” to “pro-life.” She had even written a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to change his position as well.

“What happens when the girl goes into the clinic?” she asked me.

I explained what we knew from women who have talked about undergoing abortions, and what we’ve learned from undercover investigations, such as those conducted by UCLA student Lila Rose. But she was not satisfied.

She wanted to know exactly what happens during an abortion—in other words, how an abortion is performed. She was embarrassed to say that, despite being a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, she still really didn’t know what abortion is all about.

She wanted details.

When I went to journalism school, my professors urged us to be specific in our stories. We were to assume that the reader knew nothing about the subject we were writing about. Medical terms, in particular, were to be avoided, and layman’s language was to be used instead.

The funny thing is, if you read a typical news article on abortion, there is no definition of terms. It’s assumed that everyone knows what abortion is.

But, after 36 years of legalized abortion, there are still plenty of people who do not know what it is—who do not realize that it is the taking of an innocent human life. They do not realize that babies are torn limb from limb from a mother’s body, that baby body parts are sucked out like lint from carpets. Even though they may have heard of partial-birth abortions, they may still not know that such a method involves stabbing a baby’s skull with scissors and vacuuming out the brains.

When I was a journalist, much of the information for my stories about abortion came from Planned Parenthood and NARAL. I don’t recall either organization talking specifics about what happens to a child during an abortion. I was under the impression that the pregnancy somehow just magically disappeared—poof! The “problem” was gone.

Public opinion polls show the vast majority of Americans approved of the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. Part of the reason for that might have been that they were educated about exactly what happens during a partial-birth abortion. The abortionist’s secret was out—and there could be no denying the effect of the abortion upon a preborn baby.

Next time you run into someone who identifies herself as “pro-choice,” in a non-confrontational way, share what you yourself have learned about abortion. This may be eye-opening information, even to someone who seems like she’s heard it all before.

When the discussion moves from “rights” to a baby, from “freedom” to the fetus, from “choice” to a child, the pro-life side wins. Simple slogans cannot justify killing. Hard facts trump radical feminist fantasy.

When it comes to the issue of abortion, silence is far from golden. It’s just plain deadly.

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