Updated: August 27, 2012 11:19AM
While many were focused on the terrible tragedy in Aurora Colo., last weekend, Illinois experienced its own array of tragedies. Three men were killed, and 27 were wounded in Chicago shootings, mostly gang-related.
With so many heart-wrenching headlines, overlooked were two sad stories of women who suffered unexpected consequences due to unexpected babies.
The first concerned a 24-year-old Chicago woman who hemorrhaged to death Friday after a surgical abortion went wrong at the Chicago Loop Planned Parenthood clinic. The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled the death an accident, and her family, including a fiance and a 1-year-old child, were left with myriad unanswered questions.
Planned Parenthood issued a statement that “while legal abortion services in the United States have a very high safety record, a tragedy such as this is devastating to loved ones, and we offer our deepest sympathies. Planned Parenthood of Illinois cares deeply about the health and safety of each and every patient.”
Obviously, Planned Parenthood’s focus is on the expectant mothers, their health and safety, more so than the babies’ they are carrying.
The procedure Planned Parenthood used in this instance was dilation and extraction (D&E), which involves artificially enlarging the woman’s cervix to remove her baby via a vacuum or other surgical instruments. The chances of perforating the uterus is greater as the baby develops.
Such information may be too much for the average reader. No one really wants to know the details about surgical abortions because they are disturbing and unpleasant. But the public should know exactly what’s involved amid the debate on abortion.
Last week, Chicago’s Pro-Life Action League conducted its annual “Face the Truth Tour” in the Chicago area to expose the abortion procedure. Demonstrators stood along heavily traveled roadways in Joliet, Shorewood, Chicago Ridge and other towns, holding large signs with graphic photos of aborted babies’ remains.
The Face the Truth Tour posters predictably repulsed those driving by. Despite complaints, those participating in the demonstration insist that their work should continue.
“We are living in the midst of a national atrocity. Since the 1973 Supreme Court abortion decisions, over 40 million children have been destroyed before they were born. Our signs depicting prenatal life and the aborted child reveal the hidden victims of this atrocity,” the ProLife Action League said in a statement.
Which brings us to the second disturbing abortion-related incident. An Indiana woman was arrested Monday after police learned she took her son’s 15-year-old girlfriend across state lines to abort her grandchild.
In Indiana, parents must be notified before their minor daughter undergoes an abortion. That’s not the case in Illinois, so the woman arranged a trip to Granite City without notifying the girl’s parents.
A parental notification law was passed in Illinois in 1995, but due to court rulings and other legal maneuvering as well as judicial foot-dragging, Illinois’ parents still are not notified before their daughters’ abortions. Illinois remains the only state in the Midwest without that requirement.
And what an amazing dichotomy. In misguided efforts to protect its citizens, Illinois has the toughest gun control law and the most lenient abortion law in the Midwest. Still, hundreds are killed each year in shootings, and thousands of others in their mothers’ wombs.
This year, polls indicate that voters are focused on jobs, the economy and the nation’s exploding debt. Social issues such as gun control, the environment and abortion have taken a back seat to such economic issues. That makes sense on the surface, but voters’ focus can change quickly.
The same people determined to make it difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves with firearms are those who allow it to be easy for expectant mothers to abort their babies.
Government should protect the weak and innocent from overbearing tyrants. Being pro-life and pro-Constitution stands hand in hand. Protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must be central to our political debates.
Illinois has severe financial problems, but we are also suffering from overwhelming community crises. How hollow would it be to turn around the state’s financial crisis without embracing innocent human life?
As the great American statesman Daniel Webster once said, “If we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
We’re dangerously close.
Fran Eaton is a Southland resident who co-founded and edits the
conservative political blog,