Monday, February 25, 2008

NARAL Director Admits Abortion is Hard for Women, Hangs Up Without Explaining Why

By Jonathan B.
On February 13, as reported here, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington (NPCW) announced the results of an investigation into Washington pharmacies not selling the so-called "morning after pill," also known as Plan B. They presented their findings as a crisis because 10% of drug stores in the state chose not to provide the potentially embryo-destroying pharmaceutical.

AIW spoke to NPCW's executive director, Karen Cooper, about their concerns.

"Retail Choice"
Ms. Cooper initially claimed that the goal of her campaign is simply to ensure all pharmacies obey the new Board of Pharmacy rules “which say that pharmacists must provide this drug to any patient who asks for it."

Ms. Cooper appeared to be unaware of the fact that this rule was no longer in effect due to an injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton, on November 8 of last year, who declared it a violation of constitutional rights, and just reaffirmed last week. Such ignorance seems inexplicable since NPCW was involved in the appeal of the ruling.

Also, when pushed, Ms. Cooper admitted that their motives went beyond benign rule enforcement, since her group had actively lobbied for the creation of the unconstitutional rule in the first place. In fact, acting Governor Christine Gregoire appointed a former NPCW board member, Vandana Slatter, to the Board of Pharmacy last Fall prior to the finalization of the new rule.

Some have argued that it is hypocritical for an organization calling itself "Pro-Choice Washington" to be actively trying to coerce pharmacists, to take away their freedom to choose. Ms. Cooper described such views as "ridiculous".

"We don't see that as a contradiction at all. There's no analogy there whatsoever. One is a personal choice, the other is a retail choice." She declined to elaborate on the philosophical and historical underpinnings of this distinction.

Ms. Cooper said frictionless access to emergency contraception was such an important a cause for them "because of the importance of reducing the rate of unintended pregnancies."

But what interest does an abortion organization have in reducing the number of unintended pregnancies? Ms. Cooper laughed loudly (and somewhat nervously) at the question.

While hearing the question repeated, Ms. Cooper interrupted after the word 'abortion': "Listen, this isn't an abortion pill, it's a birth control pill," she asserted authoritatively. She repeated the point for emphasis, clearly irritated at this stage.

When asked if the medication works sometimes by preventing implantation of a human embryo, as stated for example by Dr. Bruce Carlson in "Human Embryology and Developmental Biology," Ms. Cooper claimed that "nobody knows," sounding decidedly less authoritative. "It might work that way," she admitted when pushed.

"Abortion is a Very Hard Thing For Women"
Returning to the previous question, AIW pressed for an answer to why an abortion group would be so determined to prevent unplanned pregnancies to the point that it would try to take away choices from pharmacists in the process – especially for a group which believes abortion should be legal through all nine months of pregnancy, by any procedure, for any reason, at any age, without delay, at taxpayers' expense, and without apology.

This was met with a long silence, followed by a nervous confession that "abortion is a very hard thing for women emotionally", quickly adding "a very hard decision."

Repeatedly during the interview Ms. Cooper tried to end the phone call insisting that there were people waiting for her in a meeting. It was clear these were not questions she was keen on answering. Early in the interview she became hostile and argumentative. After responding to this last question, clearly uncomfortable, she hung up.

As a result, we were unable to discover what it is about abortion that makes it such a difficult decision for women. If it's just the removal of a blob of tissue, why should it be so hard?

Unanswered Questions
We were also unable to ask her what data NARAL is relying on in its unstated but fundamental assumption that emergency contraception reduces the rate of unplanned pregnancies. In a study published January 2007 in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, a review of 23 studies discovered that there hasn't been a single study anywhere in the world showing a correlation between availability or use of emergency contraception and reduced pregnancy or abortion rates.

Indeed, as reported here and here, Planned Parenthood of Western Washington has gone from selling 0 EC kits per year to selling a staggering 120,000, but during this time the number of abortions performed by them has risen 11% per year. We would have liked to have asked Ms. Cooper if she was completely unaware of all scholarship on this matter, or if rather her organization was being abjectly dishonest. (For more on PP of WW see our archive of articles here.)

Finally, if these pills don’t reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and may even increase it, and if this group actually considers abortion as morally inconsequential as a tonsillectomy, what is their true motivation in this campaign?

More importantly, if Karen Cooper and NARAL acknowledge that abortion is a very difficult event for women, why is this the first we’ve ever heard this admission from them? What makes it so difficult? Why have they never mentioned any of the specific difficulties involved? Why can’t one find anything about this on their website? And why do they oppose every single possible regulation designed to protect women at such a vulnerable and difficult time from making the wrong decision?


Andrew said...

Fantastic reporting! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think it is indicative that Ms Cooper in conflict with herself. Maybe all our prayers and rosaries at the abortion clinics have begun to soften her heart a bit. I mean at least she sees some impact to women that is negative and it is causing her to pause and reflect and personal pain. She may have a personal connection with abortion too. One can pray and hope for conversion especially for the people who need it the most.

As for NARAL the organization, well, science is on our side and they can't run away from that fact. We have to keep talking and writing to get the truth out. For every one that maybe questioning NARAL there is someone like the person who wrote the PI letter today.
I read it at work and wanted to comment but was at work.

chimakuni said...

Anonymous - I believe that all those who work so adamently to keep the right to kill their children are post abortive.

When one, such as I am, is post abortive it is VERY, EXTREMELY, HORRIBLY difficult to come to terms with what abortion is.

And - of course, it is the taking of life.

I am going to pray for Karen Cooper. It is evident from this reporting that she does have some conflict within herself - for she said that "abortion is a very hard thing for women."

TRUTH for once - we who have aborted live with the fact of this day in and day out and it is only through the Grace of God that we are able to continue on with hope in Him that one day, we will be reunited with our children.

Praying for Karen Cooper and asking all the readers to do the same. She may very well be post abortive and she may be hurting ...

DK said...

Everyone, and particularly post-abortive women, are angry at being manipulated by the abortion lobby. Their credibility is in shreds.

chimakuni said...

dk - post abortive women often do not realize that they have been manipulated - indeed they are part of the manipulation of others, without even being aware of it.

Yes, to you and me, their credibility is in shreds; but they will defend to the death their rightness in their wrong thinking.

Sin does not like to be alone - it likes others to accept it and others to condone it and to indulge in it...and that is what the abortion lobby is involved in - a huge sin.

I am a post abortive woman and I try very hard not to be angry - for anger can often times produce a lot of stink. I try instead to have compassion, compassion for those who are still caught up in this huge sin of abortion. Being human, I am not always successful, but God opened my eyes at a late time in my life, and so I pray that the eyes of those who espouse abortion will also be opened.

With God all things are possible!

Anonymous said...

JB- good job reporting.
I think it is imperative that we, the general public, understand that there really is no concrete eveidence that EC affects pregnancy rates, yet, we hear this rhetoric from many organizations.They want more public dollars to protect women from pregnancy and they want to close down pregnancy centers and abstinence programs. I find it ironic that pregnancy and self-control are both very normal and even healthy things. But our culture treats them as if they are undesirable and maybe even impossible in the case of self-control.
We need to speak out with politeness and truth and hold these organizations and our legislators accountable for promoting and funding procedures that are harmful to women and children.

Mary E. said...

I find it interesting that Ms. Cooper used the phrase "birth control" to describe Plan B. Abortion, after all, is a form of birth control.

lal said...

Fabulous interview questions--really astute--and an excellent write up. Anyone ever think of contacting WORLD Magazine to run this? Also, did it get sent to Karen Cooper? I'll be praying for her and future contact with NPCW.

Jonathan said...

"But what interest does an abortion organization have in reducing the number of unintended pregnancies?"

Great question. Would love to hear an answer to this.