I HAVE BEEN involved in pro-life advocacy in New Hampshire for over 20 years. Last week, we experienced a victory unlike any we’ve seen before. The Fetal Life Protection Act, passed as part of HB 2, finally places some limitation on abortion prior to birth. But this victory also brought with it a hard-learned lesson. When it comes to the abortion industry, we are not fighting on an even playing field where we debate facts. What we faced was an ever-shifting landscape of whatever “truth” served the opposition’s purposes in that moment. Clearly, the overriding imperative was to prevent any limitation on abortion in the state by any means, even if that meant making misleading and false statements.
Claim #1 Late term abortions are exceedingly rare. Unfortunately, New Hampshire does not collect any statistics on abortion, leaving Granite Staters in the dark about how many abortions are performed in the state, and at what stage in pregnancy. This means we have long been dependent on the statements of abortion facilities themselves.
Many pro-life advocates have long suspected that these facilities were playing fast and loose with the truth. As recently as 2016, for example, abortion providers in legislative hearings categorically denied that late-term abortions ever happen in New Hampshire. During the debate on the Fetal Life Protection Act, however, abortion providers offerred nothing more than a carefully-qualified half-denial. Rather than squarely deny that late-term abortions are happening in the state, abortion providers largely portrayed the Fetal Life Protection Act as denying women needed medical care, conveniently never mentioning the fully developed child she carries.
Is it possible that facts on the ground have changed in the recent past? Is it an acknowledgment that late-term abortions are not as rare as they would have you believe or have they begun performing late-term abortions that were not being done a few years ago?
Claim #2 Ultrasounds are highly invasive and unnecessary, placing a severe financial and physical burden on the mother. I have to admit, the sudden reversal of the “facts” here took many of us by surprise. In just a matter of days, abortion advocates, in unison, asserted just the opposite of what they had previously stated. Hearings on the Fetal Life Protection Act first began in February of this year. From that time until last week, abortion providers consistently and unanimously maintained that ultrasounds were done before every abortion in New Hampshire. As recently as June 22, New Hampshire Public Radio reported that “medical providers that perform abortions in the state say ultrasounds are already routine for most abortions.” Further, performing an ultrasound prior to the invasive procedure of abortion was positioned as good and sound clinical practice.
That was before the narrative changed overnight and across the board. About a week ago, abortion clinics started claiming pre-abortion ultrasounds are actually rare. By doing so, they could then position the law’s unremarkable ultrasound requirement as mandating an unusual, extreme, and invasive new procedure. In a June 28 Union Leader interview, the Equality Health Center portrayed pre-abortion ultrasounds as rare, saying they are “only done if they are medically necessary.” Unfortunately, that assertion went unchallenged and unchecked, despite the record.
With the abortion industry shielded behind an opaque wall in New Hampshire, we’ve always known that some things were hidden from us. Yet the situation is even worse than we thought. It’s clear that abortion clinics and advocates are committed to their political agenda and willing to manipulate the public with falsehoods and misrepresentations to advance their cause.
Why is this? Could it be that the truth actually supports those of us who would defend late term children from an untimely death? Once you catch someone (or many voices) parroting the same untruths, can you really trust anything they say? I’m increasingly uneasy about any claim being made by the abortion industry.
So, what’s the answer? Facts. It’s time to lift the veil in New Hampshire to finally inject some transparency and accountability into the state’s abortion business. Without any monitoring, we can never know what is really happening behind that wall. Lies hide the truth. Until we have some mechanism to verify what the abortion clinics and their political apologists claim, we will remain in the dark. Perhaps that is why they’re committed to not only sacrifice our children, but the truth in the process.
It’s time to begin the process of collecting anonymous statistics in New Hampshire and an honest audit of operations. Only then will we truly know the truth and not have to rely on what the abortion industry is claiming.