DETROIT, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pro-life advocates are calling this the "perfect opportunity" to take action to ban late-term abortions.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but they don't have a right to their own facts," states Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life. "If we're going to debate abortion in this country, rather than pretending to debate abortion, then we're going to start with acknowledging that healthy babies of healthy mothers are being killed even at 24 weeks and beyond."
Priests for Life and Abortion Free New Mexico have recorded 11 undercover calls, showing abortionists willing to perform late-term abortions on healthy babies and healthy women. "When you tell people that a mother can legally abort her baby at, for instance, 24 weeks of pregnancy — as the calls released today demonstrate — they will look at you in disbelief. Some will say we are making it up. Others will say it happens only if the mother is going to die or the baby is deformed. But it's time for those myths to stop."
Church Militant spoke with Fr. Pavone on Tuesday, just before the 10th and 11th undercover calls were released.
Church Militant: You've released nine videos showing late-term abortionists willing to abort healthy babies. Is it pretty safe to say that all or most abortionists perform these procedures whenever a woman asks for them, regardless of the reason?
Fr. Frank Pavone: We have found, both by these phone calls and by our other interactions with the abortion industry, that yes, their top priority is to sell abortions. The reason doesn't matter to them, and if they follow the internal logic of "pro-choice," the reason shouldn't matter because they aren't concerned about the "why" but only about the "choice." In fact, the abortion industry doesn't care about the choice either because a very large number of abortions in America are forced abortions, and the industry gladly goes along with that as well.
CM: Are these procedures more profitable for the Abortionists?
FP: The more developed the baby is the more expensive the abortion procedure is. So these procedures are very profitable. Moreover, we have found in our work of healing after abortion (two of the key ministries of Priests for Life are Rachel's Vineyard and Silent No More), that the later in pregnancy an abortion occurs, the more intense and complex is the grief.
CM: Are the mental and physical health effects worse for the woman who chooses to abort her healthy near-term baby?
FP: The mother has had a longer time to bond with the baby in her womb, has felt that baby move, and it is much harder to believe the myth that this baby is just "tissue" or a "clump of cells." Moreover, the experiences of the mothers more often involve seeing the baby and experiencing labor and delivery of a dead child. This is unbelievable traumatic.
Textbooks on abortion also point out that the psychological distress of the abortion clinic staff is far greater when the abortions are done later in the pregnancy.
CM: What are the next steps?
FP: As for next steps, we have a perfect opportunity with the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, now before the U.S. Senate. It has been passed by the House (early October) and the president is committed to sign it. So now, utilizing these phone calls, we want to pressure the Senate to pass this bill, which would protect babies from 20 weeks of development and beyond. At www.StopAbortionNow.org, we give instructions on how to lobby the senators about this specific bill.
CM: What responses have you gotten from legislators?
FP: [T]hese phone calls need to be an election issue for 2018, especially regarding the Democrat Party, the party of unrestricted abortion. Candidates need to be challenged with these phone calls and ask if they will lift a finger to protect healthy babies, carried by healthy mothers but being aborted at 25, 28 and even 32 weeks.
Challenging them publicly with this question is a win-win, no matter how they answer. The question educates people, and the answer reveals either the support for protecting these babies or the barbaric insensitivity of those who either are unwilling to protect them or unable to answer the question as to whether they should. Anyone who can't protect them doesn't belong in public office.
CM: Why are you doing these undercover calls?
FP: Our educational strategy here is simple. In moving America to reject abortion, we move from the most obvious to the less obvious. Most "pro-choice" people oppose abortion in these later stages of pregnancy. We can and must mobilize them to join us to protect these babies.
The first step in stopping late-term abortion is realizing that it is occurring, and so many Americans are in both ignorance and denial that this is happening. These phone calls, of which there will be many more, build up the concrete evidence that healthy babies of healthy mothers are being aborted in the final stages of pregnancy.
Father Pavone stated in the video release from Wednesday, "We urge people to take the links to these calls and spread them everywhere they can, on websites, via email and on social media. Bring this information also to your pastors and urge them to inform their congregations."