Good afternoon. My name is Debra Wagner, Concerned Women for America of Maine’s Brunswick Chapter Leader. On behalf of CWA of Maine’s 2,800 members, I am here to ask you to “Empower Maine Women!”
Concerned Women for America of Maine supports all the bills being heard today:
- LD 924, An Act To Educate Women on the Medical Risks Associated with Abortion;
- LD 116, An Act To Require a 24-hour Waiting Period prior to an Abortion; and
- LD 1457, An Act To Strengthen the Consent Laws for Abortions Performed on Minors and Incapacitated Persons.
I am going to reserve my time this afternoon to speak on behalf of LD 924. The fact that groups who claim to represent women are here to testify against educating women is so inconsistent as to be absurd. Once again, I see those who claim to support women are often working against the interests of women.
The Supreme Court has found that informed consent is actually the means to empower women to make the best choices.
After hearing the arguments against this so called “restriction on abortion” in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Court found, “The State may take measures to ensure that the woman’s choice is informed. . . . This requirement cannot be considered a substantial obstacle to obtaining an abortion, and, it follows, there is no undue burden” (Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey).
In Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court recognized the deep pain a woman can experience when she has not been properly educated. In writing the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote:
- “It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know” (
Gonzales v. Carhart).
Former abortion provider Carol Everett who operated two clinics in the Dallas area said most women ask, “Is it a baby?” And the usual response is, “No, it’s a product of conception; it’s a blood clot; it’s a piece of tissue” (Carol).
Everett continued, “What kind of information do you think she is going to get? Remember, they sell abortions” (Carol). Planned Parenthood makes a hefty $191 million a year from abortions (Earll).
Former Planned Parenthood facility director Abby Johnson said one of the reasons that she resigned her position was the pressure from the organization’s regional manager to perform more abortions for financial reasons. “Definitely the most lucrative part of their business was abortions,” she said. “One of the things that kept coming up was how family planning services were really dragging down the budget, and family planning services include education about contraceptives. It was a drain on the budget, but abortion services were really running up the budget and that was keeping the center afloat” (Watkins).
The Rosa Acuna Project found the same in their recent undercover investigations of Indiana Planned Parenthood. On the tape, a woman asks the clinician when her baby’s heart begins to beat. The clinician replies, “It’s around I think the 8th or 9th week that you can hear the heartbeat” (Indiana). The heart actually begins beating 22 days after conception, before most women even know they are pregnant (Moore).
Next, the woman asks, “The abortion won’t hurt me from having more kids in the future, will it?” The counselor dismissively replies, “Nope” (Moore). However, a 2002 report from the Shanghia Institute of Planned Parenthood Research found a 55% increased risk of future miscarriages for women who have had abortions (Zhou).
“The product, abortion, is skillfully marketed and sold to the woman at the crisis time in her life,” Carol Everett said. “She buys the product, finds it defective and wants to return it for a refund. But, it’s too late” (Carol).
Maine’s current laws require abortionists to verbally explain the procedure and the gestation age of the unborn baby. This is not enough. Maine women have a right to know-
- The name of the physician who is to perform the abortion;
- A description of the procedure to be used;
- The risks of the abortion procedure and the risks of childbirth;
- Scientifically accurate information about the fetus;
- The availability of medical benefits;
- The father’s liability for support.
Women in the State of Maine are hurting today because for too long we have allowed those who profit from abortions to withhold this vital information. Today is your day to empower Maine women! Please vote LD 924 “ought to pass.”
“Carol Everett: Former Abortion Clinic Owner.” Pro-Life Action League. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. http://www.prolifeaction.org/providers/everett.php.
Earll, Carrie G. “Dig Deeper: A Case to Defund Planned Parenthood.” CitizenLink. 16 Mar. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. http://www.citizenlink.com/2011/03/10/a-case-to-defund-planned-parenthood/.
“Gonzales v. Carhart :: Volume 550 :: Docket Number 05-380 :: 2007 :: Syllabus.” US Supreme Court Cases from Justia & Oyez. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. http://supreme.justia.com/us/550/05-380/.
“Indiana Planned Parenthood Caught On Tape Giving Fabricated Medical Information – Live Action.” Live Action. 20 July 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. http://www.liveaction.org/press/planned-parenthood-indiana-fabricated-medical-information.
Moore, Keith L., T. V. N. Persaud, and Mark G. Torchia. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier, 2008. Print.
“Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.” LII | Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. 22 Apr. 1992. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0505_0833_ZO.html.
Watkins, Matthew. “Planned Parenthood Files Injunction.” The Eagle – Bryan/College Station, Texas. 3 Nov. 2009. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. http://www.theeagle.com/local/Planned-Parenthood-files-injunction.
Zhou, Dr. Weijin. “Induced Abortion and Risk of Subsequent Miscarriage.” International Journal of Epidemiology. 7 Jan. 2003. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/3/449.full