Abortion

Indiana Giving $3.5 Million From Needy-Families Fund to Anti-Abortion Counselors

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Brennaval/Flickr

The Indiana Department of Health just awarded a $3.5 million contract to Real Alternatives, a Pennsylvania-based group that describes itself as providing "government-funded alternatives to abortion services." The money comes from the state's federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds, though Real Alternatives programs will be open to women across the state regardless of income level. 

Real Alternatives received $1 million last year from Indiana for a pilot program in the state, in addition to $6.69 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and $700,000 from Michigan's Department of Community Health for programs in those states last year.

Note that Real Alternatives doesn't provide gynecological services, ultrasounds, prenatal services, or any other medical care for pregnant women. Its mission is merely "to provide life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support services" and "empower women" to "choose childbirth rather than abortion." Services include "couseling and mentoring," free self-test pregnancy kits, abstinence education, adoption information, referrals to other faith-based social services, and childbirth and parenting classes.

The organization does not prescribe or endorse any sort of birth control beyond natural family planning. 

Women's health advocates in Indiana have been critical of the state's decision to back an organization that provides so little in the way of material services to pregnant women, and presents such a narrow range of options for those who wish to avoid future pregnancies. "I think that true health care for women who are pregnant is giving them all of the tools that they would need to have a healthy pregnancy and avoid another crisis pregnancy, and that would be access to health care and contraception," Abby Hunt, executive director of the nonprofit Health Care Education & Training, told the Indianapolis Star

In Pennsylvania, the state Auditor General's office is currently looking into Real Alternatives, after a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigation called the organization's efforts into question. The paper found local Real Alternatives affiliates providing misleading information about abortion, including brochures asserting "there is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in emotional health," a "psychological response (that) is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder." In an interview with the Post-Gazette, Nada Stotland, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association, called it "cruel and wrong" to tell pregnant women that getting an abortion could cause mental health issues. "The last entity that should be perpetuating this is our own government," she said. 

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  1. The real scandal is sending Indiana tax dollars to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SPEND LOCALLY.

  2. Anyone else getting Clamato ads in Spanish on their page?!

    1. Chlamydia ads in Portuguese here. What do you suppose that’s all about?

      1. Chaparral Motorsports ads for Alpinestar motorcycle gloves.

        You guys get to have ALL the fun!

        🙁

        1. I turned my AdBlock off the other day, christian singles and doomsday predictions.

          1. Hot!

    2. You went to the cocktail and immigration articles earlier, didn’t you?

      1. +1 Cosmotarian

        1. Does a cosmotarian always have Clamato in it?

          1. Not always, but we try to start the day with a bracing ice-cold clamato colonic.

            1. I don’t know what you are talking about. I was looking for advice on mixing cocktails.

  3. I am all for tax dollars going to fund the causes I support.

  4. Sounds like a waste of money, to me.

    A better or worse waste of money than giving it to the “women’s health advocates” preferred tax parasite, I couldn’t say.

    1. This. I quickly lose interest when people argue over how my money should be wasted – not if.

    2. Not to mention, why shoot yourself in the foot with an out-of-state women’s health organization when you could open a femoral artery by giving it to some unionized/pensioned public service organization or alternative energy boondoggle?

    3. Yes. This. Virtual upvote for you.

  5. They shouldn’t get government funding.

    No-one should.

    The organization does not prescribe or endorse any sort of birth control beyond natural family planning.

    Not endorse =/= condemns. I haven’t prescribed nor endorsed any form of contraception and yet have not condemned them.

    In an interview with the Post-Gazette, Nada Stotland, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association, called it “cruel and wrong” to tell pregnant women that getting an abortion could cause mental health issues.

    Why? Veritas non liberabit vos?

    1. What makes you think it’s true? Correlation is not causation.

      1. Even if you think it’s never happened before (and it almost certainly has), it’s still true that it could. Also, note that when ENB wanted to make a ridiculous point, she quoted someone rather than make it herself.

      2. And even supposing it does, actually having children seems to cause a whole lot of mental health issues too.

        1. “What makes you think it’s true? Correlation is not causation.”

          Turnabout is fair play…

          1. I’m sure having an abortion causes mental trauma in some people. But it is a bit dishonest to present only that fact when it is quite possible that the alternative is even worse.

            1. But it is a bit dishonest to present only that fact when it is quite possible that the alternative is even worse.

              It’s quite possible that electing a solid libertarian would end up worse than electing Hillary. Is it dishonest to say that electing Hillary could cause mental health issues?

              1. If there was a lot of direct evidence that electing solid libertarians was associated with mental health problems and if electing a libertarian were the only real alternative to electing Hillary, then yes the situations would be parallel.

                Other than the fact that those two conditions are unmet and that electing a president isn’t an individual decision that anyone can make, good point.

                1. If there was a lot of direct evidence that electing solid libertarians was associated with mental health problems

                  Allow me to replace the word libertarian with “Republican” and your second condition is met. I would be willing to bet that the odds of developing mental health problems and the result of elections are about the same as having kids.

                  electing a president isn’t an individual decision that anyone can make, good point

                  Making babies isn’t an individual decision either.

                  Anyway, I can change the example as you like, I just picked one out of a hat. Saying “divorce can lead to depression” is true even if remaining married can also lead to depression. This is true of almost every statement of this type.

                  Any way you look at it, the original statement isn’t untrue. If we were all held to the standard you desire in this case, one would have to only ever say “the whole truth” and no communication could ever happen (the consequences of each action would have to be measured and told ad nauseam).

  6. “abstinence education”

    I assume it’s full of religious claptrap, because otherwise you could give the entire course for free in about 13 words.

    1. “Keep it zipped.”

      What are the extra 20 words?

      1. What if my kilt doesn’t have a zipper?

        1. Noyce

        2. Because sheep can hear those. /scotsman

      2. The Catholic way: keep it zipped and be ashamed if you either want to beat off, or do beat off.

      3. “or else you might get pregnant or catch an STD or else you might get pregnant or catch an STD.”

        1. Fer sure, fer sure!

          /Valley Girl

      4. If we are optimizing
        “Don’t Fuck!”

  7. ” any sort of birth control beyond natural family planning. ”

    That’s a lot of words to say “anal”.

    1. There’s nothing natural about anal.

          1. Um. You’re the one denouncing anal. Who’s the real monster?

  8. OT: I found the Shock Top corporate memo full of buzz words

    link

    One of their insights is that people don’t try craft beers because they’re “pretentious and complicated”.

    I think marketing is pretentious and complicated, so there. Boom. You’re a towel.

    1. I think marketing is pretentious and complicated, so there. Boom. You’re a towel.

      NAILED IT

    2. “flavoursome taste”

      “experience maximizers”

      “tactically activate”

      “seasonal variant cadence”

      middle management douchebag alert

      1. “middle management douchebag alert”

        Saying as little as possible in as many words as possible. No value added. Trying to show off vocabulary. Yep, it checks out.

        1. You get back to the farm, shift some paradigms, revolutionize outside the box.

    3. “A disruptive local craft connection plan that delivers on “flavoursome taste, to drive Shock Top penetration with Experience Maximizers in the “reward myself” need state.

      I literally (and figuratively) have no idea what that sentence means.

      1. I think some marketing walla splooged on his keyboard, and this is how it looked on screen.

      2. He wants to have a plan to deliver the right local craft beers to the right places, using both interesting flavors and packaging to trigger impulse buying.

        1. He wants to have a plan to deliver the right faux-local faux-craft beers . . . .

          C’mon. This is Anheuser-Busch we’re talking about.

          1. The same morons who had a Super Bowl ad insulting 25% of their customer base while extolling the benefits of flavorless beer.

            Not too bright.

      3. That’s a sentence?

    4. They should believe it because:

      Shock Top has craft credentials: 75% if consumers believe Shock Top is from a small/unknown brewer

      Lol, so they don’t actually have the credentials (obviously) but their customers are mistaken about their credentials. And that’s a plus!

      1. Maybe they really do have the poor quality control and haphazard/half-assed marketing of a small brewer…

    5. My weasel boss at my old job loved buzzwords. He once gave me one of his memos as an example of good business writing. It contained the following phrases:

      -“human-operated manual process”

      My response was to ask if there were any manual processes in the plant not done by humans. I was tempted to ask about trained apes, but I thought that might have gotten me in trouble

      -“totally eliminate”

      My response: you can’t partially eliminate something

      e?lim?i?nate
      ??lim??n?t/
      verb
      completely remove or get rid of (something).

      -“enable the ability”

      My response: department of redundancy department

      -“financial exposure”

      My response: lawsuit risk(?)

      I suspect my suggestions did not endear me to him. It also probably didn’t help that I showed it to a few work buddies so they could laugh at it too. Same guy once boasted to a room full of engineers that he got through college by listening very carefully to the professor and then just telling them what they wanted to hear.

      1. You worked in the Rhetorical Tautologies Department?

        1. I worked as a process engineer in a plastic bag factory on the desolate plains of north Texas.

          For a year.

          1. Six Sigma that heat sealer, STAT!

          2. Hey, my old stomping grounds!

            Whereabouts in North Texas?

      2. Speaking of buzzwords:

        I’m trying to get our finance department to refer to patients as “meat-based billing units” or “MBBUs”. No luck so far, but they’ve been busy with the budget.

      3. I had another boss who said “verbage” and “paradigm” almost daily. He was nice to me, but man was it painful to listen to him try to sound smart.

        1. I give myself points for not going nuts and yelling “the word is verbiage, you moron!”

          1. Very good friend of mine is an endless pit of mispronunciation. Espresso is Expresso. Undoubtedly is undoubtebly. I’ve learned to stop correcting him and love his ignorance.

        2. *in best Samuel L. Jackson voice*

          English, motherfucker, do you speak it?

          1. + 1 Bad Ass Motherfucker

      4. Well for the last one (if that is what he actually meant), talking about legal liabilities as vague as possible isn’t a terrible idea if you aren’t talking to in-house counsel because of discovery. Better to talk on the phone instead though.

        1. These days, when someone calls me on my work phone I immediately assume its because they don’t want a record of what they’re about to say.

      5. Sounds like a BA major to me…

      6. You actually had a pointy haired boss?

        1. He made the PHB look like Leonardo da Vinci.

    6. IOW, sell more beer with better advertising.

    1. Already did….

  9. I’m just glad someone finally found a way to get progressives annoyed by what happens when you make truckloads of taxpayer money available.

    1. Yeah, talk about burying the lede.

    2. Yeah, using the government to promote something progressives don’t like is definitely a party foul.

  10. I think prolifers should stay off the crack of government subsidies. The pusher/government will start to withhold their fix in exchange for doing all sorts of bad stuff.

    “brochures asserting “there is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in emotional health,””

    Well, several of the women who told *me* about their abortion experiences described how it freaked them out. What peer-reviewed Guttmacher Institute “research” will I need to produce to show how my experience was real?

  11. The Aborto-Freaks never stop.

    1. You’re right.

      Neither the Pro-Aborto-Freaks, nor the Anti-Aborto-Freaks, ever stop.

      1. The pro-abort crowd at least has a SCOTUS ruling to back them up.

        1. SCOTUS rulings do not an ethical case make.

  12. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

  13. I think it’s important that we make sure that none of our tax dollars go to anyone unless they’re atheists.

    That’s why, as libertarians, we should all oppose school voucher programs or privatizing public schools, too. Can’t have any of that money going to religious schools–even if that’s what parents want to do with their vouchers, right?

    1. Right. I don’t want my tax dollars going to fund a Christian madrasa or Holy Roller boot camp.

      I also don’t want to fund abortion services.

      1. And yet when people are given the freedom to choose their own school, an overwealming majority choose to send their kids to private schools with a religious orientation.

        http://www2.ed.gov/about/offic…..stics.html

        Now, how do we stop taxpayer money going to religious hospitals. Why should our Medicare and Medicaid money go to support hospitals with a cross on the wall?

        If people can’t afford to pay their own hospitals bills with a private payer, then they shouldn’t be admitted to the ERs of hospitals with a religious affiliation.

        Is that what you think?

  14. ::puts on abortion thread hazmat suit::

    ::wades in::

    This one’s easy. This program shouldn’t be getting public $. Not because of their views, but because the government shouldn’t be throwing $ around like this. Next question.

  15. What’s a “crisis pregnancy”?

    1. Unfortunately, it isn’t when the taxpayers are about to be handed the bill.

      1. Some are, some aren’t.

    2. One that doesn’t go to waste?

    3. I think it’s one where an abortion could happen, but doesn’t… or might not.

    4. Maybe it’s a baby with parts they think might otherwise bring some money in to Planned Parenthood?

      Ka-Ching!

    5. I believe a crisis pregnancy is one that the baby-daddy doesn’t want to have to pay for?

      I know that would be frickin’ crisis for me, anyway.

    6. When that woman says it, she’s talking about a pregnancy where there’s an additional health crisis, like preeclampsia.

  16. Does Elizabeth Nolan Brown think it’s okay to force religious people to pay for abortions–or is it only a problem when atheist taxpayers are forced to pay for adoption counseling and abstinence?

    1. As someone who supports abortion (whew, got the moral posturing out of the way) I’m really concerned about the fact that we’re getting upset about where the money is being spent, as opposed to whether the money is being spent.

      I find it interesting about how breathless we get over the fact that someone *might* be talked out of an abortion– and god help us it happened on the taxpayer dime, as opposed to someone who might be talked into an abortion on… the taxpayer dime.

      1. There are legitimate First Amendment religious concerns. And the solution is for the government not to pay for these things at all. That being said, getting rid of these kinds of services for young women is likely to survive even in Libertopia. I suspect we’ll probably give free educations to crippled children with parents who can’t afford tuition, too.

        I’m increasingly concerned about the free exercise half of our First Amendment religious freedom. We seem to default against free exercise. This issue is a lot like prayer or teaching evolution in public schools, and the free exercise people lose on those counts, too.

        From a religious person’s perspective, you know, they’re forced to pay taxes to their local school, and the school teaches sex education, evolution, refuses to pray, etc., and there’s supposedly nothing the fundies are supposed to be able to do becasue of the establishment side of the equation.

        And yet there’s nothing special about one side or the other. If anyone complains about being forced to pay for adoption counseling and abstinence programs, then there is no good reason why fundamentalists shouldn’t complain about being forced to pay for sex education, abortion counseling, evolution, etc. too.

        The fundamentalist argument is the same argument, from the same Amendment, about the same freedom. There isn’t anything in the First Amendment that says establishment trumps free exercise–and yet that seems to be the law of the land.

        1. The problem with that argument (from a non-anarchist perspective) is that it necessarily leads to all taxes being voluntary. My religions says that all government spending is immoral. Therefore paying any taxes violates my free exercise.

          I happen to think it would be great if that was what the law said. But you know why that will never happen.

          1. I don’t think it necessarily means that all taxes must be voluntary.

            I think it means the government needs to limit itself to doing things that don’t violate either establishment or free exercise.

            1. Effectively it does. My religion forbids me from funding roads or courts (hypothetically). If forcing people to pay for sex education violates free exercise, then forcing me to pay for those basic government services does too.

              I will admit that I take a rather extreme view when it comes to religious freedom. There cannot be true religious freedom if anyone gets to decide if a persons claimed religious beliefs are sincere or legitimate.

              1. I would prefer taxes were paid voluntarily, too, and I’ve long argued for sales taxes for that reason. They are not entirely voluntary, but if you reach into your pocket and pay them with every purchase, you’re weighing the ethical implications of paying that tax whenever you buy something. If fundamentalists would rather buy consumer discretionary items (on a purchase by purchase basis) than follow the tenets of their religion so thoroughly, then that’s on them.

                Sales taxes are certainly more voluntary than property taxes or income taxes. If people can’t own property or earn an income without supporting something that violates their religious convictions (whatever they are), then the government has gone too far.

                And I hope one of my original points isn’t getting lost in the shuffle here, that if the government has to limit itself to activities that don’t violate an individual’s establishment rights, then it needs to limit itself to activities that don’t violate an individual’s free exercise rights, too. One is certainly not more sacred than the other, and yet establishment rights seem to trump free exercise whenever they bump into each other.

      2. Maybe I’m overly sheltered or insufficiently cynical, but are there really any organizations out there talking people into abortions? Aside from people with a personal interest, like a boyfriend/husband/parent, I can’t imagine someone trying to convince a woman who is not seeking an abortion that abortion is the right way to go.

        1. If they’re talking about abortion in a non-judgmental way, then I think people who oppose the practice on moral or religious grounds are going to count that as biased towards abortion.

          Isn’t that what Planned Parenthood does, and don’t they receive government funding?

          As an analogy, imagine if I discussed genocide in a non-judgmental and unbiased way. I’d like to think people here would condemn me for being pro-genocide.

          The opponents of abortion think you’re killing a baby. If you’re talking about that in an unbiased and non-judgmental way, aren’t you effectively adopting the pro-choice position in your counseling?

          1. I get that pro-lifers don’t see it as a neutral option to discuss, so I can see why they wouldn’t see it that way. I was more responding specifically to “talk people into abortion”, which I read as actively promoting the option.

        2. Yes, but PP and like organizations don’t really offer alternatives to abortion or medical birth control(the pill, IUDs). Those alternatives while crappy and not as effective (in my opinion) do exist and may be appropriate for some.

        3. Maybe I’m overly sheltered or insufficiently cynical, but are there really any organizations out there talking people into abortions?

          I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I think there’s a perception there is– certainly by the pro-life movement.

          I do believe that one of the pro-abortion organizations was pushing a couple of years ago to make abortions more palatable, to make it more an everyday thing. Again, one got the impression that the religious argument had some merit: to the pro-choicer, if an abortion can happen, it must.

          1. When this has come up before, I’ve mentioned pre-op pregnancy testing, which is done routinely.

            “Our policy, which was designed with input from risk management, is to inform the patient of the test to be done and that it is a test routinely performed on all women of childbearing age. As we explained in our article,2 in the rare instance that the patient refuses testing, a decision is made by the patient and physicians involved whether to proceed with the elective surgery. According to our policy, “the confidentiality of the test result is strictly protected. If the patient is a minor, the surgeon will inform her in private without the presence of her parents. (Hospital Risk Management) will be informed and on OB/GYN consult arranged.”

            http://journals.lww.com/anesth…..3.aspx#P25

            This blurb is about what happens on elective surgeries. When the test is positive pre-op for a non-elective surgery, most of us would recognize that as a time when “the health of the mother or baby” is in danger. It is my understanding that in those cases the mother is given the option to have the baby aborted while under general anesthesia and the scheduled procedure is underway.

            Whether this is as it should be is a separate question.

            But it happens.

            There is also another question about whether any particular surgery is genuinely non-elective.

            1. Incidentally, as the link below shows, the CPT codes (Medicaid) for abortions are as follows:

              “Medicare covers abortion in limited situations. Therefore, a Medicare denial is required prior to billing Medi-Cal for abortion procedures (CPT-4 codes 59840, 59841, 59850 ? 59852 and 59855 ? 59857).”

              So, yes, both Medicare and Medicaid reimburse for abortions.

              http://tinyurl.com/oz79cle

    2. ^This.

      I know women who use natural birth control – basically, the rhythm method – because they don’t want to “put chemicals in my body”. Whatever. But it is a rational and useful method for some and having an organization that teaches it is no more objectionable then those that dispense the pill.

  17. The only other complete waste of money that comes to mind is the Millions of dollars spent in Africa by Pepfar for abstinence only counseling to prevent AIDs.

  18. Women’s health advocates in Indiana have been critical of the state’s decision to back an organization that [….] presents such a narrow range of options for those who wish to avoid future pregnancies.

    What’s there besides “Don’t have sex” and “use the pill/a condom in case you do have sex”?

    Because abortion does not prevent pregnancy. It terminates it.

    1. Are the women’ health advocates pushing sterilization for teenagers?

      Because that would prevent future pregnancies.

    2. this group counsels women against using the pill and condoms

      1. Birth control and condoms cause autism, Elizabeth.

        1. So does commenting on Hit & Run, but I do it anyway…

          1. We take our chances. Not quite as risky as a bareback excursion in Lesotho, but still exhilarating.

      2. I’d bet they counsel the calendar rhythm method which is effective if done properly. Not my cuppa tea, but if the state is going to fund services why would they provide only one type?

  19. Well, we already knew pro-lifers love creating poor children.

    1. I can’t really speak directly for pro-lifers, but I suspect they’d frame it differently: They love saving poor children, whereas pro-choicers love killing them.

      1. The only ones “creating” are the people fucking.

        1. Are you proposing that poor people have agency?

          1. If one were to listen to… NPR (to pick something at random) one would get the impression that poor people are utterly without agency.

    2. As opposed to the open borders fans who like to import poor children and their needy parents as well.

      Poor parents carry a kid across the Mexican border and it’s a guaranteed boon to the economy, impoverished citizen delivers a kid in the USA and we lose on the deal.

  20. Its mission is merely “to provide life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support services” and “empower women” to “choose childbirth rather than abortion.” Services include “couseling and mentoring,” free self-test pregnancy kits, abstinence education, adoption information, referrals to other faith-based social services, and childbirth and parenting classes.

    Elizabeth, the United States Scare Quote Commission (USSQC) called; they wanted me to let you know that you’ve just gone over your monthly quota of scare quotes and shall be levying a 25 dollar fine for each scare quote you go over quota.

    1. You do realize that quotes are most often used to indicate the text is a direct quotation from the source, no? Not necessarily some indication of authorial intent? in this case, I am quote from the organization’s mission statement rather than paraphrasing myself.

      1. I am quote from the organization’s mission statement rather than paraphrasing myself.

        Well, if you are quote, then I am disappoint.

      2. [golf clap]

      3. You do realize that quotes are most often used to indicate the text is a direct quotation from the source, no? Not necessarily some indication of authorial intent?

        Everything is an indication of authorial intent. As you state, you made a conscious decision to not paraphrase. By using direct quotes, you are intentionally distancing yourself from the words quoted. And that is a perfectly, as they say in the Simpsons, “cromulent” rhetorical scheme.

        We’ve read you long enough to know that we shouldn’t expect an objective stance from you on this issue; even if such a stance were possible. Own it, girlfriend!

        And know this is just some friendly ball-busting.

        1. “And know this is just some friendly ball-busting.”

          And also an attempt at an ice breaker that hopefully might (eventually) lead to a threesome, perhaps on a future Reason cruise.

          This is obviously sheer speculation on my part, so I beg pardon if I’ve given offense.

          And Mormons have nothing to do with it.

          Nothing, I tell you.

    2. I assumed those were actual quotes from their mission statement or something. Or can something be both a scare quote and an actual quotation at the same time?

      1. Or can something be both a scare quote and an actual quotation at the same time?

        Of course it can. I can directly quote someone to highlight just what it is I’m sneering at.

      2. I assumed it meant “as spoken by a T-rex”.

  21. FUCK IT!! Guns turn out to be really good against psychotic meat-cleaver wielding jihadis trying to kill you:

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..-to-death/

    Maybe people SHOULD have the right to bear arms….

  22. Indiana Giving $3.5 Million From Needy-Families Fund to Anti-Abortion Counselors

    The money comes from the state’s federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, eh? You mean TANF? Or what is usually called “welfare”? “Indiana Giving $3.5 Million From Welfare to Anti-Abortion Counselors” See how that changes the narrative? Bingo-Bango! From ‘crazed religious zealots piliaging monies bookmarked for starving waif orphans’ to ‘Government rewards cronies with our tax dollars’!

    *stands up*
    Think about it Elizabeth.
    Better yet, why don’t you ask your wife?
    *arrogantly throws napkin down on the dinner table*

  23. If it saves just one life….

  24. Yep, given the opportunity to throw money around, governments often do it poorly, and so probably should not be entrusted with such powers, or monies in the first place.

    Isn’t that the ultimate conclusion I’m supposed to draw from this article appearing at a libertarian publication?

    Or is ENB really only bothered by the details?

    1. There are only so many pages you can fill with pure libertarian principle.

    2. It’s too bad her mother didn’t visit her beloved Planned Parenthood back in the day. Maybe we’d have one less big government liberal piece of crap around here pretending to be a libertarian.

  25. Nada Stotland, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association, called it “cruel and wrong” to tell pregnant women that getting an abortion could cause mental health issues. “The last entity that should be perpetuating this is our own government,” she said.

    Reality flash, Nada — if you consider the moral equivalent of the mafia “our own government”, you’re going to be perennially disappointed that it uses the power you give them against your perceived self-interest. Vote for rainbows and puppies, get politicians acting to advance their own interests.

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