The pro-abortion views of Wendy Davis of Texas and pro-abortion laws like allowing non-physicians to perform abortions in California are not popular with Hispanic women. And certainly any new policies regarding abortion gravely impact Latino women given their share of the population in these border states.  

Women, especially minority women, have become aware that abortion is a very big business, and organizations like Planned Parenthood, while it proclaims its interest in women’s safety and health, is obviously much more interested in their own bottom line.

- Dr. Gracie Pozo Christie

The Texas legislature recently passed a law that prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of gestation and requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. More recently, challenges to that law in court by the abortion lobby have led to District Judge Lee Yeakel halting the abortion restrictions, and then a federal appeals court reinstating them almost immediately.  

The Texas law, just upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, is designed to protect the safety and health of women who may not appreciate the danger of the procedure. As a physician, I am continuously amazed at how some feel comfortable lifting reasonable regulations on the quality and oversight of abortion, all in the name of women's "health." Those regulations will protect women’s health, especially minority women. But Wendy Davis and the abortion lobby aren’t in favor of such measures.

The poster woman for unfettered abortion access in Texas is Wendy Davis, whose looks and approach are not at all calculated to appeal to Latino women. The media likes her a lot, of course, and have been quick to proclaim her the next obvious choice for governor of Texas, based on her “courageous” filibuster. But I don’t think that Latino women can be counted on to fall in with Wendy Davis’s view of abortion. Recent polls support my views. In Texas, 59 percent of women think banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation is a good idea. The number is slightly higher amongst Hispanic women. Seeing Wendy Davis at her filibuster, talking herself hoarse, in order to facilitate MORE minority abortions was not a pretty sight.

It hasn’t escaped the notice of Latino women that abortion is a business like any other, and a lucrative one at that. It also hasn’t escaped their notice that most abortion clinics are located in poor (non-white) neighborhoods and that there is an ugly eugenic element in the whole business. Hispanic women account for 25 percent of all U.S. abortions, although we make up only 16 percent of the population. There certainly is a high murder rate of minorities in this country, but their ranks are thinned by abortion first.

Similarly, the new law in California which allows non physicians to perform abortions will have a disproportionate impact on Hispanic women and other minorities.

The ACLU is triumphant, saying on their website: “The new law provides a much-needed beacon of hope to people in other states who are fighting hard to simply prevent the rollback of current rights and services.” It turns out, however, that Californians oppose the law by a 65-30 margin and more importantly, believe that this law will harm the health of women. On that last score, they are using their common sense.

California now allows nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and midwives to perform aspiration abortions. This is a procedure that includes the dilatation of the cervix with drugs or instruments, and the insertion of a cannula into the endometrium. Complications include infection, excessive blood loss and perforation. The law does not require the immediate supervision of a physician. I can’t think of any other invasive procedures that would get this treatment, and for good reason.

The California law is certainly an outlier. Sixty-eight bills have been passed by states this year restricting abortion. This movement toward reducing access to abortion, especially late term abortion, is consistent with public opinion that is becoming more pro-life. Prenatal ultrasound that vividly proclaims the humanity of the fetus may be one reason for this trend. Another reason may be that women, especially minority women, have become aware that abortion is a very big business, and organizations like Planned Parenthood, while it proclaims its interest in women’s safety and health, is obviously much more interested in their own bottom line.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie specializes in radiology in the Miami area and serves on the advisory board for The Catholic Association.

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