Living in New Jersey, it is only recently that I began to worry about the status of abortion care in my state. However, the recent “expose” of Planned Parenthood in Perth Amboy, N.J. has underscored the fact that abortion, currently available to women without parental notification, invasive ultrasounds, or other nonsense that is required in nearby Pennsylvania and other states, is under attack here in New Jersey. Having never been to that Planned Parenthood, it is impossible for me to say whether or not the worker in question acted illegally, or even irresponsibly.
But, for argument’s sake, let’s say that she did.
Let’s say that one worker at one abortion clinic behaved in a manner that we all can agree is inappropriate.
Should that somehow be extrapolated to mean that all abortion clinic workers are amoral? Should abortion be outlawed on the basis that anyone who works in a clinic will also be a sex trafficker?
Of course not.
When Mary Kay Letorneau made the news years ago for having an affair with her student – an action that we all agree was wrong – no one thought we should mandate homeschooling to protect children from predatory teachers.
When the Enron scandal erupted nearly ten years ago, no one tried to eliminate accountants. In fact, as a direct result of the Enron scandal the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed, which created jobs for thousands, if not millions, of accountants.
The sad truth is that in any population – whether it is defined by profession, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, or hobby – there are going to be those who behave poorly. Those who act without morals, ethics, caution or concern. Is this okay? Of course not. That is why there are background checks on teachers (and most other professionals), more stringent conflict of interest policies for accountants and other business professionals, and boards of health who are charged with ensuring that all medical facilities are in compliance.
I cannot say whether the video being spread across the internet was a hoax or not. Given its pedigree, I am hesitant to believe its veracity, but even if it were true, do not get caught up in the hysteria being encouraged by the anti-abortion proponents who perpetrated it. Do not lose sight of the fact that if this is incident is real, it is an isolated incident. Do not lose sight of the fact that this has nothing to do with women’s need for access to safe and legal abortions except to serve as a reminder that in the absence of more readily available abortion access, women are driven to places that offer less than adequate care.