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A “love letter to women and their unborn children”

August 3, 2011

"who are you?" by bies

At National Review, Kathryn Jean Lopez delights in the passage of Louisiana’s pro-life bill, Signs of Hope Act:

With Louisiana’s Signs of Hope Act, women can’t get an abortion without a gentle reminder about their options: Signs will be mandatory for abortion clinics, making clear to women that they do have options — and a website that helps facilitate them, highlighting the available resources. In other words: actual choice. The act is written in the reality, too, that for some women, who are being coerced in one way or another, a sign may be a real liberation. For all the abuse of the word in relation to the issue of abortion, here it is, codified, complete with a website.

The signs are straightforward enough. “Notice: Women’s Rights and Pregnancy Resources” is the headline. It then descends into bolds and bullet points.

Point 1: “You can’t be forced. It is unlawful for anyone to make you have an abortion against your will.”

Point 2: “You and the father. The father must provide child support, even if he offered to pay for an abortion.”

Point 3: “You and adoption. The law allows adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and newborn care.”

Point 4: “You are not alone. Many agencies are willing to help you carry your child to term, and to assist after your child’s birth.”

The sign features a website address for abortion alternatives, which is easily accessible on a smart phone.

Informed-consent laws that require pamphlets about options be available to women at abortion clinics exist in approximately 25 states [bold emphasis are mine]. But this Cajun twist is a whole new world, reaching women in need in a culture that claims to respect choice, giving them what they need to know they are not alone if they want to rise to the occasion of motherhood, one way or another. New Orleanian Dorinda Bordlee recalls that the inspirational name, “Signs of Hope,” originated when a woman who counsels post-abortive women “testified that the signs in abortion clinics would be ‘signs of hope’ to women who often feel hopeless and coerced due to a perceived lack of alternatives.” Bordlee, who drafted the legislation with fellow Bioethics Defense Fund lawyer Nikolas Nikas, calls the Signs law “cutting-edge technology in the service of women and their unborn children” and a “love letter to women and their unborn children.” [bold emphasis are mine; I love Bordlee’s description!]

But are the signs nothing but pro-life propaganda? Bordlee denies the charge. The signs “educate and inform women of concrete resources that they can consider with their intellect,” Bordlee says. “The thousands of affidavits of post-abortive women gathered by the Operation Outcry outreach confirm that women are often vulnerable to abortion coercion or pressure based on the very fact that they are in an emotional state based on their perceived lack of available resources or options. These signs clear the fog with objective information.”

Read the rest here.

This new development is great!

I find the poster points 1-4 powerful and engaging. They place the mother in the center giving her human dignity and hope. The points cover all areas in the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs: physiological (points 2 and 4), safety (point 1 and 3), psychological (point 3), paving the way toward self-actualization–a mother is empowered knowing she has resources available and that abortion is not the only option.

Although the bill does not stop a mother completely from having an abortion (for whatever reason), at least it respects the total autonomy of free will, the life changing decision of either love or death.

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