By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy
If there’s one thing you read this week, it has to be this article in the Washington Post from a Phoenix area abortion doctor.
Gabrielle Goodrick has run a private abortion clinic in the Valley since 1999. She penned this article for the Washington Post to explain what it’s been like as the state has passed a number of regulations on the abortion industry.
CAP supported and even drafted these laws to ensure abortion clinics were held to common sense health and safety standards, and were providing women with all the information women deserve on pregnancy and abortion. The laws passed because Arizona citizens rose up and elected pro-life legislators to pass the laws and a Governor – Jan Brewer – to sign the laws.
For the pro-life community, Goodrick’s article is both encouraging and deeply disturbing.
What I find encouraging is that CAP-supported laws are having an impact.
In the article, Goodrick recounts what it was like for her performing abortions in Arizona prior to our state passing these pro-life laws:
“…One of my family practice patients had an unplanned pregnancy. I told her, ‘if you want to come back in two days, we can do it, like any other medical thing.’ So she went home, we did a couple of consent forms, and that was it. Then I started getting referrals.
Literally I needed a pulse oximeter to monitor their vitals, a vacuum machine and staff and a recovery room, and the knowledge and skills to do it.
That could never happen now. You have to be a licensed abortion clinic, and have inspections, and all kinds of things that didn’t exist in the year 2000.”
It’s untenable that clinics like Goodrick’s didn’t have to be inspected or licensed before performing abortions. Yet thankfully today, they are held to these basic standards.
What is also good to see is that because of common sense laws like these, clinics are shutting down. Goodrick writes:
“Even in the last 4 years, we’ve lost a lot of clinics. There’s 3 Planned Parenthood locations that do medical abortions and surgery. But really in terms of private clinics there are maybe 4 or 5. Texas has a lot of press, but we have no rural providers at all.”
But as I said, there are aspects of Goodrick’s piece that are deeply upsetting.
Throughout the piece, there is an overall sense of how casually Goodrick approaches the issue, that this is a procedure that is just a “medical thing,” instead of a life-altering (and ending) decision.
It’s this casual view of abortion that leads to more than 13,000 abortions per year in Arizona.
January 22 is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v Wade – the U.S. Supreme Court Case that legalized abortion in America. Goodrick’s article and these 13,000 lost lives are a reminder of what we’re facing, how far we’ve come, and what we still need to get done.
This week, take time to re-assess how you can make a difference in the fight to build a culture of life that protects both preborn children and their parents. Consider helping out your local pregnancy resource center. Pray for those working in the abortion industry. Send a note to your elected officials encouraging them to support pro-life measures.