Memphis Anti-Choicers Take Bold Stand Against Playgrounds, Because They Love Children

Abortion
Memphis Anti-Choicers Take Bold Stand Against Playgrounds, Because They Love Children
File:Estabrook Park playground.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

If there is anything we know about forced birth enthusiasts, it is that they absolutely love babies. Well, sort of. They love them in such a way that they don't usually give a crap about maternal mortality or infant mortality or how obscenely expensive it is to carry a child to term and give birth. They don't care about healthcare or childcare or subsidized pre-K or paid leave or literally anything else that would make it somewhat less impossible for people to have and raise a child.

Last month, CHOICES, a reproductive healthcare center in Memphis that provides abortions, won a $25,000 grant from the Shelby County Commission to build a playground on its premises, so that children would have a place to play while their parents went to their appointments. It's a great idea, because not everyone can afford a babysitter every time they have to go to the doctor.

The commission agreed, voting eight to five to approve the grant.


Memphis City Council member Dr. Jeff Warren, a physician, spoke in support of the resolution while praising CHOICES’s birthing center, which offers natural and low-intervention childbirths overseen by midwives and licensed nurse practitioners.

“Our prenatal death rates among African-American women and infants is way too high,” said Warren. “CHOICES midwives are bringing this high touch, follow-up to prenatal care, delivery and postnatal care with excellent results. A playground for moms to bring their other children to play will help improve follow-up of those pregnancies in medical care for their moms.”

One might think these would be things "pro-life" people would be in favor of. A playground for children! A birthing center! Decreasing maternal and infant mortality rates!

But no.

Anti-choicers opposed to the playground complained before the vote that giving the clinic $25,000 for a playground was somehow "funding abortion" — which, unless they planned to conduct D&Cs on a swing set, is definitely not what that is.

The big life-lovers over at LiveAction are mad because the clinic still performs abortions, and according to the clinic, performs more of those than they do births. This might just be because there are many places where one can give birth, but only two abortion clinics in Memphis, with the next closest clinic being an hour and forty minutes away in Trenton. To quote Teen Talk Barbie, "Math class is tough!"

LiveAction complains:

Yet despite the supposed comprehensive reproductive health offered at this center, CHOICES seems to focus on abortion — it’s right there in black and white in its own annual report. Yet it continues to downplay the truth. This playground will be used by women allowing their children to play while their siblings are aborted.

First of all, a fetus that is not able to survive outside of the womb isn't anyone's "sibling" yet, but the fact is that 61 percent of those who have abortions already have one or more children, and are frequently choosing abortion in order to give their existing children the best life they can. Because they actually give a damn about those children, unlike the "pro-lifers" who would apparently rather see fully developed living-outside-the-womb children starve to death than allow people to control their reproductive future.

If these people are so jazzed about "life," let's see them actually open up some birthing centers for low-income people. Let's see them doing something about infant and maternal mortality rates. Let's see them doing something to make it possible for those who do want children to be able to take care of them. They've got a lot to take care of before they have any business whining about abortions.

[Tennessee Lookout / LiveAction]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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