“Did you know that the abortionist gives the 30 week baby a saline solution that makes its body burn up and then the abortionist throws the baby into the incinerator with the other babies and burns them every night like the Nazis exterminated the Jews?”

“Did you know that the abortion mills sell the parts of the baby and make a lot of money?”

“Did you know that the notorious late term abortionist, George Tiller, performed thousands of third trimester abortions each year?”  

Over the years, in my capacity as a consultant for hundreds of abortion providers, I have listened to these charges by the pro-life movement.  While my pro-choice colleagues would always express outrage, my reaction has been one of sadness.

It makes me sad that most members of any organization, whether it is a pro-life group, the American Association of Retired People, the National Rifle Association or, yes, the National Abortion Rights Action League, all seem to take things at face value.   They go to their organization’s website, they attend a rally on the Mall, or they read a direct mail piece and they just figure that their organization is telling the truth. 

What they don’t seem to get is that these national organizations need to raise money and one way of doing that is to scare the crap out of their members.  And to do that, they sometimes stretch the truth.   

“President Obama is plotting to take away all of your guns!” screams the NRA.

“Pro-choice Groups Want Abortion on Demand through Nine Months of Pregnancy!” shouts the National Right to Life Committee. 

The letters, which are replete with exclamation points and red lettering, talk about the incessant attacks on their organization.  And, yes, at the very end comes the inevitable line:   “You can help us defend your rights by immediately sending us $10, $15, $100 or more…”    There will be an envelope for your convenience and they usually accept credit cards.   

In the early 1980’s, the pro-choice groups raised millions and millions of dollars to help defeat a constitutional amendment banning abortion that was pending in the Senate.  The day after the amendment was defeated, the direct mail people had a meeting (I was there) and they were downright depressed because they knew that, now that they had won the victory, they could not raise the kind of money they had been raising. 

Practically the day after Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980, pro-choice groups had a fundraising letter warning people that he would “stack the court” against abortion rights and asking people to send money so they could stop these pernicious attacks on the right to choose.

We all have a lot to do.  We don’t have time to sort out all of the issues and verify what the national organizations are saying. 

All I am suggesting is that folks take a little bit of time to think things through and, God forbid, to even listen to the other side, no matter what the issue.  You’ll often find that the truth is always somewhere in the middle.