The “Safe Haven” Shield Pro-Choice Politicians Use in the Abortion Argument

This Safe Haven sign is in front of Crystal Lake's City Hall.

There is a concept used in campaigns that could be called a “political shield.”

Abortion being a distasteful subject not often discussed in private or public is, nevertheless, one that motivates political activists and, at least on the pro-choice side of the equation, contributors.

So what do those on the Pro-Choice side of the spectrum use to soften the image of the aborted “fetus,” as they would label it.

In the 1990’s, it was adoption.

Pro-Choice politicians like Jim Edgar pushed adoption.

At least his wife Brenda did.

For some, the abstract concept of “a woman’s right to choose” is outright racism. I learned that firsthand when I heard a white female state representative, whom I respected on all other spectra, say during a debate on a bill that was about abortion (although not on the surface), “They’re too many black babies.”

Not that I am suggesting that Brenda Edgar was a racist. Neither are probably most other who label themselves “Pro-Choice.”

I think Brenda was just trying to soften her husband’s image of being a supporter of abortion.

Then another “shield” entered the political firmament.

Its warm and fuzzy name was “Safe Haven.”

The idea was that women who gave birth, but decided they could not care for their newborn, would be able to hand them over to someone officially designated to take and provide immediate care without fear of being charged with child abandonment.

No need to risk criminal prosecution by disposing of a baby in a garbage bin.

Not a bad idea.

But not a big idea.

Not big results.

69 babies saved in ten years, according to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation.

Worth doing, but not something that would made a dent in the number of abortions.

While state statistics for the Safe Haven program are apparently easy to calculate, when I tried to find the number of abortions in Illinois in the last ten years at the Centers for Disease Control (and, now, “Prevention”) are not available. The most recent abortion number was for 2007, released last November.

They total 458,660 from 1998-2007.

The Chicago Tribune though the Safe Haven program was worth a front page story.

Strangely, all years did not agree with the statistics I later found at the Illinois Department of Public Health web site. The state statistics appear below:

  • 2000 – 45,884
  • 2001 – 46,546
  • 2002 – 46,945
  • 2003 – 42,228
  • 2004 – 43,537
  • 2005 – 43,409
  • 2006 – 46,467
  • 2007 – 45,298
  • 2008 – 47,717
  • 2009 – 46,077

The Illinois DPH total from 2000-2009 was 454,108 abortions.  (The CDC and IDPH figures do not match for 2003. Can’t tell you why.)

Dividing the 69 babies saved by the Safe Haven program by the 458,660 babies who died from abortions over a ten-year period reported by the CDC equals 0.00015%.

69 divided by the IDPH decade figure of 454,108 is 0.000152.

Both are truly a rounding errors.

Not that the results were not worth the effort.

But featuring 69 babies saved when over 450,000 were lost makes me wonder why the Safe Haven program was worth a front page story in Saturday’s Chicago Tribune.

With not a word about the over 450,000 babies who did not make it out of the womb alive.


The “Safe Haven” Shield Pro-Choice Politicians Use in the Abortion Argument — 1 Comment

  1. I have not read the article, but is it possible that the value in the article is in making more people aware of this option?

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