I recently wrote a post arguing that Focus on the Family has not deviated from their pro-life position. I received an email from Focus on the Family indicating that I had interpreted the booklet correctly. In that email, they provided the following clarification concerning their position and the Abortion Pill booklet.
The intended audience for this booklet is very specific: abortion-minded women who visit Pregnancy Medical Clinics (PMCs) seeking medical information related to their decision to terminate their pregnancy. It is not intended to sway the reader to a pro-life perspective using ideological or moral arguments. But it is one of many tools designed for use by trained, pro-life counselors at PMCs in the hope that presenting the facts of abortion will help steer the reader in the direction of choosing life.
More specifically, the booklet is intended to educate—and to indicate the dangers of—a mifepristone/misoprostol abortion as it is currently performed. Its purpose is also to affirm that inside each pregnant woman is a special, unique person—all of this to an audience that, as many Pregnancy Medical Clinic directors have indicated, might disregard a piece of literature overtly directive in pointing women away from abortion.
As Dr. W. David Hager clearly states in the booklet:
“Despite its known risks, the abortion pill has been called a major medical breakthrough. In fact, some groups go so far as to say that it’s a real step forward for the health of women, even that it ‘saves lives.’ This is just not true. As an obstetrician, I can tell you that an incredibly special and completely unique person is growing inside of every pregnant woman. You can see for yourself, at the Mayo Clinic’s website, that just six weeks after your last period, your baby’s heart has already begun beating and he or she has the beginning of arms, legs, mouth and eyes. Visit mayoclinic.org and search for “fetal development—first trimester.” Take time to consider all your options and get counseling from someone who does not have a financial or personal stake in your decision. Then choose well.”
In addition, woven throughout the booklet is encouragement for women to consider having an ultrasound before making their decision. Research clearly shows that if a woman who is considering abortion has a chance to receive counseling and view an ultrasound image of her baby, she is far more likely to choose life.
Even so, we recognize that some of the other wording in this particular booklet is not as clear as it could be, and that is why it is currently being revised. A new version of “The Abortion Pill” will be available soon.
As for Focus on the Family’s firm position on the sanctity and value of human life from its first formation with the union of egg and sperm until a person’s last breath, our stance has not changed in the least. In fact, you are welcome to view our ministry’s foundational pillars, clearly outlined here: http://bit.ly/1YuKJ7B. Information on just a few of our many day-to-day efforts to educate, defend, and uphold these principles may also be found here: http://bit.ly/1afAugu.