Immediately following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade, the Biden Administration began using the resources and strength of the federal government to push back against the ruling.
The VA has come into focus as making one of most egregious attempts to push abortion into every state, regardless of the law. Denis McDonough, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, holds the top ranking position within the VA. While Sec McDonough has not served in the US military, his career path includes many years within the Obama administration, as well as John Podesta's Center for American Progress.
The Post Millennial received and reviewed a large collection of leaked videos that the VA uses to train health providers working within the VA. The videos are extensive, and specifically cover reproductive health. It should be noted that "reproductive health" covers a range of topics, but the training videos viewed by The Post Millennial, used to train VA health providers, do not touch on any training other than abortion.
While each section covers different aspects of abortion within reproductive health training, the takeaway of each video is that abortion is always a safer option than childbirth and the health risks involved in pregnancy are far greater than abortion. Health providers are instructed that while the choice is always that of the veteran, as ambassadors of the VA, they are charged with the responsibility of giving accurate information to a pregnant veteran.
This is to say, the veteran will make her choice of whether to have an abortion or keep her child, but the health provider must supply her with information that is contained in these videos - information that unapologetically and blatantly frames abortion as the safe option while casting pregnancy and childbirth as dangerous choices that will negatively impact the life of the veteran in multiple ways, even going so far as to include death.
Much of the information presented to providers by the VA cite the same sources of reference. Data from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is used often throughout the training. ACOG, whose staff has overlaps with Planned Parenthood, recently came out publicly stating that abortions should have no gestational limit and should be legal up to birth. Guttmacher is another source often used in the training videos, and was previously a publishing arm of Planned Parenthood.
The training videos often emphasize the importance of language. It is stated throughout the videos that pregnancy is a medical condition that is "most certainly not benign" and that many people are at risk for pregnancy—not only women. For this reason, the care provider is instructed that "a wide spectrum of individuals need abortion care" and, as such, the care provider must always use gender neutral language to avoid inaccurate language, bias, or marginalization.
Similarly, VA providers are told never to use the word "mother" when referring to a patient and instead to use "pregnancy capable person." One slide displays a chart of words and phrases which VA reproductive health providers may and may not use.
A sampling of the language mandates:
Do not use "baby" or "unborn child." Instead, use "fetus" or "embryo."
Do not use "womb." Instead say "uterus."
Do not say "partial birth abortion." Instead say "intact dilation and evacuation."
Another section lists statistics and information points which VA caregivers should provide to pregnant veterans trying to decide whether to keep their child or to have an abortion.
Included in this information (which often cites studies and statistics from the same sources):
Abortion is 10x safer than carrying a pregnancy to term.
Mortality associated with childbirth is 14x that of abortion.
1 of every 4 US pregnancy capable people has abortions.
18 percent of US pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortions.
US unintended pregnancy is 45 percent higher than that of other developed nations.
A large segment of training is on the topic of mental health and abortion.
The caregiver is presented with statements that, when examined, originate from the same echochamber of pro-abortion ideology, masked as academic and medically accredited sources. Care providers are instructed to stress the fact that abortion absolutely does not pose a hazard to a patient's mental health and that the most common emotion after having an abortion is relief.
The video lists the name of the study and uses it continuously to make similar statements claiming women who have abortions experience positive mental effects and a general increase in quality of life, while women who are denied abortions experience an overwhelming amount of negative impacts on their lives. The study was conducted by a woman who heads a militant extremist pro-abortion group based out of San Francisco. The training videos, however, only list the study—they do not reference the group from which it originates.
This is just one example of the pattern running through all the training videos reviewed by The Post Millennial: the training caregiver is given a set of facts that is presented as originating from a reputable non-biased source and they must give that information to pregnant women trying to decide whether to have an abortion or keep their unborn baby.
What is always omitted is who exactly this source is and what they promote. To get that information takes a great deal of digging and ends in the realization that the entirety of facts cited within these videos originate from a pool of studies from organizations that are not pro-choice. In fact, they are not only pro-abortion, they are anti-natalist, shockingly extremist and they are united in one goal: all access no-limit abortion for anyone. And they will not stop until that goal is reached.
In a portion of the training titled "Sharing Results," providers are told never to say "Congratulations" when communicating to a patient that she is pregnant, because pregnancy is most times not a positive outcome. Instead, the training VA care provider is instructed to say, "Your pregnancy test came back positive which means you are pregnant."
In a video training abortion providers on the legalities of abortion within the VA, the narrator expands on what the VA is providing to veterans as a result of the Interim Final Rule (IFR) put into action by Secretary McDonough on September 9,2022.
McDonough's IFR is what has allowed the VA to provide abortions funded by taxpayer dollars once Roe v Wade was overturned. It gives the VA authority to provide abortions under three categories: when the pregnancy is a product of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother's health or life.
Providers are told in the training that these conditions are based on self reporting from the mother. In cases where the woman claims the pregnancy is a product of rape or incest, there is no further action taken on the part of the VA in terms of investigation, examination (ie rape kits), and no interaction with any form of law enforcement. Once the patient makes the claim, VA providers are instructed to immediately progress to the next phase.
The remaining portion of the situations that qualify a woman for abortion in the VA is whether the health or the life of the patient is threatened by the pregnancy. When McDonough slipped the phrase "or health of the mother" into the IFR, he did so for a very insidious reason. Determining what constitutes a threat to a pregnant woman's "health" is a slippery slope.
This is because the VA has been undergoing a full shift in healthcare models. The VA now functions under a model called Whole Health. Whole Health defines "health" in a very different way then does the general public.
Under the Whole Health model, health is divided into 6 categories: physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, social, spiritual and environmental. This is a fact that is addressed in the training videos and also on the VA public website itself. When McDonough included "the health of the mother" in the clause, he exponentially expanded the legal scope the IFR covered.
With the addition of the word "health" into the IFR, an abortion can be done if a patient claims it's not the right time financially, if the pregnancy makes her anxious, if she believes it will threaten her socially. The possibilities a patient would qualify for an abortion under the IFR become almost infinite. McDonough essentially turned this into a quality of life issue.
Senator Tommy Tuberville has been a longtime opponent of the IFR since McDonough signed it. He has demanded answers from McDonough himself as well as others in leadership within the VA. The VA has refused to give answers to most questions. Sen Tuberville has repeatedly asked the VA to provide information on the number of abortions the VA has performed as well as the breakdown of how the abortions were categorized according to the exclusions (rape, incest, danger to the health or life of mother). The VA has given very vague numbers and the majority of the abortions fell under the category of "health of the mother."
When Sen Tuberville and other Republicans have asked exactly what constitutes "health," the VA has remained silent. The reason is because according to the VA's definition, "health" can mean virtually anything. Of particular interest was Tuberville's questioning of gestation time because the IFR makes no mention of it. The VA refused to answer.
It should be noted that while the VA and Secretary McDonough refuse to comment on this topic, the training videos reviewed by The Post Millennial do, in fact, address partial birth abortions (referred to as "intact dilation and evacuation") and, as noted, the videos also use ACOG, an organization which promotes absolutely no limit abortion access.
Republicans on the House Veterans Affairs Committee have now communicated that they intend to vote to issue a subpoena to the VA if they do not receive the requested information by September 30.
The Post Millennial reached out to Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America recently to gain insight on the perspective, and received the following response:
"Americans will be shocked to learn that, not only is the VA performing abortions at hospitals across the county," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, "but they are promoting and training their staff with radical pro-abortion ideology, counseling women veterans into having abortions. Most Americans don't want their taxpayer dollars funding abortions, especially in direct violation of the law.
"Senator [Tommy] Tuberville and Rep. Michael Cloud should be applauded for exposing that the VA has opened the door to abortion on demand," she continued. "And for leading Congressional efforts to stop this illegal agenda. Right now, the VA is instructing its staff to completely sidestep state pro-life laws and provide abortions. We must continue to expose and stop this illegal extremism. At a time when our veterans need our greatest support, why is the VA prioritizing forced ideology over the needs of our ill, injured and wounded veterans?"
The actions of Republicans pushing for answers from the VA and the sentiments expressed by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America echo those of a majority of Americans who are against the actions of the Biden administration and the issuing of McDonough's IFR. Taxpayers and their elected officials who have voted against the procedure now find themselves strong-armed into not only having abortions take place in their states, but also being forced to pay for them.
Many people note the silence on the side of the VA and the Biden administration in general when the topics of "the health of the mother" as well as gestational limits on abortion is brought up.
Given the fact that the VA training videos obtained by The Post Millennial define "health" as a quality of life issue under the VA's "Whole Health" healthcare model and that partial birth abortions are included in those training videos, one might be inclined to wonder: what exactly is going on behind the closed doors of VA hospitals and clinics across the country and, moreover, at what point do the lockstep efforts of pro-abortion extremists backed by the federal government cross the line from pro-abortion to anti-natalism?
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