What Killer Cantaloupes and Abortion Pills Say About the Value of Life

By Cheryl Sullenger

Recently there has been a major food-borne illness outbreak in the United States. The Center for Disease Control has traced the outbreak of listeria, an often fatal bacterial contagion, to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Colorado. So far at least 13 people have died and 72 have been sickened from eating the tainted fruit.

Authorities have asked that grocery stores pull the Jensen Farms cantaloupes from the shelf. They warn people that if they are not sure where their cantaloupes came from, they should throw them away.

“Honestly, as a nurse, I would tell people don’t eat the cantaloupe until this thing resolves itself,” said Laura Anderko, a Georgetown University public health expert. “This stuff happens because our system is not as tight as it needs to be.”

Contrast the cantaloupe hysteria with the lack of concern over a similar number of deaths caused by the RU-486 abortion pill.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration reported in July that 14 U.S. women have died after taking RU-486 and a total of 2,207 reported adverse effects after using the drug.

That makes the abortion pill more dangerous than tainted cantaloupes.

But the official response to these deaths has been to call the drug “safe” and promote it on the market. It seems that the deaths of over a dozen people are only a problem when abortion is not involved. When it is, then the deaths become an acceptable risk.

It seems to us that abortion pills should be treated with at least the same precautions to public health as listeria-laden melons. They should be pulled from the shelf. The public should be warned. The fatal pills should be traced back to the distributor, Danco Laboratories, and destroyed.

If they can do that for dangerous fruit, why not for the more dangerous abortion pill?

Instead, we get Jill June of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, dispensing the deadly pills over Internet vending machines without even a physician present and spouting nonsense about the so-called “safety” of the scheme.

“It’s the way medical practice is taking place today,” June told the Lincoln Star in January. “The fact is we are providing a service women are asking us to provide. And it’s been proven to be safe and effective.”

In reality, Jensen Farms cantaloupes have been proven to be safer than the abortion pill. While they have killed a similar number of people, the abortion pill has sickened over 30 times as many people as the melons. People may ask for Jensen Farms cantaloupes at the grocery store, but no reputable grocer would supply them. There would be dire consequences for those that did.

It just goes to show that if a woman is getting an abortion, concerns for her health and safety go out the window. Maybe that is because “our system is not as tight as it needs to be.”

Yet, any attempt to protect women from the irresponsible distribution of abortion pills is met with the harshest criticism and opposition.

Shockingly even Communist China has more sense than this. Known as one of the greatest abusers of human rights in the world through their brutal one-child, forced-abortion policies, they have expressed concern and taken action to protect women from the dangers of RU-486.

“Press reports from Henan province and Chengdu relate cases where women narrowly escaped death when excessive bleeding occurred after taking RU-486 without a physician’s supervision,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In 2001, China banned all pharmaceutical sales of RU-486 in order “to guarantee patients’ safety and protect their health.”

Right now in our country, the lives of people who eat cantaloupes are considered of more value than those of pregnant women and their pre-born babies. There cannot be such hypocritical and inequitable treatment of life under the same roof. If our nation is truly one where “all men are created equal” then all human life has value and deserves protection, or none of it does.