How have we allowed this to happen? How have we allowed anti-abortion activists to call themselves pro-life? How have we not called them out, loud and clear, on this Orwellian double-speak?
Many of those against abortion are the same right-wingers who want to nuke the hell out of Iran or any other designated enemy of the day; who support the death penalty no matter how many death-row inmates have been proven innocent; who obstruct all attempts at gun control even when kindergarten kids are massacred; who see nothing wrong about cops shooting unarmed black men in the back. But a single fertilized egg inside a woman’s uterus? Suddenly, that’s sacred.
They’re not pro-life. I am. And Planned Parenthood is. And NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, is. Because nobody here is advocating for abortion per se; what we’re for is the right to have one. For motherhood to be a matter of choice, not compulsion. And for a child’s right to come into the world wanted and welcomed. What we’re for, in short, is life. Not life in the abstract, but real life, as it is lived.
What we’re for is not more but fewer abortions. And the way to achieve that is clear: sex education in schools, and freely available contraception for women. Yet the anti-abortion crowd is against both. Which means that all they ensure is that there’ll be more abortions.
The historical record is clear: women have always aborted pregnancies, whether with herbs, with knitting needles, or with wire coat-hangers in back-street abortions such as the one that nearly killed a close friend when I was a student. So now that abortion is safe – a minor medical procedure – the anti-abortion crowd are doing everything they can to make it dangerous again: to make the woman pay for having the gall to be sexual, and to make the unwanted child pay too.
If a woman chooses to carry a pregnancy to term and then give the child up for adoption, I totally support her choice. But it is cruel and punitive to force her to do so. It is downright obscene to insist that a rape victim carry her rapist’s child. And to make a woman give birth to a severely disabled child doomed to die in pain within hours, weeks, or months is nothing less than torture, of both mother and child.
This isn’t about the Bible or the Quran. It’s about punishment, about a basic attitude of life negation, of harshness and joylessness. It isn’t pro-life; it’s anti-life.
If its advocates weren’t causing so much misery and suffering, I might even find it in myself to feel sorry for them.