This Sunday is International Women’s Day, the apex of our nation’s very own “Women’s History Month” celebrated every March. (I worry the men are feeling left out of the celebrations—supposedly there is an International Men’s Day— but let’s get real, it’s all about Movember.)
Women on the other hand, need not fear; the voices clamoring for recognition and equality have not died down since the days of our foremothers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Back then it was the right to vote. Now it is a right to abort. And sadly mixed in are all those real and pressing issues that should be on our consciences as a nation: concerns about pay gap, maternity leave, sex trafficking, domestic abuse, the objectification of women, and child support. (Yes, I said that politically charged phrase: child support—we must be willing to shell out some public dollars to offer women the economic support they need to raise a child. Granted, how said dollars are distributed is another topic. But pro-lifers must all do better to raise our voices in saying that we support women and babies BEFORE and AFTER birth, otherwise we are empty suits.) During all these celebrations of women, I wish these items would be the focus. Yet, I’m certain we’ll be reading news clips all next week about all the Very Important Persons who insist women are still suffering to claim their full ‘reproductive rights.’
And that’s where I start to get mad. I think the case has been pretty well made by now that abortion is actually quite ANTI-woman. (See Feminists for Life for all the resources you could ask for on that point.) The common argument is that society unfairly makes the childless, empty-wombed man as the economic norm and gold standard for productivity. Abortion forces women to suppress their natural instincts to nurture and give life. Women have to become man-like in order to hope for any sort of social and economic parity with men. In short: women deserve better.
What angers me isn’t this particular difference in opinion between pro or anti-choicers. Because, in all honesty, it is an opinion that can be rationally defended on either side: Women are liberated because of abortion or women are enslaved because of abortion. You pick. (And we shouldn’t feel threatened if others feel differently than us because it’s kind of a moot point when you are discussing the fate of another person involved here.) However, the part that is infuriatingly and irrefutably ANTI woman is how so many proud supporters of abortion prey upon the ignorance of women! I can’t tell you how many women I’ve talked to who’ve had abortions simply because they had no idea it was a baby. I know it’s hard to believe in this day of so much information, but it’s true. We see it in the euphemisms from all the major players in abortion and we see it in the doctors who tell mothers that there is simply a “clump of tissue” that needs to be removed. From those who don’t want to admit (biology be damned) when life begins to those who don’t even think it’s relevant. We see it in politicians who oppose laws that would have abortion seekers see an ultrasound image or wait a couple days before the procedure. Keep it in the dark…
Regardless of how you feel about abortion, the industry is undeniably anti-woman because it says that women can’t handle the truth. They aren’t strong enough to see the reality of what is going on inside their bodies or up there on the operating table and they are too emotionally unstable to be allowed a waiting period to think on their decision. The industry says that women are too stupid to understand that “terminating a pregnancy” is “killing a human being” or that a “clump of tissue” is often a perfectly formed tiny baby with a beating heart. What if we did something different on March 8th for women? What if we honored their intelligence by telling them the truth about abortion? Let’s stand up to the lies being perpetuated against women every, single day and start advocating for honesty with everyone. The feminist movement has been hijacked. And all the women out there are being sold out for the lack and cover up of proper information. If people were able to call abortion what it is and to face the facts of what it does, the entire debate would change*… and I’m certain the Pro-Life side would gain a legion of new followers and more children would be allowed to grow up and celebrate the month of March with women everywhere.
*To be sure, there do exist some abortion supporters who will readily admit that an embryo is human and that abortion kills a baby. Much of the argument in these circles centers on the concept of “personhood”: a sociologically convenient term used to split hairs about which human beings deserve life and which do not. While I do have respect for these people’s honesty, I’m at a loss to address the muddle that breeds this kind of rationalization.