Something I’ve wondered about, especially with the recent conviction of Kermit Gosnell, is how Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other pro-choice advocacy groups claim themselves as the guardians of women’s health, yet work to silence women who have been hurt by the procedures and speak out. How can they claim these positions even with well-documented cases of the facilities’ foul conditions and poor treatment of women?
Pro-choicers accuses us of not caring about women’s health. We say that “abortion hurts women”, which it does. How, though? How does the immediate act of abortion and not necessarily the side effects, such as the increased risk of breast cancer, hurt women? More importantly, why do these atrocities inside abortion mills happen?
Idle minds are The Devil’s workshop
I particularly enjoy C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Screwtape Letters. When confronted with evil, we often expect an evil spirit prowling about the world seeking the ruin of souls, boldly executing a full-frontal assault on the believer. Well, this may be true for some, but in The Screwtape Letters, it’s a more subtle approach. In the pro-life/pro-choice debate, this subtle method is working very much in favor of the pro-choice side. Many ill-informed Catholics have even fallen into the “personally opposed, but…” trap.
Pro-choice advocates say that a woman has the right to her own body, that the unborn child is not its own being. This is just my theory, but herein lies the issue: a simple, yet profound psychological effect.
When the abortionist is performing the procedure, is he or she aborting a separate being or quite literally killing a part of the mother? If the child is not its own being, how can the procedure not harm the mother? This is equally applicable for any stage of the pregnancy, up to and including birth (partial-birth abortion). Since they claim to be concerned with preserving the life and health of the mother, why don’t they treat her more delicately? Why aren’t they more precise when destroying this so-called “glob of tissue”?
I think that when the child is not seen as a separate being, it’s much easier to minimize the woman’s personhood. Listen to any horrifying story that a former Planned Parenthood customer will tell about how she was treated inside. Either those or what law enforcement officers and health inspectors might say about facilities (the few times that they actually are inspected).
Shooting blanks (that are actually loaded)
Think about any hot-button issue today. Someone is automatically racist if against illegal immigration, homophobes if against gay marriage, and not concerned about children’s safety if against gun control. Have you ever been so convinced that you were right, but later were proven wrong? How did you handle it? Did you tell everyone else how stupid your opponent is? This is exactly what’s happening here. The problem is that for fear of political correctness in the “open-minded” world in which we live today, many people, even those who firmly believe that abortion is wrong, will back off when confronted with the women’s rights aspect.
Sadly, this has been determined as one of the massive failures of the pro-life cause. We have been, and rightly so, very vocal about our concern for the life of the child. The failure on our part is that as a whole, until recent years, we haven’t been as vocal about our concern for women beyond simply saying “abortion hurts women”, “women deserve better”, etc. Many women are led to believe that abortion is their only real way out.
It ain’t over yet…
Again, this is just my observation. I don’t think you can discuss this without addressing how exactly “her body, her choice” plays in with regards to facility conditions and the treatment of women. Fairly soon, I will do a post on personhood in the womb and how recent court cases not directly related to abortion are influencing the debate. Try as they might, pro-choice advocates are not silencing this.