Many of you have heard of this woman by now. She says she’s a 26-year-old graduate student who lives in a state that requires a 72-hour waiting period between a consultation for an abortion procedure and the procedure itself.
On July 7, this anonymous woman will give pro-lifers 72 hours to donate one million dollars to her website. If they do, she’ll let her child live, place the child for adoption and put the money in a trust for him or her. If not, she’ll abort her child and return the donations.
She anticipates that pro-lifers won’t give her the money, which she will interpret as pro-lifers only caring about babies, and not women. To make her point, she’ll abort her child on July 10.
Her website domain name is ProlifeAntiWoman. We, at ProWomanProLife, felt compelled to respond to her open letter with our own.
Dear Anonymous Pro-Choicer,
Pro-lifers believe that their position is consistent with a worldview that demonstrates care for all humans, whether they are at their earliest stages of development inside their mothers’ wombs, or outside in the world, fighting for their rights. We see that women remain particularly vulnerable in today’s world. For example, millions of women are exploited each year in sex trafficking. In some countries, girls are still fighting for the right to be educated, or simply to drive and generally to provide a better world for their own daughters.
All girls also face a horrific battle just to survive, at their earliest stage of development. As The Economist reported a few years ago, millions of girls are being aborted due to cultural preferences for male children. The shortage of women in certain countries leads to more sex trafficking, providing a correlated rights abuse between easy access to abortion and human trafficking, something the compassion of pro-choicers is blind toward.
In short, we care about women too, in ways you don’t and we endeavour to walk our talk. We regularly donate to charities that seek to end the sex-trafficking of women, help girls attend schools in cultures that discourage it and also seek to raise awareness about the value and the life of females, even as they grow in the womb. We give to pregnancy care centres that extend care well beyond a couple of diapers, and to pro-adoption charities. There are numerous pro-lifers we are aware of caring for children with disabilities, with fetal alcohol syndrome, even babies who are addicted to drugs their mothers took, perhaps not even knowing they were pregnant before they gave birth. Our care extends regardless of age, level of development or their abilities or political outlook. We even care about you.
While we cannot give funds to your campaign for the reasons set out below, if you’re willing to waive your anonymity, we’d willingly provide our tax receipts to you, and we’d ask you to do the same in all fairness. We’ve all been giving for years. When we had more funds, we’ve given more, and during hard years of financial difficulty, we’ve given less, but we’ve given. We’ve also volunteered, helped women in our lives with childcare and can provide you with information so you can ask them about it.
I hope you’re reasonable enough to understand why it’s ridiculous to expect hard-working citizens to donate one million dollars to an anonymous person on the internet, when our funds could go to registered charities doing great work that have financial reporting and accountability measures in place.
Would you donate one million dollars to an anonymous pro-lifer who simply promised to spend your money on one endeavour or another? Of course not.
The argument that underlies your campaign is one that pro-choicers have been making for years. It’s the oft-repeated ‘Pro-lifers don’t care about women, and they don’t care about babies once they are born. They have no right to speak against abortion unless they are willing to care for these children.’
You’ve actually taken the rhetoric an unfathomable step further by being willing to sacrifice your own child in order to make this point. The argument that you’ve adopted basically states that if you’re unwilling to personally provide a solution for a certain problem, then you’ve lost the ability to speak out against that problem or injustice. An example to expose the intellectual poverty of your argument: We assume you care about domestic violence. Yet we also assume you do not provide a shelter in your apartment or home for every woman in your community who suffers abuse. Would it be reasonable on our part to then turn around and void your concern for spousal abuse?
The same could be said for any number of charitable endeavours.
We might add that yes, there are some activist pro-lifers who do little more than aim to draw attention to the plight of people who are killed in their mother’s womb. If we changed the issue—say to those who draw attention to the plight of the prisoner in totalitarian regimes, or those who draw attention to the plight of the hungry by doing nothing more than the odd 24-hour fast, we wouldn’t say that is wrong. We’d say they are doing what they can. The problem is that with the pro-life movement, you reject our premise and fail to see fighting for the human right to life at all ages as a valid cause. If you accepted the cause, you’d accept the effort, however meager. Pro-lifers are not the only ones who can be charged with hypocrisy.
In short, the argument that underlies your campaign is flawed. Your means to achieving it is one most reasonable people would never consider endorsing, much less financially supporting. And you’re making a life or death decision on these poor considerations. And getting the media to buy into your web page, suggesting you are not without resource or at very least, not without great media contacts.
In your state of residence, you are free to make a choice to kill your child. As you noted, you are also free to choose to place your child in a loving home of your choice. In the end, the choice is clearly yours, in every conceivable way. At ProWomanProLife, we have the tagline “Canada without abortion, by choice,” asking women to look outside politics and laws to consider in their hearts what abortion is. May you choose to do so, instead of launching manipulative and exploitative publicity stunts.
Faye Sonier & Andrea Mrozekby