“Once upon a time, I believed I need to support contraception to be against abortion, and that marriage is unrelated to human thriving. Two decades of dating later, a very near miss on having my own family and reams and reams of reading and researching have me opposed to my former self. Did I have bad motivations then, or now? Or did I just have a series of experiences, learn new things and come to new conclusions?”
Women! Settle down sooner! As someone who received this advice often enough, it’s worth mentioning why it’s unhelpful. Women certainly are not exempt from making wise relationship and life decisions, but there’s no point in gearing this advice exclusively to women when men need it too–along with just about every aspect of our culture. In this article, published in National Review, I touch on why it’s harder than many think to simply settle down.
An article about a recent talk I did for the deVeber Institute about the interplay between being pro-life and the feminist movement.
The original feminist movement, the abolitionists seeking an end to slavery and then the suffragettes of the late 19th and early 20th century, were actually more pro-women and would have more in common with pro-lifers today, argues Mrozek, who spoke on the issue at the annual deVeber Institute Lecture Nov. 8 in Toronto.
“Really, the onus isn’t on pro-lifers to reconcile that,” she told The Catholic Register. “The onus is on the second-wave feminists to reconcile with their own roots.”
The evolution of thought came in the 1960s and the “Sexual Revolution” with its strong emphasis on “so-called reproductive rights.” That launched this second wave and took the women’s movement on a hard turn away from its roots, said Mrozek. It led to a splintering of the movement, with a “lack of a common cause because it has left behind its classical liberal roots that would allow for freedom to prevail.”
This is a great little video clip about Lila Rose, done by The Atlantic, one of my favourite magazines.
I enjoyed the clip–it says why you can be a feminist pro-lifer.
But I’m posting it here primarily because it also does something else.
In the thorny, divisive terrain of the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Justice Brett Kavanaugh, I had a recent conversation with a friend who, speaking of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against him said this: “If she’s not telling the truth, I don’t know why she would do this.”
My friend is a good woman, and not at all involved in pro-life anything.
So why might there be reason to question Ford’s testimony?
If you watch to the end of the Lila Rose video clip, it concludes with her saying she believes she’ll see the end of legalized and culturally accepted abortion in her lifetime.
And for those on the other side, so to speak, this is the great fear. The fear becomes more real when any pro-life justice takes that empty seat on the Supreme Court.
This article, also from The Atlantic, features a woman whose rapist apologized to her after she reached out to him years later. It’s a story of redemption, and worth reading in its own right. But at the end, the author writes this:
My rapist promised to pay it forward, this horrible thing he’d just learned about himself. I have no doubt, judging by the admirable life he’s led, he will. And I will keep my promise to him never to reveal his name.
But you know what? If he were being confirmed for the Supreme Court; if his decision over what would happen to my daughter’s body, should she become inadvertently pregnant, would tip the scales away from Roe; if one of the key aspects of his job as a judge would be to show and to have shown good judgment over the course of his life, you better believe that I, like Ford, would come forward and tell the committee. Even if it meant going into hiding, as she’s had to do. Even if it meant getting death threats, as she’s received.
The life of my daughter is at stake. Her bodily autonomy is at stake. As a mother who grew up being groped at house parties in the ’80s, I want to make sure that whoever is passing judgment on the next generation has, at the very least, judgment to pass.
This is not a statement about the veracity of either side in the Kavanaugh hearings. What it is is an explanation for those who are not at all even thinking about Roe v. Wade.
I don’t believe we can really underestimate the extent to which some people will go to ensure no pro-life justice ever gets that seat. It can’t be Kavanaugh. It can’t be anyone who might tip the scales away from Roe.
Both sides believe their children’s lives are at stake–and that mentality sheds light on why this particular nomination has been so gruesome.
Update: This article by Jonathon Van Maren also points to abortion as the source of the vitriol.
Because of moments like this, where a doctor advises a mother, five months pregnant with her wanted child, to abort because there is a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Why would the doctor do that? For every person with Down Syndrome you see, there are eight or nine more who didn’t make it.
Most recently I saw a little girl of nine or ten, dressed in pink, holding a doll in one hand and her Dad’s hand in the other, crossing the street. They looked the opposite of miserable, wherever they were going.
I will never understand a doctor who “recommends” death as “treatment” for a condition with which people live happy, fulfilling lives.
Jonathon Van Maren drew my attention to this letter seeking advice about whether a woman can ethically keep a child her boyfriend doesn’t want in the New York Times. He comes down hard on selfish and stupid men, which may very often be the case. However, we as women have taught men this is a legitimate option by so often taking it.
Women are always the ones who attach to “what has begun to grow inside us” sooner, as the NYT letter writer puts it (Although she writes this in the context of not having attached to what is growing inside her, yet). Men are by default more distant from their children, one could argue, until they are born. In contrast with a mother who is breastfeeding, men are more distant from their children even after they are born. A sad story I’ve heard more than once includes men who were angry with a pregnancy, but happy with the child who is born, or men who are angry at a pregnancy, demand an abortion, but then change their minds, often when it is too late.
This mentality, by the way, starts with the birth control pill. For hundreds of years women have had the means to prevent pregnancy but the Pill wins for its efficacy, and created a world in which pregnancies while on the Pill were not normal, but accidents. This is why, by the way, the Pill increases abortion use instead of diminishing it. In this domain, one of the greatest myths is that pro-life women like myself have to be pro-birth control pill because this is, so we are told, what prevents the unwanted pregnancies such that no one ever needs to get an abortion. That the facts on the ground show the opposite is never mentioned. If the birth control pill diminished abortion, we would have seen a sharp decline in abortion after the Pill’s normalization in the 60s, but this is quite obviously not what happened.
Part of the culture change of making abortion unthinkable includes women teaching men by our actions. We bear the greater burden in pregnancy and we understand what is happening within our bodies. Pregnancy after sex is normal and possible–and if all men and women believed this and knew it to be the case, there would be a great deal more caution involved in who we go to bed with. Which might avoid the conundrum of learning your boyfriend of several months “never wanted children” and is now demanding a woman at the tail end of her fertility have an abortion.
There is so very little about modern sexual ethics that makes any sense. And certainly, I’d argue, these ethics are more unfair to women than men. This is why women need to be the ones to reject them.
Lucy-Rose Kmiec only lived for 39 days, but in it she changed the lives of those around her. A beautiful article about her and her family.
The day that she died, Max was the one taking care of her and Jolie was using the tube feed. Two months ago, I wouldn’t have trusted them with anything,” added Tom with Evangeline chuckling at the comment.
“They really, really matured so quickly and we didn’t have to teach them anything. They just picked it up,” said Tom.
“And the love that they gave her,” piped in Evangeline. “The amount of kisses that she got and hugs and encouraging words for her to continue fighting. They would tell her, ‘We love you, we’re proud of you, you’re doing so well.’”
Tragic but amazing. No shortage of heartache this side of heaven.
Good question. Pat Maloney provides the numbers.
According to CIHI, There were 766 late-term livebirth abortions in a five year period from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018. These numbers are even higher since they exclude Quebec.
The woman who recently harassed pro-life activists in Toronto owns and runs, wait for it, a vegan pizza shop. Vegan. No eggs, no milk, no animal products.
When a group of anti-abortion protesters brandishing graphic posters gathered outside Jennifer Bundock’s vegan pizza shop, she knew what she had to do. In an expletive-laden video that has been shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook, Bundock films her angry encounter with those holding the signs, eventually forcing them to leave the block.
Why vegan? Cruelty? People for the Ethical Treatment of People–we still need that movement. Would have been nice if the reporter had asked about this aspect of her business. Reminds me of this piece I wrote, a while back, about conversing with some reasonable young people in Costco about veganism and abortion.
The thing is, I told them all, there’s a different question you need to ask your local vegan restaurant. Are they pro-life? If you won’t touch animal milk or eggs—certainly you wouldn’t kill a human baby in the womb, right? This caught their attention; the wheels were turning. You could almost see it. The million dollar idea young man replied slowly. Vegans are generally pro-choice, he said correctly, because they are left-wing or progressive.
I will add that I support activists using graphic images to draw attention to the injustice of abortion only in particular ways and circumstances, the reasons for which would be the subject of another post. Certainly, some see for the first time what abortion is and hearts and minds are changed. At the same time, graphic images may set some women back in their own post-abortive healing. That said, this woman isn’t one of those–from the rant it does sound like she has had an abortion (it’s hard to hear, and I don’t want to listen twice). But she has already set herself so far back there’s virtually nothing anyone could say or do that might make it worse–or sadly for her–better.
I will also add that there is nothing like her painful, expletive-laden rant to highlight that abortion is awful and that it hurts women as well as our children.