Listening without condemnation to a woman justifying her abortion

By Dave Andrusko

March20132A tip of the hat to http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com for alerting readers to a post on the pro-abortion feministing.com site. Although the piece, written by “feminist activist Michelle Kinsey Bruns,” is drenched in anger and hostility towards the kids who came to Washington, DC for the March for Life, it’s very much worth considering. (You can find it here.)

Bruns’ anger, of course, is not really at the tens of thousands of pro-life youth who gathered in the nation’s capital for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They are just “puffed up on privilege and inadequate adult supervision” dolts who’d rather be on a glorified fieldtrip than “diagramming sentences on a dull gray January day.”

In fact, she almost concedes that the youngsters she met on a train after the March (she was unable to attend, as she usually does, to counter-protest but met some young attendees later on Amtrak) are humans, not humanoids. But to go further than that would undercut her point: she knows everything they don’t know about life, particularly the rightness of abortion. These kids remain strawmen for her to erect and then destroy on the way to proving “the necessity of safe, legal abortion.”

Her real target is the Catholic Church  among whose cardinal sins, in her telling, was never providing her with adequate opportunity to express her “pro-choice” views which she had pretty down pat by the seventh grade. (Notice how much smarter she remember herself being at 13 or 14 years old than the mostly 15-18 year olds who came for the March.)

It’s all about repression and the inculcation of the likes of “the then-new, now-debunked anti-choice propaganda film The Silent Scream.” (Dr .Bernard Nathanson’s film was not ‘debunked.’ It was caricatured into absurdity. The Silent Scream remains incredibly powerful to this day.)

Bruns’ objective is to explain why her abortion at age 18 saved her life, perhaps literally (she tells us she was already an emotionally wreck and suicidal at that age) and certainly in the sense that the abortion “cleared a path” for her to be where she is now. She has “survived and thrived.” Bruns tells us she has a husband, a career, friends, a dog, she travels, and she has a thyme plant—and this would not have been possible if that pesky kid had been allowed to survive and thrive.

Bruns feels better, I suspect, now that she knows (as she puts it with pride) that these kids have heard, “for perhaps the first time in their lives, a positive, no-regrets, post-abortion narrative.” More important, I suspect, is that she senses that she had mastered her (wholly imaginary) fear—she was vastly outnumbered on the train– as if the teenagers were primed to tear her to smithereens when she unloaded her secret. (“Catholicism is pretty bloody,” she tells us ominously.)

Of course, if these kids were anything like any of the hundreds of pro-life adolescents I have personally met at 31 marches for life and 32 National Right to Life Conventions, the last thing they would have done is verbally or emotionally attack Bruns. It was they, after all, who were on the receiving end of Bruns’s need to vent her anger, not the reverse.

They “for their part, were mostly silent, mostly listening,” she tells us. Perhaps in her pose of all-knowing adult, Bruns forgot that almost every adolescent knows at least one girl who has aborted, if not more.

Far from being smugly superior or condemnatory, these pro-life youths were quiet likely because they understood Bruns’ pain. Her “quiet” voice that she tells us grew stronger did so likely because they listened emphatically to a woman whose need to justify her abortion was as real a week and a half ago as it was when she was 18.

Kudos to the kids—for coming to Washington, DC, and for listening to a woman who is likely still struggling with her decision to end a life that she has persuaded herself was necessary to save her own life.

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