By Dave Andrusko
Just to be clear: We certainly can agree with Exhale that women often bury their abortions deep–deep enough, they hope, where they will not be reminded of what they did. And we can agree that judging post-abortive women, who so often are their own harshest critics, is both cruel and counter-productive.
Where we part company is in “celebrating,” or, as Exhale elaborates, “Draw[ing] attention to ways to support and respect women who have had abortions.”
But not harshly condemning women who’ve aborted is one thing. Talking as if choosing to abort or carrying your baby to term are morally indistinguishable options is quite another. “Destigmatizing” abortion is code for vacuuming the morality and ethics of taking the life of an unborn child out of the discussion as surely as the abortionist vacuums out the remains of aborted babies .
We last alluded to Exhale in the context of an MTV special “No Easy Decisions” about an unmarried young couple that aborted their second child
(www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/Jan2011/nv010311part2.html). On its webpage, Exhale (understandably) congratulates itself on all the ink it has received.
Exhale bills itself as “pro-voice,” the implication being that it transcends the pro-life/pro-abortion divide. We are assured that “Exhale does not do advocacy for or against abortion rights.” Not contributing money to EMILY’s List, however, does not a non-partisan make.
By portraying themselves as essentially above the fray, Exhale is positioned to be the non-judgmental “voice” for women who’ve aborted. But their “multilingual post-abortion talkline” is only one “voice” and ignores the 54 million other voices that were never given a chance to speak.
“Together, we can raise awareness that emotions of all kinds after abortion are normal,” the online notice tells readers. But that trivialization is a poor excuse for equipping grieving women to deal with the aftermath of the decision to rupture the core foundational relationship in human culture: that between a mother and her unborn child.
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