By Dave Andrusko
It came as no surprise. You didn’t have to be Catholic (which I am not) to anticipate that this would drive pro-abortionists off the deep end.
I refer, of course, to what ran under the misleading headline that “Pope to allow priests to forgive abortion.”
As Kathleen Jean Lopez, National Review Online editor at large wrote, “You could go to St. Francis Assisi by Penn Station or St. Agnes by Grand Central in New York and throughout the United States yesterday, today, or tomorrow, and be forgiven for this or other sins you are sorry for.”
But that last clause is precisely the sticking point for abortion advocates: abortion is a sin that must be confessed and repented. To the abortion set, this constitutes “The Pope’s Unforgiving Message of Forgiveness on Abortion,” as Jill Filipovic wrote in the New York Times.
As we go forward, remember that Filipovic is described as a “former senior political writer for Cosmopolitan.com” who “is at work on a book about female pleasure and politics in America.”
I think we can confidently speculate that she is not a fan of the Pope or any other pro-lifer who, she no doubt has already pigeonholed as hopelessly out of step with the “real world.”
What is a loving pastoral act by Pope Francis is, to Filipovic, nothing of the sort. His announcement is “actually the latest example of the modern anti-abortion strategy: Portray women as victims who need to be protected from themselves with laws that restrict abortion rights.”
But, of course, Pope Francis is not making, hinting at, or alluding to a “political” point. He is writing not only about what he describes as “A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life” but also the scar on the hearts of many women who have aborted.
In his letter the Pope continued
The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father.
However to pro-abortionists such as Filipovic, while there may be a handful of women who feel “very real guilt or regret around abortion; for some women, post-abortion emotions are complex,” that is just a throwaway line. “[W]omen primarily feel guilty when they experience stigma and a lack of support for their choice.”
In other words, all the regret, remorse, guilt, and heavy-heartedness are not internal but foisted on women from without. If they were told their abortion was (what?) “right for them,” they’d be fine.
Indeed, as more and more pro-abortionists insist, it is not merely a “personal decision” to make , one which cannot be questioned, but a positive, growth-enhancing rite of passage that women go through. They are all the better for offing one of their kids.
Filipovic is at her ugliest in mocking and deriding what she dismisses as the “mercy narrative”:
According to the mercy narrative, entirely normal and common reproductive choices are actually tragedies in which women are ignorant dupes manipulated by doctors or unsupportive partners.
The quadruple irony of this is just stunning. Pro-abortionists never, ever tired of telling us that pro-lifers don’t know what women and girls facing a crisis pregnancy go through.
Yet it is precisely abortion advocates who act as if women–and especially girls–are not pressured to have abortions. Who manage to miss how many young girls are impregnated by older men. Who seem to think it is “entirely normal” for a woman to abort when she has been abandoned by the child’s father.
I’d like to think that mercy and support and forgiveness and the willingness to extend a helping hand are the moral constituencies of all human beings. But I know for certain these qualities are found in abundance among the people who make up the greatest Movement for social justice of our time.