NY Times essayist admits abortion “is awful,” reaffirms that she is still pro-abortion

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. Having read several more stories celebrating the all-purpose wonderfulness of abortion, I’m re-running this post. When it ran originally, the subject of the post–Lisa Selin Davis–emailed to tell me, “I am 100% pro-choice and pro-voice. Up with pluralism.”

Lisa Selin Davis

Lisa Selin Davis

NRL News Today and NRL News have posted upwards of a dozen stories on the “romantic comedy” Obvious Child. In making a joke out of obliterating her unborn child, lead character Donna Stern (Jenny Slate as a foul-mouthed, part-time night club comic) is a linear descent of Emily Letts, (in)famous for videotaping her own abortion and putting her child’s final minutes on YouTube for all the world to see.

Letts, a “counselor” at a New Jersey abortion clinic and (not coincidentally, I suspect) an aspiring actress, responded to a question from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Victor Fiorillo with

“Yes, I don’t have any guilt. I feel like the reason people are going crazy over my story is because they want it. Women and men have been thirsting for something like this. You don’t have to feel guilty. I feel super great about having an abortion, because it was the right decision for my life.”

The destruction of hapless unborn children as “art” is the logical dead-end of a philosophy determined to “normalize” abortion. It celebrates abortion’s capacity (in the words of one movie critic) “to ultimately create a more experienced — maybe even wiser and more compassionate — adult human being.”

But then, “I Couldn’t Turn My Abortion Into Art,” which appeared (in all places) the New York Times’ “Opinionator blog.”

Three pro-lifers sent me a link to Lisa Selin Davis’s autobiographical essay. The common denominator was what the first added to the link: “Wow, just wow.”

You have to be of a certain age (a geezer like me) to appreciate the all-consuming, all-explanatory power of the pro-abortion feminist ideology, an idol that Davis, as a young woman, gladly bowed down to.

She begins by telling her readers that back in the 1990s she saw herself as a loser. That someone who thought that little of herself “found” herself pregnant hardly comes as a surprise.

But, not to worry:

“This didn’t seem as big a problem to me as it might have for other young women. This was the mid-1990s. Reared on protest marches, I had a NOW poster affixed to my bedroom wall. I was an unwavering believer in the fierce rhetoric of pro-choice. And now: a poster child.

“In addition, in college I had essentially majored in experimental feminist video. I could make art out of anything.”

Yes, a poster child—a woman who becomes pregnant and not only gets to live out (so to speak) the me-me-and-always-me-first ideology of the pro-abortion movement, but (like Letts 20 years later) also got to document the obliteration of that child with her Ricoh Hi8 video camera. As she wrote

“It could provide material for the kinds of film I’d voraciously consumed in college, in which women transformed their most traumatic experiences into emotionally stirring and awareness-raising images. …An abortion today, a debut at Sundance tomorrow.”

You can read Davis’ incredible account at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com. Here are a few thoughts to ponder.

Of course, the whole point of Davis’ views (in those days) was that abortion wasn’t supposed to be a “traumatic experience.”

Lo and behold—probably in large part because of the remarks of her cab driver—all of a sudden an abortion was not trivial at all, let alone something to advance her career.

It comes out that she is going to the doctor for a “procedure,” which the cab driver continues to ask about. When she tells him it’s an abortion

He pulled over to the side of the road, right there on the Brooklyn Bridge — not only illegal but dangerous. “Please don’t kill the baby,” he said. “Please don’t kill the baby.”

“What are you doing?”

“Don’t kill the baby.” He wouldn’t move the car, though horns blared all around us.

“Keep driving! I have an appointment!” I shook his headrest.

This was not part of the script.

“Please don’t kill the baby,” he said again, turning around to face me. He had beautiful big brown eyes — almost black. “I will take care of you and the baby. I work two jobs.”

“Drive,” I told him.

Her account of the woman at the abortion clinic ought to be required reading for anyone unsure of how they feel about abortion. For example,

At the clinic’s counter, the receptionist asked me what I’d come for. I said, “Um …”

“Termination of pregnancy?” she asked in her best would-you-like-fries-with-that voice. I nodded.

There was nothing “liberating” about the abortion clinic, she quickly learns. Indifferent staff (they are more worried that a disconsolate, crying Davis will upset the other women) and incredible pain. In between a conversation with a woman having her ninth abortion and Davis finding herself unable to “stop crying, big heaves and gulps of it.”

After her abortion, the staff attempts to minimize Davis’ pain. And it did stop the physical pain. But Davis realizes

The begging cabdriver and the woman on her ninth abortion and the shocking suction in my womb: It was too traumatic for me to make art of. Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t a good enough artist to transform that level of trauma into something that others could learn from and use. I had been taught that a woman’s right to choose was the most important thing to fight for, but I hadn’t known what a brutal choice it was.

Davis now has two daughters and she assures us she doesn’t wish she had the baby she aborted 20 years ago. “I want my daughters to have the option of safe and legal abortion, of course,” she writes, but adds, “I just don’t want them to have to use it.”

Why? How can she say she will “always” support “abortion rights” but never want those “rights” exercised?

Because “even all these years later, I wish the motto wasn’t ‘Never again,’ but ‘Avoid this if there’s any way you possibly can, even if it’s legal, because it’s awful.’”

Please read “I Couldn’t Turn My Abortion Into Art” at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com.