By Dave Andrusko
Katha Pollitt is a veteran pro-abortion author and scribe whose ramblings we have dissected on numerous occasions. Like most everyone Pollitt was surprised (and, in her case, overjoyed) when a referendum in Ireland overwhelmingly excised the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, opening the doors to heaven or hell, depending on whether you believe unborn children are their mother’s disposal property or (as the Irish Constitution formerly stated) of equal value.
Pollitt’s post is sub-headed, “Ireland’s wildly successful movement to repeal the Eighth Amendment has given us a new way to frame reproductive rights.” Before we examine her amazing argument, some additional context, including a decision that came down from Britain’s Supreme Court, will be helpful.
As everyone expected, there is an enormous and well-coordinated campaign to replicate in Northern Ireland, which is also very pro-life, what the International pro-abortion community accomplished in the Republic of Ireland. The strategy is almost a clone, which includes bringing international pressure to bear and focusing on the hardest of the hard cases.
For example, we’re reading multiple stories about how women from Northern Ireland are “forced” to go to England to abort. And Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission [!] is working overtime to gut Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws.
The NIHRC employed the typical opening gambit, asking Britain’s Supreme Court “to rule on whether it was unlawful to prohibit abortions that arise from sexual crimes or cases involving ‘a serious fetal abnormality,’” according to CNN.
A majority of the court hammered Northern Ireland’s abortion laws, but “dismissed the case because of doubts about the Human Rights Commission’s right to bring,” which “means the judges’ views on the anti-abortion laws do not have legal force, which is reassuring for abortion foes,” according to CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse.
Needless to say, pro-abortionists will continue to ratchet up the pressure, arguing, among other things, that once the Republic of Ireland ”liberalizes” its abortion laws post-referendum, Northern Ireland will be the only remaining region in Britain and Ireland with protective abortion laws.
So what is Pollitt’s contribution? It’s a long post, and includes admissions that the usual pro-abortion lexicon (“autonomy,” et. al) can sound “cold.” A woman” individual freedom,” Pollitt notes is “her right, you might say, to love herself.”
But the “love” argument, she tells us, can work. It carried the day in Ireland’s vote to legalize same sex marriages, she tells her readers.
“Can abortion rights be framed as a story about love?” she asks, admittedly quickly, “Viewed through the lens of rights, abortion doesn’t appear a promising candidate for a love makeover.”
Correct, it doesn’t. What to do? Pollitt recycles some bromides that go back to the 1960s. The most inspirit is that it is unkind, unloving, and ungenerous to bring a child into the work in difficult circumstances.
So, in Pollitt’s formulation, “abortion is connected with love” by insisting it’s the loving thing to vacuum, tear, rip, and poison a hapless child. How can that be “loving”? It’s for her “own good” and besides, “The decision to end a pregnancy involves thinking about what’s best for a range of people other than oneself.”
That “range of people,” of course, conveniently ignores the one whose life is ended when the “pregnancy” is ended.
Pollitt has other equally imaginative ideas about connecting abortion with love , such as “through solidarity with the pregnant woman.” This is a bizarre understanding of solidarity. Solidarity is not helping her and her unborn child through challenging times but assuring her that she does not to go elsewhere to abort her child.
Other connections? Raunchy jokes which “humanize” abortion. Transliterating “abortion” into “reproductive care. “And for good measure caricaturing people who try to dissuade women from aborting into the “monsters” Pollitt falsely insists pro-lifers believe women who abort are!
Final thought. You cannot exaggerate the importance of the 2012 death of Savita Halappanavar. Pollitt insists her death “was the inevitable result of the Eighth Amendment’s equation of pregnant mother and fetus.”
It was nothing of the sort, and Pollitt knows that. A 2014 government investigation (not “abortion opponents”) concluded that abortion had nothing to do with her death—“Instead, it was a perfect storm of medical negligence,” as Michael Cook explained.
But to fair and accurate would get in the way of Pollitt exploiting the tragedy to score cheap political points.
Abortion advocates in Europe feel the winds of Ireland at their back. As always, it will be up to pro-lifers to stand firm, tell the truth, help women in crisis pregnancies, and never, ever allow the utter lie that “abortion is love” take root.