By Dave Andrusko
It’s a common pro-abortion lament/call to action, so let’s fill in the blank. In order to “normalize” abortion, we (meaning both everyday women and men but especially the entertainment media) must “Shout Your Abortion,” or announce “No Mother’s Day For Me Just Yet. Thank you!” or “See More Parents Having Abortions in Film and Television.”
The latter is the thrust of a bizarre column, even by Marie Claire standards, written by Danielle Campoamor.
What is she saying? That many women who abort are the mothers of living children, which is unfortunately true. Building on that, Campoamor quotes Renee Bracey Sherman, described as the “executive director of We Testify, an organization dedicated to increasing the representation and visibility of people who have abortions.”
“The majority of people who have abortions are already parenting, but on television and film, it’s nearly always someone young, white, and wealthy who is trying to avoid parenting. But that’s a very small minority of people who have abortions. This fails those of us who have abortions because it doesn’t allow for audiences to stretch their imaginations, empathize with our fictionalized experiences, and learn something outside of the same stereotypical narrative.”
However, the larger point goes well beyond abortion advocates wanting more emphasis and more visibility on mothers having abortions. They want this weaved into the storyline so seamlessly that the viewer comes away thinking it’s as if taking your child’s life rather than preserving it is just one of a menu of options, choices of equal moral and ethical value. Indeed, in this twisted view, it becomes almost a sacrificial act.
For example, Campoamor talked with Merritt Tierce, a television writer and showrunner:
Instead of making abortion the crux of the plot, Tierce, who is currently working on a scripted television show that takes place in a clinic that provides abortion, is hoping to normalize abortion as just another choice in a wide range of decisions people make throughout their lives. And for characters who have kids, she wants to frame abortion as what it really is: a parenting decision.
“I think the most radical reconception that needs to happen with respect to abortion, especially parenting people who have abortions, is for people to realize that it can be a serious act of love to have an abortion,” she says. “And for people who have kids, that is the number one decision-making factor. If they feel like they can’t handle another child, what’s driving that decision is the desire to give the children they already have the best possible life.”
That would indeed be a “radical reconception.” Pro-lifers are not innocents. We all understand (since many/most/all of us have been there) that there are, always have been, and always will be pressures when you are a parent.
But to pretend that bowing to those pressures is “to give the children they already have the best possible life” is to lethally confuse what we have persuaded ourselves is “best” for us as parents with what is best for our kids, born and unborn.
As I read Campoamor, I kept thinking of something bioethicist Wesley J. Smith has said many times in the context of “assisting” someone to commit suicide. Speaking of how we find more and more rationalizations for why more and more categories of people must be “helped” to die, Wesley remarks, “In other words, we should let the patient put him-or herself out of our misery.” (His emphasis.)
It’s not done for them but to them. Their deaths—getting them “out of the way”—are for us.
And putting a gloss on the act of killing unborn babies—it’ll be better for the living—is grotesque and reprehensible.