The one question no one ever directly asks abortion activists

The leaked Supreme Court decision ending Roe v. Wade means that the abortion debate is on again.  It's time, therefore, for pro-life people to ask an important question.  Whenever a woman says, "My abortion was the most difficult decision I ever made," pro-lifers need to ask "Why?"

It's become fashionable among pro-abortion people, especially celebrities, to confess their abortions.  Some downplay the decision.  An actress named Milana Vayntrub, for example, described her abortion as "no big deal":

She said she did not agonize about the decision; her "strong moral compass" told her not to bring a child into the world "that I did not want and could not care for."

Many women, though, admit that the decision was a difficult one even while claiming to have no regret (Sharon Osborne is the rare exception):

  • Swoosie Kurtz: "It was very, very difficult for me.  It was one of the most difficult things I've ever been through in my life.  On all levels.  Impossibly difficult."
  • Ginger Zee: After describing the dark days following her abortion, said, "And I do think that hormones were part of it, but I think that the guilt and shame were what overtook me."
  • Uma Thurman: Described her abortion as "the hardest decision of my life."
  • Alyssa Milano: Of her abortions, she says, "It was not an easy choice."
  • Amber Tamblyn: "It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."
  • Nicki Minaj: "It was the hardest thing I'd ever gone through" and has "haunted me all my life."
  • Anonymous woman on Shout Your Abortion: "It was a hard choice, but I didn't want to raise a child alone and struggle like my mother did."

Fewer than ten years ago, even Planned Parenthood acknowledged that abortion is a "difficult decision."  On its website in 2022, it no longer does.

On the pro-abortion side, many women offer variations of the same two arguments: (1) I had things other than motherhood that I wanted to do with my life, and (2) it was the best thing I could do for the baby because it wouldn't have had a good life with me.  Regarding the second argument, I'd love to see a person charged with the murder of an adult successfully make that same argument: "Yeah, I had to kill my wife because I couldn't support her in the way I wanted for her.  Killing her was the best choice for me and for her."

Image: Pixabay.

For those who say it was a hard choice, the logical question is "Why?  Why was it a hard choice?"  If the pro-abortion side is correct — that the fetus is not a baby, is an insensate bundle of cells, is inseparable from the woman's body so it's like having an appendix removed, or is lacking the intellectual or emotional capacity to have an existential desire for life — abortion should be no harder than eating chicken for dinner.  (I have no idea how vegetarian and vegan women justify abortion.)

Pro-life people seldom ask women the "why" question because they already know the answer: a fetus is an independent life within the woman, who is both life-giver and incubator.  This is not a conspiracy by the White patriarchy; it's a biological fact of life.  But still, what pro-lifers must do moving forward is to ask the question every time.  Only in that way can they force women to acknowledge what they're saying when they proudly recount that they had an abortion even while acknowledging the tough decision they made: they sacrificed a human life for their own benefit.

While pro-life people don't ask this question, abortion activists who understand the ramifications of speaking about the decision as difficult have been begging women not to say that part out loud.  The best example is a 2014 op-ed that Janet Harris wrote for the Washington Post entitled "Stop calling abortion a 'difficult decision.'"  Harris fully understood the ramifications of that admission and stated the issue perfectly:

It is a tacit acknowledgment that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue requiring an ethical debate. To say that deciding to have an abortion is a "hard choice" implies a debate about whether the fetus should live, thereby endowing it with a status of being. It puts the focus on the fetus rather than the woman. As a result, the question "What kind of future would the woman have as a result of an unwanted pregnancy?" gets sacrificed. By implying that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue, pro-choice advocates forfeit control of the discussion to anti-choice conservatives.

It's time for pro-life people to start demanding that those who talk about the difficulty of making that choice explain exactly why they say that.  Women who have been raised in pro-abortion environments but who nevertheless struggle with the decision need to be brought face-to-face with the reality of what they did.  It won't make them feel better about the past, but it may help them make better decisions in the future — and to become advocates for life.

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