The Self-Hate of Abortion Advocates
The case for abortion only holds up to those who believe a person’s value is dependent on how much they are wanted.
“Electrical activity in a group of organizing cells is not a heartbeat”
In the days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, I’ve seen a fair number of hysterical posts and tweets, ranging from silly to wildly ignorant. But none of them hold a candle to the post I first quoted, alleging that there is in fact no baby at all, just a group of cells with “electrical activity.”
Far be it from me to point out that that definition applies to every human being, as we are all composed of clumps of cells that function due to electrical activity. Of course, this is not a medical term. Indeed, it was created by a few spin doctors to counter the messaging of the heartbeat bills passing at the state level. Clearly the point here, as in every attempt to dehumanize a category of humanity in order to justify their termination, is to render the unborn child “less than.” It’s quite hard to admit that you’re fine stopping a baby’s heart. Make that baby just a group of cells with electrical activity and suddenly you’re just doing a little mechanical work, not murdering a little one.
Of course, none of us would ever actually use these terms in real life. Earlier this year, when my husband and I were told that our little one had passed away in utero, my doctor did not say, “Oh well, the electrical activity in that group of cells has ceased.” She said she was sorry, but my baby had died. Granted, my doctor is pro-life, but in good faith I’ll assume that even the most rabidly pro-abortion OB-GYN would refrain from “electrical activity” jargon when talking to a grieving mother who just lost her baby. Further, I assume that even my pro-abortion friends and family, who have posted many things similar to what I quoted above in the past days and weeks, would express sympathy if told of my loss, and their sympathy would be sincere.
But here we come to the crux of what it means to be pro-choice. In the eyes of those clamoring for a “woman’s right to choose,” my baby was only worth mourning because I wanted her. Had I wanted to end her life, they would have cheered that it was my right, that she meant nothing, just a clump of cells with electrical activity. I know few pro-abortion individuals who would state that as plainly as I just wrote it. Instead, they would hide behind the variety of one-liners that have dominated the online world since the Dobbs opinion was leaked in May.
They would probably recite some lines about being concerned for women, and I have little doubt their concern is real. Instead of bemoaning all the poor women now forced to continue their pregnancies, however, they could ask if maybe these women don’t actually want to kill their children. Perhaps they want the support and resources they need to welcome their little one—support, it’s worth pointing out, that thousands of pregnancy centers have been providing for decades.
They might rattle off something about ectopic pregnancies (or for that matter septic uteruses, miscarriages, and molar pregnancies), but in doing so would only betray their own ignorance of how those medical situations are handled. These procedures have nothing to do with abortion as it is legally defined and are untouched by any pro-life laws. Others would talk of bodily autonomy and the death of democracy, but without adequately explaining how removing the authority of nine unelected officials over this issue and returning it to the people’s elected representatives at the state level undermines our democracy.
I have worked and volunteered in the pro-life movement for over a decade and am familiar with every single heartbreaking hypothetical. I have met women who have lived out these situations, some of them choosing life and some not. Yet as real and terrible and difficult as many of these situations are, behind all of them lies the truth pro-abortion advocates try so frequently to euphemize: Their movement can only exist if you believe that a person’s value is dependent on how much they are wanted, or how much their mother can afford to keep them. It requires a dizzying cognitive dissonance to live out this ideology. How else can you celebrate your friends’ baby showers and coo over their ultrasound photos but claim the little one in the belly of a scared unwed mother in college is suddenly not a baby, just an unwanted clump of cells?
It’s this euphemized truth that is hinted at by the tweets and posts I see now, asking, “Who will pay for the unwanted babies?” The ghastly logic therein being that rather than setting about the arduous task of reforming our nation’s adoption and foster care systems, we should simply kill those children before they pose such a burden. After all, no one wants them, so how much could they be worth?
I would argue that there is something more heartbreaking than poor logic at play here. There is a devastating level of self-hatred embedded in the pro-choice movement. Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed. Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary.” You and I do not exist because of a fluke or simple twist of fate. We exist because we were created out of love for a distinct purpose. This bears true for every human being that has ever been called to life since the dawn of time, regardless of how long they lived, or even if they lived outside of the womb.
The pro-choice individual cannot accept this truth. I have heard it said that the March for Life is striking because it is the only protest where the attendees are protesting on behalf of another group. A pro-abortion rally is striking for the opposite reason. The people attending are conceding they had no right to live. It is why I always am saddened when I see mothers at pro-abortion protests with their daughters. They are chanting for the right to have their grandchildren killed. (Presumably they would not call the children their daughters chose to abort their grandchildren. Those little ones would just be the cell clumps that came about at the wrong time. Their “real grandchildren” would be the ones that come at the right time, in the appropriate circumstances.)
Even sadder, I look at the daughters standing beside their mothers, admitting, whether they intend to or not, that they believe their mother should have had the right to kill them. When yet another female celebrity credits her current success and family to the children she aborted earlier, I always wonder if her living children feel survivor’s guilt. Or maybe they are just grateful that they came to be when their mom felt comfortable enough in her career to let them live.
I write none of this with animosity, but I find it to be one of the greatest tragedies to come out of that great tragedy that beset our nation in 1973. We now have generations of people who do not even know their own worth enough to know that they were deserving of life, even when they were vulnerable, and even if they were unwanted or came from poverty.
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Roe v. Wade is dead, after a bloody reign of 49 years that saw the deaths of 63 million innocent children. This is a great victory, but the work of the pro-life movement is far from over. The thousands of pregnancy centers in our nation will need greater support (and protection) to meet the need that will grow exponentially as states’ pro-life laws go into effect. Pro-life lobbyists and legislators, who have been working for decades to increase access to resources and financial assistance for low-income pregnant women will need to fight all the harder, to say nothing of the state-level fight to pass pro-life legislation.
The fight cannot end, however, in simply protecting babies and their mothers from the scourge of abortion. For years, we have prayed for this day, and prayers are still needed. Prayers not just that all babies will be protected by law (in all 50 states), but that those who stand for the culture of death, who believe life is expendable, even their own, would realize how great a deception they have been told.