Recently, my wife, Marilyn, drew my attention to an article with the provocative title “How Pro-Choice Women Undermine Feminism” by biochemist, writer and mother Amy Otto.
Amy was responding to a column in the New York Times by Katha Pollitt, “How to Really Defend Planned Parenthood.” Pollitt believes pro-abortion feminists are failing to adequately defend abortion on demand. She speaks as honestly as any pro-abortionist I have read.
Abortion opponents say women seek abortions in haste and confusion. Pro-choicers reply: Abortion is the most difficult, agonizing decision a woman ever makes. Opponents say: Women have abortions because they have irresponsible sex. We say: rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, life-risking pregnancies.
These responses aren’t false exactly. Some women are genuinely ambivalent; some pregnancies are particularly dangerous. But they leave out a large majority of women seeking abortions, who had sex willingly, made a decision to end the pregnancy and faced no special threatening medical conditions. [emphasis added]
Women who suffer this violence need to be cared for
Are some pregnancies a result of rape or incest? Yes! And women who suffer this violence need to be embraced and cared for. But does such violence justify further violence? Does rape warrant killing a baby? Rape is horrible and demeaning; about 3-5% of rapes cause pregnancy. Do those cases justify a million abortions every year in the US?
Relatively few lives are ever threatened by pregnancy. The Guttmacher Institute, research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, estimates that of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the US each year, about 600 pregnant mothers die from complications. Every one of those 600 lives is precious. But should this tragedy be the justification for abortion on demand for millions of pregnant women? Do 600 agonizing deaths validate a million aborted babies?
The last sentence in the Pollitt quote above is striking for its honesty, a clear description of the situation of the typical woman seeking an abortion. She admits that “a large majority of women seeking abortions … had sex willingly” and then “made a decision to end the pregnancy” even though they “faced no special threatening medical conditions.”
Most women seeking abortions had sex willingly. Again, Guttmacher reports that “Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended …”
So do we establish our abortion policies on the scientific reality that every unborn baby is in fact a human being? Should we be guided by the fact that, from the point of conception, that which was conceived is human, is alive, and possesses a unique genetic map that makes this unborn baby a matchless, one-of-a-kind human being?
Or shall we, rather, establish standard abortion policy on the gut-wrenching, low-frequency pregnancies produced by violence? Or the relatively few that threaten the life of the mother?
Should not protection of human life be the rule?
If the life of a baby in utero is not sacred, in what way is any human life sacred?
Otto points out that the right to abortion treats women as too weak to take personal responsibility for their own actions.
These same women who proclaim themselves as in need of being bailed out of consequences resulting from their own agency are asking for the right to eliminate another’s life. As if they are too weak of a gender to manage another 20 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the baby can go to someone who will love it, if they cannot. A desire to be seen as powerful and strong cannot stand as long as women continually prove themselves too fearful of their own biology.
The goal of radical feminism is to be equal to men. That includes access to sex 24/7 without concern for pregnancy. The underlying assumption—that only male is valuable—is destroying women and the feminine. This is proof that radical feminists are not pro-choice, but pro-abortion. It is abortion that offers women the freedom to be un-pregnant, to be most like the male.
Women can do what men cannot
When we consider the glory of the design of female, the wonder of the transcendent feminine imago Dei creature … we see the travesty, and the tragedy, of this thinking. A woman is designed to do what a male cannot do: create life. This is what makes her who she is. A man cannot do that.
Is there not an irony here? A woman choses to be equal to a male by giving up the very thing that makes her so beautifully distinct from male: to conceive, carry, birth and nurture a child.
Women are gifted with the capacity to create life. I’ve never understood the goal to be equal with men, because why aim that low, right? I kid, mostly. But when it comes down to it, women can do something spectacular. Ask any women to tell you her birth story and you often will see a woman transformed. There are no more truly confident women than those who have brought life into this world. It hits you the moment you deliver: you are filled with love, compassion and to be honest a touch of bravado.
The current state of affairs is great confusion. How can you make a difference?
- Identify a woman who consciously manifests the feminine and the maternal in a glorious way. Thank her, and do something special for her this week that recognizes her beauty.
- Talk with a modern feminist. Encourage her to see what her design reveals about her glory.
- If you know a woman who has an unplanned pregnancy reach out to her. Befriend and support her through her pregnancy.
– Darrow Miller