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Abortion Advocacy Gets Ugly

Ken Fager

Susan E. Wills - published on 08/24/14 - updated on 06/07/17

"Stop Calling Abortion a Difficult Decision,” urges that supporters of abortion concede nothing. To describe the decision as difficult—as Hillary Clinton and many others have done—is to admit that there is a moral dimension to taking the life of an unborn child. To Harris and others, there is no moral dimension, there is only MY WILL. Harris cites her own non-conflicted decision at 18, on discovering she was pregnant:
“The question wasn’t ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’ but ‘How quickly can I get this over with.’ ” 

Jessica Valenti, writing in The Guardian on July 9th, took Hillary Clinton to task for using that so far effective formula: abortions should be “safe, legal and rare.” Rare, she believes, contributes to the stigma surrounding abortion (which, of course, has nothing to do with what abortion is). And she cites lots of support for this viewpoint:

In a 2010 research article, Dr Tracy Weitz, Director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) program at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote that ‘rare suggests that abortion is happening more than it should, and that there are some conditions for which abortions should and should not occur.’

" ‘It separates "good’" abortions from ‘bad’ abortions,’ she added."

“Steph Herold, the deputy director of the Sea Change Program – an organization that seeks to create a culture change around abortion and other stigmatized reproductive experiences like miscarriage and adoption – agrees. ‘It implies that abortion is somehow different than other parts of healthcare, she told me. ‘We don’t say that any other medical procedure should be rare.’

" ‘We don’t say that we want heart bypasses to be rare. We say we want people to be healthy,’ Herold said.”

The same attitude was evident in a recent decision by California Governor Jerry Brown’s Department of Managed Health Care. The Department’s director, Michelle Rouillard, recently wrote to two Catholic universities in California to advise them of a policy reversal. They would have to include abortion coverage in their employee’s healthcare plans. Rouillard explained in the letter that “Abortion is a basic health care service” and a 1975 state law requires  “group health plans to cover all basic services.”

So clearly the abortion movement is divided into two irreconcilable camps. In order to preserve the legal “right” to abortion, it’s essential to keep electing people who support abortion. That means winning over the hearts of young voters due to the dwindling size of the postmenopausal militia.

The anything-but-abortion approach of NARAL and Emily’s List may well put abortion supporters in office, but it won’t win the battle of hearts—as pro-life has captured the hearts and minds of young America—because they dare not even mention the “A” word.

Keeping a pro-abortion majority, as in California, demonstrates how a government can impose its values on citizens in the most radical way—forcing Catholic institutions to provide the means for abortion services. So once in power, one can be pretty brazen. But being brazen before getting into power is problematic.

The other group, taking a confrontational approach, is aimed at destigmatizing and mainstreaming abortion. That’s been a goal since the 1960s and it has made no discernible progress in the past 50 years. That was the hope of RU-486—take a pill in a doctor’s office and induce a “miscarriage.” Much more “medical” than clinic butchery.

I think and pray that Americans will never buy into the newer, uglier approach to abortion advocacy. We now know through the ubiquity of ultrasound imaging that abortion is not basic healthcare. It is not the removal of a tumor or a life-saving heart bypass. It’s killing, in a brutal fashion. We get quite enough of that on the nightly news. The deed is repulsive and so is the new cavalier "on demand and without apology" attitude toward an innocent life.

Susan E. Willsis Spirituality Editor of Aleteia’s English edition.   

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