“Abortion is such an easy, safe way to terminate pregnancies, yet women were dying for lack of safe abortions,” a Minnesota ob-gyn tells Glamour, remembering life before Roe v. Wade liberated women. She helps put fear in the hearts and minds of the magazine’s readers, so that their choice is a no-brainer: The Right wants your only choice to be a coat hanger, starting off a litany of pre-Roe horror stories.
Unfortunately, from Roe-loving ob-gyns and “women’s magazines,” one rarely, if ever, hears a word about the post-Roe horror stories — real ones women are living today.
Speaking on Capitol Hill this summer, the actress Margaret Colin (Independence Day) told a pro-life gathering sponsored by Feminists for Life: “While many will remember the 40 million American children that were never born, I want us to also remember the 25 million women and girls in America today who have personally experienced an abortion.”
I want you to remember a 13-year-old African-American named Dawn Ravenell, who skipped junior high one January day in 1985 to have an abortion. She died 3 weeks later having never regained consciousness from this legal procedure. Which part of safe, legal, and rare would this be?
I want you to put yourself in the shoes of Marion Syverson, who was raised in a very abusive environment. At age 15, she sought assistance from a local church when she found herself pregnant. Instead of help, Marion was handed $150, so she thought that God wanted her to have an abortion. She wanted to have her baby — where were the resources to rescue her from that abusive family? We let her down. We didn’t give her a place to go, a phone number to call, a safe haven. We could have saved her from the abusive situation and helped her to make choices about her pregnancy. Is abortion the best we could do for her?
I want you to remember Guadalupe Negron, who sought an abortion at age 33 because she thought her husband would not be able to afford another child. After infection set in, one limb after another was amputated until she died, leaving her husband and 4 children motherless. Didn’t she have a right to know assistance is available for women in exactly this situation?
Colin told the gathering: “This is violence against women. This is the failure of medicine to help and heal. This is the failure of our American society to help and protect women. We need to address the reasons that women seek abortions and help them find the resources that are available to ease their situations, to coordinate the resources nationwide.”
That coordination — aided by some star power from Colin, Emmy-winning star of CBS’s Everybody Loves Raymond’s Patricia Heaton, and former “Cover Girl” model Jennifer O’Neill — is the newly launched Women Deserve Better Campaign. The project is sponsored by a coalition of groups, including Feminists for Life, Life Resource Network’s Women’s Task Force, The Second Look Project, Women and Children First, Solidarity With Women/Priests for Life, and the Silent No More Campaign, co-sponsored by NOEL (National Organization of Episcopalians for Life). An associated ad campaign is being sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the pro-life office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (The ads read: “Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion.”)
The idea is to refocus the debate about abortion — by challenging feminists to tell the truth.
As Cathy Cleaver, spokesman for the Catholic bishops on life issues, says, “For thirty years the abortion experiment has been dominated by a public debate that embraces an utterly false dichotomy: women versus children. Pro-lifers are seen as those who fight for unborn children, pro-choicers as those who fight for women. Women and children are of course natural allies, not enemies, and pro-lifers fight for women every day, but the terms of the debate have been set, and they have held . . . the other side of the abortion debate has offered up the false assumption that abortion is good for women, and the culture has swallowed it. It is time to challenge this assumption head-on.”
It’s a significant challenge to those who call themselves feminists. Dead babies aside — they’ve already made clear those lives are not a compelling interest as far as they are concerned — for more than 30 years, abortion advocates (among whom feminists are the most vocal) have ignored the dangers of abortion. They have, in fact, often gone out of their way to ensure that questions are not raised, and information is nowhere to be found when women approach their “choice.” (If I don’t have access to all the available information, is it really a choice?)
As abortion-advocacy groups bend over backward to pretend they are not for abortion — most recently by changing their names (the National Abortion Rights Action League is now NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy is now the Center for Reproductive Rights) — they’re eventually going to have to face women, and their hypocrisy, when it comes to abortion. The concept of post-abortion syndrome, that women suffer emotionally after abortion, despite feminist claims to the contrary, is gradually beginning to penetrate the mainstream, in part thanks to star power — Jennifer O’Neill, who herself had an abortion, was on The View earlier this week talking about it. Despite protests from the media that anyone looking into the linkage between abortion and breast cancer are perpetrating a “war against women,” scientific question-raising is making a facing-of-the-facts unavoidable. Finally, especially as younger doctors increasingly want no part of abortion, the renegade nature of so many of those committed to abortion is slowly being exposed. (The kinds of doctors who are willing to do abortion are inevitably shady).
It’s about time so-called feminists be forced to face the facts, that without the truth about what they are getting themselves into, many women are among the abortion casualties in a real war against women. Mercifully, it looks like the time for feminist silence and spin is running out. For the most-innocent-the unborn — it couldn’t come soon enough.