Politics & Policy

The Rise of the Abortion Cheerleaders

The Break with Michelle Wolf (Netflix/YouTube)
They panic because they realize that science is not on their side.

Is abortion a sad and unfortunate reality — regrettable, as we are sometimes told, but often necessary — or is it a breezy nothingburger, completely “normal,” and something to be giddily celebrated like a last-minute NFL touchdown?  For a long time, the abortion lobby has had difficulty deciding. This summer, it seems that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — and the rising feverish chatter surrounding the possible demise of Roe v. Wade — might just push the pro-abortion movement over the edge.

By now perhaps you’ve seen the horror show cooked up by Michelle Wolf, the Netflix star best known for her viral and cringeworthy White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech this spring. Man, does this lady love abortion. She also loves wheeling out abortion “jokes” like this: “Mike Pence is very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it! And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.”

Zing! Get it? You’ve got to knock the baby out of there! But wait: If there’s a baby in there in the first place, wouldn’t knocking it out mean we’re actually . . . oh, never mind. Who cares about those details? Certainly not Wolf, who just broadcast another wild-eyed abortion-is-awesome monologue, hollering “God bless abortion!” in a star-spangled bodysuit and cheerlessly squeaking that abortion “should be on the dollar menu at McDonalds.” Her audience — and here one could perhaps write a dissertation on the distressing and sheep-like behavior of people granted seats at painfully unfunny Netflix talk shows — cheered.

Whether or not Ms. Wolf is actually a top-secret sleeper agent for the pro-life cause, plotting to repel America’s more middle-of-the-road pro-choice voters — and the more over-the-top she gets, the more I suspect that this might be the case — she’s not alone, nor is she some fringe can’t-make-it-up character. Remember “safe, legal, and rare?” Forget it. The “let’s celebrate abortion” movement is growing and strong.

Two current viral campaigns, called “Shout Your Abortion” and “#OneInFour,” suggest that abortion is an unquestionable good. The Shout Your Abortion website broadcasts this trendy creed, loud and strident and clear: “Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.” The group’s website also provides the option to buy a T-shirt telling the world that you’re proud of your abortion, or even purchase an “Abortion Is Freedom” button that might make Orwell cringe.

The #OneInFour campaign, backed by groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, has inspired a series of high-profile women to testify to the power of their own abortions. Based off an estimate from the Guttmacher Institute that one in four women will have an abortion by age 45, the campaign’s message is simple: A lot of people have abortions, so abortion is okay. If you extend this particular illogical train, abortion should really never be questioned: If you’re a woman, and you’re pregnant, there is no party to consider but yourself. “We don’t need anything more complicated than an individual woman’s wish about her body and her life,” one testimony goes.

Ah. Except it is more complicated, and everyone knows it — especially women who have been pregnant.

Thanks to advances in science, medicine, and technology, women are getting an increasingly detailed look, earlier and earlier, at what pregnancy entails: a new life, right from the start.  

These days, men are supposedly banned from holding opinions on abortion: NARAL, for its part, tweeted on Wednesday that “We will be DARNED” — okay, fine, they actually used a worse word — “if we’re going to let five MEN — including some frat boy named Brett — strip us of our hard-won bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.” (I suspect this tweet was blasted out right after NARAL’s social-media intern mainlined 16 cups of extra-stout coffee directly into a vein.) “To any men watching,” Wolf added in the midst of her Netflix abortion extravaganza, “I’m sure this brings up a lot of feelings and thoughts and points you want to make, and I just want you to know that’s all very irrelevant.”

This is nonsense, of course. But since I happen to have a woman card, I’ll play: I’m pro-life. I’ve seen ultrasounds pick up a heartbeat at seven weeks. Thanks to incredible and continuous advances in science, medicine, and technology, women are getting an increasingly detailed look, earlier and earlier, at what pregnancy actually entails: a new life, right from the start.

In this lens, perhaps the remarkably tone-deaf behavior erupting from today’s leading abortion advocates is easily explainable: It stems from the sublimated panic born of the realization that science is not on their side. Moreover, there’s likely a simple reason the pro-abortion movement has lurched in the direction of “abortion is normal and good, hooray!” while backing away from “abortion is sad and regrettable, but necessary.” If you admit that abortion is sad and regrettable, after all, you also have to admit why that is so. You have to admit that it involves a new human life.

This ramped-up rhetoric and bizarre abortion cheerleading, in other words, reflects a calculated attempt to avoid difficult truths. One thing is certain: In the end, it certainly won’t help women. Dishonesty never does, no matter how many times you repeat it.

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