‘To the women of Texas, I want to say I am with you. Lady Liberty is here to welcome you with open arms.” Social media was all about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” dress at the Met gala. But the more important one was that of her colleague Carolyn Maloney, dressed as a suffragette. The suffragettes were against abortion. Earlier in the week, Maloney was cheering on the invitation to Texas women from Kathy Hochul, the new governor of New York, and in particular Hochul’s invitation to pregnant women in the Lone Star State. Maloney and Hochul stood flanked by a Central Park statue of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Stanton called abortion “infanticide,” writing that, “when we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” Anthony said, “Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.” Be careful whom you use for a prop.
Contrary to the early feminists, Hochul is taking “aggressive action to cement New York State as a safe harbor for those seeking abortion care.” She’s the new governor of New York and wants pregnant women to know they can come to New York for their abortions. Same as it ever was here. She’s a graduate of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. It takes its name “Columbus” from generous funding from the Knights of Columbus, a leader in making it possible for abortion-minded women to get ultrasounds and have a moment to pause in a crisis pregnancy to consider their options. New York has a long history of Catholic governors who have been advocates of abortion rights. The late Mario Cuomo at least seemed to struggle with it. Given the allegations against his son, Andrew, Hochul might be said to be leading the way to make sure that men can continue to use women sexually and that women can still be deluded into thinking they can and should have consequence-free sex when there is no such thing. One of Hochul’s policy aims is more telehealth abortions. “Aggressive” is the right word, because this is more of the most intimate violence, and violence in isolation when we’re talking about chemical abortion.
In May, I was involved in a conversation with a scared 17-year-old girl leaving Manhattan’s Planned Parenthood, with a small bag indicating she was in the middle of a chemical abortion. You can reverse that with hormones, and another pro-life counselor was telling her about that option. The counselor told her graphically what her abortion would involve — seeing her baby in its early stages. “I already feel bad enough,” the girl pleaded, saying her mother said she had to finish high school first. I told her about the Sisters of Life nearby, who are women religious who live to serve women who are pregnant and feeling all kinds of pressures to abort but want to be the moms they already are. She wound up going through with that abortion. But a seed was planted.
She’s pregnant again, and called Planned Parenthood again. Whoever she talked to slipped and talked about a first step of stopping the heartbeat of the child. (I assume “fetus” was the word.) The girl reconnected with the other sidewalk counselor, who connected her with the Sisters of Life, and she is going to go through with the pregnancy this time — with her mother’s support, no less. Whatever you think of the specifics of the Texas law, there is something to be said for telling the truth: We’re talking not about a clump of cells but a developing child. Science tells us that children in the womb can detect pain. We help no one by insisting that abortion doesn’t involve the death of a child.
Pope Francis, who has been portrayed as a progressive, doesn’t sound like the abortion advocates of New York. He recently said to the press:
It’s more than a problem. It’s murder. Whoever has an abortion kills — no half words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA. . . . It is human life. This human life must be respected. This principle is so clear!
Unless you pretend it isn’t. He emphasized:
To those who cannot understand, I would ask this question: Is it right to kill a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to kill a human life? Scientifically, it is a human life. Is it right to take it out to solve a problem? That is why the church is so hard on this issue, because if it accepts this, it would be like accepting daily murder.
By their words, the women in Central Park treated abortion as a sacrament of a religion that sacrifices children for worldly success. “I have to graduate from high school, and I can’t have a child,” that girl told us in May. She already was a mother and has to live with that abortion for the rest of her life. The Texas law isn’t perfect, but the Lone Star State has the right idea. Texans are fighting for actual liberty for women.
This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.