In a class I’m currently taking, I was assigned to read a chapter taken from a book that came out in the ’70s called Blaming the Victim, written by William Ryan. The gist of the chapter has to do with how our society analyzes social problems in terms of the people these problems affect. These “victim-blamers,” as Ryan has termed them, have a simple solution for reforming social issues – change the victim.
I’d like to apply Ryan’s ideology of blaming the victim to a social issue that I believe has gone on far too long – a human rights issue with grave consequences, although vehemently denied by NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and pro-choice advocates and supporters, that can neither be diminished nor denied. Even worse, there isn’t just one victim of an abortion – although one could argue that the murdered preborn child is the most victimized of this heinous procedure – and they would be absolutely right. But the mother is also victimized, as is the father, the grandparents, and the siblings. In fact, abortion victimizes everybody it affects because it’s perpetuated by lies about the humanity of our own children, disguised as women’s health care.
Ryan describes four steps that are used in blaming the victim. The first is to “identify a social problem.” Abortion – that was easy.
Second, he suggests we “study those affected by the problem and discover what ways they are different from the rest of us as a consequence of deprivation and injustice.” So – babies are those primarily affected by abortions, and they differ from us due to their size, age, and environment. Sometimes they differ from us because their mother doesn’t want them, or because their father is a rapist, or because they will have birth defects.
The third step is to now “define the differences as the cause of the social problem itself.” According to this ideology, abortion is necessary because there are preborn babies in the United States who have been conceived in less than ideal circumstances, or who might have disabilities. According to this ideology, abortion is necessary simply because there are unwanted babies, and God forbid, what else are we going to do with them? It sounds like we’re starting to create a pro-abortion argument now.
The last thing we’re to do is to “assign a government bureaucrat to invent a humanitarian action program to correct the differences.” Well, it looks like we already have that program: eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s brainchild, Planned Parenthood.
Ryan stresses that the perpetrators of the victim-blaming ideology are really just charitable people who truly believe they are philanthropists. While I’m not going to argue that Sanger and present-day leaders of the abortion movement are really just misunderstood philanthropists – because they’re not – and evil isn’t subjective, I’d like to put forth a thought Ryan shares: “In order to persuade a good and moral man to do evil…it is not necessary first to persuade him to become evil. It is only necessary to teach him that he is doing good.”
If everyone was blatantly aware that abortion was an intrinsic evil, a violation of both human rights and the rights given to us in the Declaration of Independence, I don’t think abortion would have ever been legalized in the United States. It would have been absolutely unfathomable. But it was fathomed, and it is now legal, because the trailblazers of the pro-choice movement disguised murder, turning it into an ideology behind women’s reproductive rights. They have successfully convinced generations of Americans that abortion is good, that supporting abortion is our civic duty, and getting an abortion is normal – even part of being a woman.
But they haven’t yet tricked all of us, nor did this fight end with the unsettling verdicts of Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Bolton. In the end, we will emerge victorious, not through violence or clever strategies, but because we are champions of the truth, which no ideology can ever extinguish.
References: Ryan, William. “The Art of Savage Discovery: Blaming the Victim.” Dialectics of Third World Development. Ed. Ingolf Vogeler and De Souza Anthony R. Montclair, NJ: Allanheld, Osmun, 1980. N. pag. Print.
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