For all the wailing pro-aborts did about the New York Times giving a little bit of op-ed space to pro-lifers, cooler heads knew it was only a matter of time before the paper returned to its pro-abortion roots. They’ve published a piece by pro-abortion activist Renee Bracey Sherman, whose greatest hits include attacking Live Action for supporting men who want to save their preborn children’s lives, full-blown Twitter meltdowns over the aforementioned pro-life op-eds, and absurdly claiming the lack of government-subsidized birth control forced her to become pregnant at age 19.
Yep, it’s gonna be one of those columns.
This time, Sherman’s subject is the supreme moral authority of post-abortive women. “Who Should You Listen to on Abortion?” her headline asks. “People Who’ve Had Them.” Their voices “should be central to the conversation”:
The abortion debate rages on, but the voices of those who’ve actually had abortions are ignored. Few people try to understand our lives. And we are never asked the most simple but important question: Why did you do it?
“Ignored”? “Never asked”? This talking point was stale two years ago, and now it’s downright rancid. Promoting personal anecdotes of “positive” abortions has been a staple of pro-abortion activism for well over a decade (at least), and the press loves to highlight them. But rather than confront the fact that the American public has been listening to “the voices” for years yet opposition to abortion has held steady, abortion supporters prefer to throw themselves endless pity parties about how nobody listens to them.
There are two basic reasons why “people who’ve had them” have not won abortion advocates the war, and Sherman’s failure to address them—in a professionally published piece on the subject—helpfully puts in perspective the absurdity of last week’s claim that the pro-life NYT op-eds were objectionable because they supposedly failed to meet some basic threshold of analytical quality.
First, if we’re supposed to decide the issue based on firsthand experiences with abortion, it follows that negative experiences have to be taken into account as well as positive ones. And make no mistake, there are a lot of them. So if you’ve got some women saying abortion saved their future and others saying it devastated theirs, who wins? Do we just tally up the stories and side with whoever has more? Or do women who regret their abortions matter less for some heretofore-undiscovered reason those of us indoctrinated by the patriarchy just aren’t enlightened enough to comprehend?
Obviously not. Such an exercise would be preposterous for the same reason deciding the issue based on any personal feelings about it is wrong. Things are true or false, good or evil regardless of what anyone wants them to be, and objective answers to questions of fact and ethics are only found by examining them without emotional bias or self-interest contaminating the findings. If abortion is murder, then it’s murder regardless of how much easier it is to balance a checkbook after disposing of your son or daughter. Conversely, if life did not begin at conception, feeling uneasy about aborting something that was never alive would not make it any more alive.
Of course, as we have established time and time again, life does begin at fertilization and abortion is murder. And that’s the real reason sophists like Sherman are so insistent that personal appeals from post-abortive women are the only thing that matters: they are relying on emotional manipulation to get them the support they know they cannot earn through rational argument.
This intellectual underhandedness is on full display in the rest of the article, in which Sherman lazily sneers that pro-lifers “strip us of our rights when we’re not treated as humans” (quite an audacious charge from someone who’s arguing for the right to actually strip human children of their rights and treat them like tumors to be excised), complains about the Oklahoma resolution to recognize abortion as murder (Sherman doesn’t bother to explain why it isn’t murder), falsely accuses Vice President Mike Pence of “mandating funerals after abortions,” and cites a dubious, misleading statistic to argue that most women are happy after abortion.
A core of emotional browbeating surrounded by lies; that’s pro-abortion apologetics in a nutshell.
Finally, let’s conclude with the story that Sherman opens her piece with, which symbolizes far more than she intended it to:
When I arrived at the clinic in Washington, I looked for the young woman I was waiting for. Her body was covered with tattoos of birds and stars. She hugged me with a warm smile and introduced me to her boyfriend. He didn’t look at me. In fact, he didn’t look me in the eye for the five hours we sat together in the waiting room.
I assumed it was out of shame until I noticed the white supremacist tattoos on his shaved head, neck, forearms and knuckles. As a black woman, I was scared of him. Yet I felt a bond. They had driven several hours from Virginia to avoid the numerous restrictions on abortions there. He was returning from jail. She already had a child and wasn’t ready for another. I knew the feeling well.
She asked for an abortion doula because she wanted unconditional support, no matter what she decided. She wanted me, a total stranger, to reinforce her trust in herself. After she went to the procedure room, her boyfriend and I went outside, me to make a call, him to smoke. In the elevator down, he finally spoke: “Thank you.”
Abortion: bringing feminists and neo-Nazis together. Need I say more?
Editor’s Note: All op-eds are the opinion of the writer, and not necessarily the official position of Live Action.