John Irving, author of the well-known pro-abortion fiction book later made into a movie, The Cider House Rules, has turned his fiction talents toward slandering pro-lifers as “uncaring” in a new NY Times opinion piece — and it has both the current and past presidents of America’s number one abortion provider cheering. In his piece, in which he offers no links or citations for actual proof — just baseless accusations — Irving claims pro-lifers (he calls this a “marketing term,” by the way — as if “pro-choice” isn’t a marketing ploy to mask legalized killing) “don’t care what happens to an unwanted child — not after the child is born — and they’ve never cared about the mother.”
Planned Parenthood’s new president Leana Wen, emergency room physician and Four Pinocchios honoree (thanks to a recent Washington Post fact check of the claim that “thousands” of women died every year from illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade), called Irving’s words “powerful” on Twitter. Former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards posted on her Twitter account a slanderous, inaccurate, and wholly unsupported quote from the article: “The prevailing impetus to oppose abortion is to punish the woman. The sacralizing of the fetus is a ploy. How can ‘life’ be sacred…if a child’s life isn’t sacred after it’s born?” Richards added, “Thank you John Irving.”
“Whatever the anti-abortion crusaders call themselves, they don’t care what happens to an unwanted child–not after the child is born–and they’ve never cared about the mother.” Powerful words from author John Irving @nytimes https://t.co/ogwOxRylj8
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) June 24, 2019
These accusations about “punishing” pregnant women seem too Obama-esque and less than creative for a fiction writer. And of course, the claim that pro-lifers “don’t care” about babies after they’re born is as old as can be, and stems from the untruth that a person cannot truly be “pro-life” unless he or she supports “X, Y, and Z” taxpayer-funded, Democrat-approved government programs.
This is, of course, ridiculous. Is Mr. Irving completely unaware of one of the abortion industry’s favorite targets for extermination (aside from preborn children, that is): pregnancy resource centers? If Irving is aware of pregnancy centers, he doesn’t allude to them. But the abortion industry tries desperately to shutter these centers, which offer all of their services — like pregnancy testing, STD testing, ultrasounds, maternity and baby clothes, baby furniture, parenting and other relevant classes, referrals to community social services, employment services, and more — for free. Approximately 90% of pregnancy center funding comes from community donations given by — you guessed it — pro-lifers. These centers number nearly 3,000 in the United States.
In short, really any abortion supporter could have written this New York Times op-ed. Irving’s arguments are not new in the least. He says things like, “no one is pro-abortion,” a claim easily debunked if you put down the fiction novels for a while and read what other abortion advocates are saying. Like this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one.
We don’t know the doctors’ reasons for making abortion illegal. In the 1840s, the fetus wasn’t yet sacred. Fetal life was still defined by “quickening” — when the woman felt the fetus move, not before the fourth or fifth month. From the 1840s to 1900, we know the results of what the doctors did — not their thoughts.
We may not know why doctors decided abortion was an evil that should be outlawed. Maybe there were things that they witnessed in their medical practice that caused them to rethink the humanity of the child in the womb. But we have no excuse today. Ultrasound is a window to the womb that reveals exactly what is growing there, in a womb of a human female: a human.
Irving wraps up by equating modern pro-lifers with “people of my grandparents’ generation”:
Of an unmarried woman or girl who got pregnant, people of my grandparents’ generation used to say: “She is paying the piper.” Meaning, she deserves what she gets — namely, to give birth to a child. That cruelty is the abiding impetus behind the dishonestly named right-to-life movement.
Irving makes this slanderous assertion without proof, claiming that pro-lifers are really just “cruel” and anti-women. Apparently, being pro-life couldn’t possibly be about the human growing inside the womb at all, or about a desire to see women be fully accepted in society as equals without feeling they have to kill their offspring to fit into a “man’s world.” Considering that recent polling shows that a majority of American women favor significant restrictions on abortion, how he arrives at this conclusion is beyond me.
Irving’s diatribe is really just more of the same: a screed of hollow accusations which completely ignores the science of fetal development as a possible reason for pro-lifers’ true motives. His claims might make for a juicy fiction novel, but they bear little resemblance to reality.
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