Responding To Pro-Abortion Advocates is a series where I will focus in on comments made by pro-abortion persons. These comments might be seen in the news, read on various websites, or heard elsewhere. As always, the goal is to be respectful and respond to the arguments, not to attack the person.
Jex Blackmore is the chapter director of the Satanic Temple Detroit. She recently found herself pregnant, and decided to chronicle her experience leading up to her abortion. Her story was picked up by Cosmo and Jezebel, and she has been received warmly by the pro-abortion crowd.
Part one can be read here.
“I’m convinced that the emotional turmoil many women experience surrounding their abortion is so much less about their hormones, or some internal ethical dilemma, and much more symptomatic of perceived and real socio-cultural demands”. 11/18/15
Three points to make here:
1. There is no need to try to minimize the role that hormones play in pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum. It’s well-documented that hormones are secreted both by the mother and by the baby during pregnancy (as well as thereafter) in order to assist with growth, bonding, health, and development. It’s dishonest to try to convince people that the emotional turbulence they encounter surrounding an abortion is the result of socio-cultural demands, and not something that is really, actually, physically happening inside a woman’s body. Not only is it inaccurate, it’s also a careless way to avoid responsibility for one’s own experience.
2. What Ms. Blackmore refers to as an “internal ethical dilemma” is more rightly called a guilty conscience. A conscience is what alerts us when we are engaging in a behavior that violates what we believe to be right and true. Is it at all conceivable that this “dilemma” is a result of persons knowing that abortion is wrong, recognizing the humanity of the baby, and perceiving that the baby has the right to life?
A properly formed conscience should alert a woman that aborting her baby is wrong. It should set off all kinds of internal alarms. If there were no internal alarms going off, that would indicate a problem. It would indicate that something was wrong with our conscience, not that our behavior was acceptable.
3. So goes the campaign to remove the shame and stigma associated with each and every behavior. A social stigma is defined as a strong feeling of disapproval that many people in a society have about something. Self-stigma can be defined as feelings of guilt or shame toward the self for engaging in some behavior. Oftentimes, social stigmas can lead to self-stigmas.
One of the more detestable things is a persistent campaign to pass off responsibility for personal experiences onto society at-large. Feel guilt or shame as a result of a personal choice? Having emotional trouble after an abortion? The pro-abortion response is, “It’s not you, it’s society’s fault. Society created the stigma”. Stop blaming society. Take some responsibility.
Pro-aborts would like to rid the world of any and all stigma associated with abortion. They would like society to become universally supportive of abortion, and they encourage any woman who chooses abortion to be free from all guilt and shame. But guilt and shame are the emotional manifestations of a guilty conscience. In the same way that a guilty conscience indicates that we have done something wrong, so too do shame and guilt indicate that we have somehow violated what we know to be right.
Perhaps instead of trying to blame society for the cognitive and emotional upheaval women experience after aborting their children, those who advocate for abortion could focus on what those thoughts and feelings indicate about their own behavior.
We will continue discussing Ms. Blackmore’s diary in coming installments.
Cullen Herout is a pro-life writer, and his blog can be read at Ready To Stand.