Guest Column

In order to destigmatize abortion, we would have to ignore science

Planned Parenthood, abortion videos

(Save the Storks) The words “toxic environment” captured my interest, so I clicked on the Cosmopolitan article. Perusing Ms Gupta’s writing, I quickly stumbled upon the headline quote from Planned Parenthood representative, Mary Alice Carter, who said:

“We need to be sure that we are working on all sides to destigmatize and normalize abortion care so we reduce the toxic environment around care.”

Destigmatize and normalize abortion care.

This short sentence interrupted my thoughts and, like a merry-go-round, I read it over and over again. See, the only way these five words can become a reality is if culture willfully decides and resolves that an unborn child is not actually a human life.

But what about science?

This is the chilling reality of Mary Alice Carter’s five words: they demand that science be deliberately ignored. They require the proponent of this ideology to knowingly deny scientific fact.

Perhaps you are offended by my candid response that this position stipulates science be omitted from one’s reasoning. Or maybe you’re wondering how such a position would require the total abandonment of science?

The answer lies in Mary Alice Carter’s own words. “We need to be sure that we are working on all sides to destigmatize.” Abortion has a stigma associated with it. It always has.


Because no matter how much abortion proponents tell you an abortion is like getting your tonsils removed, science (and culture as a whole) recognizes that surgically removing a human being at any stage of gestation simply is not equivocal to surgically removing one’s lymphatic tissue. Thus, in order to “destigmatize” abortion, it requires the conscious neglect of science.

For example, let’s see how this exact statement would work in different historical contexts:

  • “We need to be sure that we are working on all sides to destigmatize and normalize the extinction of the Jewish people.”  – Germany in the 1930s
  • “We need to be sure that we are working on all sides to destigmatize and normalize slavery.”– American slaveowners in the 1850s
  • “We need to be sure that we are working on all sides to destigmatize and normalize child labor.” – NYC sweatshop owners in the 1900s

These examples are horrific, offensive, and highly inappropriate. Why? Because they seek to normalize a total violation of another human being.

If we ignore the humanity of Jewish, black, or young people, then the historical atrocities are neither a violation of the individual nor even an attack on them. To destigmatize, we must first dehumanize.

The same is true for the human being in utero. How does one “destigmatize and normalize abortion?” Not by legislation. Not by “shouting your abortion.” Not by telling America how common abortions are. But by curating a culture whose facade of “women’s healthcare” is the bedrock of willful scientific ignorance.




In a culture of paradoxical irony, it is rather pregnancy, birth, and life-affirming decisions that have the stigma. It is Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and many of those who war for the freedom of abortions at any stage of gestation that pressure, persuade, manipulate, and disavow a woman’s choice to carry.

Planned Parenthood has spent years cultivating a culture where the choice to carry and even parent is considered second rate to that of abortion. Planned Parenthood’s “counseling” offers only mutually exclusive options – parent or go to college, parent or get a good job, parent or graduate high school, parent or pursue your dreams – and never empowers a woman, or a couple, to do both.

Perhaps the biggest divergence between the new pro-life approach and that of Planned Parenthood (apart from the radical split on science defining when life begins), is that the pro-life movement looks to always empower the mother, the father, and the child, pre, during, and post pregnancy – even if that pregnancy ends in an abortion. 

The pro-life movement will never offer mutually exclusive choices. That’s manipulation. 

The pro-life movement will always look to empower women to pursue their dreams, visions, and goals – even while parenting.

What Mary Alice Carter should have said was: “We need to be sure that we are working on all sides to destigmatize and normalize pregnancy and birth so that we reduce the toxic environment around parenting.”

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Josh at Save the Storks’ blog on August 30, 2016, and is reprinted here with permission.

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