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Why Legalized Abortion Diminishes True
Katie Breckenridge, MS | 09 June 2020
In May, 2019, pro-abortion actress Busy Philipps started the “youknowme” hashtag, which encouraged women to share their abortion stories[i] in response to Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act.[ii] One of the several responses to this hashtag included actress Milana Vayntrub’s tweet: “When I had an abortion, I was put under. When I came to, the first thing I remember asking the doctor was when I could have sex again. He told me I'd already asked him that twice. #YouKnowMe.”[iii] Whether she was trying to be humorous or not with this response is irrelevant. The larger reality and undeniable truths that her question highlights are that we as a society have lost sight that sex is a bonding experience between two people committed to each other that has the potential to reproduce children, and, therefore, that we have lost sight of motherhood. Women have lost sight of motherhood when sex is an activity that they can’t wait to get back to participating in after taking the lives of their children. Women have lost sight of motherhood when sex is used as a means to attempt to manipulate men into falling in love with them - a foolish endeavor. Women have lost sight of motherhood when they allow men to continue to use them for their pleasure. In this case, men continue to get a free pass to use women like objects because they know that if women get pregnant, they can just convince them to have an abortion. Most importantly, recreational sex has turned human life into an unwanted by-product of sex that can be sacrificed for our own desires, and women killing their children does nothing but further women’s subordination to men. This is what women championing for “equality” need to take into consideration.
Recently, actress Michelle Williams stated in her Golden Globes speech that she attributes her successful career to having had the “right to choose,”[iv] and Busy Phillips recently stated that she also attributes her success to having had the right to “bodily autonomy at 15.”[v] Throughout these speeches, I do not see empowered women - only women yearning for validation for their decisions. I see an angry, guilt-fueled speech from Busy Philipps. I see mothers that have killed their children for selfish desires and are now trying to justify their actions. I see women lacking dignity for their unique traits as women. Most importantly, I see women that have fallen victim to a lie - the lie that women cannot be successful unless they take the lives of their own children. Ironically, the push of this view by society continues to promote female inequality - the very issue for which these women claim to stand. It teaches men not to respect women for our unique traits. It advocates for a lackadaisical attitude in men that women can kill children that also belong to them because it’s “the woman’s body.” After all, if women do not respect themselves for their unique, life-creating abilities, why would any man value a human being created from the two of them?
As Christopher West states, “separate sex from babies and you also eventually separate sex from marriage - both in principle and in practice. So long as the natural connection between sex and babies is retained, we realize intuitively that sexual intercourse is the rightful domain of those who have committed themselves to raising children: their commitment is called marriage,”[vi] as “in his loving design, God has united these three realities (marriage, sex, and babies - in that order) in a tight knot to reveal in our flesh the truth of his own eternal covenant love and fatherhood.”[vii]
Abortion advocates convince women that they are free and empowered by having the right to do whatever they want with “their bodies,” when in reality, female equality is being restricted because women are not being respected for uniquely separate, but equal abilities which make them just as valuable as men. Women must not “become like men by eliminating their motherhood.”[viii] When women fall victim to this delusion, they become nothing but prisoners who give in to the elimination of their own flesh and blood while trying to maintain “equal” status with men - ironically, an act which keeps them remaining prisoners. There is neither dignity nor liberation in taking the life of one’s own child.
Promoting abortion as a means for a woman to achieve her desires in life teaches women that they are not strong or intelligent enough to be mothers and pursue careers at the same time. Pregnancy and motherhood should be celebrated as a miraculous, unique trait and privilege of women.[ix] Women should be made to feel empowered to be successful while embracing the unique gifts that are given to them as women, and they certainly should not engage in a life-destroying act to achieve any desired autonomy they feel they may be lacking as women.[x] True equality would recognize all of the unique abilities of being a woman, but we will never truly be recognized for our abilities when we diminish one of the leading characteristics of being a woman - our unique ability to create and nurture new human beings.
Women feeling the need to eliminate their motherhood in an effort to be more like men is precisely what Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke against in an article in the Revolution newspaper in 1868: “We are living today under a dynasty of force; the masculine element is everywhere overpowering the feminine, and crushing women and children alike beneath its feet. Let woman assert herself in all her native purity, dignity, and strength, and end this wholesale suffering and murder of helpless children. With centuries of degradation, we have so little of true womanhood that the world has but the faintest glimmering of what a woman is or should be.”[xi] Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell called the act of abortion a gross perversion and destruction of motherhood, and that the term “female physician” being applied to female abortionists was a horror, and “an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.”[xii]
What a sad day when we become so disconnected to natural instincts and empathy for the life growing within us, all in the name of convenience. I've seen pro-choice women in awe watching their babies move on the ultrasound screen, and talk about how amazing our bodies are that they create human life.[xiii] Why, then, is there such acceptance of another woman choosing to rip that miraculous ability right out of her for convenience? Is it because it’s not your child? It’s not you that had to live with the fact that you've gone against the miraculous design of your body, denied your maternal instincts, and took away life that was growing inside of you? In response to denying maternal instincts, I have been told “well, not every woman has maternal instincts. It’s not fair to make that generalization.” Regardless of whether you actually feel that you have maternal instincts when a woman takes the life of her own child, she is denying the very intention of her design, and murdering a unique human being.
Women seeking equality could advocate for anything - extended, paid maternity leave, better prenatal care, employer-sponsored childcare - but instead, we ask for the right to kill our children. Equality should not come at the expense of our children. When children are no longer viewed as a “choice,” but as a necessity, as a basic fact of human sexuality and biology, society would truly thrive. If we view children as an option to kill at will, then where is the motivation to want to do better by our kids?
If we stopped treating sex as a recreational activity and women respected themselves enough to not give up such an intimate aspect of themselves to men who are not fully committed to them, and men made it their duty as protectors and defenders of family to wait for that moment when they will fully be a protector and defender of a woman’s dignity and not use her as an object, but a woman with the potential to be someone’s wife and mother, we would avoid an array of family distortions. The number of single mothers (and fathers) would diminish because partners would be willing to commit to being a family. If men and women committed to loving and providing for their two-parent headed households, imagine how the poverty rate would diminish.[xiv] There would be fewer teenage pregnancies,[xv] fewer children struggling with identity and rejection issues through adoption, [xvi] fewer fatherless children, fewer children experiencing the divorce of their parents at a young age because they had parents that were not simply having fun by having sex as opposed to using it as a committal act, and children would do better in school.[xvii] If one believes that family breakdown does not have life-long effects on children, since we as a society have become so far removed from the natural design of men and women, one needs to look no further than the adult children stories on the Them Before Us website.[xviii] Even children that did not have ideal family environments prior to the divorce of their parents, would prefer sub-optimal marriages than “good divorces.”[xix] Why? Children innately know that their parents are supposed to be together and that men and women are designed to create and raise children together. As a result, children yearn for their mothers and fathers. If we want better circumstances for children, we need to not act as if commitment to a spouse is optional before having children.
Women and men, your pre-born babies are human beings - pieces of you that are relying on you to see them through the process of development, from the very beginning stages and all throughout their lives. Relying on you to help them to develop their own unique, innate personalities. You are that child’s parent. A child, which if allowed to live, will grow into an adult. Do not view children as nuisances which we don’t want, view them as human beings which will become adults with their own personalities and gifts. Fight for that child’s life at all costs and realize that this seemingly daunting task is an amazing gift bestowed upon you, as the creation of life is nothing short of miraculous.
[vi] West, C. (2020). Our Bodies Tell God’s Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press
Katie Breckenridge, MS
Operations Manager, Them Before Us & 2020 Society of St. Sebastian Fellow