America is already extreme in its approach to abortion. But that isn’t nearly enough for radical abortion advocates.
Here in the U.S., abortion is permitted throughout pregnancy. Toward the end of pregnancy, we merely require the mother to find a doctor willing to say that she needs the procedure to preserve her physical or mental health. By contrast, in Germany, Denmark, Belgium and France – nations generally considered models of progressive society – abortions after 12 weeks are either illegal or heavily regulated.
Even these “progressive” nations seem to appreciate the fact that an abortion is not like a wart removal. It is not an ordinary, run-of-the-mill “health care” procedure that should be left entirely to the prerogative of a pregnant woman and the doctor who stands to benefit financially from the procedure. Even these “progressive” nations recognize that there is something different about abortion, something that reflects upon our society’s commitment to being compassionate and humane.
Meanwhile in America, abortion activists have gone off the deep end. They gain ground in public policy debates by spotlighting the toughest, most heartbreaking cases – the severely disabled baby or the girl who was raped. But in the social realm, they explicitly reject the idea that abortion is a tragedy.
Their advocacy now aims to make abortion – the killing of a human life inside the womb – a normal part of the female experience. Their aim is to make it so commonplace, so socially acceptable, that it won’t even raise an eyebrow when mentioned over dinner.
In an interview with Terry Gross on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program two weeks ago, blogger Lindy West expressed outright disgust for anyone who would suggest that abortion is an act to be regretted.
She said, “There are a lot of ostensibly pro-choice people who still believe that if you have an abortion, it’s your obligation to talk about it with shame and regret, and to apologize, and to grovel and to justify it. And I would argue that that’s not really being pro-choice.”
I agree with West about one thing: Women who have had abortions don’t need to be consumed by shame. The same Creator who designed the aborted baby offers the mother a grace that is deep, complete and overcomes all shame.
But in West’s view, grace is unnecessary because abortion carries no shame. To her, it is a morally acceptable act. And woe to those who disagree.
She bemoaned the fact that pro-choice men seem uncomfortable talking about abortion; that although they believe it should be legal, they still believe it should be avoided.
What West and other activists seem to want is a paradigm in which our focus on self-gratification is so radically complete that we are free even of the nagging conscience that would have us count the cost of abortion. That conscience is what West dislikes about the pro-choice men who can’t quite rid themselves of the sense that, legal or not, abortion is something to be grieved rather than celebrated.
It is disheartening to be a pro-life advocate in a nation whose Supreme Court has taken the ultimate issue of abortion out of the political process, leaving us with little ground to gain on the legal front. But this NPR interview is a wake-up call for us.
The abortion industry and its minions have not stopped with winning the Supreme Court’s pronouncement of an unwritten constitutional right to abortion. They push for taxpayer-funded abortion. They push for lax standards for abortion clinics. They push for abortion without regard to the pain felt by the well-developed baby. They push for quick abortion, without waiting periods or sonograms, and without fully informing the mother of alternatives.
Now, in the cultural realm, they want to push us further down the road to a coarse, inhumane society. They push to kill the consciences that remind us that with every abortion, an innocent, defenseless human being is paying the price for someone else’s “choices.”
In the legal battle to protect human life, we must fight with hands that have been bound by activist courts. But in the battle for a humane, compassionate culture – the battle of ideas – we remain unbound.
We must fight and win this battle. The innate human understanding that it is good and right to protect human life will be our ally. But we must never cease to shine the light of Truth upon the dark path of abortion, and to remind America that every human life has value and no situation is beyond hope.