I am becoming more and more concerned about the following post doing the rounds on social media while people applaud it seemingly without knowing or understanding what is even says.
I'm not pro-murdering babies. I'm pro-Becky who found out at her 20-week anatomy scan that the infant she had been so excited to bring into this world had developed without life sustaining organs. I'm pro-Susan who was sexually assaulted on her way home from work, only to come to the horrific realization that her assailant planted his seed in her when she got a positive pregnancy test result a month later. I'm pro-Theresa who hemorrhaged due to a placental abruption, causing her parents, spouse, and children to have to make the impossible decision on whether to save her or her unborn child. I'm pro-little Cathy who had her innocence ripped away from her by someone she should have been able to trust and her 11-year-old body isn't mature enough to bear the consequence of that betrayal. I'm pro-Melissa who's working two jobs just to make ends meet and has to choose between bringing another child into poverty or feeding the children she already has because her spouse walked out on her. I'm pro-Brittany who realizes that she is in no way financially, emotionally, or physically able to raise a child.I'm pro-Emily who went through IVF, ending up with SIX viable implanted eggs requiring selective reduction to ensure the safety of her and a SAFE number of fetuses. I'm pro-Jessica who is FINALLY getting the strength to get away from her physically abusive spouse only to find out that she is carrying the monster's child. I'm pro-Vanessa who went into her confirmation appointment after YEARS of trying to conceive only to hear silence where there should be a heartbeat. I'm pro-Lindsay who lost her virginity in her sophomore year with a broken condom and now has to choose whether to be a teenage mom or just a teenager. I'm pro-Courtney who just found out she's already 13 weeks along, but the egg never made it out of her fallopian tube so either she terminates the pregnancy or risks dying from internal bleeding. You can argue and say that I'm pro-choice all you want, but the truth is: I'm pro-life. Their lives. Women's lives. You don't get to pick and choose which scenarios should be accepted. It's not about which stories you don't agree with. It's about fighting for the women in the stories that you do agree with and the CHOICE that was made.Women's rights are meant to protect ALL women, regardless of their situation!Overturning Roe does not stop abortions, it stops SAFE abortions!
The alarm this can engender in women's minds who don't know it is untrue is simply not okay. So let's address the complete disinformation for starters.
Abortion in the way it is commonly discussed is the ending of a pregnancy with the intent of killing the foetus. If this wasn't the intent then abortions post viability would not be a 'thing' as at these stages of pregnancy delivering a live baby is a significantly safer procedure for women than the interventions required to ensure foetal demise.
This means situations in the above post of the imaginary Theresa, Courtney and Vanessa are not issues of 'abortion' in the ideological sense. There is NO intent to kill a foetus if an early delivery is required for placental abruption. There is NO intent to kill a foetus by the removal of one that has already died. There is NO intent to kill a foetus when a fallopian tube (and foetus) have to be removed to save the life of the woman.
From an ideological prolife perspective there is no purpose in a woman dying given that such an act means her baby dies as well and procedures to address these situations are not in contention.
Using these kinds of very rare scenarios to support the advocacy of the more common 97% of the rest of abortions is ludicrous and dishonest when they don't even belong in the same category and are not affected by abortion legislation.
The imaginary Becky is likely experiencing a tremendous amount of pressure to terminate her pregnancy rather than allow it to end naturally early or at term. For some reason there is this myth that if a woman voluntarily ends her pregnancy early she won't grieve her loss, a loss that will usually be dismissed given her participation in it. After all women aren't supposed to grieve or regret abortion are they?
There is no evidence that a woman is better off to end her pregnancy at 20 weeks or 27 weeks or anywhere in between when foetal anomalies are detected. Women who continue a pregnancy even when it is known their baby will die at birth have the opportunity to meet and hold and grieve their baby in significant ways that are important for their wellbeing. There is significant evidence that women experience pressure from multiple sources to terminated insted of have this opportunity. Among the hundreds of stories that are easy to find on the internet, and the many dozens I have heard personally, Joelle's story of pressure to terminate her pregnancy after a diagnosis of Down Syndrome is detailed in my book, Alarmist Gatekeeping.
Joelle's story begins as so many do, with the intent of prenatal testing being clear, at least objectively.. that is to get a diagnosis for the purpose of termination.
"I was told AT my 12 week screen that I needed to proceed with further testing quickly in order to ‘make decisions’ about our pregnancy. The seed was planted THERE. I was given NO hope that my baby would survive at 13 weeks. I was told she was in heart failure and full of fluid, and said it would be best to end the pregnancy.
At 14 weeks, after a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome, I was encouraged to delay my travel plans back to Queensland so that an abortion within 48 hours could be enacted. When I said no, the pressure stepped up. At 14.5 weeks the doctor said ‘I don’t know why the receptionist even gave you a blue book’ (the medical book every pregnant woman received to track their pregnancy). I was again told there was no hope and that it would be best to end her life. Then I was informed of how to make sure I collected all parts of my baby to take in to hospital when I miscarried. At 15 weeks I was checked on again by the hospital via phone. I was told that what I was doing (by not choosing abortion) was keeping her until ‘foetal demise’ occurred. Basically she wouldn’t develop and would pass naturally.
At 19 weeks when she looked like her heart was ok and the excess fluid situation had resolved, I imagined I wouldn’t receive any more coercion about abortion from medical professionals. I was wrong. At every weekly appointment from 19 weeks to 23 weeks I was asked if I was sure I wanted to proceed with her pregnancy. was even told that ‘these things happen’ in second marriages and asked if her father and I were a second marriage. Not once were we given information about Down Syndrome, not once. Despite resources available from our state Down syndrome organisation that could have helped, I wasn’t even told about organisations, let alone current information. Despite me pleading for information, I was told to go home and google her diagnosis.
At her birth the same doctor that asked if I was in a second marriage entered the birthing suite as the delivery doctor.
Once Josee was born she was smitten. Every time we saw her after she was intrigued by Josee Hope... Why? Because the obstetricians that we encountered didn’t have a lived experience of the condition.
Why do I spend SO much of my time trying to convey the inadequacies of prenatal information, care and support when it comes to babies with Down Syndrome? Because I endured so much negative stigma, out dated perceptions and coercion in my pregnancy. I could have ended her life easily because abortion was offered at EVERY turn, and because I was made to feel like it was the right thing to do...by the same professionals that should have been objectively informing me and providing optimal prenatal clinical care. Think of the most frustrating situation you’ve ever been in.Now imagine that when you try and speak up about it people shut you down and say you have no right to judge. That’s how I feel every time I advocate. WAKE up Australia and realise the level of coercion taking place in pregnancies right now.”
Josee is now a perfect, bright, vivacious 10yr old who is slowly learning to advocate for herself. The majority of pregnancies where a diagnosis of Down Syndrome is made are terminated. What message does this send to Josee? Or any other person living after being born 'less than perfect' (according to some) or even those who may succumb to disability due to illness or accident?
What are you saying to these people when you say abortion should be allowed for the purpose of their particular 'type' not being born? What does it say about our society that we would rather kill than care for?
Using an imaginary Susan who became pregnant from rape to advocate abortion has to be just as bad. It presumes that no 'normal' woman would ever want to have a baby conceived in rape. It presumes that babies born in such circumstances could never be wanted or loved or cared for. The concept also means extreme pressure is applied to women who in the very rare circumstances it occurs, become pregnant through rape. Again the internet is littered with stories of women who love their children conceived in rape and of successful happy adults whose lives began that way.
I am not sure what IVF Emily is even doing in this scenario given that there is a very simple and more commonly performed solution to such a 'dilemma' and that is the transfer of fewer embryos.
As for the tragedy of Vanessa, her baby has already died. What do abortion advocates think doctors do in such cases? Wait til the due date to induce labour? Again, ludicrous disinformation.
Which brings me to Brittany and Melissa. At least these two imaginary women are more representative of the majority of abortions, which occur when women lack resources to have genuine choice.
When you argue that abortion should be available to poor women because they have no money what is your real message? Is it really okay to send a woman who doesn't have enough practical, emotional or financial resources to an abortion clinic and tell her it's about her freedom? Her autonomy? Her 'choice'?
What about women like Lindsay whose world view may have become that teenage mothers have no worth and shouldn't exist? Certainly to those of us born to teens, or who mothered as teens that messaging is harmful and incorrect.
Or Jessica, whose child was just framed as a 'monster's child', not her child? This belongs in the category of a 'rapist's' child and tells women there is something wrong with them if they dared to love such a baby even though it is as much a part of them. That is coercion.
Little Cathy is the tear jerker of course. The one that is sometimes pulled out as the 'gotcha'. It can be argued (and it has been done) that a pregnancy could be safely managed for 'little Cathy' and there is no evidence that she would be more harmed by continuing a pregnancy than by being forcibly aborted. Because forcibly aborted is what it comes down to when someone has no way to understand it or consent to it.
Just an exercise to see how legitimate such 'prochoice' concerns really are, lets say we concede that abortions in the cases of Cathy, Becky and Susan should be acceptable. I've already addressed the cases of Becky, Theresa, Vanessa and Courtney as not even being valid scenarios for this argument.
The cases of these three make up the tiniest percentage of overall abortion figures, less than 5%. Let's say we concede these given the emotive nature of them, the terrible 'tragedy' of them. Will prochoice people concede that in fact we simply must do more to put supports and safety nets around the rest of the women? That we should in fact ensure that every pregnant woman has all her needs met so that she CAN continue a pregnancy?
If you said yes, you will have just been kicked out of the 'prochoice' club because those most committed to abortion want abortion for any and all and no reason and without limits on gestation. It is an essential aspect of maintaining control in abortion advocacy discourse that no person is allowed in the 'club' if they do not support abortion for any reason at any time.
If you said no, for you the availability of abortion as a 'right' is more important to you than women themselves or whether they actually exercise their right. Abortion advocates will applaus you.
A bit like this abortionist who admits she does abortions on coerced women. She doesn't care. Nor did any of the politicians who heard her say it.
If you still stand by the premise of the post in discussion, you are not prolife. You are not pro women. You are pro abortion whether women want it or not. You are part of the reason women's rights to support and nurture in the world are not upheld. You are part of the reason why women feel isolated and abandoned and have restricted access to information and support. Share away if that's what you believe. Just know what it is you are saying and the impact you are having on the millions of women suffering after an abortion and the millions of women about to have abortions they don't really want.