The former mouth of Emily’s List has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post in which she tackles what she considers to be a problem – people who say that abortion is a difficult choice:
Today, when advocates on both sides of the debate talk about the decision to have an abortion, they preface their statements with adjectives such as “difficult,” “hard” or “reluctant.” For anti-abortion conservatives, the reason for using such language is clear: Abortion is murder, they contend, but characterizing a woman who has one as a murderer is a bit, well, harsh. A more charitable view is to assume that she must have struggled with making this immoral choice. Pro-choice advocates use the “difficult decision” formulation for a similar reason, so as not to demonize women. It also permits pro-choice candidates to look less dogmatic.
But there’s a more pernicious result when pro-choice advocates use such language: It is a tacit acknowledgment that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue requiring an ethical debate. To say that deciding to have an abortion is a “hard choice” implies a debate about whether the fetus should live, thereby endowing it with a status of being. It puts the focus on the fetus rather than the woman. As a result, the question “What kind of future would the woman have as a result of an unwanted pregnancy?” gets sacrificed. By implying that terminating a pregnancy is a moral issue, pro-choice advocates forfeit control of the discussion to anti-choice conservatives.
I often wonder what it is like to live in the world of the pro-abortion activist. To be forced, as a consequence of your philosophical and political position, to say things like the above, that the unborn child is not even an entity that exists and that no debate is even deserved about whether it deserves to live. I guess that might have been an easier position to take before technology existed that would allow us to know that a woman who has an abortion has something that looks kind of like this removed from inside her body:
This, of course, is the reason that pro-abortion advocates fight tooth and nail against pregnant women being shown ultrasounds before their abortions; it is hard to maintain the fiction that women are having nothing more significant than a tumor removed when the tumor turns out to look more or less exactly like a human baby.
When the pro-abortion crowd’s agenda has moved so very obviously from protecting a woman’s right to choose to making sure that she is not confronted with even thinking seriously about having an abortion, it is difficult to avoid the ghoulish conclusion that what these groups are really interested in protecting here is a multibillion dollar industry whose profits are dependent on women choosing abortion instead of childbirth.
It’s ghoulish on the one hand, but on the other hand, it’s welcome. With the advances in medical technology, the message that “the child inside you is not even an entity that deserves the status of being” is increasingly at odds with the gut level sense that younger generations are growing up with about what exactly a fetus is and what level of protection it deserves. And if PACs like Emily’s List begin to demand that Democrats parrot this line, their stance on this issue will be farther and farther outside the American mainstream.