In May 2019, as lawmakers in Georgia and Missouri were debating and passing more restrictive abortion laws (and as Alyssa Milano was losing her ever-loving mind and threatening to boycott a state she rarely visits and in which no one likes her to punish the feeble-minded voters), freshman Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) was one of the go-to Democrat voices on the topic, making the cable news show rounds discussing the topic.
While on the campaign trail Hill had emotionally shared her experience in facing an unplanned pregnancy and how she and her then-boyfriend (whom she married, but is now divorcing), both staunchly pro-choice, struggled with the decision before them, so she wasn’t speaking in hypotheticals. (Hill miscarried around the six-week mark.) In one of her media appearances discussing the Georgia and Missouri bills, on May 17, Hill explained to CNN’s Sunlen Serfaty:
“I felt like, ‘OK, this made the decision for me and it’s not meant to be right now,’ but at the same time, it is a loss. And I think even for women who terminate a pregnancy it’s a loss. I’ve heard that over and over again.”
During the interview, Hill announced publicly for the first time that she was no longer able to have children.
“She and her husband tried to get pregnant again later on, but she said she developed problems with her ovaries and can no longer have children. Even now, Hill thinks back to the pregnancy and struggles with whether she ‘might have missed that window forever.'”
Unfortunately, on the Republican side men like Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt were quite unhelpful in the battle to win hearts and minds with their tone-deaf and heartless comments and proposed legislation. Tinderholt’s bill:
“[W]ould criminalize all abortions, making it possible for women to be convicted of homicide and sentenced to death for having the procedure.
“He has previously said that his proposal would completely remove access to abortions and ‘force’ women to be ‘more personally responsible’ with sex.”
Many on the Republican “pro-life” side agree with Tinderholt’s tactic, believing that their extreme proposals will force progressives who are okay with post-birth abortion to see how ridiculous (and evil) they are. The biggest problem with that tactic is that these inhumane progressives are incapable of seeing how evil they are. The second biggest problem is that Tinderholt’s tactics drive away people who are more in the middle on the issue and now only see two crazy parties instead of one.
Add candidates like Todd Akin, who just don’t understand biology, to the conservative mix and, well, you almost can’t blame people in the middle for believing progressives when they say conservatives are mean, heartless, religious extremists who are dumb to boot.
One such candidate is one of Katie Hill’s GOP opponents, former fighter pilot Mike Garcia. In audio provided to RedState, which was recorded in late May, 2019, Garcia sounded eerily like Tinderholt when he characterized Hill’s comments about her miscarriage as Hill “taking credit for being lucky because of that miscarriage” and that he was going to beat her on the “abortion issue” by “hold[ing] her accountable for those types of words and those types of actions.” He further characterized a video in which Hill shared her story as “part of The Katie Hill Show.”
In this video Hill said (emphasis added):
“We’d been together for about a year when it happened. I was on birth control at the time, but I suddenly found myself pregnant. It was something that I never thought would happen to me, and if it did happen, I thought that I knew what I would do in that kind of situation. I’d always considered myself pro-choice, and I knew we weren’t ready to have kids….
“But what I didn’t know was what it would feel like to actually be faced with that kind of a choice.…In a lot of ways it was exactly because I was the only one who could make that kind of decision that I had never felt more alone.
“So I walked around in a haze for days. I just really didn’t know what to do. I thought that, you know, the rational decision should have been easy, but I didn’t think I could make it. I really thought that, you know, I was going to end up keeping the baby….
“Then one morning I woke up and I had severe bleeding and cramps, and I realized I was having a miscarriage. And I started sobbing with simultaneous tears of relief and sadness, and guilt at feeling relief and confusion at feeling sad, and just so much conflicting emotion, and just the reality of having — being faced with that sort of situation when you’re so young.
“No one can really understand what it’s like to be faced with that kind of a choice.”
Does that sound like a woman who’s taking credit for being lucky she had a miscarriage?
Garcia’s comments were in response to a question, apparently by a moderator, at an event, and can be heard here. The crowd’s reaction – fully supportive – was just as disturbing as his comments.
Here is the text of Garcia’s full answer (again, emphasis added):
“So, I’m pro-life. And honestly, the debate – and you can Google this. It’s still online, and if it’s taken down I’ve got it somewhere. I’ll find it.
“There was a debate back in Simi Valley back in September of last year, September 20th of last year….She was asked about abortion, and she started telling her history and how she had the unplanned pregnancy. She still talks about it openly, so this isn’t me digging up dirt, right. This is part of the Katie Hill Show again.
“At the end of her comments she said, “Fortunately for me, I had a miscarriage.” Can you imagine? She was lucky to have a miscarriage. And I don’t care how you feel about abortion, that was a life, and she was taking credit for being lucky because of that miscarriage. And that for me as just an average American and not even an aspiring politician at the time, I just choked on that, and I said I couldn’t believe that that came out of her mouth.
“And that’s the kind of thing that we have not held her accountable for. So when you ask how are we going to win? You hold her accountable for those types of words and those types of actions. There’s a lot of them. Go watch the Katie Hill show. Go online and look at all of her interviews that she’s done. There’s a lot of stuff out there that she’s saying that doesn’t make sense.”
This writer is in agreement with how Stacey Lennox at the Resurgent views the battle:
“Pro-life people of faith and secular pro-life advocates generally agree that this fight needs to put compassion and support at the forefront. And those of faith should be relying on the unending grace of God to heal and reform the hearts of women who find themselves in circumstances where they see no way out in a culture that has laid open a door to regret and heartache.
“It is up to the movement to win hearts and minds. And we are. The ghastly “reproductive health” law passed in New York State and completely shocking comments by Governor Ralph Northam in Virginia already have people who identify as pro-choice re-evaluating exactly what that stance means. Lulled into “Safe, Legal and Rare” during the Clinton years, many did not realize how far the Left had gone. People are waking up.”
They won’t keep waking up if people like Tinderholt and Garcia become the voice of the Republican party on the topic. Lennox continues:
“We have science on our side. The trends are on the side of life. For those of us who know that life begins at conception because the combination of mom and dad’s DNA creates a unique human being, no amount of abortion is acceptable. For those of us who also believe that every child is made in God’s image, a woman’s decision to abort is heartbreaking.
“But stupid battles like the one Tinderholt wants to have will just cause us to lose ground in the war. Don’t give the enemy cannon fodder. Make them look in the mirror. Just like Abby Johnson has.”
Instead of attempting to hold Katie Hill “accountable” for her words (and it’s still not clear what exactly he would hold her “accountable” for), Garcia is the one who needs to be held accountable and who needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
At the very least, Garcia needs to apologize to Katie Hill for his lack of compassion and humanity. No one – man or woman – has the right to pass judgment on another person’s heart or purport to have a roadmap to a woman’s complex emotions after a miscarriage.
Garcia’s comments also demonstrate a lack of judgment, a lack of discernment, and flat-out lack of preparation for the office he seeks. How could he honestly watch those videos and watch Hill choke up and believe she feels lucky? Is that how he feels about all women who have a miscarriage, or are only some worthy of his empathy?
If that’s the GOP battle plan for a pro-life future, just wave the white flag right now. The rest of us will be attempting to show kindness and compassion to our fellow Americans and find common ground.