Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Hypocrisy Of Pro-Life Rhetoric Harms Families Like Mine – Scary Mommy

SOPA Images / Contributor/Getty

When I first identified as politically pro-choice, I’m fairly certain I became fodder for much gossip and judgment in the conservative, religious community I call home. Here, many consider abortion murder and supporting a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices as evil. I suppose I could still call myself personally pro-life, as I do believe in the sanctity of all life, not just life in the womb. However, the definition and real-world implications of that label are problematic at best, and in many ways, the total antithesis of my personal values.

The Misinformation 

There is nothing about pro-life rhetoric that makes me more furious than half-truths, misleading articles, and outright lies spewed about women who choose abortion. Since the passage of New York’s Reproductive Health Act, my social media feeds have exploded with pictures of pink, chubby newborns paired with text about “murdering babies.” These memes, created to illicit an emotional response of outrage, are lying. No one is aborting their full-term, healthy fetus weeks or days before birth. This simply does not happen.

What does happen, however, are situations where women find themselves in devastating circumstances; for example, an ultrasound revealing a fetal abnormality that would make the fetus incompatible with life or lead to much suffering. We can speculate what we would do in this particular situation, but speculation is not reality. Most of us know someone with a child who “beat the odds” and is now thriving, but a happy ending for one family does not apply to all. Sometimes the “pro-life” choice is abortion, preventing needless suffering of a dying infant and the emotional turmoil of a family prolonging the inevitable.

Whether we agree with a choice or not, our response should be compassion, not shame and judgment on a family already facing the unimaginable. As a society, we need to put more trust in women. The decision to abort a nonviable pregnancy is a choice between a woman, her partner, and her doctor. She doesn’t need keyboard warriors on Facebook telling her she is evil because of that decision.


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