Lately, advocates of legal abortion have attempted to give their ailing cause a shot in the arm. As John Stonestreet pointed out on BreakPoint recently, the tried and true "pro-choice" moniker is falling out of favor. And the accompanying crocodile tears over "the difficult choice of abortion" that were once necessary for public credibility seem to have dried up. The "safe, legal and rare" days are gone, replaced with cavalier celebrations of abortion as a positive good in art, film and now spoken word poetry.
That last is the work of Leyla Josephine, whose new video, "I Think She Was a She," is being trumpeted as an act of heroism at The Huffington Post. Josephine, who had an abortion as a teenager, says she felt no shame over her decision. In fact, she's proud of it, and thinks her aborted child would agree!
"I would've supported [my daughter's] right to choose, to choose a life for herself, a path for herself," Josephine says. "I would've died for that right like she died for mine. I'm sorry, but you came at the wrong time."
She concludes, "When I become a mother it will be when I choose."
This heartbreaking, horrific little paean to human sacrifice fits to a T the new narrative of the movement formerly known as "pro-choice."
For years the "pro-choice" crowd fought to change the subject whenever pro-lifers brought the debate back to the central question: are the unborn human? After all, you can't just choose to kill a human, no matter how inconvenient he or she might be. As my friend Scott Klusendorf has argued in hundreds of debates, if babies are human before birth (as almost everyone agrees they are after birth), then choice is irrelevant. Their right to life trumps all other claims.
That's why, for almost forty years following Roe v. Wade, abortion defenders spilled buckets of ink to drown that question. Equivocations and euphemisms abounded. We heard non-stop about "blobs of tissue," "clumps of cells," and "pregnancies." Not so much now, thanks mostly to advances in imaging technology, which has clearly shown unborn life for what it is.
So, instead of denying the humanity of the unborn, pro-choicers now deny that their lives matter. At all. As Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in Salon earlier this year, "So What If Abortion Ends Life?" The woman's convenience, hopes and dreams take precedence over any claims her unborn child has to existence. Wow.
All of this led Janet Harris to admonish readers in The Washington Post "Stop Calling Abortion a Hard Decision." It's empowering, she argued, and something to celebrate. Besides, making a big deal out of how tough abortion is just fuels the pro-life fire and implies that unborn children might have rights, or at least value.
Well, I guess we all now agree that abortion does end a human life. But that's okay, say its defenders. That's a sacrifice worth making to avoid the rigors of motherhood or the hassle of adoption. In fact, it's so worth it that women shouldn't even consider abortion a hard decision. They should celebrate and make art out of it.
The whole spectacle brings to mind a sketch by British comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb. In it, they play two Nazi SS officers on the front line who, upon noticing the skull insignias on their caps ask an incisive question: "Are we the baddies?"
It's a question advocates of legal abortion, having admitted they stand for taking human life when it's ill-timed or inconvenient, might want to ask themselves.