Abortion ranks right up there as an essential American experience, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and he means to jealously guard the “right” to kill an unborn baby the same way Americans hold their constitutional rights dear. Schumer’s candid admission during a Marist Poll podcast foreshadowed the lengths Democrats would go to block any Supreme Court nominee who does not swear fealty to the cult of death.
Apple pie. Fireworks on the 4th of July. Football on a Sunday afternoon. And abortion?
“We’ve had Roe for so long,” he told the Marist podcasters in August, “and it’s been so much the part and fabric of American life that people think well no matter who’s on the court it’ll pretty much stay where it is. I don’t think that’s accurate.”
It’s hard not to acknowledge the dominating role of abortion in our society, from the way it’s become a litmus test for judicial appointments to billboards straddling highways in the American heartland proudly proclaiming, “People of faith love those who have abortions” and “God loves those who have abortions.”
We have the “Shout Your Abortion” movement, which tells us abortion is normal and beyond reproach: “Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.”
We have countries like Ireland — a long-standing bulwark against unfettered access to abortions at any time and any place — taking their cues from American abortion activists, literally jumping for joy and declaring a “Feminist Christmas” at the repeal of an amendment banning the procedure.
This is not the way abortion was sold to the American public in the wake of Roe v. Wade, and it represents a seismic shift in the way abortion advocates have justified the taking of innocent human life.
Only ten years ago during her first presidential run, Hillary Clinton positioned herself as a moderate on the issue and vowed abortion should be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.” Extremists on both sides had failed to compromise, Clinton said, drawing rapturous applause from a debate crowd as she lamented “a great failing on all of our parts” to limit abortion.
Eight years later Clinton “recalibrated” her position, dropping the “rare” qualifier and declaring unequivocal support for taxpayer-funded abortions in an effort to appeal to her party’s base during a tougher-than-expected primary run against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
With more than 55 million abortions performed in the U.S. since its legalization with Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion is anything but rare.
Perhaps that explains the shifting rhetoric on the part of abortion supporters like Schumer, who present the killing of the unborn as part of a tapestry, beautifully woven for the health and welfare of women. One need only look closely to see the fabric is frayed and torn almost beyond salvaging as countless lives and families are destroyed as a result of abortion.
It’s not just women either — the issue impacts men, siblings, survivors of botched abortion procedures and the countless relationships torn apart as a result. Yet the public rarely hears about those consequences. We’re led to believe that if we really care for women and their health, we must support abortion. Anything else is deemed unacceptable and opponents are deemed anti-woman, even those of us who have experienced abortion ourselves and suffered because of it.
We’re told we have no right to speak out against it. We’re denied a platform to acknowledge the psychological, spiritual and sometimes physical damage abortion inflicts on women. We’re gaslighted and told other factors are to blame, including religion, and familial and relationship pressure, as if everything but the taking of life itself can inflict trauma.
Men aren’t permitted to grieve for the loss of unborn children, yet countless numbers of them suffer and mourn the children they did not have. Oftentimes the regret surfaces after the birth of subsequent children, leaving the parents to face the reality of what was lost, while society tells them their feelings aren’t real.
Marriages and relationships are destroyed. Women who harbor the secret of a past abortion often have trouble with intimacy and feel they can’t tell their partners why. After all, they’re told, there are no negative consequences from having an abortion.
Surviving siblings come forward as they struggle with feelings of guilt for being alive. They wonder if they were wanted, if they carry the names that would have been given to their aborted siblings, struggling to reconcile how their parents — the people who love and protect them — could have been responsible for the death of a brother or sister. Many suffer silently, feeling there is nowhere to go with their pain.
Finally, we have abortion survivors like the 70-year-old woman who contacted me a few weeks ago after spending her entire life wondering why her mother tried to end her life. Why would a mother do that? There are no easy answers. Decades after she was told, this woman still struggles with the knowledge that she was unwanted.
Try as they might to remove the stigma of abortion, the tattered fabric remains in the lives of millions who have been impacted. Abortion extremists may be successful in shutting down debate in the public arena, but the people whose lives were touched know the truth.
Those who support abortion will say it doesn’t bother them. They may even shout for joy when restrictions on killing their children are rolled back. But those who suffer know the negative impact of abortion, whether the Schumers of the world choose to acknowledge it or not.
Yes, abortion is part of the fabric of American life, tattered, worn and ripped. Hopefully we will wake up and heal as a nation before we are hanging on by a thread.