The pro-abortion Left is attempting to normalize abortion. This was not always the case: the Democratic Party platform for a number of years claimed abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” But the Democratic Party is no longer interested in limiting the number of abortions. Indeed, these days they are more interested in funding abortions with taxpayer dollars, a surefire way to drive up the number of unborn killed every day.
There are similar grassroots attempts to remove all ignominy surrounding abortion. A “storytelling and leadership initiative” known as “We Testify,” launched by the National Network of Abortion Funds, wants to “eliminate stigma” and “build community” through a normalization campaign. One “storytelling” example: a young woman, Kelsea McLain, forgot to take her birth control pill, had sex, and subsequently became pregnant. She consequently “battled internalized stigma” over the decision to abort her child, something she equates with being “punished.”
The We Testify project is rife with this kind of language. Kristine Kippins had an abortion and subsequently suffered “emotional repercussions” from a “self-imposed stigma.” Amanda Williams said making abortion a “stigmatized…offense” is “cruel.” Samantha Romero was “ashamed” to have an abortion; now she wants to “minimize the shame and stigma surrounding abortions, a common medical procedure.” The project itself laments that the “rich history of abortion storytelling” is often silenced by “shame and stigma.”
If the Democratic Party’s own political contortions are any indication, this campaign is directly over the target. The feminist movement, ever-more single-minded and fanatical about killing the unborn, has recognized that even the slightest whiff of moral opprobrium when it comes to abortion—even the tiniest acknowledgement that abortion really isn’t all that great or desirable—could open the door to a set of thorny and uncomfortable questions, namely: Why isn’t abortion desirable? Why should it be rare?
To answer these questions is invariably to make the case against abortion itself. The old Democratic Party knew abortion is in actuality the killing of an innocent human being—murder—so they were rightly uncomfortable with supporting it. The new Democratic Party knows this, but they are just too cowardly to admit it, so that “rare” had to go.
Murder Should Not Be Safe or Legal
This new abortion philosophy is a grinding machine that allows for no dissent. The Democratic Party’s own vice presidential candidate has publicly admitted that he believes abortion is the murder of innocent human life. Yet he, too, recently came out in favor of taxpayer funding for abortion. In a healthy society, such a moral monster would be driven out of political office by crashing waves of scorn and revulsion. Instead, we joke about his ham-handed propensity for dad jokes. Such a society deserves precisely what it will get for this behavior.
Here is the truth: abortion should be stigmatized. It should, in fact, be illegal, but so long as it is legal we should not pretend it is worthy of anything less than total stigmatization. It is an objectively bad thing. It is not a “common medical procedure” so much as it is the intentional killing of a defenseless innocent human being. Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine knows this; Hillary Clinton knows it; the Democratic Party knows it; “We Testify” knows it. Everyone knows it: the unborn are innocent human beings, and abortion kills them. This is not a political opinion so much as it is unvarnished scientific fact.
If we are not going to stigmatize the intentional killing of defenseless innocent human beings, we cannot possibly hope to stigmatize much of anything else.
We Should Stigmatize Terrible Behavior
Stigmatization does not necessarily equate to shaming. Some women are driven to acquire abortions out of paralyzing fear, others through terrible pressure from boyfriends, parents, and employers. Such women surely do not deserve to be publicly demeaned. Others, like Rana Barar—a woman who killed a child she could have cared for because she would have “resented” her baby for “draw[ing] resources” away from her family—surely deserve as much shame as our society is capable of producing.
Moral opprobrium directed towards human beings is in no way a one-size-fits-all undertaking. Moral opprobrium towards certain actions in and of themselves, however, is—and one of those actions that deserves universal stigmatization is the targeted killing of innocents.
It is up to the pro-life movement to create a culture that respects, honors, and values each and every individual human life. Part of this involves passing laws to protect the unborn; part of it involves funding and staffing crisis pregnancy and resource centers; for those who are capable, it may involve adoption and other forms of direct involvement.
But the starting point of all these undertakings is recognizing that abortion is awful and worthy of being stigmatized as such. If we cannot fight against so simple and so patently obvious a conclusion, we will lose this fight, and we will deserve to lose it.