January 30, 2019 by lucieromarin
My love-hate relationship with the pro-life movement is a story for another day (and I will tell it sometime). This post, however, is about the concept of the abortion industry as something that exists out of a love of or respect for women. Now, it is true that people go into the industry with the best of intentions. (I’m pretty sure this book was ghost-written, but it did do me good.) Even so, the heart of this industry is the abortionist, and I just want to step back for a second from the idea of the abortionist as some kind of surgeon and suggest we look at him (or her) as another thing that he is – which is an employee.
Remember that, even if a pro-abortion centre operates as a not-for-profit, the abortionist himself is not a volunteer. This work is his living. This means he needs you to need him, because if you don’t, he’s sitting there twiddling his thumbs.
Now, your choice of his services is not just about whether or not you think your baby is human. I’m not a fan of the-mother-rejected-her-child blame narratives, because the mother didn’t; she was trying to reject the other consequences of unexpected life. You can believe in the humanity of your child, while still despairing of your situation. You can believe that the beating heart within you is the heart of a little girl, and still despair of your future either separately or together. You can despair of your relationship with her father, or your financial security, or your ability to parent, or the possibility of joy in a life where career is interrupted by motherhood, or your youth, or your age, or your health, or your safety, or the safety of the child, or any overwhelming combination of these fears. That fear and that despair are the key, for if you stop feeling them, if you stop thinking according to their arguments, the abortionist loses your custom.
The women who keep their babies don’t do so because they suddenly win Lotto and meet Prince Charming. They don’t suddenly find that none of their problems were real. Neither are they morons who only discover that their children are human when they meet a beautiful pro-lifer who moves their hearts with astonishing pictures, and then everyone weeps and exchanges hugs and all the problems disappear in a cloud of butterflies. No! They keep their babies because they find the hope of a new ending to their stories, which, over time, grow less thin and grim. They keep their babies because they are empowered by counselling, by casework, by supportive communities of women and mothers, by financial assistance, by accommodation, and by a new belief in themselves and in their mother-and-baby narrative. They become engaged with, and protagonists in, a living act of one of the most powerful forms of narrative therapy in the world. And when they work with this narrative, when they are empowered and sustained by it, they choose life.
So, to keep your custom, the abortionist needs you to despair. Hope is too powerful. He absolutely needs you to believe that the story of your pregnancy cannot end well if it continues. He needs you to shrink from the thought of a future with a child in it. He also needs to keep you from alternative solutions to the problems that are real enough. He needs women to be disconnected from that counselling, from that case-work, from those supportive communities, from that financial assistance, because those things help women to have children, and if women have children, he’s out of work. So, yeah, when he says that terminating your pregnancy is good for you, he’s not really respecting you as much as he’s respecting his bottom line.
This is why folks can celebrate legalised infanticide as though it’s a morally-neutral act. There are any number of ways that women experiencing unplanned pregnancy can be supported. Infanticide is the only one that makes money for its advocates and practitioners. Seriously, try supporting women with time, money, casework, housework, groupwork, and see how wealthy you get. Nope, to support a woman until it actually costs you yourself – it’ll never make you rich, except in the things you can take with you.
They don’t lie among themselves, at least.