I’ve seen a lot of pro-choice posts declaring that, “If overturning Roe was really about babies, the government would pay for all medical care, all schooling, provide guaranteed jobs post-college.” I needn’t examine the logic of such statements because, frankly, there is none. It has never been the duty of the government to provide for every single need and desire of its citizens—at least, not functional governments. Consider the dystopian societies of famous novels such as The Giver. In such books, the government controls and provides for every need of its people. Ironically, this always ends in tragedy, in determinism, godlessness, and the reduction of human beings to livestock or, worse, commodities. Get off Twitter and go read a novel—Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, Brave New World, Anthem, 1981, to name just a few options.
Going back to the posts that are rampaging my newsfeeds, I would like to offer a counter-rhetoric: If keeping Roe was really about women, we would be able to articulate what a woman is, we would work to support women at all times rather than just in times of crisis, we would boycott the industries that thrive on the abuse of women.
Ultimately, this is where abortion finds its niche: preying upon frightened, vulnerable women. Abortion removes the consequences of abuse; it hides the evidence of sexual violence and coercive relationships; it eliminates incentives for those in power to protect and cherish women before they find themselves in crisis. Statistics continue to indicate that abortion not only profits from the sex trafficking and pornography industries but enables these to continue and prosper. Is this pro-women? Or pro-abuser?
Put aside politics for a moment. I believe that most of my pro-choice friends genuinely want to help women, just like my pro-life friends. Superficially at least, both sides profess a desire to reduce abortion. That said, I’ve seen both sides calling upon society to donate to pregnancy centers, support women in crisis, and consider fostering and adopting. These are good things. However, the eradication of abortion does not only rely upon us doing charitable things but also upon us refusing to do devastating things.
If we are serious about reducing abortions, we must also be serious about quitting pornography, rejecting hookup culture, and combatting drug and alcohol abuse. We must not relent in the battle against human trafficking. We must not perpetuate the myth that men cannot have self-control and that women are most free when their bodies are most available. We must not pretend we cannot define the categories “male” and “female.” We must refuse to reduce human beings—born and unborn, male and female—to undefined objects, random cells in a meaningless universe.
We must embrace meaning. We must encourage accountability. We must combat the culture of death and abuse perpetuated by gratuitous media and activity.
We must relearn to love modesty, gentleness, commitment, sobriety, self-control, and boundaries. We must pay attention not only to abortion as the symptom of a sick society but learn to discern the source of infection: a mass rejection of responsibility sexually, relationally, and spiritually.
We must learn, again, to love life and the responsibilities that are, in the end, life-giving.