The world watched as hundreds of thousands of people -- young and not-so-young -- marched…
Editorial: Our culture has normalized abortion over carrying a pregnancy to term, and it needs to change
It could easily be argued that the most significant measurement of a society’s values is how it cares for its weakest members. For example, how are the poor being treated? Those on the margins? The sick and suffering? The immigrant? The range of metrics extends from the dying to the unborn, when those who are unable to advocate for themselves must rely on others to speak for them.
When it comes to the question of abortion, our society’s values have measurably changed in the nearly 50 years since Roe v. Wade and again in the 30 years since Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The act of taking the life of an unborn child, once seen as sorrowful despite its legality, is now celebrated as a fundamental right, regardless of motivation. (We think of the shocking and distressing “Shout Your Abortion” social media campaign that encouraged women to normalize and even revel in their abortions.)
In the desperate and self-serving need of abortion advocates to normalize a mother taking the life of her child, it is no longer acceptable to affirm women when they carry an unplanned pregnancy to term. A recent example of this can be found in an interview of Garrett Soldano, who is running in the Republican primary for Michigan governor. Soldano is a Catholic convert, and, in a podcast discussion, spoke about how his campaign is “always going to fight for life,” regardless of the circumstances. Speaking specifically about abortion in the case of rape, Soldano diverts from the comfortable consensus-building language of “exception” that has taken root in politics in recent decades and instead speaks truth so clearly that it resulted in no little backlash in both traditional and social media.
“What we must start to focus on is not only to defend the DNA when it’s created,” Soldano said, “but … how about we start inspiring women in the culture to let them know how heroic they are and how unbelievable they are that God put them in this moment?”
Theological inaccuracy aside (God doesn’t actively cause bad things to happen just to bring around good fruit), wouldn’t it be refreshing to celebrate the women — yes, the heroic women — who opt to put the well-being of their child before themselves and choose to carry a pregnancy to term, even one conceived in unimaginably painful circumstances? Shouldn’t we be inspiring other women to make the same choice by holding up the selfless example of their peers? Not according to the feedback, the most family-friendly of which consisted of characterizing Soldano’s words as “psychotic” and “inhumane garbage.” In a bizarre bit of editorializing within a news report, NBC News even called his comments “reminiscent” of late Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s absurd claim in 2012 that “‘legitimate rape’ rarely results in pregnancy [because] the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” — as if applauding a woman who opts to carry a child to term in challenging circumstances is at all comparable to an ill-conceived and biologically false assertion.
The sad truth is that abortion advocates tout a woman’s right to choose, but apparently only if she chooses to terminate her pregnancy.
If a society is measured by how it cares for its weakest members, it follows that women in crisis pregnancies and their babies should be supported and nurtured in a way that cares for and sustains the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of each. This is achieved through a promotion of the culture of life, not of giving into — much less being grateful for — a culture that defaults to death.
In his remarks, Soldano added that you never know who the child conceived by rape might turn out to be — perhaps a future president of the United States, or perhaps someone who will have a great impact on humanity. And while that certainly is true, it also doesn’t matter what or who the child grows up to be. From the moment of conception, that child was created in God’s image and likeness. That child is loved by God — our God who desires that he or she will one day join him in heaven for eternity. The same can be said for the child’s mother, and, thankfully, for each of us. And this is why we must stand up, in all circumstances, for life.
Our Sunday Visitor Editorial Board: Gretchen R. Crowe, Scott P. Richert, Scott Warden and York Young