H*yas for Life

The pro-choice movement has failed women. The pro-life movement has failed women. We have all failed women.

When discussing abortion, I often rely purely on facts: I remind readers that nearly 60 million babies have been aborted in the United States since 1973; that abortion is the #1 cause of death in the black community; that sex-selective abortion has artificially depressed the female population worldwide (China and India are two tragic examples); and that ‘fetuses’ are demonstrably human. I may also throw in contemporary information, like reports of fetal incineration in the U.K. (human remains were burned as “waste“). Today, however, I have a different issue in mind. In honor of “Choice Week,” a 5-day, pro-choice celebration put on by Georgetown’s H*oyas for Choice, I want to talk about just that: choice.

I began with a clear statement: “We have all failed women.” Let me start with ‘choice’.

The pro-choice movement, since its inception, has cared about one thing: abortion — namely, its legalization. Just ask Planned Parenthood, which earns more than a third of its clinic income and 10% of its total revenue from abortion. That phony “3% of services” figure pro-choicers love to throw out? Worthless. Try 333,964 abortions — that’s the number that really matters. Compare that to the paltry 28,674 prenatal services it provided, and 2,300 women who were referred to adoption agencies, and the truth is clear: Planned Parenthood not only relies on abortion, but gives it priority.

Unfortunately, this sentiment pervades pro-choice organizations like H*yas for Choice. They claim to fight for women’s rights — China, where sex-selective abortion has decimated the female population, must be an enigma — but in the end, that is not the goal. If Planned Parenthood cared about women, it would spend its money on prenatal care. Instead, it often presents abortion as the only choice, in effect no choice at all.

That is why groups like H*yas for Choice and Planned Parenthood have failed women. They march for “reproductive freedom,” and in doing so, advance the ‘goodness’ of abortion. Shame on them for taking up the mantle and refusing to march for life. Sure, they claim to support “choice,” but all they talk about is abortion. Why? Because that’s what matters most. When they say “reproductive freedom,” they mean abortion; when they say “choice,” they mean abortion; when they say “rights,” they mean abortion.

Am I misrepresenting their views? I think not. If so, I ask them prove me wrong. Instead of filling “Choice Week” with lectures about abortion, talk about why women should choose life. Instead of demanding “reproductive justice,” tell Georgetown why abortion isn’t the only option. H*yas for Choice, if you truly believe in “choosing,” put life back on the table. Until then, choice is but a word.

Do not think a pro-choice failure equals a pro-life victory. On the contrary, just as abortion’s proponents have failed women, so too have its opponents.

The pro-life movement, I fear, has become more about numbers than people. Instead of comforting women who are faced with these awful choices, we vilify them on the public stage. I myself am often too harsh; for that, I apologize. Our job is to save, not condemn. We must show women that life is the best choice. How do we do that? Support, assistance, and help.

It’s easy to say abortion is evil, but far more difficult to stop it from happening. This is where the pro-life movement has failed. We focus on abortion too much, to the detriment of women. Instead of simply singing the praises of life, we must act, concretely and decisively, to make it a viable option. Free prenatal care, increased physical and mental support, mentoring, and economic assistance — these are the things we must provide.

Numbers and stories won’t convince a suffering woman that life is the best choice. Helping her will. After that, everything else will fall into place.

Both the pro-choice and pro-life movements have failed women. On the one hand, ‘choice’ advocates give abortion priority and rarely talk about ‘life’; on the other, pro-lifers focus more on numbers and morality than the agonizing decisions these women feel forced to make. If we truly want to end abortion, we must make ‘life’ a choice. Demonizing a woman’s actions won’t help; genuine assistance will.

It’s time Republicans focused on saving, rather than condemning. It’s time, my friends, to choose life.