The abortion lobby is has found its latest poster child: a Salvadoran woman, known only as Beatriz, who allegedly needed an abortion to save her life. The reality, as usual, is more complicated.
El Salvador protects unborn life, and recognizes the lives of mothers as well. Balancing these concerns, El Salvador has legal abortion in cases of self-defense, but elective abortions are outlawed. The Salvadoran courts determined that Beatriz’s condition was stable, but that she should continue to be monitored and doctors could proceed with an abortion if an emergency arose.
A short time later, Beatriz went into labor. Doctors performed a Cesarean section, and her baby was born alive. Sadly, the baby died a few hours later, as was expected due to a serious neurological problem the baby had developed in utero.
But in the parallel universe inhabited by hard-core abortion supporters, Beatriz did not give birth. She had an abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
On Tuesday, a consortium of pro-abortion groups held a rally for Beatriz. (Side note: our polar opposites, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, got involved, and the rally became a prayer vigil. Apparently the God of Crowds was unresponsive, since it reportedly drew only thirty people.) Abortion advocacy groups are essentially reusing the template of Ireland: find a sympathetic woman of color (Beatriz in El Salvador, Savita in Ireland), play fast and loose with the facts, hold rallies, earn media, and try to change the country’s laws on abortion.
I’ll believe that abortion advocates are the great champions of women of color when they start holding rallies for Tonya Reaves and Karnamaya Mongar. Who are they? Tonya was a black woman who died after an abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood. Karnamaya was a Bhutanese refugee who overcame unimaginable obstacles in life and emigrated to the United States, only to die in an abortion at Kermit Gosnell’s “clinic.”
Gosnell was convicted of manslaughter for Karnamaya’s death. So far there has been no justice for Tonya, but her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
I appreciate hard facts, and I believe that the facts are on the side of the pro-life movement. But facts alone don’t always win policy arguments, even if they should. The pro-choice movement has done a much better job of sharing (some would say exploiting) the emotional, personal stories of women with the media.
We need to do a better job of balancing logic with emotion. It’s not enough to debunk their stories; we must also tell our own. The moderate publicity received by Tonya and Karnamaya is a start, but we have a long way to go.