[Today’s guest post by Rachel Enders is part of our paid blogging program. Get more thoughts from Rachel at her Pro-Life For All tumblr. She also blogs about sexual health at Birds, Bees, and Other Things, which is not remotely safe for work.]
Emily Letts is a woman from New Jersey, and she is pro-choice. She participates in abortion-related activism, and she is an abortion counselor at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center. In November, she decided to have an abortion. This choice has sparked an onslaught of respect and condemnation from people on all sides of the abortion issue.
Why is Emily’s abortion different than the fifty-five million other abortions that have taken place since 1973? Emily Lett filmed her abortion… and it went viral.
I know there are women who feel great remorse. I have seen the tears. Grieving is an important part of a woman’s process, but what I really wanted to address in my video is guilt… Our society breeds this guilt. We inhale it from all directions… I had one woman who messaged me saying she’d had an abortion that week, and she was plagued with guilt. Her boyfriend called her a killer…
Unfortunately, these sorts of reactions to post-abortive women are far too common in some facets of the pro-life movement.
When I was perusing facebook looking for information about this case, the amount of pure vitriol coming from the peanut gallery was simply terrible. I’ll share a few (adjusted for privacy).
Some were slut-shaming:
Others wished her infertility:
Some even wished her death:
And some were simply a bit stupid:
All of these examples are very, very sad.
I’m writing this in the early hours of Mother’s Day, and I’m appalled by so many aspects of this case. On one hand, there is a woman who has bought into the lies that support abortion. On the other hand, there are people who supposedly support life that are wishing another person violent death.
I understand the anger of the commenters. I really do. It makes me mad that this woman chose to end her child’s life. I am disappointed that in her sexual activity she was not using any form of birth control, by her own admission. It also makes me angry to see fellow pro-lifers spit this sort of hatred at a woman they’ve never met. I am even more livid that high-profile pro-life websites have allowed this sort of commenting to go unchecked on their Facebook pages.
I’ve drawn one conclusion about this story: Nothing has occurred so far that’s positive.
However, we do have the opportunity to improve the situation. Many women who are considering abortion or are post-abortive feel a great deal of shame and condemnation from society and the people around them. Unfortunately, too much of that comes from people who claim to be pro-life.
We can change this. Bringing positivity to the abortion dialogue does a lot. Firstly, it decreases the amount of totally unnecessary stress to someone who is facing an unwanted pregnancy or has just lost a child. In any circumstance that’s difficult and nobody needs to be called a whore when their lives are going to be changed forever. Secondly, if a woman has had or is seeking an abortion, do you think this sort of trash talking will convince her to choose life? I don’t think so. Lastly, it’s just the kind thing to do. That factor is enough for me to use only productive language in any circumstance. The list goes on and on, but I’ve picked out the highlights.
I truly believe that with some hard work, the pro-life movement will ultimately triumph over abortion. It’s a firm conviction of mine. For this to occur, we have to stay productive and open. We can let our anger drive us to action, but we can’t let it consume us. Overall, I believe that we can change hearts and minds, but hatred only hurts our cause.
Calling someone scum doesn’t save the unborn – it only hurts people.