As we draw closer to another presidential election, and amid a new Gallup poll indicating a decline in American’s who consider themselves pro-life, the so called “abortion war” is heating up. The pro-choice side has taken to social media, and opinion columns responding to the nations tightening restrictions on abortion, by claiming that being pro-choice is in fact pro-life and pro-life is actually pro-death. Huh?
Well, let’s look at it a bit closer. In a recent opinion article penned by Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon, titled “Face it, anti-abortion advocates: Pro-choice is pro-life,” the author chronicles the story of Buzzfeed contributor Paola Dragnic’s abortion. Paola’s story is complicated, and tragic, and takes place in Chile, a country where abortion is illegal. In her case, her unborn child was found to have severe life-threatening chromosomal disorder that also threatened Dragnic’s life. Williams’ retelling of the story slams pro-lifers as, of course, willing to sacrifice the mother for the dying embryo or fetus, and goes further to suggest that this is the ideal that the American pro-life position strives for: an all-out ban on abortions regardless of the circumstances.
But this is a complete misrepresentation of both the pro-life position, and the reality of the abortion industry in America. This opinion refuses to acknowledge that according to Gallup, the vast majority of pro-lifers in America support a women’s right to an abortion to save her life. And whether or not you personally support the rape exception, the majority of those who identify as pro-life, do. It’s absurd to suggest that American pro-lifers by and large would support an all-out ban on all abortions, regardless of the special circumstances involved.