|Author Sarah Terzo|
Sarah Terzo is one of the most prominent atheists in the pro-life movement today. She is the brains behind Clinic Quotes, which tracks damning admissions by abortionists and their allies. Her writings regularly appear on Live Action News and Medium, and she serves on the boards of Consistent Life and the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL+). She is also a dear friend of Secular Pro-Life, volunteering at our conference booths and supporting us in myriad other ways.
Sarah has prepared a 25-page e-book compiling some of her best insights on pro-choice activists who admit that abortion takes human life. It is meticulously sourced, straightforward, and a vivid reminder of the evil attitudes we are up against. And she’s sharing it for free! All you have to do is sign up for her email list—giving you access to even more excellent pro-life content.
The opening excerpt is below. I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.
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It is sometimes assumed in the abortion debate that the fundamental difference between the pro-life and pro-choice position is conflicting views on when human life begins. Pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception. The fetus in the womb is a human being. Pro-lifers use science and reason to back up this premise. Pro-choicers, on the other hand, are thought to believe that a baby in the womb is not a human life. They think life does not begin at conception. Or they may believe that a fetus, while physically alive, is not a baby.
Many pro-lifers think that if we can just convince pro-choicers that a preborn fetus is a human being, they will change their minds and embrace the pro-life cause. Sadly, for many, if not most, this is not true.
More and more pro-choice activists are admitting that a preborn baby is a living human being. Their pro-choice stand is based not on the belief that the baby is not a human being, but rather on the belief that killing the baby is justified.
This opinion was expressed in Naomi Wolf’s essay “Our Bodies, Our Souls: Rethinking ProChoice Rhetoric.” Her essay, which appeared in the October 16, 1995, issue of The New Republic, contains this passage:
It was when I was four months pregnant, sick as a dog, and in the middle of an argument, that I realized I could no longer tolerate the fetus-is-nothing paradigm of the pro-choice movement. I was being interrogated by a conservative, and the subject of abortion rights came up. “You’re four months pregnant,” he said. “Are you going to tell me that’s not a baby you’re carrying?”
The accepted pro-choice response at such a moment in the conversation is to evade: to move as swiftly as possible to a discussion of “privacy” and “difficult personal decisions” and “choice.” Had I not been so nauseated and so cranky and so weighed down with the physical gravity of what was going on inside me, I might not have told what is the truth for me. “Of course, it’s a baby,” I snapped. And went rashly on: “And if I found myself in circumstances in which I had to make the terrible decision to end this life, then that would be between myself and God.”
Many pro-life readers found this revelation shocking, and some pro-choice activists criticized Wolf. Having a fellow activist suddenly proclaim that yes, a fetus has been a baby all along, was jarring to them. They saw her rhetoric as a threat to abortion rights. But despite the outcry from some pro-choicers, others have echoed her sentiments.
One example is abortion supporter Judith Arcana. Arcana was part of the group JANE. JANE was a group of feminists that was established before abortion was legalized. JANE started as a referral service that connected pregnant women with illegal abortionists. Later, the members of JANE, who had no medical degrees, performed abortions on women themselves. They did illegal abortions in all three trimesters of pregnancy. Arcana, therefore, is both a pro-abortion activist and a former illegal abortionist. She says:
I performed abortions, I have had an abortion and I am in favor of women having abortions when we choose to do so. But we should never disregard the fact that being pregnant means there is a baby growing inside of a woman, a baby whose life is ended. We ought not to pretend this is not happening.
Arcana readily admits that abortion kills a baby. She clearly feels that abortions are justified, even though they kill babies. She has no problem with believing a woman has the right to murder her baby for personal reasons.
In an interview, Arcana was asked whether pro-choice activists should show pictures of starving children to illustrate the need for abortion and argue for legal abortion. She felt they shouldn’t, because, “Surely the outcome of that approach is to make the case less woman-centered. Surely the child is really irrelevant to the issue (emphasis added).”
It is clear Arcana sees a preborn baby as a child, just like pro-lifers do. She just supports killing that child.
Julia Black echoed these sentiments in an interview in which she discussed My Fetus, a proabortion documentary that she directed. In an interview with ABC’s Tony Jones, she said, bluntly, “[The idea of] dismembering a baby and pulling it out in pieces … is obviously horrific. But at the same time, it is easy to get caught up in that emotion.”
Julia Black implies that while abortion does indeed kill a baby by dismemberment, this act is nothing to be concerned about. There is no need to get “caught up” in an emotional reaction to the baby’s murder. The baby’s dismemberment is of no consequence. What is important is the mother’s desire not to be pregnant. Those of us who are troubled by the thought of a baby being violently torn apart are overreacting and overemotional. We should just get over it and accept abortion.
Black also acknowledged that babies are killed by abortion when she said:
Having looked at the facts, uncomfortable as they are, you have to make up your own mind as to which life takes priority. That decision is a moral one, that only you can make.
Choosing abortion means sacrificing a life, acknowledges Black. But it should still be a woman’s choice.
Is this callous attitude limited to only a few pro-choice advocates on the fringe? To answer that question, one needs to look no further than to Faye Wattleton, the former president of Planned Parenthood…
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