My son and I are reading through a biography of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer and dissident who exposed to the world the brutal and then hidden underbelly of Soviet brutality, and who pleaded with the world—East and West—to “live not by lies.” This reflection isn’t about Solzhenitsyn, per se, but very much about his concern for truth in a world that peddles lies.
That abortion culture relies on lies is hardly news. Euphemism and misdirection like “termination of pregnancy,” is required, lest people awaken to the fact that abortion refers to different methods of killing small children. But a recent piece in Yahoo News, re-posted from the New York Times (How Many Abortions Did the Post-Roe Bans Prevent?) a not-so-subtle lament concerning the rise in birthrate in some states since Dobbs, hit some that I hadn’t heard. (The article isn’t illuminating or especially interesting—like all pro-abortion work, it is dependably shallow and clunky—but it can be found here.) https://news.yahoo.com/many-abortions-did-post-roe-130638190.html
Let me offer a few excerpts. Here is the opening: “The first data on births since Roe v. Wade was overturned shows how much abortion bans have had their intended effect: Births increased in every state with a ban…” This unfortunate (to the authors) news is clearly the “fault” of scheming prolifers. For decades abortion culture has presumed to divine the motives of pro-lifers, charging them with wanting to control women’s bodies and forcing them to have children. Perhaps many pro-lifers would be delighted if America had more children. But that is not what drives them. Pro-lifers are not concerned that people have more children: They are concerned we don’t kill the ones we already have.
I found the following quote, from economist Daniel Dench—amazing: “The importance of our results is when you take away access [to abortion], it can affect fertility.” This sleight-of-hand is hardly slight—as a seventh grader taking rudimentary biology would know. Fertility has to do with the ability to conceive children. Abortion has to do with license to kill them. Exactly how does refusing to kill children increase fertility?
Here is another, this time from researcher Caitlyn Myers: “This is an inequality story. Most people are getting out of ban states, one way or another, and more people in protected states are getting abortions.” Aside from the description of “protected states” (where, ironically, babies are not protected) and “ban” states (where they are), it is difficult to believe that Dobbs actually encouraged more abortion in abortion-minded states. It reminded me of an abortion worker who, being interviewed during an Operation Rescue protest in the 1990s, triumphantly assured the public that abortions were continuing that day.
The article went on to say that “the analysis showed that the increased births were disproportionately among women in their 20s and Black and Hispanic women….” Normally disproportion is lamented for things like poverty, heart disease, crime rates, or the like. Openly lamenting more Black and Hispanic children is unusual—and remarkably bold.
Finally, I found the comments noteworthy. I didn’t bother to read all of the 7,380 comments that Yahoo apparently published by then, but I found it not a little remarkable that in ten minutes of reading, I saw not one that didn’t neatly fall into line with standard pro-abortion fare—the financial burden of unwanted children, the heartlessness of forcing women to give birth, the proliferation of babies with severe defects, and the like. I don’t know how Yahoo curates these comments, but it is either deleting those that don’t fall into line, or it doesn’t occur to the thousands of Yahoo readers that abortion kills children.
In the saddest of ways, it is remarkable how we have come to speak so dismissively and matter-of-factly about such sacred wonders as childbirth. The fact that a mainstream news organization can post something like that without flinching—and receive widespread approval—is just another reminder of how hardened our culture has become. But perhaps the saddest part of all this is how unremarkable it all is. We have well learned to live by lies.