After the successful overturn of the national abortion mandate known as Roe v. Wade, the next battle for prolifers is “winning hearts and minds.” The problem is when it comes to hearts and minds someone else got there first. Or something. The unhinged behavior coming from women on the abortion-rights side doesn’t add up since they’re doing well at the voting booth. So, it’s not about being very passionate about politics. This goes deeper. It goes to places in the heart and mind where intellectual insecurity and sexual frustration dwell, and both are a prescription for derangement.
The intellectual chafe arises when they are called upon to present a rebuttal to the pro-life stance. In my experience the women who react violently when they come face to face with pro-life sensibilities are both intelligent and educated, so it’s not because they are incapable of argument that they don’t have one. It’s because for fifty years they didn’t need one. The 1973 Roe decision was considered “settled law.” And they had a lovable munchkin of a pro-choice jurist named Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who they turned into an abortion culture icon—the Notorious RBG.
It must have been flattering to be a woman of a certain age and have college kids wearing T-shirts with your face on it. And Justice Ginsburg did believe abortion should be legal. But she was no fan of the “breathtaking” and “extraordinary” Roe decision, which, she also believed, had “halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction,” and, as a result, “prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue.” Ginsburg’s life was the law. She was strong-minded. If she had lived to be on the Court when the Dobbs case came up, how would she have voted? RBG as abortion culture icon? Or RBG as Hamlet? Suffer slings and arrows, or play nice? Perhaps she would have honored the Law she loved and voted to overturn one she didn’t, one where, she said, “the Supreme Court step[ped] boldly in front of the political process” and “seemed entirely to remove the ball from the legislators’ court.” If so, it would have been a clarifying moment for those buying into the too simple narrative that Roe was challenged only by “bible thumping” Right Wingers. Or perhaps not—in the blink of a venomous eye Justice Ginsburg would have gone from Media Darling to Wicked Witch threatening their inner Dorothy.
The “prolonged divisiveness” that troubled her grew deeper and wider as time went on, and now, with the overturning of Roe, it’s a bitter chasm; we have angry pinched minds behind angry pinched faces, lifelong friendships strained, families torn apart. Recently someone I trusted, someone who sent me birthday and Christmas cards, spitefully informed me that every time one of my pro-life blogs gets posted she retaliates by using my name—without my permission—to make a donation “in my honor” to the murderous organization known as Planned Parenthood.
If the mental exertion needed to support the progressively flailing logic of the pro-abortion argument is exhausting (first it was the rusty coat hanger hyperbole, then emancipation, then it’s not really a baby, and now it’s just plain no apologies), challenging one’s comfort zone about sex begets sexual frustration: If you can’t be 100 percent sure that having sex will be inconsequential, one way or another, and since it’s necessary for one’s enjoyment, then interfering with that equals sexual repression. This mindset exists in women past childbearing age too, so it’s not the actual possibility of becoming pregnant that rattles them. It’s the pesky intrusion of procreation into the beloved concept of sexual freedom, even when procreation is hypothetical. And so we have stampedes on voting booths to enshrine abortion through the ninth month (Let’s not take any chances!) in state constitutions. But it’s not just the sex-equals-babies downer in play here. Fear of pregnancy is being promoted.
A month or so ago I was watching a morning news program on broadcast television. They have a resident lady doctor who gives medical advice. Blonde hair; wears a white coat. The issue was how some over-the-counter pain medications, when taken by women using birth control pills, greatly increase the incidence of blood clots. She allowed that birth control pills alone can also cause blood clots. Then, as if she had been hit by a political correctness thunderbolt, she suddenly looked directly into the camera and, while wagging her finger, exclaimed: “But not as much as pregnancy does!” So, pregnancy itself is now a disease (ergo abortion is health care).
Wow. That sure throws a wet blanket over the poignant family moment when a young woman shares her news that she’s pregnant for the first time with the rest of the clan. Do the grandmas and aunties gather around and kiss her cheek and pat her back and chirp their delight? And when the young woman shyly wonders what it’s like—“Does it really hurt? Will I be okay?”—do they say: “Don’t worry, women have been doing this since time began, you’ll do fine, we all went through it …” Or do they clutch their pearls and yell: “You’re gonna DIE of blood clots!” How many homes did this very well-known New York City television program beam into that morning? How many young women expecting for the first time were watching? Hearts and minds? More like heartless and brainless.
At least Dorothy’s friends had aspirations.