“I don’t want this child”: NY Times column unintentionally reveals the cultural corruption of abortion
Abortion does more than kill; it corrupts. It’s impossible to participate in or support the practice without its twisted morality rubbing off.
Case in point: on April 14, New York Times columnist Susan Heath wrote about an allegedly better time in American history, when she was able to get an abortion without fear of bombings, excessive regulation of “constitutionally protected procedures,” or slut-shaming.
For the record, she’s wrong on each point – anti-abortion violence is practiced only by an infinitesimal sliver of abortion opponents and overwhelmingly condemned by the rest; abortion is judicially protected but not protected by the actual text of the Constitution; and regrettable though it was that Rush Limbaugh called contraception activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” (which he apologized for), it had nothing to do with abortion, but rather Fluke’s testimony implying that college students were having so much sex they were going broke, which she demanded be alleviated through government intervention.
She goes on to describe why in 1978, after becoming pregnant with her fifth child, she decided she simply didn’t want another – “I’ve got other things to do, and I don’t have it in me to be a good enough mother to a fifth child” – and how nice it was to get an abortion without the torment of “pickets shouting at me” or counselors “showing me pictures of fetuses.” No muss, no fuss, no “judgment.”
Good for her. Too bad her son or daughter wasn’t so lucky. And Mom’s not exactly mourning:
Two years later, I’m driving upstate by myself. I look down and think that if I hadn’t had the abortion, there would be a baby seat next to me with a small child in it, resting comfortably, knowing it would always be safe because I was in charge. It might be a girl — I would have liked to have a daughter in the family mix.
But I’m not grieving over the absence; I don’t have and never have had a single qualm about not bringing that child into the world. I know many women who have grieved greatly over the children they decided not to have, and I am thankful to have been spared that agonizing sadness of guilt and regret. I also know many women who, like me, have felt only gratitude and relief at having been able to take control over their lives safely and legally.
What’s most striking is that Heath speaks as if there was only one person involved in her abortion: herself. It’s all about how she feels about the experience, whether her life is missing anything rewarding. To her, all she did was avoid “bringing [a] child into the world.” She doesn’t even describe what was done in the procedure; all we know is that it was less invasive than monthly pregnancy checkups and that the “kind” Planned Parenthood folks tucked her up in a blanket afterward.
As far as she’s concerned, her baby never existed. Sadly, we know that’s not true. She already brought “that child into the world” before having him or her killed. Her baby was “about two and a half months” along, at which point the child had a heart, brain, and recognizable fingers and toes, and he or she was almost fully sensitive to touch. Then her baby died.
Further, she did it for convenience. This isn’t one of the abortionistas’ trademark sob-stories about poverty-stricken minors left with life-threatening pregnancies because their stepfathers raped them – by Heath’s own account, she was happily married, middle-aged, an experienced parent, and on solid financial footing. She just didn’t want the hassle. If she wanted to limit her family to four kids, she or her husband could have resorted to nonlethal methods Planned Parenthood admits are perfectly “safe and effective”: vasectomy or tubal sterilization.
To embrace abortion is to embrace narcissism and greed in their purest, most destructive forms. My desire at any cost becomes not only a perfectly acceptable ethos, but something to be proud of – a reason to write self-congratulatory odes to your choice and to the “brave” people who made it possible. And the victims of your heroic selfishness? Out of sight, out of mind.
At its heart, the abortion debate is about what kind of society we want. If the World According to Susan Heath sounds like a place you’d like your kids to live, then by all means stick with Team Choice. But if you strive for something more compassionate or humane than gratification at any price and survival of the fittest, then you have to start by drawing the line at abortion.