People have been murdered, harassed, and driven from their homes after death threats. The propaganda machine has gone into overdrive as false reports and apocalyptic myths are spread about a certain class of people, and the country has been threatened with paralysis, hijacked by a small group of bullies. People who often keep a certain aspect of their lives secret have been targeted for violence, intolerance, and bullying on a scale undreamed of in those anti-bullying high school classes.
This sounds like Nazi Germany, Putin’s Russia, and any other vicious, violent, reign of terror, but it is America today, and the aspect of life at issue is the choice to have an abortion, a choice made by one out of three American women. Tens of thousands of women (more in the Bible Belt than elsewhere) in the U.S. choose not to have a child they are incapable of caring for either during pregnancy or after birth. Their reasons are as diverse as the women themselves. Well over ninety percent of the abortions occur before eight weeks, when the embryo is a “creature,” as St. Thomas Magnus, a Catholic saint, referred to it in his writings, no bigger than a jellybean.
It would be reassuring if the women, presumably one-third of them, serving in legislatures, on judicial benches, as professors, as our doctors, ministers, parents, our grandparents, siblings, friends, and leaders would shout their abortions in support of Amelia Bonow, who has been terrified out of her home, bombarded with death threats, and whose life will be changed forever for owning up publicly to something that most people are forced to keep a secret. Secrets are devastating, destructive, and can warp a whole society.
The picture would change if men, who are one-half of the abortion decision, begin to “shout” their abortions. In my case, I would have had the child if the father had married me, but he was in Europe and “having too much fun to come home.” As long as women (and a few male doctors and staff) are left carrying the full responsibility, the issues will remain skewed. If one-third of American women have had an abortion, one-third of American men have played a role too.
The “anti/pro-life” argument is mutable, sometimes targeting men for the mass killings they (and now increasingly women as well) have perpetrated in war, or executing a fully grown human being through capital punishment, or even the self-directed choice of ending one’s life when illness overtakes it. Deaths that occur by decision flare, one by one, into the light every once in a while, but the terror, bullying, and twisting of the truth that is occurring now is easily as pernicious as shouting “Baby killer” at a soldier returning from Vietnam.
Unless we want to turn our country over to a bullying clique, we must join in defending Amelia Borow and women like her before they put a large yellow star on her and on all of us. If not me, who; if not now, when? Where are you, Hillary?Tags: abortion decisions, feminism, women's health, women's liberation