As with most contentious social issues, one way to make your case is simply to repeat a falsehood often enough, hoping mere repetition will win people over. As Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister once said, “If you tell any lie long enough, often enough, and loud enough, people will come to believe it.”
That has certainly been the case with the pro-death camp and their incessant advocacy for baby-killing. They repeat certain myths over and over again, and in so doing think they have made their case. But they have not: all they have done is peddled falsehoods ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
Here then are two more myths constantly heard by the anti-life crowd. We hear these myths time and time again, but they are simply false, whether repeated just a few times, or many millions of times.
A woman’s choice
Probably the most commonly heard myth is that abortion is all about a woman’s choice. We are told incessantly by the pro-aborts that abortion is all about freedom of choice and control of one’s body. The choice mantra is heard over and over, and is widely viewed as the deciding argument for abortion rights.
Examples of this abound. Consider just one. A three page statement by the National Abortion Rights Action League in the U.S. used terms like “choice” and “the right to choose” some thirty times. Not once was the word “abortion” used. To talk of rights and choice is neat and painless. But the reality of abortion is not so neat and painless. Abortion, as one writer put it, “is a violent act that reduces a living human entity with a beating heart and a functioning brain to a puree of blood and bone.”
The attempt to rationalise abortion under the rubric of “choice” quickly crumbles when the analogy of slavery is introduced. In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that blacks were “non-persons” and therefore could be legitimately owned, bought and sold as slaves. In effect the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling said that a fetus was a non-person, which could be kept or disposed of at the whim of the mother. In either case the choice belonged to the “owner”. But as Joseph Sobran has observed, “those who favor the option of abortion, or slavery, refuse to take into account the human nature of the option’s victim. Extending choice to the slave himself would amount to abolishing slavery, and the same holds true for abortion.”
One pro-feminist journalist was honest enough to express these concerns: “For me, the problem is not feminists’ pro-choice stance, but that the stance has no moral context. All the emphasis is on rights. None is on the morality of using those rights. It is as if we were back in the 1850’s: No one is talking about whether slavery is wrong; instead, the whole discussion revolves around the question of whether each slaveholder has a basic right to decide the issue for himself.”
Or as one philosopher has explained, “The cause of legalized abortion is no more ‘pro-choice’ than the cause of legalized slavery. Although it facilitates certain choices, it makes others impossible. To ‘choose’ to abort the child is to deny him the choice to live, and to ‘choose’ to legalize killing him is to deny his defenders the choice to protect him by law. This issue is not whether to allow a choice, but which choices to allow.”
Furthermore, the child is not a part of the mother, but a distinct and unique individual. When a sperm and ovum come together, they become a new human being. Indeed, as one expert put it, “sperm and ovum do not really unite. They cease to be and lead to a new being”.
Moreover, as Carol Everett shows in her important book Blood Money, the abortion industry is anything but about choice. Everett, a former abortionist, knows all about this lack of choice. The owner of five abortion clinics, she set up what she called Advisory Referral Centers which advertised sexual counselling and pregnancy tests – both free of charge. Of course, once in, women were steered in the direction of abortions.
The use of fear was often a good tactical weapon. Women who feared having their parents discover they were pregnant were especially susceptible to being sold an abortion. “I knew how to sell abortions – take the fear, amplify it, get their money, push them through.”
Staff were in the business of pushing abortion, not offering choice. One clinic assistant who showed women a book on fetal development was sacked. Says Everett: “Although Barbara was a good employee, if she could not sell abortions, she had to go.”
The truth is, the victims of abortion do not have any choice. And in fact, mothers are getting very little choice as well. As Janet Folger puts it, “The only choice those in the abortion movement offer women is the choice of a dead baby”.
Indeed, as I heard only yesterday from Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor, “What about my choice? What about my right to life?” There is no choice for the victims of abortion – only death.
Abortion is about helping women
Another often heard myth is that legal abortion is necessary because it helps women. Indeed, the right to legal abortion is said to be all about “empowering” women and looking after their best interests. It is a good thing for women to be able to have access to legal abortion, the pro-death activists seek to tell us.
As just one example, the head of Oxfam Australia recently justified abortion, arguing that women’s “health and wellbeing would improve” with access to abortion. Banning abortion, he said, “undermines the rights and health of women in developing countries.”
The real truth is quite different, however. Abortion is not about helping women. Indeed, the real aim of abortion is all about making money – big money. Greed, not love, is the motivating factor behind the abortion industry. At Carol Everett’s clinics, an abortion for a woman eighteen weeks pregnant cost $375. At twenty weeks it cost $500. Her abortion clinics became abortion mills, working with assembly line efficiency. Operating seven days a week, she could oversee 400 abortions a month. She received a $25 commission for each abortion. Thus she was earning $10,000 a month. Her plans were to have 5 abortion clinics operating full-time in the Texas area, performing 600 abortions a month, earning her $15,000.
Abortion was definitely big business for Everett. She had ads in the Yellow Pages of five southern states, each with a toll-free number. Ads in newspapers offered coupons with 10 per cent discounts. Setting up clinics near high schools was an effective tactic. She even planned to set up a clinic by a mall so customers could go shopping while waiting for their abortion. Says Everett: “Greed – the love of money and the things I could have with it – blinded me. [I was] an abortionist who used whatever means available to get a woman to have an abortion for the sake of money.”
This insatiable lust for money resulted in abortions being performed on women who were not even pregnant! Indeed, the temptation was to get every woman who came into a clinic to have an abortion. Says Everett, “Do you think an abortionist who works on a straight commission is going to tell a woman who has signed her consent form and has already paid in full that she is not pregnant?”
The truth is, the abortion industry is just that – an industry. People are getting quite rich from killing babies. This has nothing today with the welfare of women. It has everything to do with making big profits by the mass slaughter of unborn children.
Lies told often enough may become convincing, but they are still lies. Choice is not the highest good. The right to life certainly trumps some bogus right to autonomy and choosing the death of others. And abortion is not about helping women. Indeed, given that half of all abortion victims are female, how are women helped by abortion?
It is time we stand up and challenge these myths. They help no one, and simply allow the ongoing genocide of 45-50 million babies every year around the world.