In the past four decades, abortion activists have repeatedly tried and failed to convince the public that abortions are a good thing for women.
They say it’s just a medical procedure, a woman’s choice, an important option that can make or break her success depending on if she has access to it.
Lealah Pollock, a San Francisco abortionist, recently wrote a column for the pro-abortion blog Rewire that reiterates these same old arguments.
“We can’t cow to the notion that abortion is a hard but necessary option for a few ‘unfortunates,’” Pollock began. “Saying that abortion is a devastating choice or ‘should be rare’ implies that abortion signals a personal, moral, or physical failing—and that it’s not the best decision for many women.”
Pollock has not been shy about her brash support of abortion on demand. She recently attended the Women’s March on Washington with a sign that seemed to unsettle a lot of people who saw it.
On January 21, I had the joy and privilege of marching in Washington, D.C., alongside half-a-million other people crying out for equal rights for all women. Amid a sea of pointy-eared pink knit hats, I proudly carried a sign that read “MAKE ABORTION GREAT AGAIN.”
People pointed and giggled, gave me high fives, or stared in confusion. On social media, my sign received some mixed responses. Even some pro-choice friends said that the sentiment was a counterproductive joke and that abortion was never meant to be great, only necessary.
I disagree. My sign and the idea it expressed were not jokes, and I do think abortion is great when it is a safe, legal, and accessible option for all people.
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Pollock ended her column with: “Abortion is great! And a United States where women are forced into unsafe abortions or unwelcome (or unsafe) childbirth is not great at all.”
But most Americans are not convinced. After 40-plus years of this kind of rhetoric, many Americans still do not think that abortions are good. As Pollock’s pro-choice friends told her, abortions are necessary but not great.
Polls indicate this, too. Most Americans consistently oppose most abortions. A Marist University survey in 2016 found about 8 in 10 Americans support substantial restrictions on abortion (78 percent), and would limit it to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. This number includes 62 percent of those who identify as pro-choice, 85 percent of African-Americans and 84 percent of Latinos.
A 2016 Gallup poll also found that more Americans think abortion is “morally wrong” (47%) than “morally acceptable” (43%). In 2015, Gallup’s numbers were 48 percent and 42 percent , respectively. A recent Knights of Columbus survey found 60 percent think abortion is morally wrong, while 37 percent think it is morally acceptable.
So it is not surprising that Pollock’s sign received the reaction it did. Most Americans just can’t shake the feeling that abortions are not good. Whether they admit it to themselves or not, that feeling comes from the knowledge of what an abortion is – the unnecessary, intentional killing of a unique human life.
Thanks to modern technology, we now know that an unborn baby’s life begins at the moment of conception. And because of the internet, smart phones, social media and more, many people are constantly seeing evidence of the unborn baby’s humanity – an ultrasound photo, a new study about how babies can learn in the womb, a report about doctors performing a life-saving surgery on a baby in utero.
Even in those supposedly difficult, “necessary” situations, many women are coming to realize that abortion is never the best choice for their child or themselves. Through the work of pregnancy resource centers, pro-life educational outreach, sidewalk counselors and many others, women are finding information, encouragement and support to help them choose life for their babies even in the most difficult times.