No matter how much money, Hollywood glitter, political power and media dominance “pro-choice” advocates enjoy, they cannot take the stigma out of abortion.
But that doesn’t keep them from trying.
The “Shout Your Abortion” movement has reared its ugly ahead again. This time Oprah promoted it in her latest issue of O Magazine. Earlier this year, “Will and Grace” star Debra Messing was showing off her shiny new bling on Instagram — a necklace with a bejeweled 1973 charm on it. It was a piece created by jewelry designer Sophie Ratner. Sophie’s own caption read, “We’ve designed this 1973 necklace in collaboration with Physicians for Reproductive Health to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision. 30% of proceeds will be donated to the organization to help them continue their important work.”
The jewelry is in bad taste and will most likely not catch on. And there’s really good reason why. People don’t like to celebrate the year abortion was legalized in the USA. When the claim that Roe v. Wade is a “lifesaving legacy” is vocalized, human nature instinctively intuits the hypocrisy that is not vocalized. It brings to mind the unspoken other half of the equation in every abortion — the children who lose their lives. And that is the complete opposite of “lifesaving.” Contradictions make people uncomfortable.
So even if a few celebrities are virtue-signaling and patting each other on the back, it doesn’t mean the jewelry truly celebrates a good cause. Hollywood is so often out of touch with what ordinary people are thinking and feeling. The push to celebrate this jewelry is just another example of one of those times. If Hollywood believes women want to “shout their abortions” by displaying them around their necks, they’ve got it backwards. Most people want to sweep it under the rug and forget it ever happened.
I see that dynamic close up every day. For over 15 years, I have been privileged to serve as the Pastoral Director of both Rachel’s Vineyard (the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion) and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (the largest mobilization of those who have lost children to abortion and speak out about their experience). Silent No More was born out of a deep need in women and men who have been wounded by abortion and ignored by the culture and by the media at large. Our campaign makes the public aware of the devastation (PTSD, suicide, drug abuse, promiscuity, abuse, and much more) that abortion brings to women, men, and families and seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion. Abortion has wreaked havoc in the lives of millions. But Hollywood doesn’t want to talk about that.
You won’t see a single woman or man coming out of one of our Rachel’s Vineyard healing retreats donning a 1973 necklace. They know there is nothing to celebrate after choosing the death of a child. And none of the people I work with made that decision with smiles on their faces. It was with the same sense of doom as people on death row.
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To them, celebrities like Debra Messing, who display “1973” in diamonds, or “Top Chef” stars like Padma Lakshmi, who don Planned Parenthood pins on their lapels, are not the heroines of reproductive rights they would like to be. To abortion survivors, they are more like triggers. They belong to the oppressive system that victimized them with their propaganda and lies.
Roe v. Wade is not a celebration. I knew the real Roe, the petitioner in the Roe v. Wade case. Her name was Norma McCorvey. Her reaction on the day she learned through a newspaper that she had technically won the case, and that Roe v. Wade had legalized abortion, was devastation. She told me it was the worst day of her life. Unlike the false narrative that has been perpetuated since 1973, Norma never celebrated abortion. And she never had one. She was used by powerful people around her who had their own agendas. After converting to a pro-life position, Norma spent the rest of her life fighting to reverse the Supreme Court decision that bore her name.
But I wouldn’t expect Debra Messing, the rest of Hollywood, the media, or the elites to admit that. If the truth got out, they would no longer be able to control the narrative. But the truth is getting out and they are panicking. While they are fundraising with tacky jewelry to keep the doors of Planned Parenthood open, and while they are sounding all the alarms at the possibility of the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, they are ignoring what they should really be afraid of: the growing chorus of real-life voices of those who regret their abortions.
Nothing will wipe the celebratory smiles off their faces faster than coming face to face with that truth, and really listening to the women they claim to represent.
The good news is that when they do connect with such women, listen to their stories, and offer them the compassionate help they really need, they will be able to share with them a real cause for celebration: the peace and wholeness that so many are finding precisely when they turn away from abortion and seek healing the healing and forgiveness that the pro-life movement offers them.