Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote a piece last week for Salon.com entitled, “So what if abortion ends life?” Ms. Williams explains how she can believe that life begins at conception while still clinging to her pro-choice position. It is a sobering read but one that I would recommend. I would suggest grabbing a sweater and a nice hot cup of tea first; her words will chill you to the bone. Ms. Williams has the skill of recognizing the need for truth in the only way the pro-choice ideology allows–in the advancement of the diabolical.
In this liberal blueprint for the culture of death, she unapologetically advocates for a concept of what she labels as “unequal life”–life not worthy of protection. It is shocking to read such an honest articulation of a position that any civilized society would find completely repulsive. I have to wonder if she would be the same, outspoken advocate if our society decided to treat writers for Salon.com the same way she so comfortably treats unborn children.
For Ms. Williams, it all boils down to autonomy, her own, not the baby’s. She actually advocates favoring autonomy over the valuing of the life of a child.
She sets forth the classic “might makes right” argument declaring at one point in her article, “I’m the boss.” I’m not sure whether she is deserving of my anger or my pity, but she is definitely deserving of my prayers as she reminds me of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz–in desperate need of a heart.
Just when you think she can’t possibly degrade any further, she finds a way to take us to even lower ground. The author calmly writes about the very little difference between a child in the womb and a newborn sucking his thumb, about first trimester abortions and late trimester abortions. What most people would find to be compelling pro-life arguments, Ms. Williams is able to coolly discard. In fact, she ends the article by acknowledging that a fetus is indeed a life but a “life worth sacrificing”.
What kind of society advocates for the killing of its own children in such cold blood?
Although Ms. Williams is able to proclaim this with chilling ease, she ignores some fundamental questions that are critical in order to put her “beautiful” ideology into practice. Questions like: Who decides whose autonomy is worthy of protection and how do we even know that autonomy is the greatest good? These seemingly fundamental questions are curiously ignored.
I am willing to bet that Ms. Williams doesn’t have the answers to these questions. She perfectly embodies the schizophrenic mentality embraced by so many in our society: a mentality that says I will assert my beliefs over matters of life and death with boldness, completely unburdened by any semblance of logic, reason, truth, or consistency. They assert such ideas because they can and they’re okay with that. People afflicted with this mentality live to serve a common good of one–their own.
But what is truly ironic about her argument is that in her zeal to safeguard and protect her precious autonomy, in her blindness, she advocates the killing of the very thing needed to secure it in the first place–its prerequisite–life itself. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that you can’t be autonomous if you’re dead.
Ms. Williams paints the picture of a very ugly culture; a narcissistic, selfish culture in love with itself and its beloved autonomy. In stark contrast stands the vision of the Catholic Church. As Catholics, we know we’re made in the image and likeness of our Creator. Every life has inherent worth and dignity, no matter how small, no matter the degree of autonomy. We don’t believe in lives worth sacrificing but, rather, in lives worth sacrificing for. We believe that vulnerability and weakness cry out for protection, never for termination. The Catholic vision calls us to a higher love, a more perfect love, an eternal love. For all of us know, we were created for love.
We’ve seen the destruction and the oppression that inevitably comes when we endorse the kind of disordered love of autonomy that Ms. Williams so perfectly illustrates and I can tell you, as a female of Jewish descent, it doesn’t end well.
Many tyrants throughout history were able to do the inconceivable: dehumanizing people to the point of massacring millions of innocents, garnering little, if any, public outrage. Not that long ago, African-
Americans were deemed property under the law, and Jews were seen as nothing more than garbage to be incinerated. But for a tyrant to brutalize her victims, and society to tolerate such, she must first demonize and dehumanize her victims successfully deeming them to be “lives worth sacrificing.”
Herein lies the difficulty that has always existed for the pro-choice movement: How do you dehumanize and demonize a tiny, innocent, little baby?
Perhaps that is what I found to be the most disturbing about Ms. Williams’ article. She doesn’t even bother to try.