Prolifers can find this perspective so horrific that it literally shocks them into silence. We are used to debating whether or not the baby is a living human person. We see that most pro-abortionists continue to deny that the fetus is a baby at all, and we tend to believe that pro-abortionists are sincere in their claim of ignorance. After all, it's unthinkable that civilized people would actually be okay with killing an innocent baby.
The pro-abortion side naturally has trouble conceding the truth, and they hide behind euphemistic rhetoric. They prefer to pretend to others and even to themselves that the fetus is not yet a human person. Putting on this show helps them to continue to think well of themselves, since most people don't like to think of themselves as baby killers.
But deep down in the darkest interior of their hearts, most pro-abortion activists and even abortive mothers actually realize the truth. They are not surprised by the fact that they are ending the life of a living human baby. They already knew that.
And check out the popularity of babycenter.com and other similar sites, where pregnant women spend evenings reading up on the developmental milestones of their unborn babies. Within a couple of clicks, these women can find beautiful online images which show that even a very small fetus looks far more complex and baby-like than any 'clump of cells'. It is impossible to hide from the reality of the unborn baby's humanity.
Mothers are people too
As such, the default belief among prolifers, I believe, is that women who resort to abortion are victims who 'know not what they do'. This is true in some ways - these women may be the victims of broken or abusive relationships, of poverty, of few good options. Others are perhaps victims (to use the word loosely) of a worldview that overly prioritizes their own ambitions and desires to the point where they justify harming others to maintain 'control' over their lives.
But while abortive mothers may be victims in some ways, I believe that most of them are not the victims of ignorance. They still have a good understanding of what abortion entails.
The fact that there are 1.21 million abortions in the United States (and about 100,000 in Canada) each year shows us this, above all: that in the heart of the ordinary human person there lies the capacity to murder. Perhaps more terrifying still, this capacity lies even in the heart of the ordinary mother towards her own child.
But 1.21 million murders a year - that is what happens when murder is permitted by law and comes without consequences (in fact, it is seen as a "right"). It doesn't take more than this to wake up the selfish inner monster in human beings. In such circumstances, we see a whole new side of human beings - a whole new side of mothers. Suddenly, millions of mothers are taking advantage of this "final solution" to the problems that their own unborn child's life causes them.
1.21 million abortions a year - that's quite the reality check about human nature, and about the concrete limits of a pregnant mother's love.
|Many more such quotes can be found here.|
But we should also realize that this argument doesn't have much persuasive power, even if we manage to produce all the proof that is needed to win on that count. The fact that abortion kills a real person is an open secret.
This piece recommends focusing instead on the harms of abortion:
"it may be a good idea to talk about the harm that abortion does to the mother. If a pro-choice person sees abortion as pitting the baby against the mother, it is often the baby who loses. But abortion does not only hurt babies; it hurts their mothers as well – along with fathers, siblings, grandparents, etc. It might also be a good time to talk about the services pro-lifers offer women – the pregnancy centers that help them in times of need, the healing retreats for post-abortion women, etc. "The trouble is, harms are statistical, and like with every other parade of horrors (think of smoking, eating fast food, lack of exercise, and so on), most people consider themselves lucky. Women who seek abortions will continue to gamble that they will be the ones to escape the worst possible consequences.
"The unborn baby is not an aggressor against the mother."
While this is a tough one to argue, it seems like probably the most important point of all.
Just like the blogger at oogenhand, many pro-abortion people believe exactly this: "Yes, the baby is an aggressor, yes, the baby is an intruder." It is a twisted and terrible way of seeing things, but it does have some internal logic. Women who feel trapped into a corner by a pregnancy that threatens to take their lives out of their control can indeed start to think of the unborn baby as an aggressor that is co-opting their bodies and lives.
I also think it's useless to point out that pregnancies are "natural" in a female body, unless we also make the case that what is 'natural' should somehow trump the mother's concerns. After all, we modify nature in so many other ways. So why should nature get its way here?
As early as possible, we need to build up the emotional connection that she has with her child. The flame of the mother's love will protect the child's life more than any other measure or logical argument. Love engenders a willing self-sacrifice.
It's hard to do this when speaking to groups - this kind of thing is best done one-on-one. Pregnancy crisis centers are surely already doing this kind of work.