Al Mohler calls it "amazing" and says it "might be the most important article" on abortion "in recent history." I would call it astounding--I've never read such an honest look at the moral quandary of abortion written by someone who is pro-choice.
The article in question is "The Abortion Distortion: Just How Pro-Choice is America, Really?" in a recent issue of New York magazine. If writer Jennifer Senior didn't identify herself as pro-choice, you would almost think she was pro-life. She might consider that last sentence an insult, but to me it's a compliment. After decades of reading the same tired pro-choice arguments rehashed in the media, it is refreshing to read a piece that accurately reflects the moral questions many Americans are asking about this issue.
Senior writes that this is a difficult time to be pro-choice because public opinions on the issue are shifting to the pro-life side. Here are some statements I never imagined I would read in an article like this:
If forced to choose, Americans today are far more eager to label themselves "pro-life" than they were a dozen years ago.
Abortion counselors will also tell you that the stigma attached to the procedures is worse than it's been in years. "When I started as a patient advocate in Ohio in 1996," says Jeannie Ludlow, a professor at Eastern Illinois University who has written a great deal about abortion, "what I mostly saw were women who were thinking about abortion in individual ways--this is what's going on in my life, this is what I'm thinking I should do. But by the time I left in 2008, our patients wold be saying all that and 'Oh, and I know I'm going to feel bad for the rest of my life,' even if they seemed perfectly sure of their choice."
One could say, in a sense, that the pro-choice movement has always had the harder job. The choice argument is an analytical one, grounded in theories of privacy and the rights of the mother; the pro-life side has the case with instant visceral and emotional appeal: This is life we're talking about."
As fetal ultrasound technology improved during the Nineties, abortion providers, conditioned to reassure patients that the fetus was merely tissue, found it much harder to do so once their patients were staring at images that looked so lifelike.
While many of her [abortion] clinic patients are at peace with their decision, others are not, and she's got piles of loose-leaf binders containing pink hearts inscribed with messages to husbands, boyfriends, parents, God ("A lot are to God"), and the never-born that express those feelings of uncertainty.
I've barely scratched the surface of the article; you will want to read it for yourself. (I should warn you of partial nudity in the cover photo.)
This may be the first time I've seen a pro-choice writer begin to admit and address the central problem of abortion. Think about it: Why is this such a difficult issue? Why do so many women feel "uncertain" and guilty after having an abortion? Why does the abortion counselor quoted in the article feel troubled about the woman seeking an abortion primarily to please her boyfriend?
The answer is simple: Deep down inside, we all know ... even pro-choice advocates know ... that abortion is not just a "woman's issue." It's about ending human lives.