This year marked the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and lesser known but related Doe v. Bolton decisions. While many pro-life groups held vigils, marches or rallies for life, and abortion memorials, the pro-choice elements of society were having a celebration. Various parties for choice were held, not least of all at the
, to which the university’s Women’s Studies program and various pro-choice organizations and chapters brought guest speaker Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. University of Texas
The Catholic Longhorns for Life group had heard about this meeting from our former president, and we were curious to hear the latest of their arguments and rhetoric. A small group of us had decided to go and “spy” on the event to report back to CLFL, knowing that this was likely going to be a part of the next round of pro-choice propaganda which we’d need to fight. I slipped into the near-full auditorium and found a seat with the other member of our group in attendance. I somehow got the feeling that they were going to be saying something of interest, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The two introductory speakers spent their time patting themselves on themselves on the back for their commitment to the cause of abortion. They noted that the whole Roe case began here in
, to which there arose some polite applause; I wondered if the Carthaginians ever had this kind of pride towards their founding of the religion of Moloch. The younger of the two speakers, the president of the campus NARAL group, proudly stated that more than half of all university students are women; I silently said a prayer for the quarter of college students who were never born. Texas
When the time came for Nancy Keenan to take the stage, there was more applause, a standing (though somewhat hushed) ovation. After thanking the two women who introduced her, Keenan began with a story of her childhood and early life. It’s a lesser known fact that at every pro-abortion speech, debate, panel discussion, or rally, at least one of the speakers must identify herself as a Catholic. Keenan did this by saying that she was raised in a “fish Fridays, confession Saturdays, Mass Sundays family. And on Monday, I reported to the local nuns for school, while my parents went to Mass across the street.”
Unlike most such events, however, Keenan did not leave her religion at that, but rather made it the center of her talk—in a sense. She never again mentioned being Catholic, and often referred to “my God whom I hear with my own two ears,” stating her God was telling her to fight for “the right to choose.” I can’t seem to recall which part of Catholic theology says that a person can listen to God’s voice with his or her own two ears—a gift apparently neglected by the apostles or saints. Then again, I don’t recall abortion being a divinely revealed right, as Keenan was claiming, yet she stated that her faith was the root of her pro-choice stance—that this stance was based upon what her God was telling her to do. I said a silent prayer for that handful of misguided individuals whose “God” tells them to bomb abortion clinics, hoping that they wouldn’t listen.
She spent much of the talk arguing that allowing women to choose abortion was the moral thing for society. There was, in fact, a lot of moral posturing, including such statements as “It is the essence of our morality” to be pro-choice, that being pro-choice is the “fullest expression” of that morality. She noted that many people are “pro-choice but struggling.” In other words, they are politically pro-choice even while being morally pro-life. Her claim was that the pro-choice side had “ceded a lot of moral ground…which the pro-lifers never had.”
Interspersed within her speech were various attacks upon those whom are often referred to her in abortion-friendly circles as “the enemies of choice.” At the top of this list was, of course, the Church, for her constant teaching against abortion. She suggested that the Church stay out of abortion, though later, in the questions and answers phase, she stated that the abortion issue should be brought back into the churches—and that the churches should all get behind it. In other words, if a religious organization (including the Church) opposes abortion, it should stay away from the issue, but if such an organization gets behind that issue, it should be active and involved. She did, in fact, spend some time talking about how more dialogue was needed—with the understood caveat being that the “dialogue” should be one-sidedly pro-choice.
The Church was not the only entity which she blasted during her talk. She had the usual antipathy towards crisis pregnancy centers for not referring people to abortion centers; of course, there is no such problem with the abortion mills never referring people to a crisis pregnancy center, or (for that matter) not providing information about or encouraging alternatives to abortion. Pharmacists of good conscience who refused to dispense abortifacent pills such as RU-487 were also the targets of her ire. Of course, they were only trying to do what their God tells them to do, but this is only excusable if it leads to an abortion. She attacked pro-life legislators and others government officials for supporting legislation which would require parental notification, or waiting periods, or sonograms, or which banned partial-birth abortion.
Keenan blasted “abstinence only” education, saying that she does, however, support abstinence-based education. Her complaint is that teen pregnancies rose for the first time since 1991, and that abstinence only education can be solely blamed for this. Apparently, it took 8 years for abstinence only to have this effect. She finally attacked those who stood by the family of Terri Schiavo for putting her “poor family” through a “television circus.” Ms. Keenan is apparently an equal opportunist when it comes to others’ “right to choose” the termination of another’s life.
She closed with two interesting statements which are at odds with the previous pro-choice position. The first is that the “decision” should be up to “the woman, her family, her doctor, and her God,” as opposed to just the woman, or the woman and her doctor. This, in spite of her opposition to the Church’s involvement in anything other than a pro-abortion capacity, and her opposition to parental notification; one wonders how her family can be involved if they never find out about the pregnancy (let alone the abortion) to begin with. For that matter, she was opposed to crisis pregnancy centers which refused to refer women for abortions, so I was left to wonder if she really would leave it up to the doctor if he was pro-life; perhaps when she said “doctor,” she meant “abortionist.” Secondly, and perhaps even more surprising, was that she mentioned that men need to be more involved. After years of being told that I had no place in this issue, because, after all, I am a man, it was quite refreshing to her Keenan actually state that “This is not a woman’s issue…it affects all of us [including men].” Though her call was for men to get behind abortion, the fact that she actually admitted that abortion does affect men was refreshing to hear—and a reversal of the last 40 years of pro-abortion rhetoric.
Though the event was tabbed as a celebration of the 35th “birthday” of Roe v. Wade by somebody with a sick sense of irony, the event seemed like nothing so much as a morale-booster for those who fight to keep abortion available. The tone of the speech was somewhat dismal, noting how they had lost legislative ground, as well as the public’s support in a moral sense. She claimed to be on the “winning side of history,” though this sounded more like a rallying cry for a group whose morale was low from a series of legislative defeats. The inconsistencies of her position alone show that they are finding themselves in much the same straits as those who were trying to keep slavery legal while realizing that it was wrong. Any such institution which requires such semantics to survive must ultimately be brought down by the very weight of the lies with which it has been propped up.
If you found this post helpful, some related posts may be found here:
The Shame of Silence: Men and Abortion
35 Years of Roe and Doe
Abortion and So-Called "Lebensunwertes Lebes" (Catholic America Today)
Speaking Up, If Painfully
On Being Pro-Life
Righteous Fear of the Lord and the Pro-Life Movement