The Washington Post can’t be honest with its readers about what abortion is and why so many people reasonably object to it. They just can’t.
In an article over the weekend, Nia-Malika Henderson reports on Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’s revelation that she has had two abortions. Henderson seems to think that Davis is merely doing what conservative women have already done in reverse (Sarah Palin talked about choosing NOT to have an abortion) and courageously opening up the abortion debate for a more “nuanced” discussion.
What Henderson doesn’t see is that Davis’s admission is calculated and carefully wrapped in language designed to fool the public.
Davis admits having two abortions, and they were both for serious medical conditions: a threat to her life in one case and a severely deformed infant in the other. She describes anguish and dark despair over the decision to abort her handicapped daughter, and she deserves our sympathy for both of these experiences.
But look at the contradiction that Henderson doesn’t see. After agonizing over the abortion of a deformed infant daughter, what does Wendy Davis have to say, I wonder, about the millions of healthy daughters who are aborted every year just for convenience or sex selection? If Davis has no objection to abortion on demand (and she obviously doesn’t), how does she reconcile the nation’s epidemic of casual abortion with her personal anguish over a medically necessary abortion? Henderson never points out the contradiction.
The problem here is that Davis’s experience is not a typical example of abortion in America. In spite of the Supreme Court’s decision limiting abortion to the first trimester, abortion is legal in America at all times and for any reason. It is a method of birth control for many people.
Henderson continues to push the abortion lobby’s propaganda by trying to make Wendy Davis look like an abortion moderate. Although Davis famously took to the floor of the Texas legislature in pink running shoes to filibuster a bill that contained a ban on late term abortions, Henderson reports that Davis “has also said that she could support such a prohibition, if deference is ultimately given to the woman and her doctor.” Did you catch what Henderson missed? Davis supports a 20-week ban as long as it’s not really a ban. What a ban! What a moderate!
At the end of her piece, Henderson stumbles across an important truth, but she fails to recognize it for what it is. When this debate began 50 years ago, abortion was called abortion. But it wasn’t popular with the public, so the name was changed to “choice,” and then the public caught on again, so it was changed to “reproductive rights.” Now that is failing too, so we are pushed by opinion makers to call abortion “women’s healthcare.” Henderson recognizes that this is a “benign catchall” for abortion and contraception, but she never asks the obvious question. If access to abortion is a right and a legitimate part of women’s healthcare, then it ought to be a good thing, right? So why do we need a benign euphemism to conceal such a good thing?