Well, the Left has their first big post-Dobbs propaganda narrative with reports of a 10-year-old rape victim who “was forced to have to travel out of state to Indiana to seek to terminate the pregnancy and maybe save her life,” as President Biden said in an 8 July speech, based on a story appearing in the Indianapolis Star. Cue the pro-abortion finger-wagging. Abortion in this case was not only acceptable but “moral,” claimed Washington Post feminist columnist Monica Hesse. “Republicans are shocked a 10-year-old can get pregnant after Ohio rape victim abortion story proves true,” read a not-so-thinly-veiled, derisive NBC headline.
Lost upon many takes on the story—including not only the pro-abortion “I told you so” lecturing but that the alleged rapist is an illegal immigrant—is another simple fact. We are talking about a ten-year-old. Whatever her name or story, this little girl has become an unfortunate pawn in a national pro-abortion propaganda war that is not so much interested in the truth as point scoring. Her story, her very life, and the life of that aborted child in the womb, were callously manipulated by pro-abortion medical practitioners, politicians, and pundits to advance their agenda.
Yet the pro-abortion camp appears more focused on how the girl’s terrible story fit into their broader narrative than the devastating fact that she is a little, elementary-aged girl who underwent a severe trauma. Never should her story have been plastered on headlines. And whether or not she went through with the abortion, either option would have been traumatic: carrying a child to term when she hadn’t even entered middle school, or destroying in the womb the life who, whatever the awful circumstances of his or her conception, was still a human person.
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That she has been thus mistreated is sickening. But it is sadly not unique. Consider actor and director John Turturro, who in an 8 July op-ed claimed that a botched illegal abortion by his Sicilian-American grandmother resulted in the loss of his mother’s “home, her family, her native Sicilian language…her sense of safety and security, and her childhood.” In 1927, years before Turturro was born, his grandmother, then 40 years old and pregnant with her seventh child, was persuaded by an older sister to take “a special drink, a combination of certain powerful plants (most likely pennyroyal, tansy or savin, among other ingredients that were used at the time).”
His grandmother became feverish, was taken to a hospital in Brooklyn, and died. The extended family in New York were, for some reason, unable to assist her surviving children, and all but one of the children were placed in an orphanage. Many terrible things followed, including one family member going to prison. All of this Turturro places at the feet of laws that prohibited his grandmother from procuring an abortion.
Or how about drinking poison? Undoubtedly, Turturro’s grandmother’s life was hard, perhaps beyond what the vast majority of people in the United States can appreciate today. Nor should we downplay what being 40 years old with six children and discovering an unexpected seventh, especially when you are impoverished, would be like. I’d imagine it would be tremendously difficult and perhaps even traumatizing.
Nevertheless, this woman, in her anxiety and grief, was persuaded by a relative to drink poison to kill the child in her womb. How about some blame for an older sister who, rather than help determine ways to alleviate suffering, persuaded an unstable woman to kill her child by putting toxic substances in her body? Certainly, we should have great sympathy in such a heart-wrenching story, but abortion wasn’t the problem here. The problem was the belief that we can destroy life in the womb without triggering all manner of second- and third-order deleterious effects. Indeed, as Ryan T. Anderson and Alexandra DeSanctis’ new book, Tearing Us Apart, explains, abortion often causes all manner of medical problems for the mothers who undergo it.
Then there are the assertions across corporate liberal legacy media that the Dobbs decision will result in the overturning of Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision that overturned Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws. The Boston Globe, on 24 June, provocatively asked “Wonder if Loving v Virginia is next.” NBC News warned of the same possibility, as did Huffington Post, NPR, and the Washington Post. Does anybody really think this could possibly happen? What politician or judge is suggesting such things? Who, besides the most extreme, fringe groups in this country, with membership perhaps in the thousands (in a country of 330 million) is calling for these things?
Or how about the warnings of a dark-ages dystopia, whether in op-eds, protest signs, or even comics? Dissenting Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan ominously warned that the Dobbs decision means that “young women today will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.” The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, in The Atlantic, cautioned: “I invented Gilead. The Supreme Court is Making It Real.”
Returning the abortion issue to the states is akin to the dark ages or a theocratic dictatorship? Fifty years ago, 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade, occurred after the Civil Rights Act (1964), the Immigration and Nationality Act (1965), and the beginning of forced bussing (1971). It also occurred after the moon landing (1969), the digital computer (1945), and the television (1927). Claiming the pre-Roe years in America were nothing better than a misogynist dystopia isn’t just risible, it’s profoundly ignorant of a century that saw women achieve the right to vote and the United States defeat three fascist regimes bent on world domination and take on a communist, totalitarian superpower that threatened to eliminate all the freedoms we hold most dear.
“With Dobbs, Women Are No Longer Full Citizens,” declares The Nation. (How about all the rights of the children in the womb?) “Black women will be especially affected by the loss of Roe,” cautions the Washington Post. (How about the disproportionate number of black American children killed by abortion, or that Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, promoted abortion as a means of curbing the growth of blacks?) “More People Will Die,” screams The Intercept. (More than 63 million, the number of babies who have been aborted since 1973?)
Despite the Left’s hysteria, Dobbs is almost a month old, and America hasn’t imploded or turned into some white supremacist, patriarchal nightmare. Women are not killing themselves by the hundreds via coat hangers or back-alley abortion procedures. The sad reality is that abortions are still happening, and will happen, because they remain available in some form in most states.
But for many months, the pro-abortion movement has worked itself into an irrational, increasingly unhinged frenzy about what a post-Roe America will look like. Even if it looks, well, pretty darn similar to what it looked like prior to June 24, 2022, the narrative and its attendant ideology demand the propaganda wheel keep turning. Thus, the pro-abortion echo chamber will reverberate with stories aimed to provoke fear and anxiety for those who associate the right to abortion with the right to life itself. Which, given what’s at stake, is a little ironic.
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