The Christmas story celebrated each year by millions worldwide tells of an unwed teenager who becomes pregnant – after she responds “yes” to a life that redeems all of humanity. But that isn’t stopping some media outlets from deeming the holiday season appropriate to promote abortion, which says “no” to life, instead.
On December 23, Rewire.News published an opinion piece with the headline, “All I Want for Christmas Is for Texans to Be Able to Afford Their Abortions.” Women’s centers and even the ACLU of Texas shared the story on Twitter. In the piece, OB/GYN activist and Physicians for Reproductive Health Fellow Ghazaleh Moayedi asked readers to consider donating to an abortion fund so that women wouldn’t have to choose between affording Christmas presents or paying for an abortion.
Moayedi told the story of one patient who wanted an abortion at nine weeks pregnant.
“While she made it clear that she’d prefer the medication abortion,” Moayedi wrote, “she told me with tears welling up in her eyes, ‘I think I’m going to have to wait until after Christmas; I won’t have the money until then.’”
That’s when Moayedi “got a sinking feeling.”
“Not only would her pregnancy be past the point where I could offer her the medication abortion she desired, but waiting four additional weeks would mean the cost of her abortion would increase, too,” she worried. “[T]his mother-of-four’s access to health care was being driven by a very real and common fear: buy Christmas presents for her children or obtain a timely, affordable abortion.”
Moayedi revealed that, as an OB/GYN in Texas who performs “abortion care,” she has “these conversations with patients almost daily.” But she also urged that the “challenge of paying for an abortion” was happening throughout the United States.
However, there was hope, she claimed.
“The National Network of Abortion Funds and its 70-plus member organizations have been on the frontlines of abortion access,” she wrote, and, “people from across the country call abortion funds like the Texas Equal Access Fund.”
Moayedi called for a “world where no family is forced to choose abortion solely because they cannot financially afford to parent” because “All people deserve to parent when they want and to parent their children in safe, healthy, and supportive environments where they thrive.”
The pro-life movement wants much of the same: for children to live and thrive – but from their very beginning at the moment of conception. That’s why Americans who identify as pro-life dedicate their time and finances to helping pregnant women and new moms in need. Among other things, they support pregnancy centers nationwide which provide free housing, medical supplies, clothing, and educational classes.
But, Moayedi argued, “those who suggest that ending poverty would end abortion, or that women with low incomes seek abortions simply because of poverty, fail to see women as autonomous humans with goals, aspirations, and desires.” Autonomous humans once they’re born, that is.
That’s because, she said, “Women with low incomes choose abortion for all the same complex reasons that women with middle and high incomes do.”
She didn’t provide any numbers or research to back up her words. Instead, she repeated her Christmas concern.
“No mother should have to choose between her ability to end a pregnancy when she needs to and paying her rent, feeding her children, or buying them Christmas presents,” she said, even though that’s a part of a “daily reality” she witnesses.
“Every person has the basic human right to quality health care, which includes timely access to abortion care, regardless of income,” she added. “What a gift that would be to Texas families.”
What a gift it would be to the unborn too, if OB/GYNs in the media like herself considered the unborn as patients alongside their mothers.
Moayedi’s argument – that women should be able to afford both Christmas presents and an abortion – limits women by telling them that they need to be able to end another’s life as a disposable thing for their own sakes. Instead, American society should encourage a culture where women feel empowered to buy both Christmas presents and raise their children.
The piece isn’t surprising for Rewire.News, which describes itself as an outlet with “Evidence-based reporting on sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.” But the timing is.
Christmas is the wrong time to promote abortion. Then again, there’s never a right time to promote the ending of a human life.