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Hardness of Heart and the Celebration of Abortion

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In 1995, feminist leader Naomi Wolf called for a pro-abortion movement “that acts with moral accountability and without euphemism,” noting that, “With the pro-choice rhetoric we use now, we incur three destructive consequences -- two ethical, one strategic: hardness of heart, lying and political failure.” That hardness of heart was fully manifest in the profane video produced by the Center for Reproductive Rights celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.


But let’s go back to October 16, 1995, when the New Republic published Wolf’s remarkably candid article entitled, “Our Bodies, Our Souls.” Wolf made reference to “Dr. Joycelyn Elders’s remark, hailed by some as refreshingly frank and pro-woman but which I found remarkably brutal: that ‘We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus....’”

She explained that “Second Wave feminists reacted to the dehumanization of women by dehumanizing the creatures within them. . . . Yet that has left us with a bitter legacy. For when we defend abortion rights by emptying the act of moral gravity, we find ourselves cultivating a hardness of heart.” And she urged that abortion must be treated with “grief and reverence.”

In stark contrast with that attitude, the Center for Reproductive Rights released an online video which is so obscene that author Eric Metaxas writes, “When I first watched this ad, I thought, this HAS to be a spoof. It employs the ugly racial stereotype of a smooth-talking [black] predator celebrating his freedom to use women at zero cost to himself: Hey, baby, hook up with me—and then go have an abortion. Are they kidding? No; this was no spoof.”

The “smooth-talking predator” is actor Mechad Brooks who sits in a chair holding a red rose in one hand and a drink in the other, saying to the camera (as if speaking to his spouse), “All these years so many people said we’d never make it. They’ve been trying to tear us apart. . . Put limits on you, on me, on us.” And then, Metaxas notes, “he roars with laughter,” a sardonic, mocking laughter at that.


“We’re going to be standing right by your side, today, tomorrow, and the years to come,” he continues. “Because that is how much you mean to me, baby.” And then, once more, the laughter.

To repeat: This was not intended to be a sick joke or a demented spoof. This was meant to be taken seriously, presumably by the same kind of people who shouted their approval of abortion at last year’s Democratic National Convention. Let’s celebrate the slaughter of 55 million babies in the womb, especially in the African American community!

Metaxas quotes Ryan Scott Bomberger, an African-American pro-lifer who runs the Radiance Foundation, who noted that, “With the black abortion rate as high as it is and black fathers as absent as they are, it’s just sick to see Mehcad Brooks shill for the number-one killer in the black community.”

More graphic still are the comments of Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who asked what her uncle would do “if he’d lived to see the contents of thousands of children’s skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionists’ pits?”

Naomi Wolf wrote that, “The pro-choice movement often treats with contempt the pro-lifers' practice of holding up to our faces their disturbing graphics. We revile their placards showing an enlarged scene of the aftermath of a D & C abortion: we are disgusted by their lapel pins with the little feet, crafted in gold, of a 10-week-old fetus; we mock the sensationalism of The Silent Scream.”


Yet, she asked, “How can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real? To insist that the truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy. Besides, if these images are often the facts of the matter, and if we then claim that it is offensive for pro-choice women to be confronted by them, then we are making the judgment that women are too inherently weak to face a truth about which they have to make a grave decision. This view of women is unworthy of feminism. Free women must be strong women, too: and strong women, presumably do not seek to cloak their most important decisions in euphemism.”

In light of these comments, I would like to make a simple proposal. The repulsive video described here has been pulled by its producer, but if someone can find a copy of it (legally), perhaps they can remake it, interspersed with these very images Wolf describes, terribly disturbing images which are now readily available online. Then let’s see if a single pro-abortion leader in the world will even attempt to minimize the horror of abortion.

Wolf argued that, “Only if we uphold abortion rights within a matrix of individual conscience, atonement and responsibility can we both correct the logical and ethical absurdity in our position and consolidate the support of the center.”


Let every American look at the pictures of these ripped up and mutilated babies and ask if it is possible for there to be an “abortion rights” movement that operates “within a matrix of individual conscience, atonement and responsibility.” And let every American ask what kind of human beings (and what kind of organization) could mockingly celebrate the slaughter of the unborn.

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