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The tyranny of legal abortion 

Women face intensified pressure to abandon their maternal instincts and choose abortion

Sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross celebrates a victory at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul, Turkey on March 10, 2012. Associated Press/Photo by Martin Meissner

The tyranny of legal abortion 
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Carrying her one-week old daughter in her arms, New Hampshire State Rep. Amanda Toll, spoke spoke two weeks ago in favor of a state bill to legalize abortion until birth. In other words, her daughter’s life wouldn’t have been legally protected just seven days prior if the bill were current law. 

Toll spoke having an abortion as a high school student, saying such “care” allowed her to go college and to graduate school and to become a state representative. 

There’s something sinister about a woman holding and revering one of her children, while repudiating and devaluing another. Whatever the reason behind Toll’s abortion, it was a grave decision. Where is the regard for the sacrifice made so she could … become a state rep? That’s quite the exchange. 

To credit abortion for her career accomplishments is disempowering at best. It says “No, you can’t” to those who would keep their babies under distressing circumstances.

For decades, the pro-choice left has told women equality means unfettered access to abortion, to free them from “the tyranny of biology,” making a mockery of one of God’s greatest gifts to women. 

Legal abortion gaslights women into believing it’s OK to kill their unborn children. As a result, we see more single motherhood (because men view parenting as a “choice” she made), and intensified pressure on women to choose abortion even when they don’t want to. The enemy is now embedded into social norms, whispering lies and breaking families. 

We’ve eschewed reproduction as a curse to be disdained, controlled, and eliminated. For all the talk of the patriarchy, there’s little acknowledgement of the unique privilege women possess in embodying the miracle of God’s greatest creation. 

Several years ago, runner Sanya Richards-Ross revealed she had an abortion just before the Olympics, in an effort to preserve her body. She won an individual bronze medal and a gold medal for a relay race that year. Was it worth it? Living with that choice after the glory fades must be difficult. No mother would exchange her living child for any earthly reward. But like so many, Richards-Ross fell for the lie that her unborn child wasn’t valuable because he was small and unseen. After the abortion, she and her partner never spoke about it. 

“It was almost like, if we don’t talk about it, it didn’t happen,” she said. “For so much of my relationship, I felt I experienced it by myself.” 

Again, the burden of both choice and consequence falls to women. If anything is a tyranny, this must be it. 

Abortion can never erase the known reality of what was—and then wasn’t.

Abortion culture has blinded women to their maternal instincts, invalidating their natural urge to protect and preserve. It’s also made pregnancy more of a woman’s problem. Now, instead of choosing between parenting or adoption, she can just make the baby “disappear.”  In a desperate moment, that might feel right, but post-abortive women are haunted by these choices. 

Abortion can never erase the known reality of what was—and then wasn’t. 

As Richards-Ross said, the baby will “forever be a part” of her life.

Every conceived life bears a unique personhood, stamped with a one-time use DNA code—an “original” signed by the Artist. Once it’s gone, there will never be another. 

But we can change the narrative. What if, instead of telling women abortion is necessary, we pushed society to accommodate the realities of womanhood? What if we told women what they can do, instead of what they can’t?

Mothers often call themselves “mama bears” because we’re fiercely protective. We’ve known our babies intimately since their tiny bodies made us nauseous for days at a time, and we saw the outline of their little toes through the thinning skin of our bellies and felt the shifting of distinct, miniature limbs on full-moon nights. They wiggled on the ultrasound screen, sucked their thumbs, and bounced to the beat of music. They knew only us when they emerged into the cold, bright, new world. 

No woman wants to abort her child. She may regret getting pregnant, wish the timing was better, or long for more money and support. Walking into an abortion clinic pregnant and walking out not; it’s hard to imagine feeling good about it, no matter the reason for your choice. 

Toll tells women to ignore their natural instinct to protect their unborn children, that a college degree is worth more than a human life, and that some human beings are “more equal than others.”  
But what happens when you get an abortion, but then don’t finish college, land the job, or have trouble getting pregnant later? Or you do, and it’s not everything you thought it was? What happens when you realize sacrificing your child wasn’t worth it? There are no do-overs and Amanda Toll won’t be there to comfort those other women living with a lifetime of regret.

Ericka Andersen

Ericka Andersen is a freelance writer and mother of two living in Indianapolis. She is the author of Leaving Cloud 9 and Reason to Return: Why Women Need the Church & the Church Needs Women. Ericka hosts the Worth Your Time podcast. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Christianity Today, USA Today, and more.

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