Why They Hate Pro-Lifers So

It is always a good idea to stand in the other person’s shoes.

One of the stunningly obvious perceptions of those in favor of abortion is summarized by Harvard-educated Paul Swope: “Women do not see any ‘single’ good resulting from an unplanned pregnancy. Instead they must weigh what they perceive as three evils, namely, motherhood, adoption, and abortion.”

 

The pro-life argument is overpoweringly clear to me. But in argument against supporters of legalized abortion, I was always puzzled because I could not grasp their reasons. Maybe they didn’t understand their own reasons, either. I seldom heard reasons for their point of view, but far more often intense emotional blasts. “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!

Pro-choicers do not make it easy to attribute reasonableness to their presentation of these matters. But why, I ask myself, do they hate pro-lifers so much?

Amazingly, I just discovered a very persuasive explanation of why so many women argue that it is right and good to have an abortion.

The Caring Foundation produced an empirical study almost two decades ago which recently arrested my attention: “Abortion: The Least of Three Evils – Understanding the Psychological Dynamics of How Women Feel About Abortion.” Two main findings of the study startled me, but they are also fairly obvious once one sees them from the point of view of the young women in the study. It is always a good idea to stand in the other person’s shoes. Why for so long had I failed to do so?

One of the stunningly obvious perceptions of those in favor of abortion is summarized by Harvard-educated Paul Swope: “Women do not see any ‘single’ good resulting from an unplanned pregnancy. Instead they must weigh what they perceive as three evils, namely, motherhood, adoption, and abortion.”

To such women, having an unplanned child “represents a threat so great to modern women that it is perceived as the equivalent to a ‘death of self.’” This reaction may be emotional and subconscious, but it generates a feeling that one’s life is over.

Swope explains that this is because many young women have developed an intensely narrow vision of their own identity: “going through college, getting a degree, obtaining a good job, even getting married someday.” The sudden intrusion of motherhood afflicts them as “a complete loss of control over their present and future selves. It shatters the sense of who they are and will become, and thereby paralyzes their ability to think.”

At this point, such deeply troubled young women are not likely to perceive a sharp-edged choice of either “I must endure an embarrassing pregnancy” or “I must destroy the life of an innocent child.”

“Instead,” Swope writes, “their perception of their choice is ‘my life is over’ or ‘the life of this new child is over.’ Given this perspective, the choice of abortion becomes one of self-preservation.” Thus it is not so hard to see that, to a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, abortion can seem like the most morally defensible option.

The second option, adoption, is seen as the most “evil” of the three, for it entails two devastating disappointments – deaths, even: First, the young woman who accepts motherhood by carrying the baby to term dies to all her other plans for her future life.

Worse, if she gives the baby up for adoption, she perceives herself as a bad mother, someone gives her own child away to strangers. So the second death the stricken young woman lives through is the loss of her child through abandonment. Her worries multiply. Her baby might be abused by strangers. The uncertainty of her child’s future and year-to-year development haunts her, and she must always fear the possibility of her child searching for and finding her many years later, exposing the painful secret to others who never knew it.

Many of us know a young woman who has carried her child to term and happily seen that boy or girl adopted by good and caring parents who very much want a child. Alas, that is not the way so many tormented women envision the scenario.

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