The case against abortion is only valid for those who think that a person’s worth depends on their desire to be loved.
Nadine Seiler attends a rally in front of the U.S Supreme Court on June 25, 2022, a day after the Supreme Court released a decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images
“Electrical activity in a group of organizing cells is not a heartbeat”
In the days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, I’ve seen a fair number of hysterical posts and tweets, ranging from silly to wildly ignorant. But none of them hold a candle to the post I first quoted, alleging that there is in fact no baby at all, just a group of cells with “electrical activity.”
Far be it from me to point out that that definition applies to every human being, as we are all composed of clumps of cells that function due to electrical activity. This is not a medical term. It was actually created by some spin doctors in order to combat the messages of heartbeat bills being passed at the state level. As with all attempts to dehumanize any category of humanity to justify terminations, the purpose here is to make the unborn child “less that.” It can be difficult to accept that it’s okay to stop a baby’s heartbeat. You can make that baby a collection of electrically active cells and you will realize that it is not killing a child.
Of course, none of us would ever actually use these terms in real life. My husband and I received the news that our baby died in utero earlier this year. However, my doctor didn’t say “Oh well,” she said. She simply stated that my baby was dead. My doctor may be pro-life. However, I will assume in good faith that any OB-GYN who is fervently against abortion would not use the term “electrical activity” when speaking to a mother grieving for her child. My pro-abortion family and friends, which have written many similar posts over the weeks and days, will likely express their sympathies if I tell them about my loss.
But here we come to the crux of what it means to be pro-choice. In the eyes of those clamoring for a “woman’s right to choose,” my baby was only worth mourning because I wanted her. If I had wanted to end my baby’s life, people would have cheered. She was just an electrically active clump. Few pro-abortion people would say that clearly as I did. Instead, they would hide behind the variety of one-liners that have dominated the online world since the Dobbs opinion was leaked in May.
They would probably recite some lines about being concerned for women, and I have little doubt their concern is real. They could instead of blaming the women who are being forced to carry on their pregnancies and bemoaning their situation, ask them if they really want to have their babies. They might want to provide the resources and support they need in order for their baby’s arrival. It is worth noting that there are thousands of pregnancies centers which have provided this kind of assistance for many decades.
They might rattle off something about ectopic pregnancies (or for that matter septic uteruses, miscarriages, and molar pregnancies), but in doing so would only betray their own ignorance of how those medical situations are handled. They have no connection to abortion and they are not protected by pro-life laws. Other people will talk about bodily autonomy, the end of democracy and how it is possible to remove the power of nine elected officials and return the issue to the citizens’ elected representatives at state level.
I have worked and volunteered in the pro-life movement for over a decade and am familiar with every single heartbreaking hypothetical. These women have chosen life, and I’ve met them. As real, terrible, and challenging as these circumstances are, the reality behind them all is what pro-abortion supporters try to hide: They believe that people’s worth depends on their ability to pay for it. To live this belief requires dizzying cognitive dissonance. You can’t celebrate friends’ baby showers, but then claim that the baby in the stomach of an unwed mom at college isn’t a baby. It’s just a bunch of unwanted cells.
It’s this euphemized truth that is hinted at by the tweets and posts I see now, asking, “Who will pay for the unwanted babies?” The ghastly logic therein being that rather than setting about the arduous task of reforming our nation’s adoption and foster care systems, we should simply kill those children before they pose such a burden. They are not wanted by anyone, so what value could they have?
I would argue that there is something more heartbreaking than poor logic at play here. The pro-choice movement is full of self-hatred. Pope Benedict XVI said: “Each one of us is the product of a thought by God. Every one of us has a will. Every one of us are loved. Every one of us are necessary. You and I don’t exist due to a coincidence or a simple twist of fate. Our existence is due to the love we have for one purpose. It holds true for all human beings who have ever been called into existence since before the dawn of time. This is regardless of their age or if they were born outside the womb.
The pro-choice individual cannot accept this truth. According to some, the March for Life strikes because the protestors are not protesting for another group. Pro-abortion rallies are striking because of the reverse. People at the rally are claiming they have no right to life. This is the reason I am always saddened to see women at pro-abortion demonstrations alongside their children. They are shouting for their right to see their grandchildren murdered. They would probably not name the grandchildren whose daughters aborted them. They would be nothing but the little cells that happened at the wrong moment. They would only be their “real grandchildren” if they were born at the correct time and in the proper circumstances.
Even sadder, I look at the daughters standing beside their mothers, admitting, whether they intend to or not, that they believe their mother should have had the right to kill them. Another female celebrity gives credit to her success and her family for the births of her children earlier. I wonder if these children are feeling survivor’s guilt. Maybe they feel grateful for their mother’s ability to allow them to live when they were able to.
I write none of this with animosity, but I find it to be one of the greatest tragedies to come out of that great tragedy that beset our nation in 1973. There are now generations of people that don’t know enough about their worth to believe they deserve life. This is despite the fact they may have been born into poverty or were already vulnerable.
Roe v. Wade is dead, after a bloody reign of 49 years that saw the deaths of 63 million innocent children. Although this is a significant victory, the pro-life movement’s work is not done. To meet this growing need, the thousands of pregnant centers across our country will require greater support and protection as state pro-life laws are put into place. Legislators and lobbyists for pro-life have worked for many decades to improve access and financial aid for low-income pregnancies. They will now need to work harder to get the states to adopt pro-life legislation.
The fight cannot end, however, in simply protecting babies and their mothers from the scourge of abortion. We have been praying for this day for years. Prayers are still required. Prayers not just that all babies will be protected by law (in all 50 states), but that those who stand for the culture of death, who believe life is expendable, even their own, would realize how great a deception they have been told.
Kelly Marcum studied International Politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and received her M.A. From King’s College London’s War Studies Department. Gratia Plena Institute is her foundation and president. This organization teaches high school girls the Catholic view of authentic femininity. Her writing has been featured in the National Catholic Register, the Federalist, the Washington Examiner, and Catholic Exchange. Virginia is where she lives with her spouse and their children.