Brianna Heldt is a writer, speaker, and radio show host. She blogs at www.briannaheldt.com, has been a featured guest on BBC Radio, and her work can regularly be found in other online publications as well. A convert to the Catholic Church, Brianna explores topics ranging from faith and social issues to adoption and large family life. She and her husband make their home in Denver, along with their eight children.
Remember that time when Planned Parenthood said there ought to be a Disney princess who’s had an abortion?
Earlier this week, a Pennsylvania branch of the biggest abortion provider in America tweeted out the following: "We need a disney princess who's had an abortion / We need a disney princess who's pro-choice / We need a disney princess who's an undocumented immigrant / We need a disney princess who's actually a union worker / We need a disney princess who's trans."
It has now since been deleted.
One of the biggest myths perpetrated by those pushing a progressive agenda is that they want abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” The dirty truth of course is that abortion is actually big business. It is also essential to radical feminist ideology, an ideology rooted in the seemingly innocuous (but actually quite impossible in the way that they mean it) “equality of the sexes.” Because you can’t have equal access to jobs and sex without the option of abortion.
When viewed from a purely utilitarian perspective, abortion is assumed to be the great equalizer. Babies hold women back, so they say, from things like self-actualization, opportunity and career advancement. Babies (cute and innocent as they may seem) also stand in the way of the liberated sexuality promised us by the sexual revolution. And it’s not fair, because men! Men can have sex without consequences, and they can find fulfillment in pursuits outside of the home without having to address this problem. Men can be footloose and fancy free, and go about their lives with the red carpet rolled out for them. There’s a reason everyone knows that the latest advance in contraceptive technology, a birth control pill for men, will never find the same popularity as the one for women. Men sense it’s an attack on their manhood (it is), and they know they don’t really need it because they’re not the ones who might become pregnant. They know women will ultimately still need to take control of their contraceptive method.
For men and women to truly be equal, the threat of babies must be neutralized.
This is why it’s not enough to simply offer abortions for the most difficult of cases, in the way a restaurant might offer a particular wine on a menu. Planned Parenthood and its supporters must also promote abortion, not unlike a waiter enthusing about the soup of the day, as a sign of how very enlightened and empowered you are as a woman. Feminism! This is why they would love to see a Disney princess--possibly the most influential tool for inculturating an entire generation of girls--reveling in her decision to kill her child. Oh, I’m sure it would have been a difficult choice, but look at what a strong woman she is! See how it has opened the doors for her to become the woman she wants to be!
The real problem here is that this narrative, beloved by the pro-choice cause, falls short of telling the truth about personhood: men and women are created to be different. Equal in dignity and worth, and both reflecting the image of God, but different. Mothers will always be more “affected” by pregnancy than fathers because of the way in which their bodies are naturally ordered toward procreation. And not only that, but the female body is designed to provide frequent nourishment to her child post-birth, as well. Babies evidently need their mothers in a different way than they need their fathers, which does indeed result in less-than-equal representation in the workplace. This matter of a mother’s role in childbearing is of course God’s design, which therefore must be good, but there are many in our culture who want to level the playing field. They want to give women the freedom to, like men, have sex without consequences. Abortion is the most effective way to do that.
(Of course artificial contraception serves roughly the same purpose, but it is not foolproof and results in no small number of side effects, which people are finally talking about. It is also of course the woman’s domain, particularly in the case of the pill or the IUD--and ultimately just another sign that, no, sex will never truly be consequence-free. And while some would like you to believe that access to contraception leads to a decrease in abortions, the opposite is actually true. Check out this article by Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director. Why is that? Could it be that a contraceptive mentality belies and cultivates the same core belief as the one behind abortion: that sex ought to come with no strings attached?
This is not to say that men shouldn’t face the responsibilities that naturally accompany sex, simply on account of their biology. Fathers are called to be providers, and protectors. We must begin holding men to a higher standard, and one that includes both chastity and taking responsibility. But women need to understand that they will always, always be the more vulnerable party in a sexual relationship. Women will never be “the same” as men! Nor do they need to be. A truly free, empowered woman is one who knows her body is created just as it ought to be, and that the power to procreate, carry, birth and nourish a child is, far from being a hindrance to a meaningful life, a calling of the highest order. Women are strongest when they lean into their womanhood, accept their vocation and embrace their bodies. They are not broken, and fertility is not a curse. It is, on the contrary, the very gateway to life.
So as much as Planned Parenthood (or Disney, which is apparently toying with a lesbian Elsa in the upcoming sequel to Frozen) might like to create a world where women are free to have sex without the threat of babies, this is an outright impossibility. It truly cannot be done. Any intentional attempt at thwarting the procreative nature of sex, whether via birth control, sterilization or abortion, reveals that sex without babies is not so very consequence-free, after all.
That a cartoon princess would seek out an abortion is a testament to that very fact.