Blogs Fri Jan 6, 2012 - 1:00 pm EST
Feminism: you’re doing it wrong…
Guest post by Cassie Farrell
21st century feminists: I’m unsurprisingly disappointed in you. Again. I knew there was a reason (aside from Margaret Atwood and Nancy Pelosi) that I have rejected the ever-limiting “feminist” label, but now I’m starting to believe that you should think about rejecting that label as well, since it doesn’t even apply to you anymore.
Let me explain.
Over the course of the Christmas holidays, news broke that two abortionists operating out of New Jersey and Maryland would be charged with multiple counts of murder for committing illegal late-term abortions. Authorities reported that in addition to having broken the law regarding abortion post-viability both within New Jersey and Maryland, Steven Brigham and Nicola Riley allegedly also kept the corpses of the children they had murdered at their abortion facility in freezers.
While this grotesque story seems far creepier than anything the Cryptkeeper could have come up with, it actually gets much worse. Not only did these “doctors” routinely brutally kill defenseless children in their mothers’ wombs, but they also treated those mothers like absolute garbage, and took the liberty of demonstrating their unfathomable ineptitude as surgeons upon their victims’ bodies.
In the case that actually brought this story to the attention of the authorities, an 18-year-old woman, identified only as “D.B,” sought an abortion at 21 weeks gestation (3 weeks later than the upper gestational limit in New Jersey) at the New Jersey facility where the procedure was initiated via immediate fetal death by the injection of digoxin into the baby’s heart, and was completed the following day at the facility in Maryland. D.B., who was accompanied by her mother “C.B.,” was then operated on by Riley.
Her mother reported that she heard her daughter “screaming and hollering” for two hours. As Live Action reported, while Riley was trying to find fetal cranial tissue from what she had removed from D.B., she discovered that she had “perforated D.B.’s uterus, shoved the remains of [her] baby into her abdominal cavity, and pulled out part of her bowel.”
Riley and Brigham then refused to call an ambulance upon C.B.’s request, initially wanted to transport D.B. to the hospital by wheelchair, before finally opting to drive her in a private car without an I.V. or monitoring of any kind. Once they arrived, they refused to cooperate and give their names, and then left D.B. after ten minutes to continue committing abortions at their facility. Emergency staff examined D.B., but found her injuries to be so severe that she had to be transported by helicopter to John Hopkins Medical Center. There, doctors removed the parts of the aborted fetus from D.B.’s abdominal cavity, removed part her small intestine, and then repaired the tear in her uterus.
One would think that feminists would be foaming at the mouth upon hearing that a ‘sister’ had been treated in such a way. One would think that the feminist voice would be the loudest in the condemnation of how D.B. was mutilated and abandoned by her pro-choice “doctors,” and would advocate justice for her. One would think…but this doesn’t seem to be the case. I guess feminists have bigger fish to fry? There are Michelle Bachmanns to be mocked, after all. In all seriousness, of all the feminist blogs that I’ve scoured (up to this point in time) it appears that only Jezebel.com has covered the story.
In Jezebel’s report of the arrest of the abortionists, D.B.’s complications are described as just that – complications. There is no allusion to the severity of those complications, how close she was to death, and no inquiry as to how D.B. is doing now. D.B., who one would think would be an obvious and identifiable victim, is passed over as a minor detail. In the same breath, while mildly rebuking the “sketchy” conditions of some abortion clinics, without condemning Riley or Brigham, the writer uses this horror story as a way of justifying the supposed need for MORE abortion. According to the writer, it’s because of abortion stigma and restrictions that sketchy abortion clinics appear at all. Meaning it’s not the abortion that almost killed D.B., but the lack of availability and the meanness of pro-lifers that almost killed her.
If I face-palmed any harder, I’d probably knock myself out. Let me get this straight… the writer is suggesting that the state laws be changed…so that doctors like Riley and Brigham (who were licensed, by the way, though Brigham was not licensed to practice in Maryland) can continue to commit late-term abortions without being charged with murder. Oh, and the writer is suggesting that there be more doctors like this so that women have more selection, and won’t have to settle for a lousier, cheaper abortionist. Ok. So in the writer’s fantasy world, Riley and Brigham would probably still be practicing because if it weren’t for the abortion restrictions that were already in place, these “doctors” probably wouldn’t have been caught.
So is that attitude really the best answer feminists have for women like D.B.? Silence and/or a call for more abortion? Is this what feminism is now, just a mindless and rabid abortion-pusher? Toward the end of the article, the writer even laments that pro-life activists will use this story as a way of pushing for more abortion restrictions, when she believes that what we need is the exact opposite. On top of everything else, the article is tagged “Roe vs. World.” Presumably, we’re supposed to believe that Roe is the real victim here. Boo hoo.
What these feminists need to remember is that they’re supposed to be advocating for WOMEN. Not only the hypothetical women who they seem to believe will die by the dozen in back-alleys if abortion is abolished, but real women, like D.B., who are being butchered and cast aside in the name of “choice.” These forgotten women can often be the same ones who are coerced into choosing abortion in the first place, and who are then not fully informed about the risks, or even about their other options. I have news for you feminists: Women like D.B. matter too, and I am not willing to forget about her just because you have an agenda to push.
So, dear Jezebel writer et al., you probably should worry that pro-lifers will be outraged upon reading about D.B. and the murder of her innocent child. We’re not really into covering up the abuse of women, and we definitely want the killing to stop. I almost feel like I should thank you. You’ve demonstrated once again that we truly deserve better than abortion, and also apparently better than whatever your feminism has to offer. However, that ‘thank you’ would come at the expense of D.B. and the countless women and children whose lives have been destroyed as a result of your empty and misleading ideologies. So instead I am left profoundly disappointed in you. Again.
Cassie Farrell is a 4th year university student from Montreal, Quebec and a guest blogger for CLC Youth.