October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On October 11, USA Today published a hard-hitting editorial titled “I was in the pro-life movement. But then, widowed with 6 kids, I prepared for an abortion.” The piece was clearly intended to be both a rebuke to the pro-life movement as well as evidence that pro-lifers are primarily motivated by ignorance of real-world situations, and timed to sync up with the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, in which Roe v. Wade would predictably take center-stage.
The column, written by Shannon Dingle, is heartbreaking to read. On vacation with their six children last summer, her husband was killed in a freak accident at the beach after a wave knocked him over and broke his neck. Widowed with a young family, Dingle was grief-stricken and overwhelmed. And then she discovered that she was pregnant, with chronic health conditions that would complicate things further.
Her response was immediate: “I knew I couldn’t have this baby. I didn’t know how to be a single mom of six, so a seventh child was unthinkable, if I even survived the pregnancy. And my kids couldn’t lose another parent.”
Dingle’s point in this is not that there are incredibly difficult circumstances facing pregnant women, and that there are scenarios in which a pro-life ethic means treating women even though the treatment could threaten the life or health of her pre-born child. Rather, the point of her column is that pro-lifers are allegedly unaware of these circumstances. Her evidence for this, it turns out, is that she had apparently been involved in pro-life events without actually thinking about the implications of the pro-life worldview or considering real-world situations.
“I had been a pro-life speaker for events sponsored by Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission,” she wrote. “By mid-2016 my views had begun to change, yet three years later, some of that rhetoric rose within me. I worried, what if people offering us help would rescind those offers if they found out what I was considering? I wondered, would my living children hate me because I chose us over the pregnancy of another child?”
In short: “This is how you think when you’ve been groomed by the pro-life movement to see pregnancy in black and white with no room for gray … I’m not pro-life anymore, not in the political sense. I firmly believe that decisions regarding pregnancy should be between a patient and doctor, not predetermined impersonally by a mostly male governing body. My body shouldn’t be up for public debate.”
PETITION UPDATE (9/26/2020):
With President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are closer than we have been in decades to seeing Roe vs. Wade overturned.
We now encourage the Senate to confirm Barrett as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Judge Barrett has a fantastic track recond on sanctity of life issues, has seven children, and is a devout believer. She is the perfect remedy for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's radical pro-abortionism.
Please READ the full story here: 'BREAKING: Trump nominates Catholic mom of 7 Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court'
And then, please SIGN this petition telling the High Court that it's now time to end the activist Roe vs. Wade judgment. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2020):
In a decision which has imperiled more abortion-minded women, sentenced more preborn to death, and upset pro-lifers across the nation,the United States Supreme Court decided 5-4 to strike down a Louisiana law requiring basic medical precautions in the event of abortion complications, with Chief Justice John Roberts reversing his own past decision to uphold a similar Texas law.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which held that the Louisiana law was unconstitutional for the simple fact that it was “almost word-for-word identical” to the Texas one the court already struck down in 2016.
In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that he had “joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”
We call on the Supreme Court to stop supporting the culture of death and overturn Roe vs Wade, now.
PETITION UPDATE (1/20/2020):
Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C., this coming Friday, January 24th, for the March for Life. They will be praying for an end to Roe vs Wade, as the Supreme Court will hear a crucial, abortion-related case later this year in March. United our voices can change the course of history. Sign this petition TODAY! (LEARN MORE BELOW)
PETITION UPDATE (1/3/2020):
In advance of the Supreme Court's hearing arguments in an important abortion case later this year in March, 207 U.S. Senators and Representatives have signed amicus briefs supporting a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby an abortion center.
Some of these supporting briefs also suggest that now is the time to reconsider Roe vs Wade as sound law.
Please SIGN this petition, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Roe vs Wade.
More than 60 million Americans have been slaughtered in their mother's wombs as a result of Roe v. Wade. This activist, unconstitutional ruling in 1973 has left countless women emotionally and psychologically scarred.
It was believed by many that Roe would be overturned in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Despite having eight Republican-appointed judges at the time, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold it.
Since then, major gains have been made in the fight for life, and many lives have been saved.
However, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, leaving millions of defenseless pre-born children vulnerable to murder.
According to a 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of aborted babies are African American, despite black women only making up six percent of the U.S. population. 19% of aborted babies are Hispanic.
We thus again call on the court to do everything they can to end Roe vs Wade.
Now is the time for pro-lifers to join together and ensure that all of God's children have a right to life.
Roe v. Wade must come to an end!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
I’m not sure which pro-life movement Dingle was involved with, but her ignorance regarding the pro-life position should not be taken as an accurate representation of what pro-life apologists have to say on the matter. The organization I work for, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, lays out ethical responses to dangerous pregnancies on our website and we regularly discuss these situations with people we speak to on the streets. Pro-life apologists like Randy Alcorn, Stephanie Gray, Scott Klusendorf, Robert P. George, and numerous others have spent an enormous amount of time dealing with precisely the issue Dingle accuses the pro-life movement of ignoring entirely.
If Dingle was “groomed” by the pro-life movement to believe that there are no difficult circumstances, or that people would hate her if she made the wrong choice, or that people would abandon a widow for doing something she disagreed with, then I feel genuinely sorry for her. That is not the pro-life movement I know, and if she had reached out to almost any group that I know of, she would have received the advice and the help that she sought. That advice would have been informed by ethics — and real-world situations.
Dingle then writes that she lost the child through miscarriage, and ends her column with a declaration that any pro-life activist could have written: “Caricatures make for good propaganda but terrible policy. People, real people, become pregnant. And those people each carry their own stories, nuanced and unique. Propaganda is easy. Twitter insults from anonymous accounts are too. But people, real people, have real stories, like mine. My story is heartbreaking. Telling it is tender. But I need you to understand that real people like me are living real stories.”
Dingle’s story is both tragic and heartbreaking. But I wish she understood that in the real pro-life movement—not the one she caricatured in her column–pro-life activists are speaking with tens of thousands of real people every single day. We are hearing their real stories. They tell us those stories. And we are there to help in any circumstance. Perhaps it came as a shock to Dingle that there were soul-crushing circumstances that could push someone into considering abortion even when they shuddered at the thought. It would not have come as a shock to any of the frontline pro-life activists that I know.
We’ve heard all of these stories before. Those stories are the reason we keep on doing this work.
Jonathon’s podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, Dr. Michael New, a research scholar, joins Jonathon to discuss how a Democratic Presidency impacts abortion rates, and what would happen is Joe Biden was to repeal the Hyde Amendment.
You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: