Pro-abortion ‘Youth Testify’ project promotes abortion stories of teens, young women
September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-abortion activists are launching yet another project to promote abortion via emotional anecdotes, this time with teen girls and young adult women as the campaign’s faces.
First announced Tuesday, Youth Testify is a joint project of Advocates for Youth and the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF). It consists of training 13 young women between the ages of 17 and 24 to articulate their abortion stories in the press, to peers, and before lawmakers, in order to “shift the culture of stigma and center the voices and needs of young people in the fight for abortion access.”
“It’s time we invest in the spectrum of identities of people who have abortions, including age, so that we take care of the future of our movement wholeheartedly, with programming, organizing, storytelling, and training,” organizers declared. “Young people have always been at the forefront of change. Historically, young people have been the ones to envision and create a freer and more compassionate future that you want to live in with your friends and families.”
In particular, NNAF Senior Public Affairs Manager Renee Bracey Sherman claimed that young people are needed to expose the “dangers of parental involvement laws, and the impact the restrictions have on young people’s ability to access an abortion.” Parental consent is standard for most medical procedures, and in abortion serves as a check against abusers covering up child rape. Most states require parental permission for tattoos and piercings for minors; American schools also must obtain parental permission to give students over-the-countrer drugs like Advil.
The Youth Testify page has links to profiles for all thirteen participants, including quotes that inadvertently demonstrate the project’s radicalism.
“I want to share my story because I want people to know that getting an abortion at 6 weeks and getting an abortion at 28 weeks are equally valid,” said 24-year-old Beth Vial, who had an abortion at 20 weeks. 24-year-old Angie vows to help “eradicate machismo and hold [unspecified] men accountable for their [unspecified] actions.”
19-year-old Co Jackson used her quote to highlight to claim that if people “truly knew Christianity and knew how God works, they wouldn’t ask” how she can “be Christian and have an abortion.” Jackson cites no Bible verse, attempts no moral argument, and addresses none of the Bible’s repeated affirmations of human life or condemnations of shedding innocent blood; she suggests only that God must have approved her abortion because He did not intervene to prevent it.
“Youth Testify aims to provide these resources [on obtaining abortions on college campuses], and simultaneously reframe the narrative around abortion by giving platform to some of the most vulnerable abortion storytellers — particularly people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with varying abilities and citizenship statuses,” Elly Belle writes in a profile on the project for Teen Vogue. “The goal of the program, according to the NNAF, is to show that young people who have had abortions are the experts on reproductive rights as well as the experts of their own experiences, and must be trusted with making decisions without anyone else’s permission.”
Youth Testify is only the latest in a string of pro-abortion projects, dating back to at least 2003 and most recently exemplified by the “Shout Your Abortion” campaign, predicated on the theory that people only oppose abortion because they’re ignorant of the experiences of women who abort their children, and therefore disseminating “positive” abortion stories will reduce the pro-life movement to a fringe position.
In fact, such efforts have done little to shift public opinion in the direction of “choice,” with pro-lifers arguing that no amount of emotionalism can fully obscure the living child in the womb, and that firsthand testimony of negative abortion experiences warrants attention, as well.
The project alo echoes left-wing activists’ common practice of elevating young people into moral authorities, despite their relative immaturity and limited life experiences.
“Many may be exceptionally smart, passionate and articulate beyond their years, but they do not possess any semblance of wisdom because they have not lived those years,” conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote in February. “And their moral agency and cognitive abilities are far from fully developed. Most are in no position to change the world when they can't even remember to change their own bedsheets.”