Fri Sep 28, 2012 - 1:55 pm EST
Refurbishing the image of ‘the saintly abortionist’
September 28, 2012 (NRLN) - The headline read, “Does American medicine need more Vera Drakes?” The author is Michael Cook (from bioedge.org) and his headline is an allusion to the well-received 2004 movie, “Vera Drake,” the story of ”a back-street abortionist in 1950s England.”
“Vera Drake” won the Golden Lion award for best picture at the Venice Film Festival. It turned out to be a two-fer for Director Mike Leigh: Imelda Staunton received the award for best actress.
Alan Riding, writing in the New York Times, told his readers at the time that while the film, is “set in a grim and gray postwar London,” Vera Drake [Imelda Staunton] “is a warmhearted housewife who looks after ailing neighbors,” who, “out of pure charity, ‘helps out’ poor young women who find themselves pregnant. After carrying out untold numbers of illegal abortions at no charge, she is arrested.”
The abortionist as altruist – now that’s breaking new ground!
What would remind Cook of this freebie propaganda film for the abortion industry? “Eight years later the image of the saintly abortionist has moved from the cinema to the New England Journal of Medicine,” he writes.
“In the September 13 issue, Dr. Lisa Harris, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, argues that abortion doctors are brave souls who defy ‘stigma, marginalization within medicine, harassment, and threat of physical harm’ to act in accordance with their consciences. Dr. Harris laments the fact that the pro-life side of the U.S. abortion debate has captured the moral high ground of conscience and conscientious objection.”
We’ve written twice about Harris’ “Perspective” piece, most recently here, so we need not rehearse the particulars in any detail.
But it is a reminder just how blinkered abortionists can be, on the one hand, and of how determined pro-abortionists are to convince women to talk about/celebrate their abortions. They are two sides of the same coin.
Harris will always be infamous for performing an abortion on woman carrying an 18-week-old baby when Harris’ own pregnancy was at about the same stage of development. A few years ago, in describing what she was experiencing, Harris wrote:
“Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery ‘thump, thump’ in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a ‘thump, thump’ in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes – without me – meaning my conscious brain – even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics. It was one of the more raw moments in my life.”
I will never, ever forget that sentence: “There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a ‘thump, thump’ in my abdomen.”
But that doesn’t stop Harris from writing this month that there is a “false dichotomization of conscience and abortion provision.” We slice and dice unborn human beings - including large, well-developed children – but we have consciences, too! Enough of these pro-life doctors getting all the credit, on the one hand, and implying that abortionists are “morally bankrupt,” on the other hand.
Likewise the abortion stories, some of which are genuine profiles in agony, others of which celebrate “liberation” from various and sundry stereotypes — such as the stereotype that “good mothers” don’t annihilate their defenseless children. When they aren’t telling outsiders to buzz off, they/we are being lectured that the kid was in the wrong place (her womb) at the wrong time. Too bad for her or him.
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Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News.
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