My Congressman Uttered Abortion Nonsense in Email Response
Abortion corrupts everything it touches. The ideology of sexual license, together with the dehumanization of vulnerable and weak people, has darkened intellects and has built a powerful structure of sin in our society: the infamous Culture of Death, as St. John Paul termed it.
I saw this recently in correspondence from my congressman. Jamaal Bowman’s politics are about as left-wing as you will find in Congress, and his abortion extremism is a typical expression of that. Recently, I sent him an email in response to an action alert from Human Life Action (a public policy organization affiliated with the US Bishops).
I asked him to support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. That bill would ensure that human beings who are born alive during the course of an abortion receive equal protection of the law and the medical care they need.
The email I received in response was so outrageous that I felt compelled to write a response. The words in italics below are selections from Mr. Bowman’s email. My replies are in plain font.
The Outrageous Email
Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts on reproductive justice.
That’s not why I contacted him. I sent him an email to support a bill that would have guaranteed justice for babies born alive during an abortion. He, predictably, voted against the bill. That means that he decided that there are human beings who are unworthy of protection under the law. That is disgraceful, and puts the lie to any fancy talk about protecting human rights.
I believe that every person should have access to the healthcare they need to thrive, and that includes access to safe, legal abortion care.
What about babies who are still in the womb? He doesn’t believe they have any right to live, much less thrive. They can be dismembered and poisoned to death. But he does believe those who’ve passed the magic point of birth have a right to survive.
So what about babies born alive during an abortion? Babies who fit his normal definition of a person? Don’t they deserve access to healthcare that will allow them to thrive?
He doesn’t believe that either. The ones born alive die from neglect as they suffer and struggle to survive. What a horrible thing to believe in.
More Bad Arguments
Approximately one in four American women have an abortion before the age of 45.
This is an old and disputed claim abortion advocates make to try to claim that abortion is normal and accepted. It may well be wrong. But in any case, it’s completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how many people do something if it’s still morally wrong.
That’s the question he’s avoiding. In 2020, 47% (which is way more than “one in four”) voted for Donald Trump? Think he’d use the same argument to support Trump?
Restricting access can put people’s safety at risk and have devastating consequences for their physical and mental health.
Again, this ignores the invariably fatal effects on the unborn child. But again, let’s leave that aside. What does abortion do to others?
His answer shows that he is unaware of the devastating effect of abortion on women’s mental health, as well as the long-term physical risks. He should look beyond pro-abortion propaganda and read recent reports of the effects of coerced and pressured abortions as well as the dangers of chemical abortions.
He’s Not Done With the Bad Arguments
Current barriers to abortion access like the Hyde Amendment disproportionately impact low-income women, Black and brown women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Policies like this contribute to the racial disparities in health outcomes that we see in our district and nationwide.
How do they do that? My congressman doesn’t say.
He is also apparently unaware of the vastly disproportionate number of abortions of Black and Hispanic babies. He represents part of the Bronx, so let’s look at the official numbers for that county.
In 2019, among Hispanics, the numbers are horrific. There were 50 abortions for every 100 births. Among Blacks, the numbers are even worse: 73 abortions for every 100 births. Overall, in the Bronx, for every 100 babies born, 62 are aborted. These are truly appalling numbers.
Mr. Bowman is very outspoken about reducing police violence against Black and Hispanic youths. As he should be. But why isn’t he concerned with medical violence against preborn Black and Hispanic who will grow into those youths?
The good news is that legal restrictions, particularly limits on public funding, reduce the number of abortions, and thus save the lives of many Black and Hispanic babies. How about that as a social justice measure to support?
Still More Bad Arguments
Our laws should recognize and protect the intrinsic rights of every person with a uterus.
Seriously? “Person with a uterus”? What kind of persons have uteruses? Women. This ridiculous language erases women in the cause of gender ideology nonsense. Does he ever consider that erasing women contributes to the erasing of the fruit of their unique capacity to bear children? If you can be whatever sex you want to be, why should an “accident” of biology restrict you?
And, of course, again, he gives no consideration to the rights of female babies (future women!) either in the womb or born alive during an abortion.
The Supreme Court ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade is inhumane, heartbreaking, and will cause the deaths of many.
What a clueless statement. Over 60 million abortions have taken place since Roe, and millions of mothers have been emotionally and physically damaged by the experience. It’s hard to imagine anything more inhumane than dismembering a helpless baby.
Overturning Roe v. Wade sets a dangerous precedent that delegitimizes the Supreme Court and is an assault on all people with uteri.
The bizarre gender ideology mentality is just impossible to satirize. “People with uteri”? Does any woman have more than one uterus?
The idea that the Dobbs decision “delegitimizes” the Supreme Court is nonsense. It only means that you disagree with the result. The majority made a serious, well-reasoned, legally coherent argument that the Constitution did not require an act not a single person who wrote it would have conceived it justifying. You may agree with the minority, but the majority did only what the Supreme Court is supposed to do.
If anyone wants to look at the root of the politicization of the courts, Roe v. Wade is the prime suspect. In that case, the Court took the issue of abortion away from every legislature in the country, and set itself up as the sole arbiter of abortion policies. It did so on the basis of a contrived legal theory that seemed designed to find in the words of the Constitution rules those words don’t include.
With the Dobbs decision, the Court reversed that and returned the issue to the people to decide — as our constitutional system clearly intends. The decision legitimized the Court.
License and Dehumanization
As I said, the ideology of sexual license, together with the dehumanization of vulnerable and weak people, has darkened intellects. One of those is Representative Jamaal Bowman’s. He is only one of many in our political leadership, both state and national.
The weakness of his arguments points to one thing: He doesn’t have the truth. It points to the stronger case the pro-life movement has.
And the truth remains our most powerful weapon. Science and reason lead to the truth that the unborn child is a fully human person with all the rights born people have. When we use them, people’s hearts and minds are changed. It’s sad that such powerful people are so deeply misled. But we have to have faith and hope that in the end, the truth will set us all free.
The opinions expressed are personal and not official statements of the Archdiocese of New York.
Edward Mechmann is director of public policy for the Archdiocese of New York. Before coming to the archdiocese, he worked as a state and federal prosecutor. He’s written an introduction to Catholic social teaching called God, Society and the Human Person. The Human Life Review gave him its “great defender of life” award in 2018. His previous article for The Stream was Questions Ketanji Brown Jackson Should Answer But She Won’t.