The Realities of Abortion

By Kathryn Jean Lopez Published on September 21, 2021

Social media was all about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” dress at the Met Gala. But the more important outfit was worn by her Congressional colleague Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who dressed as a suffragette. The suffragettes were largely against abortion. But earlier in the week, Maloney had cheered on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul as Hochul invited Texas women seeking abortions to visit New York.

Hochul gave that invitation in Central Park, near a statue depicting Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Stanton, a prominent suffragette, called abortion “infanticide” and wrote: “when we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” Anthony said: “Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.”

Be careful who you use for a prop.

Creating a ‘Safe Harbor’ for Women to Have Abortions

Contrary to the early feminists, Hochul is taking “aggressive action to cement New York state as a safe harbor for those seeking abortion care.” The new governor wants pregnant women to know they can come to New York for their abortions. Same as it ever was, essentially.

Hochul is a graduate of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. The “Columbus” comes from generous funding from the Knights of Columbus, a prominent Catholic group that has been a leader in the pro-life cause. New York has a long, sorry history of Catholic governors who have been advocates of abortion.

A Seed Planted

In May, I was involved in a conversation with a scared 17-year-old girl leaving Manhattan’s Planned Parenthood, with a small bag indicating she was in the midst of a chemical abortion. You can reverse that procedure with hormones, and another pro-life counselor was telling the girl about that option. The counselor told the girl graphically what her abortion would involve β€” seeing her baby in its early stages.

“I already feel bad enough,” the girl pleaded, saying her mother said she had to finish high school first. I told her about the Sisters of Life nearby, a group of religious women who serve women who’ve had or are considering having an abortion. The girl wound up going through with that abortion. But a seed was planted. She’s pregnant again, and called Planned Parenthood again. Whoever she talked to slipped and talked about the first step of stopping the heartbeat of the child (I assume “fetus” was the word). She reconnected with the other sidewalk counselor and was reconnected with the Sisters of Life and is going to go through with the pregnancy β€” even with her mother’s support this time.

Texas Has the Right Idea

Whatever you think of the specifics of the Texas abortion law, there is something to be said for telling the truth: We’re not talking about a clump of cells in abortions, but a developing child. Science suggests that children in the womb can detect pain. We help no one by insisting abortion doesn’t involve the death of a child.

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Pope Francis, who has been portrayed as a progressive, recently said to the press: “Whoever has an abortion kills, no half-words. Take any book on embryology for medical students. The third week after conception, all the organs are already there, even the DNA … it is human life, this human life must be respected, this principle is so clear!”

The words of the politicians in Central Park treat abortion as a sacrament of a religion that sacrifices children for worldly success. “I have to graduate from high school, and I can’t have a child,” the girl exiting Planned Parenthood told us in May. But she already was a mother, and she has to live with that abortion for the rest of her life. The Texas law isn’t perfect, but the Lone Star State has the right idea. They are fighting for actual liberty for women.


Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review magazine and author of the new book A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living. She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan’s pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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