The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece by Erica Komisar about “The Human Cost of Restricting Abortion.” It’s not a pro-life piece, but I’m still astonished by the argument. Komisar writes:
As lawmakers consider enacting restrictions on abortion, they should be mindful of the consequences. Unwanted pregnancies become unwanted children, and unwanted children are prone to depression, anxiety, addiction and other social and emotional disorders. That’s especially true when their mothers are young and immature, unable to handle the responsibilities of parenthood…
If a mother feels forced to bring a child into the world, the child will bear the brunt of her resentment. Children who are neglected and unloved often grow up with a sense of emptiness, disconnection and low self-esteem… Children whose mothers had been denied abortion were more likely to have behavioral and maladjustment issues while growing up, and more prone as they reached adulthood to unwanted pregnancies and the need for psychiatric care. They have a lower quality of life because their mothers were unable to provide for them emotionally.
Komisar goes on to argue that unwanted children are bad for a mother’s mental health and cause generational trauma. Mothers who abuse their unwanted children are likely to see those children to grow up to abuse their children.
The logic of the article is clear. The best way to avoid the social pathologies of unhappy children and unhappy mothers is to kill the children while they are really small. Just destroy them before they are able to understand how horrible their lives are.
In the last paragraph Komisar finally concedes that abortion shouldn’t be taken lightly. Why? Is it because of the ultrasound images that reveal hands and fingers and toes and beating hearts? Is it because we all need to reckon with the fact that the right of a woman not to be pregnant ought to be weighed against a child’s right not to be killed. No nothing like that. Komisar says abortion should not be taken lightly because of its “emotional burden on women.” No mention of the child at all. No, this is not The Onion or The Babylon Bee. She’s being serious.
In this entire article about the “human cost” of restricting abortion, the killing of the child does not even get a single mention. Not one solitary mention. It beggars belief. And this in the “conservative” opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal.
I understand that the writer is pro-choice and that she doesn’t agree with the pro-life position. But can she not engage at all the main reason why pro-lifers are against abortion? Who is she trying to persuade with this piece? She writes as if the child being killed in an abortion is not even worth mentioning in an article about the “human cost” of abortion rights. It’s astonishing. You would think she might at least try to make an argument against the humanity of the unborn, but she doesn’t even do that!
If I could have a few moments with Ms. Komisar to talk about her article, this is what I would ask her. Since the burdens of motherhood accrue to women after the children are born, why limit the killing to those children that are in the womb? Why not extend the right to kill the child after they are born after the burdens are fully realized? If you think that such a policy would be barbaric and wrong (which I assume you would), then on what basis would you argue that it’s okay to kill that same child while in the womb?
If she could answer those kinds of questions, then we would be getting somewhere. But those are the kinds of questions that I rarely hear pro-choicers like Ms. Komisar answer. Until they do, they can preach to the choir, but I don’t think they will be persuading anyone who isn’t already on their side.
Look at the picture at the top of this post. That little person is what lives inside a mother’s womb. That little person is who emerges through labor and delivery. That little person is what we all once were. Shouldn’t that be front and center in any argument about the “human cost” of abortion rights?