The #MeToo movement has largely come to symbolize a society standing against the misuse, abuse, and wrongful treatment of women who have suffered sexual harassment and abuse. From Hollywood to Washington, to the social media bully pulpit, this movement has rallied to stand up for and empower women who have been wrongfully over-powered.
But only in certain situations.
For all the talk of empowerment and equality #MeToo has strived to create, there’s a hole in the narrative. The abortion industry and its cheerleaders continue to advocate for the very thing #MeToo strives to eliminate.
Abortion is billed as empowerment, but many of its victims will tell you it’s one of the greatest violations a woman can suffer.
New research further proves this point. According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, three out of five women say they had an abortion because they felt pressured.
Women who choose abortion are the silent sufferers — women who felt like they had no other option, women who felt they had to cater to someone else’s happiness over their own child’s survival, women who have been lied to.
As the pro-life march rightly commemorates the lives lost, we should also strive to talk about abortion with these silent sufferers in mind. Their hearts have been broken by lies and misinformation, we have to create a space that speaks truth and offers healing.
Here’s how I think we can better deliver a pro-life message.
Don’t be gruesome
Signage at the March for Life has improved in recent years – we see fewer displays of dismembered body parts and more celebrations of life. Now it’s time to make sure our language matches.
If your goal is to attract more people to the pro-life issue, you have to present a reasonable argument – name the hypocrisy and support your talking points with facts. Bloody body parts, though a reality, will not convince a majority of people, and you risk shaming those who chose abortion and now regret it; bloody body parts will rally your base, and that’s about it.
Instead of shock and awe, accomplish the same goal — of educating and communicating life — by pointing out the hypocrisy and the facts of life. People tend to be more compelled by your cause if you talk about how soon life begins or pointing out major milestones of a developing baby.
Defend women, don’t attack them
Let’s turn our attention to those who continue to peddle this lie.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have gone out of their way to lie to women and declare they are the affordable healthcare solution, particularly in underprivileged neighborhoods. Planned Parenthood recently tweeted that getting an abortion was “safer” than having a child. That’s an egregious lie told to nearly 460,000 followers.
The abortion industry also likes to market its clean facilities and safe procedures, even though most of their clinics aren’t held to the same health standards (i.e. trained staff, up-to-date fire and sanitation codes, etc.) required of a tattoo or ear-piercing parlor.
The women who have chosen to abort their babies are rarely presented with every option, or the reality of the only option they’re sold. Instead of attacking the women who have bought the lie, let’s fight to stop those who are selling it. Women deserve the truth, and they deserve better.
Focus on medical advances
Just like a powerful talking point paints a picture of an idea for the audience, so pictures are changing people’s mind about abortion — especially with 4-D ultrasounds. There is a reason the abortion lobby has fought tooth and nail to prevent mandatory ultrasounds for pregnant women considering abortion. The more women who see their baby’s face, tiny feet, little nose, and even fingernails, the less likely they are to abort — to the tune of nearly 80 percent.
And it’s not just mothers that scientific and technological differences are resonating with. There’s a reason why you see so many young people at the March for Life. In the past few years and decades, breakthroughs from fetal surgery on the baby in the womb, to discoveries that babies can blink or move to music in the womb at just 14 weeks, are changing millennials minds about the gruesome practice.
The pro-life fight is one we must win — for the sake of the babies, for the sake of the silent sufferers. To win this argument is to show compassion, for the mother and for the baby growing inside her. So today as we march, and every day after, let’s fight using technology, poise, and compassion.
Beverly Hallberg (@BevHallberg) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is president of District Media Group.
If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.