Since early May and the leaking of the draft decision that was made public on 24 June, liberal circles have been in a panic and feminists outraged, and they expressed their dissatisfaction through protests, attacks on crisis pregnancy centers, rallies in front of the houses of Supreme Court justices, and even an attempt to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh.
The Serbian media also covered the issue a lot–sadly, mostly spreading falsehoods and half-truths in the process. Namely, it is not true that by overturning Roe the “right to abortion” is abolished; rather, it now returns to the jurisdiction of individual states, with 22 of them likely to introduce abortion restrictions, and 24 to retain liberal laws on abortion (of these, five states have already adopted extremely liberal abortion laws). Scaring the public with the “terror of a fanatical religious minority and privileged men”, as we’ve had the opportunity to read in the press, is ridiculous and malicious, especially if we know that seven of the nine white male Supreme Court justices voted for the legalization of abortion, while today a different decision was delivered by a court which also includes women (a Puerto Rican and a white woman) and an African American man. How is this the terror of “white supremacists” and “privileged men”?
The media have also been quick to report untruths, such as false allegations about Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was acquitted of charges of abusing his female colleagues at college, as they were not proven and were based on oral statements from the alleged victims, one of whom later admitted to falsely claiming that she had been raped.
The next item subject to manipulation is public opinion figures. Contrary to the statements that we were able to read in the media (e.g. that 58% of Americans are in favor of the “right to abortion” and 28% against), a Gallup poll showed that almost half of US women support the right to life; another poll revealed that six in ten Americans favor limiting abortion to the first trimester. According to the Pew Research Center, only 19% of Americans want unrestricted access to abortion until birth, with no exceptions or restrictions. If half of the American public is in favor of abortion and the other half is in favor of the right to life, there can be no talk of any “terror of a fanatical religious minority”, nor can we say that “the majority in the court is still made up of minority America”. Just because someone has a different view of an issue does not mean they are a bigot, not to mention the label of “religiousness”. How exactly are organizations such as Feminists for Life, Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, Secular Pro-Life, etc.–religious?
That overturning Roe “will set America back half a century” can only be said by someone whose goal is to raise panic and foster fear. By reversing that decision, America is actually taking a step forward, in accordance with the latest scientific achievements. Namely, the Roe decision was made before the widespread use of ultrasound and the immense development of fetology, as well as before the birth of prenatal and perinatal psychology. New scientific knowledge about the psycho-physical development of the fetus unequivocally confirms that it is a person and not a “part of the mother’s body”. Overturning Roe means righting an historical wrong and an injustice, both when it comes to lost babies, and their mothers.
Too many women say that they were not sufficiently informed about abortion, and that they would not have chosen it had they known what it really entails. Women have the right to be informed about all aspects of any procedure proposed to them in order to make the best decision for themselves. By hiding the truth about abortion and dehumanizing unborn babies, we do an injustice to the women for whose rights we so vocally advocate.
Also, we read in the media that those who support the right to life “just want children to be born” and don’t care about them after that, which is an outright lie. That’s why abortion advocates show how much they care about women and, in protest of the court’s decision, over the past 46 days they vandalized, destroyed and set fire to as many as 52 crisis pregnancy centers, where pregnant women receive free examinations and ultrasounds, baby supplies, hospital referrals and even more permanent types of help, such as education and assistance with employment.
Black babies are aborted at nearly five times the rate of white babies. Behind the support for easier access to abortion for poor women of color stand eugenics and racism, which go back to the Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger. And behind the stance that abortion is necessary for women stands misogyny, which says that women are incapable of finishing school, building a career and leading a fulfilling life–and having a baby at the same time. True feminism knows that women are capable, smart and strong enough to do all those things and have a baby, and the task of society is to help them in this.
Unfortunately, the one-sided approach to reporting in the Serbian media means that local readers are not informed about the multitude of pro-life organizations in the USA that have been helping women in crisis pregnancies for decades, and in recent weeks have been preparing even more intensively for this moment. They know their work doesn’t end here, rather that it’s just beginning, and they promise to step up their efforts to continue helping women, children and families. Abortion will not disappear now, but at least a lot fewer babies will die in the womb, and it is up to us to build a society where every baby is welcome.