The “civilizational achievement” of killing one’s own child
In an article on the website of channel N1 in which the pro-life movement in Serbia and beyond is maliciously attacked, when asked how these movements came about, feminist activist Mrs. Mališić says that “it is a matter of deeper roots, but that it is an American context and that it is unusual for some organizations from our country to connect with them and be part of that alliance”. We wonder what can be strange about the fact that in the digital world, which has truly become a global village due to the ease and speed of travel and the speed of information exchange, organizations from different countries connect and collaborate. Does Mališić want to deny that her organization also cooperates with related organizations from around the world?
Furthermore, Mrs. Mališić says that it is easy “in periods of crisis to strike at women’s rights” and that there are “obscure, dark people who… look banal, but the problem is their agenda–half of the things are lies and fabrications, they manipulate people and feelings with seductive rhetoric.” We would like to know how the pro-life movement manipulates people and what kind of seductive rhetoric it uses, as well as what exactly are the lies and fabrications that the movement spreads. While we’re waiting for answers to these doubts, we will list a few scientific facts so that the readers can judge for themselves whether this is a matter of lies, manipulation and the like – or not. Please note that our editorial does not pretend or claim to speak for the entire pro-life movement, but we believe that at least the majority of our colleagues in the movement will agree with the following statements.
“My body, my choice”
The pro-life movement does not question the integrity and inviolability of the body of any person, including women. We completely agree with the statement that everyone has the right to dispose of their own body as they see fit. However, the point of divergence with the pro-abortion movement occurs when defining what the baby in the mother’s womb is. At the same time, we also see attempts to dehumanize the unborn human being by using terms such as zygote, embryo and fetus (although these are scientific names for stages of human development, just like infant, toddler, adolescent, adult…).
Whichever word we use, we must first determine what species of embryo, fetus etc. it is in the uterus of a homo sapiens female. It is indisputable that the creature in question is created by human parents, which means that it can only be a human being, and not a puppy, kitten or bunny.
To this, pro-aborts usually admit that it is the offspring of Homo sapiens, but add that “it is not alive” or “it is not a person” because, for example, “it is not aware of itself and its environment”. Let’s take a look at 5th grade biology: the characteristics of living beings include the ability to grow, develop, reproduce, exchange nutrients and react to stimuli from the external environment.
From the moment of conception–the entry of a sperm into the egg, the exchange of genetic material and the formation of the pronucleus, the first divisions and the formation of the morula, and then the blastocyst–what is in the uterus is not just any set of cells, but a highly organized set of cells that grows and develops all the time (which are the characteristics of life – reproduction in homo sapiens does not naturally occur until some fifteen years later), and which also exchanges nutrients (feeds), and in just a few weeks develops the first sense (the development of the sense of touch starts as early as week 8, with the formation of receptors on the face). By the end of the second month of pregnancy (8th week from conception), the embryo has grown into the shape of a human baby and developed most of the key organs, after which it begins to grow rapidly.
Between weeks 10 and 12, which is the legal limit for elective abortion in Serbia, the embryo is about 6 cm long, it has internal organs and muscles, and a beating heart; also, its genitalia are forming, although they cannot yet be seen on ultrasound. In addition, the baby is already moving, but it is too small for the mother to feel its movements. Hence the misconception that the baby “comes to life” (the so-called “quickening”) somewhere in the 4th month, because in the past there were no devices that could see its movements this early.
As for the claim that the unborn baby is “not conscious” and therefore it’s okay to kill it, valuing human life on the basis of consciousness is another slippery slope into an abyss we don’t want to find ourselves in, unless we’re Machiavellian eugenicists who think it is perfectly acceptable to classify people into useful and useless, and to remove the latter and thus lessen the burden on society.
On the other hand, it is not true that the baby is completely unaware of itself and its environment, because it has been proven that babies remember many stimuli to which they are exposed in the womb (tastes, sounds, light stimuli…) and feel the mother’s feelings of happiness, sadness, stress, which reflects on their later psychological and mental health. Thus, a special branch of developmental psychology–prenatal and perinatal psychology–was born.
“You just hate women”
But these medical facts about development are not enough for ardent advocates of the murder of unborn children and, for the lack of other arguments they resort to other accusations, such as that pro-lifers just “hate women” and want to “control their bodies”, or they even openly admit that they want abortion to be legal throughout the pregnancy, until the moment of delivery, and for any reason. IFN editorial appreciates such honesty. If you hold radical views, at least be brave enough to admit them publicly and don’t hide behind the lie about “women in a difficult situation”.
However, there certainly are women in a difficult situation, and in many countries the ones that help these women are the so-called crisis pregnancy centers–non-profit organizations that provide services of free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, help in the form of clothes and baby items, as well as other types of assistance (babysitting, accommodation for pregnant women and new mothers, help with education or finding a job…). Although pro-lifers are accused that they only care about the baby until it is born, and then, for all they care, it can die in poverty, the truth is again quite different. Ironically, pro-aborts who accuse pro-lifers of not caring for children after birth vandalized, burned and sprayed graffiti on dozens of crisis pregnancy centers in the US last year–all under the slogan of “caring for women.”
We often hear other arguments in support of the availability of abortion, and so in the comments to the article on channel N1’s website we read about “orphanages full of unwanted and unloved children” and that it is cruel to give birth to a child that you cannot support. Has abortion solved the problem of poverty in any country in the world, we ask. Even in countries with very liberal abortion legislation, as was the case in the USA until June 2022, and it is still available throughout pregnancy in nearly half of the US states. The women in the article accuse the pro-life movement of being in favor of banning contraception. We won’t go into the pros and cons of birth control right now, but we will ask just two questions:
- Has the easy availability of contraception drastically reduced the number of unplanned pregnancies in even one country?
- Do women have the right to be informed about the side effects of birth control in order to decide whether they want to use it?
Women after abortion
Countless, but truly countless testimonies of women–both those who have had an abortion, and those who almost did –undoubtedly confirm that those women in crisis and unplanned pregnancies actually needed some kind of help and support, and not abortion, because abortion did not solve other problems in their life, since the pregnancy was never the cause of those problems, but merely happened at an “inconvenient” moment. When other problems in a pregnant woman’s life are solved–unfinished school, job or career problems, partner relationships, housing issues… –she accepts the baby she is carrying inside her and decides to give birth.
So many post-abortive women have said that they were insufficiently informed about the consequences of abortion, about the life they carried inside. So many of them said “if only I had known…. I would never have done that.” In an excellent essay on the pro-life movement, former feminist Frederica Matthews Green cites the words of a post-abortive woman that perfectly illustrate society’s attitude toward pregnancy:
“Everyone around me was saying they would ‘be there for me’ if I had the abortion, but no one said they’d ‘be there for me’ if I had the baby.”
The pro-life movement takes care of women’s rights and one of its goals is to properly inform women about the abortion procedure and the consequences for her psychological and physical health. It is true that the baby is not a part of the mother’s body, but abortion also affects the woman’s body because it forcibly stops the natural reproduction process of the human species, which can have many unwanted consequences.
What is real feminism?
Those who truly care about women’s health will not push them to have an abortion as if it were nothing, or present it as the only “way out”, but rather provide them with more options, and above all, accurate information to which every woman is entitled. Pro-aborts who want to silence the pro-life movement, who claim that abortion is a “civilizational achievement” and jump to their feet in rage at any attempt to debate this extremely important issue, do exactly the opposite, and openly say that women do not need other options except abortion. Who then truly cares about women’s rights, health and well-being?
The first feminists did not deny that child bearing is a unique feature of women, an inseparable part of femininity and female nature. Two of the most famous feminists in history–Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton–were openly against abortion. Susan B. Anthony said that abortion is “child murder” and “infanticide.” Alice Paul, Victoria Woodhull (the first female candidate for the president of the USA), Elizabeth Blackwell (the first woman with a medical degree in the USA), Lucretia Mott, Sarah Norton are just some of the names of brave women who fought for the true rights of women in society–and not for the “right” of women to kill their own children in order to be equal with men. After all, who decided that the non-birthing male body is the norm in society that women should conform to?