Kavanaugh vs. the Media Campaign to ‘Normalize’ Abortion


Feminist media are pushing a campaign to “normalize” abortion in the name of the “vulnerable” – minus the unborn.

On Monday, just hours before President Trump announced federal judge Brett Kavanaugh as his pick for the Supreme Court, women’s sites began advertising a new campaign by abortion groups: #OneInFour. That hashtag represented that, according to abortion supporters, nearly one in four women will have an abortion.

The original number came from the Guttmacher Institute, once associated with Planned Parenthood, which found in 2017 that “Nearly one in four women in the United States (23.7%) will have an abortion by age 45.”

Frantic after Trump promised to appoint pro-life judges, abortion groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Shout Your Abortion, and Advocates for Youth latched onto the number to argue that abortion is “normal.” They asked women to use #OneInFour while either sharing their own abortion stories or supporting other women who were, on social media.

Failing that, they could rely on publicity from women’s sites and magazines.

Glamour contributor Abby Gardner stressed that the campaign started in anticipation of a “fight over one of the nation’s most divisive issues” or “a woman’s right to choose and the possible overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the U.S.

The overturning of that case could happen, abortion groups worried, with a new conservative justice. But not if they could stop it.

“When women share their abortion stories, we see that there is not one type of woman who makes the choice to end her pregnancy,” Gardner wrote, before later warning that the “future of access to safe and legal abortion is most certainly in jeopardy.”

What Gardner missed is that, to the pro-life movement, ending a pregnancy means ending a life – and that it’s unborn human persons who are most certainly in jeopardy.

One in four is a big number. But here are some others: one million babies are aborted per year, and 60 million in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade, according to pro-life leaders. 2016 election exit polls found that more than one in five voters considered Supreme Court appointments the “most important factor.” Those voters favored Trump. And then there are Gallup poll numbers, released in June, that revealed Americans who identify as pro-life jumped to 48% to tie with the 48% who call themselves pro-choice.

Another important number is one in three. That’s the number abortion groups and the media touted just four years ago to say one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.

#OneInFour proved that prediction wrong.

Several big names participated in the campaign on Twitter and Instagram. According to the women’s sites, they included women like former Glamour and Self editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, writer Jamilah Lemieux, actresses Paola Mendoza and Amy Schumer, and activist Monica Lewinsky.

Not a single one of the women expressed regret over her abortion – which routinely happens, even if the media ignore the voices of regret.

Linking back to Glamour, Bustle writer Caitlin Cruz wrote the campaign “aims to put political pressure on senators as Trump’s nominee will face questioning” and “normalize abortion.”

“Kavanaugh’s stance on abortion isn’t clear as he hasn’t come out for or against Roe v. Wade,” Cruz wrote, “but he was involved in the case of a migrant teenager in Texas seeking an abortion.” In that case, Kavanaugh ruled against a minor in the U.S. illegally who wanted an abortion.

Teen Vogue’s headline read, “Abortion-Rights Hashtag Signals Opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination.” Inside, Contributor McKenzie Schwark applauded the “users making the point that abortion is a normal part of reproductive health care.”

The “one in four is no small number — which shows why keeping abortions safe and legal is critical,” she argued, and, “Overturning Roe v. Wade would affect the most vulnerable populations.”

What Schwark didn’t say is that overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t outlaw abortion; it would leave abortion up to the states. She also, presumably, didn’t count the unborn or women who regret abortion, in those “vulnerable populations.”

But even if a majority of women sought abortions, that wouldn’t normalize it. How could the ending of a life ever be normal?

That’s what these sites forget: the pro-life perspective shared by Catholics (hopefully that includes Kavanaugh). And so whether it’s one in three or one in four, the pro-life movement will always work towards none at all.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


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Katie Yoder serves as the associate culture editor at NewsBusters and is a columnist for CatholicVote.org. She is also the Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow for the Media Research Center’s culture division. Follow her on Twitter @k_yoder.

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