Does abortion empower a woman?
Based on polls that ask Americans their attitudes about abortion, I think half would answer “yes” to that question, and half would answer “no”.
But what if we posed that question to a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy?
She might ask for clarification about what we mean by the word “empower.”
So if we ask Dictionary.com, it defines empower as “to enable or permit.”
So the question to the woman then becomes, “Does abortion enable or permit you to….?”
We have to complete the question with an object, or an objective.
An abortion advocate might complete the question by answering it this way: “Abortion enables or permits a woman to achieve her career dreams.”
A pro-lifer might retort, “Are you saying if a woman doesn’t choose abortion that she won’t be able to achieve her career dreams? Because I know of countless examples that prove that’s not the case.”
But I think there’s a better way to finish that question – “Does abortion enable or permit you to….?” – that leads to a more profound answer.
If we ask the question to a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, and we ask it in the context of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the question then becomes, “Does abortion enable or permit you to progress toward self-actualization?”
Recall Maslow’s Hierarchy:
We could talk about abortion within any level of the hierarchy, but for this article I want to focus on only one aspect within self-actualization: morality.
We might ask the woman, “When you were growing up, were you taught that it is moral that in order to advance toward an important achievement in your life that you had to cause others to lose for you to reach that achievement?”
I think the vast majority of women would answer “no” to that question. At least I hope so.
In other words, the climb up the hierarchy to self-actualization cannot be filled with any instances of, “I win, you lose.”
Win-lose in human interactions means the dignity of the human on the losing end is diminished.
Win-lose is immoral.
Here’s what I think is very good news for those of us who oppose abortion.
If the vast majority of women facing unexpected pregnancies would agree, and I think they would, that another person shouldn’t have to lose at the game of life in order for them to win at the game of life, then we have a solid foundation to work with to persuade them that abortion is not the answer to them achieving self-actualization.
Clearly, the preborn human loses in an abortion.
The question then becomes, “How do we effectively work with that solid foundation to persuade abortion-determined women to change their minds and choose life?”
Many of the ways pro-lifers think this should be done are actually ineffective.
We’ll explore a proven better way in future articles.
This article was published in Heroic Media‘s weekly newsletter