After former Planned Parenthood employee Abby Johnson spoke the truth about the abortion industry at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, corporate media immediately went into attack mode, setting out to poke holes in her speech, all while affirming the message Johnson intended to send: The only way to defend abortion is to deny it.
The story Johnson shared on the RNC stage was one of denial, and how she ignored the reality of abortion until she witnessed it for herself. Only after seeing what violence in the womb really looks like, even smells like, Johnson said, did she realize what she had been a part of.
“For most people who consider themselves pro-life, abortion is abstract. They can’t conceive of the barbarity,” Johnson said. “For me, abortion is real. I know what it sounds like, what it smells like. I’ve been the perpetrator … to these babies … to these women.”
The next day, Washington Post Style Columnist Monica Hesse set out to disprove Johnson’s claims, only to illustrate them perfectly. “As a reporter covering women’s health care, I’ve witnessed at least 20. My friends have had them,” Hesse writes, laying out her abortion bona fides. She says Johnson had to use “dramatic terms” to tell her story, and could only “describe abortion as a horror show because the alternative would have been too banal to achieve the effect she desired.”
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If Johnson’s description of an abortion procedure seemed “dramatic” or akin to a “horror show,” that’s because that’s what an abortion is. The reality is, abortion is a violent act. It ends in the loss of life. To describe it as “banal,” as Hesse does, is more of an exaggeration or a misrepresentation than any of the rhetoric Johnson used.
As for one of her other seemingly horrifying claims, that doctors piece together fetal remains to make sure the abortion is complete — that’s true. But it’s not some ghoulish jigsaw puzzle done on a lark. It’s because an incomplete abortion could be dangerous to a patient’s health, and abortion doctors care about women’s lives.
Johnson didn’t have to describe a routine part of the abortion procedure as a “ghoulish jigsaw puzzle,” to conjure up that image in mind of her audience. Hesse came up with that image herself after hearing Johnson laying out the facts. Johnson was simply describing what Planned Parenthood locations call “Products of Conception” rooms, “where infant corpses are pieced back together to ensure no extra body parts remain in the mothers.” That may be a horrifying statement to many, but it’s not a dramatization of what happens during an abortion. It’s reality, as Hesse even admits herself.
The bigger problem for Hesse, and for other media outlets who rushed to run pro-abortion interference with their fact checks, is that their euphemisms of “women’s rights” and “reproductive justice” appear thin and feeble when the pro-life argument is spelled out like it was in Johnson’s speech. What does one say to dispute the description of “an unborn baby fighting back, desperate to move away from the suction”?
Even feminist and abortion advocate Camille Paglia admits, “the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand,” adding that “pro-choice Democrats have been arguing from cold expedience, they have thus far been unable to make an effective ethical case for the right to abortion.”
So instead of trying to make an honest, ethical case for the right to abortion, they deny facts about what an abortion really is. Just like Johnson did, until she couldn’t.