In a celebratory video about a practice that terminates hundreds of thousands of lives each year, #ShoutYourAbortion founder Amelia Bonow managed to both suggest abortion was God-ordained and describe pregnancy termination as ending the process of creating “life.”
The video, titled “Kids Meet Someone Who’s Had an Abortion,” showed Bonow explaining to what appeared to be teenagers why she had an abortion as well as refuting common arguments against the practice.
All of her guests agreed with her, although one suggested that it was wrong to have an abortion if the woman was “reckless” in getting pregnant.
“I wouldn’t really say that I was being reckless,” Bonow told the boy. “[…] Mistakes happen.”
When the video showed her speaking with two other teenagers, Bonow revealed that she didn’t use contraception and wound up pregnant.
After a girl asked why, she answered: “Have you ever had two options and one of them, like, seems easier at the time? […] It was the shortcut version.”
Watch the video below:
When the boy, who wrote a paper titled “Abortion Is OK,” indicated that there should be limits on abortion depending on the situation, Bonow disagreed and worried about “all those babies” being alive in the world.
“Do we want people to just have all those babies?” she asked.
After the boy suggested women should put those babies up for adoption, Bonow indicated that violated her bodily autonomy by forcing her to “create life.”
“I feel like if I am forced to create life, I have lost the right to my own life. I should be the one to decide if my body creates a life,” she responded.
Later in the video, she seemed to clarify that she didn’t believe life began at conception but rather “when a person has a baby.”
In describing her abortion, Bonow said it was like a “crappy dentist appointment.”
“They put this little straw inside of your cervix and then inside of your uterus, and then they just suck the pregnancy out,” she told a girl who asked about the procedure.
That practice was a “part of God’s plan,” Bonow said, later joking that she was actually “thinking of Drake when I said that.”
She later reiterated that claim and laughed when the boy said: “like Drake.”
And opposing that practice didn’t make someone “pro-life,” she said. Instead, Bonow suggested that she and left-leaning individuals were actually pro-life since they supported things like government-mandated health care.
The “pro-life” label, she said, was a misnomer because “who would disagree with that statement, right? Like, being ‘pro-life’?” Bonow did not comment on whether people would or would not obviously oppose the literal meaning of “pro-choice.”
She then echoed many abortion advocates in arguing that conservatives weren’t truly pro-life because those individuals didn’t “want to take care of people who have babies that they can’t afford and then are totally poor. They want to deprive people of access to health care.”
However, many who disagree with Bonow, including Heritage scholar Ryan T. Anderson, feel this argument doesn’t hold water. The Catholic Church, perhaps the largest and most adamant pro-life organization, is an enormous source of charity for mothers and children around the world.
In 2011, Anderson and others detailed their and other religious organization’s charitable contributions:
In the United States there are some 2,300 affiliates of the three largest pregnancy resource center umbrella groups, Heartbeat International, CareNet, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Over 1.9 million American women take advantage of these services each year. Many stay at one of the 350 residential facilities for women and children operated by pro-life groups. In New York City alone, there are twenty-two centers serving 12,000 women a year. These centers provide services including pre-natal care, STI testing, STI treatment, ultrasound, childbirth classes, labor coaching, midwife services, lactation consultation, nutrition consulting, social work, abstinence education, parenting classes, material assistance, and post-abortion counseling.
Religious groups also provide crucial services to needy mothers and infants. John Cardinal O’Connor, the late Archbishop of New York, famously pledged to assist any woman from anywhere experiencing a crisis pregnancy, and the current Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, recently renewed Cardinal O’Connor’s pledge. The Catholic Church—perhaps the single most influential pro-life institution in the United States—makes the largest financial, institutional, and personnel commitments to charitable causes of any private source in the United States. These include AIDS ministry, health care, education, housing services, and care for the elderly, disabled, and immigrants. In 2004 alone, 562 Catholic hospitals treated over 85 million patients; Catholic elementary and high schools educated over 2 million students; Catholic colleges educated nearly 800,000 students; Catholic Charities served over 8.5 million different individuals. In 2007, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded nine million dollars in grants to reduce poverty. And in 2009, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network spent nearly five million dollars in services for impoverished immigrants.
But “at the end of the day,” Bonow explained, “it’s my body, and the idea that a group of, like, old white dudes in the government” would prohibit her abortion was wrong.
It’s worth noting that the vast majority of major pro-life organizations in the United States are led by women, including Lila Rose of Live Action, Jeanne Mancini of March for Life, Abby Johnson of And Then There Were None, Penny Young Nance of Concerned Women for America, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and Catharine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life. Some of the most prominent pro-life voices in the media are women as well.
Bonow’s video seemed especially relevant given that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just joined the court and provided a conservative majority that some speculated would result in decisions restricting access to abortion in the U.S.
As IJR Red previously noted, a long list of states passed anti-abortion measures that could provide test cases for higher courts to strike down precedent surrounding abortion.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.
Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication.