Early Thursday morning, I pulled up my podcast app on my phone to listen to that day’s edition of Albert Mohler’s The Briefing. In the podcast, Mohler introduced a Washington Post article about abortion doulas, something I had never heard of before.
As Mohler explained in the episode, doulas have traditionally been the women present as emotional support to mothers during their pregnancies. Abortion doulas, by contrast, offer comfort to women at abortion clinics during their procedures.
“What we face in this truly horrible inversion of morality—not to mention of maternity,” Mohler said, “is a series of training sessions for doulas who are being trained to assist not a woman through the process of childbirth, but a woman through the process of un-childbirth, indeed an abortion.”
Later that day, I read the article for myself. I was also struck by the disturbing connection between birth and abortion doulas. Even more disturbing was the way in which the article seemed to lift up both abortions and births as celebrations of life.
Near the end, after describing one doula’s experience aiding a mother during the birth of her child, the article reads, “Life was beautiful, life was sacred, and it could turn out in so many ways.” It seemed like a strange way to conclude an article intended to support the pro-choice movement. Yet, while affirming births, the language also subtly affirms abortions. The inference is that abortion is a part of the “many ways” life can “turn out.”
Indeed, life is beautiful. But, in this context, the word “life” has taken on a whole new meaning—a dark and unnatural meaning. The word “life,” as used in the article, includes even the concept of death. It suggests that ending life and bringing forth life are one in the same. It encourages a sick sort of delight in death—an experience that, according to the biblical worldview, we can safely call the most jarringly unnatural part of earthly existence. Yet the prose of the article even gives a tragically attractive sheen to the confused tears of women mourning after aborting their children.
It’s a beautifully written article, but perhaps this piece isn’t the right place for beauty. The beauty it appeals to only leads to confusion, blurring the lines between anguish and joy, death and life. Unfortunately, however, this appears to be the only way our culture knows how to cope with death: by calling it beautiful. In that case, I say that this culture needs some lessons in true beauty and a new understanding of what “life” really means.
Leah Hickman is a 2017 graduate of Hillsdale College’s English program. She has written pieces for multiple Hillsdale College campus publications as well as for BreakPoint.org, ChristianAnswers.net/Spotlight, and the Discover Laura Blog. Read more by Leah at aworldofgrasspeople.blogspot.com.
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Publication date: December 1, 2017