Sunday, September 1, 2019
Get rid of that baby. . .
Those were the words Oprah Winfrey spoke to her 83 year old mother as she lay dying. Oprah’s mother, Vernita Lee, 83, died November of 2018 after a life full of struggles. Her relationship with daughter Oprah was “complicated,” to say the least, having had her daughter when she was 17. Strangely enough, Oprah thanked her mother for not doing what Oprah believes is good, right, and salutary -- getting an abortion! The July issue of Oprah's “O” magazine featured prominently “Shout Your Abortion” founder Amelia Bonow in its “Inspiration” section. Oprah is certainly on the more liberal end of Democratic politics as well as on the forefront of feminist causes. It is not insignificant that she lauds the choice and believes that it is equally moral to keeping the child and yet she took the opportunity to offer her thanks to her mother for not taking that choice when she was born.
She had told her mother: "I know it must have been hard for you as a 17-year-old pregnant, scared girl in Mississippi. Many people no doubt told you to get rid of that baby. To have an abortion or give me away. But you didn't. And for that I thank you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. And for that I thank you. And look how it's all turned out." When it was hard for her to think about voicing those words to her mother, Oprah chided herself: "Don't be a hypocrite. If this were anyone else, you'd tell them 'Leave nothing unsaid, and yet you've said nothing."
In a blunt but cruel meme a fetus is pictured saying "Have you ever noticed that those who are in favor of abortion are already born." True. Those who are in favor of the choice to end a life or carry that life to term are already born. They are in favor of making a choice for others that was not made for them. It is the privilege of birth, at least for those who are pro-choice, that they can make this choice to end a life. It is surely a quirk of our times that people are often more upset about how animals are treated than by the routine choice to end the life of the unborn.
But it is hypocrisy that is at the heart of this issue. We choose for ourselves what we would not have granted to those who went before us. We use our liberty to make choices that deny liberty to those against whom those choices are made. We demands rights for ourselves that we refuse to grant to the unborn. We defend the right of choice by holding up the exceptions as the rule and by referring to the hot button circumstances of rape, incest, and the health of the mother -- circumstances that account for a very small minority of the choices to abort a child. I could go on. Of course, those pro-choice are not the only hypocrites. So also are those who insist they are against abortion but who say and do nothing to assist those for whom abortion appears to be the best choice. No, on this issue there are plenty of hypocrites and Oprah is in good company but it is a bad company to be in.