Patriarchy and the “war on women”
In the echo chamber of the pro-abortion popular media (which is almost redundant, after all, is any of the popular media pro-life?) common phrases used to disparage the pro-life position are, “forced birth”, “misogynistic ruling class” and “patriarchy”, or “GOP patriarchy” when political parties are included. In a perverse twist of logic, the pro-life stance is seen as anti-woman, denigrating the female to some sort of reproductive vessel at the beck and call of the male elite.
As usual, the opposite is true. Once again, the pro-abortion crowd turns the narrative around and, by using big words such as misogyny and patriarchy with strident conviction, aim to convince the audience that their point is actually true. Nonsense. Using complex academic multisyllabics, aka, “big words”, with authority, does not make a point more right, it simply makes an error more… pretentious (see what I did there?). Our culture of death has, in fact, degraded women to mere sexual objects, consumed in a temporal and selfish pursuit of instant and false gratification without consequence and has actually enabled men, and society in general, to ignore the needs of motherhood and child-rearing, because abortion is so much easier and cheaper.
Popular culture is of no help here. In the post-Roe overturn, there was no shortage of protesters in Handmaid’s Tale costumes, decrying this “assault” on women. Again, the popularity of a silly science-fiction story does not make it right, it just makes the argument more pathetic. The Handmaid’s Tale is just that, silly science-fiction. It is not an allegory for current events and not a prediction of a dystopian future. If one considers our culture of death and needs an allegory or predictor, Logan’s Run and Soylent Green are more apt. But, enough fiction, let’s look at the facts.
Women hold a special place in life and the universe. They are able to, after sexual conjugation with a man, bring a new human life into existence and bring a child into the world. This is a unique and treasured attribute that no man can ever experience, hence, the sacred and unbreakable bond between the mother and her child. In giving birth to children, mothers give birth to the world and our future. Rather than a burden to be mitigated, motherhood is a blessed charge to be venerated and cherished. It is a role of great responsibility and consequence. Indeed, the sexual role and responsibility of the man is very brief and limited. It is the woman who must carry the child to birth, enduring discomforts, hardships and dangers, but these pale in comparison to the awesome power of bringing a child into the world. This is a power, one can fairly say, that is God-like and, in entrusting this power to women, God demonstrates their special and sacred role in society. After all, in Catholicism, Mary, the Mother of God, sits at the highest point of veneration, aside from Jesus Christ Himself. The Word could not have been made flesh and Jesus could not have come into the world and redeemed us all, were it not for His human, female mother. I cannot think of any calling more important than that.
This sacred power of motherhood was very clear to the first-wave feminists, like Susan B. Anthony, who saw the potential for motherhood as empowering and elevating of women. Their cause for suffrage and universal human equality was derived from the view of women as special and treasured individuals, rather than in spite of it. Abortion on demand and without reason, discards this special role of women and destroys their sacred role and responsibility.
We, as a society, have fallen from generations who placed service to others above self and understood that there are more important things on earth and in heaven than the momentary and selfish pleasures of flesh, material objects or other comforts. The “golden rule” of “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” has been replaced by an ethic of “if it feels good, do it”, regardless of the consequence. Is it any wonder that we see mass shootings, drug addiction, pornography, homelessness and crime at epidemic proportions? In a society that condones and even advocates the murder of unborn children as “empowering” women, no other depravity should be surprising. Actions that previously held great consequence, like sex, have had all consequence and responsibility wiped away. In a time of responsibility, consent to sex meant consent to pregnancy – period, point blank. Now, consent to sex is just consent to a few minutes of pleasure. If a human being is created as a consequence, that consequence is easily flushed away with the assistance of one’s local Planned Parenthood, “women’s health center” and any one of a number of euphemistically termed purveyors of child murder. (Of course, this is not intended to address the heinous and despicable situation of rape, which is a far more complicated topic, but one which accounts for barely 0.15% of abortions, or about 1 out of every 1400 abortions. That is beyond the scope of this discussion and the 0.15% for rape, and the purported 1.5% of abortions for maternal health, in no way justify the >98% for the sake of convenience and irresponsibility). It is a telling and very sad fact that the actual violence of abortion between a mother and her unborn child is advocated for, in this culture of death, while the use of an “inappropriate” pronoun when referring to the “gender confused”, is termed “power-based violence” requiring mandatory education classes in the workplace (I kid you not, this is a real thing).
It should not be surprising that there are limited resources for difficult pregnancies and new mothers in challenging situations. It is very clear that there are many issues around support for impoverished mothers, deficiencies in the foster care system and childcare problems in this era. The ready availability of abortion, however, is not a panacea for these problems, but rather it encourages their perpetuation. The pro-abortion crowd frequently argues for abortion because of the economic threat to women of motherhood and childcare. It is ironic that they do not see how this argument, by advocating for the cheap and quick solution, actually discourages the more difficult approach to definitively addressing the challenges of motherhood and childcare.
Finally, the pro-abortion crowd conveniently ignores the very real consequence to mothers of “choosing” abortion. As we discussed, the bond between a mother and her unborn child is sacred and unbreakable. No amount of jingoism, slogans or protests changes that. Undergoing an abortion has serious and permanent consequences for the mother, regardless of how “empowering” the popular media makes it out to be. Women who have undergone an abortion suffer from a greatly increased (81%) incidence of mental health issues and are 110% more likely to abuse alcohol, have a 220% increased use of marijuana and are more than 155% more likely to commit suicide than the general population. This does not include an about 34% increase in anxiety and 37% increase in depression. This is not because of a societal stigma about abortion. It is because abortion is an unnatural and violent act of grave consequence. This is very inconvenient to the abortion industry and is, thus, ignored. Does Planned Parenthood emphasize these psychological consequences and offer forewarning and treatment? I think not. That would hurt their business model.
So, the real tool of the “patriarchy” and “misogynists” is abortion itself. Women are sacred and motherhood is to be cherished. That is the pro-life position and consequence.
Abortion does not make you unpregnant; it makes you the mother of a dead child.
George Mychaskiw II, DO, FAAP, FACOP, FASA
Saint Padre Pio Institute for the Relief of Suffering
School of Osteopathic Medicine