Recognizing that the primary beneficiaries of abortion are men, Planned Parenthood has decided to launch an ad campaign targeting men as key players in exercising a woman’s right to choose. The script of the advertisement was leaked today:
Black and white close-up of a sincere, nervous young man. He begins in a reedy voice:
YOUNG MAN: When Susie said she was pregnant, I panicked, I didn’t know what to do…I just wasn’t ready…
Fade out, and is replaced by a serious looking middle aged man.
MIDDLE AGED: When our Megan came home from college and told her mother and me that she was pregnant, I remembered of all those years that I worked and saved for her tuition… wasted.
Fade out, and he is replaced by a grim 40 something.
40-ISH: When my girlfriend told me she was pregnant I thought, “Man! My wife’s gonna kill me!”
Fade to black
ANNOUNCER: Is her pregnancy ruining your plans? Does it make you feel cornered and not in control? Don’t you wish the problem would just go away?
As the announcer speaks, fuzzy, silent, black and white images show YOUNG MAN sitting in a corner looking anguished, running his hands through his hair; MIDDLE AGED on his feet, emphatically arguing with a silent, seated girl, her downcast face invisible to the camera; 40-ISH furiously smoking a cigarette, talking into a cell phone, trying to keep his voice down so no one will hear.
ANNOUNCER: There is a way out. Millions of men, just like you, have absolved themselves of responsibility thanks to… Abortion. Abortion is legal, affordable, and for you, it is safe and painless. Abortion. Take back control. Make sure she makes the right choice.
As the announcer finishes, upbeat music starts to play. Then the men reappear in the same order, but in color, with open, pleasing, park-like backgrounds.
YOUNG MAN (confident and smiling): Abortion saved me from eighteen years of child support.
MIDDLE AGED (with conviction): Abortion saved my plans for my little girl.
40-ISH (expansive): Abortion saved my hide!
ANNOUNCER: Abortion: Saving your hide since 1973.
OK, so this is an adolescent prank, but after almost forty years of legalized abortion we know by experience that the image of empowered young women descending like Athena upon Planned Parenthood clinics to claim their autonomy is a myth. Real life abortion is about fear and coercion. More often than not, women choose abortion under emotional, social, and economic pressure. Women choose abortion feeling either desperately alone, or manipulated by boyfriends, husbands and fathers who prefer making a $400 investment to a $400,000 one. Women choose abortion while being fed misinformation about the risks it poses to themselves, and about the stage of development of the fetus within them.
Calling an act preformed under circumstances of ignorance, manipulation, and fear a “choice” does violence to language, but such a ploy is necessary in order to mask violence to women.
David Monahan, LC studies for the priesthood in Rome. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org