Civil Society: The Darker Side
Ah, civil society. The fabric that holds our republic together. The glue that binds us to our fellow citizens and to our country at large.
As Tocqueville discovered during his trip to the New World, Americans are an industrious, social, and practical people. Always coming together to solve the problems facing their lives. Turning not to Uncle Sam, but to their neighbor, in times of trouble.
Today, we conservatives pine for the days of an active citizenry that helps produce a smaller government. After all, if we all take care of our selves, the government doesn't need to.
Thus, we greet news of private action with great applause and acclaim, news like:
- A local parish organizes to reopen a Catholic school that helps children--Hooray!
- A school bake-sale raises money for a homeless shelter--good for them!
- The college baseball team spends a weekend rebuilding homes that were destroyed in a fire--what nice boys they are!
- A local Bowl-a-Thon raised money so a 14 year old girl could finally afford that abortion she desperately needed--Horra....wait.. what the &*(#!?
That's right, Ricochet. The Bowl-a-Thon raised money so a 14 year old girl could get an abortion. How's that for civil society, eh?
The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), who last month raised over $400,000 for abortions through its Bowl-a-Thon, touted that it provided money for a 14-year-old’s abortion as part of the group's “real stories of abortion access.”
I suppose that this is a better alternative than tax money going to fund abortion mills like Planned Parenthood, but for some reason this just makes me feel sick and depressed.
This group is actually called the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Their call to action is "Fund Abortions Now!" If you can stomach a stroll around the website--I was only able to do so briefly--you're confronted with pictures of smiling teens with happy faces, clearly enjoying their post-abortion life.
Clearly, this isn't the sort of private action and civil society that Tocqueville wrote about. This can't be what the founders envisioned we would do with our freedom of association and assembly.
Is this what the "American Can-Do Spirit" is reduced to?
From the article:
“Getting an abortion means getting a second chance,” NNAF highlights the story of Darcy, a 14-year-old who terminated her pregnancy with the help of the group’s “George Tiller Memorial Fund.”
“I'm pretty smart for 14, I think,” Darcy writes. “I love biology, especially the stuff on animals. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a vet -- I definitely want to start my own practice so that I make enough money and when I have kids I can be home with them,” she said.
After finding out she was pregnant, the girl writes she did not want to tell her mother, “But in the state where I live, minors can't get an abortion without permission from a parent or a judge,” she said. “So I did end up telling her.”
Darcy said a clinic put her in touch with NNAF because the “abortion was going to cost more than our rent.”
“There’s no way that me and my mom could have come up with that much,” she said.
“Getting my abortion means I'm going to get a second chance. And I want to make it count.”
NNAF draws attention to Darcy as one of “the real stories of abortion access,” and how the group is fulfilling its mission “to make sure that all women and girls can get the abortions they seek.”
The above passage saddens me for many reasons, but what struck me is the fact that this group openly celebrates and proclaims its pro-abortion agenda.
Even Planned Parenthood has the decency to pretend that they are more than just an abortion factory. As anyone who has taken an objective look at Planned Parenthood knows, this is rubbish, but the fact that they don't brazenly shout "yes, we love abortions and want to help every girl have one!" reflects something about our culture.
John Kerry and George Bush Jr., when asked about abortion in the 2004 election, both replied with a statement along the lines of "I would like to see fewer abortions". Obviously, Bush Jr. was staunchly pro-life and Kerry was pro-choice, but they both understood that you just can't be openly "pro-abortion".
Until I saw this story, I was under the impression that most pro-choice groups and supporters publicly held some version of this sentiment: "Abortions, while tragic, are necessary at times to help young women avoid a situation that would alter their lives." The actual line would be more articulate than the one I'm able to muster, but you get the point.
On at least some level, pro-choice advocates used to pretend that abortions, while sometimes necessary (in their minds) were at least still unfortunate. What the article above reveals, is an open, unabashed, unapologetic promotion of abortions. As if there were no downsides to a 14 year old girl having an abortion.
I have no remarkable insights or conclusions to draw from this story. In fact, all that I'm left with is a distinct sense of sadness as well as a feeling that somewhere along the line, our civil society has been perverted and that the mores that once made the Republic great, have been turned against her.
Edited for grammar: