In 1997, my mother was nineteen years old, on a path to throwing her life away, and found herself impregnated by a man she barely knew. He denied her. He denied I was his. Her parents shunned her in extreme disappointment and urged her to have an abortion, because she would be unable to care for me. My mom thought her mind was made up. Abortion. She thought it was her only option. Our nation has made it so easy for vulnerable and hurting women to walk into an abortion clinic without knowing their options. A good Samaritan spoke truth into my mom’s life and helped save my life, but the reality of how close I was to never experiencing life outside the womb is something with which I still wrestle.
As I sit at my desk reading a Teen Voguearticle titled, “Lady Parts Justice League Fights Anti-Abortion Stigma with Humor,” I can’t help but ask myself, am I living in my worst nightmare? My eyes fill with tears of frustration and anger courses through my veins as I force myself to finish reading Solange Azor’s article. I want to understand. What is the purpose and goal of the Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL)?
My conclusion: the goal is to normalize abortion at any stage and for any reason by using humor to ease the tension and emotional trauma that comes hand in hand with the hardest decision of a woman’s life.
Let’s be honest, this group is essentially saying that the murder of an unborn, innocent child is something at which everyone should laugh, just as they would a casual joke. Azor informs us that the Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL) not only believes that abortion should be legal but that it should also be widely socially accepted, regardless of the reason behind it.
One of the most common pro-choice opinions is what I refer to as the “cosmic shrug.” This is when a woman says she is “socially pro-choice and personally pro-life.” Sorry ladies, that isn’t good enough for LPJL. They want it to be so normalized that it is seen as just another routine medical procedure. LPJL uses tactics such as throwing barbecues/parties, staging counter protests, forming fake abortion clinics to draw in protesters, and memes to promote their “Vagical Mystery Tour,” which toured sixteen U.S. cities last summer. Because when someone is murdered, you should just throw a party and celebrate, right?
Abortion isn’t a joke by any definition, and to refer to it as a laughing matter disrespects not only women but all human life. No matter your stance on abortion, when a child is killed in the womb simply because they are still in the womb, it impacts the value of your life.
Abortion is the murder of a human being who has rights and potential. When a child outside the womb is murdered, there is an uproar in society. People demand the highest punishment and feel great sympathy for the family. How is it any different if the child is living in his/her mother’s womb? We wouldn’t dare laugh at a woman who miscarried when six months pregnant, so why are we making it a point to laugh at an unborn child’s life being taken away for any reason?
It would have been so easy for my mother to go to an abortion clinic and make the decision to end my life just because hers had become hard. My mom’s mind was made up, because she didn’t know that there was any other option for her. It took one phone call from one person to give my mom the strength she needed to choose life and to raise me. Here I am 20 years later, and I couldn’t be more thankful. If you ask my mom, saving my life saved hers. My birth is the reason she turned her life around and became a loving mother, kind daughter, and contributing member to society.
With all the joy that my birth brought her, my mom always carried the guilt that she almost ended my life before I even got a chance to see the world. When I found out three years ago, it changed my entire perspective on the topic of abortion. It opened my eyes to the suddenly real and painful repercussions of abortion and how so many people’s lives would look completely different if I wasn’t born. For seventeen years, my mom struggled to forgive herself for almost aborting me. My self-confidence suffered because of it for a prolonged time. I felt that my life wasn’t worth anything to the most important people in my life. The long-term mental impact is something my mom and I are still working through today and through which we will continue to suffer.
It is not a blessing and a gift that my mother was even afforded the option to end my life. It is not a joke that some people believed that I didn’t have the right to my own life. It is not comical that unborn children are being denied that right every day.
The second line of Azor’s article reads, “Yes, abortion can be funny.” As a pro-life woman and a survivor of the abortion epidemic plaguing our country, I am here to inform you that abortion is not funny. So, listen up Lady Parts Justice League, there is a new feminist army in town, and we are here to tell you that your jokes aren’t funny. No one is laughing.
Lillian Knight serves as YWA President at Louisiana State University
A version of this piece was published by the Washington Examiner.