Blog Post

Teen Vogue Thinks Abortion Ought to Be Funny

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

If there was ever a perfect example of why I decided to sit down and write Young Women of Grace for our young women, it’s an op-ed appearing in a recent issue of Teen Vogue that glorifies a group of potty-mouthed feminists whose life work is to make the destruction of innocent unborn human life into a big joke.

The article was written by Solange Azor who refers to herself as the “first intern” of the Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL), an organization founded in 2015 by comedian and activist Lizz Winstead. Azor describes the LPJL as “a group of comedians and performers who use their art to raise awareness about the erosion of reproductive rights” while traveling the county on “Vagical Mystery Tours.”

While serenading herself and her colleagues for making a joke out of the intentional killing of innocent human life, the article is riddled with misinformation designed to manipulate young women into thinking anyone who is opposed to abortion is a “hater” and only people who approve of it are cool.

“Our packed minivan blared Beyoncé to overpower the chants from the stunned anti-abortion protestors and energize the enthusiastic clinic staff,” she writes about one of their clinic visits. “The next eight hours were spent painting fences, counter-protesting the antis, and getting to know the team of abortion providers and escorts. The sun was unforgiving and the protestors unrelentingly dogmatic, but we performed at max energy and passion. We are Lady Parts Justice League.”

Almost every paragraph of her commentary contains at least one factual error. For instance, she praises the group for using comedy to “counter protests at fake abortion clinics” which refers to Pregnancy Care Centers whose important work for women is presented as some kind of trap for unsuspecting women. I guess the 64 percent of women who admit feeling pressured into abortion – many of whom found help and solace at these centers – don’t count.

She goes on to criticize the media for presenting abortion as “serious or somber in nature and . . . as a traumatic guilt-ridden experience for pregnant people,” then adds, “when in fact, research has shown that abortion has little effect on someone’s long-term mental health. She links to a Teen Vogue article detailing a lone study by M. Antonia Biggs, Ph.D., a social psychologist at UCSF, which found no evidence that women who have abortions risk developing depression, anxiety or low self-esteem as a result of the abortion. Sadly, Azor doesn’t provide her young audience with the fact that the study was criticized for bias and low participation rates, among other shortcomings. Nor does she mention the plethora of credible scientific evidence showing serious mental health challenges to women who have had abortions.

Instead, LPJL activities at clinics are described as “brilliant” for pairing comedy with grassroots abortion activists by directly engaging with protestors. For example, they use big posters to obscure the disturbing images of chopped up fetuses often carried by advocates for life. This kind of obfuscation is a prime tactic of feminists when it comes to abortion. Instead of facing the truth and trying to come up with effective arguments, they hide behind labels such as “pro choice” or “pro reproductive rights” so they never have to face it. Just like using posters to cover up images of the slaughter taking place behind them in the clinic, they bend over backwards to make abortion look like anything but what it is – the intentional killing of human life.

Azor also claims that they directly engage with protestors, “asking them questions to expose logical fallacies,” but neglects to present these fallacies. By doing so, young girls read this article and think every word that comes out of the mouth of a pro-life person is a fallacy.

She applauds the LPJL for “gleefully shouting back at their violent language” as if this is what pro-life protestors typically do at clinics, when in reality, the vast majority of protests are peaceful and prayerful. Again, she misrepresents the other side with distortions and innuendo that most young girls will find difficult to discern.

And all of it is written in a way to make them appear cool and the other side as a bunch of backward dolts.

Articles such as these are doing a great disservice to our young women. Instead of  preparing them for a future in the real world, commentary such as Azor’s does not nothing more than set them up for future heartbreak. Speaking as someone who once went down the road of popular promiscuity and “reproductive rights,” I can honestly say that I don’t know even one woman who came out of that lifestyle unscathed.

But one good thing came out of reading this article. It reinforced the belief that I had several years ago when I picked up a copy of Teen Magazine in a grocery store and perused it’s cover full of articles encouraging sex, contraception, and abortion to girls as young as 12. This is just plain wrong, I thought at the time. Girls deserve better than this. Little did I know, in that moment, Young Women of Grace was born.

We can’t expect to silence voices like Azor’s because we live in a pluralistic society where we must lean how to listen to a variety of voices, which is why it’s more important than ever to have our say and to do so boldly and unequivocally.

If you want your daughter to get the facts about who she really is, and not who people are telling her she ought to be, click here.

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