The reason we’re not, according to Pollitt, is that we have all essentially been brainwashed by a small minority of pro-life activists. Only 7 to 20 percent of Americans tell pollsters they want to totally ban abortion, but that loud minority has beaten the rest of us into submission with their fetus posters and their absolutism and their infiltration of American politics. They have landed us in the era of the “awfulization” of abortion, Pollitt writes, where even pro-choicers are “falling all over themselves” to use words like “thorny,” “vexed,” “complex,” and “difficult” instead of doing what they should be doing, which is saying out loud that abortion is a positive social good.
Pollitt aims her book at the “muddled middle” who have been infected by the awfulization without thinking about it that much. To win them back she’s crafted a lengthy Socratic response dissecting the contradictions on the pro-life side. If you know Pollitt’s writing at all, it’s no surprise what she believes. But by the end of the book, it’s a surprise to realize that while the fight over abortion has been going on for more than 40 years, we’ve all forgotten what’s at stake. The left especially has lost sight of its original animating purpose.
Amazing rationalization.Trying to make abortion as easy on the conscience as throwing out bathwater is despicable and nauseating. Abortion should be a wrenching decision and experience. To trivialize the killing of an unborn child is unconscionable and even many liberal women who support abortion rights will violently disagree with the premise of this book.
While it is true that only a small percentage of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in all instances, a near majority – or a majority in some polls – believe that it should be severerly restricted. It is hardly a fringe position. And if pro-life activists want to try and make women feel guilty about getting an abortion, you can easily justify it by pointing out that it saves lives.