After the Supreme Court reversed its ruling on Roe v. Wade and several states restricted abortion, author Alexandra DeSanctis said she hopes the ruling will lead to a restoration of the family.
DeSanctis, who co-wrote the book “Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing,” appeared with her co-author Ryan T. Anderson in a June 28 interview for EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.
“I don’t think we can have a really pro-life culture—I don’t think we can end abortion in this country until we have a revitalization of marriage and the family. Marriage is the safest place for a child to be conceived,” DeSanctis said.
“When children are aborted, it’s almost always outside the context of marriage, because when you have a mother and a father committed to each other, they’re far more likely to commit to their children,” she said.
Abortion has not only torn apart the bodies of unborn children, but it has also torn apart the politics of our nation, said Anderson. “It’s pitted men against women, it’s pitted parents against their children, it’s pitted employers against their employees.”
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—the seminal 1973 legal precedent that largely legalized abortion in the United States—many corporations announced they would be willing to pay for their employees to travel and obtain out-of-state abortions because they want their employees to get back in the workforce, Anderson said.
He asked rhetorically if companies would be willing to pay for their female employees who choose to give birth.
In contrast, a Texas-based insurance company promised to cover employees’ expenses related to having a child.
Buffer Insurance said in a Facebook post on June 27 that it would provide its employees with paid maternity and paternity leave, as well as pay for the medical costs of giving birth to or adopting a baby.
The insurer also offered to furnish those policies to other employers who are interested in providing such benefits to their employees.
Abortion’s Impact on American Life
“Everything abortion has touched, it has corrupted,” Anderson said, explaining that the issue of abortion corrupted constitutional law, the confirmation process for Supreme Court justices, even political parties, and adversely impacted the culture and the medical profession.
“We used to have two political parties that were pro-life, neither of which was committed fundamental injustice, a fundamental human rights violation, ” he said. But due to the abortion issue, many voters feel trapped and feel that one political party “just takes them for granted.”
Moreover, abortion is discriminatory to unborn girls and unborn children with disabilities for whom “rates of lethal discrimination in the womb” are higher, he added.
DeSanctis said that unborn children with Down syndrome are perfectly worthy of life. If they are born, they say they are happy with their lives, and 98 percent of them love themselves and their lives, she said. “Their parents are almost always happy to have chosen life, regardless of whatever suffering their life might entail.”
Gender Equality in the Workplace
“We live in a culture that that tells women that their body is defective, that the male body is the norm, and that there’s something odd or problematic about the female ability to become pregnant … that we need this kind of societal imposition of abortion so that women can have bodies that are more like men,” she said.
DeSanctis believes that this type of notion creates “a really damaging culture” that in some fashion attacks the relationship between men and women and has had a very significant impact on the economy.
“The workplace very much, with some notable exceptions, treats the male body as the norm and the male way of being alive, let’s say, as the norm—not becoming pregnant, not staying home to take care of children, for the most part,” she said. “And that’s sort of the norm of the ideal worker.”
That is why companies would rather pay for an abortion than for maternity leave or other arrangements for working mothers, or just incur the cost of finding replacement workers for women who leave the workforce to stay home and be mothers, she explained.
The original Roe v. Wade ruling put in place the notion that true equality of men and women is “sameness,” which means that in order to be equal, men and women have to be the same, DeSanctis said, citing Erika Bachiochi, a legal scholar and fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in Washington.
Men can easily walk away from the consequences of sex, even though doing so is irresponsible and lacking in virtue, DeSanctis said. But for women, one consequence of sex can be pregnancy.
In order to walk away from this consequence, women have to choose abortion, which means they have to participate in this “lethal violence” which is horrible for the child and the woman, she pointed out.
DeSanctis does not think that all women should stay home with children all the time. “That’s not the goal,” she said.
According to data, most women want to stay home, or work part-time to take care of their children, DeSanctis said. A lot of women who have abortions do not really want to abort their babies, but they do because of financial difficulties or because they are coerced by their parents or their partner, she added.
If abortions become harder to obtain, societal expectations about what a pregnant woman is supposed to do may shift, she said.
Morality Versus Law
Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said he believes that abortion took its toll on American law because it ushered in the idea that morality should be separated from law, which means that a person may personally oppose abortion, but be politically pro-choice, Anderson said.
“This is foreign to the American political tradition,” he said.
Anderson said he agrees with Martin Luther King Jr.’s opinion that “for a law to be just, it needs to square with morality.”
In his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” King wrote, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. … An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
Anderson said that every piece of legislation needs to reflect the natural law that’s at the heart of the American founding.
“Think about the Declaration [of Independence]. ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and amongst these is the right to life,'” he said. “That’s been denied—those truth claims have been denied to the unborn for the past 49 and a half years, and now we have the opportunity to finally get it right.”
Roe v. Wade was akin to certain past laws that were unjust because they violated the natural rights of African Americans by discriminating against them based on their skin color, and that law had to be fixed, Anderson explained.
Anderson said that pro-life people are in favor of reproductive choice, but only before reproduction has actually taken place.
“The way that you exercise your reproductive choice is by choosing whether or not to engage in the type of action that can result in reproduction,” he said.
If a woman is contemplating an abortion, it is not a reproductive choice because reproduction has already taken place, he noted.
Therefore, Anderson asserted that many people who claim to be pro-choice are actually pro-abortion. For several weeks after a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public, pro-life pregnancy resource centers have been vandalized and in some cases set on fire, Anderson said, calling it “the double standard.”
These pregnancy centers provide assistance to women who experience unplanned pregnancies and voluntarily come to these centers for help to exercise their choice for life, he said.
Bill Pan contributed to this report.