A little while ago Wesley J. Smith had this post about a truly creepy web site (funded by the State of Massachusetts) that contains happy talk about abortion for teens in Massachusetts. The site features a fictional, smiling teenage girl named Maria who, with her upbeat friends, tells young readers how they can use the judicial bypass option to circumvent Massachusetts' parental consent laws. Sort of like The Electric Company. Only with abortion.
Maria tells the kids, "Abortion is more common than you might think and safe and effective though some people may experience temporary discomfort."
One of her friends says, "It may be really hard for you to imagine talking to either your parents or a judge about getting an abortion, but there are people who can help you through it." (No surprise: The "people who can help you through it" means Planned Parenthood, to whom the sites' teen visitors are directed.)
Another one says, "This really can be done and young women do this all the time here in Massachusetts."
A poster for the site hangs in the office of a public school nurse (and I'll bet she's not the only one). The principal responds to criticisms of the site by saying that he's glad that at least it's sponsored by the state. That means it's probably providing "balanced information."
Well. Leaves one almost speechless, doesn't it. Perhaps their slogan should be, "Yes we can!"
My question is this: Suppose you told a pro-choicer about this site in the hopes that it would influence him somehow towards the pro-life position by shocking him with its extremism. What would you hope would happen, and why?
WJS's hard-core readers illustrate the fact that one can't hope for anything from the truly hard-core. No surprise there.
But what about the not-so-hardcore? I would hope for a couple of things. First, the exceedingly light-weight treatment of the topic just might make someone stop and think about the fact that abortion is not a lightweight matter. In some ways that admission can be a dangerous inoculation. If a person gets through the moment and learns to make frowny faces and talk about what a "serious decision" abortion is while at the same time approving of it, it will be that much harder to reach him. But the moment of shock--"They're talking about this like it's getting your ears pierced. What are they thinking?"--might be an opportunity for the person to ask himself why an abortion isn't just like getting your ears pierced.
Second, there is the extreme oddity of the extra push that the left puts into promoting abortion. This is an invasive surgical procedure. It is potentially dangerous to the young woman. Even people who are pro-choice and believe there should be a judicial bypass option for a parental consent law presumably think that this should be used only in some "extreme circumstances," such as situations where the parents are bad people. A non-hard-core pro-choicer might well think there was something wrong with the situation (perhaps an undermining of the whole point of a parental consent law) if "young women do this all the time in Massachusetts." And why is the state itself sponsoring such a pro-abortion approach and trying to induce young people to circumvent their parents? The State of Massachusetts isn't (as far as I know) sponsoring a web site to tell girls how they can get around household rules in order to attend rock concerts or even get tattoos. In fact, in most states it's actually a crime to try to get a minor to break parental rules. What's with all the enthusiasm for anything related to sex? What's with all the enthusiasm for abortion? And why the deceptive language, the definition of abortion as "when the contents of the womb (uterus) are removed"?
One might have some hope that the positively worshipful attitude towards sex and death on the part of his fellow pro-choicers, the positive encouragement of girls in a single direction, might occasion a reaction. "Wait a minute. Why are they being like this? Don't they realize this could be destructive for the girl? Is this really caring for young people?" And once the ugliness of the pro-abortion mindset truly comes home, this might occasion something like rethinking or even repentance.
Perhaps it is overly optimistic even to suggest that this might happen. Perhaps no vague feeling of horror will ever come over any pro-choicer who encounters this story. Or if it does, perhaps his thoughts will go no farther.
But we can hope and pray that it will and that some good may come of evil.