Human injustice cannot abide the truth, cannot endure when the truth is widely known and willingly embraced. To establish itself in a society, injustice needs falsehood, deception and willful or innocent ignorance.
We’ve seen those principles at work time and again — in the fabricated news that the Russian Communists published in Pravda, in the Soviet Potemkin villages, in the old claims of apartheid propagandists that South Africa was all but uninhabited prior to the arrival of European colonists, in the racist justifications and rationalizations for chattel slavery and segregation in the U.S., and in the Nazis’ demented joke, “Arbeit macht frei,” that hung over the gates of Auschwitz and other death camps.
The same dynamic has been observed in the movement in support of the legal killing of unborn children. In the campaign to legalize abortion, deception and mendacity were chief weapons, as was explained by the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a leader in the fight for legal abortion who later repented of his former crimes.
In his essay, “Confession of an Ex-Abortionist,” Nathanson recalled the tactics of the pro-abortion movement prior to 1973. “Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated,” Nathanson wrote, “we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60 percent of Americans were in favour of permissive abortion. This is the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority.”
They also faked the number of illegal abortions in the U.S. “The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000.
“These false figures,” Nathanson explained, “took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law.”
Big Abortion still relies on many of the same untruths that the pro-abortion movement has been spreading for decades. Two examples of persistent pro-abortion myths, as Justin Dyer recently explained in National Review, are that “abortion was a common-law liberty at the time of the American founding,” and that “the primary purpose of anti-abortion laws in the 19th century was to protect women rather than the lives of unborn children.”
Those two myths are ultimately the brainchild of Cyril Means, a New York Law School professor and legal counsel for the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), who introduced these pseudo-historical notions in two papers published in 1968 and 1971.
No surprise, Means’ scholarship in those papers (or pseudo-scholarship, we must rather say) forms part of the Supreme Court’s rationale in support of its infamous four-decades-old Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton declarations that American women have a constitutional right to kill, or to hire someone to kill, their unborn babies for virtually any reason.
Page 2 of 2 - Pernicious myths and deceits can only be rooted out through knowledge, which requires a firm commitment to the truth and a courageous intellectual honesty that is willing to suffer even vilification and ostracism when, as is often the case, the majority are ignorant of the truth and express hostility when their erroneous beliefs are challenged.
It also requires the willingness to do the hard work of reading and studying history. For those who want to begin to learn the truth of abortion in U.S. history, one very helpful resource can be found at the website, “Horatio Robinson Storer, M.D. (1830-1922),” found at Horatiostorer.net.
The site is the work of Frederick N. Dyer, author of a lengthy and detailed biography of Horatio Storer, known as the father of American gynecology. Dyer also has written a second, shorter work, “The Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion,” which tells the story of how Dr. Storer, moved both by his scientific conviction that human life begins at conception and his deep compassion for women who had been victimized by abortionists, began a successful movement to abolish abortion. Much of the primary source material on which his books are based can be found at Horatiostorer.net.
Dyer often observes that most Americans living today owe their very existence to Dr. Storer’s commitment to establishing just laws founded upon the truth. Breaking down the falsehoods that are the foundation of the regime of legal abortion so that the truth can be unleashed is the least we can do in return.
Jared Olar may be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the newspaper.