Elizabeth Banks draws a blurry pro-choice line

The Center for Reproductive Rights released a video January 20, part of their Draw The Line Campaign. This particular video features actress Elizabeth Banks, who tells the story of “Rebecca,” a physically abused college student who chooses to abort the child conceived with her abusive boyfriend. Birth control failure is blamed.

Banks is a versatile and talented actress. I’ve only seen three of her movies, but have been impressed by her work. She’s great (and nearly unrecognizable) in The Hunger Games series. Her work in Love & Mercy as Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s rescuer girlfriend Melinda Ledbetter was excellent. As Frankie, the abandoned-by-her-father-recovering-alcoholic-single-mom in People Like Us, she was stellar.

And she’s gorgeous.

Unquestionably, featuring Banks in a pro-choice video was a smart PR move by CRR. I guess Rosanne Barr wasn’t available.

Rebecca’s story, told with compassion, gentle smiles and knowing glances, is not only designed to support a woman’s legal right to choose an abortion for any reason. A subtle but clear point is the undermining of those who oppose abortion-on-demand by the inclusion of Rebecca’s best friend in the story. She has always been “against abortion” we are told, yet was willing to put aside her own feelings to be supportive, or non-judgmental, of Rebecca’s decision to end the pregnancy. This friend is present when Rebecca takes her abortifacient pills, and phones her mom with the news.


Few things arouse passions more quickly than abortion. Those on the Left accuse those on the Right of lacking compassion for the woman. Those on the Right accuse those on the Left of lacking compassion for the child. Without a doubt the reasons a woman chooses to abort are many.

If, however, we want to discuss the issue of abortion we should be honest about how the abortion procedure takes place, especially beyond the taking a pill stage. Second and third trimester abortions, though a small portion of all abortions, are nothing short of gruesome.

In 2013, Dr. Anthony Levatino, himself an abortion provider, testified before the U.S. House of Representative Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. He described a procedure he personally had performed more than 100 times, the Suction Dilation and Evacuation. This is his testimony in part. [GRAPHIC]

With suction complete, look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the business end are located jaws about 2 1/2 inches long and about 3/4 of an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby [interesting word choice] can be in any orientation or position in side the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can. At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft, so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeze the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard–really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard one again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs. [quoted in Charles Camosy, Beyond Abortion Wars, p 62]

Arms, legs, intestines, hearts, and lungs are not part of what WebMB euphemistically calls “uterine tissue.” That’s a crock. Human beings conceive human beings. Human women give birth to humans. A nine-month human pregnancy does not end in the birth of a turtle, tiger or pterodactyl.

Saline abortions are hardly less offensive.

Philosophically, Camosy nails it:

Persons are not “things,” or “objects,” with merely contingent value based on how we use them. Persons are beings with irreducible value that should not be used as mere objects.

The Leftist abortion-for-any-reason prattle “If you don’t support abortion don’t have one” reveals the hard judgment that some humans have reducible value, most specifically the most vulnerable and defenseless. The fact that there are more than ten times as many women’s health centers and pregnancy care centers than abortion providers buries the “lack of compassion” argument like the compost it is. The fact that churches, synagogues, and mosques have food pantries for the poor, supported by their members at no cost to any government is further evidence of compassion.

Those of us to value humanity find irreducible value in the mother as well. We are not looking at a zero sum situation, not even theoretically. The pregnancy care center my wife and I support provides for parent(s) pre-birth, and for up to two years after the birth of the baby. There are clothes, formula, learning opportunities, and likely more than that. It is the very definition of compassion. That’s why pregnancy care centers exist.

If you are pro-life with a friend who aborts do not fail to mourn with those who mourn, and weep with those who weep. Further, do not fail to help them out of abusive situations by any means necessary. Remind them that sexual activity is not an obligation, and that unplanned pregnancies can result. Waiting until marriage for sex does not prevent rape, obviously, but it can prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies in high school, college and young adulthood.

And, remind your pregnant friend of the innumerable crowd waiting to help with alternatives to abortion. She is not alone.

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Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.