Fifty people gathered at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto March 13 to hear American activist Julie Loesch-Wiley speak against abortion. The even was sponsored by U of T Pro-Life.
Ms. Loesch-Wiley is no stranger to activism. For many years she has been involved with the anti-nuclear movement, and the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez. However, until 1979, she regarded abortion as “so private, so complex, such a gray area.” Since her conversion to the pro-life movement she has co-authored Pro-Life Feminism, and is now Vice-President of JustLife.
Ms. Loesch-Wiley identified four falsehoods in the understanding of abortion as liberation.
“The biggest mistake of the abortion rights movement is the assumption that the pregnant woman and her unborn child are adversaries,” she stated. Instead they exist in a symbiotic relationship. She cited her own recent pregnancy in which any benefit to herself was in turn a benefit to her baby. Furthermore, following a “safe” abortion, a woman’s chances of having an ectopic pregnancy increase by two to three hundred per cent, she stated.
Ms. Loesch-Wiley cited the use of intellectual dishonesty as a second example of the false doctrine of liberation. She identified the vocabulary describing abortion as a brand of Orwellian “Newspeak.” “Elective termination,” “voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” and “reproductive health” masks the reality that every abortion results in the death of a baby.
Abortion does not sexually liberate women. Indeed, according to her, it serves to increase male sexual irresponsibility. (In fact, abortion increases the irresponsibility of both sexes.) However, she admitted that there is some logical sense in the following line of reasoning: if a woman has a unilateral right to chose, then she has a unilateral responsibility to care for the child.
Corporate irresponsibility is the fourth falsehood. She accused the U.S. Supreme Court of “elaborate scientific amnesia.” “If they don’t know what a human being is – then they would not be bright enough to start a legal system.” She stated that industry must improve its standards so that the safety of the child in the womb would be guaranteed.
Loesch-Wiley is a supporter of Operation Rescue. She has been arrested a number of times for blocking the door of abortion clinics. She stressed that the purpose of a rescue is to save the lives of children and to save their mothers from exploitation.
Holistic approach necessary
When asked how she thought abortion could be stopped, she discussed a number of courses. Radical social change is needed. Coalitions of conservative and liberal movements must occur, she stated. A holistic approach is necessary. JustLife identifies candidates running for the House of Representatives and the Senate, who take a pro-life stand on all issues.
Dialogue with the pro-abortionists is also very important. She urged the audience to find common ground with them and then work to build coalitions.
With regard to pro-life legislation, she insisted that women could not be sent to jail. If women are motivated by economic and social pressures, they are often the secondary victims of abortion. She suggested that abortion be defined as “an assault against women” or as a “method of medical malpractice.” Loesch-Wiley recommended that the profits from abortions be seized. “The doctor with the suction machine is the criminal,” she declared.
Reaction to Loesch-Wiley’s talk was positive. Several members of the audience were impressed by her consistency on issues other than abortion. However, others who regard abortion as the most important social issue of the times expressed reservations about the “holistic” approach. One person remarked, “It would be hard to build coalitions with the pro-abortionists when they yell obscenities and blaspheme your religion.”