According to Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, the things women really need for Valentine’s Day are “birth control, cancer screenings, safe and legal abortion, well woman visits, breast exams, maternity care, preventive care, Planned Parenthood, to make our own health decisions, (really radical stuff).”
So forget the chocolate and flowers, boys. What women really want is a pap smear, a mammogram, and a murdered baby. That sounds really romantic.
It boggles me how completely out of touch Planned Parenthood is with the reality of what they do. How can you even put “maternity care” in the same list with “safe and legal abortion”? That’s insane. This reminds me of the 40th anniversary video that The Center for Reproductive Rights made last year. The one where this creepy dude talked romantically to Roe v. Wade like “she” was his wife. That video made me shudder. But apparently pro-abortionists didn’t detect the dreadful irony of mixing romantic affections with such brutal violence.
Abortions aren’t sexy. They are fundamentally at odds with life and love. They are fundamentally at odds with the reproductive, life-giving union of sex. Did God give us sex for pleasure? Absolutely, but not for selfish pleasure. The obvious meaning of sex has to do with vulnerability, selfless love, mutual pleasure, and cooperative engagement. And one of the great beauties of this act is that the union of two souls can actually, and does often, produce a new soul. Your body mingles with your spouse’s and a new body is created—one that is like both of you and represents and embodies the productive output of your lives together. Abortion rejects all of that. It symbolizes the epitome of self-seeking, one-sided, life-denying hedonism.
In the recent movie Catching Fire, citizens of the Capital make themselves loathsome in the protagonist’s sight when they say that the only way to try all the food at a feast is to throw up and continue eating. This was a reference to the myth that ancient Romans used a special room (called a vomitorium) for disposing of vomit during binge-and-purge eating.1 We think the idea of a vomitorium is disgusting. To eat and eat and eat, throw up, then eat and eat more, then throw up again, then eat more, and so forth. We think, “Don’t they understand the purpose of food?”
But that’s the point. Binge-and-purge eating is not about pursuing the purpose of food, but merely the pleasure of food. The purpose of food is actually the enemy to denizens of the vomitorium. They desire the pleasure alone.
And it is true—food gives pleasure. But by militating against its purpose, the Romans actually made even the pleasure vain and hollow. In the end, the Romans degraded the very pleasure they purported to worship. When they sought the pleasure rather than the purpose, in the end, they lost both.
Abortion is the vomitorium of sex: “Let’s reject the meaning and purpose of romance and sex. Let’s just focus on our own sexual satisfaction—all others and all else be damned. And to make sure we can keep pursuing that empty, narrow, hollowed-out sex without consequences, let’s kill any babies that are produced. We’ll just throw them out with the garbage and keep pursuing our self-fulfillment.” And in the same way, when pleasure is pursued without regard to purpose, both are lost.
For all its harping about sex, the majority of people in our culture actually have no idea how to gain true sexual satisfaction. Just like binge-and-purge eaters probably know little about the real pleasure of food. But we call bulimia a mental disorder. We call abortion a right. Something went terribly wrong there.
On Valentine’s Day, though it may be a made-up holiday and all that, it is good to think about the purpose and true nature of love. Love and abortions don’t and can’t coincide. Love is not a feeling. Love is not seeking one’s own pleasure. Love is putting the needs and desires of others in front of your own. Consistently and patiently. What women really need for Valentine’s Day… what they really want… is men who will do that and do it well.
- It turns out that this use of the term is based on a misconception, but for the purpose of this article, the myth of the vomitorium is instructive. [↩]