A young woman's recent decision to film her abortion and share it with the world has been making headlines lately and, over the course of the past few days, I've observed the puzzled, horrified, and downright hateful reactions of many on my social networks. But the more I saw the hate, the more I realized that what Emily Letts did was pretty ground-breaking and unbelievably brave. Letts isn't celebrating abortion. She's simply demystifying a procedure that most people have been conditioned to avoid talking about, and by doing so, removing all the shame and fear associated with it.
Whenever I write or talk about abortion and mention the possibility of a slippery slope, I am told that the slippery slope discussion is a straw dog. There are rules after all! But rules are only as good as the people who follow them and the institutions that are set up to oversee them. There is an assumption of honesty and human goodness. In the case of the Philadelphia House of Horrors there was a breakdown on both fronts. Abortionist Dr. Gosnell has no ethical/moral core and the overseers in Philadelphia dropped the ball for 17 years. Anyone who assumes Gosnell's clinic is a one-off is blinded by ideology. Those who refuse to look at limits in abortion are stuck in the rut of Manichean thinking.