Daisy Patton is an artist who has created an agenda-driven work titled, “Would You Be Lonely Without Me?” which is “a series of oil portraits depicting women whose deaths were directly caused by a lack of access to safe reproductive care” (i.e., abortion).
I have no objection to the piece itself. These women deserve to have their stories told, and I think we can learn a lot from them. As a society, we must work to give women more practical support, assistance, and encouragement so that they do not feel the need to resort to killing their unborn children. (Sadly, Ms. Patton neglected to include any recognition of or memorials for the children who also lost their lives in these tragic stories.)
I do object to the agenda behind the piece, as described by Patton in her artist’s statement: “Some politicians underline what is at stake by declaring pregnancy from rape a ‘gift from God,’ that women should be forced to carry to term encephalitic [sic] or already dead fetuses, or legislate forced medically unnecessary procedures and make women hear lies about the effects of abortions.”
These are far from the only inaccuracies in her statement, but for the sake of time and brevity, I wish to focus on these three.
Did a Politician Say that Pregnancy from Rape was a “Gift from God”?
Neither rape nor pregnancy from rape is ever considered a “gift from God” — but children always are gifts from God, regardless of how they are conceived. To put it in secular terms, all human beings have intrinsic worth and value no matter how they were conceived.
Let’s look at the quote in the article that she linked to prove her assertion (emphasis mine):
“…but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” – Sen. Richard Mourdock
Sen. Murdock, admittedly, worded this badly, but he was clearly saying that it is the CHILD who is a gift from God, not the rape or the circumstances of the pregnancy. Patton is being dishonest and disingenuous to assert otherwise, especially given the senator’s later clarification:
“I said life is precious. I believe life is precious. I believe rape is a brutal act. It is something that I abhor. That anyone could come away with any meaning other than what I just said is regrettable, and for that I apologize,” Mourdock said, according to The Indianapolis Star‘s account of his news conference Wednesday.
Did a Politician Say that “women should be forced to carry to term encephalitic [sic] or already dead fetuses”?
No one supports women carrying “encephalitic” or “already dead fetuses to term.” The article she linked to in support of this assertion acknowledges this as well. The politician in question misspoke, and later Tweeted a clarification that included the text of the bill in question — a bill that specifically does NOT prohibit the removal of a dead fetus.
Three times in my life, I have been faced with the situation of carrying a dead fetus. Three times, I’ve sat in the doctor’s office and heard the ultrasound tech say, “I’m so sorry, but the baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.” Three times, I’ve had a D&C to remove that baby’s deceased body from my own, and three times, I have stood at a gravesite and wept as we buried him or her.I really don’t appreciate those who exploit my tragedy and my pain to advance an agenda that would allow for the legal killing of healthy children.
Anencephalic babies are human beings too, and they have inherent worth and dignity. It is ableism to say that they should be killed because of their defect. They deserve, like their parents, to be treated with love and compassion, and not killed simply because they are not “perfect.” I’ve watched a friend walk this difficult journey, and her love for her little boy was an inspiration. Perinatal hospice is a wonderful resource for parents who are in this situation, and there are many support groups as well.
Do Politicians “legislate forced medically unnecessary procedures and make women hear lies about the effects of abortions”?
No one is legislating “forced medically unnecessary procedures.” Ultrasounds are a basic standard of care prior to an abortion procedure, and for very good reason. It’s simply not safe to have an abortion without first performing an ultrasound to determine gestational age, because the abortion procedure used can vary depending on the age of the unborn child targeted for death. Does she want women to undergo unsafe abortions? Isn’t that what she is protesting with her piece?
As for making women “hear lies,” there’s plenty of documentation (ignored by her source) providing evidence that the “lies” in question are actually facts. For example, the higher rates of suicide among post-abortive women.
I read the stories in Patton’s piece, and my heart ached for each and every one of those women. They felt powerless and choiceless, to the point that they felt they had no other option but to kill their child. That’s a horrible, horrific situation to be in, and I hope both Patton and I can work together to change society to give women more options. There are a lot of great organizations, such as New Wave Feminists, committed to doing just that. However, the answer is to give women alternatives to abortion, not keep them trapped in the situation that they are in while offering them a “safe” method to kill innocent children. That doesn’t empower women. That doesn’t bring a woman out of poverty or give her the tools to better her situation. The solution to a problem should never be the death of an innocent human being.
“Would you be lonely without me?” is a question that unborn children would ask of their mothers, if they could. My guess is, quite a few would be.