This is one of those weeks when I spent days waffling back and forth about what to write about come Saturday. I had considered writing a response to some anti-abortion videos I saw about a month ago, but I had no idea how to go about it. I am not too well-versed within the abortion debate, so I didn’t know if it would be worth trying to put my thoughts on it together in a blog post. But as I was re-watching these videos from Christian YouTuber Becca Eller, I saw that she, too, had been nervous to talk about abortion but decided to give it a try anyway. So I’m giving my response to her videos a try too.
I’ve written about Becca before, in this blog post. In it, I applauded how genuine she is and how she treats those with whom she doesn’t agree with respect and kindness. I still stand behind what I wrote then, but since then she has made two controversial videos on her pro-life stance, and I feel as though they need to be addressed.
I still think that Becca and her beliefs come from a place of love and trying to do good in the world, even if I don’t think she is actually accomplishing that. If you watched these two videos, you can tell that she is only trying to spread positivity and do what she sees as good. However, that is why I find these videos so dangerous. These are the kinds of arguments, wrapped in pink and with big loving smiles, that are stripping women of their rights across America and across the world. What will become of the young Christian teen girls who watch Becca’s videos and are persuaded that abortion is evil in every case, only to one day become pregnant by accident, or worse, rape, and feel that she must carry this child to term even if she has no way of giving it a good life?
The first thing that Becca says that I disagreed with was her comparison of people getting abortions to the Holocaust. I thought she went a little far with this comparison, but she went out of her way to assure viewers that it was intentional; she believes that abortion is a great injustice, just as the Holocaust was. She wasn’t doing it just to get our attention: she believes that even a two-celled organism, from the point when it is just one sperm cell and one egg cell, is a child: a human being with rights. And in her view, it’s a unique human being made in the image of the Christian god. She sees no difference in these clumps of cells being aborted (over 90% of which are in the first trimester (source), when a fetus cannot yet feel pain (source)) and children and adults being tortured, starved, and gassed to death because of ethnocentrism.
My biggest problem with both of these videos is that since Becca is Christian, she assumes that her Christian viewers who are pro-life already know why abortion is wrong. I believe that when you have an audience on a topic like this, the audience will be divided even if the majority agree with you. (Hi, Christians and pro-lifers, I know there are some of you reading this, and I acknowledge that!) So I really wish that she had given her own personal reasons for some of her beliefs that she assumes her viewers would already know.
This is how I felt when she responded to the common pro-choice argument of “no uterus, no opinion,” which can be stated in various forms. Just because this statement is short doesn’t make it any less powerful and accurate. She said that if a man is being told that he can’t be against abortion because he isn’t a woman, he doesn’t have to listen to that! But she then said that this argument is “just so stupid.” She said that men can “do something about the injustice.” Why is this argument stupid? Maybe to her, it is. But to me, it’s not.
If you get an abortion, that is up to you. It is one of the hardest choices you will make in your life, and I believe that if you are choosing to terminate your own pregnancy, you aren’t just doing it for fun, or because you love “killing children.” Maybe you already have children, and you are already spread too thin, and you don’t have the resources for another. The only time when a man gets to choose whether a woman gets an abortion is if the pregnant woman decides that his opinion is important to her, and she wants his help in choosing. The same thing goes with women who aren’t pregnant. I’ve never been pregnant or been in a position where I had to choose to continue a pregnancy or not, and I assume that Becca hasn’t either. This is one reason why I couldn’t feel right trying to force my beliefs on a woman who is in this situation. Neither Becca nor I, nor anyone else, knows what she is going through.
In her first video, Becca gives only one pro-life source, and that is LiveAction.com. I perused the site, and their greatest argument is that a fetus—no, a “preborn child”—looks like a little teeny tiny person, and abortion is gross. One of Live Action’s proponents, Dr. Levantino, said on the site that even if you get an abortion early on using a pill, if you look closely you may be able to count the fetus’s fingers and toes. Whether or not this is true, I don’t think it is a good argument. It is emotionally manipulative, just as doctors are in pro-life (which is much more like pro-birth, I might add) states who force the woman to watch an ultrasound and listen to a heartbeat after she has already made one of the hardest decisions of her life, just so that they can make the decision even harder.
Yes, abortions are gross. Yes, there will be blood. But do you know what else is gross, and has a lot of blood? Periods. Vaginal births. C-sections. These are your alternatives to an abortion if you are pregnant.
And while we are on the subject, you know what else is gross, bloody, and causes pain to a conscious being with feelings? Yep. Slaughterhouses. Just saying. Pigs and cows and chickens can feel pain. They have nerve endings, and they’ve normally been out of their mother’s womb (or the egg) for months or years when they are killed without ever having any freedom to even move. I’m not a vegan, but to this end, I don’t know how a person can make the arguments against abortion without also being vegan, because the arguments are the same. The only difference is if you are from a religion in which you believe that humans are above, and better than, other animals and made in the image of God. Well, guess what? We’re all animals. And what’s immoral to a human fetus is at the very least just as immoral to the little pig you had for breakfast this morning.
In the end of the first video, Becca preemptively defends herself from people like me who will inevitably accuse her of staying within an echo chamber and only looking at things from one side. She claims that she does use logical thinking, and she does research her views. Even though she was raised Christian, she says, she did her own research and she came to the conclusion that the Christian religion is correct. But the research she did was all one-sided: she read Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, and C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.
I have read Mere Christianity, and I haven’t read the other two books she mentioned (although they’re on my bookshelf), but I have read books like them, such as Lee Strobel’s The Case for a Creator. I could probably guess what is in these books, though, as all apologetics books I’ve read so far all say the same tepid things. (Later update: I read The Reason for God, and here is my review.) I actually commented on her video, letting her know I have some recommendations (like God is Not Great) if she wants to do research that actually challenges her biases, but I got no response. So maybe she’s not that confident in her beliefs after all.
Becca’s second video is a list of seven resources that she recommends for people to get involved in fighting the “injustice” of abortion. For the sake of time, I won’t respond to this list, as her general arguments, and those of Live Action, have already been summed up and responded to. There were also several sources on her list which she mentioned in passing but didn’t summarize in her own video, so I didn’t take the time to watch or read them all in full. (I have a full time job and don’t get paid to write or research so my time is limited.) Instead, I will leave you with some of my own sources.
The Science of Pregnancy and Abortion (Part 1) (this has an amazingly long and thorough list of sources to peruse)
The Case for Abortion that Every Pro-Lifer Needs to Hear (Part 2)
Is Abortion Okay? (I recommend this the most. It’s a podcast, so listen to it in the car or something)
Information from a real healthcare provider that actually cares about women and families
There is a lot more I have to say on this topic, and I’m sure this isn’t the last time that I will write about it. There is just so much involved, and for my whole life I have been almost exclusively exposed to the pro-life side that Becca expresses in her videos. I’m becoming more educated about the abortion debate all the time, and many of the things that I don’t have time to say are shown in my sources above. I know that this is a very difficult and complicated topic to talk about, and this is my first time approaching it (which is also true for Becca in the videos, so don’t be mean to her!). But like Becca, I felt like something had to be said.