Lena Dunham, who is famous for unclear reasons, said this week that she “wishes” she had an abortion. In a recent episode of her podcast — which, I’m told, detainees at CIA black sites in Afghanistan are forced to listen to as a form of enhanced interrogation — Dunham lamented her lack of abortion street cred:
“But one day, when I was visiting a Planned Parenthood in Texas a few years ago, a young girl walked up to me and asked me if I’d like to be a part of her project in which women share their stories of abortions,” Dunham said. “I sort of jumped. ‘I haven’t had an abortion,’ I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion.”
“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue,” Dunham continued. “Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department.”
…“I feel so proud of them for their bravery, for their self-knowledge, and it was a really important moment for me then to realize I had internalized some of what society was throwing at us and I had to put it in the garbage,” she said. “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
She has since apologized for what she now describes as a “distasteful joke.” But it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle after you’ve revealed that one of your greatest regrets in life is that you were deprived of the opportunity to murder a child.
Of course, abortion regret is a very real and serious thing, but it almost always goes in the other direction. A great many women live with immense guilt and grief after electing to kill their babies. Then, unfortunately, a large number of them find that they cannot live with it, as the sky high suicide rate among post-abortive women tragically attests.
It’s extremely rare to find a mother so selfish and disturbed that she regrets not having aborted her child, although those sorts of mothers do exist, sadly. The terrible reality is that some parents — a rare breed, thankfully — are so pathologically self-absorbed and callous that they resent their children for existing. But Dunham has no kids to resent. She has successfully avoided getting pregnant, she claims, yet she wishes she had an abortion not to be rid of a child she loathes, but just for the experience of it; for the conversation piece; for how useful that abortion we be politically. In other words, Lena Dunham is a sociopath. She displays the kind of cold, casual inhumanity and disregard for life that you may encounter when you read testimony from defendants at the Nuremburg Trials. And, we must remember, this is a mainstream celebrity. She campaigned for Hillary Clinton.
But leaving aside her now backtracked “regret” comments, Dunham’s primary point is that abortion should not have a “stigma” around it. Even in her apology she reiterated that her goal is to promote the abortion industry and take the “stigma” away from child murder. She takes this mission very seriously, she says. Indeed, “more seriously than literally anything else.”
Although Dunham might be (hopefully) one of the only childless women in existence who longs for the opportunity to execute an infant, she is certainly not the only one who wishes to remove the alleged “stigma” that surrounds it. This has been the primary mission of the abortion industry for sometime. Women are often encouraged to “shout their abortions” and “tell their stories” so that we can “get rid of the shame” surrounding the violent murder of innocent human life. Dunham may be really bad at fighting this stigma, but she’s certainly not unique in her desire to fight it.
People who reside anywhere outside of the radical pro-abortion club are often surprised by this. Even some who are basically pro-abortion are confused and slightly unsettled by the extremes the Shout Your Abortion camp will go in order to normalize their favorite “procedure.” Those who are not pro-abortion extremists often look at these normalization campaigns and say, “OK, it’s legal. Why do you care about the stigma? Why can’t you let it alone?”
Well, there is, it turns out, a good reason why they can’t let it alone. Yes, abortion is legal, but that does not change the fact that it is a heinous evil. And because it is a heinous evil, despite the law, there is still a whisper of something, a sense, an instinct, an innate understanding that Lena Dunham even hears and feels herself. It’s this nagging voice that says to the most avid pro-abort, to every woman who has killed her child no matter how deep her denial, to every sentient human being: “This is wrong. This is shameful. This is murder.”
This is what the pro-abortion camp calls “stigma.” They blame it on society. They blame it on the Patriarchy. They blame it on pro-lifers. But those are ridiculous cop outs and they know it. Conservatives and pro-lifers do not have nearly enough influence to create a culture that stigmatizes anything. I wish we did. But those days are long gone, and now a woman who supports abortion, or who has had an abortion, can carry on with her life and almost entirely avoid anyone who might so much as suggest that child murder is an ill advised practice.
Almost everything she encounters will either be neutral on the abortion question or actively reinforce what she already believes about it. If she turns on the TV, unless she flips over to EWTN, she will find countless examples of the media and Hollywood trying very hard to normalize and “de-stigmatize” abortion. It’s so common now that Salon was able to compile a list of the “Top 10 abortion moments” on TV this year.
If a woman feels a “stigma” about abortion, then, where is it coming from? Not from our culture, clearly, so where? Answer: her conscience. This “stigma” is not the work of conservatives or Republicans or society, but of God. What they call a “stigma” is really their soul speaking to them and telling them: “This is wrong. This is shameful. This is murder.”
It’s really for their own sake — only secondarily for the sake of their movement — that they do battle with that voice. When a woman “shouts her abortion,” she’s not shouting at us. She’s shouting at herself to drown out her conscience. When Lena Dunham complains of a “stigma,” she’s really complaining about the existence of the ingrained Natural Law which gives all human beings an innate understanding of right and wrong.
When the pro-abortion movement was fighting to legalize abortion, the fight was more outward and direct. But they won that fight long ago, and now all that is left is for them to wage war against their souls. They aren’t really arguing with us anymore, but with the voices in their head.
Dunham admits that when was asked if she’d had an abortion, she hastened to answer in the negative. Instinctively, she felt it important to distinguish herself from the women who have actually gone through with it, even as she argues on behalf of those very women. Why? In what other movement do you find this dichotomy? Would an avid gun rights advocate feel viscerally repulsed by the suggestion that he owns firearms himself? Would a Christian who argues passionately for religious liberty feel insulted if you accused him of attending church? Of course not. Gun ownership and religious devotion really are stigmatized in our culture, yet it is only progressives who seem to feel shame over exercising the rights they defend.
That should tell us something. More importantly, it should tell them something. It was not “stigma” that made Lena Dunham eagerly answer “no” when she was asked if she’d had an abortion. It was not a moment of conformity or cowardice, but of clarity. Her conscience rose up, if only briefly, and said, “No. No. Don’t sully me with that disgusting thing. No.”
But when she noticed that her conscience had escaped its cage, she quickly subdued it and tossed it down into the dungeon again. Then she did what pro-aborts always do when a glimmer of truth and decency manages to penetrate into their hearts: overcompensate. Because she felt momentarily happy and proud that she never had an abortion, she ran quickly to the other direction and announced that, in fact, she’s sad she never had one. Whatever her conscience said, she professed the opposite. That’s how the process of discernment in progressivism works.
This is what conservatives often miss about modern liberalism: it’s not just that they want to silence us. It’s that they want to silence themselves, in a sense; their inner voice; their conscience. Knocking down stigmas, normalizing, mainstreaming — they aren’t trying to convince you with all of this, they’re trying to convince themselves. It’s called rationalizing.
They have discovered that although they can change the laws and change the culture and change society, they still cannot completely escape their own souls. But they will keep trying in any case. And all the while there will remain that pesky voice buried somewhere deep inside them, whispering: “This is wrong. This is shameful. This is murder.”
We can only pray that one day they listen to it.
To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.