Kathryn Jean Lopez has a new article on the disturbing special run on MTV
(aka evil media sewer) earlier this week, in which a young woman from the reality TV show 16 and Pregnant decides to have an abortion, and MTV’s failed attempt to normalize
the procedure and downplay the consequences.
You can read Kathryn Jean Lopez’s full article, “Not That Innocent”, here. It is in it’s entirety a bit long, but here is some of it, edited and with my emphases and comments.
Not That Innocent
by Kathryn Jean Lopez
“Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life.”
That was the urgency with which the late John Paul II spoke of the stakes before us in combating a Culture of Death, during his 1993 World Youth Day visit to the United States.
I think I heard John Paul II wail on Tuesday night, the feast of the Holy Innocents, commemorating King Herod’s massacre.
Before the day was through, MTV aired the reality-TV show No Easy Decision, on which Markai Durham, a recent graduate of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, had an abortion. I assume the scheduling wasn’t intentional, but it was a remarkable coincidence.
The show was dedicated to relaying the impression that the girl is all right, when she clearly isn’t.
Having missed an appointment for an injection of the birth-control shot Depo Provera, Markai found herself pregnant for a second time.
“You will never feel my pain,” she told the father of her two children, one eight months old on the show, one eliminated on it.
Her cry came after she yelled at James for being “harsh” in calling her aborted baby a “thing.” This all came just moments after, while relaying what happened inside the abortion clinic, she insisted: “Don’t call that thing a baby. That’s exactly what it is: a thing.” But she really couldn’t lie to herself. So she went on to naturally look across at her living daughter Zakaria and tell James, “A thing can turn out like that. … Nothing but a bunch of cells can be her.”
When she aborted six weeks into her pregnancy, we knew she considered her child as more than “a thing” or “a bunch of cells” – even before her post-abortion pangs of sadness and second thoughts. In the early moments of the MTV special, she announced, “I’m in love with this baby already.” [I am beginning to wonder about what sort of pressure was put on the poor girl.]
But she feared that she and James – not married even though each claims to be devoted to the other –would never have the money to pull off raising a second child without further sacrifices. She announced that she couldn’t handle the emotion of going through the pregnancy only to give up the child in an adoption. She told the MTV cameras: “Having two kids in my teenager years. It’s not the right time.”
“We can’t give Zakaria everything.” Had she not aborted, she said, “We would have to sacrifice more stuff, I mean we would have to sacrifice her life.” [“stuff”…. “life”…]
Well, of course, someone’s life was.
Markai went on: “I wouldn’t choose abortion, I mean, as a first option for anybody. It’s the toughest decision ever to make in your life. But this was the best choice for me.” [We’ll see.]
And she ended with a hope for healing a wound that MTV was insisting wasn’t there: “With the love of my life and my daughter, I know I’ll make it through.”
Some of the post-show commentary worried that Markai would be vilified for what, by the end of the show, was presented as a “responsible … parenting decision” by Dr. Drew Pinsky’s panel of teen-abortion alums. [There’s perspective for ya!]
But please aim your vilification at the abortion industry and its abettors on MTV’s delusional TV show.
The first thing we saw Markai doing when she told us she’s pregnant a second time is get on the Internet and get the number for an abortion clinic. She called and began with a basic, clinical question about what kinds of abortions they provide. But then she got to what she really wanted to know: How would she feel afterwards? The woman on the other end, hearing the fear in her voice, walked her closer to feeling that she has no choice but abortion: “If you’re really stressed out about it, you know, it might be a relief to have it over with. “
Once she got to the abortion clinic, only clinic staff could be in the room with her. Afterwards Markai recounted their advice: “Don’t think of it as ten fingers and ten toes with a forehead and all that stuff. Because if you think of it like that, you’re going to make yourself depressed. …Think of it as what it is: a little ball of cells.” Markai would later try talking herself into it: “Which is exactly what it is.”
Completely ignoring the pain so many women – and men – have relayed in the wake of 38 years of legal abortion, MTV’s sex-ed guru and house psychiatrist, Drew Pinsky, announced: “Most women two years after they’ve had the procedure, believe they’ve made the right decision.”
But No Easy Decision was an indictment of more than MTV. When was the last time any of us did anything to promote adoption? When was the last time any of us gave a thought to children stuck in the foster-care system? When was the last time we opened our hearts and homes? When was the last time we helped make life a little bit easier for someone who has?
The Holy Innocents Gospel from Saint Matthew reads:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.
And so, too, does Markai Durham. We should hear her cries, not help her mask them.
But it’s not just teen mothers wailing. I think I hear the Communion of Saints doing the same for us. We’re the laborers called to live and proclaim the Gospel of Life, to make it a real choice in the life of a girl like Markai. Woe to us if we don’t succeed in answering that call in each of our lives.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a nationally syndicated columnist. She speaks frequently on faith and public life.