Abortion advocates crowd and jostle each other on the steps of the Supreme Court. Their shouts for equality, access, and women’s rights blend together in a restless wave of anger and frustration. Like pitchforks raised in the air, signs demand STOP THE SHAM and Keep Abortion Safe and Legal. It is March 3rd, 2016 and behind a fortress of marble pillars, eight justices listen to arguments in a case called Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
March is a big month for the abortion debate. Whole Woman’s Health addressed the need for abortion providers to also have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Another case will be heard by the Supreme Court on Wednesday and will address the HHS abortion pill mandate as it pertains to religious nonprofits such as Christian colleges and universities. Clients in this case include six Christian colleges, Southern Nazarene University, Geneva College, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Mid American Christian University, and East Texas Baptist University.
These schools were founded on Christ-centered principles, and as a result, both students and faculty work together in pursuit of a shared goal – to show the world Christ’s love. These universities have come under attack as a result of their religious convictions and specifically, their dedication to the value of human life. The HHS abortion pill mandate, a regulatory application of the Affordable Care Act, requires religious nonprofits and universities to provide birth control, abortifacients, and intrauterine devices in their health plans. This directly violates not only their founding principles, but substantially violates their religious beliefs.
Abortion activists argue that the theology and worldview of these religious groups and universities is dangerous. How can a woman be truly free if at any point in her life, her decisions are made for her, not by her? They say there is a war on women, but that begs the question: which women?
“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support each other,” said former secretary of state Madeline Albright before the Democratic primary in New Hampshire at a rally for presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. The statement solicited an eruption of applause and an appreciative chuckle from Clinton who reached out in faux chastisement as if to say, Oh Madeline, you’re too much!
I find this statement, spoken from the mouths of women who advocate for women, both absurd and ironic. While deafening in their support of equality for women, foot stomping again and again the absolute urgent need to empower women to make their own decisions, they threaten eternal damnation if that decision does not align with their agenda. For a movement that leans on the word “tolerance” like a crutch, there is an awful lot of shame and judgment thrown around at women by women.
This is the fundamental flaw. They will not advocate for all of us. If you are a Christian, or if you have a moral objection to abortion, your opinions are marginalized. Your voice is drowned out. Your beliefs are written off as delusion. If you refuse to cast a vote for Hilary Clinton, or if the idea of openly rejoicing in the availability and effectiveness of abortion makes you sick– consider yourself silenced. You are the enemy, you have betrayed your gender, and according to Madeline Albright, you are going to Hell.
This is not freedom, and this surely is not choice. This is coercion at best. As a woman and as a mother to a daughter, I am infuriated. Feminism tells us to be independent. It tells us to be fierce. It tells us to stand up and be heard because we matter. But as soon as we do all these things and refuse to disavow our religious beliefs, we are punished by an abortion agenda masquerading as a civil rights campaign.
The religious schools and organizations involved in the upcoming Supreme Court case are in the same way being targeted because of their religious convictions. By failing to comply with the HHS abortion pill mandate, they face crushing fines in the millions of dollars per year. These fines would jeopardize the ability of these schools to operate effectively.
And for Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU), that could mean the end of the Orange Movement, an effort to fight human trafficking. As a university they support a group in Cambodia called Rahab’s House. Missionaries began by offering their home to young girls who had been victimized by human trafficking. Now, Rahab’s House is a home and refuge for victims of human trafficking intent upon protection, empowerment, and rehabilitation.
Who then is the victim in "the war on women”? Is it the undulating mob gathered outside the Supreme Court screaming for abortion on demand without apology? Is it organizations, like Planned Parenthood, that tell women that sexual liberation is the pinnacle of fulfillment? Or is it the religious school that won’t provide abortifacient birth control to a faculty and student body that doesn’t want it?