“I don't want to get into too much detail of what it actually is…” says a parent in a July 20, 2022 episode of the National Public Radio podcast, Consider This from NPR. And what is the “it” that the parent does not want to get into too much detail about? Abortion.
The episode is a fascinating look into the minds of pro-abortion parents who do not want to discuss with their children what abortion actually is and involves. That is understandable. Who would want to upset their children by discussing frankly the intentional destruction of other children? Who would want their children to know that their parents are in favor of the killing of the unborn?
The podcast episode is a clear indication of what the bulk of the NPR audience consists: pro-abortion left-wingers. Given that demographic (whose fondness for NPR is subsidized by every other taxpayer), it is not surprising that one of the left-leaning “experts” spends the interview suggesting ways to explain away the destruction of a human life to children. Pro-life parents do not require advice on how to talk to their children about abortion. They simply explain that it is evil and should be opposed. Pro-life parents are a non-consideration for NPR.
Interestingly, some of the parents who ask questions of the experts (a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist and an educational psychologist) interviewed seem to be asking for a sort of permission to engage in an elaborate cloaking of what actually happens during an abortion (dismemberment of the unborn child, poisoning of the bodily system of the mother so that the child is destroyed and so on). It is understandable that pro-abortion parents would not want to expose impressionable children to such grisly information. But note the questionable lengths the parents will go to in order to whitewash horrifying facts.
Let’s take a look at the statement of one of the mothers quoted in the episode. Note that she does not so much as mention that a baby is involved in an abortion:
I was having lunch with my kids. I had the news on. My eldest son is 6 years old, and he turned to me. And he asked me, like, why are people so upset?...
And I said, well, there's been a decision made by some important people in government that says that women can't decide what to do with their own bodies.
So, here we have a mother deciding that it would be too complicated to mention the word “baby” and gives the impression to her son that the only thing involved in abortion is that faceless oppressors are preventing women from doing what they want “with their own bodies.” The body of the child who is aborted does not exist for this woman—nor, at this point thanks to his mother, for her son. One can see the woman’s dilemma. Who would want to tell a six-year-old that, “Some people are upset because they feel that a human being is being killed for no good reason?”
The mother goes on to equate the right to kill an unborn child with the right of her son to frolic, as little boys do:
He was like, what do you mean? And so I explained to him - it's like, hey, you know, do you like to run and jump and stand and sit and lay down and sleep sometimes? He says, yes. And I said, well, what if someone told you that you had to stand all the time, and you couldn't sit down, and you couldn't run and jump and play or crawl or do the things that you want to because they said so…
And I said, what do you think about that? And he said, yeah, it sounds - it doesn't sound fair. It doesn't sound nice.
This mother seems comfortable with her decision to sanitize the matter of abortion and make it sound as if all that is at issue is the matter of personal freedom and what could be more appealing to a little boy?
Another mother quoted in the podcast episode tells her young daughter that abortion is a “discussion”—and note that the utter absence of the father in said discussion:
She attends a Catholic school and asked me why those people want to kill babies. I explained to her that no one wants to kill babies - that abortion was a discussion that should be had between a woman and her doctor…
It was really awkward for me. I feel like she responded well. And she has mentioned a few different things to me a time or two since then, which makes me believe she does understand the topic as much as a 7-year-old really can.
Tellingly, the mother here evinces some inkling that her daughter has cut to the heart of the matter of abortion. It is about killing babies. But the conscience of the child is brought into line—she is now “responding well” to the preferences of her pro-abortion mother.
On a side note, the wokeness of the NPR audience is clear from this passage in the transcript of the podcast:
a mother of a 14-year-old son from Topeka, Kan., and she wrote to us and said one concern is, quote, "making sure that he understands how these measures affect people with a uterus…
You mean like, say, a woman?
Movingly, some of the parents are troubled by the moral concerns their children are expressing about abortion. Another mother says:
The 9-year-old's just a little confused as to why people would want to get an abortion, and she doesn't understand what happens once they get it. Where does the baby go? Who takes it? - so a lot of questions that I didn't know how to answer.
And to her credit, the host of the episode, NPR’s Ailsa Chang, does try to drill down on what happens during an abortion, asking this of one of the expert interviewees:
I want to turn to you because as a pediatrician, how might you explain an abortion procedure to a child?
And note the strategy of prevarication that the pediatrician suggests to the mother troubled by her child’s moral sense that abortion is evil (interestingly, the pediatrician does use the word “baby” rather than “fetus”):
When I think about kind of how to respond to this mom, I might think about talking about that some parents need to end the pregnancy and that it might be better and healthier and safer for the parent to end the pregnancy. So I tend to use kind of terminology about the pregnancy and not refer so much around the baby, even though that can be where children go.
How does it help a child to ignore her questions?
Chang goes on to ask the pediatrician:
Like, as a doctor, how should parents answer when their child asks, why do people choose to have an abortion? What's your advice there?
The pediatrician responds by indicating that children should not get the idea that abortion is “scary.” After all, what is disturbing about crushing the skull of an infant or rendering a woman’s insides so toxic that a baby is expelled from her body in a bloody mess:
One of the thoughts I have is how much information is going to be helpful and how much might be scary because I think what we don't want young people to have - is to think that women are doing harmful things to themselves to end a pregnancy and doing scary things and that the abortion is a scary thing. So I think we want to really support moms and dads in assessing kind of how much information is going to be healthy and good for the young person. And then, how can we explain that abortions are safe, and they can really help families and women and pregnant people kind of move forward with their lives?
“Safe” is not a word that comes to mind when the whole point of an abortion is to cause a death—in this case, of the child.
And note that women are lumped in with the woke term “pregnant people”—and it is all about moving forward with our lives. Abortion is just something we do and move on from. It is simply a matter of “how much information is going to be helpful and how much might be scary.”
There is a strange incoherence in the pediatrician’s argument. On the one hand, she dismisses out of hand that there is anything scary about abortion while also stressing that information about it must be tightly controlled. She is very much in the hardline “abortion is a safe and wonderful thing” camp and says to pro-abortion parents:
as parents, we want to share our values and share the information that we have and our point of view with our kids...
By contrast, the educational psychologist grants some moral agency to children who might not be quite so gung-ho on ending the life of a tiny human being:
What I would really recommend is, first, really understanding where you are in this whole process. What are your thoughts? What are your feelings? So much has risen in terms of high-level emotion with the outcomes and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. So check in with yourself first, then allow for that openness, and check in, empathize, validate what your child says. I think it's important for parents to use the words - I feel, I see, I hear - because what does that do? It shares and shows that respectful dialogue happening and that you're letting your child know that you really do hear what they're saying, even though you might have an opposing view or opinion.
One suspects that the pediatrician would endorse that view—save in cases where a child starts to question the idea that abortion is an unalloyed good.