The Famous Hanger: Baby-Killing In Europe And The US.
Most of my readers are, clearly, North Americans. It is, therefore, fitting that I explain to them the cultural differences about abortion that I see on both sides of the Pond.
In Europe – and, to a certain extent, even in the United Kingdom – abortion is not seen as something that “empowers” anybody. It is not seen, by most at least, as a “conquest”. It is, also, not seen as the disposal of a “clump of cells”.
Your average European (particularly South European, but also North European) sees abortion as an embarrassing remedy to a grave life crisis. He will not deny that the fetus that is being legally disposed of is, in fact, a human life. He will simply reflect that he would prefer this emergency exit to be available to his daughter, and that he would not be strong enough to resist suggesting that course of action if his girlfriend (sex and marriage having been decoupled from the daily life of your average European decades ago) were to become pregnant.
Basically, it’s a choice dominated by convenience and cowardice, and people know it. This explains the remarkable absence of public debate about it pretty much everywhere this side of the Atlantic. It is, in fact, impossible not to notice that the demolition of Roe vs Wade is treated as “US news”, with nobody expecting a serious debate about abortion in Europe. Mind, it is my opinion that things will change in the years to come; but, for now, it is what it is: a sort of situation of convenience, of which it is conveniently, but silently agreed that the least it is said about it, the least discomfort for everybody. Tellingly, at Mass yesterday, after such a historic moment, the homily did not contain a single word about the Supreme Court decision. Unsurprisingly so, if you think how difficult it is to hear a priest even saying the word “abortion”, or discuss the evil of abortion, from the pulpit (you get to be content with vague words about life beginning at conception, or the like. But for heaven’s sake, let us never call the killing of a baby the killing of a baby! People might get upset!)
It is, therefore, with a certain degree of astonishment that I, as a European grown up in a Country where abortion does not have such a rabid ideological component, witness the feminist rage currently going on in the US. It is a shocking, hysterical behaviour that you would not see in Europe. The hundreds of rabid fanatics banging on the doors of public buildings would not be seen here. Similarly, you would not see the controversy framed as “stay away of my uterus”, as if a uterus had any rights over a human life. Instead, what you would see would be the usual, emotional tales of girls who have committed suicide, the gruesome stories about abortions made with ***the famous hanger*** (there is no mention of abortion without the unavoidable famous hanger), and the like. But the idea of “it’s my uterus and I decide whom it should kill” would, by and large, not be there.
To very many people in Europe, the arguments used must appear extremely evil, and shockingly so. They paint a picture of an extremely polarised Country, whose societal fabric has been torn apart by the satanic push for baby killing, sexual perversion and, now, institutionalised child grooming and child abuse.
Here, abortion is just something people prefer not to talk about; something one tries not to think about, like the number of men the wife slept with, or the daughter sleeps with, or (in the UK) the son sleeps with.
In time, the death of Roe vs Wade will produce results here, too.
We can, at least, build on the lack of satanic hysteria.