When the Washington Post contacted Jana Pinsonshe thought it would be a good opportunity to share the work that pro-life groups in Texas are doing to help women who cannot access abortion due to the strict regulations. She knew nodding was a gamble, but she had previously interviewed with the same reporter, Caroline Kitchener, and felt that she would be treated fairly.
Jana was asked if she knew of any pregnancy center clients who might be interested in talking about their experiences. When she asked her team of volunteers, they knew exactly who to recommend, exclaiming excitedly, “You need to introduce her to Brooke.”
Brooke Alexander was one of their success stories, what life advocates call a “backup.” Not only had they changed their minds about abortion, but in doing so, they had saved two lives – Brooke’s daughters, Kendall and Olivia.
Brooke agreed to speak with Kitchener about her unplanned pregnancy experience. The resulting article was hailed by life advocates as a success story – babies were saved and mum and dad rose to the parenting challenge. But for those on the pro-choice side, the article illustrated their deepest fears: poor women would be forced to deliver babies they couldn’t properly care for.
The subtle fanaticism of the representation of the left
Both sides cited Brooke as an example of why their interpretation was morally correct. Life Advocates acknowledged the realities of Brooke’s experience by organizing a virtual baby shower promote it GoFundMe fundraising page and providing Brooke with long-term opportunities to succeed if she chooses, with her babies by her side.
Meanwhile, choice advocates saw one thing: an underprivileged girl who wanted an abortion and couldn’t get one. The subtle bigotry on display was shocking.
While Kitchener mentions that Brooke has had challenges in life before, she focuses on the lack of access to abortion as the nexus of Brooke’s issues. If Brooke had just been able to access abortion, she’d be selling condos and heading for the beach vacation she’s been dreaming of. Instead, she lived in her teenage boyfriend’s bedroom, with sheets over the window to protect herself from the Texas heat.
The truth is much more nuanced. Brooke’s daughters didn’t put her on a course of stunted possibility. She had been moving in that direction all her life, hanging around between her parents’ homes throughout her childhood and dropping out of high school long before she met the twins’ father. She had only recently taken a step in a safer direction — and it’s a key point that Kitchener deflects by arguing for abortion.
When Brooke entered the Coastal Bend Pregnancy Center, she had already decided to terminate her pregnancy. She had only been dating her boyfriend, Billy High, for a few months – becoming almost immediately intimate with him. She was pursuing a real estate license, a plan that didn’t require her to go back to school and graduate from high school. She had a plan for her life, which included getting out of Corpus Christi – dreams of a better life. A baby would put a quick end to all his plans.
She was only at the Pregnancy Resource Center for the free ultrasound, which an abortion clinic needed to determine if she would be eligible for an abortion in the state of Texas.
Kitchener describes Brooke as being “lulled” by the serene atmosphere of the resource center, as if there was some nefarious reason why they chose watercolors for their waiting room. While outlining the next step in Brooke’s visit, Kitchener notes that the informed consent booklet that all Texas women must receive before an abortion focuses on “death” as a potential complication (death is also included as a complication potential on the websites of most abortion clinics). ).
She does not specify whether she agrees with publicly available pamphlet, but we can tell what her feelings may be by the tone of her language, as well as her pointless claims that abortion is safer than other minor medical procedures. This assertion is impossible to confirm since the complications of abortion are not registered by the federal government as diligently as other elective interventions, physicians may not be aware patients who experience complications when these women present to the hospital, and abortion advocates encourage women to lying about having an abortion when going to the emergency room after experiencing abortion complications.
Change one’s mind
Brooke’s resolve to end the pregnancy wavered when she learned she was carrying twins. Then it crumbled into a silent “yes” she was babysitting, after her mother exclaimed the babies were miracles and promised to help her raise them.
Brooke, an 18-year-old single, high school dropout, was going to be a mother twice.
In most cases, babies are cause for joy, but the overall theme of Kitchener’s narrative is one of despair. We find out about Brooke’s mother, who won’t provide consistent accommodation despite claims that she’ll help with the babies. Her father, though more caring, struggles with drug addiction and the instability that drug addiction brings – his only contribution to the conversation is to support Brooke’s decision to have an abortion.
Brooke’s boyfriend, Billy, is characterized by having few aspirations in life, content with working part-time and mastering skateboarding tricks. More insidiously, he is framed as a deadbeat before Brooke has even delivered their babies, and without being part of the interview.
I agree with many observers that Kitchener’s article provokes a sense of rage – but not because Brooke was “forced” into giving birth, or even because all the most important people in her life encouraged Brooke to terminate the pregnancy, telling her that despite the hype, the girls can’t do anything they think about. Our outrage should be the way the article guides the reader to a specific conclusion, interpreting the situation through a very narrow, pro-abortion lens — and that lens is saturated with urban, upper-class prejudice.
Brooke’s plan to pursue her real estate license was omitted from the article, but put on hold only because she didn’t know what state she would be in once Billy completed basic training. Her humble housing situation is painted in colors as dull as possible, without specifying that other housing situations have been offered to Brooke. But she chose to stay in Billy’s house because Billy’s family seems to have given her something her own family didn’t: a sense of stability. For someone whose formative years were spent in volatile circumstances, Billy’s parents had proven to be a safe haven for Brooke.
Brooke and Billy’s early life together was rocky. They have certainly sacrificed for each other and for their daughters, but their responsible decisions point to a future that can be as successful as they are. And it was their daughters who made the difference in their lives.
This gets to the heart of the story – all we take away from Brooke’s tale, woven through her is the truism that sometimes life can be difficult, but the bonds we make with others can be more important than our circumstances. financial and the life we imagine for ourselves. The Washington Post could have shared a standalone Brooke, but our society has told us for far too long that parenthood can never be powerful and that women will always be less than when they mother their babies. Especially young women.
Kitchener could have painted a portrait of a young man who took responsibility, a family who embraced Brooke and gave her respite from a wicked world. She could have portrayed a fiercely independent young mother who desperately loves her daughters. But that wouldn’t have supported the Post’s theme: that Brooke’s life was ruined by her inability to access an abortion.
We now have the chance to change public perception and create the kinds of spaces where families like Brooke and Billy are valued in our society – a place where no baby ends up in a medical waste bin, and where no one is ever forced to choose between opportunity and the life of their child. For more information on how to help families like Brooke and Billy, please visit Optionline.orgto find a pregnancy resource center near you.