One foundational belief held by the pro-life community is that all life is sacred. The sanctity of human life is in jeopardy from a threat not always attributed as such, and that is in the movement to normalize pedophilia.
As the world remains fixed on contending with the coronavirus, I submit that pedophilia presents its own pandemic. It’s not simply a religious or moral issue, but a human rights issue, like abortion, with our children at increasing risk of sexual abuse.
This menace is creeping across the country, infiltrating social media, legislation, movie and television productions.
Public dialog on the issues of child pornography, sexualization of children and the justification of pedophilia seems to be headed more and more toward acceptance.
It’s a coarsened regard for human life that enables both abortion and sexual exploitation, and it runs deep in our society, its threat to our children seeping increasingly into our public consciousness.
Activist entities are on board with normalizing pedophilia, and social media and other media outlets are also increasingly adopting this sympathetic attitude towards this abuse and sexual exploitation of children, leaving its victims as an afterthought.
Our children, however vulnerable, are not expendable.
Our children are our greatest treasure, and just as with fighting the scourge of abortion, they deserve our protection from sexual exploitation.
If we recognize that life is sacred, it follows that sexual abuse of children or otherwise sexually objectifying them is immoral and must be staunchly opposed.
I concur with the idea expressed by Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, cited in a 2019 Focus on the Family article.
She said, “I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.”
Those who serve in pregnancy help are uniquely poised to foster and assist in battling this pervasive threat for several reasons. They are on the front lines, their very work is based upon recognizing the sacredness of life, and they stand equipped and ready to serve anyone who comes to them in need.
Pregnancy help organizations can and do effectively address issues of sexual and domestic abuse, human trafficking and other exploitation when these ills present in the clients who walk through their doors. They help women in need who may be facing these issues by supporting them and their families and connecting them with resources, so that the cycle can be broken. Heartbeat International also offers affiliates training in identifying victims and assisting them whenever possible.
While the pregnancy help community is attuned to these issues and ready to help mend broken lives and families, the problem extends beyond the pregnancy help realm and there cannot be enough awareness of it.
Opposing public disclosure
Part of the normalization push for pedophilia lies in efforts to assail established systems of sex abuse registry.
In one example of weakening those systems, in 2016, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alice M. Batchelder deemed Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registry Act (SORA) unconstitutional and ineffective. However, in the years since, parameters for those circumstances laid out in Batchelder’s ruling have yet to be officially defined.
Taking this another step in the wrong direction, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes the Sex Offender Registry (SER) should be made private, possibly done away with.
The ACLU sued last year to get a federal judge to force the state to stop enforcing the Michigan law.
John Hardenbergh, formerly of the ACLU’s Washington D.C. legislative office, explained the organization’s sympathy for sex offenders as far back as a 2009 ACLU report.
“We’ve gotten used to having few friends on this issue,” Hardenbergh said. “We’re okay with this. We didn’t get into this business in order to make friends. With the exception of the criminal defense bar, there just aren’t a whole lot of people who want to stand up for the rights of sex offenders.”
Another example; nine years ago the Township of Galloway, New Jersey, filed an ordinance which would prevent sex offenders from living in neighborhoods around children. The ACLU snapped back with a lawsuit to undo the ordinance, claiming it was unconstitutional for the offenders.
The ACLU is not alone. Sympathy for the offenders as opposed to sex abuse victims seems to have momentum.
David Feige, lawyer, legal commentator and author, claimed discrimination toward sex offenders through registries and other restrictions in his March 2017 Slate article, titled, “The Supreme Court’s Sex-Offender Jurisprudence Is Based on a Lie.”
Feige argued that statistic don’t support recidivism concerns for sex offenders, calling this a “tragic lie,” and that efforts to protect communities from offenders were violating the offenders’ rights.
“Sex offenders are among the most reviled citizens of our nation,” he wrote. “Subject to registration, residency restrictions, and literally hundreds of other constricting laws, the 800,000 people on America’s sex-offender registries are by far the most policed population in our country.”
If there is question over informing families of potential danger and keeping children safe, we must err on the side of the children.
The right to human dignity
How does this relate to the right to life?
First, as mentioned above it takes a callous regard for life to accept either abortion or sexual exploitation.
But it should also be asked whether it’s coincidental that the ACLU, a significant pro-abortion voice and force, is incredibly outspoken for the “rights” of pedophiles over the victimized children.
In January 1997, the ACLU defended a “Man-Boy Love Group” which advocates consensual sexual relationships between adult men and boys and abolishing age-of-consent-laws that classify adult sex with children as rape.
A member of the group and another man reportedly associated with the pedophilia-promoting group were convicted separately for the rape and murder of a 10-year-old boy and are now serving life sentences.
The victim’s family sued the organization, the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), for the rape and murder of their son, accusing NAMBLA of inciting the horrific crimes through its literature and web site.
The ACLU advocated for the defendants, countering that NAMBLA was not responsible for the incitement.
The murdered 10-year-old boy’s father wrote a letter to the editor of a local news outlet 21 years later in 2018 regarding the ACLU’s efforts to kill a victims’ rights law, criticizing the ACLU’s advocacy for NAMBLA and explicitly rejecting the claim that the ACLU cares about the liberties and rights of children and victims of sexual violence.
He said, in part, “The ACLU went out of their way to represent NAMBLA, citing that their unpopular views on pedophilia must be defended, and that the two men who raped and murdered my son deserve to have their beliefs protected.”
It's not difficult to see how desensitization to this abuse of children, and additionally in this case, the brutal taking one’s life, would go hand in hand with acceptance of abortion - also abusive to both mother and child, and the brutal ending of the child’s life. Defending the right to hold individual beliefs does not extend to promoting ideas that are clearly abusive to children and destructive to human life.
Eliminating lives to eliminate risk of abuse
The connections between abortion and abuse don’t end there.
Among the common misconceptions put forth by abortion proponents is that aborting unwanted babies would cause child abuse to decrease. But not only has that not been the case, this theory is flawed and demonstrates the dehumanization of abortion.
Abort73.com writer Jeffrey Jones wrote in his 2008 article, “Abortion and Child Abuse,” about the connection between abortion and abuse, explaining:
“The theory goes: ‘unwanted’ children are normally the objects of abuse; if we reduce the number of unwanted children by making abortion available, child abuse will decrease. The data, however, very plainly shows that child abuse has not decreased but increased since abortion became legal. From 1980 to 1993, the child maltreatment estimates rose 149%, from 625,100 cases to 1,553,800.”
Even if the statistics were in abortion activists’ favor on this, the idea that it’s okay to eliminate at-risk children as a means of eliminating abuse is itself abusive on its face. You do not solve a problem by ending the lives of its victims.
Acceptance of abortion leads to other social ills
Legalized abortion has created a decreased value of human life, and those calloused sentiments have spilled over into other areas, such as child abuse, sexual or otherwise.
Tweet This: Legalized abortion has created a decreased value of human life, and those calloused sentiments have spilled over into other areas.
Normalizing the aggression and violence of abortion against its defenseless victims will only nurture the heartlessness against all human life. And the justification of abortion has only served as conditioning for people into acceptance and justification of pedophilia.
Jones lists some potential effects the practice of abortion has procured, such as increased hostility between generations, diminished importance of caring for children, possible increased guilt and self-hatred resulting from abortion to be projected onto the child, the potential for the child to be scapegoated in an intensified battle of the sexes prompted by abortion, and diminished mothering capability.
Perhaps we are seeing some of the fruit of this overall coarsening in the push to normalize pedophilia as a legitimate sexual orientation, a dangerous thing that would then justify sexual exploitation of children and negate any legal repercussions of sexually abusive acts toward them.
A particularly troubling attempt at normalizing pedophilia came from Mirjam Heine, who gave a 2018 Ted Talk titled, “Why our perception of Pedophilia has to change." In it she referred to pedophilia as an 'unchangeable sexual orientation.'
Heine, then a medical student and follower of the teaching of Dr. Klaus Michael Beier, head of the Institute for Sexology and Sexual Medicine at the University Hospital Berlin, stated, “Pedophilia is a natural sexual orientation,” in the talk, and spoke on her concerns to “end their (pedophiles) suffering.”
One claim Heine made was that non-offenders’ isolation and rejection of pedophiles will only increase sexual abuse rates, seemingly placing the responsibility on non-offenders and excusing the pedophiles committing the acts.
“We shouldn’t increase the sufferings of pedophiles by excluding them, by blaming and mocking them,” she said. “By doing that, we increase their isolation, and we increase the chance of child sexual abuse.”
Heine expressed further that pedophiles should be given a break for their sexual penchants and sympathy for not being able to act them out:
“We should accept that pedophiles are people who have not chosen their sexuality and who, unlike most of us, will never be able to live it out freely…. Most of us feel discomfort when we think about pedophiles. But just like pedophiles, we are not responsible for our feelings. We do not choose them (emphasis added) but we are responsible for our actions.”
After backlash, TEDx removed the video from YouTube.
Behavioral psychologist and therapist Dr. Linda Mintle countered Heine’s message in a CBN News article that year, stating that, “Pedophilic disorder is a mental disorder. It is one type of mental disorder in the category of paraphilias.”
Also in direct conflict with this Heine’s argument, the American Psychiatric Association, as of now, still maintains that pedophilia is a mental disorder rather than a sexual orientation.
In the area of legislation, we find SB 145, which was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2020.
The law has lessened the state’s legal prohibition of pedophilia, and now registering as a sex offender is no longer mandatory after committing certain sex acts with minors within a ten-year age difference of the abuser. Further, it applies in cases where the victim is between 14 and 17 years of age, and it seeks to rescind an existing registration requirement for oral and anal sex.
The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Scott Wiener, said in defense of his bill, “This distinction between vaginal intercourse and other forms of intercourse is a relic of California's discriminatory past, and it's time to bring an end to it.”
Broadcasting the exploitation
Now television and film productions are presenting a “virtuous pedophile” and otherwise normalizing sexual attraction toward children, an apparent attempt to sway the public in sympathy for pedophiles. Two examples are “I, Pedophile” on Amazon, and Cuties on Netflix.
Tech giant Amazon has been criticized for its sympathetic portrayal of portrayal of pedophiles, critics calling it irresponsible.
Major streaming service Netflix caused a huge child pornography controversy with its release of the French Film “Cuties.”
Eleven-year-old girls are dancing with no shirts on, grabbing themselves inappropriately and much more I am not comfortable describing here. This is what Netflix chooses to describe as a coming-of-age story and a bucking of conservative values, calling the dancing “free-spirited.”
The director of “Cuties” justified the sexual exploitation of children contained in the film.
Maïmouna Doucouré claimed in an interview that she created the film to show how children are being oversexualized at a young age, inspiration she received while watching children dance as if they were at adult clubs. So, in effect, she tried to justify showing the sexual exploitation of children, by doing just that - showing the sexual exploitation of children.
Concerned and horrified individuals across social media pointed out the foolishness of claiming to produce and present exploitation for the purpose of combating it.
Thousands cancelled their subscriptions, but nonetheless, Netflix has stood by its objectionable content.
Netflix continues in its attempts to rationalize it with the program description:
“Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
The push for sympathy toward would-be pedophile rights has also reached major social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram, at times with impunity.
A group headed by sexologist Beier wrote a 2018 letter to John Starr, Twitter’s Director of Trust and Safety, decrying that non-offending “anti-contact MAPs” (minor attracted persons) had their accounts suspended. The letter argued that pedophiles should have access to Twitter as a means of access to support in fighting their inclinations.
Two men whose accounts were suspended the group said, had “always used their accounts to speak out against sexual abuse, to help their peers avoid offending, and to help reduce the stigma associated with pedophilia that prevents many pedophiles from seeking help if they need it.”
Twitter says it has “zero tolerance towards any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation.”
Interestingly, however, the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation, the mission of which is to “eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online,” found in 2019 that Twitter was responsible for more than half of child abuse material on the internet in the three previous years.
Intervention, treatment, and support for behavior change
Major technology companies have “buried their heads in the sand when it comes to online pedophilia,” according to Michael Salter, Scientia Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Salter, creator of the Organized Abuse website, is also associate editor of Child Abuse Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, as well as a high-level advisor to numerous government departments and non-governmental organizations.
“Pedophiles need early intervention, treatment, and support for behavior change,” Salter said of Twitter’s allowing pedophiles to discuss their sexual appetite for children on its platform. “They do not need a public forum to discuss their sexual attraction to children.”
I couldn't agree more.
This growing lack of regard for the sanctity of children’s lives through pedophilia has abortion to thank for assisting in its rise. Abortion has not only not presented any solutions to child abuse, nor reduced it, rather, it has contributed to it.
Where will this lead if it’s not stopped? Could we see legal protection for pedophilic acts, and a continued cycle of abuse and violation of the sanctity of life?
Abortion and pedophilia are both threats to life, both prevalent and tragic in their results. Now more than ever it is crucial to be aware and advocate for the sanctity of human life.
There are a number of resources available for sexual abuse recovery and for parents and caregivers concerned about sexual abuse of children, including the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the National Children’s Advocacy Center (NCAC), and Stop It Now. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has resources on addressing obscene, indecent and profane broadcasts.
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News. Heartbeat affiliates can access resources for serving at-rick clients.