Contributor Hails Abortion As Act of 'Mercy'

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" -- Isaiah 5:20

Forget zombies, vampires, and the other assorted imaginary embodiments of evil. This Halloween the most sickening, skin-crawling, and frighteningly real evil you can come across is just a click away for you at, where abortion-rights absolutist Irin Carmon presents abortion as an act of mercy for which an Oklahoma couple should be commended, not grieved, and for which they should not have been inconvienced in the first place by restrictive abortion laws.

In a gauzy piece meant to bash the pro-life conservatism of Oklahoma's abortion laws, Carmon highlighted the plight of Jessica and Erick Davis -- an Oklahoma couple with three children -- and their journey earlier this year to a Dallas, Texas, clinic to take the life of their fourth son, an unborn child diagnosed with a severe brain malformation. The Davises are apparently unrepentant about the decision and even excuse it as an act of mercy. Indeed, the Davises were offended that local funeral homes refused their request to bury the unborn child they had legally murdered -- but for whom they went to name on a death certificate: 


On their last night in Dallas, the ramen noodles and microwave popcorn were finished. The money for the motel had run out too. So on a hot August night Jessica and Erick Davis and their three young kids slept in the Mazda rented for the trip.

It had only been a few hours since Jessica’s abortion. Because the procedure needed to be performed later in her pregnancy, it stretched over three days.

“I cried until I could fall asleep,” she said.

Earlier that month, at home in Oklahoma City, the Davises were told that the boy she was carrying had a severe brain malformation known as holoprosencephaly. It is rare, though possible, for such a fetus to survive to birth, but doctors told them that he would not reach his first birthday. “He would never walk, lift his head,” Jessica, 23, recalled in an interview.

“I could let my son go on and suffer,” she said. Or she could accept a word she didn’t like – abortion - “and do the best thing for my baby.”

The Davises’ ordeal was always going to be painful. But the grim path that led them to a night in the car was determined, nearly every step of the way, by a state that has scrambled to be the most “pro-life” in the nation. There are no exceptions for families like the Davises.


The lack of options sent them to Dallas, where protesters outside the clinic tried to hand Jessica a pair of baby socks. She told them to go to hell. She left the clinic with a death certificate, which she and Eric had asked for, and a footprint of the son they named Mark Gordon Scott Davis.

The funeral homes Jessica called for a “proper burial” laughed at her, or hung up “because I mentioned the word ‘termination,’” she said. The funeral homes told her she had an abortion. “I don’t look at it like that,” Jessica said. “I’m showing my son mercy.’”

The Davises, who are both unemployed and live on Jessica’s $700 a month in disability payments and food stamps, came home to unpaid bills. The electricity was slated to be turned off the next day. Eric sold off scrap metal he found to pay the bill, but there was no money left for gas and water.

Oklahoma law had barred Jessica from using state Medicaid to cover the cost, so the couple had borrowed some money from relatives to cover the $2,800 procedure. In total, the trip set them back $3,500. “It took everything we had so that our son would not suffer,” Jessica said.

“It was never something that I had to worry about–the politics,” she said. “I just let women make their own decisions. But I would hate for another woman to have to be in my position.”

Obviously no one wants any woman to be in a position where she learns her child has a severe developmental abnormality and may not live to see his first birthday. It's unimaginably heart-breaking. Yes, some compassion for the grief-stricken parents is called for, but ultimately, the Davises elected not merely to abort their child but to cast themselves as self-sacrificing and heroic for having done so. That decision is not commendable nor laudable. It's rather sad and ultimately sick. Rather than facing up to their evil and seeking divine redemption and forgiveness, they are clothing their actions as thoroughly righteous and merciful.

For its part, MSNBC is more than happy to oblige in indulging the Davises' self-delusion about what they've done, tapping Carmon to write up the story and sending along a photographer to take numerous photos of the Davises together with their children. Indeed, on the landing page this afternoon, editors teased the story with a tender photo of Erick kissing his wife Jessica, accompanied by the headline, "I'm showing my son mercy." "Ending a wanted pregnancy was always going to be painful. But living in the most “pro-life” state made it far worse," complained the caption.

This is not a mere retelling of a couple's saga in procuring an abortion. It's a positive celebration of abortion as merciful all the while Carmon castigates as evil pro-life politicians who have enacted further restrictions on legalized child-killing.

It's calling evil good and good evil, and that's the most insidious form that evil can take.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.