The Woman in the Pink Overalls: An Open Letter to the APA

Dear American Psychological Association,

I know that you are probably never going to see this letter. I know that being angry on the internet doesn’t accomplish much, if anything. But I also know that “a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” And so I am writing to protest the injustice you are committing against my generation.

Last Friday, Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court decision that allowed for the murder of over 60 million infants and hundreds of women, was overturned. For nearly half a century, this country, founded on the principles of equality and liberty, was shrouded by this pall of federalized, legalized murder. We dwelt in the shadow of death, crying out, “May their blood be upon us and our children” with every tax payment. Our parents had to drive us children by killing centers as if they were the same as any doctor’s office or fast food restaurant. We were told to watch documentaries celebrating the eradication of Down Syndrome from Iceland – through abortion.

Do you remember Avengers: Infinity War, which is centered around half of the population disappearing with a snap of a finger? As I walked out of the movie theater I was confronted with the reality that there were so many people missing from that theater, from my city, because of abortion.

But last Friday, Roe was overturned! The rights of our children have been returned to the states, and we can finally begin the long, arduous battle for effective pro-life legislation and the transformation of a culture.

And what was your response to the removal of America’s death robe, APA?

“This ruling ignores not only precedent but science, and will exacerbate the mental health crisis America is already experiencing…A person’s ability to control when and if they have a child is frequently linked to their socioeconomic standing and earning power. Therefore, restricting access to safe, legal abortions is most likely to affect those living in poverty, people of color, and sexual and gender identity minorities, as well as those who live in rural or medically underserved areas.”

Frank C. Worell, PhD, APA President

There are so many ways I could express the anger that welled up when I saw that you “expressed deep concern and profound disappointment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.” But for the purposes of this letter, APA, I want to share about my personal encounters with people the day after the Dobbs decision. I want to tell you about the woman in the pink overalls.

I don’t know her name or anything about her. She was at the pro-abortion rally that ended up disrupting our pro-life rally. Despite the tension, everything remained non-violent and we were able to dialogue with some of the pro-abortion protesters afterwards.

She was in pink overall shorts with pink-rimmed glasses, blonde hair in a messy bun. Dangly earrings that, although they said “Bans off our bodies,” made me realize that she and I probably had a shared love for Etsy.

I can’t remember what her sign said, but oh, she was angry. And she was angry about the same things that anger me. We were angry about the frequency of sexual assault and domestic violence, the rampancy of human trafficking and the way it destroys lives and societies.

We are both young women in an increasingly unsafe world. We have so many of the same fears. But of course, fears do not take away the fact that a baby is a baby. Abortion kills a human baby, and therefore, it can never be condoned.

We talked for a while, bouncing back and forth the talking points for both of our sides. I knew I wasn’t going to convert her in that moment. I merely wanted to stand in defense of the truth and in defense of the unborn. But as we continued to talk, I more and more passionately wanted to stand in defense of her. I wanted her to know her inherent worth as a human, the unique gift that her femininity offers, and the way the abortion movement wants to strip her of all dignity.

I knew the conversation was drawing to a close and that she was about to go join the hundreds of people gathering for the pro-abortion march. She said the unborn baby is a clump of cells.

“But when does it stop being a clump of cells?” I asked. “What are you?”

“I’m a clump of cells!” she said forcefully. “You’re a clump of cells, that’s all any of us are!”

APA, this was a real woman. Not a statistic in a study, not a number in a demographic, not an object for pushing political agendas. This was a woman, made in God’s image, beloved by a Father who sent His Son to die for her. This was a woman who I think honestly believed she was advocating for justice, whose heart was clearly longing to be a part of a movement, part of a community. Her heart was made for the Father and it will be restless until it rests in Him. But you tell her she needs abortion for mental health. You tell her that she is nothing more than a clump of cells.

I don’t need a book or study to know that my generation needs help when it comes to mental health. But honestly, how can you expect a generation to have a deep sense of self-worth or lack of anxiety when they have grown up in a society that accepts that even the womb is unsafe? That some lives mean more than other lives and that if you were conceived at an inconvenient time or in a horrific way, or if you have health conditions or disabilities, your life means less than the life next to you?

What did you expect to happen when our country declared that mothers could kill children because they are inconvenient? There are people who have gone their whole lives being told that some lives are disposable. Some lives are not worth living. How do you honestly expect a teenager to not believe the same about their lives? If we are only clumps of cells, why does anyone’s life matter?

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that it would be better for a individual in a democracy to believe that his or her soul passes into the body of a pig after death than to fall into the trap of materialistic atheism. In other words, it is better for an American to believe in a bizarre form of reincarnation than to simply believe that he or she is a clump of cells. And yet materialistic atheism is really the only way that any possible argument in favor of abortion can stand.

APA, you want to safeguard abortion. But the prominence of abortion is what drove the girl in the pink overalls to believe she was nothing more than a clump of cells. It’s what enabled another woman to walk alongside a row of people at the rally and individually tell them, “I hope you die.”

To advocate for the culture of death is to advocate for a generation of despair. But my generation is not simply a mentally ill generation. We are the pro-life generation. We didn’t only survive Roe vs Wade, we outlived Roe vs Wade. By God’s grace, we will begin to build a culture in which every life is understood as a beautiful mystery and a revelation of God’s infinite love.

To every soul reading this open letter, your life is not meaningless. You are good, you are loved, and you are wanted. I am so sorry that our culture has told you anything else.


Larisa, a.k.a. So much more than a clump of cells

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