It seems to be common experience that wherever you lift the lid on some kind of evil, you are sure to find more layers of evil underneath.
Recently the interdependence of three particularly insidious industries has been thrown into sharp relief.
*Trigger warning – the below discusses some sensitive matter*
A couple of weeks back, it was revealed in the Mail that abortion provider Marie Stopes has accepted £7.5 million in funding from US porn baron Phil Harvey.
I’d say I was surprised upon reading this, but I’d be lying.
Marie Stopes International, an organisation found guilty of numerous policy and safety breaches, is using a porn baron’s money to fund the killing of our nation’s children?
Imagine my shock.
As my friend Dave commented in this article, it should it come as no surprise that a porn baron would send a portion of his profits to abortion services.
After all, the porn industry has much to gain by supporting abortion.
Stick with me here.
Firstly, abortion is good news for sex traffickers and pimps. Easy access to abortion means that their girls can keep working if they fall pregnant. It means these women have no way out of their lifestyle and the ‘evidence’ for their traffickers’ crimes (as in, a baby), can be easily done away with.
If the workers at abortion clinics are not vigilant, the traffickers and pimps get away with it.
In January 2017, it came to light that Planned Parenthood had failed to report several instances of underage sex trafficking even when the pimps themselves came in to request that the girls get abortions.
We don’t know how many more cases like this have gone undetected.
What does this have to do with porn? Well, simply that many women (and likely some men too) who work in the porn industry have been groomed by pimps, and some of them have been trafficked. Consumers of porn are unwittingly fuelling the demand for sex trafficking.
Don’t believe me? I didn’t have to search for long to find examples.
So to read that the abortion industry has accepted millions from a porn baron actually makes a lot of sense. These three have a symbiotic relationship. They rely on each other to thrive.
The deep irony of course is that abortion is lauded as ‘empowering’, yet it is being supported by an industry that cares very little for the welfare of women (or men, or children).
I’ve read too many stories of women who worked in the porn industry being plied by alcohol and drugs, beaten and abused.
Or the story of this man, once the most successful male porn star of all time.
I have read stories of underage girls being put up on Pornhub, who kept the videos up there despite numerous pleas for them to be removed. Some of them had been raped.
These examples are all taken from ONE website. I’m sure a Google search would bring up many more.
And Marie Stopes, which claims to champion women’s rights, is more than happy to take money from these bastions of empowerment.
Could it be because the abortion industry itself is actually not as concerned about women’s welfare as it claims to be?
Women are not the primary victims of abortion – the majority have agency over their own decisions. But as a trustee for a crisis pregnancy helpline org, I can tell you that what we hear of the abortion industry does not paint a picture of empowerment.
Women who’ve experienced abortion tell us they felt they were on a ‘conveyor belt’; they speak of being given little to no counselling beforehand; that no one told them about the possible grief and regret they might feel. That no-one told them they could keep their baby.
Many women experience extreme regret but the abortion industry does not care. Let someone else bother about picking up the pieces (whilst they pick up and dispose of the pieces of the tiny life they have just destroyed).
What’s at the heart of this?
Well, you could argue that various factors drive these industries, but all three have something in common: the deconstruction of sex. All of them remove the context of sex and reinvent it for the purpose of pleasure only, at any cost.
And they’ll lie about the cost. They’ll tell you porn doesn’t hurt anybody. They’ll tell you that women who work in the sex industry are all there by choice and enjoy what they do. They’ll tell you you should have sex whenever you want with whomever you want and you can just dispose of the potential consequences.
All of this is a big fat lie.
The injustice of trafficking and abortion seems obvious enough, and I suspect I’m preaching to the choir about porn too. But in case I’m not, evidence demonstrates it’s far from the no-strings attached, harmless pleasure it’s cracked up to be. You don’t know if the person you’re watching is even there by his or her own free will, let alone if they really enjoy what they’re doing.
But even if porn was entirely consensual, what then? Should ‘consent’ really be the measuring stick by which we decide what is good?
It’s difficult to justify porn by the standard of consent alone when it’s been shown to wreck countless marriages and relationships. When it hurts the partners of those who watch it. When it hurts those who watch it, mentally, physically and psychologically.
What does this tell me?
It tells me that sex was never meant to be taken out of the context for which it was designed. It tells me God knew what He was doing when He created sex and warned us not to misuse such a gift. In a world that treats the Christian view of sexuality with derision, this is some comfort to a millennial like me.
The late Ravi Zacharias, the dearly beloved Christian apologist who passed away this week, once said this: “Pleasure without God, without the sacred boundaries, will actually leave you emptier than before. And this is biblical truth, this is experiential truth. The loneliest people in the world are amongst the wealthiest and most famous who found no boundaries within which to live. That is a fact I’ve seen again and again.”
Jesus set the bar pretty high when He said that a man “who even looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28). The value Jesus places on women stands in sharp contrast to the way these three industries exploit them.
I’m not saying all this from the lofty highs of moral superiority. We ALL fall short of His standard, which is of course why He came. Thank God that He doesn’t leave us in our broken state when we recognise our need of His mercy. All things can be restored through Him.
But to return to my primary point, it’s significant that the interdependence of these three industries is becoming more apparent. I hope that with time, more stories will surface and uncover the darker reality of these hidden parts of life.
Finally big shout-out to Fight The New Drug, a secular org that seeks to educate on the effects of porn and realities of the porn industry. Their website made research for this post 10x easier.