Chivalry isn’t dead, apparently.
Although in 2022, chivalry means not holding a door open, but banishing women who refuse to hew to the fashionable ideology of the day from the presence of other women.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, major law firm Hogan Lovells hosted a conference call “billed as a ‘safe space’ for women at the firm,” according to then-employee Robin Keller. (One wonders if Hogan Lovells, whose reported invitation language seems to suggest a lack of awareness that we now are a culture of pregnant persons, faced ire for excluding biological females who now identify as male.)
“It might have been a safe space for some, but it wasn’t safe for me,” writes Keller in The Wall Street Journal.
For the crime of expressing out loud her pro-life views, Keller lost her job.
Sadly, the exclusion of pro-life women is apparently, even in our “enlightened” era, an acceptable form of discrimination.
Never mind that there’s always been a robust percentage of women who identify as pro-life (in fact, a third of American women say they are pro-life, according to a 2022 Gallup poll). Never mind that being the sex which experiences pregnancy is supposed to give your views on abortion more weight.
Keller’s experience highlights how insane certain settings can be for pro-life women.
After a series of speakers denounced the Dobbs decision in her law firm’s conference call, Keller writes, she chose to speak out.
“I noted that many jurists and commentators believed Roe had been wrongly decided. I said that the court was right to remand the issue to the states. I added that I thought abortion-rights advocates had brought much of the pushback against Roe on themselves by pushing for extreme policies,” she recalls in her article, published Nov. 29.
Then Keller, clearly no coward, dared to touch the third rail of woke politics: Discussing the clear racism of abortion.
“I referred to numerous reports of disproportionately high rates of abortion in the black community, which some have called a form of genocide,” she writes. “I said I thought this was tragic.”
Within hours, Hogan Lovells suspended and even attacked Keller.
In a statement to Above the Law, a law blog that covered the incident in July, Hogan Lovells wrote that an employee’s comments had been found by other employees to be “inappropriate and offensive.” Above the Law also published an internal email in which Hogan Lovells accused Keller of having made “anti-Black comments” and stated that “racist actions and statements are contrary to our culture.”
Ah, yes, the racism of wanting black babies to be born.
Keller, who headed the U.S. business restructuring and insolvency practice at Hogan Lovells, herself wrote that “The outrage was immediate” after she spoke on the call.
“The next speaker called me a racist and demanded that I leave the meeting. Other participants said they ‘lost their ability to breathe’ on hearing my comments,” Keller adds. “After more of the same, I hung up.”
Reached by email for comment and asked whether the firm wanted to confirm or deny Keller’s account in the Journal, Hogan Lovells spokesperson Ritchenya Dodd said, “We fully encourage our people to share their views on important issues that matter to them, but we expect our people to conduct themselves in accordance with firm policies. We value our differences, which make us stronger as a firm.”
Yes, clearly, the firm “value[s] our differences.”
Let’s take a moment to look at the facts about abortion and race. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, looking at 2019 abortion data, 38% of abortions were performed on black women. So nearly 4 out of 10 abortions are provided to black women, despite the fact that blacks make up about 14% of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau.
I may not have read “How to Be an Antiracist,” but I’m pretty sure that these numbers suggest that abortion disproportionately affects the black community.
“What is racist is the fact that African Americans have the highest abortion rate,” said former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in 2020.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Alveda King, who had two abortions, now advocates pro-life policies.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was so racist that even that abortion giant has given up trying to defend her (after doing so as recently as 2016). Surely it’s not irrelevant that abortion’s most fervent champion in American history was a huge eugenics proponent?
But even if Keller hadn’t exposed the racism of abortion norms in America to her co-workers, it’s not clear she would have been OK.
In the era of cancel culture, as corporations continue to become woke, it’s anyone’s guess whether it’s safe to voice your views on abortion at the workplace, even if you do so politely and even if you’re in possession of a uterus.
A friend of mine, who works in a corporate setting, told me that on the day of the Dobbs decision, a female colleague said on a call that today was a dark day for all women—or something along those lines. My friend, despite being pro-life herself, didn’t feel comfortable saying anything beyond that different people had different views on the topic, and then changing the subject.
My friend is likely far from alone in self-censoring, especially at the workplace, given that few are easily able to handle being fired or facing other financial or reputational consequences.
To give an insight into the hostility some employees are facing, consider this Aug. 23 letter printed by “The Ethicist,” a column printed in The New York Times Magazine.
The ethical dilemma? Well, the letter writer is worried that her colleague and self-described friend of almost nine years is pro-life, but not public about it.
“Especially after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, though, I struggle with having a friend who supports what I think is a restriction of my rights to make my own choices about my body,” writes the advice seeker, adding:
“I struggle with the idea that she is able to protect herself from the fallout of people knowing she is anti-abortion when implementing her views would take away rights that many people see as vital to living a life with dignity.”
Amazingly, it is The New York Times columnist, Kwame Anthony Appiah, who ends up having the more “moderate” take, advising that “Your friend’s view on the topic [abortion] shouldn’t hurt her professionally.”
But the anonymous letter writer isn’t alone in her extremism. In July, shortly after the Dobbs decision, Jennifer Stavros opined in a Telegraph column that it was fine to not have pro-life friends: “We do not owe you friendship when you don’t believe that we deserve basic human rights.”
“Theologian, Nobel Peace Prize-winner and pro-choice advocate Desmond Tutu famously said, ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have sided with the oppressor,’” Stavros wrote.
What’s clear is that leftists are trying to set a new standard: Either be pro-abortion or face the kind of ostracization formerly reserved for racists, Nazis, and other oppressors. Don’t think you can hold down a professional job and still be pro-life. Don’t think you can have friends and still be pro-life. Don’t think that your gender gives you any more freedom to hold pro-life views and still be an accepted member of society.
That’s chilling. Robin Keller may be one of the first persons post-Dobbs to face professional consequences for her pro-life views, but if leftists have their way, she won’t be the last.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.