“Out of the corner” is the title of Jennifer Grey’s recent memoir. It’s a play on the famous line from Patrick Swayze’s character in “Dirty Dancing,” the movie they’re both best known for. Grey’s character is nicknamed “Baby,” and Swayze’s character tells her family, “No one puts Baby in a corner” — after they do.

Gray recently spoke with the Los Angeles Times to promote the book. She said she considered canceling the interview because she was upset — it happened to fall on the day the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade overthrew. But she gave the interview, and what she said may actually help get us out of the rhetorical corner in which Roe v. Wade placed us.

“Grey says she felt empowered by her sexual freedom at a young age and was wary of using birth control,” explained the Times. “But even as someone with the access and means to abortion, the choice to end a pregnancy can take its toll: ‘It’s such a serious decision. And it stays with you.’”

Here’s what you don’t typically hear at rallies or even Congressional hearings: Abortion is serious. This is because it involves a mother’s decision to end the life of her baby. It’s a cruel decision to make, often when the mother is young, as Gray was. She says she had the means – presumably also to keep the baby – but young girls and women can feel alone and that abortion is their only choice.

And there is a deeper cultural ailment that Gray shines a light on, albeit unintentionally. The headline of the Times piece emphasized that Grey’s abortion “changed her life”. Well, of course it did. But the assumption, in her story and many others, is that that change was for the better. I can’t keep track of how many pieces I’ve read and how many testimonies I’ve heard about how a woman wouldn’t have her career without her abortion(s). So it is with Grey: “I wouldn’t have my life. I wouldn’t have had the career I had, I wouldn’t have

had anything,” she said. “And it wasn’t for a lack of taking it seriously. I have always wanted a child. I just didn’t want to have a child as a teenager.”

She did give birth to a daughter at 41. But there is something insidious about the “planned” in Planned Parenthood. Clearly, we all need to make wise decisions about pregnancy. But college students are now choosing not to attend schools in certain states because they want access to abortion. Are they considering abortion as part of their birth control tools? As Erika Bachiochi’s magisterial book “The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision” makes clear, when abortion is widely available, people tend to have more reckless, casual sex because they know there is an option should a pregnancy occur.

But more fundamentally, a child you didn’t plan for isn’t the end of the world. A child can change your life and open you up to a love you didn’t know was possible.

Love is parenting. Love is self-sacrificing. It’s not easy. It’s not glamorous. But love makes miracles possible. Single moms are brave. We must stand together for these remarkable mothers, and the same with fathers who are brought up.

Parenting is heroic. A culture that does not appreciate this does not know what love is. In this post-Roe America, we must advocate for everything that prioritizes families. For example, having a child should not be prohibitively expensive. This should not be a partisan issue. Let’s get out of our ideological corners and help families thrive.

But back to Grey: What if “Dirty Dancing” wasn’t part of her life? Would that have meant the end of the world? She would have had something – a child! And she could have chosen adoption too. We do teenagers a disservice when we insist that career success is the be-all and end-all. We will not be a healthy culture until we value family life.

Perhaps it is not shocking that Gray speaks out in favor of legal abortion. After all, “Dirty Dancing,” had a storyline about a dancer at a posh resort whose illegal abortion goes wrong, putting her life at risk. How wonderful the movie would have been if the dancer could have revealed her pregnancy instead and been supported by her employer, or by some of the rich families who vacation there.

The way the story played out was probably realistic. But it shouldn’t be. Young women should not feel that the serious decision to abort is the only, or best, answer. A mother should never choose to end the life of her unborn child. With the end of Roe, life is actually possible in new ways. All of us must work to make this possible. Out of our corners, please!

Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor of National Review magazine and author of the new book “A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living.” She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan’s pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at klopez@nationalreview.com.

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