Let’s Talk Anti-Choice

From:  Aurora police probe incident near Planned Parenthood clinic — chicagotribune.com

Authorities are seeking a woman accused of harassing and grabbing an employee of an Aurora clinic that offers abortions and has been the site of protests and conflict.

Aurora police are investigating the months-old incident as a comparatively minor charge of misdemeanor battery, but it highlights the uneasy standoff between the protesters and the clinic, which offers family planning services, including abortions.

He alleged incident happened nearly one year after the opening of the clinic, on Oct. 2, 2007, and occurred during a 40-day protest by the Pro-Life Action League.

Eric Scheidler, spokesman for the Pro-Life Action League, said he first heard of the alleged incident Monday, but he doesn’t believe his group’s volunteers would physically harass Planned Parenthood employees.

I am going to refrain from using a large brush here; however, there are a number of documented instances of people being harassed at Abortion Clinics.   Mr. Scheidler should at least have the courage to say, “If this occurred, we are sorry.  We plan on cooperating with the police on this matter.”

He won’t.  Despite seeing this as a “holy crusade” to save babies, I honestly don’t think a many anti-choicers ever stand up and take responsibility for their actions.  They JUSTIFY their actions, saying that they need to defend fetuses; however, do they actually go to the mat for their beliefs?

If you are going to take a stand for something, then you take the stand all the way.  You do the deed and suffer the societal consequences:  Even if those consequences mean you go into hiding and forgo a normal life.

The only thing these so-called Pro-Lifers have in their favor is their rhetoric.  They’re prolife.  Peel the layer of “pro-life” and you find individuals who are , in fact, just Anti-Abortion.  Pro-life isn’t just about zygotes and fetuses.  Pro-life means Anti-Death penalty.  Pro-Life means a standard of living for all of God’s Children.  Pro Life means taking stances for ALL Life–not just the proto-human inside someone’s uterus.  How do I know this?  Once upon a time, I was a practicing catholic.  The church’s stance on what is Pro-Life is pretty well spelled out (emphasis mine).

The Church’s mission to defend human life applies over the entire course of life, from conception to natural death. And so the Catholic Church has been a strong supporter of the civil rights movement and a leader in international relief and development efforts. Catholic hospitals and other health-care facilities form the largest network of private, not-for-profit health care providers in the United States. Catholic Charities USA — one of a number of Catholic charitable groups — is currently the single largest provider of social services to all Americans, regardless of race, creed or national origin.

Being Anti-Abortion means you are Anti-Choice.  This philosophy removes a significant option from a woman’s right to chose what is to happen to her zygote or fetus.  Pro-Life is a bullshit term conjured to make some unsympathetic protesters palatable.   Pushing, pulling and yelling at women who are going through a difficult situation.  That is a deplorable method of achieving one’s ends.

The wonderful thing about this, in order to justify or take responsibility for their actions, most AntiChoicers have to take a position held by the Radical Saul Alinksy:  “The question is not do the ends justify the means.  The question is do these particular ends justify these particular means.”  Granted, he is not the originator of such a sentiment–but it is a sentiment popularized by a left winger.

So, for the last time, we as a nation should stop framing the Debate as Pro-Choice or Pro-life.  It is pro-choice and anti-choice.  Get it straight.

update 1:  Currently, an Anti-Choice organization was picked this article and not cited me.  I wrote them a polite letter and asked to have my content removed from their site.  I’m giving them 24 hours before I change the nature of this post.

Update 2:  Plan #1 wouldn’t work for two reasons: First, the changes would only appear to those who load the page. Second, and pointed out by my consiglari, the proposed changes would go against the tone I wanted for discussion.  Therefore, I need to think about Plan #2.

14 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Anti-Choice

  1. Thanks for stating what should be obvious, but isn’t to so many people, Mart. I agree with you 100%. If so many of the ardent, vocal “Pro-lifers” cared so much about life, they wouldn’t picket abortion clinics, they’d offer practical solutions. Abstinence only isn’t practical, or effective. They’d be involved in the lives of children who are born unwanted, helping protect them from abuse and neglect as they grow up.

    But they don’t. It seems, for most of those who consider themselves pro-life, to end as soon as the child takes their first breath. How is that respecting life?

  2. They’d be involved in the lives of children who are born unwanted, helping protect them from abuse and neglect as they grow up.

    My parents were poor, I was at the very least unplanned, and there was a fair amount of abuse as I grew up. Still, I’m reasonably sure that I’m a happier person now than I would’ve been if I were aborted. And the poor/unplanned thing didn’t stop my parents from offering every resource they had, including medical expenses and adoption, to help a 16-year-old girl carry to term. Me, I haven’t run up against that particular situation, but I know perfectly well I’d do the same thing. Made that decision a long time ago.

    Most of the pro-life types I know see an unborn child as a human being, full stop. From this viewpoint, of course you’re going to spend more energy on abortion than you are on abuse or neglect; it doesn’t mean condoning other evils, it means drawing a distinction between “people dying today” and “people in less immediate danger”.

    Most of the pro-life people I know are like this, and seeing otherwise seems rather like reading “Oh, those Muslims. They say they care about their religion, but all they really want to do is bomb buildings and cut off women’s clitorises.”

    Pro-life concepts are not strictly the property of the Catholic Church and shouldn’t be defined as such IMO; most of the ones I’ve known have been some flavor of protestant and haven’t cared one way or the other about the existence of the death penalty. Me, I draw a teensy moral distinction between an infant who’s done nothing more than be an inconvenience and an adult who’s made choices that have deeply harmed another living being. But I don’t care about the death penalty by comparison. If, in MagicAbstractLand, abolishing the death penalty would bring about the end of abortion, I’d embrace it gleefully, but it’s not something I devote much thought to. I want the practice and the necessity done with; I want better birth control, a revamped adoption system, and far, far better education. Most especially, I want girls to grow up believing that their primary value isn’t contained in “who will be sexually interested in me?”

    I am passionately against abortion; it’s just not something I talk about because 1) it’s a severe case of “never the twain shall meet” and 2) my stores of rationality on the subject fade fast. However, the best quote I ever read on the subject (from a devout Catholic writer who was rather surprised to find that her words had been embraced by the more thoughtful pro-choice crowd) was along the lines of “A woman doesn’t want an abortion the way she wants an ice-cream cone or a new car; she wants an abortion the way a coyote in a trap wants to gnaw its leg off.” Good stuff for me to keep in mind.

    It seems, for most of those who consider themselves pro-life, to end as soon as the child takes their first breath. How is that respecting life?

    It’s not a question of respecting life versus not respecting it; it’s triage. If you see someone helpless in life-or-death danger, your first priority is to get them OUT and your second priority is to make sure they’re cared for. If there’s imminent death everywhere you look…it takes a Mother Teresa to be able to cope with the immediate problem AND arrange for non-emergency care.

    IMO, wishing there were a “preview” feature, and writing from the other side of the trenches,


  3. Mommacow:

    Thank you for sharing a view point that I do not completely understand, and doing so in a polite, concise matter.

    Just as a warning to *other* posters (myself included): failure to keep it civil will result in bad things, such as Banning or Rick Rolling.

  4. I’m pretty sure you could have gone on for a billion pages–lord knows I could–but you kept it to a couple of hundred words.

  5. Mommacow, verbosity is no vice when you’re talking about something important, I say.

    The reduction of the debate to rhetorically loaded labels like “pro-life” and team-building pre-packaged positions does real damage to the issue, in my opinion. Six paragraphs of conscious, honest commentary are Good Things.

    That said, I respect that your position comes from a desire to do good, but I don’t completely agree with it. When I read some of the points you make, I’m motivated to ask questions like this one:

    Why is it okay for a government or a protester to act in defense of a life inside another person’s body but not a life inside another home or another country?

  6. Why is it okay for a government or a protester to act in defense of a life inside another person’s body but not a life inside another home or another country?

    …um. Blame it on my nublet-scrambled brains, but I’m not 100% sure of what you’re getting at. If it helps, when I’m doing MagicAbstractLand thinking I tend to draw a very sharp line between government and private individuals. (Bear with me…) A good deal of what troubles me about abortion is the public/private distinction. My thinking is that one hallmark of civilization, ever since humans have had civilization, boils down to private individuals ceding their power/authority for violent action to the state. Unless it’s an immediate self-defense situation, then ideally the city/state/national government has the responsibility to initiate violence in order to protect its citizens. If, in MagicAbstractLand, the state sees a ravening horde of barbarians to the west, then it goes to war so that its citizens won’t be sacked, pillaged, etc. If it sees a mother-stabbing, father-raping madman causing harm, then it uses force to confine or kill him so that there won’t be a string of victims until he’s finally vigilante’d down. These decisions are hopefully made on a rational and somewhat…removed…? basis, with the decision-makers actually *thinking*.

    Where abortion-on-demand and the bombing of abortion clinics flunk the Mommacow test is that it’s a killing being carried out by individuals, for individual, emotional, and transient reasons. None of which are an excuse to take a human life.

    (Individual and transient reasons are also why I’m trying to keep the conversation firmly in the State of MAL, to avoid parallels that’ll drag things completely the hell off topic. *grin*)

    (Obligatory disclaimer: Randall Terry et al. can kiss my butt. Bombing of private businesses is not the way to communicate your opinions and probably embarasses God to no end.)

  7. Pingback: Let’s Talk Anti-Choice | Pelican Project Pro-Life

  8. My question, Mommacow, is how does your philosophy regarding imminent death in a mother’s womb interact with your philosophy regarding, say, imminent death in the Congo?

  9. My philosophy gets a lot more complicated when crossing the border into MessyConcreteLand. Can’t be helped, and I play with abstractions so I’ll know better what to do when I hit messy complicated stuff.

    Imminent death in the Congo is awful. Imminent death in India is awful. Imminent death in Pakistan/downtown Detroit/Appalachia/London, likewise. I don’t have the power mentally or physically to make a dent in all of them. Do you? The reasons that abortion is my personal bugaboo are largely personal and moral, which I do not ask other people to share. The rational (as far as I can tell) reason that I get involved is that of all the people contending with death, the aborted are the ones who are most utterly helpless. The fact that they have various levels of awareness doesn’t change that, any more than it changes the situation of a coma victim. Damn near every other victim on earth can at least try to run.

    And that, for the aforementioned personal reasons, is where I start losing my rationality and will therefore stop typing. 🙂

    Purely out of curiosity, how do you handle imminent death in the Congo?

  10. I’m happy to take the issue out of the concrete and back into abstraction for the purposes of debate. Certainly I understand how one’s core philosophies can get obstructed by real-world specifics as big as issues of relative perceptions of reality and as little as the immediate cost of airfare.

    For me, the issue of whether or not helpless people (at any age or stage of development) should be protected gets complicated when it comes into contact with issues of personal responsibility and the right of the individual to do things I don’t agree with.

    As an example of principles in conflict with practicality, that brushes against your question, I wish I was the kind of person who would abandon my petty personal ambitions, get on a plane, and make somebody’s life better somewhere. The way that I “handle” it is I demean and demoralize myself for not being a better person and reinforce my personal (and sometimes illusory) notions of individual power.

    Put another way, I feel bad about it.

  11. I wish I was the kind of person who would abandon my petty personal ambitions, get on a plane, and make somebody’s life better somewhere.

    Don’t feel bad. I spent an appalling amount of my childhood explaining to God that I didn’t WANT to be a missionary, and while of course I didn’t want to tell him what to do, could He please see his way clear of telling me to go to China/Russia/Africa? (My church was a bit overzealous on their adoration of missionaries.)

    So now the majority of my friends are Americans who look at me funny when they find out I’m a Christian. Gotta love it.

Leave a Reply