One thing I was struck by as I moved from being anti-abortion to being pro-choice was the difference in how each group views the women in the situation. Namely, the pro-choice crowd focuses on the circumstances, needs, and desires of a woman in an unintended pregnancy while for the anti-abortion crowd, it’s almost like the woman doesn’t exist.
For the anti-abortion crowd, it’s all about the sweet developing “baby” – who from the rhetoric might as well be hanging out in an artificial womb rather than within a woman. Sure, there are Crisis Pregnancy Centers geared toward talking women out of having abortions by lying to them about health risks and offering them free cribs. But the discussion centers not around the woman at all, but around the “baby.”
But even though I’d realized and thought about this, the image above, which I discovered via Sarah Over the Moon, still shocked me. I didn’t realize an anti-abortion activist could go quite that far. One stroke of the pen (or rather keyboard) and the women have disappeared from the picture entirely. Women? What women? Babies come from storks! Save the storks! I’m sorry…what? And it’s not just that picture. Here’s a quote from the website advertised on the image:
A staggering 1.2 million storks were shot out of the sky last year alone. Tragically, as these beautiful creatures take flight over the moon, they carry our most precious resources. As they carry these resources, storks journey over perilous regions, unprotected from man’s hunting. Save the Storks is an organization that hopes to save these endangered creatures.
I used to be a Republican. I wasn’t anti-woman, or at least, I didn’t think I was. So in this whole discussion of the Republican Party conducting a “war on women,” there’s a part of me that has wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. That part of me is getting smaller.