'They don't really believe it'

My house is on fire.

Oh my God! Are you OK?

I’m good, you know. How are you doing?

No, I mean, your house! Where are you?

Just watching the game, taking a little break.

Where? Are you …

Where else? Here on the sofa. Duh.

But the fire

Yeah, it’s horrible. The worst thing you can imagine.

Wait. I don’t understand. You said your house is on fire.

Yeah. It’s a shame. A national tragedy.

But, but you’re just sitting there on your couch, watching TV.

What’s your point? I’m not allowed to relax and enjoy myself once in a while?

Shouldn’t you be, you know … doing something? Like running outside to escape the flames? Or calling the fire department?

We don’t have a fire department, which you would know if you paid any attention at all to politics. All we have is a too-small volunteer company, because our so-called leaders don’t appreciate that fire is the Most Important Moral Issue of Our Time.

But …

Of any time, really. They just don’t share my righteous concern for …

Your house isn’t really on fire, is it?

How could you say such a thing? Of course it’s on fire. My house is on fire!

OK, maybe you just don’t understand what that means …

I know what it means. Engulfed in flames. Geez, don’t act like I’m stupid.

It’s just … Look, I just have a hard time believing you when you say your house is on fire but you’re not doing anything about it.

What do you mean “not doing anything”? I’m circulating petitions, registering voters. I’ve got a “Fire Kills” bumper sticker on my car. I just sent a check to the campaign of the new candidate for mayor …

But …

She appreciates the significance of fire as the Most Important Moral Issue of All Time. Not like our current mayor. That immoral man …

I’m hanging up now.

What? Did I say something “politically incorrect”?

No, it’s just all this nonsense about your house being on fire.

Yeah, well, I guess you just don’t have the moral fortitude to understand what’s really important.

No, you’re just a very silly person who says things he doesn’t mean and I’m going to hang up on you now.

You can’t hang up on me — my house is on fire! It’s a raging holocaust!

No. No it isn’t. And this fantasy or delusion or …

Can’t you smell the smoke?

Goodbye. [click]

Goodbye yourself, sinner. We’ll see who’s hanging up on who after the next election.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    No, but I keep seeing billboards by pro-life groups that compare abortion to some kind of ethnic cleansing campaign against black people. Does that count?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The murder versus killing distinction is important here.  Murder is generally understood to be unconscionable 100% of the time.  It’s one of the few things people are willing to agree upon as evil.  Killing, while usually considered bad, can be justified and even the right choice.

    So the only distinction is whether I want to be able to justify killing someone? Is that why so few people are willing to call many of acts of war murder?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    For some people, it seems, morality is what you impose on others.  If it involves you actually doing something, that’s socialism.

    And here’s another definition of socialism that has nothing to do with the balance between the individual and state in terms of economic resources.

    Socialism is not “the government doing something I disagree with”.

  • Anonymous

    Murder is such a loaded term, but it’s definitely possible to think of abortion as killing a person and still be pro-choice.  Forced pregnancy is a horrific thing, as is giving one person the right to use another person’s body.  Not to mention the privacy right violations involved in legislating what someone can and cannot do with their own body. 

    A lot of pro-choicers are really uncomfortable with the idea of abortion, up to considering it murder, but are more uncomfortable with being anti-abortion rights.  And rightfully so.

  • Non-tipping Bastard

    I live in a slave state that kills people for being poor. :(

    But that’s horrible!

    I know…

    You should protest it in the capital.

    Did that.

    You should pay lawyers and politicians to advocate for you.

    Did that.

    You should kill the people in charge.

    When has that ever worked?

    What will you do next?

    I believe I’ll complain about it on the internet.

  • Anonymous

    The term miscarriage is incorrect. The proper term is spontaneous abortion. The legal argument is about induced abortion. If personhood laws are passed all abortions, whether spontaneous or induced, would be a criminal act. That is not a slippery slope. That is criminalizing failure to produce a living child.

  • Anonymous

    The odd thing is, an awful lot of these folks are the same ones who are
    getting all freaky-deaky about the prospects of “Whites Will Be A
    Minority Race* by 2050 OH NOES!!!!”

    They’ll never see this is a reason to make minority races have fewer children.  Instead, they’ll use it to guilt white women for not having enough babies.  Rich conservatives like to have a population of poor minorities with too many kids to feed because it gives them a steady supply of desperately poor workers who are much easier to exploit.  They don’t want other races to go away; they just want to keep them in their place.  So when they complain about the white minority, they are really complaining that the aren’t succeeding at keeping white women in their place, which is forced into early marriages with horrible husbands but also too many kids to ever have the power to divorce him or stand up to him.

    So basically, they don’t want fewer black and brown babies; they just want more white babies to keep women overwhelmed and powerless.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t there some politician who had a miscarriage and then freaked the fuck out when the medical report listed it as a spontaneous abortion?  I agree that we should reclaim that term.  I’m a hardcore descriptivist, but I have just as much right as anyone to define words.  While we’re at it, I wish more people would use the more traditional direct object for abortion.  Processes are aborted, but things aren’t, regardless of their personhood.  So pregnancies are aborted, but embryos, fetuses, or babies aren’t.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Reminds me of an old Dear Abby I saw like 20-some years ago now, or so. In those days they used the term “D&C” (which I understand has fallen into disuse). Well, someone wrote in basically all like “Well, I was pregnant, but the doctors needed to do this D&C and I lost the baby. Then I saw my records and it said ABORTION!!!”

    The woman had needed this lifesaving procedure, but she was completely aghast at the notion that she’d had what amounted to an abortion.

    I think what that says is that the right wing has been successful at demonizing the notion of getting an abortion so that for some people, getting an abortion is something those people do.

  • Anonymous

    The last time this subject came up (on the previous site) I typed up a list of 10 reasons why violence against abortion providers is bad, even if you are pro-life. Here’s what I can remember right now:
    1. I don’t believe in vigilante justice.
    2. I don’t think it will help achieve the objective.
    3. More caution and humility is called for when there is not a clear cultural and moral consensus.
    4. Violence will discourage abortions from being performed even when they are medically necessary.
    5. The basic premise – that if you really believed an atrocity was occurring, you would be out fighting it on the front lines – is wrong. (See: Genocide.)
    6. It defeats the point of being pro-life.

    To which I’d add that “My house is on fire” is really not a good analogy. “My neighbor’s house is on fire” would be much more accurate, but doesn’t let you pat yourself on the back as much.

  • Lonespark

    Yes…but many liberal Christians feel that the right to control one’s own body is a freedom worth protecting.  My mom is a very active church person in the UCC, and even though money is tight my parents still give quite a bit of money to Planned Parenthood and prochoice clergy orgs and so forth.

  • Lonespark

    Yes.  Exactly.  An it is brilliant.  Evil, but brilliant.

  • Termudgeon

    Yes, there are multiple nuanced positions around. But using the very loaded term “murder” and ignoring both its implications and its legal definition (and this is often a debate about legality) seems the opposite of nuanced to me.

  • Lori

    @Robyrt: Fred is not talking about people who believe abortion is wrong or a sin. He’s talking about people who say they believe abortion is murder, and more specifically ones who say that it’s morally equivalent to the Holocaust. It’s tough to take someone seriously when they say that they don’t believe in extralegal means to stop the Holocaust or that one has to take a cautious, humble approach to dealing with the Holocaust. If one is a strict pacifist then the argument that you can’t use violence to end the Holocaust and still consider yourself pro-life works. Otherwise, not so much. Very few anti-choice extremists are pacifists. (To the best of my knowledge I’ve never met one, but I’m open to the idea that some exist somewhere.)
    As far as I can see the only one of your arguments that actually makes sense WRT to the abortion = the Holocaust crowd is #5:

     5. The basic premise – that if you really believed an atrocity was occurring, you would be out fighting it on the front lines – is wrong. (See: Genocide.) 

    I actually think that’s a fair point, although I think one could argue that sitting on the sidelines of genocide is indicative of a lack of the kind of moral urgency that anti-choice extremists claim to have. IOW, I think this argument does as much to put people on the hook as let them off. 

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    I ran across this gem last year.  (Heck, I may even have found through Slacktivist.)

    “Basically, privacy will lose to the right to life if you’re talking about a person. 

    No,
    it doesn’t. If you assume for the sake of argument that a fetus is a
    full person under the law, a woman still has a right to an abortion.

    No
    person has the right to occupy the body of another person without her
    consent. We call that rape or battery, depending on the context.

    No person has the right to injury another person’s body without her
    consent. Pregnancy causes injury. Every pregnancy damages the mother’s
    body and 40% of them require a C-section to complete.

    No person
    has the right to threaten another person’s life. Pregnancy still
    threatens the life of a mother. Women still can die in childbirth or as a
    complication of pregnancy.

    I have the right to defend my life
    and my person from an adult intent on harming me through rape or maiming
    or murder by killing that adult. I have the right to defend myself from
    grave bodily harm or death by aborting a fetus I do not consent to
    carry.”
    The quote comes from a Guest who writes way down in the comment section.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/the-unbearable-whiteness-of-pro-lifers-and-pundits/70002/

  • Tehanu

    It’s exactly the same logic that makes grown women in Africa insist that their daughters go through clitoridectomy.  “Why should my child be spared what I had to endure?”  I pity those women, but I don’t let my pity for them get in the way of trying to stop them.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    So the only distinction is whether I want to be able to justify killing someone? Is that why so few people are willing to call many of acts of war murder?

    “Murder becomes execution when performed by a bureaucrat for his bureaucracy.” — Alexis Gilliland

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    “Abortion IS killing, but it’s killing in self-defense.” – J. R. “Bob” Dobbs.

  • http://scyllacat.livejournal.com Scylla Kat

    So if you are against abortion it also means helping the mother and child.
    So society should do everything in it’s power to help those people, not shun them.

    I used to be pro-life back in the 80s, but after waiting and waiting to seem the roll out the campaign to protect the health of unwed mothers, adopt unwanted children, and promote birth control, I gave up on them.  …. The past couple of years have convinced me there’s no compassion or love in this movement, and they make me nauseated.

  • Anonymous

    This is why the GOP, until perhaps very recently due to the Teabaggers gaining political power, took the policy described in The Simpsons as “abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.”  These people know that once they actually give the religious right what it wants on this issue, it will collectively go back to not giving a shit about politics.  (For the most part, anyway.  There are still the bugbears of Teh Gay and scary brown people that will keep some of them in line.)

  • Anonymous

    although I think one could argue that sitting on the sidelines of
    genocide is indicative of a lack of the kind of moral urgency that
    anti-choice extremists claim to have. IOW, I think this argument does as
    much to put people on the hook as let them off.

    That’s part of the reason I’m extremely leery of pro-choice people making this argument (“if you really thought abortion was murder, you’d act like it! You’re not acting like it, so you must not really believe what you’re saying!”). The pro-choicers seem mostly to assume that what follows is something like, “so tone down the rhetoric already–we know you don’t  really mean it!” But I think there’s a real danger of it being taken to the alternative conclusion: “so do what you’d do if you really believed someone were being murdered!” And we have already seen where that goes.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    From Peggy Senger Parsons, a Quaker preacher, on being young, poor, and pregnant

    I found my way to Planned Parenthood. I was a little nervous. They were
    kind. They were respectful. They gave me a test – I was pregnant. I was
    also days away from starting graduate school and I was waiting tables
    full time at a pizza joint to pay for school. It was about the worst
    possible timing. I was not happy.

    The doctor (nurse practitioners were unheard of in those days) could see
    my unhappiness. He sat with me for a few minutes. He listened to me. He
    made no judgments or suggestions. When my words and tears had run out,
    he asked me if I wanted to know about my options. I told him that my
    option was to be a mother, because aborting a healthy fetus did not fit
    into my faith, values or ethics.

    He smiled, and he said, “I think you will make a fine mother” and he
    told me where to get free pre-natal care, and about a program for free
    food for pregnant women, and where the free counselors worked. I was
    very grateful for his listening, concern, and advice. It helped.

    Five years later I had another unplanned pregnancy. Ironically I was
    getting ready to put the previous baby into kindergarten and re-start my
    education. Still, there were no at-home tests. I was still pretty poor.
    I was between health insurance plans. This time, due to hours and
    transportation issues I went to a “crisis pregnancy center” near my
    home.

    There was no doctor; instead, nice Christian ladies staffed the center.
    They were happy to help me. They gave me a test. I was pregnant. I
    wasn’t very happy this time either. The lady asked if my pregnancy was
    planned, I said no. She got really nervous. She started spilling
    statistics. She made some presumptions. I thanked her and tried to
    leave. She got more nervous. She tried to set up a video. I declined her
    offer, thanked her again, and got up to go.

    She actually blocked my way to the door and said “I’m not supposed to
    let you leave without showing you “Silent Scream.” I escaped. She yelled
    after me – “Please don’t kill your baby!” I didn’t, of course, and I
    also never got near these people again or the churches that supported
    them.

    Her experience with Planned Parenthood seems a  lot more Christian than her experience with the crisis pregnancy center.  Full piece is at http://www.religionandspirituality.com/view/post/11519916167900/Appreciation_for_Planned_Parenthood/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    That’s part of the reason I’m extremely leery of pro-choice people making this argument (“if you really thought abortion was murder, you’d act like it! You’re not acting like it, so you must not really believe what you’re saying!”). The pro-choicers seem mostly to assume that what follows is something like, “so tone down the rhetoric already–we know you don’t  really mean it!” But I think there’s a real danger of it being taken to the alternative conclusion: “so do what you’d do if you really believed someone were being murdered!” And we have already seen where that goes. 

    This is the thought that crosses my mind every time I imagine discussing the subject with my Dad.  He’s one of the best men I know, absolutely loves kids, and his desire to protect and care for children directly informs the fact that he is staunchly pro-life.  I half-fear that starting that thought process with him would have tragic results.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. That woman’s experience sounds pretty bad :( I hope she was able to get to a Planned Parenthood later on. :(

  • Matri

    I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations.

    Half of me believes that they were just hijacked by the pro-lifers.

    The other half of me believes that they are fronts, and in typical fundamentalist SOP came up with that name in order to intentionally mislead the public to their agenda.

    As usual.

  • Anonymous

    Your more cynical half is correct.

  • Lori

     That’s part of the reason I’m extremely leery of pro-choice people making this argument (“if you really thought abortion was murder, you’d act like it! You’re not acting like it, so you must not really believe what you’re saying!”). The pro-choicers seem mostly to assume that what follows is something like, “so tone down the rhetoric already–we know you don’t  really mean it!” But I think there’s a real danger of it being taken to the alternative conclusion: “so do what you’d do if you really believed someone were being murdered!” And we have already seen where that goes.  

    I have the same concern. It’s why this isn’t an argument that I ever make when I’m talking to someone about choice. We already have more than enough people who’ve decided to act on their belief. At this point they’re few enough in number that the anti-choicers can get away with falsely calling them lone wolves. The last thing we need is for enough people to openly join them that they become more obviously not  “lone”. 

  • Lori

     I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. 

     

    Not some, all. It it’s called a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” it’s run by an anti-choice group whose mission is to prevent women from ending their pregnancies, no matter how dire the circumstances. In order to accomplish that goal they routinely lie and if necessary they will manipulate vulnerable women. They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an abortion. At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent. The centers are truly vile. 

  • Lori

     I’ve been hearing that some “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are fronts for pro-life organizations. 

     

    Not some, all. It it’s called a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” it’s run by an anti-choice group whose mission is to prevent women from ending their pregnancies, no matter how dire the circumstances. In order to accomplish that goal they routinely lie and if necessary they will manipulate vulnerable women. They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an abortion. At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent. The centers are truly vile. 

  • Anonymous

    The other problem with the “you’re not acting like it’s murder” argument is that it leaves untouched the basic arguments about abortion and focuses on the behavior of the interlocutor. It’s not an argument designed to support abortion rights.

    It’s not the best analogy, but I think it will do the job well enough. Assume I am accused of shoplifting. I am, for example, in the grocery store buying grapes, and I taste one. The manager–or, heck, let’s make it another shopper–accuses me of stealing. Zie goes on about how, just because a grape is small, taking it improperly is no less stealing than taking something big.

    My best argument is not “if you really thought I was stealing, you should have called the cops.”

  • Tonio

    They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else
    about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an
    abortion.

    That’s just as reprehensible as another tactic I’ve read about, where the centers lie about the level of fetal development at certain stages to try to make the women feel guilty. Years ago, a college newspaper reporter posed as a pregnant woman and brought a friend to investigate one center’s approach.

    At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent.

    While I agree, I doubt that those intentions are mutually exclusive with a desire to punish the women for their sexuality. In my experience, some make an explicit connection, claiming that there would be no abortions if unmarried women stayed celibate. That’s similar to the addled idea that there would be no need for condoms to prevent STDs if people stayed celibate before marriage and faithful afterward. As an aside, that is what is so repulsive about the HPV debate – opponents of the vaccine seem to want to use the threat of the virus to scare unmarried women into celibacy.

  • Termudgeon

    Its not just the “if you really thought it ws murder, you’d stop it by all means necessary” argument alone that points to people not really thinking it. Ask someone who thinks abortion is murder how, when it is illegal, women who have abortions should be punished. Ask if it should be the death penalty, or life in prison. The extent to which abortion is not like every other murder suddenly becomes much clearer.

  • Tonio

    Ask someone who thinks abortion is murder how, when it is illegal, women
    who have abortions should be punished. Ask if it should be the death
    penalty, or life in prison.

    And often the person will claim that the woman is really a victim herself, deceived and manipulated by an abortionists out only to line his or her own pockets. I suspect it’s an act of self-deception that allows the person to pretend that the issue is about moral absolutes.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2267933/

    Why the discrepancy? The answer is obvious: Like other pro-lifers, McDonnell doesn’t really believe that fetuses have the same right to life
    as the rest of us. If he did, he’d hold women responsible for contract
    hits on their fetuses. Instead, he forbids prosecution of these women
    and insults our intelligence by calling their non-prosecutable offenses
    “infanticide.” Any legislator, attorney general, or governor who
    prohibited prosecution of infanticide procurers would promptly be thrown
    out of office. But in the context of abortion, politicians do this routinely. And pro-lifers applaud them.

    If
    you seriously believe that killing a late-term fetus is infanticide,
    you should be outraged at the legal immunity guaranteed to purchasers of
    this crime under “pro-life” legislation. But regardless of your views
    on abortion, Virginia’s double standard is plainly unjust. A state can’t
    criminalize late-term abortion as infanticide, systematically prosecute
    the doctor but not the woman, and then execute a woman but not her
    triggermen for an arranged murder. It doesn’t add up.

  • JPerson

    It’s not even a nitpick. It’s just wrong. The wording is perfectly fine as a description for what Bonhoeffer did, just as it’s perfectly fine to say George W. Bush bombed Iraq and led the U.S. to war, even if he didn’t physically, literally do those things.

  • Termudgeon

    google liberty abortion demonstration to see a video of antiabortion folks thinking for the first time about how women who have illegal abortions should be punished. Interesting stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Not some, all. If it’s called a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” it’s run by an anti-choice group whose mission is to prevent women from ending their pregnancies, no matter how dire the circumstances. In order to accomplish that goal they routinely lie and if necessary they will manipulate vulnerable women. They’ve been known to work to delay a woman from speaking to anyone else about her situation until it’s too late for her to legally have an abortion. At least some of the people who work in them are genuinely well-intentioned, but you know the saying about intent. The centers are truly vile.

    You know, if I was a woman, I would probably go to one of those centers and lie that I was pregnant, and that “killing” (I would use that exact word) the baby was the only option, and that they could not stop me, punctuating the point by hitting myself in the gut. 

    I know, I know, I should not troll, but they just make it so tempting

  • Anonymous

    There are many anti abortion people who agree that women should be charged for having either a spontaneous abortion, and induced abortion, or a stillbirth, and even the death of an infant after birth.
    In some states women who tested positive for drug use when they were in labor were prosecuted under child abuse and drug use laws and their babies were put in foster care until the women completed their jail sentence and could prove they were not unfit.
    Now Mississippi and Georgia have taken the next step and charged women with murder who had a history of drug use and experienced a spontaneous abortion or stillbirth.
    These folks do think the house is on fire and they are doing everything they can think of.

    Suggesting that if they walk their talk they will charge women who abort with murder is an odd pro choice argument to make considering that that is precisely what some states are doing.

  • Termudgeon

    There is no state that currently charges women who have abortions with murder, so let’s not overstate things. Not that the stillbirth laws you mention are not heinous in their own right, but it’s not precisely what some states are doing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    But haven’t there been attempts to create laws which would have the effect of criminalizing abortions? Unfortunately they have the potential side effect of possibly criminalizing miscarriages or accidental injuries, I think.

    When someone manages to get a law narrowly written enough that it superficially satisfies the “are you serious?” test, that will definitely be a time to get worried. :(

  • Anonymous

    I am not overstating things. It is a fact that Mississippi, Alabama, SC, Indiana, and other states are incarcerating women for infanticide. Google is your friend.

    http://alysonmiers.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/guilty-of-having-a-working-uterus/

    South Carolina was one of the first states to introduce such a foetal homicide law. National Advocates for Pregnant Women has
    found only one case of a South Carolina man who assaulted a pregnant
    woman having been charged under its terms, and his conviction was
    eventually overturned. Yet the group estimates there have been up to 300
    women arrested for their actions during pregnancy.

  • Termudgeon

    And none of them for having abortions. Look, fetal homicide laws are heinous, no doubt about it, but they exclude abortion; if they were charging women who had abortions with murder, it would require the overturning of Roe to be deemed constitutional. I don’t think anyone gains anything by misrepresenting the facts.

  • Anonymous

    I get ya. The fact that there was a spontaneous abortion or a still birth was beside the point since they were not charge for having one but rather for causing one.
    Perfect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    This argument sort of reminds me of the, “The worst homophobes are closeted gay men” argument. It’s an attempt to use the obvious hypocrisy of people like Larry Craig and Ted Haggard to refute their arguments but the problem that I’ve always had with it is that it implies that the main problem with them was that they were hypocrites, rather than because they were hateful bigots. It also sort of implies that a heterosexual who hated LBGT people would be somehow ‘better’ because at least they weren’t hypocritical. I’m not really comfortable with the idea that hypocrisy makes an argument wrong because of that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it’s that the hypocrisy adds another layer to the failcake.

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net Jackbishop

    From my POV, the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    Seriously. The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it. It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! Any clinic picketers who are not active in increasing contraception rates aren’t actually interested in fixing the problem they perceive, they’re just in it for the persecution fix and the slut-shaming. (Those precious few that are attempting to make a difference on the contraception end at least are open to constructive solutions. Not that, AFAICT, there actually are any of those. I’ve never found a hard-line pro-lifer who is active in any sort of contraceptive support/education program to the same extent that many of them are in picketing clinics and such bullshit)

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net Jackbishop

    From my POV, the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    Seriously. The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it. It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! Any clinic picketers who are not active in increasing contraception rates aren’t actually interested in fixing the problem they perceive, they’re just in it for the persecution fix and the slut-shaming. (Those precious few that are attempting to make a difference on the contraception end at least are open to constructive solutions. Not that, AFAICT, there actually are any of those. I’ve never found a hard-line pro-lifer who is active in any sort of contraceptive support/education program to the same extent that many of them are in picketing clinics and such bullshit)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and the evidence seems to back us up on this.  However, most of the strenuous pro-life people I have met seem to, when confronted by this angle, double-down and claim that a lack of contraception is not the problem, people having sex is, and that people need to be taught stronger moral values about not having sex, and the problem is people having out of control sex lives, not that they lack contraception and the knowledge to use it.  

    Which seems telling about their priorities.  At least there are a reasonable few of them who will acknowledge that, yes, more contraception and education about it is good, even if they would prefer less sex overall.  Unfortunately, the voices of reasonable are often drowned out by the yell of the zealous.  

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The single most effective way to reduce the abortion rate is demand-side. More contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer of what they call murders. That’s unequivocally good, unequivocally effective, and unlike picketing clinics, nonreligious liberals like me will actually appreciate them doing it.

    I wholeheartedly agree, and the evidence seems to back us up on this.  However, most of the strenuous pro-life people I have met seem to, when confronted by this angle, double-down and claim that a lack of contraception is not the problem, people having sex is, and that people need to be taught stronger moral values about not having sex, and the problem is people having out of control sex lives, not that they lack contraception and the knowledge to use it.  

    Which seems telling about their priorities.  At least there are a reasonable few of them who will acknowledge that, yes, more contraception and education about it is good, even if they would prefer less sex overall.  Unfortunately, the voices of reasonable are often drowned out by the yell of the zealous.  

  • Anonymous

    the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    I asked my brother that exact question, though I phrased it more along the lines of “This woman will have het sex, and there is nothing you can or should do to stop that. If she has sex without use of contraceptives, she will get pregnant. If she gets pregnant, she will have an abortion. Do you advise her to use contraceptives, or do you not so advise her, knowing that if she does not use contraceptives, she will have an abortion?” His answer was something about praying for her and letting her choose her own method of killing her soul. Which I think translates to the only choice he sees as acceptable for her is not to have sex, since I know damn well he doesn’t consider lesbian sex morally acceptable either.

  • Anonymous

    the first and simplest question to ask anyone who seriously claims abortion is murder to see if they have even the slightest courage of their convictions is “What are you doing to increase access to contraceptives and contraceptive education among at-risk groups?”

    I asked my brother that exact question, though I phrased it more along the lines of “This woman will have het sex, and there is nothing you can or should do to stop that. If she has sex without use of contraceptives, she will get pregnant. If she gets pregnant, she will have an abortion. Do you advise her to use contraceptives, or do you not so advise her, knowing that if she does not use contraceptives, she will have an abortion?” His answer was something about praying for her and letting her choose her own method of killing her soul. Which I think translates to the only choice he sees as acceptable for her is not to have sex, since I know damn well he doesn’t consider lesbian sex morally acceptable either.


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