While Republicans in state legislatures across the country are passing severe restrictions on reproductive rights, Republicans in Nevada have voted to drop opposition to abortion from the state party’s official platform. Teddy Wilson, “Nevada Republicans Reject National Party’s Strict Anti-Choice Platform

blue-author:

The thing about being anti-abortion is that for most people, it is about making easy choices.

Once you’ve defined terminating a pregnancy (which is, by the way, the most likely natural outcome of a pregnancy) as “killing a child”, it really is a no0brainer. “Should I be for baby killing, or against baby killing?” is not a question most people need to ask themselves, or stop and think about.

Even better, this bit of mental gymnastics inexplicably leaves millions of people and the laws of many countries in favor of “baby killing”, which means there are that many million people you can feel better than.

You haven’t done anything. You have not improved anyone’s life. You have not made the world a better place. You have not helped any living soul on the planet, but already, you are better than millions of people.

And if you decide to “do something” about abortion?

Carry a sign. 

Put some pennies in a box somewhere.

Reblog out of context, mislabeled, or misleading pictures of babies, fetuses, and parts of pregnant bodies.

Now you’re a superhero. Now you’re a crusader. Now you’re fighting the neverending battle for truth, justice, and precious little babies at Christmas.

Of course, if you really believed deep down inside that millions of actual babies are literally being murdered all the time, you wouldn’t be putting pennies in boxes, would you? It’s convenient to your self-esteem to be able to tell yourself that the stakes are as high as the lives of babies and the soul of a nation, but it’s convenient to your lifestyle that you know, deep down inside, that they really aren’t.

If you’ve got a lot of time and passion, you can go down to a reproductive health clinic (where there may or not actually even be any abortions performed, and where there are certainly a myriad of other necessary health care services being performed) and scream misogynistic insults at anybody who braves your gauntlet .

Maybe she’s getting a pap smear.

Maybe she’s getting an ultrasound for the baby she plans on carrying to term.

Maybe she’s going to terminate a pregnancy she really wanted, but can’t have.

Maybe she’s going to have an already dead fetus removed from her body.

Maybe she’s going to have an abortion because she’s pregnant and doesn’t want to be.

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to you. All that matters is sides: you’re on the right side, she’s on the wrong side. And you get to engage in the most vile impulses that wrack the human brain: shouting, screaming epithets, hurling accusations, attacking the vulnerable, reducing another human being to a mass of tears and convulsions and you can do it guilt-free because you have constructed a reality where this person in front of you, whatever might actually be going through in their life, is a proxy responsible for the deaths of millions of tiny precious little babies and you, you are the fearless Soldier of Good who will save them.

Yeah.

Being anti-abortion is all about the easy choices.

That’s why you don’t hear about many “pro-lifer” who decides to bravely die rather than terminate a life-endangering pregnancy, trusting in God to decide whether parent and/or baby shall life.

Oh, yes, they’ll find people who make the decision to carry on with pregnancies that are high-risk, and they laud these people as proof of the lies of the pro-choice movement… never mind that there are many pro-choice people who make the same decision. That’s the nature of choice.

I’m not talking about high-risk pregnancies. I’m talking about situations where it’s not even a risk any more. Where are the martyrs to life? I can show you pro-life women who went and had an abortion when it was convenient for them, not even medically necessary. And it’s not hard to find pro-lifers demanding that other people carry a diagnosed dead or fatal-to-the-parent fetus to term because “doctors can be wrong”. Where are the pro-lifers who make this choice for themselves?

When the wives of conservative politicians have an abortion to end an ectopic pregnancy or other similar condition, it gets reduced to “a medically necessary procedure” that’s certainly not an abortion, no, don’t call it that because if there are two things the pro-life movement is sure about it’s that abortion isn’t a medical procedure and that it is never necessary.

But anyone else undergoing the same procedure? That’s an abortion. And it’s wrong. 

Because the pro-life movement is about making easy choices and easy judgments. It’s convenient crusading. Invent an enemy so unconscionably horrific that you can’t help but look good and feel good opposing them, so widespread and close to home that you don’t have to give up your life at home to combat them, and so ultimately harmless that there is literally no risk to you in standing up to these horrible, bloodthirsty monsters.

But if it happens that you need an abortion, you’ll have one. Because you’ve been making the easy choices all along. And if you get pregnant and choose to keep it, in spite of… whatever… you tell yourself that’s a triumph against choice, when in fact it’s a triumph of choice.

Wow.

(via prochoicecanadian)

Reproductive Rights Advocates Speak Out in New York City

I’m not surprised that they’re adopting the language of the anti-slavery movement. It’s what they try to do, to co-opt the language of civil rights, anti-slavery, to assume that they can take the moral high ground while they’re trying to subsume the rights of women—particularly Black women. Loretta Ross, on anti-abortion extremists who call themselves ‘abortion abolitionists’
For anti-abortion ‘abolitionists,’ high schools are the new ‘front lines’ of an anti-abortion movement that situates itself well to the right of mainstream ‘pro-life’ organizations. These new ‘abolitionists’ have co-opted the language of 19th century anti-slavery groups, positioning themselves as ‘immediatists’ who see any regulation of abortion as capitulating to the moral failings of a sin-soaked society that condones some, if not all, abortions. Andrea Grimes, ‘Portrait of an Anti-Abortion Abolitionist’
‪NYC people, be sure to make it out to this speak-out and protest if you can! And everyone else, catch the webcast. More information here.

NYC people, be sure to make it out to this speak-out and protest if you can! And everyone else, catch the webcast. More information here.

Pro-Choicers Need To Talk About Morals.

The voices that are strongest on reproductive rights often falter when it comes to the cultural dialogue. At least part of this absence is because so many of the pro-choice movement’s leaders and funders are secular and civic in their orientation, awkwardly uncomfortable with the moral and spiritual dimension of the conversation, or, for that matter, even with words like moral and spiritual. From language that seems moderately wise–Who decides?–we fall back on “safe, legal and rare” (a questionable effort to please everyone) or even the legal jargon of the “right to privacy.”

The other side talks about murdering teeny, weeny babies and then mind-melds images of ultrasounds and Gerber babies with faded photos of later abortions. And we come back by talking about privacy?? Is that like the right to commit murder in the privacy of your own home or doctor’s office? Even apart from the dubious moral equivalence, let’s be real: In the age of Facebook and Twitter, is there a female under 25 in who gives a rat’s patooey about privacy, let alone thinks of it as a core value?

The right to privacy may work in court. But it is a proxy for much deeper values at play. Privacy simply carves out space for individual men and women to wrestle with those values. In the court of public opinion, it is the underlying values that carry the conversation.

Far too often those who care most about the lives of women and children and the fabric of life on this planet limit themselves to legal and policy fights. Fifty years ago, reproductive rights activists took the abortion fight to the courts and won, and they have kept that focus ever since. But the legal fight has drawn energy away from the broader conversation. And the emphasis on “privacy” has meant that even the most powerful stories that best illustrate our sacred values are too often kept quiet.

[via Valerie Tarico for RHRC]

My friend Patricia offers a single reason for her passionate defense of reproductive care that includes abortion: Every baby should have its toes kissed.

If life is precious and helping our children to flourish is one of the most precious obligations we take on in life, then being able to stop an ill-conceived gestation is a sacred gift.

Whether or not we are religious, deciding whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy is a process steeped in spiritual values: responsibility, stewardship, love, honesty, compassion, freedom, balance, discernment.

But how often do we hear words like these coming from pro-choice advocates?

Valerie Tarico, “Abortion as a Blessing, Grace, or Gift: Changing the Conversation on Reproductive Rights and Moral Values”