Common Ground, Anti-Choice Hypocrisy, Etc.

October 15, 2007 at 4:12 pm (feminism, politics, sex) (, , )

Jill at Feministe wrote this interesting post in response to this interesting post about looking for common ground on abortion. In the original post, Morning’s Minion from the Catholic blog Vox Nova gives a thoughtful list of ways feminists and anti-choicers could cooperate without either side compromising its stated* principles. Morning’s Minion notes, among other true things, that abortion bans don’t stop abortion, and that in order to actually reduce the abortion rate, we can do things like provide universal healthcare and fight poverty. Jill adds that, of course, contraception is just about the easiest way to bring down the abortion rate.

First off, I want to say that I think Morning’s Minion clearly has good intentions and that I, like, oh, every other pro-choicer in this great country, would love to see anti-choicers joining in on the tireless efforts of pro-choicers to reduce the abortion rate with good, comprehensive sex education, universal healthcare, better support for families, etc. etc., as well as broader progressive goals like not going to war. I think Morning’s post is one that needs to be read primarily by anti-choicer folks because, as Jill at Feministe notes, there’s nothing we can do to minimize the abortion rate that pro-choicers aren’t already doing. There does seem to be at least one actual pro-lifer in the US — Morning’s Minion, who opposes unjust war, nuclear weapons, and the death penalty, and who is, I would imagine, a vegetarian out of her** staunch commitment to life. Truly pro-life folks could further their cause quite effectively by joining in with feminist and liberal activists as we lower the abortion rate, protest the current unjust war, agitate for universal healthcare, etc.

Anyway, okay, all of that was just a big excuse to talk about what I actually want to talk about, which is a thought I was having last night that just so happens to be relevant.

There’s a billboard near here that Emily and I have thought of vandalizing a time or twelve, an anti-choice monstrosity calling abortion the “American Holocaust.” That’s a load of offensive bullshit on all kinds of levels. It upsets me as a feminist and as a Jew, but mostly it upset me as an intelligent human who knows that there actually was an American Holocaust, a full-blown act of state-sponsored genocide that went on for generations. The victims were, of course, American Indians, who were brutally, unforgivably attacked with evil techniques as varied as outright slaughter, forced relocation to concentration camps, and just about every other horror out there. This is extra important as we’ve just passed my second least favorite holiday, Columbus Day, and are about to celebrate my number one least favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. The US is a country that has two entire holidays dedicated to glorifying the actual American Holocaust.

Anyway. My thought last night. If anti-choicers really think abortion is murder and legal abortion is equivalent to the Holocaust, what the hell is their problem? Why aren’t they doing everything in their power to (peacefully) reduce the abortion rate? I’d like to think if I were living in Nazi Germany (and not Jewish) or living in Andrew Jackson’s United States (and not Native), I would do anything in my power to save anyone I could, even one person. I absolutely fucking would not do stupid shit like agitate for, say, propaganda campaigns in public schools that would raise the death rate (abstinence only “education”), or fight against safe, effective measures that could hugely reduce the death rate (contraception). Duh.

So, it’s good to see at least one person trying to do that (though I’m guessing that, as a Catholic, Morning’s Minion has no interest in making contraception widely available). But I’m betting we’re not about to see legions of anti-choicers joining in.

Basically: common ground absolutely exists, but anti-choicers aren’t willing to go there (and pro-choicers are there already!), because they’re not really pro-life at all.

* “Stated” because, as Morning’s Minion acknowledges, much of the anti-choice leadership is concerned with controlling women and sexuality, not with protecting life.

** That’s “her” as a general pronoun. I have no knowledge of Morning’s gender identity.

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