I got married on Saturday, so the last thing I want to do is think about abortion. But I must, so I visited Jezebel to see what’s going on in the wonderful world of people who don’t mind when fetuses are cut into pieces and sucked out of ladies. I was expecting to get angry or bewildered enough to write, and I was not disappointed.
There were many articles under the heading “Roe v. World,” and two of them were about Lila Rose and Live Action. I found the following reader comment under an article titled “Live Action Idiots Falsely Seeking Info On Your Uterus:”
So funny thing, I was pretty good friends with Lila during junior and senior years of high school. She was passionate about abortion then, but she was one of the nicest, most intelligent, articulate people I’d ever met. What LiveAction does is horrible, but I just find it so hard to reconcile the nice person I used to be friends with and the vitriol that gets directed at her. I’m not sure if this is a case study of an issue completely changing a person or just generally good people being crazy about certain things.
This is a weird failure of logic to me. It reminds me of when I converted to pro-life and later to Christianity and many of my pro-choice/agnostic/atheist friends concluded, after observing me speaking rationally on the subject (not waving a crucifix around and shrieking) that though I was once a good and rational person, I must have gone off the deep end.
It never occurred to them that the simplest answer is usually the correct one: that I am still a good and rational person, and that my new conclusions about religion and abortion were a result of that.
Similarly, this commenter believes that Lila Rose is an example of a “generally good” person being “crazy about certain things.” Is that more believable than the fact that a pro-life position is part and parcel with Rose’s goodness and intelligence?
I kept running into this as I read more articles, but none more tellingly than in Erin Gloria Ryan’s contemptuous piece on the Celebration of Pro-Life Women Leaders reception at the RNC this past August. It starts out typically:
The speaking lineup was a veritable Murderers Row of bright-eyed, charismatic women who think ending a pregnancy is the same thing as murder.
“Ending a pregnancy.” Doesn’t this phrase make you a little crazy? What is ending a pregnancy? What does that mean? Let’s break it down, Erin Gloria Ryan, using small words and simple concepts so you don’t get confused. What is a pregnancy? A pregnancy is when a baby is in a lady’s tummy. What does “ending” it do? Removes the baby from the lady’s tummy, and not by birthing it. What happens to the baby? It dies. What do you call intentionally killing an innocent human being? Murder.
Here is where Ryan gets bewildered:
I expected hostility, but what I got from women there was more of the same confusing polite sweetness to which I’ve been subjected by female attendees of the RNC. They’re nice, at least while I’m asking them questions.
Why is this confusing? I’m at a loss. Why are you surprised that women who object to the intentional killing of fetuses are “nice”?
I’ll tell you why Ryan is confused: because she really believes the stupid hype, disseminated by her peeps at Jezebel, that pro-lifers are just as “meh” about children in the womb as anti-lifers, and what we really want is to enslave women and force them to read Proverbs at their dinner tables with mean cowboy-hat-wearing husbands and their unwanted white Christian babies.
As she goes on, Ryan gets less convinced of the niceness of pro-life women because, well, they appear to be very convinced that abortion is wrong. Also, Michele Bachmann is from “Crazytown.”
(I once spoke to a young woman from California who seemed completely shocked that I did not find Michele Bachmann repugnant. When I asked her why she thought Michele Bachmann was crazy, she could not give me one reason other than she’s a “Fundamentalist.” When I asked, “What do you mean exactly by ‘Fundamentalist?,’ she muttered something about the earth being created in six days and changed the subject. This is but one illustration of why I take people’s opinions of Michele Bachmann with a grain of salt.)
It’s kind of dangerous to assume that the other side is full of maniacs and jerks, although there are both in all walks of life. Lila Rose, Michele Bachmann, and prominent pro-life women probably actually are “nice.” I have been occasionally guilty of the same bewilderment when meeting pro-choicers, but then, they are the ones who don’t mind when unborn babies die.
Keep this in mind: we are underestimated. There really are many – even those like Ryan who have some experience interacting with pro-lifers – who believe that our intentions are devious, that we really just want to force our religion on the world. To them I would say this: make no mistake - I don’t need you to believe that all life is sacred, but seeing as how this same belief is iterated in the founding documents of our country, our laws should reflect the sanctity of life, whether you like it or not.