Because they can’t prove us wrong on the issues, abortion advocates usually resort to a revolving door of personal attacks against the character and intentions of pro-lifers. Apparently somebody decided the hypocrisy charge was overdue for a comeback, so University of California-San Francisco professor and pro-abortion propagandist Carole Joffe has dusted it off for an attack piece at Rewire (which longtime Live Action readers know by their former name, RH Reality Check).
Would you be shocked to discover the evidence for our hypocrisy is somewhat less than ironclad?
The numerous instances of anti-choice women who themselves get abortions, often arguing, as clinic workers have reported to me, that “their case is different” (and more deserving) than other abortion patients, are more examples of right-wing hypocrisy.
One would think people who oppose abortion while getting abortions would be the most damning hypocrisy possible in the abortion debate, which makes it all the more suspicious that Joffe offers no source whatsoever for these supposedly “numerous” examples. I assume you’d dock points from any student who tried that on a research paper, right Professor?
Still, this is an old line of attack, and the most popular source for it seems to be a 2000 essay from pro-abortion activist Joyce Arthur, whose basis for the charge is… a handful of anecdotes, mostly from abortionists themselves, which each recounting small numbers (some as few as one) of women getting abortions before or after protesting abortion, plus a couple surveys showing small percentages of women who obtain abortions expressing opposition to abortion.
That’s it. As we’ve discussed in the past, of course there are going to be a handful of hypocrites in any sufficiently-large subgroup of the population, which is true of virtually every cause, belief system, political affiliation, or profession. But that tells us nothing about the pro-life cause unless it were shown that the hypocrisy is practiced by a significant percentage of pro-lifers, or condoned, excused, or encouraged by any sort of pro-life authority. And on that charge, Joyce and Joffe have nothing—even the surveys are percentages of abortion-obtainers who oppose abortion, not percentages of pro-lifers who obtain abortions.
Or take those politicians who ferociously attack Planned Parenthood at every opportunity and consistently vote against funding for family planning programs while diverting funds to crisis pregnancy centers, which do not offer contraception. Yet many, if not most, of these elected officials appear to have average family sizes, strongly suggesting the use of contraception.
Now Joffe is really reaching. As anybody paying attention could tell her, nobody opposes contraception being legally available; we oppose forcing people to subsidize services to which they object. And while Catholics typically have personal moral (not legal) objections to using it, plenty of other Christian denominations don’t. So where’s the hypocrisy here? Granted, I don’t doubt there are a few Catholic politicians not following their faith’s teachings on contraception, but then again Joffe seems unaware there are other ways for devout couples to prevent pregnancies.
Finally, Joffe sets her sights on Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican chairing the select panel investigating Planned Parenthood for their barbaric organ-harvesting crimes. Blackburn is supposedly a horrible, horrible hypocrite because:
It is highly likely that Blackburn’s family and loved ones received the polio vaccine as infants: a vaccine derived thanks to fetal tissue research. The first polio vaccine was introduced in 1955—as Blackburn was born in 1952, it is possible she herself received it as a toddler.
There’s just one problem here—Joffe makes it sound like six states (which wouldn’t have anything to do with Blackburn anyway) are banning any and all research using fetal tissue, but her source specifically says those states are only banning research on aborted tissue. Virtually nobody objects to the use of ethically-obtained fetal tissue for medical research; just as nobody objects to research using ethically-obtained tissue from the born. We simply think murder is an equally-unethical means of obtaining tissue from both groups.
Nevertheless, it’s ridiculous to say that because past generations unknowingly benefitted from researchers using an ethically dubious source, we need to continue employing unethical research methods that are largely obsolete anyway.
If the professor is interested in actual hypocrisy, she’d do well to look at her own side—where the abortion industry and its apologists declare they’re all about supporting women’s choices while ignoring signs they’re being pressured to abort or would like to learn more about alternatives. Where they claim they alone are sensitive to rape while helping rapists continue to assault minors in secret and supporting a variety of soft-on-rape positions.
Where they attack pro-life laws in the name of women’s health while helping abortionists get away with laundry lists of health violations. Where painfully executing a convicted murderer is a national travesty while painfully executing innocent late-term babies is just fine. Where they endlessly accuse pro-lifers of a “war on women” while embracing some of the most misogynistic politicians and spokesmen imaginable.
Carole Joffe calls her piece a history of the “hypocrisies […] we have seen over and over again in U.S. society as figures associated with the right try to control women’s sexuality.” But it would be more accurately labeled an exercise in pro-abortion zealots’ complete lack of self-awareness.