Yesterday Andrea wrote about the pro-choice mob chanting “Hail Satan” outside the Texas legislature. I read a few articles this morning on the story, and caught some other, unbelievable pro-choice messaging. A sample:
Exhibit A: A parent or guardian permitted their child to carry the following sign:”If I wanted the government in my womb, I would **** a senator.”
Exhibit B: A teen carries a sign that reads “Hoes before embryos.”
Exhibit C: Pro-choice activists spat on pro-lifers and threw cigarette butts at them.
As a member of the pro-life movement, I frequently engage in messaging meetings with other interested pro-life parties. I know that a movement cannot require that all members abide by certain communications standards. I also acknowledge the rights to freedom of speech and expression, even though I (we) sometimes wish certain individuals didn’t attempt to advance the pro-life cause with questionable or nonsensical placards or banners. And of course, as in any movement, there is a small minority of extremists who definitely do not represent the whole.
But bizarre, distasteful and lewd communications seems to be a general mainstay of at least a significant portion of the pro-choice movement, like the signs or chants used above. As is the assault of persons by spitting on them and throwing objects at them. At this rally, it was cigarette butts. At last year’s March for Life in Ottawa, pro-choice activists were whipping condoms at pro-lifers.
Over the years of attending pro-life rallies, I’ve seen pro-choice demonstrators appear topless. I remain unsure as to what message that advances. I’ve witnessed lewd gestures, posters and chants. Again, I remain at a loss as to how those means assist the pro-choice movement in advancing their position.
I’m not one of those few pro-lifers who thinks pro-choicers are idiotic or thoughtless. I have friends and associates who have thought through their position and still support unlimited abortion access. I think they’re wrong, but I acknowledge that they’ve thoughtfully reflected on the issue. And there are arguments for the pro-choice position that I don’t agree with, but that are sophisticated, like Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist argument. There are reasons why there are a number of philosophical and apologetic pro-life books and essays. One of them is that pro-lifers have taken the other side’s arguments, thought them through and responded to them. There are some very brainy people who make up a portion of the pro-choice movement, including its leadership.
I don’t understand how a movement that does include some good thinkers can produce such consistently ill-advised messaging. I also don’t understand how a movement that claims to advance its cause in the name of rights, respect and the protection of women from violence can assault women with cigarettes butts and saliva, and refer to women as “hoes.” Which philosophy under-girds a movement that consistently exhibits these behaviours at events across the continent? It seems to be a philosophy that fails to assign respect equally to all members of society, including women who don’t agree with their position.
If pro-choice leaders don’t believe that assault and lewd slogans should define their movement, why aren’t they condemning these actions? At the very least, condemning the spitting and throwing of objects at people? And keep in mind that in Canada, spitting on someone can be considered an assault under criminal law. The law appears to be similar in the US. These are matters not to be taken lightly.