They Aren't Pro-Life, They Are Anti-Choice

I want anybody that cares about what a woman is allowed to do with her body to do one simple thing. Do not let ANYBODY use the term pro-life, ever. If they do, stop and challenge immediately. "Oh, so you are against the death penalty?" listen to them hem and haw, justify, evade, deny and then declare they are not. "Then you are anti-choice."

With that one distinction the logical fallacy of trying to impose religious beliefs on others is laid bare. If they don't subscribe to a Consistent Life Ethic (anti-abortion, death penalty, euthanasia, war), then they are not only trying to enforce their beliefs on others, they are doing so inconsistently.

This must be addressed, not by making accusations or spewing rhetoric, but by asking questions. "How do you reconcile that?" Yes, there is a chance that the person could turn it around on you and ask you to justify your own beliefs, that should be both expected and justified.

The vicious attacks on Planned Parenthood are just the latest skirmish in this battle. What is unthinkable now is made to be radical, then it is made acceptable, then... likely. This is how we lose our freedoms, and how the Overton window is utilized. To prevent this, the core basis of the emotional appeal of "Pro-Life" must be addressed. The idea is that the enemies of a woman's right to choose are not in fact crusaders for defenseless unarmed babies. They are hypocrites who could give a damn about a person AFTER they are born, this is the foundation for the moral disconnect that suggests killing a doctor that performs abortions could be justifiable homicide. (legislation currently tabled at the time of this writing)

Liberal mindset says: "If we start a debate and present the facts as they are... they will see the light and come to our side." No, sorry. Those looking to ban abortion and family planning (wha? Really?) often come with deep seated religious indoctrination, an effective way to chip at that is to not cede the language and moral high ground to those seeking to inflict their dogma on others.

Look, I really don't mind whatever anybody believes as long as it isn't inflicted on me. Don't want an abortion? Don't get one. I will never have to make that terrible and harrowing choice as a guy. It's a remarkably clear and strong statement, especially since so many "protectors of the unborn" tend to be old white dudes. However, it does not work because religion requires proselytization, and the saving of the souls that need it. You can mock it, you can castigate it. It only makes the believer more resolute in their stance. An effective approach is to put the burden of justification on the believer, it is a small thing that every one of us can engage in with minimal effort. if you are "pro life" does that extend to AFTER the fetus is born and becomes a child or not?

The attack against a woman's right to choose is *NOT* going to end anytime soon. Anybody that is shocked that the Republicans are using the full force of their political capital towards defunding, delegitimizing, and roadblocking has clearly been living in a different America than I have. Dust will be kicked up, language changed, and the debate framed. The modern Republican party is dedicated to imposing it's values on others, period. Lakoff puts it better than I, as to "What conservatives really want."

Changing the national climate is a daunting task, but instead of concentrating on the all encompassing problem, focus on something you can actually do. Nobody should be allowed to use the term Pro-Life without being challenged. There are other parts to this fight, and much more work to be done before civil consensus can be reached, but until then... these suckers aren't Pro-Life, they are Anti-Choice.

Go tell 'em.