What’s with all the protesting too much? Pro-choice *is* pro-abortion for the sole reason that it’s anti-anti-abortion, that’s all there is to it. If you don’t think abortion is murder, why do you insist on distancing yourselves from it and generally trying to dissolve the issue in a cloud of hazy sentimentality? To someone who genuinely thinks abortion is murder, it’s lipstick on a pig, and a nasty, bloody-tusked wild boar of a pig too. And if you’re preaching to the choir, you’re inadvertently preaching something that makes them more insecure than they need to be. Apparently being thought of — and thinking of yourself as — “pro-abortion” is something that’s better avoided. Why?
I used to genuinely think abortion was murder. I’m not religious, though I do have a bit of personal history with the issue, being the fatherless child of a pro-life mother who was harassed by my dad’s family for keeping me, and kinda semi-benignly looked down upon by everyone else.
Here’s another thing, by the way: why have I never, ever, heard a pro-”choice” person chime in, even as an afterthought, about all the women being coerced *into* abortion — by partners, by parents, by the whole “you’re a burden on society” culture? Is that somehow not about her body and her right? Speak out on that just a couple of times and I promise you, with many pro-lifers it will be the first thing ever to make them think that perhaps you’re not monsters. Do you want to win, or to keep fighting?
Anyway, like I said, I’m not religious, so here’s how my thinking went: the case for treating fetuses as less than human simply didn’t add up. It was special pleading designed specifically to dehumanise the unborn for convenience. It took a geneticist bringing up epigenetic-level interactions between the early zygote and the mother’s body to undo the work of dozens of people who thought “masturbation is genocide” was funny, thus convincing me that I was up against ignorant idiots, and while I was aware of all the ignorant idiots in my camp, I felt at least they accidentally got this one right. So after I lost what I thought was a firm and consistent beginning of life at implantation, I eventually found that our notions of human vs. not-yet-human sort of do add up if we place the watershed at the first conscious experience, which is around the 24th week.
That leaves me still opposed to late-term abortion other than in truly exceptional circumstances (which is why I think the US should keep Roe v. Wade while ditching Doe v. Bolton, with its “broad” definition of health that literally includes everything and anything you can think of). I don’t regret cheering when Dr Tiller was shot; yeah, that was pretty extremist, but what he was doing would be wildly illegal in my otherwise largely pro-choice country, so whatever. This much, I suppose, still qualifies as a pro-choice position — at least it’s one that I’d have formerly called “pro-murder with a side of comforting irrelevance”.
So here’s the thing. There are people out there who really, honestly, to the best of their intellectual ability, believe that abortion is murder. When you go on about compassion, their reaction will be, “Really? You’re expecting us to actually empathise with the terrible, terrible inconveniences that drive people to cowardly murders of children?” And all the talk of an anti-women agenda reads as misdirection, and even if there’s something to it — well, sucks then, because those misogynistic people are on the morally right side on something that’s much worse than misogyny, namely mass murder of children. And you’re only making it worse by looking uncomfortable. Protesting too much. Saying “pro-choice is not pro-abortion”. Coming up with elaborate ways to make yourselves look better — *to* yourselves, apparently.
Abortion is either murder or it isn’t. If you ask me now, first 23 weeks, it isn’t. At the very least, we’d have to expand our existing notions of life to think otherwise, rather than merely unclutter those existing notions. But that’s what it should be about. That’s what makes people stop being pro-life. Not being called names, especially as clunky as “pro-forced-birth”; not being called “extremist” because frankly, it’s a compliment. It’s being called a revolutionary by people who don’t agree with you.