Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Pro-choice thinking about pro-life
The article from Secular Pro-Life itself is fairly interesting, but this comment gets to the heart of the issue, and the same applies to each side thinking about the other, often.
It reminds me of a few weeks back, on Atheist analysis, when they had Emily Letts and others in for discussion. Emily rattled off a list of things she thought the pro-life movement was: anti-sex, slut shaming, woman hating, promoting gestational slavery, not compassionate, etc. She said (paraphrased) that she couldn't understand why anyone who cared about people could possibly be against abortion, but that she was certain that her own video, along with other actions, were going to turn our cultural sentiment.
This flabbergasted me. You don't know why people hold the beliefs they do, but you think to be able to convert them? There is no doubt that the pro-life movement has individuals that express each of those elements, but the strongest glue that holds the vast majority of pro-lifers together is respect for the life of the individual. I wanted say, I get it. I get that she didn't think the fetus had any moral worth. I get the fact that many pro-choicer activists barely even think of the fetus when it comes to abortion, either because they rationalize that it is not human, or they rationalize that physical dependence in this one case only warrants the withholding of rights. I understand that concept. But take away that premise for a moment, since most people, even many people who fall on the pro-choice side, recognize the humanity of a fetus. You are never going to get an overwhelming majority of people be okay with a carte blanche power to kill their fellow human beings at will. You may be able to carve out exceptions that most are comfortable with. Many less active pro-choicers are pro-choice not because they love abortion, but because they fear a greater evil by poorly developed and implemented policies that fail to have the flexibility needed for special cases (and I'm very sympathetic to that stance!). But you are never ever going to get a vast majority of people to hold the view that killing a large swath of human beings without some sort of checks or oversight is okay. Because people like Emily Letts do not understand that, they will fail in their mission.