Ann Scheidler holds a 3rd trimester abortion sign on the corner of Adams and Wacker downtown Chicago [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
A recent post on the Abortion Gang blog — entitled “Fetus Gore and Mainstreamers” — offers some interesting insights from a strident “pro-choice” advocate who encountered our Face the Truth Tour this summer at the intersection of Adams Street and Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago.
(Incidentally, this was the same Tour stop where League staffer Corrina Gura filmed an entertaining exchange between a pro-life teenager and a passerby who was beside himself that anyone under the age of 18 would be holding a graphic abortion sign, and it’s also the same stop where I got assaulted during our Truth Tour in 2007.)
The writer, Megan, wrote that our signs “flanked either side of Adams Street in Chicago for an uncertain number of blocks,” and that our display “seemed to go on and on and on.”
First off, it’s nice to know that our particularly large crowd that day — at upwards of 50 participants, it was our best turnout ever for a downtown Truth Day — made for such a formidable display. (For the record, on that day we had signholders positioned just east of the drawbridge over the Chicago River all the way down to past Wells Street, about 1/4 mile away.)
“For me, life begins at birth”
Megan then wrote:
My blood boils when I encounter anti-choice propaganda, but I realize that I’m on the feminist fringe when it comes to abortion rights. For me, life begins at birth. Not conception. Not implantation. Not when the fetus’ heart begins to beat or when it develops the semblance of human phalanges. Life begins at birth because I care about women.
Biology be damned, apparently.
Then Megan begins to lament the power of using graphic abortion pictures in the public square:
But the mainstreamers, pro-choice readers, the mainstreamers! The mainstreamers cringe at these violent images, and cringing can’t be good for the pro-choice cause. We’re hanging out on the political peripheries with our metaphorical clothes hangers while the antis shove baby guts in mainstreamers’ faces on Adams Street!
First, notice that Megan doesn’t say “fetus guts”; she says “baby guts.” (She also uses “baby guts” one other time, and on another occasion she refers to “bloody baby heads.”) Here she unwittingly illustrates the schizophrenic logic of the self-styled “pro-choice” advocate who is presented with the gruesome reality of what an abortion victim looks like.
On the one hand, she tells herself that life doesn’t begin until birth, because that means abortion merely kills a fetus — which, whatever it may be, it isn’t actually a baby yet, and so that makes abortion OK.
But at the same time, she can’t help but slip up and use words like “baby guts” and “bloody baby heads,” because the victims of abortion shown on our signs look remarkably like, well, babies — real human babies who had been growing and developing, as babies are wont to do, until their lives came to an abrupt and very violent end.
Coat Hangers vs. Graphic Abortion Pictures
She later returns to the tired old “clothes hanger” theme, saying:
To a certain degree, this image is effective. But it lacks shock value, and, in the end, it doesn’t stand up to the anti-choice fetus carnage.
Reading this, I thought immediately of remarkably similar sentiments voiced in 2006 by pro-choice Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg after he, like Megan, had encountered our Truth Tour downtown:
A few pro-choicers are standing next to Joe [Scheidler], and I talk to them. One holds a sign reading “My Body, My Choice.” She chooses not to give her name, and isn’t exactly aflame with her cause, anyway.
“It’s still legal and we’d like to keep it that way,” she says.
Tepid stuff, next to Joe’s glittery-eyed verve.
That’s the problem with the whole conflict. There’s no balance. On one side you’ve got guys like Joe Scheidler, practically a biblical figure, John Brown holding a staff and spreading his arms over bleeding Kansas. On the other, you have bland rationality under the by-definition indecisive banner of “choice” (hmmm, which one, let’s see …) afraid to give their names and lacking anywhere near the passion their opponents possess. It hardly seems a fair fight.
Needless to say, we have no intention of stopping our Face the Truth Tours any time soon.
Nothing New in the “Pro-Choice” Playbook
In her concluding paragraph, Megan poses a question:
How can we convince the public of the importance of women’s lives in the face Machiavellian anti-choice opposition?
The pro-choice movement has been parroting the “Legal abortion is good for women” meme for decades. Yet public support for abortion continues to steadily decline.
One can’t help but wonder why.
Quite obviously, aside from the fact that the “It’s just a blob of tissue” line resonates less and less these days, it’s also certainly due in part to the fact that there are simply so many women who have had abortions, that almost everyone personally knows someone who has had one.
And in overwhelmingly large numbers, women who have had an abortion hated it, often saying it was the worst thing that ever happened to them.
As more and more women talk to their relatives and friends about their abortion experiences, and begin to speak out publicly, the less likely other women are to want to go through with it.
UPDATE, 5/23/11: Check out other pro-life blog posts on the topic of faulty pro-choice logic at Life Report’s Pro-Life Link Party here.