The hardcore pro-lifers give themselves away with just one word: “pro-abortionist”. The word is loaded and poisons from the start the well of any discussion regarding abortion and how to deal with it. In some ways this might be intended, because to the hardcore pro-lifer, there is no discussion. Instead abortion must be immediately and permanently outlawed at the Federal level, by amending the Constitution of the United States if deemed necessary (and some deem it necessary), with no exceptions, period.
And if the woman dies from a complication for which pre-viable delivery is necessary to save her life, then oh well.
And to the hardcore pro-lifers, if you’re not for what I just said, you’re “pro-abortion” and you’ll be labeled either a “pro-abortionist”, “pro-abort” or, to borrow words of my cousin’s husband, a “flat-earther”. Don’t ask me why on the last one as I never asked him to explain it. But talk about a major false dichotomy, eh?
But if we look at the label plainly, who would call themselves “pro-abortion”? Who would say they are in favor of abortion? I think you’ll be hard pressed to find many who do.
The problem with the term is misdirection. People who are, by default, labeled “pro-choice” or “pro-abortion” are, merely, not against the availability of abortion services. Talk to people who are “pro-choice” and you’ll see that they, like the hardcore pro-lifer, do not like abortion either, don’t like that it is exercised as an option. But what they don’t like even more is the idea of the legislative pen striking it away.
To do so would return us to the 1960s and the “back-alley” clinics or, in the case of Chicago, the mobile, clandestine abortion clinics that do everything they can to operate under the radar. Or they’ll turn to the Internet and the multitude of abortion cocktails ready for download, with safety being a crap shoot. This means dead women and dead babies – there is no escape from that reality.
It doesn’t matter the language pro-lifers use to defend their “pro-life” (i.e. using government force to back their agenda) stance. People will do what they can to escape or deter government scrutiny when they feel the government is stomping all over them. And legislation has this pesky problem of being somewhat vague, allowing overzealous and politically-motivated prosecutors and law enforcement officers to twist the wording of the legislation in such a way that allows them to achieve greater political power.
In response we have hardcore pro-lifers who jump down the throats of anyone who doesn’t believe 100% what they believe with regard to abortion. Even if you get someone to believe what you do about abortion itself, where you will always run into problems is getting people on board with the idea of government action or legislation against it. This is especially true in recent years where more people are expressing sentiment with not turning to government to solve problems. Yet that is exactly what hardcore pro-lifers, most of whom are conservative Christian Republicans, want.
So hardcore pro-lifers need to drop the word “pro-abortionist”, because the only thing that will do is turn people off and cause offense. It has the same effect as bringing God into the argument or turning to scripture to support your points. Both will turn off the person you are attempting to persuade, in which case you’ve lost the argument before you’ve made any traction.
You will persuade someone that abortions should not be performed, because it’s already a common point of view. Most people think that way, even most people who are “pro-choice”. Where you will have difficulty is persuading someone that abortion should be outlawed by legislative action. Bringing the government into the picture through legislative action is just one stop shy of bringing God into the picture by quoting scripture. If the latter isn’t effective at turning people away from abortion – I’ve yet to see any credible evidence that it is effective – why would you expect the former to be any more effective? History shows us it won’t be.
Instead, again, drop the word “pro-abortionist” because it’s inaccurate at best, offensive at worst. Even I identify as “pro-choice”, but that is only because I know legislation won’t work. Instead we need to educate people on effective methods of preventing pregnancy, and this includes teaching abstinence as part of a comprehensive program, not an abstinence-only program as history also shows those to not work.
I am pro-life. It is the hardcore pro-lifers who think otherwise simply because I refuse to turn to the legislative pen where I know education to be more effective. Are you also pro-life?