The pro-choice movement often treats with contempt the pro-lifers’ practice of holding up to our faces their disturbing graphics. We revile their placards showing an enlarged scene of the aftermath of a D & C abortion: we are disgusted by their lapel pins with the little feet, crafted in gold, of a 10-week-old fetus; we mock the sensationalism of The Silent Scream. We look with pity and horror at someone who would brandish a fetus in formaldehyde — and we are quick to say that they are lying: “Those are stillbirths, anyway” we tell ourselves.
To many pro-choice advocates, the imagery is revolting propaganda. There is a sense among us, let us be frank, that the gruesomeness of the imagery belongs to the pro-lifers: that it emerges from the dark, frightening minds of fanatics: that it represents the violence of imaginations that would, given half a chance, turn our world into a scary, repressive place. ‘People like us’ see such material as the pornography of the pro-life movement.
But feminism at its best is based on what is simply true. While pro-lifers have not been beyond dishonesty, distortion and the doctoring of images (preferring, for example, to highlight the results of very late, very rare abortions), many of those photographs are in fact photographs of actual D & Cs; those footprints are in fact the footprints of a 10-week-old fetus, the pro-life slogan, “Abortion stops a beating heart,” is incontrovertibly true. While images of violent fetal death work magnificently for pro-lifers as political polemic, the pictures are not polemical in themselves: they are biological facts. We know this.
—Naomi Wolf, “Our Bodies Our Souls”, The New Republic, 1995
I look at you with contempt because your position is contemptible, the way you go about things is contemptible and most of all, your inability to reason offends me in behalf of the human race.
I look at those gold pins with contempt because gold is costly and are you using that money to feed born children? No, you are using it to perpetuate a fallacy in a losing argument. I look at the Silent Scream with contempt because it has been proven to be sensationalist garbage and you still trot out that lie if you think you can fool someone into believing it is true.
The small amount of truth amidst the lies of anti-choicers is much like the small amount of truth amidst the lies in the book your religion stems from, and as such it is not enough to sustain belief. It collapses under the weight of the lies and becomes something grotesque, something that cannot continue without enforcing the lies.
I read the entire pdf. file of that article and the author is still pro-choice. You, as an anti-choicer, do not get to offer advice to the opposition as how they “should” interpret your position in this manner. You, as an anti-choicer, have chosen to cherry-pick that article, like you cherry-pick your science (it is beating, but it is not a fully-developed heart is an example), like you cherry-pick that book of fables (where does it address your position on abortion in that book, other than to detail how to perform one?) and it offends me, YOU OFFEND ME, because you offend reason.
Thus, you engender my disgust, your tactics will be reviled, your feeble attempts to manipulate will be mocked and you will receive full measure of my contempt. What anybody else does in response to you is their own business. Between you and I? What you have sowed is what you shall reap.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of your movement, exposed all your lies…that 50 000 women died every year from illegal abortion, that the fetus is a clump of tissue, that most Americans supported abortion,
It was a house of cards.
I remember in the 1980s, people used to say with a straight face that “the fetus is a blob of cells.” Of course that lie was refuted with the advent of the internet and the spread of fetal pictures, but you still get people who can’t admit the basic facts, that the fetus is alive, an organism and a human being.
The whole point of Naomi Wolfe’s article is that people who support abortion can’t come to grips with the truth about what happens to the fetus.
I am a big believer in facts and logic. The abortion side has none. Just take, for example, your contention that the embryonic heart is beating, but not fully developed.
Nobody ever made the claim that it was fully developed!
The point in mentioning the beating heart is to dispel the notion that the embryo is not alive. A being with a beating heart is obviously alive.
But you need to read into statements because the facts make pro-lifers right. So they have to mean something else. They can’t mean what they mean at face value, because if they do you lose.
So abortion supporters can’t state the plain facts. It’s Orwellian. They have trouble stating, plainly, that abortion kills a human being. They can’t. They know it makes them look bad.
This is not “manipulation”. It’s the application of straight facts and logical deduction. Honest abortionists agree with me. They know they’re ending life.
The only disagreement is on the level of values: whether we value all human beings without qualification, or whether we allow a more powerful human being kill a less powerful human being. That’s what the abortion debate comes down to. All the arguments about bodily autonomy translated into: a woman has the right to kill the child inside her. It makes no difference whether you actually *agree* with this statement, because the autonomy ideology says that even if it *were* a child, a woman would have the right to kill that child.
Just own it: power trumps the right of one’s child.
I don’t really care about your opinion of me or your mockey, because it’s all very adolescent anyway, and it’s an attempt to deflect from the actual facts. People who care about facts and logic who research the issue of when human life begins, of what an organism is, will understand that what I say is true. So I’m not fazed by this.
I note that you often react emotionally, e.g. with contempt. Emotionalism seems to be a tool, even as it’s denounced.