A Few Questions: Think About It

23 Jun

Dear Anti-Choicers,

How often do you think about what you’re saying and doing?

When you scream “baby killer!” at the woman walking into an abortion clinic, have you considered the fact that women who have had miscarriages sometimes have to have an abortion to remove the dead fetus? Have you considered the fact that you can not differentiate between a woman who has had a miscarriage and a woman who has not just by looking at them? You do know that those women don’t have the word “MISCARRIAGE” written across their foreheads, correct? Do you know that many people who have had miscarriages blame themselves for the death of the embryo? Can you imagine how it would feel to have someone call you a baby killer for having a miscarriage? What about the other women, how are you helping them by calling them baby killers?

When you call women who have had an abortion “selfish,” are you aware of the fact that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by the age of 45? Are you aware of the fact that you most likely know and care about someone who has had an abortion? How do you think she feels when you call her a selfish murderer? What if she regrets her abortion? Can you imagine how badly it would hurt to regret an abortion and have someone call you “selfish” for something that you are already in pain from? What about women who don’t regret their abortions? Why are you trying to scare them into silence?

When you tell a woman that adoption will solve all of her problems, do you consider the fact that adoption leaves a lot of women in pain? Do you tell her that adoption leaves a lot of women in pain, or do you conveniently hide that fact and pretend that adoption is a pain-free choice? Do you consider the fact that, for some women, adoption just will not do because the pregnancy itself is traumatic? After all, I’m sure you know that you do have to go through a pregnancy to give a child up for adoption. What about those women? What are you doing for them?

When you stalk a woman through the parking lot as she’s trying to walk into an abortion clinic, do you ever stop to think about how that makes the woman feel? How would you feel if a group of people were following you and yelling at you as you were trying to go to the dentist’s? Are you aware that you come off as predatory?

When you say “I’m against abortion except for cases of rape,” do you ask yourself why you believe that? Are you okay with abortion in cases of rape because it wasn’t her fault? If so, are you aware that you’re just punishing women for having sex (because, according to that logic, it was her fault)? Are you okay with abortion in cases of rape because a rape pregnancy can screw up a person emotionally? If so, are you aware of the fact that any forced pregnancy can screw up a person emotionally?

When you call people who provide abortions baby killers, mass murderers, Nazis, etc, do you ever stop to think about the effects that this has on the lives of abortion providers? Do you ever stop to think about the fact that the people who have murdered abortion providers think exactly the same way that you do in this regard (and it’s no coincidence)? Have you ever read an abortion provider’s story? Do you think it’s okay that abortion provider’s must live in fear of being murdered? Do you think it’s okay that their families must live in fear of being murdered? Do you care?

I don’t expect to change any hearts with this post, but who knows. If I can get one person to stop and think about their actions, it’s worth it.

Love,
Reema (aka ProChoiceGal)

22 Responses to “A Few Questions: Think About It”

  1. Not Guilty June 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Great post. I do wonder if any of them will actually read all the words and take the time to understand before commenting. Likely, they will pick out the parts that they think makes them right and continue right along with their attacks. I feel truly sorry for anti’s for all the hatred they hold onto.

  2. Jenni June 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    I love this piece! However, I think the author gives the anti-choicers way too much credit. I don’t think they care at all about people. I don’t think they empathize enough to realize they may hurt a woman’s feelings. We have one clinic in our state. One. It also happens to be where I go to get my annual done. They scream at me too. I asked them one year if they ever really look at the people they scream at. I said to them, you guys holler at me every year never bothering to ask what I’m here for. “Do you know I have never had an abortion? Do you know I have two children and only come here for a pap smear? How many of these other women do you think you are screaming at who like me are just here because they like the nurse practitioner here or can’t afford a regular doctor? Does that not bother you at all? That you scream baby killer at me ever year yet I never killed a baby?” They stared at me blankly and said I was a bad mom for coming here to get my pap. “Well, where would you have me go? Your church sure isn’t paying my medical bolls are they? So I have to go where I can afford, don’t I?” They actually said I should not be getting a pap smear then. I replied, “Good. So you are everything I think you are. I just needed to make sure.” And I left. From that point on I realize these are not people with principles they are fighting to protect. These are sheer sociopaths, people who have no real emotions and no real empathy to connect with others. They would be serial killers if they weren’t so tied up with the church. There is nothing human about them.

  3. Serena June 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Awesome post. These questions all cut to the heart of the matter. No one can understand what it’s like for the patient going into the clinic except for the patient themselves. Women don’t decide to get an abortion on a whim – there is a lot of thought that goes into the decision. And no one should judge a woman for making the decision that she feels is best for her. Period.

  4. ProChoiceGal June 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    “However, I think the author gives the anti-choicers way too much credit. I don’t think they care at all about people. I don’t think they empathize enough to realize they may hurt a woman’s feelings.”

    Oh, I don’t expect that at all. I’m sure there are a FEW anti-choicers out there who care about fetuses. I’d guess that most of them care about no one but themselves. None of them care about women. Caring about women and being anti-choice is absolutely impossible, imo. It’s contradictory.

  5. Naomi June 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I really wish anti-choicers could look inside themselves and honestly answer these questions, but at this point I don’t think they are capable admitting such a thing. Their obsession with oppressing women sails past any kind of reasonable line and straight into the realm of fanaticism. These people, quite literally, do not give any shits about women’s lives, health or happiness. They attempt to maintain the national delusion that “pro-life” is about babies or god or something, but it’s about taking advantage of every opportunity to shame, blame and abuse women verbally, physically and emotionally. These people are scum. I applaud your articulate, genuine post, but I fear it is wasted on people incapable of any kind of empathy or sense.

  6. Amanda June 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    This is great! On the note of the “adoption” argument, I cringe every time I hear it. My mom was a social worker; the foster care/adoption system in this country is a mess. A dear friend of mine was adopted and then told a month before her 18th birthday (3 months before graduation) that she better have a home lined up for the day after her birthday. Not every adoptive family is like that, but I wouldn’t blame a woman at all for having an abortion rather than giving up a child for adoption, if for no other reason than to prevent those sort of problems.

  7. julie June 24, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    I know what you mean, I once got into a conversation (to put it nicely) with an anti who had posted on youtube a video of him yelling at women in front of a clinic. (He made a point of mentioning several times that he was an atheist, as though that was supposed to lend to his credibility somehow.) After a while, he told me that he did not oppose life-saving abortion or abortion in cases of rape. And yet there he was, yelling at total strangers, whose situations he has absolutely no insight into.
    ‘How do you know none of those women were getting an abortion for a reason that you accept?’ I asked him, ‘How do you even know they’re there for abortions at all and not, say pap smears or birth control?’
    His answer was effectively that since the women had not gone out of their way to disclose to him, a total stranger, their exact personal and medical details, which he believed became his business as soon as the women approached, he had the authority to judge and the right to harass.
    Smell the presumption of privilege.

  8. Shayna June 24, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Excellent post – I seriously would love to sit down with some of these people and watch them connect the (obviously glaringly neon) dots…

  9. Jameson June 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    @ Jenni: Right on! Antis ENJOY causing harassment/harm. It’s the only way they can think of to give meaning to their pathetic hateful lives, by bullying women. Forget those paps, ladies, you should all just get cancer and die because it’s Gawd’s will, especially if you’re not married and breeding like a good little sheeple.

  10. Not Guilty June 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    @Julie The atheist anti’s scare me a little more than theist anti’s. I mean, theist anti’s have the bible to fall back onto, however ludicrous it is. There is also the part of indoctrination. But atheist anti’s, they must only hate women, and that is scary. The atheists for life fb group is FULL of men. Of the 116 members, I think less than 12 are women. So there are 100 men who hate women so much, they’d happily see them lose control over their bodies. My favourite was the gay atheist anti. I mean really? You want rights for yourself, but would happily see it removed for women? WTF. Sorry for the tangent.

  11. anonymous709 June 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Well. I read this post this morning, and upon thinking about after I’d calmed down a bit, I decided it was not a good idea to post a reply.

    I came upon your blog through the Abortioneers blog; (which- in the interests of full disclosure-graciously published the one comment I once made on a post there) I found that blog, through (I think) a comment on the blog of a woman who’d had an abortion and was struggling.

    I was reading that last blog for personal reasons. You see, I found myself carrying an “unwanted pregnancy” under difficult circumstances (would’ve lost my job) and then suffered a miscarriage. There was no one I could talk to, since I couldn’t reveal the pregnancy initially, and I found I related to the some of the feelings of the woman who’d had the abortion.

    I have been pro-life all my life. My pregnancy & miscarriage did not change that. Although, I doubt you will post this comment, and I’m fairly positive it will fall on deaf ears, so to speak, the current headlining post on Abortioneers persuaded me I should say something- even if I am speaking into a void.

    You seem to imply above that merely believing that the unborn are human persons (albeit not fully developed) causes women pain and is a bad thing. Well, I had stopped reading Abortioneers etc, because I found the reverse belief causes me, a woman, pain.

    Miscarriage is a lonely, grief-ridden experience- even the miscarriage of an unplanned child. I am not mourning the loss of tumor, nor lump of tissue. Yet that is what the pro-choice position says. It says I do not even have the right to mourn a son or a daughter, because since that child was not yet born and not fully developed when he or she died, that child was not … human.

    How painful to be told that a close relative not well known, but now dead was not a person at all. How painful to be told that that was not a child.

    Pain is a part of life. It happens one way or the other. The pro-choice causes pain too. So, where does that leave us?

    I realize that if you do publish this comment it will likely come under attack- it will be likely be called ignorant and intolerant and worse. I’ll tell you in advance, I won’t respond. I will likely not check to see if has been posted. This is one off. Something you should know. That’s all.

  12. Steph June 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Anonymous709,

    I’m sorry that you had that experience. It sounds like it was incredibly painful, and I want you to know that the pro-choice movement honors your feelings. I’m disappointed that your encounter with both the Abortion Gang and Abortioneers blogs as left you feeling that the pro-choice movement doesn’t support women who miscarry or women who consider their pregnancies children.

    If that pregnancy was a child to you, we honor that. We also honor the woman to whom the pregnancy was not a child. That is why organizations like the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (http://www.napw.com/) exist – to honor, trust, and defend pregnant women no matter if they choose to carry to term, have an abortion, or place for adoption.

    Every woman’s experience with pregnancy, no matter the outcome, is different. That is why pro-choice fights so hard to make sure that only the pregnant woman herself can define when and if that pregnancy is a child.

    I hope you find peace. We are here to support you.

  13. ProChoiceGal June 24, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Anonymous-

    I’m the writer of this blog post. I second Steph’s comment to you. Pro-choicers aren’t here to tell you that you’re horrible for grieving after a miscarriage or for seeing your fetus as a baby/person. The last thing I’ll do to a woman that regrets her abortion or is in pain after a miscarriage is say “It’s just a clump of cells! You’re wrong for grieving!” As for anyone else who may do that, shame on them.

    “You seem to imply above that merely believing that the unborn are human persons (albeit not fully developed) causes women pain and is a bad thing.”

    I didn’t mean to imply that at all. Simply believing that fetuses and embryos are persons isn’t what does the vast majority of the damage. The belief that is hurting women is the belief that, once a woman becomes pregnant, she no longer has freedom and bodily autonomy. It’s the belief that we should inflict violence upon pregnant women by forcing them through their pregnancies that’s causing people pain. Anti-choicers don’t just believe that fetuses are persons, they’re trying to force women not to have abortions. That is where the violence comes in. That is where the pain comes in. I’m sorry that pro-choice websites have brought you pain, but the difference is that we’re expressing a belief without intention to cause pain, and anti-choicers are not only expressing beliefs, they have an intention to cause pain by trying to force traumatizing experiences on women. I am not trying to inflict pain on any women. Anti-choicers are trying to inflict pain on women by forcing them through pregnancies. That is the difference.

    Again, I’m sorry for your experience. If you feel that you had a baby when you were pregnant, I’m not here to tell you that your emotions are wrong. None of us are going to try to hurt you.

  14. NYCprochoiceMD June 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Anonymous709, thank you so much for sharing your perspective with us, even though you doubted we would want to publish it. I think the distinction that must be made is between what the embryo or fetus is, biologically, and what it represents for the woman who is carrying it (I use it here not to be pejorative, but for lack of a better word). For a woman who thinks about the pregnancy and sees a future baby who will be part of her family, it represents something very different than for someone for whom it represents an uninvited and unwanted invader of her body. And of course, most women are somewhere between those two extremes, and each has her own experience with it.

    That embryo, or fetus, is alive, and often has the potential to become a child. We can acknowledge that reality, and also acknowledge that the life of the woman in front of us is more important than that potential, future child. This is how I see it; I value the embryo, but I value more the woman, her autonomy, and her right to control her body and her future.

    While it is easy for me to value the woman in front of me over a potential future person, it is often hard for women to value themselves and put themselves first. Some people find themselves in a situation where they want to undertake the challenge of choosing to parent, others find that to do so would not be good for them or their families.

    Anonymous, I think you’ve hit on a key issue here. Some women have abortions and feel fine; others feel sad and think about that potential future they opted against, knowing that the alternative future was better. Some women have miscarriages and are relieved, others grieve for the future child and family that pregnancy represented for them. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with this. Everyone is different, and everyone’s feelings after an abortion or miscarriage should be respected.

    All I ask is that you treat the experiences of others with the same respect you would ask for yourself.

  15. KushielsMoon June 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    anonymous709-

    Have you read my post “The Things I Can’t Say” (http://abortiongang.org/2010/06/the-things-i-cant-say/) ? It’s a similar topic, I believe. My post is about how some (not all, some) prochoice people refrain from using words like baby or person.

    I personally feel that whatever words and opinions the woman uses, is what people who support her should use. Loss is different for every person, and no one should ever be denied their right to grieve.

  16. anonymous July 1, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    PCG:

    Check your medical definitions. If a woman has a miscarriage and has to have a d&c to remove the dead fetus, it is not an abortion. Elective abortion is the termination of a viable (and I mean living in it’s current state, not whether or not it is viable outside the womb) pregnancy. I emphasize, elective. Spontaneous abortion is a pregnancy in which the fetus dies without elective termination. The procedure to remove the embryo/fetus is not an abortion.

  17. ProChoiceGal July 1, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    It’s the same procedure, Anonymous. The only difference is whether or not the fetus is alive.

    My point still stands. You are aware that women who have miscarried don’t have the word “MISCARRIAGE” written on their forehead, correct?

  18. anonymous July 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    It is not the same procedure.

    Abortion = interruption/ending of pregnancy

    Miscarriage = spontaneous abortion. Abortion has already occured.

    Spontaneous abortion = end of preganacy. Not d/t any external cause, i.e. surgical or medical procedure.

    Elective abortion – medical or surgical interruption of a viable (in terms of living vs. demise, not survival outside the womb) pregnancy. The majority are performed in abortion clinics.

    In your post, the word miscarriage also carries the connotation of a wanted pregnancy that was lost.

    No respectable ob/gyn would refer a woman devastated over the loss of a wanted pregnancy to an abortion clinic for a d&c, unless of course, they operate an elective abortion clinic in conjunction with their obstetric practice. Typically, women who have miscarried have resentment and anger toward women who terminate healthy pregnancies, so you should be able to understand the tension.

    Some typical scenarios for a woman who has miscarried – profuse bleeding ——> trip to ED ——> D&C performed in hospital. Or, known fetal demise ——> scheduled for outpatient procedure ——> D&C performed in hospital. Or, fetal demise ——> induction of labor and delivery in hospital (later gestational age).

    No, miscarriage is not written on women’s foreheads. Neither is ‘elective abortion’. Neither is ‘selfish’. Neither is ‘adoption’. Neither is ‘abortion clinic protester’. Neither is ‘pro-choice’. Neither is ‘pro-life’. So what’s your point? ‘Ignorant of correct medical terminology’ is not written on yours, just like ‘twenty years of medical expertise in obstetrics’ is not written on mine.

    You are a prolific writer of opinion based upon emotion. Emotion is necessary for passionate support of a cause. So are factually correct arguments. If you write with great passion and emotion, but intelligent people can expose the fallacies, your cause suffers…..just sayin’.
    ;)

  19. anonymous July 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    And please…..I’m not taking exception here over what you are trying to convey in your post, just your incorrect use of terminology. Another big part of credibility is owning your mistakes.

  20. Josh Brahm July 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    As a pro-life man, I want to say that I agree with most of your well-written post, Reema. In fact, I’d like to thank you for giving me some more fodder when I encourage other pro-lifers to not act like jerks in front of abortion facilities. I’ve been preaching that message for years now, with some common sense reasons. But I hadn’t thought of some of these before, like how it would make a woman feel who’s having a miscarriage.

    My wife and I miscarried our first child. It was weeks before my wife could even see other little kids without tearing up; I can’t imagine what some idiot on a sidewalk calling her a “baby killer” would have made her feel.

    You also point out the reason I try to avoid talking about adoption as if it’s a painless process. That cheapens what the heroes who go through that process experience. We can’t just try to put a pretty bow on things like that. We should be intellectually honest about both sides of the debate.

    I couldn’t say the predatory stalking bit any better than you did. How creepy is that?

    I think a lot of people just don’t truly consider whether what they’re doing is effective. I think most of these people have good motives, but are often clueless when choosing how to attempt to communicate to the women out there. It’s so hard for some people to get into the other person’s shoes, and then go from there.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I appreciate this post, and wanted you to know there’s at least one of those yucky pro-life guys that mostly agrees with you on this post.

    Warmly,
    Josh

  21. ProChoiceGal July 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Yucky? LOL

    Thanks for being respectful. And I don’t just say that because you agreed with me, even disagreements can be refreshing when they’re respectful.

  22. Josh Brahm July 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    I absolutely agree, Reema. It has been wonderful to have lengthy email exchanges with sharp pro-choicers, who challenge me to reconsider my views, check my research, etc. Even if we disagree on certain aspects of the debate, people can be respectful, truly consider each others views, and even find common ground, while carefully discussing differing viewpoints without ad hominems and strawmen fallacies. I see that happening more now than it has in the last 30 years, and I’m glad for that.

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