To anyone who doesn’t know, I am very pro-choice. I have this position for a number of reasons. For starters, since there are seven billion people on this planet and overpopulation is the biggest threat to our planet’s future, it just seems ridiculous to me to force a woman to go through with a pregnancy that she doesn’t want. Second, whose right is it for the government to tell a woman what to do with her body? I find it amazing that all these “small government” conservatives want to be able to legislate what women will do with their bodies. Third, making abortion illegal will do nothing to stop them from happening. This point has been brought up a thousand times, and it is still on point. It just makes it so that abortions happen in back alleys by doctors who can’t be trusted, rather than in a clean, sterile environment where women can get care from licensed physicians who have years of practice under their belt. There is no rational reason for me to be pro-life.
Anyone who has been following this blog for a long time knows that I am very much in support of Planned Parenthood as well. I’ve told this story before (anecdotal evidence!) about a former friend of mine who hates my guts. When she was a teenager, the guy she was with used her as a living sex toy and she ended up getting knocked up because this guy also wasn’t the best about protection. What a shock. Alone, unable to talk to anyone, she made what she has described as the hardest decision of her entire life and went to Planned Parenthood to have an abortion. It was something she dealt with alone, and it helped shape all of her relationships since that point.
So when I see a rather sizeable crowd gathered outside of Planned Parenthood tonight with signs all about how abortion is evil and how Planned Parenthood is basically an abortion factory, you can imagine how annoyed I was. Not only is the idea that all they do being abortions been proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be complete bullshit, but it only accounts for 3% of all the services they provide. The rest is helping girls like a former girl I ran with whose periods were so painful that they caused her to be in agony for hours get birth control that she doesn’t take for sexual assistance purposes (though that is a fringe benefit) but to help her manage something that is excruciating. Or there are women who don’t have the money for breast scans or other things to help detect cancer early. Then there are just the people who use them to help get easy medical care that they don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for.
These people are motivated by ignorance. They use pathos to get their point. It’s easy to have some grotesque photo of a deceased embryo and believe that that is all abortion is. Some murder factory for the fetus where all the youth are taken to be slaughtered. It’s disgusting, to say the least. Not to mention disingenuous. That is not what abortion is. Never even close. Most abortions happen in the first few weeks of a pregnancy, when the fetus is nothing but a cluster of cells. This image of abortion doctors being Nazi scientists harvesting baby organs is both laughable and insulting. However, for those who are easily swayed by pathos and whose critical faculties lack in almost every discernible way, that’s all they need to hear to conclude that their path is right. It helps that they are almost-exclusively guided by a religious belief that says that all life is sacred. You know, except when God is commanding his armies to kill children and rip open the bellies of pregnant women. Then murder is A-okay. But let’s not get into the hypocrisy of Christianity. That conversation would never end.
However, this is where something that I strongly believe in comes into play. See, mama didn’t raise no hypocrite. I find it funny that free speech has gone from being a liberal issue like back during the Red Scare when people were fighting against McCarthy and his witch-hunts, who argued that free speech and a free press was the cornerstone of a functioning democracy and should be cherished. Because free speech isn’t designed to protect the majority opinion. That doesn’t need protecting. It is designed to protect the minority opinion. And here’s where I am going to annoy some of my more liberal-minded contemporaries – the opinion that God hates abortion and it is evil and should be outlawed is a minority opinion in the US. Overall, society in this country is cool with abortion and thinks that it should be legal for those who want to partake. They believe that women should have dominion over their own bodies. That’s good. No joke, I’m glad that that’s the case. So the demonstration I saw tonight is a minority opinion (dumb as it is) that is being exercised by people who have it.
So when someone came to me on the phone tonight and said, “dude, I wish I could blow those fuckers up,” I decided to stand tall to that person and say that that is a really stupid way to view things. The reality is that I vehemently disagree with everything those idiots with the signs were saying. However, I would fight another person who wanted to take away that right to the death for their right to speak their ridiculous bullshit. I refuse to be a hypocrite. I refuse to join a group of people who want to suppress another group’s opinion, even if I believe that they are completely wrong and it says a lot about their character for having that opinion.
I stopped believing in God because I stopped seeing things as us vs. them. I got rid of this dogmatic part of me that wants to follow an ideology blindly. Now I see my brethren on the left seeing it as totally cool to demonize people on the right and shut down their speech. After all, their speech might hurt people’s feelings! Or spread “dangerous ideas!” We can’t have that! If something offends something that the Supreme Leader says, then that thing must be stopped! We must take to the streets! Burn their books! Shut down their speech because we don’t approve! If they don’t conform to our way of thinking, put them in camps! Some gross hyperbole mixed in with things that these people think. But here’s something that really gets to me when thinking about it –
For some of these, can you honestly tell which is which?
Until next time, a quote,
“We think we’ve come so far. Heretics, the burning of witches, all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again.” – Capt. Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation