Sometimes you’re minding your own business when the internet punches you in the face with WRONG. I saw a Center for Reproductive Rights graphic today that made the WRONG alarm go off in my brain. You know how you’re looking at the internet and your brain is all “politics – cat – advertisement – cat – cat – advertisement – annoying girl from high school – WRONG WRONG WRONGITY WRONG!”? It was like that.
What set off my wrong alarm is this pile of nonsense from the Center for Reproductive Rights. Now, if you are not familiar with the CRR, you really should be, because they are deeply concerned about your uterus and making sure it can get its abortion on for free for any reason. I am not speculating. I heard Nancy Northup, CRR’s president, speak to a Planned Parenthood North Texas meeting last year. I was undercover as a concerned pro-choicer, and I heard stuff that would blow your mind, and which I wrote about for Live Action. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the lawsuit against the Texas Sonogram Law, which did not quite go as they had planned.
But back to their new little marketing ploy. Let’s start from the start, shall we? It kicks off with the Ryan Gosling internet meme, the one that is all over Pinterest and very popular with the ladies, in which Ryan looks soulfully at you and says, “Hey girl, let me rub your feet while you pin.” Or something along those lines. It’s quite amusing to the 21-to-34 female demographic, which makes up exactly the uteruses Nancy Northup wants on her side. It turns out these “reproductive Ryan Goslings” are everywhere. I haven’t been able to discern yet how the real Ryan Gosling feels about it, but fake Ryan Gosling loves him some abortion.
So now she’s got Ryan Gosling, she’s got a mean Republican stepping on a lady’s head, and the media-savvy, hip young female has been hooked by her extremely memey meme. The chase is on!
In the e-mailed version of this graphic, CRR’s clever little multiple-choice exam starts with “Pop Quiz!” Then it asks:
Which of the following disingenuous arguments have been used to advance laws aimed at cutting off access to critical reproductive health care—while purporting to protect women’s health?
At this point, you already know their answer is going to be “all of the above,” but let’s look at each option in turn.
a) “This bill was created to protect women. We want clinics to be properly licensed, properly insured, clean, & safe. That’s not too much to ask.” – About a Michigan law that would regulate all abortion providers out of existence.
First, the itsy-bitsy local news story this footnote links to contains no details about the bill. Second, let me tell you how I know this law doesn’t regulate abortion providers out of existence: because abortion clinics still exist in Michigan. If they didn’t, I would hear about it, because I would be invited to the celebratory “No More Abortions in Michigan!” party.
Third: God forbid we hold abortion clinics to higher standards, including proper insurance, licensure, cleanliness, and safety. I don’t know if you’ve ever been into an abortion clinic or met an abortionist, but here’s the deal: abortion clinics are gross, and abortionists are not kindly middle-aged gentlemen who resemble Alan Thicke and remember your name and hold your hand. They suck babies out of people for money, and unlike most of their victims, women and children, they are not deceived by language like “clump of cells” and “products of conception.” They know exactly what they’re doing. And they do it anyway. ‘Cause, um, cha-ching.
b) “This is not about banning abortion in Virginia. It is simply caring for women who are about to have an invasive surgical procedure.” – About similar regulations in Virginia.
These “similar regulations” have, according to their detractors, the following sinister goal: holding abortion clinics to the same regulatory standards as hospitals. Shudder! How dare we address the issue that a clinic specializing in first-trimester abortions often is less regulated than a dental clinic? Especially when, as Planned Parenthood of Virginia argued, retrofitting clinics to abide by new rules is so darn expensive! Planned Parenthood could lose money! Excuse me while I cry myself to sleep.
c) “The bill’s intent [is] to protect women’s health.” – About an Arizona abortion ban with only the smallest exception for dire medical emergencies.
This Arizona ban…guess what it banned. Abortion after twenty weeks’ gestation. They don’t mention that in their pithy pop quiz, do they? Why, do you think? I have a guess: because not only do most Americans not think late-term abortions are okay, but many don’t even know they’re legal.
I’ve had countless conversations with people who were shocked when I told them fetuses can be killed so late in pregnancy. Not only are the people at CRR fine with it, but they are decidedly not fine with any restrictions on aborting viable babies. While one side of this argument is concerned about fetal pain, CRR and the woebegone fauxminists are concerned that someone is limiting their across-the-board, inviolable, sacred right to abort whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want. ‘Cause this is America, and we all know our forefathers fought and died so we could have third-trimester abortions.
d) All of the above.
I have a feeling the answer is (d)!
If you answered d) All of the above, give yourself a gold star. For too long, anti-choice extremists have been trying to disguise their attacks on women’s autonomy.
You’re onto me, Nancy Northup! For so long, I have been pretending to try to protect women from physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual harm, and their babies from untimely death, when what I really wanted was to attack women’s autonomy! I can’t help it – I hate ladies!
The claptrap goes on to say that CRR bravely stepped in to save Mississippi from being the first state in the Union with no abortion clinics, and to this I say to Nancy Northup: Hey girl, I’m soon to be a resident of Mississippi, and if I have anything to say about it, the ‘Sip is gonna be the first state in the Union with no abortion clinics. Mark my words.
We know that these laws have absolutely nothing to do with protecting women’s health.
Yeah, here’s what we know: to groups like CRR, “women’s health” is synonymous with abortion and birth control. They like to play the “mammogram” or “cancer screening” card occasionally, but that’s not what this is about. Walk into a Planned Parenthood and ask for a diabetes screening or a heart health exam and watch them stare blankly back at you. This is not about “women’s health”; it’s about abortion and birth control, both of which harm women, physically and in many other ways.
This latest meme-driven internet marketing ploy is a sad attempt on behalf of CRR to repackage the same tired drivel: that pro-lifers are waging war on women. Unfortunately for Northup and her crew, it’s simply not true. We fight every day for the health and safety of women and their children, born and unborn, and the enemy we fight is represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights.