When Georgia enacted the heartbeat law, the bill’s lead sponsor, a woman, state Sen. Renee Unterman, called it “the pinnacle of her legislative career.” But Democrat presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg reacted to the news by framing the bill as a “cruel attack” by “male politicians” on women. Although clearly misleading, Mayor Pete’s use of this kind of language is no accident.
Highly targeted pro-abortion language like Mayor Pete’s has one goal: to pack a powerful emotional punch. The desired effect is to deliver the message that the pro-life position is sinister, conniving, backwards, and outright evil. In the end, we are supposed to forget that what Mayor Pete protests so loudly against is a heartbeat. Tiny, barely detectable, but beating, beating, beating.
A woman has enough to deal with when it comes to her health care without also having to worry about male politicians telling her what she ought to do with her body. Georgia’s abortion ban is a cruel attack on women’s autonomy and freedom — one that we must continue to resist.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 9, 2019
The tweet is a classic example of pro-abortion messaging in 2019. The purpose is to destroy the credibility of the pro-life position. And it will only get worse leading up to the 2020 election. But as Americans, we know we must use critical thinking skills to question the language and messaging we see any politician using. Breaking down the language Mayor Pete used in his tweet, we begin to decode the intended effects of the words the politician chose to use.
“male politicians” = misogynistic
“autonomy and freedom” = core American values
“cruel attack” = vicious, mean-spirited, spiteful; pure evil
“we must continue to resist” = a just war, defensive struggle against unjust attack
In summary, Mayor Pete carefully chooses language that tells us Georgia’s pro-life heartbeat law is a vicious, misogynistic attack that we have a moral duty to defend against. But do Mayor Pete’s emotionally charged words hold up against the facts? Of course not. His language is based on lies. For example, the Georgia heartbeat law had more women sponsors than men, and the freedom and autonomy argument for abortion is bankrupt.
Despite the fact that this kind of rhetoric is finding broad dissemination, pro-lifers actually hold the advantage. We, too, can use the “emotional gut-punch” strategy, but unlike Mayor Pete, our words are based on the truth.
Abortion is Violence.
Every abortion is a cruel attack — on a woman, on a child, on society, on our common humanity. Cold, calculated, methodical violence. Every abortionist uses violence to stop a beating heart, to force a woman’s body to stop caring for her baby, and to tear the preborn baby — piece by piece if necessary — out of the only home he ever knew. Can we not think of a better way to solve our problems?
When politicians like Mayor Pete use language like his tweet above, some might be swayed based on the emotional connotations of that idealistic language. But let’s look at what abortion is in real life. In common first trimester suction D&C abortions, according to former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, “the abortionist takes a suction catheter,” dilates the cervix, inserts the suction catheter powered by a force “10 to 20 times more powerful than your household vacuum cleaner,” and cruelly sucks the preborn baby piece by piece out of the womb. Second and third trimester abortions involve even more gruesome violence and female violation.
In addition to the death of the baby, complications for mothers include injury to cervix or uterus, hemorrhage, infection, future pregnancy complications, and even death.
No matter how you look at it, abortion is violence.
Abortion is Misogyny.
Pro-lifers seek to empower women, to give them real options. Does Mayor Pete really want a society that forces someone in their darkest moments, in shame, difficulty, and confusion to submit to the violence of abortion? Where men tell women they don’t have time for their troubles? That they must submit to violence, violation, and suffering to solve their “problem”? Or should we have a society that welcomes and forgives — bearing the burdens of women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies? Implying that women must submit to violence to solve their problems is the ultimate hatred of women, the very definition of misogyny.
Similarly, those who attribute pro-life laws to men only, like Mayor Pete, practice what they consider an acceptable form of misogyny: to erase pro-life women. For them, it is okay to ignore — and even revile and denigrate — the agency of pro-life women.
As 2020 draws nearer, and the pro-life fight heats up in states around the country, we should expect to see more like Mayor Pete use politically charged and deceptive pro-abortion rhetoric to cast pro-life initiatives as anti-women driven by hateful men. And sometimes we must fight fire with fire. Pro-lifers should stand ready to call out these words for the absurdities they are, not only with refutations, but also by pointing out the actual violence and misogyny that lay behind the pro-abortion stance.
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