The responses to Donald Trump’s quickly-retracted comments about punishing women for illegal abortions have shown a diverse array of creative ways pro-aborts can spin the truth. We got “pro-lifers really would punish women no matter what they say.” We got “jailing abortionists hurts women just as much.” In the past, we’ve gotten “you’re not really pro-life unless you’d punish women.”
And now Salon brings us another twist on the narrative. Valerie Tarico argues that when pro-lifers say that, should abortion ever become illegal, we should limit the punishment to the abortionist, we’re really saying, “Women are like little children or people who are mentally impaired and can’t legally be held responsible for their ‘decisions’ or actions.”
According to her, the vast majority of pro-life leaders are really saying:
Women are dumb. They don’t know what they are doing.
Women are gullible. They are easily duped by tricksters who just want to make money off of medical procedures and pills.
Women are incapable of managing their own lives. Left on their own they will make bad decisions that they regret.
Women are weak. They need to be protected by big strong men with lots of money and political power – Men like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Wow! Who would have guessed that so many pro-life leaders would take such a dim view of, er, their own gender?
Don’t you worry your pretty little head about this. Daddy knows best. Let go and let God. (Man is made in the image of God.) He will provide. A woman’s place is in the home; Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
Hmm, do you think Tarico knows that Heidi Cruz is a managing director at Goldman Sachs who previously held a number of positions with the Bush Administration? I’m gonna go out on a limb and take that as a sign her husband Ted doesn’t think her place is in the kitchen.
Come on, even the Bible says that God put men in charge, that a woman’s glory is her hair—Muhammad got that one right—and women will be saved by childbearing! No sense of humor? You’re so cute when you’re angry.
I don’t know about you, but I personally find Bible verses sarcastically taken out of context to reinforce pro-abortion stereotypes very persuasive. Much more compelling than responding to any of the things anyone Tarico’s complaining about has ever actually said.
That’s the first takeaway here. “Pro-lifers infantilize women” is false, but even if it wasn’t, Tarico has still said nothing to show fetuses aren’t living human beings, that killing them isn’t ethically equivalent to murder, or that abortion should remain legal. Gee, it’s almost as if she’s using character assassination as an excuse to change the subject from arguments she knows she can’t win…
Regardless, the question remains: does it infantilize women to say abortion is murder but they are not murderers? If Tarico had looked up what we think before telling us what we think, she would have found ample legal precedent on the subject, from which she would have learned that the law’s primary concern is to save lives, not to make statements, and in this case experience showed that punishing women was counterproductive to bringing abortionists to justice.
Second, there’s the question of what culpability requires. Yes, if one is adequately educated about the principles of biology and the consensus of embryology, there is no excuse not to know that abortion kills. But there’s the rub—in our society, our common understanding of the subject is severely handicapped by the abortion industry and supposed “women’s health” establishment, our news and entertainment media, and roughly half of our country’s elected officials intentionally misinforming the public about the truth.
Even our schools fail to equip students with the facts here, and even the rare attempt to do so is met with objections that teaching indisputable scientific facts amounts to teaching “points of view” and requires opt-out provisions.
Nobody can deny how dramatically all of this handicaps the public understanding of the issue, and certainly no reasonable person would claim we’re saying women are somehow more susceptible to it than men. Would Tarico prefer it if pro-lifers didn’t try to understand how abortion seekers come to mistaken conclusions about the preborn before we decide what to do about it?
Apparently so, because she’s not interested in understanding what pro-lifers are really saying at all, even if for no other reason than to find chinks in our armor. Instead, she rounds out the piece complaining that pro-lifers want women “to turn on” the abortionists “who have been there for us,” which reinforces more sexist stereotypes… somehow; and ludicrously claims we’re pushing a “con” because even if the abortionists are the only murderers, women would still qualify as accomplices.
Sure, Valerie. Because it’s impossible for legislation to specify who is and isn’t legally liable, and we don’t have a history of case law showing women were virtually never prosecuted for abortions in the supposed dark ages.
The only ones perpetrating stereotypes here are Salon, Valerie Tarico, and their fellow travelers. They actually don’t want a country where both sides equally respect and cherish women despite our disagreements. They want pro-lifers to be women-hating caricatures so badly that when we aren’t, they’ll twist our compassion into sins, no matter how nonsensical.
Keeping pro-aborts in a sense of perpetual victimhood, so they’re constantly too angry or fearful to stop and think about the propaganda they’ve been sold, is all that matters.