Sometimes when I’m discussing the abortion issue with others who do not hold the same views, it blows my mind to hear what they think of me and of pro-lifers. To make assumptions about your opponent though, especially if such assumptions are untrue, doesn’t exactly make you the stronger person, especially if you have to resort to cheap shots such as the ones I’ve heard of and experienced, and which others I have consulted from Fordham’s Respect for Life came up with.
Pro-lifers are anti-women:
People claim that because pro-lifers don’t think a woman should be able to choose an abortion, they thus hate women. In one discussion over Facebook, someone pointed out that my pro-life view basically amounted to “…F*** women wanting to do whatever they please with their own bodies amirite?” (asterisks added). And thus if you don’t think a woman should have the choice of an abortion, then you’re saying that they can’t do what they want with their own bodies and make their own choices. Heck, you probably just want to control them, because again, you hate women. And you probably hate women having sex, and sex in general. Which brings me to my next point.
Pro-lifers are prudes and virgins:
Okay, so many pro-lifers that I’ve met or heard about are committed to, or at least have considered committing to, staying virgins until marriage. But you don’t need to be pro-life to stay a virgin until marriage, and you don’t need to stay a virgin until marriage to be pro-life. There are many reasons one may choose abstinence, and one of them is to absolutely ensure no children are born until they can be provided for by a husband and wife who are ready and able to give their child both a father and a mother. That reason pretty much makes sense to me. And (if we’re purely speaking about unplanned pregnancies out-of-wedlock) if there’s never any sex outside of marriage, then there’s no unplanned pregnancies to worry about where one has to consider an abortion. At the same time though, not all pro-lifers are virgins. Some are virgins, though they may not necessarily wait until marriage. Some are sexually active but aware of possible consequences of sex and would own up to raising a child or place him or her up for adoption. Others have previously been sexually active and have re-committed themselves to living a more sexually pure lifestyle. But whatever kind of sexual experience a pro-lifer has had, such experience does not speak to all, and it does not make them any more or less devoted as a pro-lifer.
Pro-lifers are religious zealots:
There are many pro-lifers who like to take a religious approach to being pro-life. The Catholic Church, for instance, has pro-life offices advertised on websites for its dioceses. To be pro-life and to affirm that life begins at conception is not based solely on a personal or religious belief. Otherwise, to be pro-life would just be based on beliefs that could merely be sincerely held. Also, any time someone tries to lump pro-lifers together as Christians, or with any other religious group, they’re really just too lazy to do some research and find out about groups such as Secular Pro-Life.
Pro-lifers are Republican:
The Republican party does have a platform that is pro-life. And the Democratic party does have a platform that is pro-abortion. But I will tell you, even as someone who is a Republican, you do not have to be a Republican to be pro-life. I will accept anybody into the movement, and the pro-life movement largely as a whole does as well, who believes in fighting for the unborn, regardless of your political beliefs. There is an organization, Democrats for Life of America. The Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus in Congress is co-chaired by a Democrat, Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois. Oh and there are also groups such as Republicans for Choice and Republican Majority for Choice.
Pro-life men don’t deserve an opinion:
This is perhaps one of the more tragic examples. As my friend Kevin put it, you are “not allowed to have an opinion if you have male genitals.” It is true that a woman bears the burden and the gift of carrying a child in her womb for nine months. That is just how biology works. Women can get pregnant, men cannot. But, that does not mean that women get pregnant by themselves. A baby is conceived when a sperm and an egg come together. I don’t wish to give pro-choicers a biology lesson in reminding them that sperm comes from a man and eggs come from women, but it is basic science to understand how babies are conceived. Also, I believe that to say if you’re a man you can’t have an opinion on abortion because you can’t get pregnant is the more sexist view to hold. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion. Those men who are pro-life and who fight for their unborn children and the unborn children of others could not be more brave; they also realize their roles as men who have a duty to protect women and children. That friend of mine, Kevin? He is one of the most devout pro-lifers I know, as are Tom and Brendan, who served on Fordham’s Respect for Life e-board. The fact that they are men and can’t get pregnant should have nothing to do with standing up for everyone to have the right to life.
Pro-lifers are really just anti-choice:
Many pro-choicers like to throw around the term anti-choice, I suppose to demonize their opponents and make themselves sound better, by drawing a stark contrast to their own side. I’ve decided to not let it bother me anymore, because it says more about them and how they treat those who disagree with them rather than myself and my movement. But to say someone is anti-choice, and have it carry a negative connotation, because they disagree with a choice that kills a human person, is disingenuous. How about adoption? That’s certainly a choice. And how about let’s consider why people may be “anti” when it comes to such a “choice” such as abortion?
Pro-lifers think that everyone else should have to subscribe to their morality:
The same person on Facebook who made the “…F*** women…” comment also sarcastically mentioned that everyone should have to subscribe to my morality. While I do wish that everyone would be pro-life, I know it is unrealistic to expect every single person to hold my same beliefs, on abortion or otherwise. There are even differing opinions within the pro-life movement. I would simply like the law to reflect what the Declaration of Independence already proclaims, and protect this “unalienable” right to life.
Pro-lifers are merely pro-fetus or pro-birth:
It has been asked of pro-lifers what they are willing to do for children once they are born. If a sufficient answer is not to be had, then pro-lifers are accused of not really caring for people after they are born. Well, I could throw an insult right back and call people out for not caring about people before they are born by subjecting them to the torturous death that is an abortion procedure. Many crisis pregnancy centers do offer care for women and their children after the child is born, up to a certain age, and will be glad to remain in contact. But I will not make up an answer about how pro-lifers have helped people who are already born. That is because everyone has different ways in how they help people. They also have different callings in life.
Pro-lifers want to judge women for their choices:
Are there pro-lifers who will call women murderers and fault and shame them for facing a pregnancy out-of-wedlock or for having an abortion? Sadly, yes. But they certainly do not represent all of the pro-life movement. It does nothing to help a woman or her unborn child by being judgmental and in ways that are not compassionate. Many pro-lifers just want to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy, or help them recover from the pain of being post-abortive. And that’s why you see resources such as crisis pregnancy centers and Silent No More along with Project Rachel more so from pro-lifers rather than signs of condemnation.
Making assumptions about those who disagree with you does tend to make you look like you have the upper hand in the argument, especially when such assumptions can be proved wrong. These examples, while many, are likely just a select few of assumptions that have been made about pro-lifers. If you have heard of or experienced other assumptions, from any side of the issue, please feel free to share!