The Anti-Abortion Movement Hates Women?
I'll say it again.
Those in the pro-choice movement who assert that all opponents of abortion (usually religious) hate women, want to control women or seek some kind of pro-life population surge (heard that one a few weeks ago) are making a wildly incomplete statement.
I'm not a Republican, but time and again, I see the "Republicans Don't Care If Women Die From Back Alley Abortions" charges and shake my head. This is not how the anti-abortion movement thinks, and while you'll find extreme examples in any camp, I also think it's important to objectively and honestly understand the opposition in any conflict.
I heard a 90-minute panel on abortion in Canada, and not once did I hear anyone talk about the single, most prevalent and most emphatic argument that religious people have against abortion: "Life Begins At Conception."
A huge omission. Huge.
I spent my whole life in church. I've traveled to, literally, hundreds of churches across the nation. I was raised in the cradle of the anti-abortion movement. I, myself, was at one time vehemently anti-abortion, and I've seen the issue from well inside church walls and religious homes. In mainstream Christianity here in the states, the driving force behind the anti-abortion crowd is:
1) They believe a human life begins immediately at conception.
2) They believe that life has a soul.
3) They believe that soul cannot yet defend itself.
4) They believe they are charged to protect it.
Because the religious are convinced that a human life is being snuffed out, they're passionate about preventing a murder. And this is the case with both men and women, as they often work in tandem in this cause. In almost all mainstream religious homes, males aren't treating their wives like sub-par baby factories, and women aren't barefoot and pregnant. They stand on the battle lines, shoulder to shoulder, as equals, speaking out for the unborn. And they're fighting a moral battle because they're (almost always) good people and want to prevent what they consider an injustice.
Again, extreme examples exist. But pro-choice champions should do a better job of seeing the opposition correctly and honestly, as good information makes them more effective in the debate arena and allows them to focus their energies and tactics where they might be more effective.
Sure, the politicians are looking for slick talking points, and the megachurch pastors are probably selling books. But the everyday men and women who oppose abortion aren't bad people. They're just people. And as the pro-choice movement seeks to educate others and be properly understood, it should also properly understand what it's up against.