Ok – so, several months ago I posted a bit of a rant about anti-choice protesters, outlining my frustration with their hypocrisy and with the ways in which they choose to act on their disapproval of abortion.
Early last week, that link must have been shared on the page of an anti-choice group, because I’ve gotten a lot of comments from anti-choice people. These comments have ranged from attempts to provide information and links to demonstrate that abortion is dangerous to name-calling and straight-up lies.
It’s easy to forget how easy I have it sometimes as a feminist; all of my close friends are brilliant critical thinkers and feminists, so I rarely encounter people who hold strong anti-feminist views. I was stunned by the inconsistencies, logical fallacies, and factual inaccuracies that were being shouted at me (often, while simultaneously calling me and the pro-choice side liars).
I tried to reply to some of the comments calmly and rationally, but quickly realized that that was not a practical or efficient response. However, the fact that they were using actual untruths as “evidence” for their agenda was something I couldn’t let go. My poor friends had to listen to me talking about those comments for days.
I’m not really sure why I’ve spent so much time researching this post. It’s certainly not because I think I’ll change anyone’s minds. I know that’s hopeless. Research has shown “misinformation is ‘sticky’ and is often resistant to correction” and that being presented with facts or research to the contrary can actually strengthen people’s incorrect beliefs (source).
It’s also not to inform my regular readers; I’m sure most of you realize that legal abortion is a safe procedure, and are probably kind of sick of having the same arguments over and over (I know I am).
I think it’s because of how scared it makes me that the people who are spreading these lies are gaining traction; in America alone “In 2013 alone, 22 states enacted 70 antiabortion measures, including previability abortion bans, unwarranted doctor and clinic regulations, limits on the provision of medication abortion and bans on insurance coverage of abortion. However, 2013 was not even the year with the greatest number of new state-level abortion restrictions, as 2011 saw 92 enacted; 43 abortion restrictions were enacted by states in 2012” (source).
The number of myths and lies about abortion is probably in the bazillions (that’s a rough estimate). In order to figure out which ones to address in this post, I went back to the comments on the original post. I’ve pulled direct quotes from the people who commented to give you a feel for their arguments. If you want to go back to the original post to get an idea of the context of the comments, go for it.
I’m not going to argue morality here. I’m not arguing religion or personhood. I’m just talking facts.
(Also, I’m going to have to divide this into a couple of posts, because there is a LOT of information.)