On Friday, while demonstrators joined together in Washington DC to celebrate and protect life at the 44th Annual March for Life, virtual protestors took to Twitter to peddle long-disproved narratives.
From the looks of her Twitter account, Jessica Valenti, a columnist for The Guardian, served as the unofficial grand marshal, directing the strawmen, non sequitur, and ad hominem brigades to the front of the parade route. Here’s a sampling of four themes leading the way.
1. If You Don’t Support Food Stamps You’re Not Pro-Life
Even though long-ago debunked, the charge that pro-lifers only care about babies until they are born made an appearance again. This time the charge came in the form of demands pro-lifers oppose proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, e.g. “food stamps”
Where to begin. How about fallacy for fallacy? Abortion proponents’ own (liberal) Women’s March didn’t #MarchforVictimsofGenitalMutilation either, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. So much for supporting the sisterhood.
And where was the #MarchforVictimsofViolence? Nowhere. The liberal Women’s March didn’t hat-up in protest of victims either, instead hosting activist Donna Hylton—a perpetrator of violence who was convicted of kidnapping, torturing, and eventually murdering a real-estate broker in 1985.
The charge against pro-life demonstrators isn’t even a patch on this hypocrisy. Rather, demonstrators in the March for Life are being accused of not supporting the Left’s preferred policy positions. That pro-lifers may prefer to engage in private charitable efforts to meet the needs of individuals does not lessen their cause or make them hypocrites—or at least, not logically. There are many different ways to care for human life, and saying everyone must support only one of them is merely a way of attempting to win an argument by pretending other solutions don’t exist. That’s called “begging the question,” or willful deception.
You can also oppose one evil—killing an innocent child—without protesting against every worldly wrong. That may surprise NARAL Pro-Choice America, though, which tweeted:
What? You can’t be pro-life because there was lead in the water in Flint? Or because you don’t support Obamacare? This tweet succinctly popped that delusional bubble:
2. Babies Are Like Kidney Transplants
While the SNAP charge was just silly, the “kidney transplant” rhetoric that made an appearance on Friday was jaw-droppingly, silence-provokingly stupid. If you haven’t heard the analogy before, hold on to your head.
This “argument” is so dense it is almost impossible to unwrap. But let’s try: The entire analogy equates acts and omissions—killing and not killing. An abortion is an affirmative act that destroys human life. No one is asking anyone to sacrifice bodily integrity, just not to kill. If you do not donate a kidney, you are not affirmatively doing anything, and you are not killing anyone. A disease simply is. Similarly, the law prohibits you from shooting an innocent baby, but does not require you to jump in the path of an incoming bullet—although many would do so, especially the child’s mother.
Further, unlike a person and her kidney, an unborn child and its mother have separate bodies. If we were to use Valenti’s logic properly, abortion is a mechanism that destroys bodily integrity. At least in some hypothetical forced kidney donation the donor would still be alive afterwards. In abortion, the baby’s entire life is forfeit. What about the baby’s “bodily integrity”?
Thirdly, babies do not appear out of nowhere. They do not force themselves upon unwitting mothers and fathers. They are created by the acts of other people, in most cases consensual acts. Again, if anyone in the typical child-making equation is forced, the baby is, not his mother and father: called into life through no choice of its own. If women don’t want babies in their bodies, they actually have the power to prevent that from happening by not doing the thing that could put a baby in their body. (Obviously acts of rape are a different scenario; yet even in that case like his mother the baby is a victim, not an aggressor.)
What was even more jaw-dropping was that Grand Poobah Valenti thought that she had tweeted an amazingly clever argument, so much so that she believed she needed to acknowledge its source.
Just a quick side note for Ms. Valenti: Honey, if you think that’s a good riff, you probably also think Kurt Cobain’s strumming matched Eric Clapton’s.
3. The March of Lies Hashtag
Of course, the parade of fallacies could not be complete without a corporate sponsor or two. NARAL and Planned Parenthood did not disappoint: The duo tag-teamed under the deceptively similar #MarchOfLies hashtag. Strangely, though, neither identified any purported lies being peddled at the March for Life.
Or, maybe I just misunderstood. Maybe in the 25 years since “Saturday Night Live’s” Politically Incorrect P.I. Frank Gannon thought abortion providers were honest about their work, the abortion lobby decided to undertake a belated effort at truth-in-advertising. The #MarchOfLies hashtag would be especially fitting now given the most recent exposé by Lila Rose’s Life Action, which showcased Planned Parenthood’s deceptive branding of itself as a provider of prenatal care although it does very little, if any, of that.
Ironically enough, in one of the undercover videos, after explaining that it does not provide prenatal care, a Planned Parenthood employee directs the pregnant woman to a nearby pro-life crisis pregnancy center.
4. People Who Love Women Are Anti-Woman
The final charge typifying Friday’s trolling accused the pro-life movement of being anti-woman. This NARAL “friendly reminder” captures this screed most succinctly.
It is not surprising that NARAL ignores the body of the unborn baby in its meme. But it is pretty darn ironic that NARAL believes it has a right to control a woman’s brain to dictate what she can think about feminism and abortion!
Of course, efforts of abortion activists to hijack feminism dates to the beginning of the women’s movement. Sue Ellen Browder detailed this history in her must-read piece from Friday. Browder also noted the irony that, while claiming to speak for all feminists, today’s self-proclaimed feminists clash with feminism founder Betty Friedan: “Betty said a view of sexual ‘liberation’ that turns a woman into a sex object is a false freedom that denies a woman’s personhood. Yet last Saturday, [at the Women’s March] we saw angry sex idols like Madonna stand up and imply that they, and only they, speak for all feminists everywhere.”
Madonna’s anger was not an aberration. Beyond the crassness and profanity, anger pervaded the Woman’s March. In stark contrast, there was no yelling, crassness, profanity, or anger at the March for Life. Well, at least not by the pro-life participants.
Instead, you saw women overflowing with love and happiness.
Maybe if the “feminism” motivating the Women’s March breeds such anger and hostility, they should consider joining a cause of love and happiness instead. Maybe, just maybe, they’re doing feminism all wrong. Just a thought.