Sunday, September 25, 2011

Caring for Women.

So I was reading this RealChoice blog post about a woman who went into a CPC by mistake, was shown her sonogram, and now, years after her abortion, still gets upset thinking of the images from the sonogram.  The RealChoice author had some insightful commentary and I recommend you read the article all the way through.  (You can also read SPL’s insightful commentary about the same woman here.)

However, I am struck by the way the two sides of the abortion debate view their own approaches and their opponents’ approaches toward women.

Pro-life view of CPC workers (from the RealChoice blog post)
They treated the pregnant woman “like a human being, like somebody important, with relationships and a capacity to be a good mother.”  They were “kind, honest, forthright, and trying to treat her like a complete human being with real needs and capabilities.”

Pro-choice view of CPC workers (from this Abortioneers blog post):
 CPCs “basically lie to women and say whatever to convince visitors not to have an abortion. They’ll tell you that you’ll get breast cancer, that you’ll become infertile, that God will not forgive you, that you’ll spend an eternity burning in Hell – if you get this abortion.”

Pro-life view of abortion clinic workers (from the RealChoice blog post)
The abortion facilities “feed you comfortable lies until they have your money, and then lose all interest in you.”  At Planned Parenthood the pregnant woman could expect to be “patronized, processed, and lied to.”
Abortion clinic worker’s perspective on assisting women in obtaining abortions (from another Abortioneers blog post)
Don’t **** with her about her relationship or question if she’s sure she doesn’t want to try a new birth control method (because, this one failed. Right?). If she sighs deep, looks like she hasn’t slept, seems distant: just ****ing hold her hand. Show her kindness. Let her breathe.” (Emphasis in original.)

It’s clear to me that there are people on both sides of the debate who care a great deal about women even while they have very different ideas of how best to show that care.  And while in the abortion debate—and nearly every other political debate—it’s simpler to vilify your ideological opponents and keep things black and white, I’m not sure how much that reflects reality.  I think it's important to understand what our opposition thinks if we are to effectively communicate.

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