Can Amanda Marcotte include logic in any of her writing? A recent piece at Slate makes me wonder about that, in which she describes the protesters at an abortion facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Apparently, a gang of loud and brash men show up to harass its most low-income patrons, who must visit on Saturdays since they travel across the country and/or cannot take a day off work. There may be a kernel of truth in Marcotte’s perceptions. Some pro-life people confuse “tough love” with the abuse they offer in lieu of the love abortion-minded women really need. Even the kindest words – “You don’t have to do this! There is hope for you!” – could sound off-putting, to say the least, when called out across a sidewalk. Also, a gentle woman can often be more welcoming to a member of her own sex in distress than a looming, lumbering man. I hope the picketers Marcotte envisions are truly the anomaly I feel they are. My experience with pro-lifers has rarely included such a blatant lack of compassion, but when it has, those at fault never seem to get the attention they seek. Hmm … I wonder why?
Marcotte goes on to exaggerate her opponents’ beliefs by saying “(sexual) health is a status item that should be exclusive to those who can pay the premium price for it.” Pro-choice activists have many euphemisms for their work. “Reproductive rights” is understandable, but what part of consenting to someone else’s death improves one’s sexual health? Embryos do not automatically carry STDs when they are conceived. Pregnancy is a sign that one’s reproductive system is functioning properly, not a disease to be cured as some would have you believe.
She concludes by accusing pro-lifers of “gross classism that assumes low-income people don’t deserve simple pleasures like having a normal, healthy sex life.” I believe in liberty. Though I see many immoralities in modern sexual practice, I’m not going to call for the arrest of anyone I find engaging in them. I’ve written before about the dangers of viewing children as completely unconnected to the natural processes resulting in their conception. Does a “normal” sex life mean one where biology is disrupted and denied? Is a “healthy” sex life one where adults are free to follow their every whim without those annoying creatures called “children” intruding into their lives? If so, when the time is right, I would rather have a sex life Marcotte wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.
Taylor Hyatt is a summer student at The Interim.