In this installment of Weekend Conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative discuss the 2021 March for Life, coming up on January 29th, and how it relates to the larger debate on abortion.
PF: The first such march took place 47 years ago in 1974, and support for the movement continues to grow, which is remarkable. This year’s attendance, like every year, will largely depend on the weather, but that’s what happens when you organize an outdoor event in late-January in Washington D.C. The highest-attended event reportedly happened in 2013 when over 650,000 people were there. If that event had been for a liberal cause, the Left and their media would still be talking about how they got over half-a-million people to attend an Eat-Vegan rally in January. In 2016 there was a blizzard right before the march, and not only did it still take place, they had tens-of-thousands show up.
You and I have talked about the need for alternative sources of news, particularly for conservative causes such as this one, and the emergence we’re seeing of such sources is only going to help the Pro-Life movement. Jeanne Mancini, the President of March for Life, does a great job along with the rest of their team with staying on message, and that approach is likely the key to their success. The march, and the entire debate on abortion, isn’t about “choice,” or “women’s health,” or “reproductive justice,” whatever the hell that means. The issue boils down to one simple question: When does life begin? That focus is easy to comprehend, and science and the truth are with the Pro-Life side. The mainstream media can continue to try and ignore the march and the momentum the movement is gaining, but it won’t work.
One of the more fascinating aspects of the Pro-Life movement is the traction it’s gaining with those who consider themselves “feminists.” Membership in the group Feminists for Life is growing fast, and it’s not unusual to see them show up at feminist rallies, usually carrying signs of Susan B. Anthony, who was staunchly Pro-Life. For the media outlets that cover this year’s march, we should expect to see many such signs and hear from several feminist speakers. It’s wonderful to see.
Parker: We both share some biases heading into this conversation, so I will just name them. We are both staunchly and unequivocally opposed to abortion. I hate to even use a euphemistic term like abortion; the act is murder.
I do not know your personal journey to arriving at this conclusion, but I have not always held this position. As a younger man, I mindlessly fell prey to the innocuous presentation of the pro-choice movement. I accepted the narrative that even if I couldn’t allow my partner to go through with abortion myself, it didn’t mean I should prevent others from reaching different conclusions. As a developing libertarian, this rationale made enough sense. It wasn’t my body, therefore it wasn’t my choice.
As I got older, this argument made less and less sense, and this is where the March For Life cuts through the red herring. None of the conversation should be framed around women’s rights. What rights? What if the baby wants to live? What if the male partner wants to keep the baby? Are their rights and opinions not valid? The argument of being pro-choice falsely frames the discussion around the act of murder being an inherently female privilege. As soon as I understood that the terminated baby was living, breathing, sentient, conscious, and most significantly, ready to thrive and survive in our world, the decision to abort could only be seen as callous and cruel.
PF: There are a lot of people who take that Libertarian position, and those are the ones whose minds are most susceptible to change, undoubtedly. At first glance, it’s a compelling argument. It’s not my body, so I should stay out of it, and so should the government. But that stance is incredibly flawed.
The single-most basic responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens. Before concerning itself with schools, or roads, or food stamps, a government’s most fundamental duty is to protect its people. That’s why we have a military, and police, and laws. Even before entities such as ‘governments’ existed, tribes of stone-age people formed primitive societies to protect themselves: from animals and from each other. Strength in numbers. Establishing cooperative agriculture and hunting/gathering was secondary. First things first, they needed to protect each other from being killed. So, if a government’s most important role is to protect its citizens, who is more worthy of that protection than babies?
The case for legal abortion is a house of cards, so they must try to stay away from the question of life, because once the argument shifts to that discussion their whole line of reasoning falls apart. They try to frame it around “privacy,” “choice,” and “reproductive rights,” because if they have to defend why it makes sense to allow the killing of babies, they look foolish.
We who are Pro-Life need to reject the semantics of the Pro-Abortion crowd. They’re not Pro-Choice, they’re Pro-Abortion. Who’s opposed to “choice,” after all. Want to choose to get a tattoo on your face? Knock yourself out. Want to choose to get Botox injections, have fun. What you can’t choose to do, and what none of should have the option for doing, is to kill another human being, particularly the most innocent among us.
Parker: The abuse of vernacular is just another example of the power of language and the (unfortunate) monopoly the leftist culture has on framing issues. It’s also another example of blatant leftist hypocrisy. In this instance, the pro-abortion community exalts choice, but where else does choice factor into the equation?
As an educator, I am well aware of the lack of school choice that families have in most instances. Public education zealots push a single option on families, particularly the black and brown families whose young people would most benefit from escaping the abject failures invariably produced in the inner city. Amazingly, politicians always get to choose. Thanks to an Aaron Rogers interview, I just learned that Governor Newsom, the arbiter of school closures in California, has been sending his own children to private schools that have been attending in person since last fall. It must be nice to be able to get away with anything.
The left also hates choice when it pertains to choice of thought. It’s impossible to ignore the hatred spewing from every Biden voter. They hate us. They think we have mental deficiencies. They think we need to be reeducated. Can you imagine their response if you told them you were pro-choice when it came to ballots? Their heads might explode.
PF: Great point: school choice vs. abortion choice; their arguments make no sense. We saw their ridiculousness on full display last summer at the Republican National Convention, which featured two extremely poignant speeches on abortion, from Abby Johnson and Sister Deidre Byrne. Johnson’s speech was effective because she had previously been a highly-recognized executive at Planned Parenthood, and she related firsthand accounts of actual abortions. And Byrne was exceptionally credible because not only is she a nun, she’s also a medical doctor. So they attacked Byrne for being a religious zealot and Johnson for being a supposed liar.
Sister Byrne’s speech is the proper approach, there is no doubt, and the Pro-Life movement must keep hammering away with it. Abortion is evil if you look at it from either the perspective of science or morality, and they both merge perfectly with this debate. From the moment of conception, the zygote has unique DNA; there has never been another human being with that genetic make-up. That’s science. At eight weeks, a fetal heartbeat is detectable. That’s science. At seventeen weeks, the fetus’ brain is controlling its own heartbeat. That’s science. And as early as twenty-one weeks, a fetus is viable; he or she can survive outside of the womb. That’s science. How is that entity anything but a human being? It’s a baby, an innocent child, and that’s science.
Parker: You are teeing me up on this final point. Are you suggesting that the left isn’t following science? Are you saying the left doesn’t believe in actual science? Say it isn’t so. If they purposefully ignore the science around DNA, heartbeats, brain development, sentience, viability outside the womb for babies, then what other science are they ignoring or reframing? Issues related to Covid, the climate, and others? There was a great meme about how the left is the party of bodily autonomy when it came to abortion (i.e. choice) but suddenly the party of no bodily autonomy when it came to a rushed vaccine (i.e. no choice). Depending on the day, my emotional reaction to such hypocritical insanity ranges from laughing, crying, giving up, and raging.
To date, there have been over 60 million abortions since Roe V Wade became the law of the land in 1973. That number is astounding, and I have a hard time envisioning a society with not only 60 million more Americans, but the offspring of those lost souls as well. Not only that, but I wonder what the landscape of this nation would be if it uniformly recognized the sanctity of life (and took responsibility for individual actions that would negate the need to abort in many instances). Ronald Reagan called it an “American Holocaust” and he was dead right – pun intended.
Ironically, the population most affected by abortion continues to be the American black population. Despite representing just 13-14% of the overall population, and therefore comprising about 45 million people, this minority demographic has accounted for a whopping 20 million abortions since Roe V Wade. In other words, almost half the black population has been prevented from taking a single breath. And they have the audacity to shout that black lives matter and that white supremacy holds them back? Just for comparison, about 250 blacks each year are killed by police – and that includes mostly armed and criminal suspects. If every black abortion stopped tomorrow, tt would take another 80,000 years of police shooting blacks to even out the death totals from abortions. Yikes.