NYT opinion: I’m Pro-Choice. But I Don’t Think Pro-Lifers Are Bad People

I think this link that I “gifted” should go around the NYT paywall.

This opinion resonates with the dread I sometimes feel on boingboing where I am treated as “enemy” when I question and attempt to understand perspectives that are widely held here (but not nearly as widely held in the wider world).

I present it in the hopes of shifting the Overton window just a little from diatribe to dialog.

Judged by their beliefs, they may not be bad people. Judged by their actions, all too many are very bad indeed. They are doing great harm, and eagerly looking forward to doing more.


I’m unsure what his point is.

As a woman, I know that I don’t appreciate a philosophical exercise of just asking questions when I have skin in the game and the person asking questions does not. I also don’t appreciate a lecture in tolerance for people who are trying to nullify my reproductive choices.

I don’t need these people to be my friends.


I’m not sure he had one.


yeah, they are welcome to hold whatever views they want. the problem is, they are forcing others to conform to their views. if people who believe in women’s rights are supposed to have tolerance, why do forced birth proponents get a pass?

and no one is talking about forcing abortion on women so the basis the author has taken is entirely wrong

also from it, there’s this:

“For them, all the negative effects of doing away with Roe may fade in importance. To them, those things are a lesser priority than preserving life.”

if that were actually true, forced birthers would be handing out contraception like candy. they’d be spending effort on reducing america’s heartbreaking maternal death rates, they’d be getting kids free healthcare, they’d talk openly about sex education, and they’d stop tolerating sexual assault

vanishingly few of them support living breathing women - so how can anyone take seriously that their overriding goal is to protect life?


Their beliefs are crap too. There is a heavy racist element to their position. (See the part about “domestic supply of babies” in the Alito opinion)



Yeah, sure abortion is something that good people can disagree on depending on their own morals and priorities - and that’s exactly why banning it is shitty and oppressive law.
They aren’t bad people because the believe abortion is immoral. They’re bad people because they refuse to accept that other people, the majority of people in fact, reasonably disagree with a key assumption they’re making which leads to that moral judgement, and want to force everybody else to go a long with it.

Not that their position is even internally consistent - I doubt many in favour of banning abortion would support a law that said if you’re a match for a patient who will die without one of your kidneys, you have give it to them. In both cases, by their lights, there’s a person who depends on another person’s body, and someone else risking their health and life. In both cases a moral choice has to be made by the other person.
So, yeah, I might get a little skeptical that misogyny isn’t part of the picture when it’s only women who shouldn’t get the right to make their own moral choices about their own bodies.

(Ps John, nobody gives a shit why a person voted for a racist candidate, whose main platform was racism, which got them into office and enabled them to implement racist policies and spread racist propaganda.
If there are Republicans who don’t want to be smeared as a racist by proxy, they should stop consistently voting for racist candidates - Vote for literally anyone else, then get out the vote for a fiscal conservative or whatever that isn’t a bigot so they’ll win your party’s primary next time.)


The other possibility is that they have deranged moral beliefs. They take it as axiomatic that killing a fetus is an act of murder. Someone else might believe it’s a basic moral good to beat children. These are bad beliefs, detached from reality and indifferent to human suffering.
We don’t have to respect someone’s moral framework just because it’s internally consistent, or just because it’s sincere. And people don’t have to be acting with malice in order to be evil.


They are keen to take away my rights. So yeah. They are. Fuck them. I am NOT a uterus on legs. My entire being doesn’t just revolve around reproduction and any who believes it does, when I’m telling them it does not do not have MY best interest at heart or the best interest of ANY woman in the world.

THEY shifted the fucking overton window, from conservative to fucking Gilead.

mood GIF

Reminding women that they should give up their rights isn’t important, because there are “real things” happening…

People are welcome to be pro-life and to NOT get abortions. I fully support whatever a woman wants to do if she is pregnant. They are not welcome to take away the rights of others based on their religious beliefs.

In this case, they vote for racists, because they largely agree with racists.


Just to be absolutely clear - This.


I mean, take President Biden… He’s catholic, so he’s possibly personally pro-life. But he also understands that not everyone is catholic or that even all catholics agree with that stance regarding abortion. He understands what the separation of church and state actually means, and why it matters. Anyone with even a passing understanding of the religious wars in Europe understand why the separation of church and state matter. And imposing the (relativley newly developed) idea that life begins at conception (even the Southern Baptist convention had a variety of views on that topic prior to say, the 1990s), on ALL of us (when it’s not supported by science) is a major violation of that separation. The idea that life begins at conception is an extremist, far-right political view that uses religion as an excuse to control women’s bodies. The people who hold this view ARE extremists and don’t even represent a majority of American Christians. They are seeking to create a theocracy in America and that kind of belief system can’t abide with any sort of plurality. The fact that people still believe that these are folks we can reason with and compromise with, after EVERYTHING that has happened since Trump descended that escalator boggles my mind. I mean, what do they HAVE to do to make some people understand what they are trying to do. It really isn’t THAT far off from Handmaid’s Tale at all.

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coincidentally this evening, i stumbled on this:

Now, there is a minority of evangelicals - of white evangelicals who do embrace this holistic life commitment, including the death penalty and pro gun legislation and pro health care - universal health care. But that is a definite minority.

[instead] among many white evangelicals… the women’s primary calling is that of wife and mother. And so abortion also really severs that kind of biological or social relationship - or threatens to do so. And for that reason also, abortion is such a priority for evangelicals because it kind of strikes at the heart of their understanding of women and men and their understanding of how God has ordered society.

unlike the nyt op ed - she manages to discuss evangelical motivations - honor them even by acknowledging that they’re deeply held beliefs - without the whole “can’t everyone just be nice to them, and let them impose their radical beliefs on the nation in peace”

[slight edit of the snipped quote for clarity]


Really more of a hand me down than a gift. It’s the same nonsense- “won’t someone please think of the oppressors” that got us here.

It’s been decades that they’ve been calling us murderers and trying to strip away rights. Now they’ve achieved that and are looking to put people in prison. Attacking LGBT kids. Looking to revoke the right to access contraception, Looking to revoke marriage equality. Looking to say you shouldn’t be hired if you’re pregnant. Telling people we’re pedophiles and to physically assault us.

Fuck them and fuck saying that I should be nice to them when they’re stabbing me. That’s just fucking crazy.

And it’s not fucking about you.


I’ll let the indispensable Michael Harriot provide some background that may give you a hint.

take “linguist” John McWhorter, a staunch opponent of “wokeness” (including my “attack” on Pete Buttigieg) who also chomps at the bit to defend whiteness anytime he starts feeling like the benevolent Caucasian class has taken too much criticism. McWhorter finally got around to reading Robin D’Angelo’s 2018 book White Fragility, which has been mentioned on several lists of essential reading in the wake of the protests over the death of George Floyd.

McWhorter dismantles the book by—you guessed it—defending white people. He does it with a clever, almost imperceptible gaslighting trick that is regularly employed by Black conservatives like Candace Owens and Jason Whitlock. To achieve this variation of the conservative “bootstrap argument,” these people (who invariably refuse to ask their barbers for an edge-up and restrict them to using a No. 3 clipper guard) will tacitly agree that racism exists (although they never concede its breadth and depth) but go on to explain that bringing up race only subjugates Black people.

Namely, McWhorter suggests that any action by white people to mitigate the effects of white supremacy is actually an attempt to infantilize Black people. Essentially, this argument can be condensed to: “Sure, America stole Black people’s candy. But if the thieves are forced to acknowledge the theft, white people won’t have any candy and Black people’s teeth will rot eating all that free candy. Why do you hate Black people’s teeth?”

I would add that making affluent white centrists uncomfortable is not how one secures a berth on the op-ed pages of the Grey Lady.


Wow. Look at this spectacular indifference:

But so often, the real issue in these situations is less ignorance or ill will than differing priorities. Take the common idea that to be a Donald Trump supporter is to be, if not a racist, someone who tolerates racism. Yes, some polls reveal that Trump voters were more likely than others to harbor unfavorable views about nonwhites — a 2016 Reuters-Ipsos poll found that Trump supporters were more likely than supporters of Hillary Clinton to view Black people negatively. But the idea that anyone who’s ever pulled the lever for Trump carries the odor of bigotry is facile.

They, rather, do not rank Trump’s casual bigotry as being as important as others do. To them, this trait is unfortunate and perhaps even off-putting, but not a dealbreaker in comparison to other things about him. I see nothing evil in that. It puts me off a bit. It often seems a little crude — I sense some people being swayed, purely, by Trump’s podium charisma. But that is not the same as malevolence.

This is how the author describes people who voted for someone who built concentration camps for children, before he goes on to say he feels the same way about abortion. I bet he does. Because he plainly sees politics as a game of opinions, with no concern at all for the real human beings who are often crushed beneath it. He so far from it he doesn’t even know what morality is.


Does the white centrist really exist as a political force? If they did exist, would the Florida state government be in the hands of loons?


If only we would look longingly into their eyes and tell them we respected their actions.


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