On Twitter, there was a discussion about finding “common ground” with anti’s. An anti, who bills himself as a person who “helps pro-lifers be more persuasive and less weird when they communicate with pro-choice people” started this discussion.
Some of the questions he was asking went along the lines of, “Is it right for boyfriends and parents to pressure women to have abortions?” and, “What do you think about abortion if the unborn has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome?” and, “Would you prefer that there were fewer abortions?”
Of course my response was, anyone who wants an abortion should have safe and legal access to it, period. His response, “Well, its hard to have a conversation about abortion if you start by assuming it should always be available.”
Mr. Pro-Life speaker, you want to have a conversation on limiting abortion access and ultimately ending abortion. I do not. We have no common ground. We don’t have to have common ground. It is OK.
More to the point, here are some pretty big reasons why we will never have common ground.
1. You want to make abortion illegal. I do not
2. You want to put stipulations on abortion. I do not.
3. “Counseling” is not a pro-active thing. If you were really interested in counseling, a client would seek you out and come to you with questions and wanting to talk about options besides abortion. We all know that isn’t how it goes. You chase clients down the street and shove flyers at them. You yell at companions and (when applicable) insult their “masculinity” by telling them to “man up” and “bring your woman out of there”. That isn’t counseling.
4. You want to make “pro-life people less weird”. That is impossible. Even if you rounded up all the anti-choice protesters and made them sit through one of your presentations, there would STILL be protesters that don’t listen and do what they want. There would still be protesters that get in people’s faces, stalk, and get physically violent. The harassment and the intimidation would continue, unabated. Therefore, common ground is pointless.
5. Something that may actually help “counselors” do some actual “counseling” on the sidewalk is a buffer zone. A buffer zone may discourage harassing behavior, while still allowing clients TO APPROACH YOU instead of the other way around when they want to talk about options. That would be real counseling. I wonder how many “pro-life counselors” would be ok with that type of arrangement?
At the end of this twitter exchange, the pro-lifer said “I’m just saying that on the night that the #abortionchat topic was on common ground, I found a ton of CG with @LouClinicEscort , but he or she couldn’t find one iota of common ground with me :-/”
My response was this “Anti’s like to make themselves victims on the sidewalk, even as they are harassing. But no, you are the victim here”. Of course, it was all about his feelings. Even as people that he supports push and yell and scream and don’t listen to constant, “NO, GO AWAY, LEAVE ME ALONE”. Of course, its MY fault that we couldn’t find any “common ground”
I don’t have any common ground with pro-lifers, much like I don’t have any common ground with rapists. Stop harassing clients. Stop the guilt and shame. Leave people alone to go to the doctor. Period. Just go away.
(BTW, if you want to see some of the things we discussed on Twitter, I tweet @LouClinicEscort. The “pro-life speaker” in this exchange was @JoshBrahm. Or you can check out the hashtag #abortionchat)
I agree. Pro-access and anti-access people can’t find common ground because we aren’t even discussing the same topic.
Pro-choicers are interested in the logistics of reproductive issues and sexuality, and trying to find the best solutions possible so every person is able to plan/provide their families out as smoothly as possible.
Anti-choicers are interested in religion and ethics/morals issues…and only theirs are acceptable. Nobody else’s.
There can be no common ground with these people. The best we can do is keep showing folks out there what the truth actually is and get them to ignore the antis to the point where they are powerless.
Still a long road ahead for that, unfortunately.
This sums up the antis pretty well. Unfortunately prolife doesn’t apply here “nightofthelepus” as once the fetus is outside the mothers body it’s as if the child never existed and the anti choicers completely forget about it. The woman is still left to struggle with how to care for the child etc. Anti choice was used correctly.
Oddly enough, there is one way we could all find common ground – everyone could advocate for the measures that are known and proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and hence the need for abortions. Sex education and ready access to reliable, cheap contraception.
Funnily enough, many pro-choice people are bitterly opposed to the very things that would bring down the abortion rate.
It makes you wonder if they’re more interested in controlling women’s sexuality than they are in preventing abortion.
Did you mean “pro-life”? 😉
Agreed. While ultimately pro-choice I do have mixed feelings about abortion. I would like to see fewer abortions happen by increasing access to free contraception and improving sex education, and getting rid of the stigma attached to single parenthood. I am very much opposed to abortion being outlawed, I know full well this would not reduce them, only lead to more women dying from them.