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)