Earlier I addressed Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s intentionally harmful choice of words when referring to the pro-choice movement. He said that the Left’s “one mission in life is to abort children, is to kill children in the womb.”
Well, it looks like this comment was only the beginning of a trend among anti-choice leaders. Their trend being: Let’s create irrational associations between reproductive health providers and the most morally corrupt and evil organizations in order to instill fear and anger in our base supporters.
Take Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott who compared Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization. A Texas judge had blocked a bill that would have cut Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood, and Abbott wrote up a motion against it that overturned the injunction.
Now, we may be perplexed at the extremity of this comparison. Planned Parenthood provides necessary health services to women – especially lower-income and uninsured women (and almost 30 percent of women in Texas are uninsured) – including pap smears, breast exams, affordable contraception and abortions. Terrorist organizations terrorize: inspire terror via acts of violence, kidnappings etc. So, how is it that Abbott was able to Six-Degrees to Kevin Bacon his way into a connection?
Abbott exact statement was “Money is fungible, and taxpayer subsidies – even if ‘earmarked’ for nonabortion activities -free up other resources for Planned Parenthood to spend on its mission to promote elective abortions,” Abbott wrote, “Because ‘[m]oney is fungible,’ First Amendment does not prohibit application of federal material-support statute to individuals who give money to ‘humanitarian’ activities performed by terrorist organizations.”
So, because Planned Parenthood can hypothetically have extra money to put toward elective abortions because they receive taxpayer funds, they are akin to a terrorist organization?
But, this isn’t really about how he drew nonsensical connections. It’s about why.
Women’s bodies- again – have become a central part of our political discussion. And, anti-choice leaders are using overly dramatic language as their weapon against women’s autonomy.
New York State Senator Ruben Diaz is a perfect illustration of an anti-choice leader using language as a weapon. He challenged some pro-choice legislation by comparing abortion to the Holocaust.
He said it was Hitler’s choice to send the Jews to concentration camps and somehow related this to being “pro-choice” in general.
“That was not their choice, that was Hitler’s choice. Murderers, assassins and criminals are pro-choice. They choose to put a gun to your head and take your life. That is not your choice. That is their choice,” Diaz said.
Wait, that sounds like he is comparing women who choose to get abortion to Hitler – that notorious genocidal maniac who was responsible for the death of six million Jews.
Anti-choice leaders don’t have the facts on their side, so they are resorting to fearful language as a weapon against choice. It’s dangerous when people don’t realize that these are not facts but language that is specifically meant to incite listeners. And it’s the pro-choice movement’s responsibility to respond with the facts and remain reasonable. Because that’s the point – women reasonably should have access to valuable health care. And anti-choice leaders need to stop throwing hateful arguments against women’s choices.