Sunday, December 04, 2005

Why all the nasty abortion stories?

There's been speculation as to my motives in posting all the deaths and malpractice stories. I've decided to go ahead and write up a post explaining why, and I'll add this to my FAQ in the sidebar.

The best way to answer the question is to discuss my target audiences. Let's look at how James Davison Hunter described the distribution of American thought on abortion:
The most compelling complexities in Americans' views of abortion can be best appreciated if one groups them according to what Hunter and his associates call "clusters of moral opinion." Drawing upon information from a group of responses to polling questions, they grouped the respondents into the following clusters: consistently pro-choice (16 percent), personally opposed pro-choice (8 percent), reticent pro-choice (7 percent), conveniently pro-life (14 percent), privately pro-life (19 percent), and consistently pro-life (33 percent).

Now, I'm not speaking to the 16% who are "consistently pro-choice." They're pretty much settled in their opinions and not likely to change unless something jolts them so much that it makes them totally re-examine everything they've taken to be true. I don't think that there's anything here new enough to do that.

The "personally-opposed pro-choice" is another group I'm not likely to reach. My personal experience with them is that they're as firmly set as the consistently pro-choice, but for different reasons. They're not enamored of abortion per se; they're devoted to what they perceive as The Sisterhood, and they'll stand by it through thick and thin. And to them, The Sisterhood is the consistently pro-choice. Now, if their idea of The Sisterhood changes to women in general, then they might be motivated to address abortion industry abuses, or to at least check out the safety record of a particular facility before they take a friend there. So while I can hope that they'll at least become uneasy about, say, just trusting a NAF clinic without further investigation, I doubt that they'll find anything of interest here.

The "reticent prochoice" are my main target audience. These are people who are uneasy with the idea of abortion. They see it as the lesser of two evils, but not as anything that really can be held up as a positive good. These are the ones most likely to come away uneasy about trusting abortion facilities and prochoice groups to really be looking after women's well-being. My goal is to make skeptics out of them, and, if possible, give them the wherewithal to start holding prochoice organizations and abortion facilities accountable. I see them as the potential backbone for a third movement -- a truly prochoice movement, that doesn't want any woman to get on the abortion table unless she's 100% sure that this is what is best for her. A truly pro woman movement that does not tolerate seedy Main Street Maimers or consumer fraud. They're only seven percent of the general population, but they're fully a quarter of the prochoice movement and I think that if they stood their ground they'd drive out those for whom abortion has become an end in itself.

The "conveniently prolife" are a secondary target. These are folks who can talk the prolife talk, who intellectually understand why abortion is wrong and who don't want it available. But they haven't internalized any of it and they're very vulnerable to the illusion that abortion will fix their problems. If I can help them to internalize what they believe in their heads, I'll have done well. But only God knows who they are. They'll appear to be ordinary prolifers when they're in here.

The "secretly prolife" are folks who are prolife in thought and personal practice, but who don't want to associate with prolifers because they don't want to be tarred with the bomb-throwing abortionist-shooting lunatic brush. It would be nice if they'd come out of the closet, and I hope that they see many reasonable, compassionate folks in here so that they become less afraid to be associated with us. They're quite welcome here, but they're not my target audience.

The "consistently prolife" are only an audience in that I'm hoping that they pick up information here that they can use elsewhere. And I welcome their thoughtful, insightful comments.

There's a group within the "consistently prolife" that Hunter didn't identify or name. I'll dub them "banshees", for lack of a better term. They seem to be convinced that if they just scream loud enough, and say ugly enough things, and shove enough shredded-fetus pictures in people's faces... Well, I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish other than to prove their own moral superiority, which they've just disproved by the fact that they wear the deadly sin of Pride as a badge of honor. There's really nothing here for them, either. If they pick up any useful information or start to think that maybe civil discourse works better than screaming, that's nice. But I'm not holding my breath.

So, in a nutshell, I post all the horrible stories hoping that the reticent prochoicers will band together and address the abuses. I also believe that abortion is such an inherently destructive act that you can't really get rid of the problems without getting rid of the underlying cause of the abuses, which is the idea that woman and their unborn children are natural enemies. I really don't think that strong women will tolerate abortion on a massive scale the way it's currently practiced.

You can never entirely eliminate abortion, any more than you can eliminate any human evil. But, like other human evils, I think it can be contained. Let those with a real enthusiasm for the practice partake of the risks -- and let them do so with their eyes wide open.

1 comment:

Josh Brahm said...

I love what you said about "banshees."