Silencing men – or at least pro-life men.

by Roger Resler

My Dr. Seuss post from February, 2013 continues to draw comments, mainly from pro-choice proponents. One recent supportive comment, however, came from Carlos Zamora. He writes: 

Great argument Roger. It pleases me greatly to see such an educated and well informed individual standing up for the rights of the unborn. Especially a man. Far too often have I been scorned and my opinion completely disregarded on the matter simply because I do not possess ovaries. In reality, that is a very stupid point. Never before in history were you expected to be either a victim or a perpetrator of an injustice in order to speak out against it. But like I said, great information and great blog. I hope to get a chance to read your book soon.

Of course this will likely be dismissed by those on the pro-choice side (especially the females) as merely one “anti-choice” male complimenting another for promoting misogynistic ideas. The simplest stereotypical explanation is usually preferred when a genuine understanding of the opposing point of view would otherwise require thoughtful consideration.

Ironically, while neither Carlos nor myself had any choice in the matter of our gender, neither (presumably) did our female critics who seem confident that “femaleness” is a necessary prerequisite to free speech when the topic is abortion. Carlos makes a good point when he observes that:

Never before in history were you expected to be either a victim or a perpetrator of an injustice in order to speak out against it.

Like Carlos, I’ve run into the “gender objection” from pro-choice advocates on many occasions – and it always seems to be pro-choice females who raise the objection. Take for example this blog entry. Simply stated, the idea is that men don’t get pregnant, therefore they have no right to speak against abortion. Conversely, you might think – at least for the sake of consistency (or at the very least the appearance of consistency) – men should also not be encouraged to speak in support of the pro-choice cause, right? Wrong. Take for instance this NARAL endorsed “Men For Choice” celebration marquee that reads:

We appreciate the men who stand proud for reproductive rights, and we’re thrilled to celebrate their contributions at two exciting Men For Choice events! 

Or this one, which “honors” pro-choice Massachusetts State Representatives Carl Sciortino and Jim O’Day and then lists their accomplishments for the pro-choice cause. Not only does NARAL allow these men to speak about abortion, they furnish a platform and then promote their comments.

Or how about feminist Colleen Crinion’s admonition that abortion rights is “still an issue [men] need to support.” Crinion suggests that:

Just as gay rights needs straight allies and civil rights needs white supporters, abortion rights need men. If you know and love a woman then you should care about access to abortion.

And then there’s the love-fest between NARAL and 11 Men For Choice.

There’s clearly a double standard here. It seems that men (who can’t get pregnant whether they’re pro-choice or not) can speak about abortion if their speech conforms to acceptable pro-choice guidelines.

But what if you’re male and you sincerely believe induced abortion is an injustice? What do you do in that case? According to pro-choice feminists you can either change your views or shut up. Why? Well, basically because you can’t get pregnant. Consider again Carlos’s observation:

Far too often have I been scorned and my opinion completely disregarded on the matter simply because I do not possess ovaries.

As Carlos notes, based on his own experience, you can’t speak out about abortion if you’re male and you see abortion as an injustice. This conveniently eliminates potential criticism from half of all would-be pro-choice critics. For the remaining segment of the population, again, as Carlos points out:

Never before in history were you expected to be either a victim or a perpetrator of an injustice in order to speak out against it.

In this case the smallest victims can’t speak out (other than a very few abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden) and the perpetrators won’t (other than a few brave souls who’ve changed their positions like Abby Johnson, Bernard Nathanson or Carol Everett).

What this all boils down to is the idea that the only people who allegedly have any moral grounds to actually speak about abortion are women who approve of it and the males who agree with them. If you’re a male and you believe in “a woman’s right to choose” abortion on demand for any reason, then speak all you want. But if you’re male and you sincerely see abortion as an injustice, then shut up because you can’t get pregnant. And if that doesn’t silence you then prepare to be accused of wanting to control women and having your opinions branded as either religious imposition or misogynistic hate speech.

The debate over “personhood” was created by pro-choice proponents in order to make the pro-life position impossible to maintain. From the same playbook, pro-choice philosophy also attempts to impose ground rules on free speech that make it impossible for abortion critics of the wrong gender to have a voice. As one blogger puts it:

men are dismissed on the basis of their sex as an anti-intellectual manoeuvre to try to shut down critical enquiry on this ideologically-charged topic.  

What we see from the prevalence of all this is that many – if not most – pro-choice advocates simply aren’t interested in having a legitimate, civil discussion. They’re not interested in listening to and understanding the claims made by those on the other side. If there’s any truth to pro-life arguments, they don’t want to hear it. They prefer to stereotype, caricature, marginalize and silence the opposition. This is an example of the ad hominem fallacy wherein “a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument.” People who are arguing a weak case are particularly prone to this kind of fallacious response. When this type of response is commonly resorted to among pro-choice proponents – to the point of being openly posted on pro-choice websites (see for example this or this) – it’s a pretty clear indication that there must not be much left for them to fall back on.  

Roger Resler is an author, researcher & media producer for Truth In Depth Productions.

Am I living on Mars?

by Roger Resler

The callousness of the “tolerant” pro-choice left never ceases to mystify me – at least until the shock wears off and I force myself to see things from their shallow, “politically correct” point of view. Case in point: actor Mehcad Brooks’ tawdry video “celebrating” his and Jane Roe’s 40th Anniversary. (It must have been an arranged marriage given that he wasn’t even alive in 1973). Produced through the auspices of the Center For Reproductive Rights, the video is so revolting – when one considers the subject matter – that I refuse to dignify it with a link. You can readily find it online. By now you’ve probably seen at least snippets on TV anyway.

The silky, smirking Brooks chortles: “Oh, hey baby. Did you think I forgot?” as he sniffs a rose and puts his cognac down while sexy jazz plays and a fireplace burns in the background. “All these years,” he smugly expounds, “so many people said we’d never make it. They’ve been trying to tear us apart. Take you away. Put limits on you. On me. On us.”

As is common for typically question-begging pro-choice logic, Brooks and Roe’s allegorical relationship only manages to keep itself out of the realms of sheer barbarity when viewed from the narrow perspective of “reproductive rights.” But there is a more subtle truth hidden behind the apparent irony of a man starring in a video that is intended to celebrate “women’s rights.” Townhall’s Katie Pavlich observes with respect to pro-choice proponents, “it’s not that they don’t want men involved, they simply want men to regurgitate talking points and celebrate abortion when it’s convenient.” Pavlich also notes that: “It’s no wonder men in our culture today don’t respect women as they should, because they aren’t required to.”

While Pavlich’s points are certainly valid, the truth is that the adoption of abortion as a natural staple of “women’s reproductive rights” is actually driven by male interests and has been from the beginning.

The seeming paradox of the male “reproductive freedom” advocate makes sense when understood within the misogynistic context of escaping the moral consequences of one’s actions at the expense of female biology. Readily available abortion relieves men of moral obligation and child-support responsibilities. It is precisely the avoidance of this moral obligation that MSNBC’s “The Cycle” co-host, Toure, extolled on Friday, suggesting that the availability of abortion saved his life because he wasn’t ready to be a dad. Think about that for a moment. Toure explains that he was “in a committed relationship with a woman” that he paradoxically “knew was just not the one.” According to Toure, “She also knew it probably wasn’t going to work out. And then she got pregnant” as though Toure himself was a sideline observer in the phenomenon. “I knew that pregnant woman and I were not going to be able to form a lasting family.” Years later, Toure explains, he met another woman, married her and “after we decided to get pregnant, I went to her doctor’s appointments – our doctor’s appointments, with joy.”

Surprisingly, though, Toure’s “lifelong commitment to abortion rights was… jostled” by witnessing their “boy grow inside her”  and noticing “how human they are” during the second trimester as “we watched him move around on 3-D sonograms.” Despite this challenge to his pro-choice commitment, Toure remained pro-choice because he “cannot imagine arguing against a woman’s right to control her body and thus her life.”

Ironic, isn’t it, that Toure identifies his “lifelong commitment to abortion rights” with “a woman’s right to control her body and thus her life” and yet he’s specifically grateful that abortion was available to save his life. Consider the male-centricity in Toure’s assertion that: “I thank God and country that when I fell into a bad situation, abortion was there to save me and keep me on a path toward building a strong family I have now. And I pray that safety net stays in place.”

Aside from the fact that abortion was there to save him, one wonders how exactly Toure “fell into a bad situation” in the first place. Even when hammered, a typical male needs a minimum level of functioning cognition in order to “fall into” the act that leads to pregnancy.

Given the male interest in avoiding long-term obligations that stem from one’s inability to keep from stumbling into “bad situations” coupled with the fact that men don’t have to undergo abortion procedures, it’s no great surprise that men have been strong supporters of “women’s reproductive rights” since before, during and after Roe v. Wade. As I point out in Compelling Interest (Chapter 5) several of the key arguments Sarah Weddington used while arguing Roe originated with men. In particular: Roy Lucas and Cyril Means, Jr. That these arguments turned out to be largely fallacious illustrates that the establishment of a moral basis for abortion on demand, secured by rational logic, was not as important as the benefit men would receive from the creation of “women’s reproductive rights.” Given that backdrop, Brooks and Toure have a lot to celebrate.