Steinem Smears Pro-Lifers as Anti-Gay; Here’s How to Respond

Today at Live Action, I have a response to recent comments by Gloria Steinem at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, the first of which was:

“Why is it that the same people who are against birth control and abortion are also against sex between two women or two men?” Steinem asked her audience, reports the Memphis Flyer. She continued that those people “are against any sex that cannot end in reproduction.”

Unfortunately, an editorial judgment was made to cut out part of my response, so I am presenting an expanded version of the rest here, where hopefully it will help equip pro-lifers to deal with this line of pro-abortion attack.


How does this strawman complaint fail? Let us count the ways. First, plenty of people—and not just pro-lifers—have acknowledged that antipathy toward abortion doesn’t automatically correlate with views commonly maligned as “anti-gay,” as evidenced by polling that indicates public opinion simultaneously becoming more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriage yet unchanged or less accepting of abortion.

Gee, it’s almost as if abortion and same-sex marriage are two different issues with distinct pros and cons that can be evaluated separately! Yes, most pro-lifers are also conservatives and/or Christians, but there are plenty of other pro-lifers all over the religious or ideological spectrums. There are even pro-lifers who are gay themselves, so good luck trying to use this argument on them, Gloria.

Second, it is true that conservatives (religious and secular alike) tend to oppose both abortion and the redefinition of marriage. For some people that’s may be because the Bible frowns on both; but for the most part it’s because both violate the Founding principles which conservatism exists to conserve: the right to life, and marriage’s function as a societal building block.

But by framing it as being “against sex between two women or two men,” Steinem gives the slanderous impression that we would take control of their private lives and punish them for what they do in their bedrooms, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no real movement in the United States to criminalize gay sex, relationships, cohabitation, etc. The only real gay debates going on today are civil recognition of same-sex marriage, which is entirely separate from the question of tangible benefits, and Steinem’s allies attempting to force private citizens—under penalty of law—to participate in ceremonies that violate their convictions.

Finally, endlessly repeating the clichéd “controlling sex is pro-lifers’ secret ulterior motive” conspiracy theory won’t change the fact that our stated reason for opposing abortion—it kills innocent people—is scientifically, objectively, irrefutably, obviously true. Anybody claiming not to understand that recoiling at violence against children is one of the average person’s most basic human intuitions—which anyone who dismisses this obvious motivation to oppose abortion is doing—is lying.

These days, there seems to be an increasingly-vocal minority of pro-lifers who don’t recognize that the abortion lobby and the radical gay lobby are two factions of a common agenda. But while their friendship and support in protecting the preborn is valuable, all pro-lifers should be able to see through Steinem’s attempt to smear our movement with these falsehoods.

Republicans Can’t Do Anything Right: Sean Duffy Edition

Donald Trump’s authenticity on issues such as ending abortion may be highly questionable, but there’s still a stylistic lesson more conventional Republicans desperately need to learn from him: people are sick of timidity in response to outrageous policies and malicious smears.

Case in point: on Friday, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) said the following:

I hear a lot in this institution from minority leaders about how their communities are targeted, but what I don’t hear them talk about is how their communities are targeted in abortion […] My liberal friends, Congressional Black Caucus members, talk about fighting for the defenseless, the hopeless, and the downtrodden […] There is no one more hopeless and voiceless than an unborn baby, but their silence is deafening. I can’t hear them. Where are they standing up for their communities, advocating and fighting for their right to life?

So far, so good. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) reacted with the usual hysteria:

After nearly 30 years in public office, not much surprises me anymore. So you can imagine my lack of astonishment when my dear friend and colleague from Wisconsin, Sean Duffy, rolled out abortion statistics among African-American women to lecture black legislators like me about defending the welfare of our constituents […] I don’t expect Rep. Duffy to understand why his comments are offensive […] What he and so many of his Republican colleagues fail to acknowledge is the underlying context behind high abortion rates in African-American communities. High rates of abortion are related to poverty and lack of access to quality care […] Rep. Duffy’s hypocrisy on this issue is as predictable as it is offensive. If he truly, truly wants to fight for the hopeless and voiceless, he should join us.

At which point Duffy falls apart. Moore’s attack is equal parts dishonest and malicious, purely an attempt to distract from his critique by changing the subject. This should have been met with doubling down on the original charge against her and her colleagues, with a healthy dose of shame added in.

Instead, he felt the need to appease his attacker. Continue reading

New at Live Action: Cecile Richards Lectures Pro-Lifers on Civility. Yes, Really

In a glowing interview/profile for the Guardian, Emma Brockes paints Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards as the noble victim of a pack of crazies at last week’s congressional hearing, without a hint of interest about her heroine perjuring herself regarding Planned Parenthood’s post-viability abortions, increasing abortion numbers corresponding to decreasing cancer services, and past mammogram claims, or the multiple federal laws her organization has broken.

In other words, it’s a day ending in Y. “Journalists” giving the abortion lobby a pass to lie with impunity is just one of the constants of the universe. But this piece does have one nugget of twisted originality: Richards claims she was “stunned by the total lack of civility” of Republican representatives.

A woman who defends her blood-stained cause through lies, personal attacks, and fear-mongering is crying civility? Really? Let’s review just how much Ms. Richards really values a respectful exchange of ideas.

Read the rest at Live Action News.