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.