I’m looking into “Secular Pro-Life” now, having not done so before. They are repulsive. Their rhetoric is religious in its exaggeration and its coerciveness.
For five years, Secular Pro-Life has united people of every faith and no faith to fight for the most vulnerable members of our human family.
That’s religious bullying via sentimentalism. “Vulnerable members of our human family” is religious language for a developing fetus.
I’m sure they think they’re secular, I’m sure they aren’t officially religious, but their rhetoric is saturated in religiion, whether they’re aware of it or not.
They reported on their tabling at the 2012 American Atheists convention. (Yes. Sigh.)
Kelsey: One elderly woman looked me in the eye and said “I don’t understand how women could be so hateful to other women.” I was upset by the attack, but calmly responded: “I do not hate women. No woman wants to have an abortion. No woman wakes up and says, ‘I’m going to have unprotected sex today, so that I can get pregnant and have some doctor put sharp objects up my privates.’ No one wants that. And we want to make sure women don’t end up in that situation.” That settled her down a bit and she walked away.
No woman wants to get pregnant when she doesn’t want to get pregnant; that’s true by definition. But if a woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant does get pregnant then she may very well wake up and say, “I’m going to have an abortion today” and feel massive relief that she can say that and it will be true. Kelsey and her friends don’t have the power to make sure that no woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant does get pregnant.
Rebecca has a post about those people at that convention.
it was disheartening for me to discover that a booth at this past weekend’s American Atheists conference was presenting the “scientific” argument against abortion:
That photo is from Surly Amy. By the time I arrived, he had been joined by a woman who was obviously well-versed in anti-choice rhetoric. I interviewed them for about an hour, and while I mostly kept my cool as they grinned and talked about how a fertilized egg deserves “the same” rights as me, I had to stop the interview shortly after the man insisted that a fertilized egg has the same rights as a 12-year old who has been raped and impregnated by her father. Then he went on to tell me that he’s one of the people who waves photos of bloody fetuses at women, and he refused to condemn the actions of anti-choice activists who surround and harass women attempting to enter Planned Parenthood. The best he could offer was that the strategy may be ineffective, and when I pressed him he agreed that specifically calling a woman a whore is “wrong.”
I told him he is a horrible person and I walked away because I couldn’t deal with it anymore. The Religious Right has successfully invaded a secular space to sell their anti-woman message, and in our ranks we have a sizable portion of people who declare that fighting back is too political. Too feminist! Too leftist. Too insular and academic.
Fuck that. If we don’t stand up and defend our values – humanism, skepticism, scientific inquiry – when they are under attack by those who would seek to further limit the rights and freedoms of the disenfranchised, then those values aren’t worth holding at all.