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I flirted with a law career for about a semester, but quickly discovered that, while I can comprehend the language used, I cannot tolerate the general lack of common sense. Lawyers, especially prosecutors, do know something, however, that conservatives could really use when it comes to dealing with liberals: when quizzing someone in public, stick to questions whose answers you already know.
That principle would have been extremely useful for Idaho Representative Vito Barbieri. If you haven’t caught the headlines about him, this idiot decided it would be a good idea to ask if a woman could swallow a camera to find out “something” about an unborn child she might be carrying. I apologize for pointing out this stupidity, but it is sadly just one in a long list of stupid things said or asked by conservative men in government hoping to pass legislation that will control what women do with their bodies. Yes, I am using the liberal terminology here for a very good reason. When “stupid” is all that the conservative side has to offer, it should face the liberal ridicule it deserves.
When it comes to the pro-life movement, there are piles of examples like this and, for a conservative woman that is ambivalent at best on the issue, it’s painful. Throw in the fact that this conservative woman spent the better part of 20 years crafting messages for politicians, and it’s downright excruciating. First of all, any legislator on either the state or federal level who wants to tackle this issue needs to be sure to have done some real research before they speak publicly. When you make a fool of yourself by not knowing the answers before the questions are asked, you hurt not only your own credibility, but also the movement. Recall how Wendy Davis rocketed to fame: fighting a law that protects women in Texas from ending up with someone like Kermit Gosnell treating them. How is that “pro-woman”?
The opposition claims that the evil conservatives are trying to deny women needed health care. Instead of promoting the logical reasons why it is good to guarantee that doctors treating women in these clinics have privileges at a hospital, the response degrades into yet another moral argument about what women shouldn’t have. And because that happens, there also isn’t much information given about the fact that many of these clinics have people that aren’t actually licensed physicians doing surgical procedures on women. Complaints about onerous building requirements come up from the left, and the right doesn’t point out the fact that building codes dating back over a decade in most regions have already had these requirements for outpatient surgery centers and, in some cases, even basic physician’s offices. If the state in question took the federal guidelines without amendments, the latter is the case. No one bothers to ask liberals why it is a bad thing for ambulance workers to be able to easily access all patient treatment rooms in a medical facility.
Probably the biggest lie that conservatives don’t call liberals on is the fact that these clinics are, in fact, outpatient surgery centers. Just because these clinics serve only women, liberals say that they should be exempt from the requirements that any other surgery center for any other medical specialty must meet. And then they dare to say that is “good” for women? Meanwhile, conservatives focus on what? The unborn child.
Conservatives want to stop abortions after 20 weeks, but instead of using statistics from the liberal Guttmacher Institute as ammunition (scroll down and read under “Safety of Abortion”), it’s the emotional argument of saving unborn children. It’s better to cover the Internet with pictures of aborted fetuses instead of using legitimate and generally unbiased sources to make the argument that especially “surgical abortion” should be treated by the law as “surgery”?
After years of already knowing the answer to the question of what people care about more — women or unborn children — this debate is still framed almost solely from the perspective of saving the unborn. And this is in spite of legitimate medical and scientific evidence that could be used to show that at least certain types of abortion, especially the types that conservatives want stopped more than any other, are much more harmful to women than others.
This is not an “ends justify the means” argument here. This is simply pointing out the insanity of repeating the same thing while expecting a different result. It is also pointing out the failure to frame an argument in terms that actually matter to people and might move them to our side. And it is no different from the fact that conservatives are still failing to point out that many crisis pregnancy centers do more than just counsel women on options other than abortion. Many provide other services to help women make it through life as a new mother, or to prevent themselves from ending up with an unwanted pregnancy again by teaching them that they are worth more than what is between their legs. But no, there aren’t commercials or websites featuring women that are happy to report that they were helped by these organizations. There is just the liberal accusation that they are brainwashing women into not having abortions or lying to them so they can’t get one.
If this issue was handled only by prosecutors, I suspect that we would be seeing more of what I’ve mentioned here. At the least, there would be fewer misguided statements and questions like Barbieri’s. I don’t have an emotional investment in this issue; as I said before, I am ambivalent. I am not a social conservative, and do not take up moral arguments in politics. On the contrary, I learned long that politics is barely moral. However, I might find myself standing on the side of pro-life activists if the lives they were seeking to protect included the women that are harmed by abortion, as I’ve shown can be the case here.Published in