In a Wednesday Salon column which should be saved onto the hard drives of everyone in the pro-life movement as a reminder of the fundamental evil of their opposition, Mary Elizabeth Williams stated why, to her, it doesn't matter that abortion involves the taking of a human life: "I believe that life starts at conception. And it's never stopped me from being pro-choice."
The establishment press has consistently refused to apply the "pro-life" label to a movement which has always been not only about ending abortion, but about respecting and protecting human life from conception to natural death. I believe that refusal has occurred because many reporters share Ms. Williams's brutal, strongly held but rarely expressed beliefs articulated after the jump. The Salon staff writer proves that her side richly deserves to be called "anti-life" -- because that's what they are (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word “life.” Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life? That’s why the language of those who support abortion has for so long been carefully couched in other terms. While opponents of abortion eagerly describe themselves as “pro-life,” the rest of us have had to scramble around with not nearly as big-ticket words like “choice” and “reproductive freedom.”
... we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they’ve repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.”
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.
... If by some random fluke I learned today I was pregnant, you bet your ass I’d have an abortion. I’d have the World’s Greatest Abortion.
... I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.
Williams should have substituted "convenience" for "life" in the writer's final paragraph, because, in the context of what she wrote earlier, that's what she obviously meant.
Leading religious blogger The Anchoress had some choice words for Ms. Williams (italics are in original):
In the less enlightened, less compassionate days ... a “non-autonomous entity” would be called a helpless and innocent person, one who deserved protection from efficient sorts who would, by negating their humanity, do them harm. Here, Williams is making precisely the utilitarian argument made by every totalitarian ideology that ever slaughtered people by the millions, because they were the wrong sorts of people, or were useless eaters, or they could not contribute to the advancement of society, or their quality of life just seemed too dubious to those who did not know and love them. Immediately after expressing concern that “liberals” might look like monsters, she utters the monster’s line: you have no rights except those I give you.
...A point of order, please: One may certainly sacrifice one’s own life for another. That is what makes it a sacrifice. Sacrificing “another’s” life is not a sacrifice, ...
... It’s just an expedient, and wasteful killing.
In fact, the notion that someone else’s life is “worth sacrificing” for the furtherance of one’s own situation — the mindset that can advance that thinking — is precisely one that deserves the name “diabolical.”
While Ms. Williams frets over how the pro-life movement has "appropriated" the word "life," her essay proves that they have really acquired sole ownership. A press corps interested in accurately communicating the truth would -- and should -- recognize that reality.
PS. Eric Tucker at the Associated Press wrote the following about Friday's March for Life: "Police do not provide crowd estimates, but organizers said hundreds of thousands may have turned out at Friday's rally in Washington." Given the source, one can safely delete the word "may."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.