Friday, February 05, 2010

Find a Happy Place This Sunday

In response to CBS’s irrevocable decision to air a commercial about Pam Tebow’s decision to give birth to her baby, a pair of old-school abortion opponents have crafted a response. Frances Kissling, the anti-Catholic former president of Catholics for Choice, and Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, have an article today in The Washington Post, “What Tim Tebow's Super Bowl ad can teach the pro-choice movement”:

So here's our Super Bowl strategy for the choice movement. We'd go with a 30-second spot, too. The camera focuses on one woman after another, posed in the situations of daily life: rushing out the door in the morning for work, flipping through a magazine, washing dishes, teaching a class of sixth-graders, wheeling a baby stroller. Each woman looks calmly into the camera and describes her different and successful choice: having a baby and giving it up for adoption, having an abortion, having a baby and raising it lovingly. Each one being clear that making choices isn't easy, but that life without tough choices doesn't exist.
Hypothetcial viewers may notice that only one of the three “successful” choices requires a homicide for its success.

I don’t watch the Super Bowl, and I don’t follow football, and if it weren’t for this controversy I wouldn’t have any idea who Tim Tebow was. But I do know who James Dobson is, and Focus on the Family. And though I’ve never been a big fan of Dr. Dobson, I take my hat off for what Focus on the Family and Tebow and his mother are trying to do.

It seems as if it’s helped already by drawing a lot of attention to the hypocrisy of the spokesmen for the so-called “pro-choice” movement.

Sports writer Sally Jenkins, who describes herself as “pro-choice,” and says she “couldn't disagree with Tebow more” on the subject of abortion, still harshly exposes the National Organization for Women as not being in favor of choice at all: “They aren't actually ‘pro-choice’ so much as they are pro-abortion.”

Of course, this isn’t news to pro-lifers. But it’s always welcome to see people on the other side figuring it out. The latest alternative title for pro-life people is “anti-choice.” (E.g., this article in The Nation,Countering Anti-choice terrorism.”: “While the murderous rage of Tiller's assassin is not representative of the broader anti-choice movement, I believe that the anti-choice community operates with a totalitarian impulse that generates a culture of terror rather than a culture of life.”).

Accusing the pro-life movement of being against choice, merely because we believe that the gravely evil choice of abortion should be off limits, is all the more untenable now, when even pro-abortion observers are catching on that NOW and its sister groups, like NARAL, are the real champions of forbidding choice. Even the New York Times has some critical words for the nation’s loudest abortion proponents:
NOW and NARAL purportedly protect women from those who would tell them what they can and cannot do with their bodies—and all along, these organizations tell those women what thoughts they can and cannot consider (“Super Bowl Censorship”).
Now who’s “totalitarian”? No pun intended.

Jenkins is even more pointed in her piece, variously renaming NOW with titles like, “the ‘Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep,’ otherwise known as DOLL,” or “The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us,” or “the National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time’.”

Kissling’s and Michelman’s selling point is that the choice to abort one’s baby can inspire people, too. As they see it, an abortion “is as tough and courageous a decision as is the decision to continue a pregnancy.”

I wouldn’t want to have to defend the proposition that a woman placing her perceived self-interest above the bodily existence of her own child qualifies as “courageous.”

When people like Jehmu Greene, director of the Women's Media Center, attack Focus on the Family over the ad as “extremely intolerant and divisive and pushing an un-American agenda,” I don’t hear courage—I hear fear. Nancy Keenan, NARAL’s current president, reacting to CBS’s decision to run the ad, says “Anti-choice politics have no place in the Super Bowl, so when the ad runs, focus on something else - anything else - besides Focus on the Family.”

Focus on something else--anything else. Just look away!

These are the same people who have fought tooth-and-nail against mandatory ultrasounds in abortion clinics so that aborting mothers don’t get a glimpse at the little entities before termination.

Avert your eyes! Think about something pleasant!

Isn’t that what people do when they’re facing their worst fears, like when Lloyd, corned by Sea Bass in Dumb & Dumber, intoned “Find a happy place! Find a happy place!”

Quite a reaction, don't you think, when, by every account, the Tebow spot isn’t even going to show gruesome pictures of aborted fetuses or broken-hearted women who regret their choices, nor even the jumping little fetuses you might see in an ultrasound or a Volvo ad, nor even James Dobson busting in a bedroom door with an axe. It’s going to show a mom with her son, and both of them glad he’s still here.

Who should be frightened of that, and why? Why the advice to not focus on this family?

Viewer discretion advised.

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