Tuesday 14 May 2013

Anti-Choice 'Sophisticated'? ROTFLMAO!

I realize that books have to be flogged, but lately these people, Paul Saurette and Kelly Gordon, have been all over Canadian media with a 'new' take on fetus fetishist strategy.

Actually, it ain't new at all, but hey, those women's studies MAs (pdf) don't write themselves, you know.

The thesis is that the anti-choice movement in Canada is getting 'sophisticated', co-opting pro-choice language, framing abortion as 'harming women', moving the *undebate* into a discussion of free speech and democracy, claiming that it's a 'youth movement', and playing the 'silenced' victim card.

The anti-abortion movement in Canada, while increasingly enlivened and sophisticated, remains a small minority. Clearly phrased polls show that Canadians do not want the issue re-politicized. This is precisely why Harper promised not to do so. He knows that it is a toxic issue for his goal of mainstreaming conservatism. The anti-abortion movement has also understood that the old arguments and positioning have not worked. They are therefore increasingly seeking to frame the issue in ways that piggyback on values, issues and rhetorical strategies traditionally used by progressive movements (and which have greater traction and resonance in Canadian society).

Veteran fetus fetishist watchers (ahem) recognize all these tactics. They've been trying them forever.

The 'abortion harms women (AHW)' meme originated over a decade ago with the 'Moses' of the 'post-abortion movement', quack David Reardon. They try, amusingly, to back this up with sciencey stuff that we here at DJ! love to debunk. That abortion causes breast cancer, insanity, substance abuse, etc etc.

Warawa's Wank, aka #M408, is a variant on AHW with the new twist that abortion harms 'preborn' women.

Co-opting language, been there, done that.

Free speech, democracy, and human rights? Yep. Comparisons of abortion to slavery, genocide, and the Holocaust abound.

Youth movement? Sure, especially since they're now admitting that Catholic schools pay to bus kids to events like March for Lies.

Hilariously, they've been trying to 'hip'-ify their activities for years too.

Martyrdom has always been big with them, recently celebrated with
Jubilee medals courtesy of the Canadian government.

Silencing? Old hat.

In trying to work up a new take on a dying movement, these new kids on the block give the fetus fetishists waaaay too much credit. It's the sameold sameold, no matter how many books they have to sell hard they try to spin it.


Anonymous said...

I have listened to Gordon and Saurette on CBC radio and read their opinion pieces in the Star. I think they have made many good points about the evolution of the anti-choice movement in Canada. What I really like is that as academics they are getting the attention of the MSM and maybe, just maybe, the MSM will go to these people instead of the over-used and bone-headed Margaret Sommerville. I cannot think of anyone outside of the provider or activist community that has ever been a voice for choice in this country. But now we have two people who are doing credible research into the claims and action of the antis without being negatively labelled as "activists" by the MSM. I understand what you are saying as I too have seen all the anti claims before, and I believe Saurette and Gordon realize this, but they are looking at a new generation of antis with new messaging tools and I appreciate hearing what they have to say. We should welcome them even as we may disagree on some of their points as they have become part of the response to the disingenuous, twisted logic of the antis. May they sell a million books in Canada! That would be a smile on my pro-choice face.

fern hill said...

I agree that it will be nice to have 'academic' alternatives to that fraud Somerville for the MSM to go to.

And yes, they've said some good things. (You realize that our aim here is polemic. We leave the sensible stuff to our clever commenters.)

Did you peruse the PDF? There's some worrying stuff in it. For example, Gordon says that to counter the lie that abortion is available during the full nine months of pregnancy, we should compromise.

From page 117: 'Abortion advocates are constantly refuting the claim that women can secure abortion during nine months of pregnancy. However this anti-abortion charge remains. As such, I propose that a pro-choice movement be open to a third trimester limit on abortion. Since the reality of abortion access in Canada disallows abortion in the third trimester, this should be an easy compromise for the pro-choice movement to support. The advantages to a legal limit are three-fold. First, the anti-abortion charge that abortion is unrestricted in Canada will no longer be valid. Secondly, this will give pro-choicers a chance to compromise on pro-choice ground. And lastly, it will give abortion advocates the opportunity to frame abortion around access issues (as mentioned above) instead of around legal ones.'

Why the hell should we compromise at all?

Pro-choicers have been brilliantly successful in making abortion the third rail of Canadian politics. We don't need to do anything.

Besides, as we've learned from our USian cousins, the antis NEVER give up. We give an inch, they'll take our uteruses.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. To impose third trimester limits is to 1) admit there are "unnecessary" abortions being done right now, and 2) make it difficult for doctors to provide care when they see fit, as there will always be the fear that some pro-lifer who is smarter than a team of medical specialists, a woman and her family, is lurking and the doctors nurses will be accused of infanticide. Happens now. A vague law will only make the situation worse as arm-chair diagnosis will abound and antis will be energized with a real target to intimidate the medical community. Of course women will suffer.

Beijing York said...

I absolutely agree with your jaundiced view, fern. The fact that these academics start from the perspective that it's a tug-of-war between two sides is worrisome (would you do that with slavery?). And the reveal is in the ask: maybe the pro-women side should give in to having restrictions on 3rd trimester abortions. Sorry, to me that would be the same as a mid-1800s debate where Abolitionists might be asked to consider moderating their position to allow for indoor household slavery because they weren't treated as poorly as the rest of the slaves.

Alison said...

Banning abortion. Where to start though?

"In the absence of federal law governing abortions in Canada, Parliamentarians should be debating this “important” issue, says a government backbencher, who says abortions should be illegal.

“Yeah, I want it to be made illegal. Let’s start with the basics; let’s start with having some law where, after a certain period of time, it’s illegal to have an abortion in Canada, that isn’t even there now. Let’s start with the very basics whereby [we] condemn female infanticide or gender-selective abortion,” said Conservative MP Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright, Alta.) in an interview last week with The Hill Times.


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