‘The 180 movie’ and feminist reactions to our decision to consult the public with respect to the laws on abortion

On Twitter last night I replied to a tweet by a feminist who uses the pseudonym ‘Glosswitch’, and runs the ‘Glosswatch’ blog. She was lamenting the passing of a bill in Texas which will reduce the period after conception in which a woman can legally obtain an abortion, to 20 weeks. I sent her a short message, and she posted the following on her website in response:

http://glosswatch.com/2013/07/13/dear-cis-men-who-are-sad-about-not-getting-to-make-individual-choices-about-abortion-and-therefore-want-to-make-choices-for-everyone-else/

Her commentary flits seamlessly between the inaccurate and the absurd. An example of both:

What gets me is it seems there are people who oppose abortion on the basis that if they can’t have one, no one else should be able to.

I defy anyone to point to any evidence suggesting this is the ‘basis’ on which J4MB might campaign to have the law on abortion changed. We then had an exchange of comments, and others joined in, inevitably including a male feminist.

It’s often been said that those who strongly support elective abortion glory in their power of life and death over the unborn. The sheer inhumanity of some of the comments was breathtaking. An example, from Emma Newman:

As far as I’m concerned, women everywhere should be able to have all the abortions they want! What a wonderful way to control the population.

Glosswitch inevitably (and predictably) accused me of misogyny whilst (again, predictably) providing no evidence for the accusation. She and a number of the commenters trotted out the usual mantras of ‘choice’ and ‘bodily autonomy’. Along with the charge of misogyny, the aim is to have people not engage their brains when it comes to abortion, not to think seriously about any moral dimensions.

So what happens when people do engage their brains, and think about the moral (and other) dimensions of abortion? A person yesterday left a comment on our post about our plans to consult the British public about possible changes to the law on abortion, and he provided the URL of a YouTube video titled, ‘The 180 movie’. It’s the work of an American, Ray Comfort, and it’s been watched by around 4.1 million people. He describes himself as Jewish at the start of the video, but it’s clear he means Jewish by birth, as he’s now a practising Christian.

Much of the video consists of interviews with young American men and women on the subject of abortion. It’s illuminating to see how their opinions change dramatically when they start to think about the issues involved, possibly for the first time in their lives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI

Some of Ray Comfort’s arguments are based upon religious convictions, but most aren’t. This interests me, because while some of those who support our plans to consult on abortion do so on religious grounds, this isn’t true for the majority of those individuals, and I’m not personally religious. I repeat a point made in the original post on this matter – a desire to reform the abortion laws in the UK is the leading concern of female respondents to our public consultation document. These women believe that the price being paid for women exercising ‘choice’ and ‘bodily autonomy’ is too high.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Very relevant issue, Mike! I’ve always been pro-choice, until I started questioning that:
    1. Wherever it’s legal, it’s because of feminist campaigning and lobbying.
    2. The feminist argument is that not having abortions legal is male oppression, that’s all, simplistic, delirious and hateful (“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”).
    3. Wherever it’s legal, the idea is that women having the reproductive rights, while men keep the reproductive obligations, that’d be “equality”. Women should, besides having more ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, must then have options AFTER getting pregnant. Men’s choices should, according to my feminist friends, exist only before sex. Well, to me then, women’s choices should happen only before sex too. Equal responsabilities, equal rights.
    4. The no. 1 reasoning behind abortions on demand is unreal: that rape is the rule and women are not accountable, but men, ultra-accountable. The no. 2 is that a young women would be harmed in her educational and career development and she couldn’t be “oppressed” just because she had sex and got pregnant, and that her limited options would even put great harm to society’s economy, crime and so on – well try to use the same reasons for a young men who had sex, got a women accidental pregnant, and shouldn’t be burdened for that, and see how people react (again, equal rights, equal responsibilities).
    5. Then, you see that the idea is that everyone, men and women, approving or not the choice of abortions, should pay (that’s wrong) for women to have sex freedom, rights and autonomy, but be exempted of responsibilities for the management of their own sexual rights (wrong too) and consolidate sexist double standards, as I said. If one is free, why are all others obligated?
    6. Abortions are degrading to women. They carry risks to health, and harm the dignity of human life. It’s just irrational to say that’s about rights, it’s about rape, or it’s about desperation after irresponsibility.
    7. If abortions on demand had always been legal, feminists would blame abortions on men through the “Patriarchy’ fallacy. Everything that exists, through their Marxist (superstructure exists to perpetuate oppression) view of society and culture. Because they already, actully, blame ONLY men for the un-wanted pregnancy.
    8. The focus of everyone is wrong. Prevention is the real reproductive planning and the best idea. It should be done by both involved, and considering that no preventive device is 100% garanteed.

    So I’m not totally against abortion. But the concept behind it takes us to the wrong directions. All the itens I’ve pointed, in my view, must be considered and changed.

  • “Some of Ray Comfort’s arguments are based upon religious convictions, but most aren’t.”

    Personally, I have to disagree with you Mike. As I see it every fundamental moral conviction has a source that is above and beyond us – whether we openly realise and admit it, as people of traditional true faith do, or not. The necessary anchoring of human morality cannot be entrusted to human beings. It simple cannot be achieved in the long term by mortal creatures. Without God such eras as those of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, feminism and mass abortion are just a matter of a ‘when’, not an ‘if’. The eras of histories previously mentioned tyrants were eras of official rejection and open hostility to God. Our own era of feminism and mass abortion is an era of complete indifference AND open hostility to the true God. History speaks for itself. The ‘New Atheists’ are fond of focusing upon such dark episodes as the Inquisition or Irish sectarianism. But what they fail to recognise is that the people involved were, and are, simply using an earthly church to sanction political fanaticism. Churches that are directly disobeying and distorting the actual words of the gospels and of Christ Himself. Something the modern, liberal, left wing, churches are now doing with calls for gay marriages and female priests and bishops.

    An unchangeable objective core morality is absolutely necessary for every human culture if it truly expects and hopes to remain civilised. The mortal human being simply cannot provide that essential foundation stone. By definition, it is an absolute impossibility. Without it, sooner or later, the rivers of blood will begin to flow – as they are doing again now.

    • Peter, thank you. Although I’m an atheist, I believe the decline of religion has been disastrous for the moral fabric of much of the developed world. Marx replaced God with mankind, and the consequences for humanity have truly been terrible.

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