Former "pro-lifers" talk about what it was like to grow up in the movement, and what persuaded them that they were wrong (this info might come in handy if trying to persuade political fence-sitters troubled by abortion, considering Palin's strong "pro-life" views):
(also, sorry for not hiding the html, I'm in a rush)
A number of protesters failed to comprehend that clinics offered any services besides abortions.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2215211
I remember not just hearing these things but believing them, with the same certainty that some folks believe Iraq sponsored the 9/11 attacks, or that Hillary 'really' won the primary. Once you've made the decision that The Other Side is evil, and fighting for something so monstrous that one could not possibly support it in good faith, it's easy to interpret even the good things they do as nothing more than a "cover" for their evil.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2215279
This was another strange belief that persisted: the belief that a pro-choice woman hated children so much that she would always choose to abort a pregnancy.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2215308
"only God has the right to decide" . . . The problem is not so much that a baby died, it's that a person, rather than God, decided it should die.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2215347
eliminating extramarital sex is more important than reducing the number of abortions.
I'm not making this up. I'm not projecting it, or waving around a silly stereotype. I have had this conversation with friends, relatives, fellow churchgoers, and fellow pro-life activists from around the country. I worked with the American Life League and I interviewed pro-life congressional lobbyists for magazines. This is how it works. Solutions to the 'abortion' problem are dismissed as unacceptable if they might encourage the unmarried to have sex.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216021
I read this phrase:
willingness-to-deceive that defines the movement
which absolutely sums up how "right-to-life" lost me, and in fact my discomfort with the entire conservative/republican movement. They are willing to twist facts, isolate statements, overblow trivialities, tamper with voting machines, and rig polls in order to win converts.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216059
It is important to actually listen to what anti-abortion activists are saying, because when you mischaracterize their arguments, they immediately dismiss you as being stupid, and from that moment on, every point you make is invalid in their minds. Once that happens, further discourse becomes impossible. If you really want to engage these people, do research on their positions. Learn what you can about their beliefs. Try to understand the cultural context in which these beliefs exist. Then, as much as you can, explore the weaknesses and inconsistencies in their argument as it actually stands.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216158
Barrier methods are not interference. Sterilization is not interference. Those are effectively mechanical processes that prevent sperm from getting from point A to point B. Hormonal birth control does invisible things, and modifies the way a woman's body works at some invisible level. That's disrespectful to nature, and is tantamount to abortion regardless of the actual medical distinctions between hormone regulators and abortifacients.
It's also worth noting that inside the pro-life movement there are varying degrees of belief on these matters. . . http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216211
here's another thing the mainstream might not know about: anti-abortion activists consider words like "zygote," "embryo," and "fetus" to be propaganda, not legitimate scientific terms. They're looked upon as an excuse to avoid saying the word "baby."http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216422
From my own experience, the only way to convince someone pro-life to reconsider their views - the only thing that convinced me - is to grant that abortion is a great evil - even grant that the zygote may be human - but demonstrate that the consequences of criminalizing it would be a greater evil.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216647
they believe that pro-choice people understand full well that "abortion kills babies," but that the sacredness of human life is so contemptible to them that they just don't care. See also: their unshakable conviction that a pro-choice woman will always choose abortion. See also: the label "pro-abortion," which applies to virtually no-one, but which they consider to be the only accurate description of pro-choice views--besides the term "pro-death," of course. . . .
I tend to address other issues, such as the prevalent pro-life attitude that once abortion is finally made illegal, everyone can draw a breath and rest easy and never worry about the issue again. I point out that the root causes of abortion will continue to exist if abortion is made illegal. I ask, "What will happen to women who risk their lives by seeking illegal abortions?" If they answer something along the lines of, "They're on their own--they made their choice," I state that that view is not consistent with a belief in the sacredness of all human life.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216696
the best you can hope for in most situations is that pro-life activists not distort the truth when arguing their points. Acknowledge that they have the right to argue vigorously for their beliefs about the moral an ethical implications of abortion, but insist that they not distort legitimate differences (like implantation vs. fertilization) when they argue their points. They are very fond of slippery slope arguments so explain the implications of their own reasoning if the same standards are applied. (For example, "Infanticide is just around the corner" is no more less silly than, "Masturbation is murder" -- they are just pushing the extremes in opposite directions.)
Rather than saying, "You're a liar," point out that the specific arguments being used are distortions, and note that that legitimate beliefs should NOT require distortions and lies. Rigorous intellectual honesty, and a willingness to extend those who disagreed with me the same graciousness that I demanded of them, is really one of the things that began putting cracks in my own ideological certainty. Simply the act of being honest forced me to consider whether I should hold onto the convictions I had never previously questioned.http://www.metafilter.com/74005/Will-no-on...zygotes#2216827