Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NARAL Twitter rant makes Doritos official snack of pro-life movement

Clueless Dad.
Two days later, the Twitterstorm NARAL Pro-Choice America touched off on Twitter hasn’t fully subsided. On the best of days, the Twitterverse is a festering compost heap of sneer, snark, and verbal bullying, occasionally broken up by links to articles. However, NARAL’s tweet concerning the Doritos commercial might have been just one more turd in the sewer had the person in charge of their social-media messaging not chosen to expose the institution’s fear of the effect of ultrasound technology on their message.

Whoever it was on the keyboard must have had a big bowl of grumpy flakes before settling down to not enjoy the show. Tweet after tweet flew from the NARAL account as the designated spitter whined humorlessly about every commercial that didn’t fit within her ideological constraints, from the Gary Busey Snickers commercial (“transphobic”) to Kevin Hart’s Hyundai commercial (“taking your daughter’s autonomy away”) to Audi’s failure to feature a single woman astronaut.

And then Doritos, for “using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight”.

To give this unknown schlimazel due credit, she did point out that the “clueless dad” trope is long past its sell-by date, though I can’t blame the mom for being uptight … after all, Clueless Dad’s messing with Johnny Unborn was causing her a bit of uterine distress. But apparently no one’s clued in the unknown schlimazel to the fact that almost all expectant mothers have an ultrasound done at some point during gestation. Heck, now it’s Baby’s First Picture.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life.
But what really sent the poo into the fan was her admission that ultrasound “humanizes” the unborn. It’s revealing because the success of the industry has for about two generations depended on people thinking of Johnny Unborn as a “clump of cells” or “blob of protoplasm”. Such picture-thinking has succeeded over the decades mostly because, even where filmed footage of fetal development is shown, people have been able to insulate themselves, to avoid attaching the pictures to anybody they know. Ultrasound strips the insulation away because of its immediacy and personalization: that picture isn’t of some unknown creature anymore, but of the life growing within you.

Oh, don’t get me wrong — there are a growing number of pro-abortion feminists who are perfectly fine with the fact that abortion kills a living human being; to them, their autonomy is the ultimate trump card. These women are the narcissistic, sociopathic core of the movement, the monstrous face that the mask of “women’s health” hides from daylight. The pro-life movement wouldn’t need to “humanize” the unborn if abortion apologists hadn’t spent over forty-three years dehumanizing them … and, in the process, diminishing their own humanity.

And so the catcalls flew: “It must be exhausting being this idiotic.” “What a bunch of humorless eugenists.” “‘Humanizing fetuses.’ Because otherwise, they’re made of styrofoam.” “Hey, @NARAL. FETUSES ARE HUMANS!!!!!!!!!!!!” “It must be hard living life in a state of perpetual outrage.” “Pretty sure the you are the group that could use a good dose of humanizing PR....” And thus Doritos gained fans from the pro-life movement for a (perhaps unintentionally) pro-life commercial.

I’ve seen others, from other sources than Twitchy, especially from a Facebook group called Secular Pro-Life, who derided NARAL’s “unscientific” view. (We’ve been saying it was unscientific all along; but of course, Christians can’t do science, so we mustn’t be taken seriously.)

But wait! It gets better!

Apparently unsure that the Twitterverse had gotten the message, the unknown schlimazel doubled down on the baby hate: “Super Bowl Babies? Use protection, sports fans.” “More Super Bowl babies?!?! Get thee an IUD!” Strangely enough, the social-media klutz used the approval hashtag #MediaWeLike; perhaps she was, after all, trying to demonstrate a sense of humor … and failing badly at it. Maybe that’s why Shoshana Weissman rolled her eyes: “Some people should not manage social media. @NARAL’s social media director is one of them.”

It’s odd that the best response came from someone who hadn’t seen the commercial. However, Robert P. George, jurisprudence professor at Princeton and a prominent voice in the pro-life and pro-family circles, had this to say:

I gather that the really big news, as always, had to do with a commercial advertisement that was broadcast in the course of the game. Evidently, a potato chip manufacturer, or some such profit-driven purveyor of packaged foodstuffs, showed a video image of an unborn baby. This shocked and appalled the folks at NARAL, the big abortion lobby, who promptly accused the company responsible for the ad of “humanizing the fetus.” Since, however, the fetus in the video was, by all accounts, a human fetus, the offspring of human parents, and not a bovine, canine, or feline fetus, it’s less than clear how it is that the potato chip company (or whatever it was) is to blame for the humanization. Surely NARAL’s complaint would be more fairly lodged against God, or nature, or plain old biological reality.

Recently, a Marist Poll released by the Knights of Columbus showed that, while a majority of Americans would if forced choose to describe themselves as “pro-choice” rather than “pro-life”, significant changes of attitude even among the “pro-choice” segment have taken place which, as The Blaze put it, “could cause some to totally rethink labels”. For instance, two-thirds of pro-choice Americans “believe access should be available, at most, during the first three months of pregnancy, allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, or never permitted;” equal percentages of pro-life and pro-choice agree that abortion should be banned after 20 weeks except to save the life of the mother. In last year’s poll, seven of ten stated religious freedom should be the priority even if it is in opposition with government laws.

It’s still some years, and some hundreds of thousands of abortions every one of those years, before we’ll be able to reasonably expect the mushy middle to support overturning Roe v. Wade. However, I think the pro-life movement may have finally reached the core ten percent it needs to tip the balance and speed up the conversion of the mushy middle. In the meantime, I expect that the pro-abortion feminists’ increasingly shrill, dogmatic, self-centered irrationality will continue to alienate supporters and hasten the end.

Maybe if NARAL decides to critique the halftime commercials at Super Bowl LI.