Dissecting Pro-Life Opinion Pieces: “SJW?”

I’ve decided to start a blog segment called Dissecting Pro-Life Opinion Pieces where I’ll analyze newspaper editorial letters submitted by our local pro-lifers.

This week, I’m analyzing “SJW?” by Samuel Faust. For those new to the blog, Samuel Faust is a pastor that’s very active in the pro-life community. In addition to being the chairman for the Wisconsin Right to Life’s Jackson County chapter and being in charge of the Black River Falls annual Life Chain, setting up the abortion cross display, and organizing the protest outside the soon-to-be-closed Black River Falls Essential Health Clinic, he also writes a Letter to the Editor on an almost monthly basis.

Faust writes:

There is a group of people known as social justice warriors (SJW) who feel so strongly about injustice that they are committed to confront and reverse it. They point out injustices like discrimination (of various kind) and income equality. They raise the voice of equality for almost every minorities group but intentionally ignore the most vulnerable group who cannot speak for themselves—babies in the womb. How can they make such an oversight? Simple, by recognizing the humanity of babies in the womb, they would have to defend them.

If you point out this inconsistency, be prepared to be called names (bigot, racist, etc.) They perpetuate the anti-science lie that a baby in the womb is a part of the mother’s anatomy. I’m still waiting for a medical doctor to write a letter with quotes from medical textbooks that say the baby inside a pregnancy woman is part of HER anatomy (she has two heads, four arms, four legs, etc.) No doctor would publicly embarrass himself that way, nor does such a textbook exist.

The next time you see someone wearing a “Defend Equality” t-shirt, stop and ask “Does that include equality for babies in the womb?” It makes me wonder if SJW means “Selective” Justice Warrior!

Some true social justice warriors of the past would include Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, and Cady Stanton. These elevated the treatment of women and were vocally against abortion. A past example of a Selective Justice Warrior is Margaret Sanger. She fought for sexual freedom while seeking to eliminate minorities (she called “human weeds”) through birth control. If they want any credibility, they should realize social justice begins in the womb.

For Faust’s letter, I did write a response for the paper titled “A Lack of Credibility”:

Samuel Faust continues to spread misinformation in his latest anti-abortion editorial “SJW?”, criticizing social justice warriors for supposedly not defending the unborn and wondering if SJW really stands for “selective justice warrior”. He claimed Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, and Cady Stanton were true social justice warriors, as they “elevated the status of women and were vocally against abortion”. This claim is partially inaccurate, as these women never publicly stated an opinion on the sanctity of fetal life or advocated for the unborn. One woman that was vocally against abortion was Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who Faust described as being a “past selective justice warrior” while spouting the common pro-life falsehood that she was a racist that wanted to eradicate minorities through birth control. Sanger publicly condemned abortion for most of her career and argued that it was a societal ill that would disappear if unwanted pregnancies were prevented with birth control. Although she supported negative eugenics, which sought to reduce births among those considered unfit, she rejected race and ethnicity as determining factors. African American leaders of the time saw a need for birth control in their communities, and she was asked to open a clinic in Harlem. Sanger outlined her plans to reach out to African American leaders that could dispel suspicions about the family planning clinics she was opening and pro-life supporters have since taken it out of context to propagate the very allegations she feared would arise.

Faust is suggesting social justice warriors (i.e. “activists”) aren’t defending the unborn in any capacity for being pro-choice. The reality is that these activists do defend the unborn, but not by supporting anti-abortion ideals and harassing women outside of healthcare clinics. Many people that believe a woman should be able to choose and have access to abortion services are also supportive of affordable healthcare, paid maternity leave, assistance for low-income parents, livable wages, laws protecting women from workplace discrimination, etc. They’re protecting the unborn in a realistic and practical way by supporting things that provide a safety net or improve the quality of life so women with unplanned pregnancies are more likely to carry to term.

The criticism does both ways. Does pro-life defend all life or just the unborn and those that follow a certain lifestyle? Why the utter lack of focus on post-born lives? Why does a movement that bases its views on Christian ideologies, which include serving the poor and needy, promote “pro-life” politicians that cut funding helping low-income children because those politicians believe human welfare isn’t the duty of the state? Why do supporters celebrate the closing of clinics that are pro-choice without any regard for the women who depend on them for their health and avoiding unplanned pregnancies that could be terminated? Why are supporters quick to call others “anti-science” while ignoring the data that has so-far debunked various pro-life claims (links between abortion and breast cancer, etc.)? If this movement cares about mothers as much as it claims, why isn’t fighting for things like access to healthcare to ensure healthy pregnancies, births, and babies or paid maternity leave at the forefront? Why is supporting or offering anything that would actually be beneficial to both mothers and women experiencing unplanned pregnancies relatively minor when compared to de-funding Planned Parenthood attempts, restricting abortion access, campaigning for pro-life politicians, holding prayer vigils and meetings to discuss pro-life talking points and making billboards, advertisements, reading materials, and professionally printed protest signs?

Perhaps it’s pro-life supporters that need to work on their credibility as they cannot seem to get their facts straight and address its own hypocrisies.

There were a few things I wasn’t able to fit into the response or felt wasn’t necessary for the opinion piece.

It’s interesting that Faust calls for questioning those that wear “Defend Equality” shirts considering I wore that type of shirt consistently for about the first year the protesters were picketing my clinic. At the very least, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that was aimed at me.

No movement is so perfect that it lacks any “selectiveness”. The Love is Love movement outright rejects pedophilia, incest, and rape as being acceptable forms of love. Those that spread a message of tolerance are typically intolerant of racism and misogyny. Pro-Life Across America rejects photos of babies whose parents are not in a heterosexual marriage for their billboards because it goes against their Christianity-based beliefs.

Supposedly, the Wisconsin Right to Life’s Jackson County chapter is offering $5000 to anyone that can prove with a medical textbook that a baby is a part of the woman’s anatomy during pregnancy by his own specifically stupid definition. Faust gloats about still waiting for such proof to be shown to him in his letter (isn’t pride a sin, Pastor?) A fetus/baby is not a part of the woman’s anatomy in the way Faust ridiculously explains and this dumb explanation is not what is meant by “a baby is a part of a woman’s anatomy during pregnancy”. A more accurate phrase would be “a baby (regardless of stage of development) is connected to a woman’s anatomy during pregnancy”. If it weren’t connected, there would never be any cases of babies experiencing crack withdrawals upon birth. It affects the woman’s own anatomy by creating a whole new organ (the placenta) to extract nutrients, stretching the skin, pushing organs upward, and increases hormone production to the point where it can affect dental health. Birth involves pushing out the baby through a birth canal that has to expand to accommodate live birth or getting sliced open via C-section and stitched back up. If Faust’s challenge hadn’t included a very specific definition of what it means for a fetus/baby to be “part of” a woman’s anatomy and textbook proof, he would probably be out of the money I doubt exists.

And, of course, he brought up Margaret Sanger. Pro-lifers love to bring up Margaret Sanger and the 1939 letter to C.J. Gamble as much as blindly devoted Donald Trump supporters love to bring up Hillary Clinton and her emails. I have researched and continue to research Margaret Sanger. I find that her history and views are complicated at best and not so black and white. She was a supporter of eugenics, but didn’t share the racist viewpoint of leading eugenicists of the time and “uniformly repudiated the racist exploitation of eugenics principles.” One writer, Gloria Steinem, suggested that the embrace of eugenics may have actually been a political ploy to broaden birth control’s appeal. Her focus minority communities was the result of being asked to open a clinic in Harlem and, as Time magazine states, “because that was where, due to poverty and limited access to health care, women were especially vulnerable to the effects of unplanned pregnancy.” Her mission was to empower women to make their own reproductive choices, but her alignment with eugenics and work with minority communities have given pro-lifers the opportunity to twist facts and paint her as a racist that was out to eradicate minorities.