Prolife Across America is really overdoing it, I thought. I might have dismissed the posters if their proximity had not allowed me to recognize the similarities between the two. They both feature a smiling baby's face, well-lighted against a black backdrop, and the text on both address fatherhood; one has the words A father's joy hovering over the baby's head like a gold-font halo, and the other assumes the baby's expression, giving it the exclamation, "Daddy is my hero!"
I find it interesting that a pro-life group is targeting a male audience. Partially because I am a male audience. But for more reasons than that. Why do they feel they need more support from men? Do they already have the female demographic under their sway? Are men less likely to hold pro-life sentiments, and thereby need more persuasion? Or are men more likely to favor pro-life stances, and the dual-poster barrage is intended to rally the base of pro-lifers? I still can't grasp the odd, redundant placement of the two billboards.
But seeing them so close together made me consider their arguments, and finally I realized the underlying correlation uniting the two signs, along with every pro-life poster ever! They appeal to emotion, attempting to discourage abortion by implying unwilling mothers would be killing a baby that could have been a doctor, or a lawyer, or a billboard model. I had a heart before I was born! one baby apparently proclaims. What happened to yours? is the implication.
Some even go so far as to say that, because ethnic minorities are more prone to abortions, black (or Latino) children are in more danger inside their mother's womb than they are in impoverished homes on gang-ridden streets.
|Assuming the figures are correct, 37% of 12% means less than 5% of Missouri's African Americans have abortions.*|
And that's what bothers me about pro-life arguments. Emphasizing the stages of an embryo's development guilt-trip the population into thinking abortion is an act of murder. This is especially dangerous when aimed at ethnic minorities living in poverty where the last thing they need is to raise a child they can't properly support. Appealing to the fatherhood instinct in men works to empower patriarchal dominance and thereby taking control of a woman's body away from the woman. Not to mention references to God as the final authority on abortion manipulate a population's religious convictions to advance a political agenda (I'm not a big fan of that).
Even the name of the position--pro-life--implies that those opposed favor baby-slaughter while enabling its proponents to don an air of self-righteousness.
|In an abortion-free world, babies are in such abundance you can adopt them right out of a box!**|
Southeastern Missouri probably isn't the buckle of the Bible Belt, but I'm sure it's only few holes away. I'm therefore accustomed to an abundance of anti-abortion arguments. What I'm not used to seeing is people challenging the flaws in pro-life logic. It's easy to oppose baby-killing, if you believe that's all abortion is. What takes some effort is asking yourself, Why would someone choose abortion? Should a woman have to raise a child during an unstable time in her life? Those who are pro-choice are not anti-life. No one is. Pronouncing yourself as pro-choice is more like saying,
"I am pro-life, but only when I am ready."
Why can't that be on a billboard?
|*Computation aside, all those percentages are meaningless because the total population and the number of abortions is unknown; therefore, they have no frame of reference. Ahh, statistics!|