The following rant was shared on Facebook by a friend this evening. It is a nine-part Twitter rant by Patrick S. Tomlinson (This was copied directly from his Twitter):
Whenever abortion comes up, I have a question I’ve been asking for ten years now of the “Life begins at Conception” crowd. In ten years, no one has EVER answered it honestly. It’s a simple scenario with two outcomes. No one ever wants to pick one, because the correct answer destroys their argument. And there IS a correct answer, which is why the pro-life crowd hates the question. Here it is. You’re in a fertility clinic. Why isn’t important. The fire alarm goes off. You run for the exit. As you run down this hallway, you hear a child screaming from behind a door. You throw open the door and find a five-year-old child crying for help. They’re in one corner of the room. In the other corner, you spot a frozen container labeled “1000 Viable Human Embryos.” The smoke is rising. You start to choke. You know you can grab one or the other, but not both before you succumb to smoke inhalation and die, saving no one. Do you A) save the child, or B) save the thousand embryos? There is no “C.” “C” means you all die. In a decade of arguing with anti-abortion people about the definition of human life, I have never gotten a single straight A or B answer to this question. And I never will. They will never answer honestly, because we all instinctively understand the right answer is “A.” A human child is worth more than a thousand embryos. Or ten thousand. Or a million. Because they are not the same, not morally, not ethically, not biologically. This question absolutely evicerates their arguments, and their refusal to answer confirms that they know it to be true. No one, anywhere, actually believes an embryo is equivalent to a child. That person does not exist. They are lying to you. They are lying to you to try and evoke an emotional response, a paternal response, using false-equivalency. No one believes life begins at conception. No one believes embryos are babies, or children. Those who cliam to are trying to manipulate you so they can control women. Don’t let them. Use this question to call them out. Reveal them for what they are. Demand they answer your question, and when they don’t, slap that big ol’ Scarlet P of the Patriarchy on them. The end.
When I first read this, I was angry. I was angry at being misrepresented. I was angry at being belittled. I was angry at the arrogance and malicious glee at claiming to prove well-meaning people wrong. I was blisteringly furious, and as someone who prides herself in aiming to be an intellectual, thoughtful, logical conservative, who is careful not to use fallacies and name-calling, I felt personally offended and attacked.
Something my parents tell me all the time, is to learn the difference between responding and reacting. They remind me to take the time to step away from emotionally charged conversations and situations, to take the time to calm down and collect myself, and to readdress the situation at a later time with a calmer and cooler mind and attitude. They also remind me (and I try very hard to structure my blog this way) not to post anything emotionally charged.
I stumbled upon this rant while I was in the middle of homework, and though my emotions ran high, I forced myself to wait to write anything until homework was done. When it was and I had calmed down a bit, I looked this guy up. And really, if I take a step back, this guy isn’t worth my time. What I mean is this: From the tweets I’ve read from him, he is uneducated on political, social, and scientific topics. He is unwilling to listen to other people. He jumps to conclusions, and is unwilling to hear why he is wrong. I am not against having a conversation with him; he is someone I don’t agree with and therefore, I can only better understand my beliefs by talking with those that oppose me. I am a firm believer in conversation and dialog between people that don’t agree. But if someone is arrogant in their wrong assumptions of me, and is unwilling to hear me out, I have no duty to explain myself to that person. They are not worth my time.
I am a firm believer in keeping personal opinions out of politically and/or emotionally charged posts. I do not write to push my opinions on anyone, nor is it my personal mission to sway anyone towards a particular agenda or belief. I write to educate myself, and to inspire conversation.
This post is not, and will not be, a response to the ignorant arrogance of the Twitter rant. It has gotten enough of a response already, and deserves no more. This is more a reflection. When something confronts held beliefs and causes anger, I believe it is so important to take the time to reflect on those beliefs. It is through this, I believe, that we become stronger in what we believe.
I have already addressed abortion here. But like admitting I voted for Donald Trump, I believe enough time has passed since the previous post of the same topic to be able to say I am pro-life. Though I am a Christian, I know the vast majority of people who are pro-choice don’t want the religious argument.
I am pro-life. Science confirms life, or at least something miraculous, begins at conception. I am pro-life because I am genetically and biologically unable to separate from the fetus in a womb from a newborn baby. I am pro-life because I know how important pre-natal checkups and medications are. I am pro-life because I know the impact smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol while pregnant has on the fetus. I am pro-life because I was once a newborn baby, fetus, an embryo, a sperm and an egg. I am pro-life because I know the power of cell growth, and how a fetus grows from a joined sperm and egg into a full-term baby. I am pro-life, because without understanding that an embryo and fetus are alive, a pregnant woman is an anomaly, with two beating hearts, two working brains, and two separate blood types.
I am not pro-life because I believe patriarchy has any control over women, and birth, and life. I am not pro-life because I want to control women. These are stupid reasons for believing something profound and powerful. I am pro-life, because the answer that life begins when the child is born, doesn’t satisfy me.
Those of you that are pro-choice, I know you belief what you do, because it makes sense with how you see the world. I am pro-life because it makes sense with how I see the world. I know this is a heated topic. But I ask that we approach each other with respect, understanding, and the willingness to learn from one and other. We will get nowhere by belittling and mocking one another and our seperate beliefs.
Do I wish everyone understood the incredible and powerful concept of life, like I do? Yes, of course. But I know that we were all born with brains that could think for a reason, and with this gift and blessing, comes the uncomfortableness of not all believing the same thing.
I am alive because I was once a fetus, and I am pro-life.