Why the Women's March was not Hypocritical


A tongue-in-cheek analysis of the demographics of the Woman's March on Washington and their moral implications.

I recently got another second-hand compliment on my long-and-involved Facebook posts. So I thought I'd put up another such post. Maybe this time one of these people will actually put a like on it or something. According to the Babylon Bee, God has recently confirmed that these are indeed eternally valuable, so I probably out to get some. It's not entirely clear how they know this, given the lamentable lack of prophets these day, but better safe than sorry. And speaking of the current dearth of prophets, why isn't our school system training young people in the skills our society needs today?

On a marginally more serious note, the Babylon Bee also did an analysis on the Woman's March on Washington a couple weeks ago. For anyone who hasn't heard of this, it was a big protest march (estimates range from 0.5 million to 4.2 million people) in various cities around the world (not just Washington). Also other places including Antarctica, apparently, although I am not sure where those people marched to. I understand it was originally going to be about convincing President Trump to treat women better in general, and it sort of morphed into a pro-abortion protest during the planning phases.

The Babylon Bee article claims that a controversial new study determined that 100% of the women in the march had not be aborted themselves. The implied meaning is that this makes the marchers hypocrites.

I don't think this is very good reporting myself. For one thing, I suspect that they didn't actually do their survey (or at best, did a small one). I have read that late-term abortions are occasionally bungled and produce a live baby instead of a dead one (or whatever terminology you want to use). Some of those people could have grown up and joined the march.

But there's a deeper problem. Not everyone who does something and later says people shouldn't is a hypocrite. There is also learning from experience. As in one of my favorite examples,
"He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it."

No one seems to consider that people could have joined the Woman's March for the same reason. It seems entirely possible to me that some of those women were not aborted, and are unhappy about it, and are now trying to protect others from suffering the same fate. This isn't a new idea either. Jonathan Swift ends his Modest Proposal (which suggests cannibalism as a practical use poor Irish children) with a similar argument:
"I desire those politicians who dislike my overture ... that they will first ask [them], whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food, at a year old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since ... and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their breed for ever."

So there we have it. I have constructed a new (at least to me) pro-choice argument based principles of charity and altruism. All the same, it feels like it's missing something. Hmm... I know! Bible quotes. For the behaviour of the women, we have a pretty standard exhortation:
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
~ Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Figuring out what's best for the children may be a bit harder, since the Bible never actually talks about abortion. We know it existed back then (because its forbidden by the Hippocratic Oath), but apparently no one wrote about it. Luckily the world is fairly interconnected, so the same ideas show up in other contexts:
"Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.
And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
But better than both
is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun."
~ Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

Note: There was also an (explicitly) anti-abortion protest march (March for Life) the next week. The Internet seems oddly unclear on how many people were there: I saw numbers claimed from 0.03 million to 0.4 million. Everyone (except possibly Donald Trump) agreed that it was smaller than the Woman's March. Apparently they hold this every year (this is the 44th) and always get next to no media coverage. Also, counting protest crowds is apparently a) hard and b) heavily politicized.


I got the following rather-upset response:
It did not "morph into a pro-abortion march." I doubt anyone is "pro-abortion." People are pro-choice, as in its none of your business what I do with my own body. Stupid article. Not funny or truthful, insightful or helpful.

My response was:
  1. The article in question is from the Babylon Bee, which is a parody news sight (like the Onion). It is not supposed to be truthful, insightful or helpful. The humor is intended to be that their "discovery" is blindingly obvious but they treat it as if it was noteworthy.

  2. I was, in fact, disagreeing with the article I referenced. Admittedly it was a silly objection, but I do think it is possible (if probably not common). However, my goal here was more subtle: To remind people that the world is not simple, and even self-evident conclusions are not necessarily true.

  3. I prefer the terms "pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion" to "pro-choice" and "pro-life" for 3 reasons:
    1. The latter terms are heavily emotionally charged. They were both also chosen for propaganda purposes. By avoiding them, I can (in theory, at least) tilt things towards rational thought.
    2. The pro-choice movement never campaigns for any other choices. For example, the never hold protests for more flavors of coffee, or opening up regulated markets, or alternative medicine, all of which would increase people's choices. The pro-life movement does marginally better here, because they occasionally say they are also against things like capital punishment and euthanasia. However, I have never heard of them doing anything about it either.
    3. I have never heard the pro-choice movement saying they are against forced (or strongly pressured) abortions. Examples would be China's One Child Policy (now a two child policy), pregnant girls in their early teens, or genetic disorders like Down Syndrome. If you have counter-examples, I would be interested to see them.
Back to essays page
Back to home page