After a grueling but productive 3 days, the LMJ and Pro-Life Future Chapter from Boston headed out for the park and the Wells Fargo Center. It was Thursday, the final day of the convention. Crowds had thinned, both inside and outside the Center. But it didn’t matter much to us how many; we’re not there for numbers, but individuals, and each conversation, just like each human person, has inestimable value, and inestimable impact.
Our mission remained the same: to reach each individual -- and as many individuals -- as possible with the message of the Consistent Life Ethic, the not-at-all radical notion that there is no excuse for violence against a human being, no matter what.
We had our fair share of exchanges in the previous days that ended in the other stating flatly that “even though a preborn child is a child, a human being, a woman should be able to kill them anyway.” But on Thursday, we had had a strong response from fellow young people who, once they understood that we were consistent in our ethic of life -- against war, the death penalty, et al. -- and got some science under their belts (hullo, embryology -- that’s an empirically-proven human being in that womb), absolutely agreed with us.
In fact, a lot of people, regardless of party affiliation, agree with us: we were demonstrating the truth of the DNC theme of the day ("Stronger Together") outside their convention walls. These folks just don’t know it til we talk to them. That’s how it worked with a duo of campers we had met the previous day, and with an angry feminist who battled me until she realized I wasn’t fighting, I was listening and then explaining… All the while much older so-called feminists threw eggs at my fellow Bostonian, Mariana.
That aside, we joined the commune of campers again on the lawn, chatting with George and Bryan briefly -- the two young men we had met the previous day. They had gone from suspicious and “pro-choice” to thinking along consistent and pro-life lines after a long discussion with me, Chrissy, and Rosemary -- even though they didn’t care for the “pro-life” label -- because we had built relationship and rapport with them. How? Well duh: by being consistent.
“What about war? Gays?”
Rosemary is vegan. Consistent. (Even though that’s not violence against a human being, admittedly, acting violent against any life is arguably violence to ourselves.)
And finally: “What about women? You can’t tell a woman what to do with her body.”
Well, if science has anything to say about it, there are two bodies involved. And I -- personally, as a woman -- can say it is heinously demeaning to me to tell me my worth or success is based on whether I can pour harmful chemicals into my reproductive organs through chemically abortifacient birth control, or violently dismember the small human person inside me.
That fact -- and my articulation of it -- brought George (and half a dozen other pro-choice or pro-abortion protesters) up short.
Science plus real feminism: No, it doesn’t equal an abortion nation. Science plus real feminism equals protection for preborn people, and authentic equality between the sexes, where I, as a woman, don’t have to suppress my fertility and accept a male-paradigm of power to function with parity in the public square.
Weather moved in Thursday afternoon as we chatted with press from Portugal -- the clouds came in heavily while Aimee discussed the legal contradictions in regard to preborn human lives found in laws across the States with a grey-haired man who seemed of an adamant pro-choice persuasion. So why can a fetus in the womb be an inheritor, a legal person by law, while at the same time be senselessly killed by abortion if the mother decides to walk into an abortion clinic? Why are drunk drivers charged with murder or manslaughter of a preborn child if the baby in-utero is harmed in the accident?
The couple of us not in deep discussion jogged ahead to the CVS to take cover, but Aimee and Maria held out til the last minute, finding common ground, and making a passel of previously pro-abort old folks seriously question the consistency of their positions.
At CVS, we weren’t so rained in as we thought we’d be. We ended up getting into amiable and then deep discussions about the Consistent Life Ethic with a group of pro-peace, pro-Bernie vegans -- again, all young people. It isn’t hard to come back to the conclusion that human lives are non-negotiables, or the consistent ethic of life, no matter where you begin. I began with Pablo and Sarah discussing the idea of stewardship of the land, caring for animals, and worked through to concept that the way we treat our most vulnerable is the way we form our society’s values. (As Democrats for Life’s flyer quotes H. Humphrey, “The moral test of a society is how it treats those at the dawn of life[...]”, and the most vulnerable) “If it is important to value the life of an animal, how much the same -- if not more -- the life of a mother and preborn child?” We agreed in the end that it was not a leg-up for women to push a domination-based concept of power onto the child, and that abortion is based on a negative masculine paradigm of “might makes right”. Abortion is a tool of the patriarchy.
We finished the day, racing through rain, to a meet-up with Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson in a local restaurant. Unfortunately, Johnson is pro-abortion. Fortunately, we got to mingle with the libertarian attendees to our heart’s content, explaining what consistency means. It means no aggressive violence against any human being. Period. We stuck around to tell Gary himself. But he didn’t show. He missed out. How often do you get an opportunity, after all, to have a moment of life-smashing clarity offered to you by teal-and-pink-haired pro-life feminists, and the chance to make your running platform, you know, actually consistent?