How anti-choice propaganda works

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts, right?  Tell that to anti-abortion bloggers, notorious for conflating opinion and fact in their ongoing pursuit of the perfect propaganda.  And here’s how it works:

Dammit Janet has a story today about a ‘crisis pregnancy center’ that was vandalized and torched recently, and fetus fetishists’ brain-damaged attempts to point the finger at pro-choicers.   The original story is on the website of the local newspaper, the White Mountain Independent:

President of the Living Hope Women’s Center governing board and former executive director Dinah Monahan said not much is known yet about the fire, but that it looks as though whoever may have set it first vandalized the Fatherhood Store and threw televisions, VCR’s and other items onto the ground outside before setting fire to the clinic in the back of the building in the Mommy Store. She said the fire did not burn the building to the ground, but it did cause enough fire and smoke damage to gut it and make it at least temporarily useless as a clinic.

Anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ are often little more than compelled pregnancy/adoption agencies that disguise themselves as womens’ clinics.  But this one seems to have had a good relationship with the local community and  given no reason for someone to want to torch it.

The arson appears to be a dumb and brainless act perpetrated by rotten little delinquents with too much time on their hands, and the original story gives no reason to believe otherwise.  The only brief mention of the politics of abortion was in a question investigators asked the center’s president:

“The agent very gingerly asked if we were involved in ‘anything controversial’ in our ministry,” she said. “You can imagine what they hear about Crisis Pregnancy Centers, abortion clinic bombings and the like. I assured him that even though we are a CPC (Certified Professional Consultant), our work was mostly pre-natal and parenting and that the culture in Whiteriver is very pro-life.”

So even the CPC’s president is quite sure the fire wasn’t politically-motivated.  Scrolling through the comments with the article, most seem to agree… except for:

Both “Ceecee” (the same ‘Ceecee’ who posts at Big Blue Fetus?) and “anonymous” are from hundreds of miles away, yet they know better than commenters who live in the community: it’s not kids, it’s “pro-choice violence”. Even when LifeNews reported the story, they didn’t go there — and if LifeNews doesn’t go there, you know there’s no “there” there.

But right-wingnutter Melissa Clouthier doesn’t let reality get in the way of a good SHRIEEEEK! in her article at Right Wing News (and her blog), quoting LifeNews at length and topping it off with this whopper:

Scrolling to the comments and trackbacks, it’s obvious that the screechosphere has picked up Clouthier’s foul ball and is running with it:

So now we have blogs reporting this as something they’re calling “Domestic Pro-choice Terrorism”, which (1) doesn’t exist, and (2) isn’t what the story actually said.   Two! Two! Two lies in one! Not only has this particular story been reinvented, reinterpreted and puked out through a filter of anti-choice batshittery, but something called “Pro-choice terrorism” (which doesn’t even exist — did I mention that?) has entered the news realm, if only at the basest blogospheric level.

As Clouthier concludes, “It will be interesting to find out who committed this attack”.  Indeed it will, though I don’t expect to find out from her.  As an anti-abortion propagandist, her work here is done.

41 Responses to “How anti-choice propaganda works”


  1. 1 Cornelius T.Zen Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    Why is it that I hear echoes of the Nazi propaganda machine that followed the fire at the Reichstad? The facts of the case are irrelevant. “It MUST have been the work of “pro-choice terrorists” — whatever they are, and whatever they do, THEY DID THIS!”
    Let’s see: It is perfectly all right to shoot doctors who perform abortions, right in fron of witnesses, even during church services. It is perfectly all right to harass any woman who MIGHT be thinking of getting an abortion, or getting counselling to that effect. It is perfectly all right to torch clinics where abortion services MIGHT be provided. It is pefectly all right to pray to Almighty God to strike down, with lightning, thunder and fire from heaven, ANYBODY who advocates abortion or supports a woman’s right to choose.
    What are the facts? How did it really happen? Who set the fire? Unless and until these questions are answered, the pro-control faction is playing the Big Lie for all it’s worth.
    Note that I did NOT say pro-life. The enemy of choice is control. That is, always has been, and always will be, the real issue. Who controls whom?
    What are the facts? – CTZen

  2. 2 deBeauxOs Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Wow JJ – excellent investigative blogging.

  3. 3 Bina Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    “Fatherhood Store”? “Mommy Store”??? :barf:

    I don’t know which is more nauseating, the notion of forced parenthood, or the commodification thereof.

  4. 4 Bina Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Ahem, let’s try that vomiting thing again: :puke:

  5. 5 Bina Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Okay, no barfie, no pukie. I guess I’ll have to do without a smiley for this one. :cry:

  6. 6 JJ Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    CTZen – Facts? What are facts??? In some peoples’ little worlds, it appears that facts are whatever someone dreams up.

  7. 7 JJ Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    deBeauxOs – Aw, it wasn’t that investigative ;) All I had to do was use the googles to find the local paper and see if they had a report. Which they did, and it didn’t give any indication that this was anything other than routine vandalism, probably a bunch of kids. When even the manager of the CPC said the community is very “pro-life”, so much for the idea that this was done by a marauding band of “Abortion Extremists”.

    I found it interesting though, that commenter “Ceecee” also googled to find the paper, so she could make a point of planting the seed of bullshit in the comments. She also commented at Clouthier’s blog, saying pretty much the same thing. Then Clouthier runs with it and blogs link to her and they run with it… etc. It appealed to the ad freak in me — how bullshit ideas gain traction.

    Good work, Clouts! Ya lying fucking douche.

  8. 8 JJ Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Bina – :lol: I usually do a barfing emoticon like this :0<< They don't have one yet, but I believe the need is there.

  9. 9 regina Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    The word dumb is ableist.

  10. 10 hemmingforddogblog Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 1:27 am

    I pointed this out to SUZY ALLCAPS, and she said it would be irresponsible not to speculate that a pro-choicer DID IT!!!!!

  11. 11 brebis noire Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I’m not commenting or reading BBW until she fixes her comments. Sometimes they show, sometimes they don’t. It makes her whole blog feel even more slippery and dishonest than her interpretation of facts and events.

  12. 12 deBeauxOs Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 10:39 am

    The rabid and sustained malevolence of The Fetus©™ fetishists never ceases to surprise me.

  13. 13 JJ Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Regina – I’m not sure what you mean…

  14. 14 JJ Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    SQ – Well, that doesn’t surprise me.

    A while ago she posted that story about the woman who supposedly killed her newborn but wasn’t charged because the umbilical was still attached — a story that was completely debunked by Little Green Footballs. Robert McLelland posted a link to the LGF thread debunking the story, and I reiterated, and what does she do? Post a retraction? No, she closed comments so that none of her other readers could find out that the story was BS.

    It was then that I knew she’d crossed the Rubicon into the Heart of Wingnut Darkness.

    So of course she’s willing to spread a bullshit story — it’s far from the first time :lol:

  15. 15 JJ Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    deBeauxOs – What I find weird is that they’re so determined to lay a “pro-choice terrorism” label on someone. Rather than just deal with the extremists in their midst, they try to turn the situation on its head.

    It’s not a strategy that will end well for them.

  16. 16 JJ Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    brebis –

    I’m not commenting or reading BBW until she fixes her comments. Sometimes they show, sometimes they don’t. It makes her whole blog feel even more slippery and dishonest than her interpretation of facts and events.

    I lost interest when she started comment moderation, and the non-publication of those comments that *displease* her. I’m not a fan of comment moderation in any context — it stifles spontaneous discussion, and if readers take the time to comment, they deserve to see their comments right away. The fact that she refuses to publish comments she doesn’t like (or does a number like I told SQ about, above) makes it all the worse. I don’t have time for it.

  17. 17 Cornelius T.Zen Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    JJ – I think regina means, if you call someone dumb, or make any comment on their ability to string a thousand inklings together to make a clue, it shows your prejudice in favor of people who can actually think their way out of a wet paper bag, and against people who can’t, or don’t.
    See? You’re bigoted! You’re prejudiced! You discriminate against the bottom 50% of the population! You just don’t like dumb people! That’s so unfair! That’s so elitist! You are dumbophobic! They’re going to get together and march on your house — if they can figure out how to do that, that is.
    Shame on you, JJ! – CTZen

  18. 18 Dr. Prole Monday, January 4, 2010 at 8:49 am

    JJ, during last year’s F-Word awards, pale and I were told that the word “lame” is “ableist” after in one of our posts we said something was lame. Because you know some people are actually lame in the archaic sense of the word i.e. they can’t walk or what have you. It’s the “ableists” discriminating against the disabled through language, so we’re not supposed to say lame. Or apparently “dumb”. We thought that was pretty lame. And maybe even dumb.

  19. 19 pale Monday, January 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I thought it was pretty stupid, and that it insulted everyones intelligence.
    Very weak arguments.
    I mean, what’s your problem?

    OOOPS. I just used THREE Ableist werds and one phrase.

    Nuts.

    OOPS. I did it again!

  20. 20 JJ Monday, January 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

    CTZen

    I think regina means, if you call someone dumb, or make any comment on their ability to string a thousand inklings together to make a clue, it shows your prejudice in favor of people who can actually think their way out of a wet paper bag, and against people who can’t, or don’t.

    Guilty as charged.

  21. 21 JJ Monday, January 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Dr.Prole

    It’s the “ableists” discriminating against the disabled through language, so we’re not supposed to say lame. Or apparently “dumb”. We thought that was pretty lame. And maybe even dumb.

    “Ableists”? WTF? If someone’s not disabled they’re an “ableist”? Fucking political correctness run amok. I use whatever words I want, if people don’t like it they can get stuffed :P

  22. 22 JJ Monday, January 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

    pale

    OOOPS. I just used THREE Ableist werds and one phrase.

    Three strikes! Yer oot!

  23. 23 pale Monday, January 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Darn.
    :)

    It’s most bizarre. We all try to stop racial slurs and the like. That makes complete sense.

    I have stopped using “retard”…..I get it.

    But there is a whole catalogue of words that these people also jump on that had whole other meanings originally, or have come to mean other things over the ages.
    They even have “lists” of “approved” words.
    http://whatsortsofpeople.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/ableist-language-alternatives/

    Anyhoo. *crosses eyes*

  24. 24 regina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Regina here again. Um the thing is this is a feminist site right? You guys talk about privilege and what not right? So you could totally understand what I mean when I say the word dumb is ableist. Maybe you guys aren’t disabled but you guys are lacking the expericience. But if a marginalized group says something is offensive it probably is. Isnt it just wrong to ignore their experiences and downplay them? Here this is what i mean : http://disabledfeminists.com/2009/11/20/a-brief-psa-on-language/
    Those are feminists who are disabled who are saying that dumb is ableist. Who are we to tell them that it’s perfectly fine? It’s so funny because like if this was a discussion between a man and woman about saying the words cunt, bitch, etc etc I think most of you would call the man out right? This is the problem with feminism cisgender straight thin white heterosexual middle to class women trying to marginalize other people! It’s ironic actually.

  25. 25 pale Monday, January 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I have been through a lot of those sites. Read a lot. Laughed a lot…

    And Feminism has many forms. One of which is that a lot of us (I am speaking for me only here…) find the whole abelist thing an annoying distraction from reality. It simply feeds the Feminazi lockstep deal.

    Whatever floats yer boat. But for crying out loud don’t preach. And, I would stop making assumptions about anyone’s possible or not possible physical “disabilities”. You would be in for a mighty RUDE awakening.

    You just inferred that no one is a true feminist if they don’t agree with you. BTW. Tsk tsk.

  26. 26 regina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Lol. Ok well that’s silly on many levels. I didnt say no one could be a real feminist. I also wrote maybe you guys arent disbaled which is probably why you dont understand why it’s offesnive.
    But cmon seriously? Ignore disabled people for the good ole fight for feminism! Rich. It’s like how when a cis women will be confronted with something transphobic and they say it’s just distracting. Like really you’re totally disregarding the emotions and feelings of disabled people… Of course I know they are different forms of feminism. Fat positive, transfeminism, womanism etc etc because they felt marginalized. I’m not preaching I’m calling ableist shit out. The same way I’m sure you guys would if someone said something sexist.

  27. 27 Dr. Prole Monday, January 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I have MS. My husband has a few different disabilities. You don’t need to tell me about being disabled, even though I try not to identify that way. A bunch of commenters on a blog get to decide what I get offended by, I do. Words like lame, dumb, weak do NOT offend me. I actually use them occasionally, and until self-identifying disabled people tell me they’re “ableist” and offensive I never have ONCE in 40 years even thought of them as pertaining to disability. Language evolves. It happens. Just look at the word “gay”.

    That whole list of bad ableist words really lost me at “what’s your problem/what’s your damage”, “crutch”, and “intelligent” being labeled offensive. Sure there are things that are very offensive and shouldn’t be used. Retard? Yeah, I call people out for that on a regular basis. But dumb? Weak? What’s your problem? You’re intelligent? You know, sometimes people just go looking for shit to be offended by. If you want to be offended and spend time chasing around blogs calling people out for being what you deem to be ableist, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t be surprised when people, including others with disabilities, think it’s much ado about nothing.

  28. 28 JJ Monday, January 4, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Regina – Thanks for the input, but I’m not into identity politics, I really think it’s counterproductive. I am what I am, I say what I want, and people can like it or lump it. I don’t feel obliged to walk on eggs and watch what I say for fear of hurting someone because I’m a pretty good person at heart. If someone takes something I’ve said the wrong way, that’s their issue to resolve, not mine.

    I also don’t make a habit of calling out people for using anything but the most extreme (ie racist) epithets — words like bitch, cunt etc are part of my own vocabulary.

    I find the plethora of labels and categories people insist on slotting themselves into extremely tiresome…

  29. 29 pale Monday, January 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Gah. Backpeddling. Talk about silly….
    Um the thing is this is a feminist site right?

    You questioned that, and then said you said no such thing…Ever hear another term? weasel words?

    I particularly lurved this part:

    This is the problem with feminism cisgender straight thin white heterosexual middle to class women trying to marginalize other people! It’s ironic actually.

    Talk about stereotyping….And hypocrisy. OY!!!! Heh.

    Man o man. Get a mirror.
    And a grip.

  30. 30 JJ Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    pale – Yeah
    This kind of shit irritates the hell out of me. It isn’t an anything-ist site, its MY fucking site. I detest being pigeonholed (cue the “holed” jokes)

    And WTF is “cisgender”? Jesus freaking Christ.

  31. 31 Backseat Blogger Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    since abortion is ipso facto a moral decision it is impossible to separate out religion(or lack thereof) from the debate.

    in Canada here abortion is legal without any restrictions and has been for years. the sky hasn’t fallen. neither has there been apocolypse.

    those against abortion here have never readjusted their arguments to the legal and social reality.

    perhaps the movement has been so coopted by religious loonies in the US that they can’t think for themselves.

    in a better world, perhaps, a clinic such as the one in this post would exist without the moralizing and the guilt trip. it might even find that its ‘success’ rate went up.

  32. 32 regina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    The reason I ask if this was a feminist site is because it’s so much easier, at least i thought, to describe privilege to feminists. Whenever you call something out if it’s racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism it’s the same thing over and over when you’re privilege is challenged. It’s the same argumemt lol. Don’t you believe in sexism = power + privielge? Same with abelism.
    That is the problem with feminism. I’ve taken my women studies class. Feminists worried there isn’t one goal for Third Wave Feminism and that there’s no way women could advance if we have other distracting issues. From that movement even more branches of feminism came. Other feminists admit this too, about the problems with feminism. Do you believe in the theory of intersectionality?
    Intersectionality holds that the classical models of oppression within society, such as those based on race/ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, class, or disability do not act independently of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate creating a system of oppression that reflects the “intersection” of multiple forms of discrimination. Obviously sexism will affect disabled women let’s fight for these women too instead of ignoring their experiences and feelings because all we have to do is replace a couple of the words we use. Is it really that hard?
    The thing that gets me is that you seem to ignore is that mutiple people tell you it’s abelist! Dumb is an abelist word. If you arent disabled you wouldnt understand why it would be offensive.
    You know what you do when someone calls you out on your shit? You accept it and you move on. This feels like the conversation I had with freshman two weeks ago when I told them “that’s so gay” is offesnive.
    Anti choice was in my goole alerts which is the only reason why I found this post.
    @ Dr.Pole, my friends use the word spic all the time to describe themselves they dont care if someone non Hispanic calls them that. My ex on the other hand if you called him a spic he was going to punch you in the back of the head. So is the word spic less offensive? Does that give me the right to say spic?

  33. 33 regina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Cisgender opposite of transgender…

  34. 34 JJ Monday, January 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Regina

    The thing that gets me is that you seem to ignore is that mutiple people tell you it’s abelist!

    Now you’re catching on…

  35. 35 pale Monday, January 4, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Hey, Regina?

    Us real people out here do not put soooooooooooooooooooo much stock into DEMANDING that people lose half the words in the English language simply because it offends you.

    Perfectly good words that have totally other meanings, and not racial epithets like you insist on using as yer example. :)

    Now, The abelist stuff may be something you are immersed in. By the rulez of this bizarre censorship campaign ANY word could be labelled as such.

    We are actually pretty good people, and feminists.

    Your condescending claptrap is simply irritating.
    So. My last jaunt past this little here fracas. You have stereotyped us, offended me at least, and really made me wonder who the hell’s side you are on? You say one thing, and then commit that same crime you SO decry.

    Thing is, we don’t have to agree. Eh?

  36. 36 Dr. Prole Monday, January 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Ohhh. College academic feminist. All makes sense now.

  37. 37 Dr. Prole Monday, January 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    This is the last I’m going to say on this.

    Spic doesn’t mean anything but something derogatory. I’m sure as fuck not going to call anyone a spic, or a spade, or a wop, or a retard. Those words all mean bad things, all the time.

    Dumb means many things, the most popular or well known these days is stupid. It used to mean unable to talk. Now it just means dumb. As it, wow, it was really dumb for you to get a speeding ticket.

    Weak means weak, lacking strength. Weak tea, weak argument. It doesn’t mean “I’m oppressing the disabled because I’m a mean privileged white woman!”

    Lame means dumb and weak. As in, “that band is totally lame”. It used to mean some type of problem with mobility, but now it just is a description largely used on MTV’s Headbangers Ball.

    You can’t declare words that mean other things off limits because you have decided that they offend you personally, because you WANT to be offended and look for things to be offended by. And you do not speak for all, or even most disabled persons, most especially me and my husband.

    I’m sure you can turn this into a paper or something. Later.

  38. 38 Bina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Feminists “marginalizing other people”? Um, FAIL.

    We’re busting our humps to bring everyone in society up to equal status with the dominant class–able-bodied WASP males. Nothing “marginalizing” about that, unless you’re an able-bodied WASP male desperate to hang on to his privileges because they make him feel Important, and thus terribly threatened by those fighting for the rights of the Others, because they make him feel Impotent.

    Using words like “dumb”, “lame” and even “retarded” in a colloquial sense isn’t one-tenth so marginalizing as being on a political council that gets to decide how much money, if any, is allocated to helping women, minorities, the disabled–and deciding that none should be. Yes, ill-chosen words sometimes hurt, but not nearly as much as deliberate, carefully chosen deeds.

    I say we fight the big fight and let the little words be. Sticks and stones, remember?

  39. 39 regina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I’m so impressed you think I’m in college. Anyways I think I just going to leave what I said at that because I have finals in two weeks and this is dragging out. Oh by the way I love being offended thats why I’m just choosing to have such an awful discussion.

  40. 40 regina Monday, January 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I just love having discussions like these because I love feeling offended, seriously? I’m not even sure how this was offensive. Just stop saying it move on. There. I’m just restating the same points over and over again. I guess you guys just find this trivial and below consideration. What are you talking about? What crime? What did i do that was hyprocritical? But whatever I have finals in two weeks and i guess I should just focus on my highschool stuff.

  41. 41 mouthyorange Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    She just didn’t know where she was and what she was doing there.


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