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January 31, 2013

The 5 Worst Things About Save the 1

Last week the anti-choice group Personhood USA put out a press release announcing, essentially, that they've decided to get even more in your face about how extreme and ridiculous their views are by creating a new group called Save the 1. Go ahead, soak up the idiocy (we only included the worst of it and bolded the worst of the worst because we're nice like that):
For the first time since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a new organization has formed to focus on the demographic of babies most ignored by the pro-life movement, yet most often singled out by pro-abortion groups: babies conceived in rape. Savethe1.com has launched an effort to educate politicians on the 100% prolife position; disallowing for any "exceptions" sentencing babies to death. These so-called "hard cases" include babies who have a poor in utero diagnosis as well as babies conceived in rape. 

...Following the widely publicized misstatements of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock , Save the 1 has been created to equip politicians who hold to the 100% prolife position, educating them on the statistics and facts that support 100% abortion bans. Save the 1 will include the personal stories of rape victims and people conceived in rape who seek legal protection for all unborn babies, no matter the circumstances of their conception.

Save the 1 intends to remove and prevent 'rape exceptions', starting with the Hyde Amendment. Save the 1 is a reference to the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:10-14, in which the shepherd leaves his 99 sheep behind to find the 1 sheep who was lost.

"Rape and abortion are wrong for the same reason; they are both violent acts of aggression against another person," continued Kiessling. "If you really care about rape victims, you should want to protect them from the rapist, and from the abortion, and NOT the baby. A baby is not the worst thing which can happen to a rape victim — an abortion is."
Well, it's a good thing Ms. Kiessling cleared that up for us, right ladies? Now, there are a lot of important conversations that we could have about rape exceptions. For example, we could talk about that fact that often when people say that they support abortion rights only in cases of rape, what they mean is that they're willing to be magnanimous enough to "allow" a woman to have an abortion, but only if she's not a big old slut who got pregnant because she chose to have sex. In that sense, we have to at least give it up to the "no exceptions" crowd for consistency - they think we're all horrible evil people for ever considering abortion or supporting abortion rights.

So of course we had to check out this Save the 1 site. And although it can sometimes be hard to measure such things, we can safely say that it's one of the worst things we've ever seen on the internet, and we watched Bam Margera's new music video. So allow us to present, in no particular order, the five worst things about Savethe1.com.

#1 - The fact that it exists

Are we really still trying to make the "personhood" thing happen? Personhood bills and amendments have been solidly defeated at the polls in every state where they've managed to get them on the ballot, including very red states like Mississippi. Sometimes they fail in the courts or before they even come up for a vote. Colorado even rejected it twice. (And yes, I know that just because something is defeated on Election Day, that doesn't make it wrong. Gay marriage should be legal everywhere but it's been voted down a bunch of times, but this is different for a few reasons, like the very wide margins by which these personhood amendments have gone down, and the fact that gay people aren't trying to marry fertilized eggs. But I digress.) Polls have shown that only a small portion of Americans actually agree with the "100% pro-life position", and there are even a lot of people within the anti-choice movement who reject the personhood agenda, either on principle or because the wording of the proposed amendments is always way too vague and broad or just as a matter of bad strategy.

You would think that Personhood USA would have picked up a clue about how popular this whole "no rape exceptions" idea is by the fact that men like Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Richard "What God Intended To Happen" Mourdock are not serving the Senate right now. But no, according to them all that the Akins and Mourdocks of the world lack is a little finesse. Just explain it better and then everyone will understand that it's a great idea to force rape victims to continue their unwanted pregnancies. But not to worry! Save the 1 is here to help with their list of tips for candidates. Here are a couple of their suggested sound bites:
“According to the U.S. Supreme Court, rapists don’t deserve the death penalty – not even child molesters, and that it’s cruel and unusual punishment to sentence them to death. I certainly don’t believe that an innocent child deserves the death penalty for the crimes of her father. Just as the death penalty can’t undo a rape, neither will an abortion.”

“Rape and abortion are wrong for the same reason — they are both violent acts of aggression against another person. I care about rape victims, so I want to ensure that they are protected from the rapist, and not the innocent baby. More violence within her body is not the answer.”
Because if Todd Akin had said that instead he would totally be a Senator right now.

#2 - They almost made us kinda sorta agree with Ann Coulter a little bit

There's a section on the site where Save the 1 director Rebecca Kiessling responds to a column that Ann Coulter wrote after the election. Here's some of the relevant part of Ann's column:
No one can be blamed for the hurricane that took the news off the election, abruptly halting Romney's momentum, but Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock can be blamed on two very specific people: Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.
The last two weeks of the campaign were consumed with discussions of women's "reproductive rights," not because of anything Romney did, but because these two idiots decided to come out against abortion in the case of rape and incest.
After all the hard work intelligent pro-lifers have done in changing the public's mind about a subject the public would rather not think about at all, these purist grandstanders came along and announced insane positions with no practical purpose whatsoever, other than showing off.
While pro-lifers in the trenches have been pushing the abortion positions where 90 percent of the country agrees with us -- such as bans on partial birth abortion, and parental and spousal notification laws -- Akin and Mourdock decided to leap straight to the other end of the spectrum and argue for abortion positions that less than 1 percent of the nation agrees with.
In order to be pro-life badasses, they gave up two easy-win Republican Senate seats.
 She's right. Well, mostly right. As right as Ann Coulter can ever be about anything. Akin and Mourdock (and quite a few other Republican candidates) tanked their campaigns and did damage to Mitt Romney's campaign by expressing extremely unpopular views in extremely stupid ways with extremely bad timing.

But Ms. Kiessling disagrees. She calls Coulter a "Republican party apologist" who just doesn't get that Akin and Mourdock's losses were because of "how poorly they expressed their positions", not the positions themselves. She also says that Ann wouldn't know anything about what goes on in the "pro-life trenches" because she's been "missing in action", and claims that it was actually Mitt Romney who hurt candidates like Akin by running "ads in battleground states suggesting that it’s extreme to be 100% pro-life".
I know that the number of 100% pro-life Americans would be much higher if the pro-life movement as a whole actually went after this ground. Instead, Coulter is right in pointing out where the effort has been focused – on things like parental notification laws and efforts to ban partial birth abortion. The lives of children conceived in rape are often minimized with the standard dismissive language of: “Well, it’s only 1%.” Why continue to minimize? Why not stand up and really defend our lives? We need to try to gain ground on this issue, by educating the public, by equipping candidates and legislators on how to most effectively respond to the rape question, by making ads with children conceived in rape available for anyone who wishes to utilize them, and by removing rape exceptions from the law, beginning with the Hyde Amendment.
I fully support this Republican infighting and hope that it goes on for a long time, and that Save the 1 is able to encourage a lot more Republican candidates to Akin themselves and lose their elections.

This part is just fascinating to me:
Back to Ann Coulter’s article – she wrote that “No law is ever going to require a woman to bear the child of her rapist.” I don’t believe that. Laws DID protect children like me and these protections can and should be restored. She went on to add: “Yes, it’s every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape.” Ann, your words speak volumes as to what you really believe. A preborn child is not an “it.” He or she is a life, a human being, a person, a son or a daughter. They have a gender. This is not a mere philosophical or political exercise, but real people’s lives are at stake. When I represented the mother inMichigan’s “frozen embryo” case, the fertility doctors testified at deposition that from one cell, they are literally male and female, and ascertainably so! Just as it says in Genesis, “male and female, He created them.” Using words of gender serve to demonstrate the humanity of these children.
So you're more valuable if you have a gender. Or, at least, one that conforms to the gender binary. Interesting.

And then there's this:
We must not discriminate! Children conceived in rape are surely the most outcast members of our society, being unfairly demonized and portrayed as a “horrible reminder of the rape,” “the rapist’s baby,” “tainting the gene pool,” and even “demon spawn.” This not only affects the pre-born, but also those born under such circumstances. Can you imagine if a law was introduced with an exception in cases of bi-racial rape? I could hear the rationale, “Well, it’s only 1% of 1%,” and “the child would look more like the rapist and would surely be more of a reminder of the rape” – an argument which I’ve actually heard before. There would be a national outcry for such discrimination! Civil rights leaders would be outraged and demand that the exception not only be removed, but that the legislator who introduced it must immediately step down. And yet, half of pro-lifers think nothing of discriminating against children conceived in rape, and it’s wrong!
You know, we always try to make posts like this informative, witty, and/or insightful, but sometimes all we really want to say is...wow, fuck you.

#3 - The total disregard for women in general, and rape victims in particular, as individuals with lives and voices and any rights to control their own bodies or make their own choices

The language that this site uses to talk about rape victims is so disrespectful and disgusting. Like the suggested sound bites for candidates we quoted earlier that go on about how rape victims need to be "protected" from abortion, and those who choose abortion are "sentencing" an "innocent child" to the "death penalty" - a worse fate than rapists and child molesters suffer.

Here are a few more of their suggested talking points:
“That child is not ‘the rapist’s baby,’ but her mother’s child. The majority of rape survivors choose to raise their children who were conceived in rape. After everything the rape victim has endured, what an insult to her to suggest that somehow her child’s primary identity is marked as ‘the rapist’s baby,’ and what an unfair stigma to attach to an innocent child.”

“I’m tired of these children being demonized like this. Women are capable of great love for their children and must be given more credit for this.”
"Rape victims need real help – to be protected by ensuring the rapist does not have any parental rights, to make sure the rape victim mother will be able to receive governmental aid, even if she is unable to name who the rapist is.  Tragically, the rhetoric surrounding abortion has left the majority of rape victims mothers unprotected because too many seem to think that a real rape victim couldn’t possibly want her child, when this is simply untrue.  I will work to protect rape victims, and their children."
So they preach about not forcing an identity on a child because its father is a rapist, but they're fine with forcing the identity of "rape victim mother" onto a woman whether she wants it or not. I think that "after everything the rape victim has endured", the real insult is that the Save the 1 crowd tries to shame and manipulate and even legally compel her to conform to their agenda rather than respecting her choices.

#4 / 5 - The Visual Aids

Okay, I accidentally lied twice - there aren't five things on this list and they're not in no particular order. But there's a very good reason for that, and it's because number fourfive is so ridiculous that...just look:

It's a poor innocent baby being run over by a bus that's apparently being driven by a rape victim whose desire for an abortion is such pure evil that it turned her invisible. I think I have that right. The Save the 1 team suggests that you put this lovely graphic on facebook, which is awesome. I was sick of grumpy cat memes, arguments about gun control, and photos of people's gluten free vegan lunch anyway.

If you're not into the whole bus thing, don't worry. They have a bunch of choices, so they've got you covered whether you need a new facebook cover photo or just want some fun graphics to freshen up your Jim Bob Duggar fan site. Perhaps this baby enjoying a nice nap on a lamb is more your style:

Sometimes the best way to get an important message across is with a really stunning and powerful piece of art, you know? I feel like this image really captures the essence of the futility and ineptitude of the personhood movement. Well done. At this point I'd also like to mention that all of the babies that they used for these graphics are white, but I'm sure that was a total coincidence or accident or something since they've already proven how aware and sensitive they are about race issues with that whole "biracial rape" thing.

But this image has got to be my favorite:

The fetus is on fire! The fetus is on fire! Red alert! Call 911, or better yet call Rick Santorum and tell him that he's needed at the Towering Fetus Inferno immediately.

#Whatever, the format is fucked already

Okay sorry, I thought I was done but then I realized that the Resources page has essays in addition to those awesome graphics. One of them is called No Exceptions!, which I didn't read because it looked like just a rehash of the rest of the site. The other one is called Rebecca Kiessling Philosophical Essay, so that's obviously where all the magic is happening. There's a hilarious disclaimer about not plagiarizing this brilliant work, which has "been ranked as the #1 philosophical abortion essay in many search engines for a long time" because "your professor will likely be aware that it’s not your original work". It's extremely long and full of fun phrases like "pre-birth killing", as well as lots of very persuasive and thought-provoking philosophy. Here are a few examples:
As will be discussed in detail below, one cannot legally and morally kill someone else in order to prevent that person from stepping on one’s toe.
That's quite true, and clearly very relevant to the issue of abortion because...well, if you step on someone's toe that's really not nice and therefore...yeah, I got nothing.
...if a doctor does not wish to assist in aborting an unborn child when the pregnancy is innocently placing the mother’s life in jeopardy, the doctor must not be punished for choosing not to personally intervene — even if it is medical necessary in order to save the mother’s life. 
Yes, she is actually saying that if a doctor chooses to stand by and let a woman die rather than perform an abortion that is medically necessary to save her life, that's totally cool and the doctor shouldn't face any consequences.
As we have seen, if you leave your harbor open, an innocent boat — out of necessity — may still permissibly dock in your “safe harbor” under the “necessity doctrine.”  Again, this is not because the boat was constructively invited into your harbor, but merely because it needs to and is able to dock there.  The same reasoning readily applies to an unplanned pregnancy.  The unborn child has a right not to be unjustly killed, not because the unborn child was necessarily constructively invited into the mother’s womb, but merely because the unborn child needs to and is able to be harbored there.
Yes, so when a fertilized eggboat sails through the ocean of your womb and attaches itself to the harbor that is your uterine wall, you should try not to get seasick because...dude, what the fuck are you talking about? My uterus is not a dock and my unplanned pregnancy is not a sailboat in distress.
It is just for a pregnant woman to prematurely terminate her pregnancy to save her life because in such a scenario, it is much harder for her to facilitate her unborn child’s right to life and it is much harder for her to fulfill her own duty to her unborn child.
So it's okay for a woman to have an abortion if it's necessary to save her life, not because it saves her life but because if she were dead she wouldn't be able to continue the pregnancy and then take care of the kid anyway.
Finally, the world would be much different if Moses or Jesus, Einstein or Newton, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr., or simply any person had been aborted.  The world may in fact be much different now because of people who have been aborted.  Mother Theresa shared that she had been praying to God as to why he had not sent someone to find a cure for the A.I.D.S. virus.  After praying for many days, she said she finally received an answer from God.  His response, she said, was that He had sent someone, but that person had been aborted.  Whether you are a spiritual person or not, you must realize that the world is necessarily different because of those who have been aborted.
Oh good, this argument again. Insert the standard "but doesn't that work the other way too, like what if Hitler had been aborted blah blah etc." rebuttal here. And of course if Mother Teresa says something that means it must be true.
Just think, if scientists found an unborn child just after conception — a “cluster of cells” — on the planet Mars or on Antarctica, the next day world headlines would read: “Scientists Have Found Life on Mars” and our president would be making a special televised address to the nation to announce these “spectacular” findings that scientists have found life. 
Yeah, just think about it. What if someone found a zygote just straight chillin' on an iceberg in Antarctica? That would be totally sick, bro. 
In addition, it is an indisputable fact that an unborn child is a living human being since no human “fetus” has ever been known to develop into a dolphin, a rabbit, or a carrot.
Indisputable fact. I do not think that phrase means what Rebecca Kiessling thinks it means. But if you take nothing else away from this whole thing, please take the mental image of a human woman giving birth to a giant carrot. You're welcome.

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