Former “Pro-Lifer:” “I Was a Dupe”


For many who grow up to become professional anti-choicers, devotion to the crusade to end abortion is an unquestionable reflex. Former activist Libby Anne [read her story here], however, has realized that despite her own opposition to abortion, she can no longer call herself a member of the “pro-life” movement, which she now realizes is more about enforcing a moral code than about ending the termination of unwanted pregnancies.

Libby Anne presents a moving and detailed explanation of why she no longer believes in the pro-life cause:

[W]hen I first started blogging a year and a half ago I was very insistent that the anti-abortion movement should be taken at its word when it came to rhetoric about saving “unborn babies” from being “murdered.” I insisted that the pro-life movement wasn’t anti-woman or anti-sex, and that those who opposed abortion genuinely believed that a zygote/embryo/fetus was a person with rights in need of protection just like any other person. I believed that the pro-life movement’s actions were counterproductive, but that they were merely misinformed. I wrote a postwith practical suggestions for opponents of abortion. I believed that the pro-life movement was genuine in its goals, but simply ignorant about how its goals might best be obtained.

I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong.

As a child, teen, and college student, I sincerely believed that personhood, life, rights, and the soul all began at fertilization. I was honestly opposed to abortion because I believed it was murder. It had nothing to do with being anti-woman or anti-sex. I thought that the pro-life movement writ large – the major pro-life organizations, leaders, and politicians – were similarly genuine. I thought that they, like myself, simply wanted to “save the lives of unborn babies.”

I have come to the conclusion that I was a dupe.

What led Libby Anne to change her mind, and realize her movement wasn’t about “saving babies” as much as it was about restricting the roles for women to fit into their extremely limited worldview? It was by learning that restricting abortion doesn’t limit the amount of abortions performed, just the safety of the procedure, and that those who opposed abortion as the “murder of babies” are just as opposed to contraception that prevents unintended pregnancies, too.

Obviously, Libby Anne concludes, it’s not about babies at all.

The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about punishing women for having sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It’s not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free, and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.

Libby Anne is only wrong in one regard. She’s still pro-life. She’s just no longer anti-choice.

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  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Pro-lifers” are also about making sure pedophile priests have enough motherless kids to molest.  If the RCC believed its own crap, it would ban abortifacient caffeine and consecrated wine at Masses for all fertile women.  It would also administer last rites to used tampons.  Ask fetal idolators about these “oversights” and watch their pompous heads explode! :D

  • ljean8080

    at Mass.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    So Jesus served non-alcoholic “miracle” wine at the Cana wedding and Last Supper??  Bummer!  And while your priest serves non-alcoholic wine at Mass (for the blue haired ladies), he keeps the real stuff for himself and the altar boys! :D

  • citizenx

    With that said, I am also pro-choice.  The 2 times in my life I have been a party to an unwanted pregnancy, I supported my partners choice although I had a different opinion.  Don’t downplay that attitude.

  • citizenx

    Sorry for the double post.

  • purplemistydez

    I have no love or respect for the current “pro-life” crowd.  They are about punishing women for not fitting into their sterotype of a virgin bride waiting until marriage to have sex.  These “pro-lifers” will rant against contraception and comprehensive sexual education that would actually reduce the rate of abortion and save their worshipped fetus.  Being “pro-life” is forcing a pregnancy on a woman as a punishment for being a slut in their eyes.  These are the same people that will threaten women with hell and death at abortion clinics for exercising their legal right.  They’ll even force a rape and incest victim to continue a pregnancy despite the wishes of the incubator(woman).  “Pro-life” my ass, more like forced birthers.

  • lizzytrips

    This is a bit of a mischaracterization of both Libby Anne and the article itself. She writes in this piece that she no longer believes that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a person. In other posts on her blog it is clear that despite her pro-life past she is now decidedly pro-choice, this was just one in a series of articles about abortion and how she came to change her beliefs.  

  • jennifer-starr

     In other posts on her blog it is clear that despite her pro-life past she is now decidedly pro-choice,

    Hence the term  ‘former “Pro-lifer”‘ . 

  • lizzytrips

    Yes, but the author of this article ends it with this statement: “Libby Anne is only wrong in one regard. She’s still pro-life. She’s just no longer anti-choice.” Which is clearly not true. 

  • thalwen

    There is a difference between being pro-life and being part of the “pro-life movement”. To me being pro-life means supporting the lives of born children with things like housing and food and adequate education, it means protecting women’s health and lives through a health care system that sees them as human beings and a legal system that takes domestic violence seriously, it means not starting unneccessary wars and protecting our environment so that future generations have access to clean water and aid neccesary to sustain life. All of these things are pro-life and none is inconsistent with supporting the bodily autonomy of people. 

    The anti-choice movement believes in life until birth and that’s not a very pro-life position to me.