This Is How Anti-Choice Brainwashing Starts


A video posted on the Huntsville, Alabama, subreddit last night shows a man (identified by the poster as former Athens mayoral candidate J. Bradley Horner) thundering at his tiny, bewildered-looking daughter about how pro-choice advocates believe in “killing babies.”

Here’s a transcript:

Man: This woman right here? Believes in killing babies. That man believes in killing babies. That woman over there, that woman over there, that woman right there, that woman right there, believes in killing babies. That is against the law of God.

Woman: That’s not true, sweetheart.

Man: It is against the law of man, of “Thou shalt not kill.” When a man—when a husband and wife come together—life begins at conception. You ask me why these people are holding signs? I’m gonna teach you. They want to kill babies. They think it’s acceptable for that. And I’m telling you as your father, that’s wrong. OK? And I love you. I would never do anything to [inaudible]. OK? I want you to look at these people. I want you to look at them. And I want you to accept that that is a sin. OK? Can you do that with me? OK.

Woman: What a sicko. How could you do that to a child.

Woman: He is one sick son of a bitch. He is one sick ticket, y’all.

The reddit poster also claimed that Horner blocked the clinic driveway with his truck, called the police four times because “the babykillers are on the public sidewalk,” and brought his two children out inadequately dressed for a day with a 35-degree windchill.

The video shows paternalism at its best, so to speak. Invoking his benevolent authority as a father, the man huddles with his children as if in a bunker to prepare them for a lifelong war. “That woman over there” is the enemy, whose personhood is entirely separate from, and inferior to, that of any pregnancy she may have. “That woman over there” is advocating sin (which the toddler probably doesn’t understand the meaning of yet) because life begins at conception (definitely doesn’t get that one) and wants to kill babies (this much she might begin to grasp).

It’s a reminder of how infantile the anti-choice rhetoric can be. If there were a Right to Life Style Guide, it would say, “Whether referring to infants, fetuses, or embryos, always use the term ‘precious little babies.’” Fetus dolls turn playtime into something more sinister. Sex is a scary abstraction, worthy of punishment much worse than a time-out.

Any clinic escort will tell you that anti-choice protesters routinely use their children as props, and there is an element of street theatre here too—the loud voice, the rhetoric that is probably designed to shame the pro-choicers as much as to “educate” the children.

But that education, make no mistake, is a lesson in fear and revulsion. If the little girl is scared because Daddy is yelling and she doesn’t fully understand why, so much the better. Let that add to the visceral discomfort she is supposed to feel when she encounters these kinds of people with these kinds of signs. Let that widen the gulf of understanding between the opposing factions. And let that add to the climate of righteous hatred that can lead to things like the recent vandalism of a clinic in Montana, or to the murder of Dr. George Tiller.

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  • fiona64

    Yeah, shrieking lies at your kid is definitely a great example of “family values” in action.

    • R0chambeau

      It too bad that they aren’t lies.

      • fiona64

        Really? Yelling that pro-choice women “want to kill babies” is a lie prima facie.

        Most women who seek abortions already have one or more children. Has it never occurred to you that there are pro-choice parents, some of whom have never sought an abortion?

        Oh, and all babies everywhere? Have already been born.

        It’s too bad that anti-choicers aren’t able to comprehend those simple facts.

        • lady_black

          Yep. I’m one of them. I’m lucky enough to have three children and have never needed an abortion. Not to say the thought never entered my mind. I’m glad I never needed an abortion. Some women aren’t so lucky. I’m staunchly pro-choice because I am a mom, and because I had a mom, and my mom did need an abortion.

        • Arekushieru

          Also? Pro-Choice person who has never had an abortion, right here. Unlike most Pro-LIARS, I probably never will, either. Because I will most likely never get pregnant (hint: I’m asexual), thus be one to say that my abortion is the only MORAL abortion like THEY do.

      • HeilMary1

        You mother-killing liars are just livid that women are no longer breeding 10-30 sickly kids each for spoiled pedophile priests. We’re no longer dying in droves before age 30 from infected feces- and urine-leaking lacerations inflicted by erupting watermelon-sized fetuses. You mother killers oppose all contraception and sterilizations, not to mention men’s child support obligations. Abortions are as justified as laxatives and tumor removals. Just because pedophile priests are into fetal porn doesn’t mean all women must be forced to gestate fresh victims for them.

      • L-dan

        I know of no reproductive justice advocates, abortion clinic workers, pro-choice protesters, or online advocates who believe in murdering babies. So yes…they’re lies.

        You don’t get to just redefine words and expect us to agree with your redefinitions.

      • King Rat

        Citation needed

      • Jennifer Starr

        Actually, yes they are lies.

      • Anathalee Sandlin

        They were lies. Not a single one of us out there are murderers. We are mothers, grandmother and great grandmothers as well as some dedicated men who support us. No, he lied to that little girl and it was morally wrong of him to do so.

      • expect_resistance

        Everything he said was a huge gigantic abusive lie. I bet you his daughter moves out of the house as soon as she’s 18 years-old.

    • Laurie Bertram Roberts

      As someone raised in a church that believed this way I can assure you they are lying to those kids. I know I was lied to for years. Oh and I did have fetus dolls that I played with too.

      • lady_black

        Yechhh.

    • expect_resistance

      I feel sorry for his kids because he sounds like an abusive father. The girl looked scared about her mind.

    • blfdjlj

      It’s not family values, it’s Soviet-style indoctrination. This is no different from how children in communist countries were taught to worship Lenin and Stalin as gods, with the addition of the “evil capitalists”.

  • Anathalee Sandlin

    The man was a real piece of work. The look on that little girl’s face when he was telling her we wanted to kill babies was tragic…and I’m certain she thought we were going to come after her baby brother. The fact he had her out there without a coat and his infant son without proper cover showed a lack of concern for the ‘post born.’ I don’t know if we’ve seen the last of him or not but we’re prepared if he returns. And I was right, he is one sick son of a bitch.

    • expect_resistance

      That little girl looked terrified.

  • Jennifer Starr

    She looks terrified, poor kid. That dress is inappropriate for the weather and it doesn’t even look like it fits her and the style is just peculiar. She looks like she’s freezing and why isn’t that baby’s head covered? He’s just using his own kids as props and indoctrinating them. Disgusting.

  • Donnie McLeod

    The neurones that fire together wire together. The good news is that these neural pathways can be rewired. New neurones and new synapse, if created, will cause unused routes to die off. The key to starting new pathways is using empathy and unfairness as triggers that end with making inquiry better than lies.

  • red_zone

    I don’t need to see the video; I can guess what happened from what I’ve read.

    I can, however say that such rhetoric of claims that this man makes falls hollow when he-and others like him-use their children as tools in such a manner. it shows the depths of their selfishness. It is posturing and severely undermines their message and suggests they can’t be trusted, especially when they have to use lies to get their message out. The louder they howl, the deafer people will become.

    If you have to lie to make yourself heard in this manner, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Kathryn Ranieri

    Here in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, we had a father/son duo who illustrated this disturbing brainwashing. Joe took his son Nathaniel out in bitter cold at a very early age so he could learn his father’s vocation of shaming women, wearing grotesque fetal signs to terrorize women and proselytizing about his warped religious beliefs. They’ve never been successful at “saving” a fetus but the insanity of their belief that they would eventually kept them protesting every Saturday morning.

  • Dez

    This is why Christians fit so well with the “pro-life” movement. They are so good at brainwashing. Christians know you have to get children at a young age to indoctrinate them into nonsense. It’s harder to brainwash an adult so they target children.

  • Suba gunawardana

    Committing child abuse allegedly to “save babies”. Fits the forced-birth ideology to a tee.