Reproductive Rights: The Most Deceptive Marketing Scheme in My Lifetime
Updated: Jul 31, 2022
*Published in the Lancaster Patriot - July 19th, 2022
In the eyes of some people in our government, like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Crisis Pregnancy Centers exist to “fool” and “torture” pregnant people. They need to be shut down, she says. Unilaterally. By the government. Without cause or law or reason. In reality, America’s crisis pregnancy centers, as of a 2016 analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, performed nearly a quarter million free ultrasounds, donated 6.5M volunteer hours, offered STD treatment for many (400 locations) and had a client satisfaction rating of 97%—all in the year 2016. Their clients, of course, are pregnant women in crisis situations. This attack on these centers represents what I’d call the extreme of the Democratic party, but “extreme” is becoming more common as we move toward our Fall general election, especially around the topic of abortion.
As a professional myself in the field of marketing, rhetoric, and public relations, I’m the first to marvel at how effective the anti-life public relations machine has been at masking the truth about abortion. Any good public relations campaign exploits emotion, avoids that which will detract from its message, and has carefully prepared talking points to combat any challenges. This kind of meticulously constructed package of deceit can camouflage even the most extreme of views.
Exploitation of Emotion
Let’s start with the exploitation of emotion. In a stroke of genius, the craftsmen of this marketing scheme landed on the phrase “Reproductive Rights.” Understanding the psyche of the American spirit, a spirit that has always greatly valued individual rights, this scheme exploits what’s not just familiar but desirable to each and every American. Who doesn’t resonate with having rights? Who doesn’t like having a “choice?” It’s inherent to the American makeup. But the 2nd layer of this scheme has to do not just with the everyday American, but the American woman, and more specifically the American woman who is of age to be with child. The message here is not just one of rights, but of the angst of the American patriarchy holding the pregnant woman down, stealing years away from her career, and trying to force her into the tumultuous years of child rearing, all at her expense, thanks to men, or Republicans, or whoever they’re told to blame. It’s this “traditional” role that women must submit to that’s akin to the pre-suffrage years or the dreaded bondage of homemaking. Being told that you must subject yourself to an unwanted pregnancy is traveling back in time to an era when women enjoyed no rights or privileges. It’s this paradox that makes the anti-life message very much a radical feminist doctrine.
Never Detract from Your Message
That leads us to our second point: never detract from your message. The pro-abortion lobby knows without a shadow of a doubt that, in order to be sustainable and effective, it must dehumanize the debate. The topic must remain about rights and women’s liberation, never about a baby, a heartbeat, or the gruesome procedure of abortion itself. If the topic gets off prompt, the arguers for abortion must revert back to their bread and butter: reproductive rights. Repeat this line as many times as necessary, so reads the playbook. It’s for this reason Planned Parenthood employees are taught to avoid performing ultrasounds. A heartbeat equals a human. Viewing a baby as a human being is a loss for the pro-abortion camp because it likely spells a change of heart.
The talking points, in defense of abortion, are common. They usually begin with, “Yeah, but what about…” “Yeah, but what about instances in which the child was conceived in rape or incest?” “What about when the mother’s life is in danger?” What if? What about? etc. etc. Note that the pro-choice machine never brings up morality unless it serves them, like in the case of rape or incest. These instances combined make up no more than 1.5% of abortion cases by the way. As far as when the mother’s life is in danger – these instances are extremely rare as well. Because the age of viability is 24 weeks, or in other words the stage in which the baby can survive outside of the womb, this almost never happens. The truth is these cases are not common and certainly not representative of the vast majority of abortions. Well documented surveys show the chief reasons in which moms choose to abort: lack of preparedness, lack of money, lack of support, being advanced in years or not advanced enough, interference with career, absence of the father, feeling pressured, etc. Rape, incest, or the health of the mother or child are at the bottom of list. The data has shown this, without aberration, for decades.
Another common pro-abortion theme is that pro-Lifers don’t actually care about the baby. If they did there would be more care and support for moms who give birth. This is patently false. In Pennsylvania alone pregnancy service centers/ministries outnumber Planned Parenthood or similar clinics 9:1. Further, families are literally lined up waiting to adopt children. This argument is dishonest.
Pro-abortion activists are content with removing men from the picture. The information we have on the reasons for abortion tell us that if men are removed from the scene women are more likely to abort. Removing them from the conversation though, generally, is a bonus. Since men don’t give birth or have to face the weight of an abortion decision, they aren’t allowed to speak on the matter. Of course, since men are 50% responsible for a pregnancy, this is a weird argument, but it’s an argument that’s made none the less.
The most troubling thing about all of this is that this marketing scheme has been pretty effective for the past 50 years. About 63 million babies have been aborted since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. It’s chilling for me to watch a most deceptive, sleight of hand public relations stunt trick millions of women into killing their children. Effective: Yes. Dreadful and Terrifying: Absolutely.
And then here are some themes that the pro-abortion lobby won’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
The issue of morality. Murder is wrong. In fact, its so wrong that it’s a crime in every other scenario within our justice system. Not only that, but it’s a crime that carries among the steepest of penalties. Further, it has long been the civilized belief that murdering the defenseless is even a step more egregious. Yet, murder in this case isn’t just permissible, it’s liberating, and to some it even justifies celebration. This twisted line of thinking does not want to talk about morality because it’s in fact, immoral.
The issue of science. Those who make the claim that babies in utero are actually not living are not following the science. Cherry picking when it’s advantageous or not to “follow the science,” isn’t new with this crowd, but denying the science here is especially brazen since it’s such a universal and lasting scientific truth that life begins at conception.
The issue of personal responsibility. The idea of personal responsibility and the principle of sowing and reaping is a powerful reality. It requires humility to take responsibility for things. Poor choices, or even hasty ones, have consequences. Getting pregnant requires sexual intercourse without using protection or preventive measures (there are some exceptions to this rule). Both the man and woman who chose to have sex without protection are both responsible for what follows. It’s not someone else’s fault. It’s certainly not the baby’s fault if that pair were to get pregnant. Personal responsibility is a very fundamental part of human life. It’s so obvious and basic that it almost doesn’t need an explanation. The fact that this elementary idea stops suddenly when we talk about abortion is concerning. It’s almost like the big three – morality, science, and logic all cease to exist to allow for this gruesome practice.
The History of Planned Parenthood. No abortion provider or advocate wants to go here. The foundations of Planned Parenthood are sickening. Margaret Sanger, a racist eugenicist with close ties to the Nazis, is the founder of PP. Its original intent, or at least back when they were public about their goals, was to eliminate the “unfit” and certain people groups and minorities from society. Among the undesirables were poor people, African Americans, and those with disabilities and deformities. In a 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, Sanger wrote “we don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the negro population.” Margaret Sanger was not a hero or a trailblazer, she was an very evil person with an equally evil vision.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being deceived by crafty PR campaigns. I also don’t like participating in a society that’s casual about killing babies. Not just casual, but even flamboyant in some cases. The fact is murder isn’t a constitutional right and never was a constitutional right. The Supreme Court ruled sensibly on overturning Roe v. Wade, and now it’s time for states to have courage and follow suit.