Recently, a series of pro-abortion ads have started to run in my Facebook feed. I’ve been struck by a few thoughts:
- What are they doing in my feed?
- Why are they so snarky?
- Who is their target audience?
The original video, which appeared in my Facebook feed (via a sponsored content), was titled, “Abortion Myth v. Facts.” The video runs through a series of abortion statistics that supposedly bust common myths in America about abortion. However, they don’t actually expose any real myths so much as simply make the case that abortion is common. There’s no real analysis of data or scientific research. All we get is a simple presentation about how abortion is common and legal. Therefore, we should, “end the pretending.”
I’m very intentional about calling them pro-abortion and not pro-choice for a reason. They aren’t advocating for a woman’s right to control medical decisions which involve her body, they are snarky pro-abortion ads. The tag line, “Let’s end the pretending. Abortion is a part of real life,” might as well say, “Abortion is legal! Suck it, pro-lifers!”
Where things get interesting is that these ads have been rejected by several highly liberal media sites. Gawker (specifically Jezebel, a highly liberal and feminist blog), YouTube, and Google have all flat out rejected their ads. Vox actually ran an article about the ads titled, “Pro-choice ads are too controversial for us.”
Here’s the ad they refused to show:
WHO ARE THESE ADS FOR?
Initially, the appearance of these videos in my feed was a bit annoying but, as I’ve come across more videos from this organization, I’ve become more fascinated. I can’t figure out what on earth they’re trying to accomplish.
- They aren’t selling a product.
- They aren’t informing people about anything in particular.
Take, for example, this earlier video from the group about employees paying for birth control titled, “Hey Supreme Court, No Bosses in My Bedroom.”
The ideological agenda for this video is obvious, but what on earth is the purpose of it? It doesn’t aim to educate people on the issues. It doesn’t challenge preconceived notions. All it does is portray an absurd exaggeration of a very serious issue. If they’re passionate enough about this issue to create an ad about it, you would think they would take it seriously enough to not have to resort to a straw man argument.
A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent. – Wikipedia“
If logic and reason are truly on your side, you don’t have to resort to refuting made up arguments. You simply have to articulate the real issues in a way which clarifies the matter for people. This video does the opposite. It confuses the issue by portraying a caricature of the opposing position. It spreads mis-information.
So, what is the purpose of these videos?
- Is the point to get the pro-abortion crowd to give each other high fives?
- Do they really think that you will convince a moderate or pro-lifer to join their side by essentially saying, “Abortion is totally normal. Get over it, and go ahead and support it!”
- Is it surprising that these ads are targeting mediums which are primarily filled with younger and more impressionable individuals?
It seems that, once again, these videos exist not for the purpose of convincing anyone or sparking discussion, but for the sole purpose of throwing red meat to their crowd.
MOVING FORWARD – Let’s Actually Talk to, Not AT Each Other
AS LONG AS WE’RE ENDING THE PRETENDING…
The pro-life crowd actually believe that the unborn are living humans. Pretending that the pro-life movement is just about controlling women is intellectually dishonest and culturally toxic. I feel like I’m stating the obvious here but, if someone is pro-life and believes the unborn are living humans, telling them, “Don’t like abortion, don’t get one,” is unbelievably stupid.
It’s making up an explanation for someone’s actions rather than listening to what they’re actually saying.
When we spend our time refuting made up arguments and assigning made up reasons for others’ actions, we aren’t having an intelligent conversation. Whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, this issue is too important to bypass honest conversation.
For a conversation to progress, you have to actually listen to what the other side is saying and respond on their ground. You have to talk to each other not around one another.