Letters from a New Zealand basement: opposing opposition to opposers

Bob McCoskrie needs to give fellow basement-dweller Ken Orr some lessons in media release structure.  But his latest one is such a perfect example of antichoice bullshit it’s hard to pass up (even if it gets downright offensive at the end).

Right to Life supports legislation that recognises the humanity and personhood of the unborn child as a member of the human family that is endowed with an inalienable right to life and is deserving of respect and protection.

Firstly, dude, employ some fucking commas.  Is the unborn babby the thing which is endowed (phwoar) or the “human family”, whatever the fuck that means?

Second, foetus =/= person.*  And even if it were, no person has the right to occupy another’s body and live off their organs.**  No actual “right to life” codified in any law I know of actually permits enslaving other people via biological hookup.

Right to Life believes that the majority of New Zealanders support protecting the right to life of unborn children.

I believe in fairies.

The killing of unborn children the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family in the womb, is a violation of the human rights of unborn children.

That would be those rights we’ve established no human, born or undead unborn, have, right?  But let’s never let the facts get in the way of trying to play people’s emotions with a string of irrelevant adjectives – after all, if you have to remind people that ickle babby feeetusses are Vulnerable and Weak and Helpless, you may have just acknowledged you’re on the losing side of this battle.

It is also a violation of the human rights of women who deserve respect and protection for their child in the womb.

Let’s take this to its logical conclusion, folks:  women deserve respect so much that we have to take away their ability to choose to undergo a medical procedure.  And Right to Life Ken Orr and his boner respect women so much they think stubby-limbed fish-beings pweshus babbies take precedence over those women’s lives and desires and bodies.

The” right to choose” is a cruel lie,there is no human right that permits us to choose to kill another human being.

Except … that pregnancy can and does kill women.  Pregnancy is in fact nine times more likely to kill a woman in New Zealand than an abortion.  But because Ken respects incubators women so much he thinks they should die in order that stubby fish-beings might live.

So … Ken thinks “unborn children” do have a right to life which necessitates killing living, breathing, thinking human people.  I mean, ambulatory uteri.

You might think that’s a bit extreme, surely the antichoice movement understands that sometimes pregnancy can be really dangerous to women’s health, even fatal.   Surely they’re reasonable enough to allow that some abortions are necessary to save women’s lives.

Oops, no.  Mind you, that was a Catholic case, they’re a totes minor voice in the antichoice movement.

ALRANZ, the spokesman for a culture of death, with a national membership of less than 200, does not represent the views of women and ordinary New Zealanders, its proposal to decriminalise abortion is a threat to the wellbeing of women.

Lessons learnt:

  1. ALRANZ is a person (specifically, a man)*** with a really cool single name, like Cher or Prince
  2. Ken Orr can’t convince anyone to come down to his basement to proofread his press releases
  3. “Women” and “ordinary New Zealanders” are distinct, separate groups in Right to Life’s world.

ALRANZ knows that before we can decriminalise abortion we must first deny the humanity of unborn children.

Wait for it …

The decriminalising of abortion would be a denial of the humanity and personhood of the unborn child.

Wait for it ….

The denial of the humanity of Negroes gave us slavery.

That’s just the appetizer …

The denial of the humanity of Jews gave us the Holocaust.

BOOM!  Godwinned it!

Yep, the all-time classic Abortion Is Just Like The Holocaust argument.  Which for a start ignores some pretty complex political and social considerations around the situation in 1930s Germany/Western Europe (hint: Hitler was not the only person who wasn’t too keen on Semitic folk) but also just reveals the basic weakness of the antichoice side:  they have to resort to absurd emotive “arguments” designed to make people flinch and say “oh no that’s terrible!” instead of actually relying on fact, or logic, or, well, anything.

It’s also kind of hilariously ironic that Judaism is pretty down with the abortion rights, given that whole “first breath” test for personhood.  Hilarious that is if Right to Bonerlife weren’t exploiting genocide to shock people into not thinking.

See, when you have to actually rely on the horrors of the Holocaust to win people over, because the actual reality of abortion isn’t good enough … you and your boner are pretty screwed, right?

Let’s not forget the slippery slope argument for good measure:

If today we allow the denial of the human rights of unborn children by the decriminalisation of abortion, which vulnerable section of our community will be next?

I’m thinking hipsters, or maybe people who still subscribe to the Sunday Star-Times.  Oh, wait, except they’re all born, autonomous beings who aren’t using a woman’s breath, blood and organs to survive.  Damn.


*It’s a guppy!

*Any antichoicers who want to prove this is all about controlling women by commenting about how “women bring it on themselves when they have sex” should feel absolutely welcome to do so.

**And doesn’t that just tell you plenty about Right to Bodysnatch’s worldview?


  1. Pascal's bookie

    Just how fucked up can it get? Pretty fucked up, as it happens.

    Last month, after an upsetting phone conversation with her estranged husband, Ms. Taylor became light-headed and fell down a flight of stairs in her home. Paramedics rushed to the scene and ultimately declared her healthy. However, since she was pregnant with her third child at the time, Taylor thought it would be best to be seen at the local ER to make sure her fetus was unharmed.

    That’s when things got really bad and really crazy. Alone, distraught, and frightened, Taylor confided in the nurse treating her that she hadn’t always been sure she’d wanted this baby, now that she was single and unemployed. She’d considered both adoption and abortion before ultimately deciding to keep the child. The nurse then summoned a doctor, who questioned her further about her thoughts on ending the pregnancy. Next thing Taylor knew, she was being arrested for attempted feticide. Apparently the nurse and doctor thought that Taylor threw herself down the stairs on purpose.

    But you knows. This shit argues against itself. I don’t think there is anything like the same crazification level in NZ as there is the US on this.

    Bob and his allies are dragging in the US rhetoric, and the not very stealthy attempts at criminalising by back door methods (oo-err), but the backlash here, I really do think, would be brutal. National won’t touch this stuff. They will hedge and um and aargh, but they know that the first newspaper story detailing the results of a change in policy will see them in opposition. Surely?

    • QoT

      I’d like to hope so, PB, but consider how quickly Chadwick’s proto-bill got shot down once it handily got out to the media. And Key and Goff both made lovely hand-wavey comments about how they didn’t really have positions on that silly women’s issue.

      I think there’s just too much fear of the vocal “moral” minority for our political leaders to grow the spine necessary to make a stand – and because women and doctors are making the current system work (for some privileged women) the majority of people who think abortion is a nasty icky word get away with just not having to think about it.

      • Pascal's bookie

        yep. And that’s apart of the same dynamic.

        To drag in Bob’s stupid metaphor, slavery in the US south wasn’t done in by northern reforms. It was done in when the southerners tried to tell the north that they must accept slavery as just even in their own states.

        Up untill then, politicians, even and especially Lincoln, were more comfortable letting it lie.

        In the same way, I don’t expect any reform from Labour. The ‘ickiness’ is about, I guess, the reasonable belief that trying for reform would cost them votes. Now that’s horrid, and wrong, but it’s also a politcal reality, though not one I’m suggesting activists should give them an ounce of slack on.

        But the important point, as I see it, is that the right have to make actual noises to the bob types to get their votes. Sooner or later, those noises have to start to translate into policy, however stealthy. If it doesn’t, then the issue is taken off the table for those voters in a sense. Why vote National if they won’t actually do anything on this and this is the only reason they have to vote National? (It’s the downside of using wedge politics).

        At some point they have to shell ft Sumpter, as it were, and at that point, it’s no longer icky to talk about what they are doing, it becomes a necessary shit fight.

        • Pascal's bookie

          ‘Necessary’ for the politicians I mean. It’s necessary for activists before then, obvs.

  2. Gravey

    I’m going to take your parasitic comment a bit further. Let us say that a foetus is human and deserves all the rights of a human.

    What does that then say about living inside another? And as for giving birth, does the foetus get arrested at birth for assault. Sexual assault at that.

    Quite apart from the whole “women ought to be put in their place” attitude expressed so clearly by these groups like FF, their logic has massive consequences throughout all of society.

    If the child becomes human at conception, then when do they turn 18 for example? Is it 18 years from the day of conception? And if not, why not? After all, they have been “human” for 18 years.

    I get the feeling that these people think that women who want/need an abortion are these devil-horned monsters that are just interested in death. These people don’t want to even try and understand the horrible mental anguish that comes with abortion. (As a man I can never pretend to know what it is like, but at the very least I can have awareness of it).

    • QoT

      I don’t really know that they think about the women involved at all, Gravey. I’ve yet to see an antichoicer who doesn’t get reeeeeeally cagey once you start asking if they think women who abort should actually be charged with murder and punished accordingly.

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