In a TV segment this morning, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts clearly wanted and possibly expected Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to “walk back” or “clarify” his controversial “war on caterpillars” remark. Priebus would have none of it.
“Walk back?” Priebus said. “I’ll double down.”
Priebus insisted once again that the Republican “war on women” is a “fiction” and maintained that the real “war on women” is the war President Barack Obama has waged on the economy, noting that the poor Obama economy has disproportionately affected women.
Roberts continually insinuated that the GOP “war on women” is a fact — and cited as evidence various pro-life initiatives across the country. Then came a moment of sublime specificity on Priebus’ part — a moment in which he brought Roberts to the crux of the matter and illuminated for the incredulous TV host a reality he’d clearly never considered.
“You and I are never going to be on the same page,” Priebus began. “You and I are never going to be on the same page as long as you believe that, if you’re pro-life, you’re anti-women. You and I will never be on the same page because I happen to believe life begins at conception and you don’t. I happen to believe that you can be pro-women and pro-life.”
Throughout the interview, Roberts resisted Priebus’ ideas with clearly annoyed comments. At one point, he objected that Priebus used the term “pro-abortion.” “I believe the term is pro-choice,” he sniffed. At another point, he protested that the debate is not about what he, Roberts, believes, but about Priebus and his leadership. Watching the interview, it was hard not to think Priebus had struck a nerve with Roberts.
Let’s take it one step further even than Priebus does, though: Yes, it’s possible to be pro-life and pro-women, but is it possible to be pro-abortion and pro-women? Is it truly possible to lie to women and still have their best interests at heart? For, in the end, the pro-abortion position depends upon a lie, upon the deception that women are not mothers when they’re pregnant, that they become mothers only when they give birth. As I’ve written again and again, once a woman is pregnant, she no longer has a choice as to whether she will be a mother. She already is. At that point, her only choice is as to what kind of mother she will be.
Furthermore, the pro-contraception, pro-abortion position has at its heart the idea that fertility is a disease, that woman’s unique capacity for motherhood is not to be regarded with wonder and awe but to be controlled — and not by a woman’s own proactive free choice (say, her choice to abstain from sex or to engage in it) and the mature acceptance of the consequences of those choices, but by artificial, exterior means.
Finally, consider just how many women are aborted each day. Abortion is not strictly a war on women, but the war on life is as much a war on women as it is a war on men.
Priebus is right: It is possible to be pro-life and pro-women. It’s less possible — if not impossible — to be pro-abortion and pro-women.