Witch Hunt

12 Jan

I am the black sheep of the family. Born into a family of religious conservatives, I some how managed to turned out to be the latte-sipping, wine-swilling, arugula- munching, pro-choice, feminist, heathen liberal. My father blames this on my mother’s side of the family and being raised on the ‘left coast.’ My father is super religious, super conservative. He thinks that one of our family members is in a cult because she manages a yoga studio. He really lost his nut when said relative went to India for several months to learn more about her craft. We have all tried to convince him otherwise, but he will not hear it.

Every few weeks, he sends me a newsletter written by a former Nixon aid, who, aside from being an ex-con, is now a minister. It takes everything I have not to scream when I read some of the absurd “news.” Sometimes, I will write back and argue. Sometimes, I just let it slide. Last month, he sent me this article: Abortion and the occult: a glimpse inside life at a death mill (Warning: link is to a bogus anti-choice “news” site).

I had no idea how to respond. The article and the interview linked within it reminded me of the hysteria surrounding the McMartin Preschool Trial. Tales of ritual satanic abuse spread through that community like wildfire. Lives were ruined.

I had never read anything like this before. I’m sure this is not the first time the anti-choice movement has tried to link abortion providers to the occult. This is just the first time it has been presented to me. I am used to the antis portraying abortion providers as moneygrubbers, murderers or Godless sinners. My experience working with abortion providers does not resemble those portrayals. Most are not making money from providing abortions. Most put themselves and their families at risk by offering abortion services. Most of them practice a mainstream faith. Most of them are supported in their faith community. None of them take what they are doing lightly.

It’s easy to shrug off this woman’s account as the ranting of a zealot. While reading her account, I sniggered and rolled my eyes. Then I realized that a lot of people would find her account credible. The anti-choice movement wants abortion providers to be money-grubbing, drug-addled, promiscuous, devil worshipers. As if the pro-choice movement didn’t have enough hurdles, dwindling funding, Republican control of the House of Representatives, a Supreme Court with a majority that is very anti-woman  and anti-choice, we have to fight back against zealots like Abigail Seidman and her crazy claims.

I ended up not responding to my father’s email. I know that I will never change his mind on the subject. He is elderly and set in his way. Instead, I have vowed to put more effort into putting a positive image of the pro-choice movement and abortion providers. The anti-choice movement has a lot of money and political clout behind it. My contributions (financial or otherwise) may be small, but hopefully it will make a difference.

8 Responses to “Witch Hunt”

  1. khan January 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Why do you even communicate with these assholes?

  2. JeninCanada January 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I read that article as well and as a practising Pagan and Goddess worshiper I was absolutely FLOORED that this woman would dare to smear an entire relgious group in this way. Note she never names anyone she worked with or where this supposedly happened. I hope her former coworkers see this and speak up about it. It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that modern Paganism has anything to do with the abortion industry in any way.

  3. juliewashere88 January 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I’ve seen crap like that before. I’ve heard nonsense like clinics are full of alters in which people literally perform human sacrifice to the devil. Oh, and then everybody eats the fetus. O.o
    Pure, concentrated, unadulterated crazy.

  4. Not Guilty January 13, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    I guess I’m lucky my family is fairly liberal. My mom knows I volunteered at the Morgentaler Clinic when I was at school and was interested in the stories of the crazies. I don’t know where my father stands, but his wife is an anti. He keep his mouth shut. I’d take him to task if he came out as an anti and he likely knows it. The joys of being confrontational I suppose; my pro-choice beliefs are more important than family unity and peace.

  5. Kate Cockrill January 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    I really resonate with what you’ve written here. I have several family members (including my father) who are vehemently opposed to abortion. Some of my family also believe conspiracy theories about abortion. I think that your determination to remain a strong advocate for the prochoice movement is commendable. But I also commend your willingness to stay in relationship with people whose views are different than yours. There will always be disagreement about abortion (as you mentioned you will never change your father’s mind). It is my hope that even when we disagree about important issues we can find ways to be respectful of and honor the goodness in one another. When we maintain connection with people who DO NOT share our values, we are less likely to vilify them, be suspicious of them, or misrepresent their motives. In other words, by staying in relationship with people like your father, you are actively challenging his stereotypes about prochoice people.

  6. Rev. Rebecca Turner January 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I once heard a woman on a radio station say that she had worked as a nurse at an abortion clinic. She claimed at the end of each day, they would take the fetus heads and place them on sticks and march around the clinic reciting satanic rituals. I am not surprised that attention-seeking people invent such nonsense, but I am aghast that others are so willing to believe it and perpetuate it. People will believe the most outlandish lies if those lies help them justify their own fears and prejudices.

  7. Angie the Anti-Theist January 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I can definitely identify with the conservative-family-black-sheep problem. I was taught growing up that all doctors were part of the occult, that surgeons were high priests and operating tables were their altars (seriously.)

    And then I grew up and had an abortion and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As bad as their rumor mills get, we know at least a few of us make it over to the freedom-of-choice side anyway.


  1. Tweets that mention Witch Hunt | Abortion Gang -- Topsy.com - January 12, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shayna K, The Abortion Gang. The Abortion Gang said: new post: Witch Hunt http://j.mp/fS6cE7 #prochoice […]

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