Friday, January 18, 2019 - Updated: 2:42 pm
She has green hair and she has blue hair. They’re young, stylish, clever, and I suspect listen to bands I’ve never heard of. And they’ve given their lives to defending the unborn. Aimee Murphy of Rehumanize (green hair) and Destiny Herndon-de las Rosa of New Wave Feminists (blue hair) don’t look anything like the major media’s idea of pro-lifers.
That gives them a big advantage. The pro-choice major media think pro-lifers should look like me, a white male with white hair and boringly conventional clothes. Or like some of my friends, middle-aged women in middle-class clothes with a lot of children hanging on them.
We’ll see some of this in the mainstream coverage of the 2019 March for Life. Assuming the press covers it at all. They often don’t, but promote a march with a much-smaller number of people marching for a cause they like. We look the part that they’ve assigned pro-lifers: We’re dull, old-fashioned, simple-minded, politically right-wing, we don’t care about women, we’re not concerned with babies after they’re born, we’re Catholics trying to impose our faith on others, etc.
Which is stupid, but that’s what they say. And then you see Aimee and Destiny and the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, like them. Destiny lives in Texas and is some sort of Protestant. Aimee is (yay) a Pittsburgher and a Catholic, in fact a revert to the faith. They don’t defend life because they’re old-fashioned, simple-minded and all that.
They grew up in a world in which abortion has always been legal, and they’ve seen its effects. They’ve seen how bad it is for women as well as for the child. And this is crucial for their broader appeal: they see protecting the unborn as part of a larger work to protect all the world’s vulnerable.
As Rehumanize puts it: “Our worth is not based in our circumstances, but in our shared humanity.” They work to create “a culture of peace and life” and “to ensure that each and every human being’s life is respected, valued and protected.”
This means they oppose “all forms of aggressive violence against human beings.” That includes not just the obvious case of abortion, but capital punishment, unjust war, euthanasia and assisted suicide, torture, embryonic stem-cell research, human trafficking and others. New Wave Feminists has a smaller but similar list of commitments.
Many older pro-lifers will disagree with their politics. But whatever you think of their politics, they can speak to people who would blow us off. The pro-choicers can’t caricature them the way they can people like me. That’s not a small advantage these days.
What are they up to? Destiny really dislikes the new pro-choice campaign to treat abortion as just “self-care.” Or as routine “health care.” Women who have had abortions “weren’t getting a pedicure and a massage,” she told an ecumenical website call The Stream.
“Abortion is violence,” she continued. It’s not self-care or health care. And it’s not just violence against the child but against the mother. It’s “literally going against the nature of womanhood.”
Both groups think the answer to abortion is to support women so they don’t feel such pressure to abort their children. Abortion is “the ultimate in ‘might makes right’ thinking,” as New Wave Feminists puts it. “Because men were stronger and had most of the power and resources, they were able to treat us as property. Now we are passing that same type of oppression down to our unborn children … and calling it liberation.”
One of Rehumanize’s good works is their “Bad Words Project.” They look at the way we dehumanize others in how we talk about them. All the forms of violence against people talk about their victims in a way that makes the victims subhuman. That makes hurting them psychologically easier. So pro-choicers still use the infamous “clump of cells” talk to deny the unborn child is a human being like themselves.
Rehumanize publishes a magazine called Life Matters. They sponsor a very good conference each fall. The last two years they have had it in Pittsburgh.
You can learn more about the two groups at their websites: www.rehumanize.org and www.newwavefeminists.com.
Mills is working on a book on Catholic dying and death for Sophia Press.