Little did I know, until foolishly clicking on an article about it, that the controversy was actually on "both sides" of the abortion issue -- obviously the pro-choice folks weren't happy that Trump said that if abortion were to become illegal, a woman who got one should be punished somehow. But why did the pro-life crowd get its panties in a wad? Because he was BLAMING THE VICTIM. In their view, only the person performing the abortion ought to be punished, not the hapless victim who brings them the fetus to be aborted.
Not to get all 2016, but wow, seriously? I literally can't even.
Certainly if you believe that abortion is murder, then the pregnant woman is at least an accessory to murder. Perhaps you wouldn't punish the woman as much as the doctor, but to not only let her off scot-free, to righteously command everyone to look the other way about what she did, is sacrilege.
Not being part of the Pro-Life Movement, I'd always figured that they had similar views to my own -- that the woman was behaving selfishly ("uggh, accidentally pregnant -- well, sucks to you, fetus, mommy comes first"), in a deliberate way that harmed another person's life. Therefore she's guilty of something, and that kind of behavior ought to be considered shameful, with that shame serving as a deterrent to those considering abortion, as well as retribution for those who have chosen to get one already.
But it's The Current Year, and shaming people hurts their self-esteem and makes them feel excluded, so everyone who does something wrong is actually a victim of circumstances and only needs our compassion, not our attempt to guide their behavior in a better direction.
Christians are not even allowed to appeal to Jesus' command to "Go and sin no more" -- sinners aren't really sinners, but victims of someone else's plots. We're supposed to feel sorry for the pure innocent victims, and try to foil the plots of the truly wicked. That is actually a far more primitive worldview, akin to one where all bad things are due to witchcraft, rather than our own inner sinful nature.
If you look deeper, you see this phony victimhood feminism all over the Pro-Life Movement. They coined the term "abortionist" to demonize the performer of the abortion, but they didn't coin a term for the pregnant woman who brings the true victim before the abortionist. They also throw around the term "baby-killer" for the doctor, yet they don't refer to the pregnant woman as a "baby-killer supplier" or a "fetus pimp". And they refer to the whole class of abortionists, their places of work, and their PR / lobbying groups, as "the abortion industry" -- but not to the whole class of pregnant women who seek out their services as the "mommy before fetus brats," etc.
Aside from the remarks of the Pro-Life Movement, here are a couple of illustrative statements from the largest Protestant denomination in America, and the largest non-Christian religion, Mormonism.
Southern Baptist Convention, "On The Sanctity Of Human Life" (Columbus, OH 2015):
RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptist churches and entities to show the love of Christ through appropriate means to those women most vulnerable to the victimization of the abortion industry, and to show grace and mercy to those individuals who grieve with repentance over past abortions...
Mormon Church, LDS Perspective on Abortion and Human Life:
Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to...such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.
The Mormons are more passive-aggressive, so they refer to pregnant women not as seeking out an abortion, but "submitting to" an abortion, as though it were pushed upon her -- like there's some creepy moustache-twirler in a trenchcoat who pops out from the corner of a dark alley, aggressively hawking his service to college girls: "Pssst, you look like you hooked up this weekend and didn't use protection. Step into my office before anybody finds out, unless you want me to let your parents know..."
The Southern Baptists are more hot-blooded, so they go all-out in referring to the octupus-like "abortion industry" that victimizes vulnerable women.
So, victimhood feminism infects the views on abortion of both the back-East evangelicals as well as the out-West apocalyptic cults, not to mention the abortion-specific organizations.
Beyond the rhetoric, you see this attitude among the hardcore activists who take to property destruction and violence. They only target the doctors and buildings where abortions are done. They don't spray red food coloring onto the women going into the buildings, or do anything at all toward those on the demand side rather than the supply side of abortion. It's the same kind of lazy Leftoid thinking that says consumers can only be victims, and only producers may be blamed.*
The fact that the Pro-Life Movement is fundamentally an identity politics group explains why they have never accomplished much on a practical level. The whole point of identity politics is to signal your moral superiority over the members of a different identity group. And since victims are morally superior to their assailants, you just need to convince the point-awarders that so-and-so are the victims of such-and-such assailants.
Most of the Pro-Life Movement is not women who have had an abortion, but those speaking out on their behalf, a la the do-gooder white people who drone on about protecting saintly and defenseless blacks against evil white institutional racism, or the Sodomite marriage movement that is mostly made up of fag hags rather than fags themselves.
The men in the Pro-Life Movement are therefore male feminists, and as elsewhere in feminist organizations, are subject to the accusation of being well-meaning misogynists who just don't get it, and whose misogyny is no less harmful and dangerous because of its ignorance. In fact, Donald Trump found that out the hard way this week -- try to stick up for the "female victims of the abortion industry," and you'll still get hanged as a woman-hater if you suggested that the women bear even one iota of responsibility.
Unlike other victimhood feminist groups, the Pro-Life Movement has an unusual share of its members being men. I attribute this to the women in the Movement being emotionally more stable than their pro-choice counterparts, and more tolerant of well-meaning yet bumbling male allies. Still, if you step outside of the victimhood narrative and suggest that the so-called victims bear any individual responsibility, you're out in the doghouse.
If you considered yourself pro-life but have not had much contact with the Pro-Life Movement, you would have known that they were a culture war group, but I always figured their moral superiority angle was standing for life rather than death/murder. I figured it plugged into the other culture war groups who stress individual responsibility and not pretending that every bad act we do is because we're victims of powerful oppressors. And I figured it would be part of the culture war that grandstanded about putting others before yourself.
But nope, the Pro-Life Movement turns out to be just another branch of victimhood feminism.
I don't want to dwell on these culture war topics, now that the Trump phenomenon has finally given us a way to be productive in our political movements. But it's worth dissecting some of the cases, just to appreciate how useless and counterproductive they have been -- for decades. Here we have an example of the movement being impotent not only in the way that most culture war causes have been -- being obsessed with symbolic rather than concrete victories -- but also because its central claim, that "abortion is murder," was flatly contradicted by their total pardon of the pregnant women who seek out abortion.
When victimhood is the foundation of your identity, you won't bother trying to effect real change. Then you'd no longer be a victim, and would not get to preen about your superior moral value against your evil oppressors. That goes for feminists toward the patriarchy, as well as religious minorities like apocalyptic cults toward the majority of traditional church members and the non-religious. It also goes for ironic hipster types who want to keep the Rust Belt in the dumps economically, otherwise we couldn't score coolness points for dwelling among the ruins of steel mills and glass factories.
And that goes also for those who are the self-appointed saviors of a class of victims -- the Pro-Life Movement, animal rights activists, and the rest of them.
* We blame consumers of pornography, as well as the producers, but then it's hard to sell men as a victim group. (That doesn't keep segments of the anti-pornography movement from being an identity politics group based on a narrative about the male consumers being victims.)