Roeder: Pro-Life or Anti-Choice?

It’s a well-known fact that the “pro-life” aren’t, and that the entire platform is actually a blatant cover to put women in their place and enforce their own sexual status quo. Duane Graham’s recent post about Dr. Tiller’s murderer pointed out that most of the anti-choice don’t really take their own position seriously. Stopping a child murderer by any means necessary is the instinctual and logical choice for most folk, and if the slim minority of pro-life Americans really believed that abortion was equivalent to child murder, Dr. Tiller incidents would probably happen more often, if not daily. There’d probably be bloody vigilante lynch mobs sacking entire cities, submitting women, doctors and their accomplices to makeshift execution devices.

Duane offers that Scott Roeder is one of the rare anti-choicers that actually believe their own lies. He perceived that Dr. Tiller was murdering children and wasn’t being stopped, and he took the logical recourse.

This may be true. On the other hand, maybe not. Perhaps Scott Roeder isn’t more pro-life than his compatriots. Maybe he’s just more anti-choice. What’s the distinction?

When I read Duane’s conclusion regarding Scott Roeder’s murder, my mind flashed to the École Polytechnique shooting. Then it jumped to the guy that shot up a women’s fitness center because he couldn’t get a date. From there it lemur-hopped to the daily lashing out of the anxiously masculine, from domestic violence to rape.  What these guys have in common is that they all felt their fragile masculinity threatened. That’s all the excuse they needed.

I’m not disagreeing with Duane, I’m just offering another possibility: Roeder, due to his own personal psychological quirks and life experiences, turns out to be a misogynist. He is thus attracted to the pro-life movement, which is one of the most misogynistic political forces (if not the most) in America. For unknown reasons, Roeder’s psychological make-up sinks to a George Sodini level of insecurity. He’s desperate to lash out against agents of the unmasculine. His pro-life involvement leads him to focus on one of their most hated targets, Dr. Tiller. The rest is history.

When asked why he did it, he does what pro-lifers have been trained to do- disguise their true motives with their “I believe abortion is murder” lie.

Both possibilities are likely, and I wouldn’t be surprised by either one.


4 Responses to “Roeder: Pro-Life or Anti-Choice?”

  1. 1 Duane Graham
    December 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Quite an interesting theory, and one, I confess, I wouldn’t have thought of. One thing we would have to account for is the occasional female anti-abortionist extremist, like Shelly Shannon, who shot George Tiller twice in 1993 and who exhibited the same kind of commitment to the morality of her actions as most of the rest of the abortionist killers. Her daughter was also involved in the lawless part of the anti-abortion movement. There seems to be something like a “cult” surrounding those who are willing to take the law into their own hands and shoot abortion providers.

    Most, but not all, of the anti-abortion activity is fueled by a uberfundamentalist Christianity, which can be summed up by the quartet of bombers (two of them were women) who bombed a clinic in 1984 on Christmas Day and later called the bombings “a gift to Jesus on his birthday.”

    • 2 ansonburlingame
      December 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm


      The only “theory” I read above is pro-life folks are (mostly or always?) “Bad” and pro-choice folks are “Good”. Horse pucky to me at least. Both “camps” have reasonable moral arguments to support their causes. Frankly, if left to strictly a moral argument, I believe the pro-life folks would have a slight edge.

      And for sure I can construct on an anecdotal (case by case) basis for each side’s arguments.

      The REAL issue to me is one of the legitimate limitation of government. That places me squarely in the pro-choice camp simply on that basis. I do not challenge the individual making such moral choices and I totally reject the government making such choices for all individuals.

      I go back to my old “Boundaries of Liberty” discussion. My liberty might well be someone else’s crusade to take it away. Withing reasonable boundaries I almost always come down on the side of liberty. There lies, in my view, the “greater good”.

      • December 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm

        I disagree with the notion that pro-lifers have a moral edge, in that their whole concern for life is a sham. Look at pro-life organizations– do they support contraception (the #1 way to drive down abortion), or fight so tooth and nail for the lives of non-fetuses and the non–braindead? No, they can’t support the former because then people will have SEX (and worse, enjoy it). And they can’t support the latter, because as soon as something has a mind of its own, one cannot project onto it with your own party line. Find me someone with bumper stickers supporting Bush’s war, or the death penalty, and I’ll show you a pro-lifer.

        Even an individual pro-lifer who genuinely believes that abortion is murder doesn’t have a moral edge, since they are either ignorant, or don’t care about, the reality of abortion. They’re under the impression that wanton whores mosy into a clinic so they can fit in their prom dresses the next evening, which simply isn’t so; if a woman seeks an abortion, she has good reason to, and you should trust her. If abortion is murder, should the woman get the same punishment regular murderers do? If you’re a pro-lifer who makes exceptions for rape and incest, why? Shouldn’t it still be murder?

        The REAL issue to me is one of the legitimate limitation of government. That places me squarely in the pro-choice camp simply on that basis.

        Here, here.

    • December 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

      I did forget them, didn’t I? Of course, women can be committed and insecure misogynists as well (Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter, etc.), but the chances of them going the George Sodini route is far more remote. Maybe near-impossibly so, but then stranger things have happened.

      Again, I’m not denying that Roeder, Shannon etc. acted accordingly with a belief that widescale infanticide is being permitted. I’m just saying that murderous temper tantrums are also a possibility in some cases.

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