Anti-Choice? There’s an app for that.

The American Life League now has an anti-choice app for the iPhone. I’m sort of confused about what it does, exactly, other than let you upload photos wearing a pro-life t-shirt. Awesome, you guys.

So why this app? Here is why:

“Primarily, we are concerned with getting people to think of the child as a person from the moment of his or her biological beginning,” Carroll said. “It is much harder to murder a person than it is to “remove a lump of tissues,” and it is only when we finally get the nation thinking in those terms that we will be able to restore the right to life of our preborn brothers and sisters. Just by wearing the t-shirt and being out there in public, you will help to accomplish that goal!”

If you take a picture of yourself wearing a pro-life t-shirt and going about your daily business — brushing your teeth, holding a baby, screaming at women in front of abortion clinics, you know, the usual — you get points through the ALL app. The person with the most points gets a free iPod Touch.

So here’s an idea, pro-choicers: Let’s celebrate pre-born babies, and send pictures to the American Life League demonstrating just how much we love the smallest creatures among us. Take a picture of your used tampon, next to the pro-life t-shirt you made yourself (we wouldn’t want to give money to companies that make pro-life t-shirts, after all). Bonus: If you are fertile and have penis-in-vagina sex, there’s a chance that your tampon could even contain a fertilized egg! After all, something like half of all fertilized eggs naturally don’t implant anyway. By the American Life League’s standards, that’s basically the equivalent of taking a picture of you holding a baby. Pro-life! Or, take a picture of yourself holding a used condom. Every sperm is sacred! Aren’t pre-babies adorable when there are thousands of them? Any pregnant ladies out there? Perhaps show ALL what a beautiful pregnant body looks like without its pro-life t-shirt. Or maybe demonstrate via photodiary how you got that way in the first place! Any ladies trying to get pregnant? Let ALL know what that’s all about! Anyone giving birth anytime soon? A minute-by-minute photo shoot — from the doctor or midwife’s vantage point, of course — could be pretty great.

Alternately, we could show the American Life League what preventing abortion actually looks like. Perhaps a photo of you taking your birth control pill (or inserting your diaphragm)! Or if you aren’t the hormonal birth control/diaphragm type, might I suggest pictures of you getting a vasectomy, or putting on a condom! Maybe a nice shot of you having sex with someone who cannot possibly get you pregnant (perhaps someone of the same sex)! Maybe just a nice masturbation photo! (Although I suppose a picture of you protesting outside of an abortion clinic could also fall into this category). Perhaps, on the tamer side, a picture of you talking to your kids about basic biology and safer sex. Or maybe you at a march for universal health care, or you donating to a campaign to mandate coverage of birth control pills. Maybe a photo of you working to secure comprehensive health care coverage for low-income women, or immigrants, or girls. Maybe a picture of you teaching a comprehensive sex ed class. Maybe a picture of you helping a friend out with childcare. Maybe a picture of you doing some feminist blogging. The abortion-preventing options are endless!

Thanks to Amanda for the heads up.

____________________________
In case it’s not clear, I am kidding about sending sexy-time photos to the American Life League. Don’t do that. Or if you do, because let’s be honest it’s kind of hilarious, don’t blame me for it please. But sending photos of what preventing abortion actually looks like (i.e., comprehensive sex ed, birth control access, etc)? Not a terrible idea. And props to the lady who sends in the first tampon pic.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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54 Responses to Anti-Choice? There’s an app for that.

  1. ElleBeMe says:

    Dammit! My period ended on Sunday…..

  2. Lance says:

    Clearly, I need to go out and find a partner to create a used condom with. For, you know, feminism.

    Wait, what were we talking about?

  3. auditorydamage says:

    A certain Monty Python song may also be an appropriate upload. I could also come up with many wonderfully crude ways for my fellow males to participate, but I shall refrain for now.

    ObOffTopicYetOnTopicLink: Canadian Prime Minister to world’s women: drop dead.

  4. Vvixen says:

    This is an awesome post!!!

  5. φιλοσοφία says:

    After all, something like half of all fertilized eggs naturally don’t implant anyway.

    I think it’s upwards of seventy percent. But that’s not a problem, really. A massive number of people die of old age, and no one’s trying to find a cure for that. Naturally failing to implant on the uterine wall and dying of old age are both natural and ideal causes of death, so they aren’t something we need to try to avoid. From the pro-life perspective, “the scourge” of blastocysts that don’t implant on the uterine wall and “the scourge” of old age are similar in that respect.

    sending photos of what preventing abortion actually looks like (i.e., comprehensive sex ed, birth control access, etc)? Not a terrible idea.

    I doubt they’d be too impressed by that strategy.

  6. φιλοσοφία says:

    After all, something like half of all fertilized eggs naturally don’t implant anyway.

    I think it’s upwards of seventy percent. But that’s not a problem, really. A massive number of people die of old age, and no one’s trying to find a cure for that. Naturally failing to implant on the uterine wall and dying of old age are both natural and ideal causes of death, so they aren’t something we need to try to avoid. From the pro-life perspective, “the scourge” of blastocysts that don’t implant on the uterine wall and “the scourge” of old age are similar in that respect.

    sending photos of what preventing abortion actually looks like (i.e., comprehensive sex ed, birth control access, etc)? Not a terrible idea.

    I doubt they’d be too impressed by that strategy.

    • Jill says:

      Naturally failing to implant on the uterine wall and dying of old age are both natural and ideal causes of death, so they aren’t something we need to try to avoid. From the pro-life perspective, “the scourge” of blastocysts that don’t implant on the uterine wall and “the scourge” of old age are similar in that respect.

      But if there were some scourge that was wiping out 70% of all three-year-olds, I’d be willing to bet that everyone (pro-life groups included) would care a whole lot. “It’s natural” doesn’t mean “we do nothing about it.” We also do a whole lot to prevent old people from dying, btw.

  7. Rebecca The Strange says:

    I so wish I had an iPhone. My Gyno has a great sense of humor, and gave me endoscopic pictures (proof of sterility?) of her frying each of my fallopian tubes during my tubal ligation. I would love to upload them, as they are quite the “yucky” view of my internal organs :)
    (Although I find them some of the most beautiful pictures anyone has ever taken of me.)

  8. preying mantis says:

    “A massive number of people die of old age, and no one’s trying to find a cure for that.”

    Uh, what? You don’t read much on the science blogs, do you?

  9. φιλοσοφία says:

    But if there were some scourge that was wiping out 70% of all three-year-olds, I’d be willing to bet that everyone (pro-life groups included) would care a whole lot. “It’s natural” doesn’t mean “we do nothing about it.” We also do a whole lot to prevent old people from dying, btw.

    We try to cure many diseases that kill old people, but we don’t try to cure old age itself.

    Take AIDS, for instance. It’s not a cause of death in itself, it just breaks down your immune system, making you susceptible to other diseases. Old age is a lot like AIDS in this respect. We try to cure AIDS. We don’t try to cure old age.

    Basically, the idea is this: diseases manipulate the way our bodies are designed to work. When people die of an infectious disease, this is not a natural and ideal cause of death, because we weren’t designed to die that way. We were designed to die either of old age, or by naturally failing to implant on the uterine wall, or very early in the pregnancy. Like dying of old age, failing to implant doesn’t involve manipulating the way anyone’s body was designed to work (unless, of course, hormonal contraception was involved).

    I’ll give you another relevant example. Our bodies weren’t designed to be used as artificial life suppot systems for other people. You never has a duty to donate blood, even if your own child will die as a result of your not donating blood to them. This is because blood donations and person-to-person kidney dialysis manipulate the way our bodies were designd to work. But our bodies (female bodies at least) were designed to breastfeed. So if you and your baby were in a situation where there was nothing else for your baby to feed on besides your breast milk, and you either breastfed your baby or he slowly starved to death, you’d have to let him breastfeed, i.e., physically attach himself to your body and use your body for his own survival. The difference between kidney dialysis and breastfeeding? One manipulates the way your body was designed to work, the other does not.

    There is a morally relevant difference between things that manipulate our bodies design, and things that do not. So there’s a morally relevant difference between failing to implant on the uterine wall, and dying of a disease.

  10. Kaje says:

    It’s weird, their app doesn’t really do much in way of gaining new recruits, money or even visibility to those outside the movement. It’s just showing off your pro lifeyness to other prolifers! It seems so pointless.

    BTW, does anyone have any pro-choice or otherwise explicitly feminist apps to recommend? I wish I had the know-how and equipment needed to make my own. A pro choice activism app? An app that lets you report anti-choice pharmacies and iffy doctors? An app that tells you how current Hollywood movies pass the Bechdel test? A Feminism 101 app? I’d dig ’em.

  11. Kaje says:

    “We try to cure many diseases that kill old people, but we don’t try to cure old age itself.”

    Except for Ray Kurzweil. And he’s a goofball.

  12. bookbat says:

    @filosofia: Actually, our bodies weren’t “designed” to do anything. Our bodies evolved such that they are capable of doing or predisposed to do certain things. Evolution is a morally neutral course of events that does not imply any moral responsibility whatsoever. What you’re trying to do is sneak religion into the equation by implying a designer while being too chickenshit to actually assert that. Your religion has absolutely no bearing on what any of us here should be allowed to do with our bodies.

  13. Mireille says:

    Now if only they cared as much about the lives of premurdered abortion doctors as “preborn children”.

  14. Geek says:

    Regarding the “its a child” argument – I _don’t care_ if its doing math equations and donating to my favorite charity, if its in my body against my will, out it goes.

  15. KushielsMoon says:

    I wish prochoicers had enough money to waste some on iPods. I wonder, do the people donating to ALL know that they are spending money to give other antichoicers iPods for doing nothing?

  16. preying mantis says:

    “We try to cure many diseases that kill old people, but we don’t try to cure old age itself.”

    You don’t read much on the science blogs, do you?

  17. φιλοσοφία says:

    “We try to cure many diseases that kill old people, but we don’t try to cure old age itself.”

    You don’t read much on the science blogs, do you?

    I’m sure that people consider the possibility of curing old age and attaining immortality. They have for thousands of years.

    My point is, old age and failure to implant on the uterine wall are generally natural and ideal causes of death, unlike diseases or things that manipulate the way our bodies were designed to work. Thus, old age and failure to implant are not “intrinsically bad” and are therefore not things that need to be cured.

  18. PrettyAmiable says:

    I really hate this religious philosophy crap. Deciding what is morally founded and what isn’t relies on a number of suppositions that are arbitrarily decided. For instance, your decision that old age is not “intrinsically bad” because that’s how our bodies are designed to work. Really? Designed by whom? Did you speak with that individual? What if our body was designed to primarily function as an eight pound mass of near sightlessness with the inability to form language? It would mean that amassing a body of knowledge and aging would both be “intrinsically bad” and things that ought be avoided or changed. Further, you can’t argue on the grounds of being capable of language or capable of sight because humans are also capable of affecting what does and does not grow in their own body. It is with the knowledge that I am the individual who decided to continue MY education that I get to be the individual who decides whether or not I vacuum out MY own uterus. Not St. Augustine, not Kant, nor Mill, nor Locke, nor anyone else who tries to approach the human condition with absolute definitions of what is right or wrong, moral or immoral.

    I’ve got to tell you, if you can’t argue without relying on base facts and then insist on what is intrinsically bad and thus philosophically immoral, everything that follows is utterly irrelevant because it relies on faulty grounds.

  19. Lauren says:

    Right. I vote that all pretentious, Greek philosopher douchebags that show up to problematize/mansplain abortion get banned for failure to recognize a feminist blog when zie sees one.

  20. prairielily says:

    Lauren, I don’t even SEE those comments anymore. It’s really quite remarkable. I had to scroll up and look for what you were talking about.

    Anyway, I know that this is totally Missing The Point, but I can’t resist pointing this out… If you have the iphone app, do you NEED an ipod touch? Anti-choicers, fools as always.

  21. Politicalguineapig says:

    Prairielily:There’s something about fundamentalism that makes brain cells die.

  22. Atheistchick says:

    @ Mireille–I know nothing about Dr. Tiller’s death was funny, but I have to admit that the word “premurdered” made me smile. :/

  23. Madcapfeline says:

    lily dear, you can never have too many gadgets. I mean really, I bet you can’t name one woman here that doesn’t have at least half a dozen vibrators.

  24. Bagelsan says:

    I mean really, I bet you can’t name one woman here that doesn’t have at least half a dozen vibrators.

    Do the ones I’ve bookmarked for once I have a stable mailing address count? They’re “preordered” so I think, in the spirit of things, they really should. :D

  25. bleh says:

    Ok philosophy: Just as a side point, my body was *not* designed to breast feed; it was designed to run and do equations and dance and write and whatever else *I* decide to do with it. Your natural vs unnatural argument falls apart the moment you drive a car, live in a house, get any health care treatment. There is nothing natural about any of those things. No moral responsibility can be attached to natural because we cannot know when culture begins and nature ends. We are too imbricated in culture to make that distinction. But thanks for trying to force women to hold up the natural end of things for all humanity. Try again.

  26. bleh says:

    By the by, diseases are very natural. Our bodies rely on bacteria (the source of much disease) to function. Our stomachs have evolved to need gut bacteria to process cooked food. Natural? Cutural? both !

  27. Interrobang says:

    I bet you can’t name one woman here that doesn’t have at least half a dozen vibrators.

    I don’t even have one anymore. Tried it, didn’t like it, went back to the manual method, and let’s not even mention that hideous experiment with that nasty Japanese vibe that ripped out my pubic hair.

    See, I’m one of these low-tech geeks; I’d rather spend my time designing transit systems that can be implemented for under a hundred thousand dollars than collecting shiny electronic toys, and who wants a cellphone^W electronic leash anyway? (Yeah, I wrote “^W”; I am that old-school.)

  28. Emeryn says:

    I mean really, I bet you can’t name one woman here that doesn’t have at least half a dozen vibrators.

    Hell, I probably have enough to qualify for several women. I used to work for a porn store and before I quit, I went kind of insane with my discount and stocked up for the, uh, next few years. >_>;;

  29. φιλοσοφία says:

    get banned for failure to recognize a feminist blog when zie sees one.

    Jill’s post criticized the American Life League and the pro-life movement as a whole. It falsely claimed that pro-lifers ought to support hormonal contraception, and insinuated that a lack of concern for blastocysts who fail to implant was inconsistent with believing that life begins at conception. Her post made several false claims about (and mocked) a movement that I am a part of. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that Jill was being intentionally dishonest, but that’s not the point. What she said simply was not true.

    This wasn’t a post about a purely feminist issue, it was a post about the pro-life movement. If you’re going to criticize something by making inaccurate statements about it, and then censor and ban anyone who comes along and points out that what was said was not true, I think you’re doing more than just trying to create a feminist-friendly environment.

    I vote that all pretentious

    I do sound pretentious, I’ll give you that. It’s just how I write. I honestly don’t know how to communicate any other way. Believe me, I would if I could.

  30. Rebecca says:

    Philosophia, are you Austin Nedved? You’re making the same bullshit arguments.

    Also, I have no vibrators.

  31. jen says:

    I do sound pretentious, I’ll give you that. It’s just how I write. I honestly don’t know how to communicate any other way. Believe me, I would if I could.

    Personally, I think that picking a pretentious alias and sounding condescending is not unavoidable. I think you have a choice to do or not to do it. You have the right to behavioral and bodily autonomy. Oh, wait…

  32. Juniper Elliot says:

    Philosophia is right, Jill did have some arguments that were less than 100% consistent. I guess pro-life wins this time and OH WAIT
    http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7008/prolifebeliefchart.gif

    whoops I forgot that I’ve never met a single pro-lifer who isn’t misogynistic or tragically uninformed.

    • Jill says:

      Yes I am SHOCKED that a post where I suggested sending used tampons to a pro-life organization contained less than perfectly consistent and well-thought-out talking points.

  33. φιλοσοφία says:

    A good deal of your post may have been sarcastic, but you were seriously suggesting that pro-life groups support hormonal contraception. This part of your post was not supposed to be a joke, and neither was your reference to Toby Ord’s “Scourge” argument. My point was that a) groups who believe blastocysts to be the moral equivalent of babies obviously aren’t going to support medication that kills them, and b) “there is a condition that kills a majority of a certain group of people” doesn’t necessarily mean “we must find a cure!” since old age is a condition that kills the large majority of people between the ages of 90 and 100, and we don’t try to find a cure for old age.

    As I said, just because you suggested that people send pornographic videos and bloody tampons to pro-life organizations doesn’t mean that everything in the post was supposed to be a joke. The “Scourge” and the “pro-lifers ought to support hormonal contraception” arguments are usually taken very seriously by reproductive privilege advocates. I just wanted to point out that the contraception claim is obviously false, and I wanted to argue that “the Scourge” argument simply does not work.

    • Jill says:

      A good deal of your post may have been sarcastic, but you were seriously suggesting that pro-life groups support hormonal contraception.

      Actually no. I was suggesting that hormonal birth control prevents abortion. There is a big difference between “things that prevent abortion” and “things pro-life groups support.”

  34. φιλοσοφία says:

    Hormonal birth control and abortion do effectively the same thing. The birth control pill prevents implantation by means of manipulating the way your body was designed to work, so the blastocyst’s death cannot be said to be natural and ideal.

    But you’re right; there is definitely a big difference between things that prevent abortion and things that pro-life groups support. Right now, they don’t even have a strategy to reduce unintended pregnancies! It’s pathetic, I know.

  35. roses says:

    Hormonal contraception prevents ovulation, not implantation. Speaking of inaccurate statements.

  36. Rebecca says:

    No, that’s not what BCP does. Do at least a little work, please.

  37. Juniper Elliot says:

    “Hormonal birth control and abortion do effectively the same thing.”

    um………

  38. Rebecca says:

    Also, cut it out with “designed.” You’ve already had this explained to you – you don’t even need to do any work to know this.

  39. Lizzibee says:

    Yeah, just to chime in here with the fact that hormonal birth control actually prevents ovulation entirely. So there is no blastocyst. Which therefore cannot either implant, or be revented from implanting. As Rebecca said, a little basic fact-checking would help you to sound less like a complete asshole.

    So Philosophia … What was your argument against hormonal birth control again? It wouldn’t have anything to do with women having sexual autonomy and control over their own reproduction, would it?!

  40. Lauren says:

    The Artist Formerly Known as Philosophia is banned. By me. Because I’m an asshole that squashes free speech because I don’t like having my blog turned into a mouthpiece for organizations that seek to oppress me and people like me.

    The cool thing is that blogs were designed to aid in banning douchebags, so it’s totally natural and shit.

  41. chad says:

    The distinction that Philosophia wants to draw between “natural and ideal” death (whatever that means) and other kinds of death doesn’t help. Most of us will agree that that even a “natural and ideal” death of a person is not completely innocuous. But the surprisingly low implantation rate *is* completely innocuous. And it is regarded as completely innocuous by all of us, including pro-lifers. That’s surprising if they really believe that life begins at conception. So it’s natural to doubt that they really do believe this. All of these points are consistent with admitting the (to my mind obscure) distinction between “natural and ideal” death and other kinds of death.

    Perhaps Philosophia and others would respond that the low implantation rate is not completely innocuous. But that would commit them to the view that it would be a good thing to investigate ways of improving the implantation rate, and a good thing for a woman to pursue treatment that raises the chances of implantation in her own case. I’ll believe they *support* these actions when I see them *taking* these actions.

  42. jen says:

    lol and thank you, lauren :)!

  43. UnFit says:

    Rebecca, so jealous! The surgeon who sterilized me has no sense of humor at all.
    And I got scars cut on my belly to commemorate the event – I was kind of disappointed not to have any from the procedure.

    Shame the ALL wouldn’t get it if I just sent them pictures of my scarred belly.

  44. Kaile says:

    Actually the antis DO try to prevent the elderly or even young, from dying of natural causes. They’re against removing life support. Sorry φιλοσοφία.

  45. itsaboy says:

    “So here’s an idea, pro-choicers…Take a picture of your used tampon…”

    But I’m a BOY.

  46. Kym says:

    I don’t use tampons that often, but would a maxi pad work just as well?

    Seriously, I’m sick to death of my parents. They are so stereotypical pro-life Christians, it’s not even funny. They even celebrated that stupid “holiday” Reagan implemented that celebrated the “unborn”. But here’s the weird part. They allow me to take birth control pills for my PMDD and they’ll allow me to get my tubes tied. My parents are pretty stupid when it comes to birth control.

    (If you’re wondering, I’m 22, but because of certain factors, I’m stuck living at my parents’ home)

  47. Kjerstin says:

    Ooops! I posted about the same thing and have almost the exact same blog title (it’s hard not to when writing anything about the iPhone).

    I definitely like they idea of sending them tampon pics, I tried to download the app but my iPhone doesn’t have the most current update. boo!

    Anyway here’s my post with more background information about why they have the app in the first place…and yes there is insidious recruitment involved!

  48. SilverKitten says:

    “Primarily, we are concerned with getting people to think of the child as a person from the moment of his or her biological beginning,” Carroll said. “It is much harder to murder a person than it is to “remove a lump of tissues,”

    Good thing I only think of most human beings as lumps of tissue anyways….

  49. ojd says:

    I’m thinking a close-up photo looking down at my full diva cup between my pro-choice fingers would be pretty cool.

  50. Diane says:

    I’m just seeing this post! Amazing. I love the idea of sending used condom pics…Haha! They have to see how ridic this is.

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