It started simple enough.
On Tuesday, a staunch pro-life friend from high school shared on Facebook a recent story about a recent Planned Parenthood scandal. Supposedly, this clinic in Roanoke, Virginia was abetting pimps and underage prostitutes with birth-control counsel.
You should know, these weren’t real prostitutes or pimps, but another “gotcha” sting organized by a right-wing group, Live Action. You can read about the so-called scandal here.
Of course, Planned Parenthood’s mission is not to “exploit” underage girls as suggested, but to provide reproductive health services and counsel to all women who seek it. However, conservatives love to bash Planned Parenthood because they do provide abortions.
Then, later in the day, another friend posted a few pro-life musings to which someone replied (I’m paraphrasing here), “Why, all of a sudden, is everyone talking about abortion?”
I’ll tell you why. Regardless of your stand on abortion, you should know that it is a subject which is called a “wedge issue.” These wedge issues are a very convenient tool for politicians and lobby groups because they take the focus away from important things and put it onto things which spark controversy, creating a distraction.
Whenever there is some dirty work to do – like taking away programs which benefit the public – this old argument is revived to distract us.
Abortion is a serious issue; pro-lifers want to see it just go away because they feel it takes a life, meanwhile pro-choice people want to see a women’s reproductive rights protected. The unfortunate thing is that there will never be a compromise to this.
So, if you’ve been lured into the trap of discussing a circular argument in which two opposed sides will never, ever agree – you have probably been distracted from something important which you need to know about – like, the issue of tax cuts for the top two percent, cuts to your social security and other important program, the MASSIVE deficit, and so on.
And, sadly, none other than yours truly falls for it every time. So – have you fallen for this distraction tactic?