Don't Back Down
This material is derived from several messages left by pro-informed on the Pro-Lifers Against Clinic Violence discussion and debate board, on why pro-life people should not pull their punches when discussing abortion.
Please don't spell out to the choicers exactly how they are successful at driving away pro-lifers. I know from personal experience (having been a choicer myself in the past) how much they depend on evasion tactics to try to shut up pro-lifers and derail debate. I know how anger (either pretended or real) is employed by them to censor. I remember how easy it was to get some pro-lifers to back off if I acted upset or offended. And if that didn't work I'd make fun of them. Sometimes I'd go as far as getting furious. It might help to remember that sometimes choicers are only posturing - hoping to get lifers to apologize or concede. And don't forget that the genuine anger is fear. That helps me refrain from get nasty in return when I'm being insulted by a raging choicer.
I don't think it's a good idea to reward their efforts and let them know when a particular tactic works. When that happens they just use that method even more on other pro-lifers. I've noticed that when choicers claim the pro-lifers are being "hostile", fellow pro-lifers apologize (even if the offenses are non-existent), beg the choicer to stay, and chastise each other for being so "mean". But when pro-lifers leave because of choicer nastiness, the choicers rally round each other, the nastiest choicer lurkers resurface, and the remaining pro-lifers are treated to a vicious onslought of whatever drove off the pro-lifer who left. False accusations and feigned upset at what the pro-lifers post increases when it gets the result the choicers want.
I take frequent breaks from online advocacy... but rarely because it upsets me. It's just that I have so many other things going on in my life that sometimes I don't get to sit down at the computer for days or even weeks. I don't let the insults get to me because I understand why they are employed. I am sometimes accused of being sort of mechanical and unfeeling with my debate style... I don't see this as people fighting with each other so much as ideas sent forth for others to examine and question. And having been a choicer in the past, I don't see choicers as the enemy but as people stuck in the same sort of denial I spent a decade in.
I think we all know which posters were giving you a hard time. But it's important to realize that some posters have zero interest in the truth or debate. I've seen messages revealing that some choicers are purposely trying to disrupt calm discussion. Sometimes pro-lifers choose to just ignore disruptive posts that do not contribute anything of worth to the dialogue. I usually prefer to address them but in a way that brings the attention back to discussion of abortion-related issues. You see, those diversion posts are often inserted right in the middle of message threads about topics choicers wish to avoid.
Unfortunately, many choicers currently online are indulging in posting very nasty, insulting and obscene messages.
However, I don't think they do that because of a sense of "power"... more like a sense of panic - laughing out loud. Plus some choicers will stoop amazingly low if they think they can shut pro-lifers up.
(directed to participants in the debate:)
This is an abortion DEBATE site. If you are seeking assurance that your abortion was OK and/or you feel you are not ready for open uncensored discussion of abortion, then you might find participation here disturbing.
There are many post-abortion support sites online... but this is not one of them. If you are a minor you should discuss your abortion and your feelings/fears with your parents. You should also consider PAS therapy if you are starting to experience common PAS symptoms/feelings such as nightmares, depression, anger, crying spells, substance abuse, eating disorders. Many responsible internet sites can provide you with information about the stages and treatment of PAS (post-abortion-syndrome).
Even if you think you are well-informed and already know what abortion is all about, chances are you will learn some gruesome facts here that nobody ever told you before. If everything you "know" about abortion you "learned" from the abortion industry, pro-choicers, and the public school system, then you may find online debate very disturbing.
If you choose to participate in the debate here keep in mind that the participants are under no obligation to censor themselves to meet your approval or to make you feel comfortable. There are no rules here requiring pro-lifers to carefully word everything in a way that never offends pro-choicers.
From http://discserver.snap.com/Indices/43683.html" Pro-Lifers Against Clinic Violence debate and discussion. Reprinted with permission.
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