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I wrote this piece of writing on January 7, 2016, on a blog that no longer exists. I have edited it slightly to remove typos and provide clarity.

It was written in response to a random, anonymous, “pro-life” commenter who left an incredibly long comment on a blog post I wrote about a bill that would prevent women from accessing abortion.

I read “An Open Letter to an Anonymous “Pro-Life” Commenter” in episode 044 of my Words of Jen podcast.

Dear Anonymous,

I’ve no idea why you chose to post an incredibly long and vitriolic comment on a post that I wrote in September. Its January now. My best guess is that you did a google search for the word abortion, or the phrase “born-alive survivors” – specifically because you wanted to pick a fight with some random person online.

Your comment wasn’t as long as the blog you attached it to, but it was close. It would have been more appropriate for you to post the long, rambling, hate filled comment on your own blog. It is clear that you know how to work a keyboard. Although, to be honest, you could use a bit more practice. The caps lock key is not intended to be used like table salt, sprinkled haphazardly in order to add flavor to your words.

You were too cowardly to use your real name when you posted the comment. However, you did post your email address. (Oh, unless that was a fake email address – which I suppose is possible). I won’t post your email here, because that could result in a random person using it to send you a long page filled with hate.

I will note that the email address had “homescool” in it. So, that means you (more than likely) have an email address and access to a computer. That’s all you need in order to create your very own Tumblr blog! Its all you need to start a Facebook account. Please use your freedom of speech to post your ranting diatribes on your own blog next time you wake up and feel the need to scream at the internet.

The blog of mine that you selected to spew your hate onto was about a bill that had reached the United States Senate (again, back in September). It was a follow up blog post that contained a link, right at the top, to a previously written blog post about the same bill that had passed in the United States House of Representatives. The bill was called the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”.

The bill was designed to ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation. It was based on junk science that incorrectly suggested that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

In 2005, a study was posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, titled “Fetal Pain – a Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence.” The study concluded: “Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. Little or no evidence address the effectiveness of direct fetal anesthetic or analgesic techniques. Similarly, limited or no data exist on the safety of such techniques for pregnant women in the context of abortion. Anesthetic techniques currently used during fetal surgery are not directly applicable to abortion procedures.”

Please note that the study said that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. In case you are unaware, the third trimester begins in week 28 of pregnancy. Week 20 of pregnancy is in the second trimester. The bill unnecessarily shortens women’s access to abortion for no medical reason at all whatsoever.

You would do well, Dear Anonymous, to educate yourself before you start ranting and raving on a stranger’s blog.

I’ve already written about this in several other blog posts about bills that take away women’s right to a safe, legal, abortion. In other words, that try to chip away at the protections the Supreme Court of the United States clarified in Roe v Wade over 40 years ago.

In other words, Dear Anonymous, I’ve spent a great deal of time doing research about what these kind of bills say and the effect they have on women. Perhaps you don’t know that there are several genetic anomalies, that are fatal, and that cannot be detected in a fetus until at or after 20 weeks of gestation.

Bills like the one you chose to scream about, if passed into law, would require women to carry a fetus that will not survive – or that will survive childbirth only to die hours later. These bills require a woman who wanted to have a baby to wait for her baby to die inside her, and then to wait to have a miscarriage, and at the same time to somehow go on with her life as though everything is fine. 

Based on the nasty words in your comment, Dear Anonymous, it’s clear you don’t care at all about the woman. I happen to be a woman, so I find it impossible to have any respect for an anonymous commenter who has made it clear that he or she doesn’t see me as person. You see me as nothing more than a uterus.

Just in case it wasn’t clear enough that you hate me – you decided to start calling me names. In your comment, you called me: a liar, a thief, “an adulterer at heart”, and a blasphemer. You insisted that you know that I’ve “encouraged someone to have an abortion”. When you reach the point where you have resorted to name-calling, it is clear you know you have lost the argument. Ironic, since this was an argument started and created by you. I certainly didn’t seek you out.

A big portion of your comment, Dear Anonymous, includes threats that are couched in religion. You bring up Judgement Day and basically threaten that I will end up going to hell because I value women’s right to bodily autonomy. Or, perhaps simply because I expressed a viewpoint – a fact filled, well researched, with links to sources viewpoint – that you happen to disagree with.

You’ve made it clear you are a religious person – and used your religious beliefs as a threat. That’s called bullying.

I’m not frightened by your threat that I will go to hell unless I immediately do what you want me to and change my views to match yours. Perhaps you see yourself as equally powerful as the god you believe in, and think that you have the power to send people to hell simply by leaving an angry comment on their blog. These type of threats mean absolutely nothing to Atheists like myself.

Oh, and then you left a link in your comment, that goes to a website, that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the blog. That’s called spamming. Of course, I’m going to delete a comment that contains a spam link. 

The thing that stands out the most to me, Dear Anonymous, isn’t the name calling, or the religious based threats, or even the overuse of the caps lock key. No, what stands out to me is the first sentence of your comment: “I pray you will rethink your opinion”.

Here’s a writing tip, Dear Anonymous, that I will give you for free. If you want someone to change their opinion – you shouldn’t spend several paragraphs attacking that person. Doing so makes the person you target much less likely to consider what you are saying. No one wants to listen to someone who obviously hates them, who considers themselves to be more valuable than the person they want to influence, and who is terrified of having their words be attached to their real name.

If anything, Dear Anonymous, your nasty comment serves as an example of why so many people are turned off by the so-called “pro-life” movement. When the people who identify as “pro-life” do things like: leave ranting vitriolic comments on strangers blogs, scream at women who are trying to get to their doctors appointments, or post multiple images of stillbirths into Twitter hashtags where people are discussing bills like the one my blog was about – you make yourself unreachable.

No one wants to be friends with someone who is just plain mean.

An Open Letter to an Anonymous “Pro-Life” Commenter is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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