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MTV's Truths Vs. Anti-Choice Lies

Written by Amanda Marcotte for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

In all the years I’ve worked as a pro-choice writer and social media activist, one thing I’ve really learned about the anti-choice movement is its relationship to truth is like a vampire’s to sunlight. And I don’t mean the Mormon sparkly Twilight vampires.  I mean old-fashioned vampires who screech and burn up when exposed to sunlight.  Anti-choicers exhibit as much dread around the truth as the sewer-dwelling minions on Buffy the Vampire Slayer displayed towards the sun.

A recent example involves the MTV special No Easy Decision. The special was remarkably free of ideological concerns over abortion, and they seemed to take all their cues from the pro-voice organization Exhale, which partnered with MTV on the special.  The show simply chronicled the experience of one young mother who has an abortion, and then supplemented that coverage with Dr. Drew Pinsky interviewing that woman, Markai, and two others, Natalia and Katie, about their experiences.  Of course, it’s always been my opinion that non-ideological approaches to abortion---including pro-voice approaches that value the individual experiences of women---are automatically pro-choice, since pro-choice is about letting individual women decide, instead of forcing a decision on them. If you have all the access to the facts and a completely free choice, that’s all pro-choicers want, and all anyone who positions themselves as anti-ideological should want.

And this special took that non-ideological, experience-and-science-based approach.  The women were allowed to talk about the good and the bad of abortion, and their differing feelings.  No one was “right” or “wrong” in how they felt.  “What if” feelings were expressed beside relief. Dr. Drew’s statements were scrupulously fact-based.  He noted that the taboo against speaking about abortion didn’t do much to slow down the abortion rate.  He barely talked about the politics of it at all.  If you object to the legality of abortion or the morality of it, but are otherwise pro-facts and pro-science, you shouldn’t have objected.  A worldview should be able to withstand basic logic and facts.

But anti-choice activists knew their worldview cannot withstand basic reality. Read more