This is Gertie Toklas, signing in on this sweltering July morning.
A recent article in The Gazette highlights Michelle Bachmann telling the public that she had a miscarriage. The article’s author, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post, says Bachmann mentioned her miscarriage to explain why she opposes abortion–yet in the next breath, he claims the admission was NOT politically charged. It was simply an example of Bachmann sharing personal stories to better relate to the American public.
Comparing abortion to miscarriage is, first of all, a logical fallacy. Using losing her own child to explain her support for legislation limiting women’s bodily autonomy is a huge appeal to emotion for an argument that is irrelevant in the abortion debate. Miscarriage ≠ abortion. Bachmann uses the context of discussing abortion to make people think, “Oh, she lost a baby, and that made her sad. No one should be sad about losing a baby. Therefore, no one should lose babies (e.g. get abortions), and possibly be sad.” Okay, okay, that’s super over-simplifying, but seriously–how else does this argument flow with even a semblance of logic?
“Millions of families have had to weather the sorrow of a miscarriage; that Bachmann and her husband are one of them makes her that much more compelling to many voters,” Cillizza says. Okay. Sure. But come on, Cillizza. Politicians don’t share just anything with the public. Especially ones campaigning for president. Saying Bachmann’s story is purely to make people relate to her and not to complicate and blur people’s emotional responses toward the legal issue of abortion, is, frankly, bullshit.