She existed in his mind for a very long time, this unapologetic hussy who relished both out-of-wedlock sex and the harrowing procedure of abortion. But then it happened: he found Caroline Weber.
The only problem is, he found her in The Onion, and he didn’t realize that Caroline was only a mirage, and her saucy confessions only satire. Pete’s regular duties as a antiabortion protester include “going to the Holocaust Museum with placards featuring the images of aborted fetuses.”
Last week, a speedy and vicious blogosphere watched its collective wet dream made real when “Pete,” proprietor of antiabortion blog March Together for Life, posted “Murder Without Conscience,” a furious excoriation of a 7-year-old fake column in the Onion titled “I’m Totally Psyched About This Abortion!”
…Pete did not realize that the Onion traffics in satire, and that the piece was a send-up of the notion that pro-choice activists are actually “pro-abortion.” Weber’s outrageous claims that she “seriously cannot wait for all the hemorrhaging and the uterine contractions” and that “this abortion is going to be so amazing” did not tip off Pete. In an utterly unironic retort, he cited lines like, “It wasn’t until now that I was lucky enough to be pregnant with a child I had no means to support,” and “I just know it’s going to be the best non-anesthetized invasive uterine surgery ever!” to illustrate his disgust with the author.
On his blog, Pete expressed his rage at Weber’s claim that if her HMO hadn’t bowed to pressure not to cover her oral contraceptives, she never would have gotten pregnant to begin with. “Sorry ma’am,” Pete responded. “If you hadn’t had sex you wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, it’s not the HMO’s fault for not supporting your promiscuity while not married.” And in case it wasn’t already clear where he stood on the issue of satirical abortion, Pete added, “Miss Weber, you have killed your child, which you admit is a baby/human being, intentionally. That does make you an admitted murderer.”
So maybe Caroline wasn’t real. But a guy can dream, can’t he? “Call me a dolt,” Pete writes, “because in the beginning I really did think it was real. Why? Because I meet women like her in the field all the time.”
Which field is that again?
Pete fights back by posting a photo of a bloody fetus (which looks like a very intact stillborn) at the top of his site, to confront all the rubberneckers coming by to snicker. “Can you face the truth? This is what you all are laughing at. This is what you are responsible for.” He effectively stopped my laughter with the photo, but not my grasp of the truth, which is that women who seek abortion do not sound like Caroline Weber.