Gamers know this. Enter an alternate universe and they know that sometimes everyone has an evil twin. Or, as Carl Jung claimed, everyone has a shadow side, the primitive, irrational and dark aspect of the self. The shadow exists for otherwise goodies to be baddies. According to Jung, the shadow is prone to projection, turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. But, you might ask, what is the connection of the shadow self with abortion? Simple. Walk amongst most anti abortion activists, heretofore known as protesters, and you will cross into their alternate reality. Unlike gamers who are critical thinkers, these folks demonstrate primitive, irrational thinking and project their darkness and moral deficiencies on those outside their small universe.

First, most protesters succumb to primitive fears and hate. As a matter of survival, their fear and hate of what they do not understand leads them to embrace radical and destructive ideologies. Nowhere is there more evidence of this radical and destructive thinking than in the war against women being carried out across the United States. Rather than understand that women hold up half the sky, have full rights to bodily integrity, and have full rights as a citizen, they enthusiastically release their primitive hate to wage a bloody battle against abortion, abortion providers, and contraception, mostly impacting poor and minority women.

Second, from the churches to the likes of David Reardon and Priscilla Coleman, from the rarefied bluster of Frank Pavone to the pontifications of Troy Newman, these folks perpetuate an anti science, anti medicine campaign that would make Goebbels blush. Their web sites, posters and their ‘literature’ are replete with misinformation, untruths and cheap scare tactics. For example, post-abortion stress syndrome, PASS, is an attempt to illustrate that legal abortions expose women emotional trauma, often resulting in lifelong regret and depression. Yet, credible researchers from reputable institutions disprove every one of the Herculean efforts of Coleman and Reardon to argue that PASS exists. In a parallel claim, made from outliers, such as Joel Brind, argue that there is a dangerous correlation between abortion and breast cancer. However, the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society and legions of trustworthy researchers continue to find no connection.

Third, and most devastatingly obvious, is that rather than focus on imaginary things, folks in this universe would do well to cross back over to reality.  Why not focus on why women don’t have the material or social support they need to continue pregnancies they might not want to end? I’m not talking about throwing diapers and baby showers at women or offering to buy them a winter coat. Rather than preying upon the emotions of women at a vulnerable time, you could offer measures that ensure a safe and comfortable home, transportation, health care, education, childcare and a fulfilling job—at least until she is on her feet. And for women who know that abortion is their only option, rather than project your moral inferiority on them, why not show some respect? Why not offer a bit of compassion instead of judgment? In other words, rather than standing outside abortion clinics as the pillar of darkness, why not as a beacon of light and compassion?