The Chick-Fil-A brewhaha dredges up similarities to the Abortion Rights Amendment fight of the early Nineties. Anybody with me on this – the boycotts, the anti-boycotts, the our side vs. your side, the ridiculous back and forth challenges and bantering? If you don’t remember it, there was a state by state drive to get anti-abortion amendments on the ballot. My column from May of 1990 might spark your memory:
CHOICE OR NO, IT’S ONE HOT POTATO
One potato, two potato, three potato- shoot!
In trying to become an abortionless state, Idaho legislators find themselves stuck between a spud and a russet, and it’s anything but a sweet potato.
The Pro-choicers are threatening a potato boycott should Idaho pass anti-abortion legislation. “Don’t be intimidated,” resonds Pro-Lifers “We’ll buy and eat all the potatoes they won’t.”
“We have more children than they do,” says Phyllis Schlafly and other spokespeople for Pro-life “and we’ll lead a convoy to McDonalds.”
So now we have Pro-lifers wolfing down extra fries and baked taters while the Choicers abstain.
Carry this economic tug-of-war to other battlefields such as Wisconsin and you’ll find the Choicers boycotting beef and cheese while the Pro-lifers are ordering Schlitz with their cheesecakes. At this point, Ms. Schlafly, when making a round of speeches, starts to show a beer and potato belly. The children of her followers are ecstatic “Chuck E Cheese again? More beer?” Meanwhile the “only” children of the Pro-choicers are asking “How come they get pizza and beer and I don’t?”
On to Iowa, it’s the corn and beef boycott. Phyllis and her comrades are doubling up on orders of Fritos, corn-on-the-cob, along with baked potatoes, cheese sauce and beer. Phyllis is now asking for wider podiums from which to deliver her speeches. Pro-lifers are thinking of combining their meetings with Overeaters Anonymous. Meanwhile, the Choices are becoming emaciated.
Next, the battle reaches North Carolina. Phyllis and friends become chain smokers as the Choicers boycott cigarettes. Phyllis says “Perhaps this will help my weight problem,” as she now jaunts from town to town in her new Winnebago with heavy duty springs. Naturally the Pro-lifers are having more babies, albeit underweight nicotine addicted ones. The Pro-choicers are having no babies. Not by choice. They’re just too undernourished to have sex.
Both groups have boycotted and anti-boycotted throughout the country. Both are now marching on Washington. Well, marching is not exactly the right word since the Pro-lifes are now too obese for that mode of transportation – they’re coming in golf carts-heavy duty Harley-Davidson type carts- under a cloud of cigarette smoke from the south.
From the north comes the Pro-choicers, also not marching. They’re too emaciated, being pushed along in golf carts, like a set of anorexic woods, four Choicers to a bag.
The big scene: Schlafly’s obese, constipated, overly cholesteroled, hacking, tipsy troops are weaving their Harley carts up I-1 while Weddington’s woefully thin followers are being pushed down I-95.
In the meantime, the potato, dairy, and tobacco farmers, ranchers and brewers are not suffering. One group is consuming what the other shuns- market reallocation. The sexless Pro-choicers are producing no babies. The obese, beer-guzzling, hacking Pro-lifers are having less sex, and producing less babies. The abortion clinics are closing due to lack of business. The Pro-choicers announce the next target as Oklahoma and plan to shun wheat, peanuts and marijuana. Phyllis waddles to the platform, peanut butter sandwich in one hand, a joint in the other, and belches the words “The Cause requires us to eat peanuts and get high. Right on, ladies!”