Because I take the internet too seriously, I recently decided to unfriend everyone on Facebook who I could discern was anti-choice. It was mostly based on the very scientific method of making assumptions and then checking which groups they joined and what they were fans of. I didn't do it because I "wasn't interested in having an intelligent debate," as devil's advocates and/or antis like to say, but I did it because I don't believe there is a debate. Abortion is legal and it's necessary, it's what I do 40 hours a week. End of story. And I didn't have much ambivalence when I clicked that I was "sure [I] want[ed] to remove Jane Schmo as a friend" because I learned long ago that anyone in my life just has to be pro-choice.
Days after the Great Delete of '09, I posted something or other abortion-related on Facebook, and I got a scathing reply from an acquaintance who I hadn't been able to pigeonhole properly. It was actually the first time I'd gotten that response, but I wasn't particularly bothered. It was like hearing protesters yelling at me as I walk into work--I know which one of us is truly wrong (hint: not me), and the weird argument just makes me care even more about my work.
But when I scanned my list of Facebook friends later, I noticed another face missing. It was a former college professor of mine who I had really respected and appreciated. He had unfriended me. We talked literature, not politics, but I'd always taken him for an open-minded person. And I was wrong, at least when it comes to students turned Abortioneers. What I was not ready for was having someone I genuinely cared about essentially cutting me out of his life for what I do and what I believe in. Sure, it's naive to expect it won't happen, especially when I know people whose immediate families have cut them out for the same reason.
And that's why a lot of us get defensive. That's why we sometimes selfishly expect for clients to bow down and thank us. That's why we lie about what we do. I may get angry about bomb threats and shootings, but I get flat-out sad about sacrificing friends.
(Then again, I'm pretty certain that the friends I've made through abortion far outweigh and outnumber the ones I've lost. Abortioneers, on this blog and not, are some of the greatest people I've ever met.)