Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Yeah, you're against abortion NOW...

Feminists for Life of Live Journal blogged:

"You say that now, but if you ever had an unplanned pregnancy you'd abort it."

I am so sick and tired of this "pro-choice" "argument." Yes, saying you'd keep an unplanned pregnancy is a lot easier when you're working in hypotheticals. But saying, "I know you'd do this," is ridiculous, insulting, and impossible to prove.

How would the pro-chiocers like it if, in the middle of a debate, a pro-lifer said, "You support abortion now, but if you ever felt a baby growing inside you, you'd keep it"? Why is it okay to do it to us?

Nevermind the fact that it totally invalidates the experiences of women who have gone through with unplanned pregnancies, either to keep the baby or give it up for adoption. Obviously they don't count.

My very unwelcome, unplanned pregnancy resulted in a young man who is now 22, in the Navy. He was a joy to us and I can't imagine having his sister grow up without him. And she was the reason I'd thought I "needed" an abortion! We were so poor we'd pawned our wedding rings to buy food for our daughter. What a grave disservice I'd have done her, to deprive her of her brother!

I think that the biggest gap between prolife and prochoice isnt' that one group cares about women and the other about fetuses. I think it's that one side has compassion on women who love their children no matter what, and the other side only feels for the woman who views her child as a horrible intruder and wants him dead.

It's because I had that unplanned, unwanted pregnancy that I'm hardcore prolife. I know what the abortion lobby almost stole from me, from my family, from the world. I'm prolife precicesly because I feel for the woman who finds out she's pregnant under difficult circumstances. And I don't think shunting her off to get vacuumed out, then abandoning her, is kind or helpful or decent. It's treating her like a second-class citizen undeserving of any real effort.

HT: Jill Stanek


L. said...

Well, it's because I had an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy that I'm hardcore pro-abortion.

But why does it have to be one or the other, all the time, with no exceptions? Surely just because I wanted my own baby to die doesn't mean I want everyone else's baby dead, too.

I think it's that one side has compassion on women who love their children no matter what, and the other side only feels for the woman who views her child as a horrible intruder and wants him dead.

Some of us have compassion and feelings for women in both situations.

Christina Dunigan said...

Well, L, individual results may vary.

As to why it's always gotta be a live baby, remember we view this the same way you'd view a stressed out mother of a toddler. While you might feel for her, that she's all stressed out, you'd not be saying that we owe it to her to kill the toddler for her to reduce her stress.

Why's it gotta always be that one outcome -- birth -- for us? Because what we see as the alternative is not a "terminated pregnancy" but a murdered baby. We're never gonna be able to see that as just another perfectly valid lifestyle choice, any more than you'd see men battering their wives to death as a perfectly valid lifestyle choice.

L. said...

Yes, I do get that! Just as I'm sure you get that not all of us think of embryos as "babies" with the same rights as post-born children -- even those of us who believe embryos are indeed tiny human beings. For instance, while I wished my unwanted embryo dead, I never wished any of my post-born children dead, no matter how wretched they were or how miserable they made me, because I had a multitude of other options for dealing with them that did not involve harming them. Also, it is pretty difficult to imagine circumstances in which any born child posed a physical risk to my body and health that a pregnancy would.

Anyway, my point is that the dichotomy you set up doesn't always apply. If I ever encounter a distraught woman who is reluctantly considering abortion because she is in a situation in which feels as if she "has no choice," I would certainly not attempt to convince her that she's better off terminating -- I would do whatever I could to help her carry to term. Just because I believe something should be legal, and because I believe I would choose it myself in some circumstances, does NOT mean I believe it is a desirable outcome all the time.

Christina Dunigan said...

That's what I meant by "individual resulta may vary." I do know that some prochoicers support women who want to avoid abortion. But I wonder how big a percentage they really are.

L. said...

Well, most pro-choicers I have known in my life are like me. I know many who consistently vote in favor of legal abortion but give to CPCs, too. I know many women in Japan, where abortion has been legal since the 1950's, who want it to remain so (and there's virtually no movement to criminalize it) nonetheless think it's a sad thing, to be avoided -- an act of last resort, and not a normal part of life.

I do know a few truly "pro-abortion" pro-choicers, who believe that ending a pregnancy should be the default option in any less-than-ideal situation, but they are truly in the minority.

Who knows?

Christina Dunigan said...

I do realize that the proabortionists in prochoice clothing make prochoice people look bad. But they also do untold damage to living, breathing human beings -- the women that they treat as mere political pawns.

To be fair, I've known my share of prolifers who, through design or sheer short-sightedness -- seem hell-bent on keeping abortion common.

I think that there are two kinds of black sheep in the "prolife" family:

1. People who like having abortion there as a spectacular sin they can point at and say, "Ha! I may (insert sin here), but at least I'm not a babykiller!" Abortion allows them to maintain a sick self-righteousness.

2. Politicians who realize that if abortion goes away as a huge public issue they'll lose that slight edge in the polls that single-issue prolife voters provide. They have no interest in making it all go away.

L. said...

I have met a few of the "sick self-righteous" folks. (...shudder...) And I've read a lot about the politics of the abortion lobby, on both sides.

My own pet peeves:

1. People who call themselves "pro-choice" and are really "pro-abortion," and have no compassion for women who face crisis pregnancies and don't want abortions -- they think they should just "suck it up and terminate for their own good and the good of society," which in my mind makes these folks no different from the pro-life people who think all pregnant women in all situations should just "suck it up and carry their pregnancies" for the same reasons.

2. People who focus so much on the concept of "choice" itself that they lose sight of the big picture in which choices are made.

e.g., People who think, "She had five second-trimester abortions, but I won't criticize her because whatever she did was her CHOICE."

These people tend to see abortion as completely neutral, whereas I see it as something undesirable that ideally should be avoided, preferably by avoiding an unwanted pregnancy in the first place.

Christina Dunigan said...

Oooh, we're sharing a couple of pet peeves, L. Is this a sign of the coming apocolypse?

How about the deplorable lack of informed consent?

I remember the hoops my oral surgeon made people go through for surgery to correct an undersized lower jaw. At first I resented it, but what he was doing was forcing me to confront realities that he'd seen doing this surgery for years about people who later regretted having it done. I was so sure I wanted the surgery -- I"d wanted it for ten years! -- but his informed consent process gave me new information, information that changed my mind. On the other hand, my friend Christine had the surgery.

Abortion is permanent. It seems like the people who practice it are copping out of their responsibilities by saying, "Women know what they want and it's belittling them to question their choice." How can you really know what you want or need in an information vacuum? Especially in a highly stressed situation?

The woman might think she has all the infomation she needs, just as I thought I had all the information I needed to know I wanted that jaw surgery. It's not condescending to give people information that other people had either found helpful or said that in retrospect they wish they'd known.