Monday, July 25, 2005

Abortion - like it hasn't been discussed enough

I'm constantly reading/thinking/considering on the issue of abortion, and the more I think about it, the more complex the whole thing seems.

I'm inclined to call myself pro-life, but the label has not fit me well because of the many associations other people have with it. Lately, I'm becoming more and more concerned with the concentration of power on the right. I really don't want people who are hostile to women making abortion policy, and I cannot help but notice that this is precisely the characteristic of most pro-life leaders. Generic pro-lifers tend to be as clueless as the rest of the population about women's rights. (This doesn't excuse them, of course, but it means that I don't exactly despise them.)

In theory, I support certain restrictions on abortion though not an outright ban, and certainly no criminalization. I think that our laws should respect both the mother as fully human (and an autonomous, rational agent) and the fetus as something highly valuable - going from some small value as "egg+sperm" to practically human value as "viable fetus".

But in practice, given the two current political choices, each of which seems to work against at least one of the above, I have to (reluctantly) put myself in the pro-choice camp. Especially because the empowerment of women is intimately tied to actually reducing abortions in a *practical* sense.

So welcome me to the pro-choice club, I guess. I can't imagine I'll be getting a welcome wagon or anything, because I'm undoubtedly a contrarian pain in the ass!

3 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

I can't recall whether I already shared this with you, but I used to know this man who was pro-life because he felt like in an ideal society there would be no need for abortion. An interesting perspective, but kind of putting the cart before the horse, you know? I see abortion as an issue of women being able to control our bodies. There are so many different ways that we need to be able to control our bodies, and abortion is sort of a...last resort? Well, that's not exactly what I mean, I just think that we really need to be able to control whether we reproduce and under what circumstances. And since the current "first lines of defense" for controlling reproduction are problemmatic for a huge variety of reasons, we still need that last line of defense. Or at least, that's what I think.

You know, if you feel uncomfortable identifying as pro-choice, perhaps you could create a whole new identity to help bring to light the complexity of this issue...like "pro-life-choices" or "pro-lives" or something. :-)

2:35 PM, July 25, 2005  
Anonymous Mauro said...

I come from a country where abortion is illegal, and I can tell you: baaad idea.

For one thing, it doesn't stop abortions, just forces women to look for them in the black market, which means bad conditions/professionals. Or do the abortions themselves (for the poorer women) which sends many of them to the ER because of botched attempts.

Also, what do you do with all those unwanted kids if you don't allow women to get abortions? There's NO WAY anybody can tell me there's a place for them. They end up on orphanages or abandoned on the streets. It does not help anything to force them to be born and then that's it, leave them to fend for themselves.

Another thing to consider about the pro-life right wing is that they're generally the same people who also are against teaching kids how to PREVENT pregnancy. They should be held responsible for the raising of all those babies. Uh, actually, that's a bad idea. There's no need to let them raise more people like themselves.

8:41 PM, July 27, 2005  
Blogger LAmom said...

There is an alternative to the conservative Republican pro-lifers. There are also pro-contraception, liberal feminist pro-lifers.

Google around on the phrase "pro-life liberals" and you'll find us.

4:17 AM, August 30, 2005  

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