Pro-choice VS Abortion Reduction

Jul 22nd, 2008 | By | Category: Social

I’ll go on record as saying that abortion is icky. Okay, it’s a lot more complicated than that, but if I were a woman and got pregnant, I’d want to carry the baby to term. And if a girl I was sleeping with got pregnant, I’d want to rearrange my life to make it possible for that baby to have a happy home. Or at least arrange an adoption.

Maybe it’s because I’m here because of an unplanned pregnancy (my older brother’s), and my folks are still married. Maybe it’s because of that line from Cat’s Cradle about unplanned invitations to travel being dancing lessons from god. I don’t know.

And I totally get why someone who thinks that life begins at conception would think abortion is murder and would want to end it. Doesn’t mean I agree, since if God exists and life begins at conception, then God kills more babies than anybody via simple biology.

But those maybes, and those metaphysical beliefs are both deeply personal, and my moral case for a pro-choice position is that we as a society don’t force our citizens to adopt any particular metaphysics as long as they agree to abide by certain rules regarding behavior. And they pay their taxes. That’s a big one.

I’ve never had to make that choice. The closest I ever came was when a friend came to me and said she wanted to have get an abortion, and she needed to borrow money so she could have it as early as possible, and she needed a ride to Illinois because she couldn’t get one in our town. I said yes to both, and I held her hand when she needed me to, because that was the only choice I could live with, and I kept my damn mouth shut about morality and choices and pretty much everything except the weather and traffic.

Because she had made a damn hard choice, and I supported her. Because it wasn’t something I could decide for her, and it certainly wasn’t something that should be up to a judge, or some suit behind a desk to decide for her.

I wasn’t comfortable with it. I’m not particularly comfortable with divorce, either, but I was glad to have the option when my wife left, you know?

I have persuaded several pro-lifers to be pro-choice by talking about my feelings on the matter, leading up to the fact that, in a democracy, we sometimes have to give people the freedom to make choices we disagree with, whether it be for idealist or practical matters, like a tee-totally voting to repeal Prohibition.

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  1. I’m having a peculiar response to this commentary on abortion. While, in the end, you end up saying all the “right” things that place you in the pro-choice camp, you begin this article with a couple of whopping hypotheticals with rather firmly stated opinions. “If” you were a woman, and “if” you found yourself pregnant. you just “know” that you’d want to carry that fetus to term. How in the world could you possibly know that, being neither female or ever having even the most remote possibility of having to contemplate the reality of a pregnancy in your body? It’s difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to come up with a situation at all comparable,for purposes of comparison, as far as men and their bodies are concerned, and ain’t nobody ever legislated what men had to do with their bodies. Even involuntary castration, as awful as that is, holds an entirely different set of life-altering consequences for it’s victim. So why “go on record” to say “abortion is icky”, but if you were a pregnant woman you wouldn’t choose abortion? What’s that supposed to mean, exactly, especially in light of your subsequent comments?

  2. There appears to be a causality violation here, with Bridget Brown’s response coming two months before the post that inspired it.

    I’d go into why it is legitimate for people to imagine themselves in positions they can’t possibly occupy and make judgments about how they think they’d respond, so long as they allow others the freedom to make their own choices, but I’m a little confused about when my response is likely to appear and anyway, it would probably just start a pointless argument.

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