Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008 Blog for Choice Day

I doubt anyone will fall over in a dead faint upon hearing that I'm pro-choice. As a feminist, I'm naturally all for women being granted control over their own bodies. Nothing irks me more than seeing some man--who is incapable of ever being pregnant--shouting from behind a megaphone that women should not have the right to choose whether to carry a baby to term.

Hey, you don't have to LIKE abortion. In my mind, it is, largely, a preventable tragedy, which is why we need to keep educating our hormone-driven teens about birth control and safer sex. But of course, sometimes even birth control fails; condoms break, women on the pill have been known to become pregnant. Abstinence, of course, is the only foolproof method of avoiding pregnancy, but since I'm living in the real world, I think talking about abstaining while not educating kids about what to do in case they don't abstain is merely a recipe for more unwanted pregancies.

Then self-righteous people will stamp their feet and declare, "Well, that's their fault! There are consequences to actions!" (As if they actually think having an abortion is jolly fun, and that the medical procedure is free, too.)

Half the time it actually sounds like they see carrying a fetus to term as being a deserved form of punishment for a moral boo-boo. And half the time, these same folks could give a hoot about what life that potential baby will have once it's born--because they tend to be the most vocal group against welfare, TANF, food stamps, anything they see as a handout for which they have to pay taxes.

Then adoption is always thrown out as the solution to abortion, but that's a pile of horse hooey. Again, let's return to the real world. Agencies already aren't able to place many unwanted kids because, let's face it, people don't want to adopt just any baby. They don't want the crack babies, for instance. So compelling women to bear unwanted children oftentimes condemns a child to a miserable life in poverty or confined to the foster care system, which is already bursting at the seams. We end up with 15 year-old children as single moms trying to raise a baby, and then we do not offer her much in the way of help. Mr. Teenage Papa is seldom part of the picture at all, by the way, even though he was 50% responsible for the pregnancy. That old double-standard still exists. I still hear people saying things like, "She went and got herself pregnant."

I just think quality of life versus quantities of lives is a reasonable consideration.

And this doesn't even take into account the pregnancies that occur due to incest or rape, or ones that threaten the life of the mother. Or what about the 48 year-old perimenopausal woman who already has three adult children and suddenly finds herself accidentally pregnant? How could we be so arrogant as to think it's even our business to decide for her whether or not she wants to carry another child?

For all these reasons and more, the right to choose should remain a fundamental right for women, lest we return to the day of back-alley coathanger abortions. (Again, to return to the real world: if abortion is illegal, it will not stop abortions.) Though I'm no single-issue voter, I cannot imagine EVER casting a vote for a candidate who is so myopic he or she would be against a woman's right to choose.


Hahn at Home said...

I am so pro-choice - how can any of us judge unless we are standing in their shoes, and wait, those shoes are full already.

You are going to get me on my high horse. I adopted three babies. There weren't throngs waiting for the twins - prematurity problems, serious delays in all areas, "low IQs," potential long term medical issues - and they are black. People want little healthy white babies or babies that are so different that no one thinks they might have slept with a black man. Sorry, just ran across that very thing too many times.

Fostered two crack kids - the system is FULL of them. Full of kids neglected, abused, and left without any nourishment emotional or otherwise. They grow up and repeat the cycle - it's all they know. It's all they can do - to feed the hunger they have that will never be satisfied.

These people who are so anti-abortion - I don't see a whole lot of them adopting these children. It makes me ill, and now I need to go wake my beautiful children - who with lots of help, struggle now only in minor areas and are all too healthy teenagers.

Margo Moon said...

In complete agreement, ladies. And feel the "preventable tragedy" aspect so very deeply.