In which I use more parentheses than I ought.

10Aug10

“I noticed that everybody who is pro-abortion has already been born…”

– Ronald Reagan

A friend, with whom I’ve had several heated arguments on this subject, posted this quote on his facebook.  I have been making an attempt not to respond to such statements, although he is making them increasingly often.  But this quote, in particular, makes it difficult not to respond.

First, there is the scare-tactic term, “pro-abortion.”  I think Hillary Clinton put it well when she said, “I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion.”  Those of us who are pro-choice are advocating for just that — choice.  We aren’t advocating using abortion as your primary form of birth control, or running campaigns to abort every fetus we can get our hands on.  But in order for women to have any sort of agency in their lives, they must have the choice of when and whether to have children, and “Don’t have sex at all unless you want children” really is not a viable option — is not an option that provides agency at all.  Every single pro-choice advocate I know is also an advocate of thorough sexual education — education that helps to prevent unwanted pregnancy.  But when a pregnancy a woman cannot handle either emotionally, physically, or financially occurs (whether because other methods of birth control fail, she did not receive proper sexual education, or she found herself in a situation where the use of birth control was prevented by the other party), then her only options should not be pregnancy and child-rearing, or pregnancy and adoption (I’ll spare you the rant on our over-crowded adoption system).  Either of those two options involves at the very least nine months of medical bills, some pretty intense body changes (which include decreased mobility and self-reliance), and, toward the end of the pregnancy, time out of a job that the woman may not be able to afford (I don’t think I even have to mention giving birth…but yes, painfully delivering a mini-human is also a negative).  It seems to me that those who assume that women should go through with a pregnancy they can’t afford are generally on the privileged end of the spectrum — they have money, and they have support systems, and either can’t wrap their minds around the fact that some people have neither, or don’t care because they don’t think it’s their problem.

And then there’s the rest of the sentence.  Can I tell you how utterly ridiculous it is?  Because, honestly.  Unless we are going to give fetuses voting rights that they don’t have the sentience or capacity to exercise, of course everyone who is pro-choice has already been born, and this should not be changed even if it could be.  I can’t even begin to understand why someone thinks this is a viable argument.

In short: I am tired of so-called arguments that rely on nothing more than a self-important notion of morality.

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2 Responses to “In which I use more parentheses than I ought.”

  1. That’s not even an argument. It’s a pithy quip designed to silence opponents.

    The more I read stuff like this, the more I am tempted to support retroactive abortion.

  2. Yes, yes it is.

    My self-control vanished, I totally went off on him. :/ Ah, well. Not actually a loss, I could do without that sort of toxicity in my life.

    (Also, I ❤ you. Retroactive abortion ftw.)


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