Saturday, April 18, 2009

Speaking of hypocrisy and "the only moral abortion is my abortion"

This episode is so a propos in light of Fern Hill bringing up "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion."

Yesterday, I had one of the saddest encounters of my life in front of the abortion clinic. A woman who had had 3 previous abortions was waiting outside the clinic. I spoke about my abortions, and how I felt now. She said, “my baby has a beating heart, I saw it’s heart beating, but I’ve got to take care of the 2 kids I have with me, I’m afraid of the Children’s Aid Society taking them and I’ve been on drugs and alcohol and I tried the morning after pill which didn’t work. So my baby is already messed up. I’ve lost 50 pounds and am not sleeping. I know it’s murder, so you don’t have to tell me that it is alive. I know it is.”

I said “I work with people with disabilities and they are very precious and happy to be alive, and there is a good chance your baby is not disabled.”

She said “You seem like a nice man who is responsible, but the father of my baby took off, and I’ve got 2 kids at home and I can’t handle another one.”

(Read the whole thing. It's so heart-wrenching).

Clearly, this woman did not want an abortion.

She didn't even think of her abortion as moral. She may not even have considered her deed to be "the exception".

She is, in the feminist optic, anti-choice.

She was willing to do what she thought was wrong to solve her problem.

To be fair, she wasn't a picketer or a member of the pro-life movement as far as we know. We don't know how far her opposition to abortion went. Still. She was obviously going against her own anti-abortion views in an attempt to resolve her issues.

This is one face of what Joyce Arthur terms "the only moral abortion is my abortion" phenomenon.

I don't know what went on in that clinic or what went on inside that woman's head. But clearly, abortion is not the truly desired option. What the woman really wanted was for her man to support her and for CAS to get off her case (I'm not saying CAS didn't have a legitamite case, only that she wanted them to not take her kids away).

This may be her "choice", but it is not what she really wants to choose.

Behind these "hypocrites" are stories of women who, in many cases, are choosing abortion as an alternative to what they really want.

Is that really pro-choice?

If you're having an abortion, but you really want to keep that baby, isn't there a problem?

How does abortion address the problem?

So how does underscoring hypocrisy really advance anything?

What the article is is in exercise in rhetoric in an attempt to smear pro-lifers. The reader is supposed to come away with the idea that since there are hypocrites in the pro-life movement, they're not really sincere-- they have ulterior motives for opposing abortion, and therefore their arguments, by extension, are invalid.

It is another attempt to steer the discussion away from the issue: that of the right to life of unborn children. Because that's what the argument is about. Pro-lifers do not fight against the legality of tubal ligations, or being childless or giving up babies for adoption or a number of other reproduction-related issues. They fight for the lives of unborn children.