Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Choice" is about contraception and abortion; that's it

Poor-choicers truly believe that "reproductive choice" is about all kinds of choices.

They support any choice.

And they do. In theory.

Have as many children as you want; have as many abortions as you want; adopt or have kids by IVF; whatever you choose, we support you, is the official pro-choice line.

As if the fight were really not about contraception and its back-up abortion..

How do we know it's about that?

Because that's what poor-choicers spend all their energy on. They don't go all gung ho on adoption or defending women having many children. (If anything, many supposed leftist pro-choicers deride and castigate women for having many children.)

Here's one piece of anecdotal proof:

My pro-choice friend, who I've mentioned before, also spends a lot of her time lamenting on the "poor young people" and "poor women" who have limited to no access to artificial birth control, and attacking the pro-life side for being largely against the pill, and to a lesser extent against all birth control methods except NFP. She goes into great detail about how difficult it is for her to afford birth control, and how it is a stress that she and her boyfriend should not have to go through. But when I asked her about failure rates, about how she could become pregnant even if she is using contraception, she acknowledged that she does worry about the possibility of becoming pregnant. And when I pointed out that this is a major reason that pro-lifers are against marketing contraception as a solution to abortion (though we are not necessarily against contraception itself) she side-stepped the issue and continued to act as if the pill would completely protect her against an unwanted pregnancy.

So then I brought up how it is horrible that pregnant mothers are not given more support, which often forces them into believing that abortion is their only option, and how this is not a very "pro-choice" state of affairs. I brought up examples of programs (largely the work of pro-lifers) that help make life a possible choice for women facing unplanned pregnancies, and my friend went right back to the contraception issue - claiming that contraception would make my points completely moot because then there would be no unwanted pregnancies. She claimed all of this even though she had just admitted that contraception fails.

I have always found the focus of self-professing "rabid" pro-choicers to be quite odd. All of the focus is on the mother and on contraception ... the baby is ignored, the actual abortion procedure is ignored, and solutions which would enable women to keep their babies are dismissed as unnecessary "because we have abortion and the pill." The intrinsic morality of killing your child because you cannot deal with them is glossed over or dismissed, the psychological or health effects of the abortion procedure are unimportant when compared to the effects of childbirth.


Everything regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood is seen as evil, unless (of course) the pregnancy was explicitly planned. As someone who knows and loves many "surprise" babies, I will never understand the misguided sense of empathy pro-choicers feel towards pregnant women. There is nothing compassionate about claiming that contraception will solve everything, and that providing pregnant mothers with help and support beyond the abortion clinic is a side issue not directly related to the abortion debate.
Did you notice that the friend in question did not talk about options other than contraception and abortion?

Did you notice that helping women keep their pregnancies was not high up on her list of priorities?

In fairness, some poor-choicers do want to help women keep their pregnancies.

However, if you look at what poor-choicers spend the bulk of their energy on, that says more about what their concerns are.

Poor-choicers want to make the abortion about something else other than abortion. Because they need some principle to make killing an unborn child seem like an acceptable thing to do to the general public. So they call it "choice", except nobody is trying to criminalize or limit the choice to give birth or the choice to place a child for adoption, at least not on a collective scale.

"Choice" is not about choice. It's about abortion and contraception, except that if poor-choicers were to call it that, they would lose a lot of fellow travelers.