Specifically Life versus Choice.
A Twitter link to a blog post led to another and then finally to this. Which is from February of this year. It is an appeal to choice, and it is well written, and I find myself sympathetic to the writer.
In many ways, the author says that there is no "versus" in the argument of Life versus Choice. And certainly she thinks that there is no higher value than supporting a woman's choice, both to have a child and/or to have an abortion.
But is she right?
"I didn't make a mistake having my baby. And my friend didn't make a mistake not having hers. The right choice for me may not be the right choice for you and the right choice for you may not be the right choice for me and the right choice for Jamie Lynn Spears may be the wrong choice for you and your family but come on, now. Let's all have some respect for people's procreational choices."
I think one of the mistakes that the pro-life people have made over the years is that we have not trumpeted loud and long our support of women in unplanned pregnancies. We do, of course, have thousands of crisis pregnancy centers and other supports out there. Which do not, of course, receive anywhere near the funding that Planned Parenthood does.
But I can understand the focus on the baby. It seems like everyone else focuses on the mother: her decisions, her 'choices', her situation, the consequences of her behavior, etc. But in the discussion of choice, no one talks about the baby. And there are VERY few people as brutal as Camille Paglia is in her no-holds barred description of what abortion is:
As an atheist and libertarian, I believe that government must stay completely out of the sphere of personal choice. Every individual has an absolute right to control his or her body. (Hence I favor the legalization of drugs, though I do not take them.) . . . .
But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, "Sexual Personae,") has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman's body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman's entrance into society and citizenship.Ouch.
No one wants to face the fact that the child who is aborted is a "who" not a "what". No one. Especially not a woman who has faced the awful choice of what to do when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy which she doesn't think she is ready for. She is faced with raising a child that she doesn't believe she is capable to ready to raise. Or placing the child for adoption after carrying him for nine months and answering all the questions from all the people. Or killing that child at a very early age. What an awful choice.
And I repeat myself.
What an awful choice.
And why should she have to make that choice?
There SHOULD be more support for women caught in these crosshairs. Attitudes toward the consequences of sex should keep up with the attitudes toward sex itself. Attitudes toward pregnancy should keep up with the attitude people have about sex. No one should have even THOUGHT about commenting much less criticizing Bristol Palin's pregnancy. And the hypocrisy of many on the left (not all) in that regard was beyond disappointing.
Something we in the pro-life community need to learn, to do the opposite of what the 'choice' community does: treat the vicitims differently. The women need as much compassion as we give the babies. And if we do that well, then maybe the 'choice' community will give as much compassion to the babies as well as the women.
We have a hard battle ahead.