Abortion Is Great!

Amanda Marcotte is at it again, and by “it” I mean illustrating why feminists hurt themselves when it comes to abortion. Statements like this are so repulsive to the average person:

I appreciate the idea that visibility is critical to getting people to understand that women who get abortions or rape victims–two groups dehumanized and demonized in an effort to strip them of their rights–are human beings. I was in full support of the “I had an abortion” T-shirt, because to me, it’s not complicated. The anti-choice movement tries like hell to erase women’s existence, or at least our individuality, and the T-shirt undermines that. It also clarifies that abortion is nothing to be ashamed of. For me, “I had an abortion” should be as morally loaded as “I had a Pap smear”. The underpinnings of the moral angst about abortion–the idea that a woman has no right to pry loose a flag a man has planted in her (even if he agrees with her decision, as most men in this case do), or that she should be punished for having sex–offend me to the core, and that many women go through anguish over getting abortions depresses me. They shouldn’t feel bad for having sex or having autonomy. In fact, they should be proud of themselves for taking care of themselves despite all the misogynist messages out there that women don’t have a right to take care of ourselves. People balked at the idea that the “I had an abortion” T-shirts smacked of that mortal female sin of pride, but I applaud it. Women should be proud of doing right by themselves in a world where that’s socially disavowed.

Ann Althouse, who believes in abortion, says this:

The “abortion” shirt, on the other hand, admits that you’ve done something for yourself that involved sacrificing what many people believe is another human being. Why do you want to say that by T-shirt? In Marcotte’s view, it’s to show that you’re proud of “taking care” of yourself “despite all the misogynist messages out there.” I thought it was more to normalize abortion — to make it seem ordinary, widespread, and something that would be done without shame by nice, upstanding women.

I happen to believe that abortion is wrong. Period. However, I can understand a woman’s claim to her own body. I can understand the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Most women have had that fear at one time in their life. So, as much as I find abortion repugnant, I don’t find those who feel trapped and make that decision repugnant. It can seem perfectly rational at the time. Still, I know only two women who haven’t regretted their decision, and often the forced decision to abort a child.

Abortion is a tortured experience for a woman because it is a morally fraught decision. The same woman who aborts a “fetus” will call a wanted child her “baby” the instant she reports the joy of her pregnancy. Many women regret being moved by fear or helplessness. Many women resent the manipulation by boyfriends, husbands and family when she wants the baby. Many women would choose differently if given the choice again.

This reality seems to be lost by those like Amanda Marcotte. In her absolutist world, there is no ambiguity around the topic. There is no such thing as regret or conflict. Women should wear their abortions with pride. It is a sign of self-affirmation.

And she actually touches on the heart of the problem. At it’s heart, abortion is a selfish decision. A woman is choosing her own comfort over the discomfort and inconvenience of an unplanned for child (I am not touching on the anguish a raped woman feels in facing the future). And she feels women should wear this selfishness with pride. She does a disservice to the reproductive rights crowd and harms her own movement by being so cavalier about the implications of the decision to abort.

Society benefits that shame is associated with “the right to choose.” Is there no shame anymore? Even with the shame, far too many people engage in sex without thought and consideration of the consequences that can result in another being paying the ultimate price for momentary pleasure. Removing the shame would simply increase the number of abortions and multiply the regret of many more people, who, stopped by their conscience, opt to have a child and make it work instead of choosing abortion.

The real shame is that feminists elevate selfishness and refuse to see the conflict inherent in the decision to abort. By doing so, they harm women they ostensibly desire to help.

Cross-posted at Dr. Melissa Clouthier. Come visit!

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