originally posted January 22, 2000
Read I’m Pro-Choice and I Fuck. I just wish I’d come up with the title first. It so sums up my feelings and philosophy….
According to Cristina Page, vice president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, pro-life groups not only want to end all abortions they are also “opposed to anything that leads to people having sex and not having a baby.” They are anti-abortion and anti-sex and see abortion as “birth control” (as a conservative WASPy male student once told me—he never made that damn mistake again), as women getting away with sex, as women being cold-blooded and slutty. That sex is bad and good people save sex for babymaking. When in 2002, data indicated that the rate of abortion had risen among low-income women, pro-choice commentators saw it as a sign that low-income women faced obstacles getting contraceptives and therefore had more unintended pregnancies while a spokeswoman for the National Right to Life Committee, Laura Echevarria, said that conclusion was “probably a bit of a stretch” and added “I’d like to see what their educational levels are, how many of them have access to educational material, how many of them understand childbirth.” As if only stupid women who are afraid of labor have abortions, as if an abortion has anything to do with that.
I’m pro-choice and I like to fuck and the first time I was pregnant I was in a grad program I desperately hated and a brand-new relationship (that I liked) and made $6K/year in a southern state with right-to-work laws and a stingy welfare system. Labor pains were not the issue. I had 2 college degrees, more, I am sure, than Ms. Echevarria, and had access to plenty of educational materials on childbirth, abortion, breastfeeding, diaper changing, anal thermometers and how to clean almost anything and none of that information had anything to do with my abortion. I am grateful every time I fuck and don’t have to worry about getting pregnant and I know how damn lucky I am. Not everyone is.
Like I tell my students—if you’re against abortion, don’t have one, but you cannot tell me or anyone else what to do with her body and the rest of her life b/c of your “belief.” Those 9 months are no walk in the park (from serious complications to annoyances) and are nothing compared to the next 20+ years. It is not something any man, woman or other should be forced into.
You must be kidding. This is sarcasm right? Let me see, a young white male whose target audience is Christians is judging the sentiments of a woman nearly old enough to be his mother who has clearly lived life. Yes, you are judging. I seem to recall your Christ in your Bible saying something to the effect of Judge Not, Lest You Yourself Be Judged. The Native Americans say a smiliar [sic] thing with a similar thread, Don’t Pretend To Understand Me Until You Have Walked A Mile In My Moccasins. Being married to a woman who had an abortion before we met I have had a glimpse into the mind of a scared 18 year old whose male friend shared their fun then disappered emotionally when that yielded a fetus. I have seen a life that could have gone one way go another completely. To this day she is firmly pro-choice but I doubt would consider another abortion unless there was [sic] health risk involved. The emotional scars she carried from that have affected her sexuality and the rest of her self-esteem. It has taken literally decades to get to a sense of balance in her. She is now in her 50’s so the decision to ever face again is soon moot. But, ask our two daughters if she made a mistake 35 plus years ago. My point is that there are women who are for abortion and those opposed. Men, who make the laws, execute the laws, for the most part, judge the propriety of the laws and run the religious institutions are in the weakest position to opine the merits of abortion. I find nothing in the Bible to support an anti-abortion stance, nor do I find anything to support the opposite. I find science which I believe to be God-given which says a fetus can no more exist outside the body than I can flap my arms and fly to the moon. So, to me, the fetus is an extension of the mother host and, if left to thrive, could one day BE a life when it can draw breath on its own and live outside the womb. I have had the opportunity to work with the poor in this country, with parents of children with mental illness, mental retardation, autism, birth defects galore. I have seen abandoned babies, crack babies, infants doomed to early death or lives of need that their families are unable to fill and the rest of us, through our government, unwilling to fill. I am not convinced that is better. I have many Christian friends who profess sorrow and compassion at such situations but oppose government spending because it requires their incomes to be taxed and minimizes what they can buy for themselves or for their own healthy children. I direct their thoughts to the Epistle of James and the difference between faith and works. I know it is unfair to use their precious Bible to call their attention to what their Christ says they ought to do as opposed to what they are doing but, really, Christians and the rest of the world would be better off if they actually tried to emulate the behaviors of Christ rather than use some of the words from the book as a bludgeon on those of us who don’t measure up and as a wedge between factions of this society. So, I am decidedly pro-choice. But, that is the opinion of a Man and I have stated it is something to which I am entitled but not something which I carry the authority to complel any woman to believe or on which to make her own decision to let the fetus grow or to stop it. Neither do I feel I have the right to judge her decision when made. And, I certainly don’t have the right to consider her outrage at the opinions of those of us who don’t have those rights as a showing of intolerance. To say the concept of abortion, for her, is visceral is understatement at a cosmic level.
Posted by: ReformedRepublican on February 19, 2006 at 07:45am
Thanks, ReformedRepublican. I am sorry, though, that your wife comes from a generation that feels guilt about abortion. Men have always had the privilege to do what they “have to do” (read: whatever the fuck they feel like doing at the damn time). Women, who face real consequences and responsibilities and risks, make the really hard decisions.