Race/Gender

Lack of access to abortion threatens the integrity of the family

This author is as dismayed by the pro-life* position as the next progressive. Nor can a middle-ground between pro-life and pro-choice be readily imagined. But, pro-choice advocates do themselves a disservice by denying or dodging the element of extinguishment that, however blown out of proportion by pro-lifers, is intrinsic to abortion. Though not life itself, the preconditions for life are quenched.

Whether or not this concession would have any impact on pro-lifers is doubtful. But it may help remove the blinders from pro-choice advocates and allow them to experience how abhorrent pro-life advocates find the idea of abortion.

Second, framing abortion as a means by which women assert control over their own bodies only confirms pro-life suspicions that pro-choice women are heartless narcissists who can’t be trusted with the fate of their fetuses.

In fact, the pro-choice movement would be advised to zoom out of its focus on women and include the entire family in the frame. In other words, an unwanted child is a threat to the integrity — sanctity even — of the family. That applies both to the family of a pregnant, unmarried teenage mom and the family of an older mother with other children which another mouth to feed would leave in dire straits. The idea that lack of access to abortion threatens the integrity of the family needs to be flogged with the kind of unremitting mimesis more common to conservatives.

*Adopting their terminology for the purposes of this post.

Categories: Race/Gender

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6 replies »

  1. Thank you for framing the issue this way. The arguments from the pro-choice position may be entirely valid (as I’m inclined to think), but I agree that the dodge accomplishes just what you say. Worse, looked at from the perspective of religiously-minded “pro-life” advocates, the dodge confirms the diabolical and murderous inspiration behind “pro-choice,” and throws gas on the fire.

    Personally, I’d like to see the pro-choice movement take the specious personhood arguments and drub the pro-life movement with them on separation of church/state grounds, for at root, the religious basis of pro-life advocacy stems from a Bible-based belief in “ensoulment” and when it occurs. Why the hell is our secular government legislating based on the issue of souls, but for the failure to drag the terminology into the argument?

  2. No, No, No. I completey disagree. The author greatly underestimates our opponents because he mis-attributes the core issue. It’s *control* (not babies or “life”) and it always has been *control*. Those of us who’ve been involved in this fight for decades have tried to get this across to others but still see well-meaning supporters sucked in to the anti-choicers’ emotional rhetoric. We’ve predicted for decades that the anti-choicers’ ultimate goal was to outlaw birth control and now we’re seeing them become much more open about that. Nothing could prove my point better but go ahead and add the fact that Republicans are working hard toward their goal of cutting funding to seemingly every program that helps children and women.

  3. I believe that abortion is too often the death penalty for accidental trespassing. I also believe that it is not the business of government to make broad laws that encroach, theatrically and uninvited, on an individual’s private interaction with their medical doctor. It’s a tough circle to square. I’m glad I’m a man and, as such, will never ever be presented with a circumstance where I feel the need for an abortion.

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