Friday, March 31, 2006

The Blindness of the Pro-Choice Movement

Via Feministe, I've forcibly digested this article by a volunteer of New York City's Haven Coalition. Haven Coalition members house pregnant women who come to New York City seeking late-term abortions. The author, Lynn Harris (a professional writer who is married to a rabbi), convinces me over and over again that certain pro-choice people have a huge blindspot when looking at certain aspects of reality.

Lynn begins by noting,
"When she told me she was stepping out for a smoke, I was briefly, mildly shocked: I mean, this girl is 21 weeks pregnant. But just as quickly, I remembered: After tomorrow, she won't be."

How ridiculous is this? Lynn is shocked that a pregnant woman is smoking, presumably because she's aware that smoking can cause damage to the unborn child. Yet Lynn isn't shocked that this same woman will do something which will intentionally kill the same unborn child tomorrow. Smoking while pregnant is bad because it could hurt the unborn child. Aborting children is good even though it kills the unborn child. The pro-choice position looks better every day, huh?

I also wonder if Lynn looks down on pregnant women who are planning on giving birth yet choose to smoke during pregnancy.

Lynn goes on to note how her and her husband basically ignore what their scripture has to about when abortion should be allowed and instead base their position on a very broad definition of "health." She then explains why her and her husband are members of the Haven Coalition.
What moves us, what made us both instantly say yes when a friend emailed us about becoming Haven hosts, are the Jewish commandments to help and protect our neighbor, to shelter someone who is in—again, liberally interpreted—danger.

How about the unborn child? Are they not in danger? Doesn't the fact that they are about to be killed mean the unborn are in danger? Are you kidding me, Lynn? How sad is it that Lynn is so blind that she can't see how her actions are violations of the exact commandments she's purporting to follow.
And the notion of tzedakah, which is not an act of magnanimous charity—"Here, pitiable one, make yourself comfortable in my fabulous Brooklyn home!"—but one of justice: giving the poor their due.

How about providing some justice to the unborn? How about giving them "their due" by letting them live (all of 3 months) til their due date?
Access to abortion—access, not just the in-principle right—is a fundamental matter of social and economic justice. The word "choice" doesn't even begin to cover it. We, the Jews, are the people commanded to take care of the widow and the orphan.

Abortion has become more than just a right to many pro-choice people. It is no longer enough for women to just have the option of having an abortion if they have the money to pay for it. Women now should be able to have their abortion paid for and have a doctor in every hometown who will be willing to perform one because being able to have an abortion when and how you like has somehow become a matter of social and economic justice. Imagine if the NRA said that gun ownership was no longer a matter of rights but of social and economic justice where even poor people should be allowed to have guns they can't afford and that it's a travesty that only such-and-such a percentage of counties have a place where guns are sold.

Also notice how there is absolutely no thought that maybe, just maybe, the unborn child in our present times could be considered something akin to the widow or the orphan in Jewish scripture.
When David delivers a Haven guest to the clinic in the morning, there's almost always a protester or two, often male, usually the quiet, murmuring, "If you're pregnant we can help you" type. David always warns the patients ahead of time that they'll probably be there, tries to get between them and the patient, and then calls me in a rage from his cell when he leaves. The strong patients sass back, the resolute ones stare straight ahead, the frightened ones burst into tears—and yet not one wavers in her determination to do what's right for her. So thanks, harassing guy, that was useful for everyone.

Quietly murmuring, "we can help you" is harassing someone? Please. Should Lynn's husband really be in a rage because someone offers to help a poor woman who is pregnant with a 20+ week old unborn child bring that child to term? Is that really "rage-worthy?" I'm starting to wonder if Rabbi Harris has some anger issues.
It's so viscerally clear to both of us that Haven, and working to protect reproductive freedom, is about taking care of society's most vulnerable.

It's so viscerally clear to me that Haven and its members are so blind to reality that they can't see where society's most vulnerable really are. Even when those who are most vulnerable cause the visible physical protrudement of their mothers' bellies in homes of Haven's members.

Make sure you look at the last paragraph where Lynn seems to compare abortion to redemption.

1 comment:

  1. Abortion has become a sacrament among its supporters, and you prove your worthiness by facilitating abortion.

    It's bizarre.