Thursday, April 13, 2006

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The Daily Mail has an editorial by Joan Blackwell, a pro-choice woman who is uncomfortable with the number of abortions in the United Kingdom. Back when abortion was legalized, Blackwell assumed that "more sex education, more contraception, and less inhibited social attitudes would mean no woman would become pregnant who didn't want to" and is disturbed by the fact that this hasn't become a reality and notes that abortions in the UK are on the rise. Blackwell attempts to find out why abortions are on the rise even though her utopian vision of more sex ed, more contraceptives, etc. has come to pass.

To accomplish this goal Blackwell shares the story of Polly, a teenager who had an abortion at 14, and shares some of Polly's thoughts including, "'I don't regret my decision, but I did feel very ashamed when I was with the doctors and nurse and it was a very frightening experience...'I often wonder how my mum and dad felt at my getting rid of their grandchild. That does haunt me — but it's something we don't talk about any more."

Blackwell concludes that the culture where sex after a date is assumed, binge drinking is prevalent and where women are objectified is reason behind the UK's high and rising abortion numbers. Blackwell says,
"What is brutal and exploitative is a culture of easy and cheap sex, callous regard for each other's feelings, and a glib assumption that, 'what the hell, when things go wrong, she can always get an abortion'.

It is this coarsening of how we treat each other that leads to misery and wretchedness."
I'm wondering if Blackwell ever thought that maybe the legalizing and widespread practice of abortion might have led to some of the factors she thinks leads to abortion. It's like, hello? Where do you think the glib assumption that "when things go she can always have an abortion" came from? Maybe the fact that abortion is legal and available and the National Health Services pays for a whopping 82% of abortions performed on women from England and Wales.

If the post-abortive girl you interview claims to have no regrets (yet at the same time claims she is haunted) about her decision to get rid of her parents' grandchild (and thus her own child) isn't that a sign of callous disregard for something? Is it possible her abortion might have played a role in this callous disregard?

Blackwell's piece also contains this jaw-dropping paragraph:
If all three fail them and they then fall pregnant, the law allows them to seek and have an abortion. They are not forced to bear a child they did not intend and do not want. No children will be born into unloving homes and indifferent parents.
She can't really believe this, can she? Does she honestly believe that abortion makes sure that no children are born into unloving homes and indifferent parents? I also absolutely can't stand it when pro-choicers assume that the homes of people who bear a child they didn't plan are unloving and the parents indifferent.

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