Monday, June 29, 2009

Trouble with Coherency

Jill at Feministe links to a part of Bloggingheads discussion (entire discussion here) between Beliefnet’s Stephen Waldman and Slate’s William Saletan where they discuss the possibility of paying women to not have abortions and then writes ,
The whole thing is so infuriating I’m having trouble coming up with a coherent response. Steven Waldman from Beliefnet suggests paying women some amount of money to not have an abortion — not just because women who continue pregnancies often undergo tremendous financial strain, but as an incentive for her to give the baby up for adoption. Nowhere does he suggest that maybe we should provide economic support for all women, before and after birth, so that they can choose to maintain their pregnancies and raise a child if they wish; the whole idea is to bribe women into giving birth so that they’ll give the baby to a nice family.

I suppose that’s where there’s always going to be a fundamental disconnect between pro- and anti-choicers. Pro-choicers are concerned with women first and foremost; providing economic support for women probably sounds great to most of us, while providing an economic incentive to give birth and put the baby up for adoption at least strikes me as deeply problematic — Waldman and Saletan even liken it to surrogacy, which is troubling. Many anti-choicers, on the other hand, aren’t honestly all that concerned with women, and consider them more like incubators than people — financial coercion to give birth and give the baby up for adoption, then, is a pretty fine idea.
She's right about one thing: she has trouble coming up with a coherent response.

This response is almost completely incoherent because both Saletan and Waldman are pro-choice and favor keeping abortion legal. In their writings, they both appear to have some moral qualms with at least some abortions but they're certainly not pro-life. It’s exceptionally bad form to put out some assertion about prolifers (i.e. anti-choicers aren’t concerned with women) based on a policy prescription to lower the number of abortions from two pro-choicers.

It's almost like Jill can't respond to any discussion she disagrees with about abortion without personally attacking prolife people.

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