Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pro-choice confliction

Emily at After Abortion has linked to bunch of articles in the online magazine "The Nerve." One essay is written by pro-choicer Ada Calhoun who struggles with her "deep moral anxiety" regarding 2nd trimester abortions and another article by Jennifer Baumgardner of "I Had an Abortion" fame discusses women who have multiple abortions and how they are viewed by some pro-choice individuals.

I noticed that both articles seem to indicate that there is a push towards verbal conformity in certain pro-choice circles where mentioning an opposition to almost any kind of abortion is a unusual proposition.

Calhoun notes, "I've never said this out loud before, that I have such reluctance about abortion past a certain point — which in my case is definitely before Andrea's five months, when the fetus kicks, has a heartbeat, and sucks its thumb. Being pro-choice with reservations is taboo. It is to wrestle with guilt and doubt and feel that you must be silent."

Baumgardner mentions that "In September, Pauline Bart, another second wave woman of some reputation within the movement, suggested at a screening of "Speak Out" that younger women learn to do abortions themselves just as the collective of women known as 'Jane' did pre-Roe v. Wade. 'It's just like taking a melon-baller and scooping out a melon,' she said, referring to performing an abortion in ones' own apartment. I nodded earnestly but thought, 'No, it isn't.' Or, at least, it isn't to me."

Calhoun says, "But I do wonder if maybe we pro-choice advocates aren't more conflicted than we let on, and therefore if maybe pro-life advocates aren't as well."

I hope that Calhoun continues to examine the reasons behind her confliction. Why did she secretly hope "no one on the street would think it was me who was getting the abortion?" Why didn't Calhoun cheer for the woman who spoke at a rally about her seven abortions? Why does she personally feel that abortion in the fifth month is morally wrong?

More and more I see evidence that the prolife side has won the argument over whether the unborn are human beings and whether abortion is immoral but we've much more work to do on getting people to understand the consequences of those realities.

Naaman adds his thoughts

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