Thursday, July 22, 2004

The New York Times is on a pro-abortion tear. First it was Amy Richards. Now today it is Barbara Ehrenreich. I thought nobody could be worse than Thomas Friedman. I was wrong.
Abortion is legal - it's just not supposed to be mentioned or acknowledged as an acceptable option. . . . You can blame a lot of folks, from media bigwigs to bishops, if we lose our reproductive rights, but it's the women who shrink from acknowledging their own abortions who really irk me. . . .

Honesty begins at home, so I should acknowledge that I had two abortions during my all-too-fertile years. You can call me a bad woman, but not a bad mother. I was a dollar-a-word freelancer and my husband a warehouse worker, so it was all we could do to support the existing children at a grubby lower-middle-class level. And when it comes to my children - the actual extrauterine ones, that is - I was, and remain, a lioness.

Choice can be easy, as it was in my case, or truly agonizing. But assuming the fetal position is not an appropriate response. Sartre called this "bad faith," meaning something worse than duplicity: a fundamental denial of freedom and the responsibility that it entails. Time to take your thumbs out of your mouths, ladies, and speak up for your rights. The freedoms that we exercise but do not acknowledge are easily taken away.
This is not a "pro-choice" argument, it is a pro-abortion argument. What is Ehrenreich saying? Nothing more or less than that abortion is a Good Thing that women should take full ownership and pride in.

One can complement Ehrenreich on her refusal to abdicate responsibility for her moral choices. The fact that she justifies them so shamelessly, however, should frighten us all. She does not shrink from the acknowledgment that through abortion she killed two of her "children"; that a fetus is a "baby"; and that relative poverty is a morally justifable ground for eliminating human life (that is, poor people aren't worth as much as rich people, and why don't those Africans just kill more of their "children" already and stop being poor?).

Ehrenreich is a self-professed "lionness" when it comes to defending her "extrauterine" children, but those children know that their lives are built upon the deaths of their siblings -- deaths which their mother maintains were Good Things.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the greatest American feminists, said "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." That feminists today would look to trailblazers such as Stanton instead of NOW!

I suspect these recent articles by Richards and Ehrenreich will have exactly the opposite effect of their intentions. They reveal the truth about the moral values of those who most radically support abortion rights: that abortion is infanticide (as Elizabeth Cady Stanton called it) and that infanticide is OK.


At 12:43 PM, Blogger Chibi said...

You're not convincing me of your moral superiority.

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me General,
do you have any adopted children ?

You don't like Infanticide (who does?)
You don't like Abortion ( few do, even those who want to keep it as a last resort)

You seem to think that abstinence is for everybody (despite it's spotty effectiveness record).

So if you truly care as deeply about these unwanted children as you profess to,...

Have you actually walked the walk by adopting someone else's byblows ?

At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the General would make one heck of a Nazi . . .

At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(1) I think you may be reading a bit too much into at least the portion that you quote. I don't see the frivolous decision to abort that you appear to see. (See also the next point for context.)

(2) From a male perspective, it is easy to judge women. After all, they are stuck with dealing with the majority of the child-related issues, and the "double bind", i.e. expecting them to perform both as professionals and as mothers with typically vastly underappreciating the burdens of parenthood (i.e. motherhood!), is mostly theirs. I'm also opposed to abortion in principle, but given this caveat, I do support choice. (And the same principle, judging others from a position of real or imagined unaffectedness, applies in a variety of other social contexts as well.)

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like all your econ posts. I think you're way off on this issue, however.

She does "shrink" from acknowledging that she "killed 2 of her children" - she, like most pro-choice supporters, makes a distinction between children and fetuses.

The abortion argument should always be about when life begins, otherwise it's endless.


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