How have we allowed this to happen? How have we allowed anti-abortion activists to call themselves pro-life? How have we not called them out, loud and clear, on this Orwellian double-speak?
Many of those against abortion are the same right-wingers who want to nuke the hell out of Iran or any other designated enemy of the day; who support the death penalty no matter how many death-row inmates have been proven innocent; who obstruct all attempts at gun control even when kindergarten kids are massacred; who see nothing wrong about cops shooting unarmed black men in the back. But a single fertilized egg inside a woman’s uterus? Suddenly, that’s sacred.
They’re not pro-life. I am. And Planned Parenthood is. And NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League, is. Because nobody here is advocating for abortion per se; what we’re for is the right to have one. For motherhood to be a matter of choice, not compulsion. And for a child’s right to come into the world wanted and welcomed. What we’re for, in short, is life. Not life in the abstract, but real life, as it is lived.
What we’re for is not more but fewer abortions. And the way to achieve that is clear: sex education in schools, and freely available contraception for women. Yet the anti-abortion crowd is against both. Which means that all they ensure is that there’ll be more abortions.
The historical record is clear: women have always aborted pregnancies, whether with herbs, with knitting needles, or with wire coat-hangers in back-street abortions such as the one that nearly killed a close friend when I was a student. So now that abortion is safe – a minor medical procedure – the anti-abortion crowd are doing everything they can to make it dangerous again: to make the woman pay for having the gall to be sexual, and to make the unwanted child pay too.
If a woman chooses to carry a pregnancy to term and then give the child up for adoption, I totally support her choice. But it is cruel and punitive to force her to do so. It is downright obscene to insist that a rape victim carry her rapist’s child. And to make a woman give birth to a severely disabled child doomed to die in pain within hours, weeks, or months is nothing less than torture, of both mother and child.
This isn’t about the Bible or the Quran. It’s about punishment, about a basic attitude of life negation, of harshness and joylessness. It isn’t pro-life; it’s anti-life.
If its advocates weren’t causing so much misery and suffering, I might even find it in myself to feel sorry for them.
I agree with every word you wrote.
I agree with some things you say, but you do use a pretty broad brush toward your opposition to further your point. ; )
Very well put. I agree 100%!
Lesley, you’ve covered all the issues perfectly. I wish I could have said it as well as you did. Other than posting here at your blog, have you published this article anywhere else?
I know I could send this to a few of my friends via Facebook, but it wouldn’t get the coverage it deserves. I also realize there will be plenty of opposition to your statements, but they have to be said. We have to keep speaking out, especially because of the opposition. Thank you.
Thanks, Fran — and of course share on FB, and urge others to share. That can be enormously effective in spreading ideas. — L.
Dear Lesley Hazleton,
You have said it all. I concur absolutely. Some people are so dogmatic about opposing abortion regardless of undesirable circumstances like rape, poverty, young and immature age, broken or mistaken relationship and so on. One must have basic common sense in life.
Would you mind if I linked to this from an opposing viewpoint?
The blog is in the public domain, Justine, so of course feel free to do so. I will read with interest.– L.
Lesley, this is it. Lets get every news agency to carry your message.
I’m cheering for your words. Thank you, Tamam
Agreed on all points. And I’d like to add another. The same people who are anti-abortion want to drastically reduce the social support system that helps care for the children (and parents) they insist should follow through with unwanted pregnancies, including the organizations that help prevent those pregnancies in the first place (e.g., Planned Parenthood).
I’ve said for a long time that we’ve let the other side define the terms. How did we let them co-opt the term “pro-life”? At the very least, we are all pro-life. I personally think that proof of “pro-life” includes supporting universal health care and early childhood education for all children. Many people are pro-birth but anti-childhood? We are pro-choice and they are anti-choice. Some new terms are needed!!