Yesterday, I participated in an online discussion with other women about their feelings on Republican presidential candidate John McCain choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Both McCain and Palin are pro-life, and our “discussion” descended into an all out war between pro-lifers and pro-choicers. I have always considered myself pro-choice, although never of the placard-holding, street marching, boycotting the U.S. Supreme Court variety. But, my blood boiled when I read women’s comments that an unborn child was not part of a pregnant woman’s body, that society and not a pregnant woman should decide what happens to a fetus, and that society must “protect” unborn children irrespective of the pregnant woman’s wishes. I was incensed at the thought that child birth should be a woman’s punishment for having sex and getting pregnant, that women who got pregnant and didn’t desire to give birth somehow needed others to police them, and that others were arrogant enough to assume they knew what was best for a pregnant woman – irrespective of her resources, wishes and capabilities. Never known to back down from a good debate, I had to set it off. What follows is my response to one of the posters.
Yes, every woman should have the say over HER body but once she becomes pregnant she is making a decision for HERSELF and for the UNBORN.
The UNBORN of which you speak is the PREGNANT WOMAN’S unborn, not yours, not mine, not John McCain’s and not society’s. It should be up to the individual woman to decide when and whether she decides to have a child, and should not be based on the ideologies and religious convictions of others. What another woman does with her body is really not our concern. What another woman does with her body does not affect your life in any way. However, if a woman chooses to have a child she is not ready to care for, that becomes your problem in many ways.
No, I don’t want the government in our lives, in our beds, in our homes…. we need to police ourselves.
Exactly. We all need to police OURSELVES. So you police yourself as you see fit, and let other women police themselves as they see fit. Neither you nor I have the right to police what other women choose to do any more than a man has the right to police what a woman does. Let other people handle their own business. As my grandmother says, “I don’t have enough time to get up in other people’s bidniss cus I’ve got 6 months to mind my own bidniss and 6 months to leave other people’s bidniss alone.” Why must we make women’s bodies fodder for political discourse and our own judgments? Women’s bodies are not mere incubators for the future generations of our society. I don’t need you or pro-lifers or old men policing my uterus and making choices for me. My uterus does not need to be the cause celebre of the day. I am quite capable of choosing what is best for me, as are many women. So, I don’t need pro-lifers getting’ all up in my uterus. Decide what is best for you and yours, and leave other people’s uteruses alone. When pro-lifers decide to take in EVERY child whose parents are not ready to be parents, then you should step up and tell folks what they should and should not do. When all pro-lifers agree to bear other women’s children for 9 months, then you can come forward and tell other folks what to do with their bodies. But, until such time, leave other people’s uteruses and bodies alone.
I had two sons, which I was told to abort – they are both productive, loving fathers.
That is wonderful for you! My mother almost aborted me, but my granny stepped up and said “No! I’ll help you raise that baby!” You made the CHOICE that was right for you, according to your resources, support system and values. My mother made the CHOICE that was right for her, with the help of my granny. It is all about individual CHOICE. But, let me tell you this: If it hadn’t been for my grandmother, my life would have been very different. A drug-addicted mother who prostituted herself to earn money for crack cocaine would have raised me. Yes, we can talk about the woman not being “blameless” and society needing to “protect the unborn” until we’re blue in the face. But, how would you and other pro-lifers have protected ME, THE BORN in such a situation? How would YOU AND OTHER PRO-LIFERS have made up for my mother’s carelessness in having me in such situations? This is the situation into which many children are born. Maybe they have alcoholic parents, parents who abandoned them, abused them left them in foster care, or were emotionally bankrupt and incapable of being parents. There are plenty of reasons why some people choose not to have children; and that is their prerogative. Conservatives kill me. They scream about crack babies, welfare queens, deadbeat daddies, and folks needing to pull themselves up by their bootstraps instead of having all these babies out of wedlock. And yet, ya wanna make women slaves to their uteruses and your political ideals. Folks, we can’t have it both ways.
Not all men are ‘bastards’ nor all women ‘blameless’.
A woman’s choice should not be solely based upon and limited by whether men are bastards or women are blameless. You can be a blameless woman in love with a non-bastard man, and for quite legitimate reasons, choose not to have children. Abortion is not just the tool of “the ignorant, irresponsible, deadbeats.”
What a tragedy it would have been for Aretha Franklin if her mother had chosen to kill her. What a tragedy it would have been for anyone of us on this site to have had our mothers [even if some were less than wonderful] to have chosen to kill us.
That’s a poor argument against abortion. If these individuals had not been born, they wouldn’t even know they weren’t born. So, they wouldn’t feel any kind of way about having not been born. As for the effect on society, I truly believe that the circle of life would have continued if they were not born. We’d have great music, etc. Despite abortions, we still have the wonderful likes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, etc. A woman should not choose to have children for fear of “robbing” society of some great leader or resource in the future. Another woman’s choice is not about you, “society”, or me
Go sit down and leave my uterus alone!