Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Disdain for Women Who Choose to Have Abortions

While Ross Douthat's hardly a conservative favorite for me, I definitely appreciate his latest New York Times essay, "Not All Abortions Are Equal." I appreciate it not so much for his argument, but for the reaction it has engendered among radical abortion rights commentators.

There's a decent-sized thread in response at
Memeorandum. What's interesting is the essential refusal of the pro-aborts to engage the most devasting aspect to Douthat's piece: that the pro-choice movement supports all manner of unlimited fetal termination; that pro-aborts not only advocate elective partial-birth abortions, but they'll fight to the death to preserve a woman's right to choose/kill.

I wrote on the renewed abortion debate the other day, "
Late-Term Abortions Get New Scrutiny." Here I'm just providing a roundup of leftist opinion so readers can get an even fuller sense of not just how morally bereft are the pro-aborts, but also how abortion - along with gay marriage - really is the decisive sociopolitical issue of our time. How do we want to define society? As one that fails to protect its most vulnerable?

Note first that Scott Lemieux, at
Lawyers, Guns and Money, is left impotent by Douthat's moral case for greater regulation. He's reduced to quibbling with what's essentially a debateable legal technicality rather than the larger existential issues at hand. I'm not even quoting Lemieux. The guy's questionable recent writings on abortion and public opinion have actually forced a spotlight on his competence.

So let's see what the netroots pro-aborts have to say ...

The left's overarching ideological (gendered) foundation is captured in this hypothetical scenario at

Imagine a matriarchal society where, for example, men are expected to stay home and raise the children and keep the house, are paid 75¢ on the dollar, are continually passed over for promotions because they're not part of the "girls' club," and are solidly underrepresented in state and federal legislative bodies. Imagine a world where men's bodies are still considered chattel, and are subject to archaic and inhumane religious beliefs costumed as "law." And yes, it's a cliche, but imagine a world where men could get pregnant. Then imagine a world where a doctor is murdered for performing an abortion that man sought because he didn't want to carry the child to term for any number of reasons.
All this counterfactual does is play the pity-poor-me-oppressed-woman-tearjerk game. It avoids anything substantive on the moral depravity of baby killing. TBogg, a Firedoggerel member, titles his post thus, "Hand Over Your Uterus and Nobody Gets Hurt."

Also classic is the brutal clarity in
Mahablog's post advocating the case for choice. Rejecting Douthat's suggestion that there are exceptional circumstances that may arguably necessitate abortion, Maha writes:

No, the argument for legal and medically safe abortions — which would still be regulated, as is any medical procedure — is that there are times when pregnancy and childbirth would place an unbearable burden on a woman’s life, and so women will seek abortions. Their reasons are as infinite as the details of their lives. If abortions are not legal, they will either abort themselves or they will find underground abortion providers, medically trained or not.
Nope, don't want to be "punished" with a child! Kill 'em!

And this notion of "underground abortion providers" is a myth in the U.S. There are untold clinics in the U.S. providing abortion services. Planned Parenthood's so hard up to kill babies that they refuse to report statutory rape in favor of pushing "choice" on a minor.

But check out Echidne's post, "
Every Sperm Is Sacred." As you can tell, there's a religious angle here:
So Ross Douthat has written a beautiful, almost elegiac, column on abortion, with the title "Not All Abortions Are Equal." The title is meant to make you subconsciously think that women's equality is irrelevant for this topic which is defined by Mr. Douthat and concerns the way we can save people like Dr. Tiller from getting murdered.

That way is to
give in to the demands of extreme anti-abortion fanatics so that they stop killing people:
If abortion were returned to the democratic process, this landscape would change dramatically. Arguments about whether and how to restrict abortions in the second trimester — as many advanced democracies already do – would replace protests over the scope of third-trimester medical exemptions.

The result would be laws with more respect for human life, a culture less inflamed by a small number of tragic cases — and a political debate, God willing, unmarred by crimes like George Tiller's murder.
God willing, indeed. Let's apply the same arguments to the Islamic terrorists: If we only gave them what they want they would stop terrorist acts against the West! Let's do that! Surely Osama bin Laden would allow us to micromanage some parts of our own lives as women? Surely?
Hmm, more with the "terrorist analogy." That's pretty sick.

Now, there's not much argumentation at
Athenae's post, but she does call Douthat a "sanctimonious garden weasel"!

But let me conclude here with Kathleen Reeves' longer discussion. To be fair, it's probably the more thoughtful of the bunch. But utlimately, Reeves' critique is just one more example of how leftists, in their abortion-as-gender-equality-meme, cannot appreciate the beauty and sanctity in the lives of the unborn:

The pro-life movement wants abortion gone not only from our health clinics, but from our memories. The movement focuses, at times, on late-term abortion because it’s easier to sensationalize and mischaracterize. For example, the PR genius who came up with the phrase “partial-birth abortion” ensured that in addition to the originally targeted procedure, intact dilation and extraction, all late-term abortions are now legally questionable. With a clever turn of phrase—calling it something that it was not—the pro-life movement attached a gruesome association to an entire set of procedures, all of which are employed to save women’s lives.

But again, the pro-life movement wants abortion gone, and it sees late-term abortions as a promising inroad. Douthat argues that our laws on abortion can avoid the all-or-nothing question, “Either a fetus has a claim to life or it doesn’t,” and can be more responsive to the many different types of abortion in America. He writes that the law is “the place where morality meets custom, and compromise, and common sense.”

While Douthat takes a well-considered, cool-headed tone in his writing, and while he implies at the beginning of the op-ed that he identifies with abortion rights supporters, his disdain for women who choose to have abortions is fairly apparent. It’s all too clear that the “common sense” he’d like to see in our abortion laws is Ross Douthat’s common sense, which makes little room for experiences that aren’t his own.
I can't speak for Douthat, although I must admit that I share this "disdain for women who have abortions." Well, not so much all women (there may indeed be medical circumstances whereby fetal termination should be available as a last resort). I'm disdainful of women who talk about abortions as happy day sharing opportunites. I'm disdainful of women who make decisions about pregnancy as if the "choice" at issue is no more significant than "paper or plastic." And I'm disdainful of women who advocate a feminist totalitarianism that demonizes men as "forced-childbirth barbarians."


Greywolfe said...

Well, suffice it to say, liberal minds are bent at 45 degrees. However, you stated that you believe that Abortion and Gay Marriage are the two sociopolitical issues of our time.

I beg to differ. With the race to Marxism and the bankruptsy of our nation, not to mention the recent speech by Barry that told the Congress (paraphrasing and reading between the lines here) "we can't continue with the spending and borrowing so start taxing the piss outta the poor folk." Our biggest socio-political issue will be which citizens are guilty of rebellion and which are guilty of theft to get their daily bread.

Gay rights and Abortion, both morally horrific, will fall by the wayside as other fights take up all the oxygen in the room.

Personal opinion only, mind you. Otherwise, I like this post as well as your previous posting on "Late-Term Abortions Get New Scrutiny."

Dennis said...

This has always been a difficult issue for me because I do not want to see women have to take responsibility for actions in which they have no part in making happen. There are ways early on to take care of this where rape and incest are a factor. That said it is about time that women took actions to ensure they do not get pregnant at the outset and this would be a non issue. It is your body so take real responsibility for it. Do not expect those who just want to use it for a while to care one whit because they know the onus is upon you.
This may sound like I am blaming the victim, but it is your responsibility to keep from being a victim by being very selective about those with whom you have sex. One piece of advice my grandfather gave me when I was a teenager was, "Don't have sex with any woman you would not marry."
Hooking up and all that seems popular today is like loading a revolver with one bullet and pulling the trigger, many times you hit an empty chamber, but.... and who winds up with the problems now and in the future no matter what course of action one takes, you.
Sorry about sounding like a father, but...... Responsibility cures a lot of ills. What a terrible man I must be to care enough to say some tough things.

cracker said...

Idiotically.....I asked my wife to read this particular post.....not smart.

She did say one thing i can repeat, about having alot of nerve "showing disdain for the woman without mentioning the a33hole who knocked her up using her ignorance and insecurity against her just get to get his "wick wet" (that phrase exactly) and is now in a state of denial leaving her to carry the most terrifying,and shameful situation to her family friends, and community. These jerks have no idea what its like to be a young woman, theyve never had a teenage daughter, probably never had a wife that talked to them, in fact never had much female influence in they're life period, except their crazy mothers, and they've stacked the deck in their favor since day one"

Anyway, I'm sleepin on the couch.

BTW....one thing, I 100% agree with Greywolfe is.....we aint seen nuthin yet. Hell they're speculate now that my state is REALLY at almost 20% unemployment.....ehh... Cant sit on the porch in Fall and blame the neighbor for the fact that this Winter is gonna be long and cold cold.


Greywolfe said...

And cracker, here's a small piece of information for your wife.. I've got 8 sisters. 2 have had abortions. I've seen every damned mistake a chic can make and it all comes down to the fact that no matter how many times they're told to keep their legs closed, none of them will.

Personally, if a bit more shame were brought back into the American Psyche for iresponsible actions, perhaps there would be a decrease in teen pregnancy and abortion.

After she spreads her legs and gets knocked up, is a little late to declare her body inviolate. There is another life in the mix then. As I said, a little more shame in America would be a good thing.

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...

Women who have abortions have experienced "womb-rape". They are victims. Sure, they consented. But they have Societal Stockholm Syndrome. This whole society hates their wombs and hates women. Women have wombs. When wombs are under attack by a society, women are under attack by a society. When babies within those wombs are attacked by a society - that society hates women for being women.

Massmurderers make a whole lot of money off this society's hatred for women - which is hatred for womanhood - which is hatred for motherhood - which is hatred for wombs and babies within the womb.

Nowhere in this cycle does a woman gain "equality". Women remain victims of a society bent on hatred for their bodies, their wombs, and their babies in those wombs.

If women recognized the massmurderers as the evil monsters they really are - and how this society has institutionalized hatred for womanhood and propagandized them into hating themselves and handing themselves over to womb-rape through Societal Stockholm Syndrome - they'd burn more than their own bras.

They'd actually face a real external enemy of all womankind: abort-terrorists. And they would shut them down.