Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm thinking about replacing this section on the site. Opinions?


Let me begin by stating the sole purpose of this question is to make pro-lifers out to be monsters. It was designed as a catch twenty two, but if someone is actually willing to listen to our response then we must be prepared to articulate it clearly and logically for them.

If we say that we are accepting of abortion in these rare (1%) cases we have immediately lost all credibility. Ultimately we've taken the legs out from under the 'sanctity of life argument' which many of us believe so passionately in. What makes a child conceived under these horrific terms any less of a person than one conceived through a loving, caring relationship? Why is it alright for this child to be torn limb by limb but not the other? In my opinion this is the Achilles’ heel of the pro-life movement. More often than not we are divided over this question even though our core beliefs are united.

Now, if we say we oppose abortion under any circumstance, then we are heartless, and ultimately anti-woman. This is simply untrue.

Recently, I attended a protest where a woman was carrying a sign reading “(a certain political candidate) believes in making rapists fathers.” My question is this, what is the other alternative? Making a rape victim a murderer? I know that sounds a bit harsh but often times they accuse themselves of murder in the end, being able to forgive their perpetrated but not themselves.

After a woman has been assaulted, having her body violently invaded, why would we assume that the best thing for her is to have it invaded again? David Reardon complied a book of testimonies from these women who we frequently hear spoken for, but are rarely heard from. And you know what? Quite a few of them are disgusted by the fact that so many individuals use their circumstances as grounds for justifying abortion. Because this has become such an acceptable social norm in any case of unexpected pregnancy, when it comes to an instance of rape or incest, we immediately assume we are doing these women justice by forcing abortions on them. After going through the trauma of rape many women are literally broken and understandably not thinking clearly. Add to this the fact that their loved ones assume an abortion is the only thing that will take away this unspeakable memory and these women are left with little CHOICE of their own.

The fact is nothing will take away a rape. Nothing will ever erase that memory from their mind. Nothing will make it more acceptable, and nothing will make it easier to live with. In the end an abortion only exacerbates the issue, which is truly anti-woman.

The good news; with all new life there is also new possibility. The possibility for joy to come out of pain, and light to come out of darkness. How can the world steal that away from these women? It's unjust. In my opinion this should be our response.


Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying that I'm approaching this argument from a mostly-neutral position. Regardless of my political or personal position on abortion, I appreciate the arguments on both sides and am mostly interested in the issue itself--namely, how abortion, which is a very controversial and potentially harmful solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancy, has completely overpowered the more important conversation we need to be having about how to prevent those pregnancies in the first place.

But I digress. Although this blog entry is well intentioned, it misses the point. Pro-choice advocates not only use the rape/incest argument, but they use it well, because they have pointed out a nuance where they can provide clear reasons for their objections. Pro-life advocates, unfortunately, have not found a way to respond to this argument.

Case in point--your column is principled, but answers the rape/incest question with the same approach that you would answer any general question where abortion is an option. You aren't recognizing the nuances because to you, there are none. Abortion, in your argument, is wrong and therefore is wrong in this circumstance, which means you are providing little more than a tautological argument. This works to reinforce your beliefs and those who share them, but it won't convince those on the fence.

Furthermore, it doesn't address the fundamental flaw in this entire argument, which is that neither side speaks on the other's terms. I think that if you can discover a way to formulate your argument using the terms that someone on the fence would better relate to, you would discover you could convince them and appear educated and principled, rather than angry, myopic, and too reliant on religious and moral arguments.

Destiny said...

Hmmm, interesting point. I will certainly consider addressing this issue from more than just one angle.

I don't believe however I am simply answering this as an anti-abortion argument. I am stating how in these rare cases abortion may actually be taking the pain further and inflicting harm on an already assaulted individual. Thus making it very rape specific.

Furthermore, I do believe that I was looking at this issue in a clinical light as opposed to a spiritual one. If you disagree please show me where I ever mention God. The closest I came to even flirting with morality is in my labeling abortion as murder. Which perhaps I shouldn't have. After all, I refrain from calling clinics 'mills' for fear that I will come off as a fanatic, so maybe the word 'murderer' shows that same type of fanaticism.

Either way thank you very much for your feed back. It has given me a fresh new perspective to consider. ~D.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I was unclear. I don't feel like you were overly religious here, but my point about speaking on each other's terms has to do with words like "murder." I'm not sure that any one on the pro-choice side of this debate would ever argue that abortion is a *good* thing. Rather, it is just seen for some to be a better choice in certain circumstances (and, given that it's legal, it therefore becomes ok in any circumstance, at least in terms of can/can't versus should/shouldn't).

Unfortunately, however, both sides of the debate end up speaking past each other rather than having a productive conversation about the issue, since one side is speaking in terms like life and murder, while the other frames the issue in terms of choice, legality and privacy. (i.e. if someone does not believe abortion is murder, then that term will not resonate. if, they do, then its difficult to understand arguments about personal choice).

Regardless of my views or my focus on the discourse rather than the right/wrong, I find it heartening to find individuals like yourself who believe in a cause and choose to be engaged and active. This country could benefit a lot from people who have your passion.

Destiny said...

Could I ask, do I know you?