Abortion – Why I Am Pro-Choice

One of the topics I find myself debating about is abortion.  I find this amusing, since I decided that when I walked away from religion I walked away from any opinion on the matter and since I am not currently in possession of a uterus, I still figure it none of my business. However, it seems I cannot avoid the subject for very long, since according to several people who will remain un-named, I am on par with devil worshiping, hate mongering, communist baby eaters. And you KNOW how gnarly we can get… So, let’s see who we can piss off today.

Usually, one of the first objections to my decidedly pro-choice stance is the “fact” that human life begins at conception or somewhere really close.  In fact, according to many pro-lifers, human life actually occurs before conception, while god is busy counting hairs.  Of course, each individual branch of delusion has it’s own definition of what a human life is and where it begins. These are philosophical and religious opinions, and not being a philosopher or a religionist, I could care less.  Really.  I mean that from the bottom of my cold, dead heart.

I form my opinions on scientific evidence and reason, which puts human life on a continuum.  Sperm and eggs are also alive.  Particularly on a Saturday night in a college town.  They each represent potential human beings, but just about all sperm and eggs are wasted and roughly two-thirds of human conceptions are spontaneously aborted by nature, which ironically would make god one of the biggest abortionists in the history of everything, ever.

To say that abortion is the murder of a person, to me, is ridiculous.  Personhood is a legal term.  It means the existence of a birth certificate.  If a fetus is considered a person, then it would be entitled to all the rights and privileges that a person has who owns an actual birth certificate.  Even one from Hawaii. This would mean that a women’s body would be subordinated to the protection of embryos.. The legal consequences would be catastrophic. Why this is not obvious still baffles me.

What pro-lifers are really having trouble with is the fear that their morals are being abrogated by infidels, heathens and people who eat hot dogs without a bun.  Their religious doctrines and dogmas have blinded them to the fact that abortion often has positive benefits to the health and well-being of women.  Their “narrow-is-the-gate” worldview does not take into account that most people reject the position that abortion is always wrong. Personally, I think forcing a woman to have a child against her will is morally reprehensible, but hey, that is just me…

History, that oh-so-inconvenient conscience of “why we shouldn’t do this again”, has shown that attempting to legislate morality almost always ends badly.  Pro-lifers apparently have a selective memory. They either forget or don’t care that when abortion was illegal it did not stop abortions from being performed, but only made them horrifically unsafe. Imagine that…  It makes them cringe that abortion helps with family planning, which only serves to strengthen families, because everyone knows that only religious people are entitled to have strong families and those strong families are only possible with as many children as the good lord deems fit to bless them with.  Families like the Duggars, who seem to think that a vagina is a clown car.

Where is their concern for the woman who, after being forced to have an unwanted child, finds herself living her life under stress, hardship and often in abject poverty.  Of course, the immediate response to this is that if a woman has sex, then she has to pay the consequences.  The vindictive and self-righteous “sex is bad and must be punished” crowd need to realize that motherhood should never be a punishment. It is ignorant and replaces compassion with guilt.  Yeah, just what a woman needs at that moment in her life.  Besides, Super Bowl television advertisements would have us believe that most unwanted pregnancies become wanted children who grow up to be big, strong and wealthy football players and that a woman will regret having an abortion later in life.  The fact is that many unwanted babies are abused and neglected and suffer lifelong developmental and social problems. Fumble…

And the number one reason why I support abortion?   Because I think a woman should have the right to do with her body whatever she wants.

While most pro-life people are content to hold up jesus signs in protest, usually in front of abortion clinics, many of them just can’t leave well enough alone and decide that it would be a great idea to harass women who are arriving for an appointment.  They shove pictures of aborted fetuses in their face, cram tracts into their hands and more often than not, hurl threats of eternal damnation their way.  However, sometimes, picketing is just not enough.  So you get people like Scott Roeder, the man who killed Dr. George Tiller, a provider of late term emergency abortions. Roeder accused Dr. Tiller of mass murder and compared him to Hitler, stating that six million abortions are the same as six million Jews. Aside from this point of view being a total and complete insult to the memory of the actual, living human beings who were murdered by the Nazis, no one is out to “kill all embryos”.

Attacks on abortionists, their families, property and places of business happen to be illegal and is definitely not within the spirit of the constitutional law for a peaceful assembly to air one’s grievances.  In fact, here in these United States, the pro-life movement has resulted in hundreds of crimes against doctors who perform abortions.  Everything from vandalism to murder, including the use of bombs. Can you feel the love?

Here is a small sample of what legal businesses and health care providers that perform abortions, a legal procedure, have to endure, according to Wikipedia:

Murders:

  • March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest.
  • August 21, 1993 Dr. George Patterson, was shot and killed in Mobile, Alabama
  • July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside of another facility in Pensacola.
  • December 30, 1994: Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Mass.
  • January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer working security at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed.
  • October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death at his home in Amherst, NY
  • May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed as he served as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas

Attempted Murders:

  • August 19, 1993: Dr. George Tiller, again, was shot outside of the same clinic
  • July 29, 1994: June Barret was shot in the same attack which claimed the lives of James Barrett, her husband, and Dr. John Britton.
  • December 30, 1994: Five individuals were wounded in the shootings which killed Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols.
  • October 28, 1997: Dr. David Gandell of Rochester, NY, was injured by flying glass when a shot was fired through the window of his home.
  • January 29, 1998: Emily Lyons, a nurse, was severely injured, and lost an eye, in the bombing which also killed Robert Sanderson.
  • November 2001: After the genuine anthrax attacks, Clayton Waagner mailed hoax letters containing a white powder to 554 clinics.
  • December 25, 1984: An abortion clinic and two physicians’ offices in Pensacola, Florida, were bombed in the early morning of Christmas Day.

Bombings and Arson:

  • October 1999: Martin Uphoff set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic is Sioux Falls, SD
  • May 28, 2000: An arson at a clinic in Concord, NH, resulted in damage estimated at $20,000.
  • September 30, 2000: A Catholic priest drove his car into the Northern Illinois Health Clinic after learning that the FDA had approved the drug RU-486
  • June 11, 2001: An unsolved bombing at a clinic in Tacoma, WA, destroyed a wall, resulting in $6000 in damages.
  • July 4, 2005: A clinic in Palm Beach, Florida, was the target of an arson.
  • December 12, 2005: Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe threw a Molotov Cocktail at a clinic in Shreveport, LA.
  • September 13, 2006 David McMenemy crashed his car into the Edgerton Women’s Care Center in Davenport, Iowa, then doused the lobby in gasoline and then started a fire.
  • April 25, 2007: A package left at a women’s health clinic in Austin, TX, contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or death.
  • May 9, 2007: An unidentified person deliberately set fire to a Planned Parenthood in Virginia Beach, VA
  • December 6, 2007: Chad Altman and Sergio Baca were arrested for the arson of Dr. Curtis Boyd’s clinic in Albuquerque.
  • January 22, 2009 Matthew L. Derosia, 32, rammed an SUV into the front entrance of a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, MN

Now, I realize this is a sensitive issue. Really. Seriously. I am likely to get several gigabytes of email filled with the exact things I listed above about why abortion is wrong, and, as usual, 90% of the correspondence will be from Christian men.  Strong-willed and independent women scare them.  It’s hard to be a misogynist when you’re getting your ass whipped by a woman after telling her what her place is, according to the Apostle Paul.

These are my thoughts, such as they are, and this is likely the last post on abortion you will see in a long, long time, or until I get that uterus.

With that said, I will be back on Tuesday, March 16th.  One of my daughters is getting married this coming Saturday, and she is going to get my attention for the next few days.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

  7 comments for “Abortion – Why I Am Pro-Choice

  1. March 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Abortion i snot a religious issue, it is a human rights issue. Besides the FACT that the baby is not part of the women’s body, here are some sites you should take the time to visit if you care so much about women.
    http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/

    http://www.lifedynamics.com/Pro-life_Group/Pro-choice_Women/

    or perhaps this etter from Holly Pattersons dad..she died from “safe legal abortion”
    http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2010/03/from_monty_patt.html

  2. March 12, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I’ll say one thing for you – you largely base your stance on the only true argument for or against abortion; is the fetus a person or not.

    Of course that question was also central to the 19th century’s arguments for and against the continuing of the enslavement of Blacks. Personhood was, after all, a legal term.

    Care to discuss what the people who owned slaves, a legal enterprise, went through at the hands of their opponents?

    I bring this up because essentially the same underlying argument is happening regarding abortion and history does tend to repeat itself…

  3. March 12, 2010 at 6:27 am

    i luv u…… this was sooo on track…well written…& succinctly stated! bravo.

    i do however, now have a visual burned into my brain of clowns exiting a giant vajayjay….lol

    lets not forget the men of this world who choose to continually insist their wives pump out baby after baby…not change any of those babies diapers…& insist also that their spawn be home-school by mothers who are suffering from severe PPD (or psychosis)… i.e. andrea yates. she just chose to murder all her kids by drowning ….then was deemed psychotic. her doctors told her and her brainiac nasa husband that she should not be getting pregnant past the 1st baby….or the 2nd or the 3rd or the 4th ..etc. so sad……

  4. March 12, 2010 at 7:40 am

    While I have no objections to basing right or wrong in this issue on personhood (and generally have an open mind where the issue of abortions is concerned), I find it decidedly wrong to base personhood on the birth certificate. Birth would be a legitimate criterion, if not necessarily a criterion with a consensus.. Birth certificate? NO!

    Generally, what is a person is a philosophical question, not an issue for the law-makers (or, if it is for the law-makers, we need to base the debate on another term for a philosophically determined concept).

  5. March 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Jon and Michael:

    Jon, the argument from slavery is invalid, as you are comparing a fetus to a human being who has already been born. Apples and oranges.

    Michael, the birth certificate was a sarcastic analogy. Obviously, there are plenty of people who have no birth certificate.

    Theresa, I don’t really care. Seriously. I am pro-choice for the reasons I stated above. That is likely not going to change. Thanks for commenting, though.

    Minta, I got nothin’ but love for ya!

    • March 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm

      No, given the societal, legal, and (sadly) scientific opinions of the respective times, the two are nearly identical. In both cases the pertinent argument was that the victims of the respective practices weren’t truly people and didn’t qualify for the protections that society provided for such.

  6. March 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I only recently came out as a full pro-choice, no matter what supporter. According to the stats on plannedparenthood.org, 1 in 4 women have an abortion by age 45. That’s all I needed to know to realize that abortion is a very important choice for more women than anyone seems to be willing to consider.

    If that many women need to have abortions, then I am no longer concerned about their reasons for doing so. I used to claim that I didn’t support abortion for strictly birth-control purposes! No more!

    Women, you have a choice. Use it!

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