14 July 2008

Let's aim for consistency

This is not George Carlin at his funniest (jump to 1:15 to skip the intro and clapping)...



... but he makes some good points.


In the US, a lot of the same people who oppose abortion also support the death penalty. They also eat meat. They also support the military. They also oppose gun control.

The abortion debate is not holistically about unborn children (yes, to some it is), it's about controlling women. As mentioned previously, women's intellectual contributions are, by and large, not valued. In fact to a certain demographic, women are for having babies and taking care of the family. A woman who doesn't even want a baby is a shocking thing, so a women who wants to abort a fetus (potential baby) is sacrilegious.

(I purposefully excluded the "abortion is murder" argument because it seems like an easy manipulation of the biology that is effective in inducing crushing guilt on those who consider abortion when faced with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.)

Without unequivocally stating it as fact, it's easy to see how making women keep their babies helps men retain power in politics, business and social spheres. It's not deliberate or malicious in all cases, but it works. Being pregnant can very often make a women physically sick and tired, which makes them less effective in public spheres. A man with the flu is less effective than a man in decent health. Those things happen. Where I take exception is when a policy creates a situation where women can't be free to choose their own timing. A woman who makes a mistake (unplanned pregancy), has to live with it if we don't allow another choice. The man involved in that same mistake -- or purposefully creates the mistake (rape) -- can choose to not deal with it from the instant it happens. A woman at least has to deal with it long enough to figure out her options, even if the only option becomes is pregnancy, birth and adoption. It's inherently unfair. I'll even go so far as to call it unjust.

So, in a world where rape doesn't exist, where women aren't victimized, and are allowed to make their own choices about when to get pregnant (let's pretend that everyone chooses abstinence when they don't want that baby), we don't need abortion, because women don't end up with the possibility of a child they can't keep for any reason.

Since we don't live in that world, what do anti-abortionists propose as an alternative?

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