Monday, January 14, 2008

Abortion Schmabortion

Every now and again, I am reminded that, sometimes, I just do not think like other people.

In the Boston Globe "Ideas" section was an article about abortion as portrayed by Hollywood. The author is dismayed that more and more protagonists are choosing to keep their babies. The offhand acceptance of abortion as a non-consequential act (or one that SHOULD be without consequence) makes me re-think my support of Roe v. Wade.

[ed. note: I am a relatively non-Christian, fiscally conservative, socially progressive male. Throughout my life I have generally kept out of the abortion debate--although I consider abortion "killing," killing can be justifiable. As for any religious aspect, I consider that a private matter between appropriate parties (e.g., the aborter and her Maker, if she believes in that sort of thing).]

The article highlights that, to some (many?) Pro-Choice is not about "choice"; rather, it is indeed (at least from the authors point of view and that of Ellen Goodman) pro abortion, termination, killing.

The author wrote: "So why does it feel like movie and TV screenwriters have come a long way, in the wrong direction [emphasis mine], since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision?", indicating that he finds any skewing of portrayals towards keeping one's baby as "the wrong direction." Hence, the right direction must be abortion. Hence, the author (and those who think like he does) are not pro "choice" but actively, decidedly, and weirdly in favor of women choosing to terminate their potential offspring.

He quotes Ellen Goodman as lamenting "abortion [is portrayed as] the right-to-choose that's never chosen." Ah, Capital 'F' Feminism: yes, ladies, do whatever you please, whatever you choose, so long as that "choice" conforms to Gloria Steinem's way of life. Choose to marry--a MAN?! WRONG! Choose to stay at home to raise your children? WRONG! Choose to bring to term that parasitic organism growing in your womb? Bzzz! Wrong AGAIN!

Through offhand comments one often gathers instant, honest insight into real thought processes: His--and that of The Boston Globe and likely its readership--is, to me, barren and, frankly, rather frightening. That abortion should not be illegal is not something that I (used to) dispute; but I indeed dispute that it should be without consequence, compassion, or concern. Some are fighting for animal rights; some tie themselves to trees; too few choose to view nascent humanity with...well...humanity.

And it is just such insightful, offhand comments as those in the article that make me re-examine my "commitment" (such as it is) to Roe v. Wade, that is, if part of the real effect (intended or not) of that legislation has been to fully devalue the reproductive process and all its participants (to include the fetus) as well as any "consequences," well then, maybe my level of support has decreased over time by a similar but inverse proportion. In other words: if Roe v. Wade leads to thinking such as the author's, then maybe that legislation ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Digging further, I find the author's blog; note that he ALSO considers (as noted in his thoughts regarding the movie "Juno") giving one's baby up for adoption as a worse "choice" than abortion, i.e., he lumps birth-then-adoption as "keeping my baby."

---Addendum the Second:
Contrast the above author's thinking with that of the main character in another Globe article (BTW: I generally avoid the Globe, as it tends to get me all wound up, but I was stuck in the airport...):
Men begin to reflect on their abortion "choices."

I am trying to read into the article how Globe reporting minimizes the impact of the article; I note that they use such discounters as the "whacky, right-wing religious conservative" meme, as well as a subtle stab at "men have no right" (by implying that men are now copying women in their "the personal is political" tactics).

What I found interesting about the article was the warning signal, the idea that men, blindly supporting a woman's "right to choose," themselves deny their own culpability, responsibility, and connection.

The real shockers were saved for the final paragraphs:

"Morrow, the counselor, described his regret as sneaking up on him in midlife - more than a decade after he impregnated three girlfriends (one of them twice) in succession in the late 1980s. All four pregnancies ended in abortion.

"Years later, when his wife told him she was pregnant, 'I suddenly realized that I had four dead children,' said Morrow, 47,'I hadn't given it a thought. Now it all came crashing down on me - look what you've done.'

"A few months ago, Morrow reached out to the former girlfriend who aborted twice. ... After they parted, she spilled her anger in a letter: "That long day we sat in that God-forsaken clinic, I hoped every moment that you would stand up and say, 'We can't do this' . . . but you didn't."

How many women, I wonder, have sat next to a "partner" in some clinic wishing, wishing that very thing, that the oh-so-modern, completely liberated, near-inconsequential "father of the baby" would suddenly leap to his feet and shout "No! No, this is just wrong, all wrong! I am very sorry that this has happened to you--to us--but, as a man, I need to take responsibility: let's get married; learn to love, if need be; and raise this baby--our baby--raise this baby right, together, as a family!"

Anybody ever wish that?

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