Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A written response to your ignorance:

In my family everything is a political debate, EVERYTHING. Very few of us agree on things like welfare, health care, elected officials, or abortion. I try to avoid these debates, they irritate me, people become angry or emotional and nobody really actively listens to each other so they are pointless as far as I'm concerned. When alcohol is involved they are usually more than pointless, more like ridiculously unproductive, sort of like taking steps backwards because everyone just become more strongly entrenched in their own opinion and NOTHING is going to challenge it no matter how incoherent that person's logic may be.

The other day one of my very polite, very sweet, non-debating male cousins used the "N" word. He's a cute 20 year old white boy from the south raised in a relatively liberal family. I love him, really he is one of the most enjoyable people in my family. I responded by telling him I didn't think it was appropriate for him to use that word. He said he just didn't get that. We didn't get deep in it but I told him that the use of that word to degrade black people is not some ancient part of history but people who were around when white people used that word as a form of verbal terror are still alive and kicking, and some aren't even that old. He didn't really respond, and I hope I gave him something to think about.

So, what does this have to do with abortion? For kicks I then asked him his opinions on abortion. I really had no idea what he would say. He says "well if a girl is dumb enough to get pregnant she should have to bear the responsibility of her actions." Not a surprising answer. I let him continue before I responded. He continued talking about these dumb girls who go around fucking every guy in town. He rambled about this and then went on a tirade about stupid girls who try to sue their boyfriends for money for their abortions. At this point I said, "dude, that does not happen." He said "I know girls that have tried that" and insisted that it does.
I told him I worked in abortion care for 4 years, it does NOT happen and if these "stupid girls" threaten to sue their idiot boyfriends, and their boyfriends believe its possible it sounds like they're the dumb one in the situation. He actually agreed once he realized it really doesn't happen. I mean, hello it would take nearly the whole pregnancy to get the case in court, not to mention she would lose. I remember a woman who had to wait until her second trimester to get an abortion, because she was 2 months away from 18 and she went to get a judicial bypass but the judge said since she already had a child she would probably regret it. So, she stayed pregnant for another 2 months until her 18th birthday. The bottom line is the American court system is not going to make men pay for abortions, the same courts can't get most men to pay child support and when they do it takes years to win that battle. Abortions are pretty time-sensitive.

I then followed up and said, what about someone whose been raped or molested? His response was, "yeah, well they should get an abortion if they want it." I dropped it at this point because I didn't want to debate, and it was clear that women's health and sexuality is just too complex for some people's ignorance. I can think of 1001 reasons why that one individual should be able to get her abortion, in fact daughter of wands listed 51 of those reasons in a blog several months ago. It's not productive to judge which individuals have the right combinations of reasons that make an abortion OK. I try to think of the kind of ignorance my cousin expressed as just that, pure ignorance; he does not have enough information or life experience to understand the complexities involved in women's health and reproduction. I wish that people could accept that they don't have to get it, they just need to be willing to let people live and make their own choices without judgment or questions. Of course, to give my cousin credit, I asked for his opinion, he did not pass judgement on someone else, but his opinion made it clear he has a judgment of young women who face unintended pregnancies.


Many women I know and respect immensely too would describe themselves as pro-choice but have issues with late-term abortion. The other day I spoke to another cousin of mine who is a young mom. We discussed late-term abortions and I told her, "you know if a woman is willing to go through having a late-term abortion she obviously needs it, and doesn't need a child regardless of the circumstances." She agreed, no questions asked. I was not really surprised, but my cousin would not identify herself as a feminist nor is she an activist or highly educated. However, she gets it because she is a young woman who has struggled with her own choice to be a mom. It made me question why so many pro-choice, feminist, activist people can't just get that it's an individual woman's decision, no questions asked, no matter what the circumstance.



    Sparky, this was great! One of our finest, I'd say.

    Two things:

    1. A woman who's dumb enough to get herself pregnant???? What about a dude to dumb NOT to get a girl pregnant? TWO TO TANGO, JESUS! I'm currently on a medication that causes birth defects, so I have to jump through hoops to prove to my doc that I'm not pregnant and am on two forms of birth control to get my refills every month. And I always want to ask: "Would you like me to bring in my sexual partner so you can teach him about contraception and make him pass a quiz each month about how not to get me pregnant?"

    2. How is getting an abortion NOT taking responsibility? I know some antis out there think abortion is like this "easy way out". IT'S NOT.


  2. And I would like to give a standing ovation to your comment, anti-anti. Damn straight.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.