The Abortion Question that Needs to be Answered
I read a Huffington Post article recently on abortion, and what it entails, and I feel the point is worth reiterating. The author noted that he used to be pro-life, until his pro-choice friend asked him this simple question:
“If your girlfriend got pregnant, what would you do?”
The author naturally responded: “well, it’d be up to her…” before realizing what that entailed. If she genuinely had the capability to make her own choice about the pregnancy, how could he maintain his pro-life stance?
The point is simple: if you answer anything other than “I would force my girlfriend to carry the fetus to term and give birth to my child, regardless of what she wanted/needed to do” then you are not, in fact, pro-life. The pro-life stance is, depending on its degree, a refusal to allow women to make their own choice about their own pregnancy. Some pro-lifers allow for exceptions in the cases of rape or incest, some allow for exceptions when the woman’s life is at risk, but no pro-lifers would allow for exceptions in the standard case of a girl getting pregnant from her boyfriend, regardless of her age or position in life.
So, the question to the pro-life men out there: would you force your girlfriend, regardless of her own opinions or needs, to carry your baby to term? If not, how do you feel justified in forcing other women out there, who you have no relationship with, to carry their babies to term regardless of their opinions or needs?
There’s been some news, though not quite enough, of the hypocrisy of many pro-life women. The phrase “The only moral abortion is my abortion” sums it up nicely, as do the stories told by doctors here: http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html
Now obviously not all, or even a majority, of pro-life women are like this. I would guess that the majority of pro-life women never need an abortion, as I would guess the majority of pro-choice women don’t need one either. So I’m not trying to make a blanket statement about what all pro-life women have done, or even what they would do.
Instead, I want to focus on the question above: what would you do, if your girlfriend or daughter got pregnant? How many pro-lifers would be callous enough to force their girlfriend or daughter to carry an unwanted baby to term? I’m not talking about just saying “it would be morally right to carry the fetus to term”. I’m talking about physically forcing the woman/girl to carry the fetus to term, by threatening her with punishments if she decides to get an abortion (like threatening women with jail time).
So, unless pro-lifers out there genuinely believe they would feel justified in making decisions for their girlfriends/daughters, then I fail to see how the pro-life stance is anything but rampant hypocrisy. It’s just a socially accepted version of “my problems matter, but yours don’t”, where abortions are an acceptable solution for my, or my family’s, problems, but not an acceptable solution for anyone else’s.
Finally, I must comment on the myth that pro-choice advocates are somehow for abortions. I have never met a single pro-choice person, whether in person or online, who celebrated an abortion in any case for the sake of abortion (the only celebrated fact is that, in some cases, the woman’s life was saved). Rather, it is time people collectively realize that the pro-choice stance is the only one that doesn’t try to force real women to make certain decisions about their body with legal sanctions and punishments. The pro-choice stance is the only one that doesn’t say “you have to have this baby, you don’t have any choice in the matter” to all pregnant women. Unless you are willing to force people in your own life (whether it be your mother, daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, etc.) to make decisions that you agree with, then you can’t intelligibly try to force strangers to make those same decisions.