…will not be written about this woman, “Linda”, who, married for less than a year, got pregnant and decided to have an abortion in favour of quiet mornings spent in bed, jogging or gardening.
When I first received this article, I was angry. I sent it to Jennifer Derwey to avoid it because it is from her neck of the woods. Then I spent the weekend thinking about it.
For every woman experiencing fear, trauma, and a really difficult time in her life when she gets unexpectedly pregnant, there are one or two who are simply so lacking in courage and selflessness that they can’t face up to nine months of pregnancy and then give a baby away. Those could be the nine most difficult months of their lives, I acknowledge. But they would have done something for the greater good. Something amazing for a family who can’t have kids. Women desperate to adopt abound.
But instead, Linda’s story goes a little like this: Protagonist A is living life. Protagonist A hits on difficulty. Protagonist A chooses easy road, skirts the actual issue entirely and continues to live in exactly the same way as she did before. Cue soaring music? I don’t think so.
This makes for a lame story because it is lame.
We admire people when they do brave things. And here’s the thing. You can’t have it both ways. Many abortion-rights activists want to claim making the abortion choice is ever so brave. But that’s not what Linda is saying. She’s saying it’s routine. That many women choose abortion for many different reasons. She asks me not to bat an eye. Fine. But don’t tell me next thing that your decision to abort was courageous in its own right.
I’m sorry there are women out there like Linda who are so lacking in courage and creativity that they prefer quiet mornings of gardening to a question mark, to gift giving, to the opportunities that open up when we are selfless.
PS I have never, EVER thought that women having abortions are “sluts who aren’t using birth control,” as she puts it.
PPS Birth control is mentioned twice in this column. And the reason for that is to say, “Look at me! I was super responsible, so this pregnancy is not my fault. Therefore, I should not have to take responsibility for it.” Whereas my worldview is less judgmental than hers. If you are having sex–there is a chance you are going to get pregnant no matter how “responsible” you are.
PPPS Véronique mentioned to me in conversation post-CBC interview that there is a continuum on the life issue. There are those of us who see the embryo/fetus/developing child as being of inestimable worth. There are those who see no worth at all, like Linda; hence her ability to go and have an abortion in favour of quiet mornings. But the rest of everyone is in between in this country today. That’s why we have to discuss the issue of what life is, and when it begins…why it matters.by