Abortion providers have always had much to fear from the lunatic fringe. That hasn’t changed. Lateterm abortions are abhorrent. That hasn’t changed, either. But mainstream prolifers are not going to rush out to buy guns. Instead, they will rightly continue to condemn the killing of other humans, in whatever form that takes, both before and after birth.
Love Naomi Lakritz on life. Here she does a good job of exposing why President Obama’s rhetoric calling for dialogue on abortion is pretty meaningless:
Obama, who intends to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which permits partial-birth abortions, called on pro-life and pro-choice factions to find common ground.
Unless pro-choicers are prepared to acknowledge the scientific fact that a fetus as early as four weeks after conception is a human being with a beating heart and brain waves, and not a mere clump of cells whose humanness is relative only to its degree of wantedness, then no common ground is possible.
Obama made some redundant points when he said “let’s make adoption more available” and “let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their child to term.”
Adoption is already widely available through state and provincial governments and private agencies. What really needs to happen is for pro-choicers to stop limiting their talk to abortion when they discuss choice, and start promoting adoption. They need to talk in terms of women choosing life, as in putting their babies up for adoption, not in choosing death by condemning those unborn babies to being ripped apart and consigned to oblivion.
As far as providing care and support for women to see their pregnancies through to the end, there are plenty of pro-life agencies, both secular and faith-based, that are busy doing just that.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; there is only a need to promote the existence of the wheel so people can take advantage of it.
Couldn’t have said this better myself:
Part of the reason the abortion debate is so polarized is that the pro-choice faction wants to do just that — look away from the medical truth of what abortion does to an unborn baby. Maybe they should meet Denise Mountenay. Or would they rather look away from her too, because she represents a different unpleasant truth–what abortion does to women? “I was 16 when I had my first abortion,”Mountenay says in an interview from her Morinville home. “My mother said, ‘Denise, you have your whole life ahead of you. Have that operation.’ I thought, I’ll just be unpregnant.”…It wasn’t until after her third abortion that she came across information on fetal development, and “I was like, ‘oh, my God’. It was a revelation. I was absolutely devastated. I read that at three weeks it has a beating heart. This is not a clump of tissue, it’s a little person.”
Pro-choicers are keen on looking away–efforts to show what the baby is through ultrasounds are met with this sort of attack:
Abortion foes have a new tactic: The hope that women can’t look away.
Let me get this straight: ultrasounds showing the beating heart are fanatical? And letting women go ahead with killing their child, without offering that information is compassionate. Kudos (again) to Naomi Lakritz for this sort of compelling column in defence of women’s rights.
[Editor’s Note: Tanya’s wrath is directed at the author of the blog, see the second link above, not Naomi Lakritz.]
Tanya can’t believe it: It takes a lot for me to get sincerely annoyed at someone. This lady managed to push some serious buttons. It’s the type of thing where, if she were in the same room as me, I’d say things to her that I’d later regret.
“No woman seeking an abortion does so unthinkingly.” Really? I know one. Would you like to meet her so that you can stop your ignorant generalizations?
“Few, if any, women use abortion as birth control” Is that why 46% of women did not use contraception during the month they became pregnant?
“Elections have consequences. You lost. Go away.” I’m guessing this lady hid under a rock for the eight years prior to Obama being sworn in. It would explain her nonsensical arguments.
OK, I’m done.
Naomi Lakritz wrote a funny piece published in yesterday’s Citizen about gender equality. I guess my marriage has arrived since I often find myself at the sending end of the cell phone call going “The peanut butter, you want it crunchy or smooth???” On the other hand I often write detailed grocery entries to my husband’s attention reading: “2 cans of crab meat in tuna aisle, not in frozen fish section. If only frozen avail. 1 can of crab meat will do. Strawberries: preferably not rotten. ” And so on.
But to be honest, the fact that my husband and I work as a team to feed the kids, change the kids and drive the kids is of little comfort in a society that I still perceive as profoundly sexist. Yes, women have more opportunities than they used to and they can be mechanics or doctors or vice-presidential candidates just like the guys do. But unlike the guys, they can expect brutal scrutiny into the why, the how and the where of their career/family choices. And I am not talking only about Sarah Palin, who is a readily available example of this sad situation (on that topic, I found that column right on the money) . When my husband took a sabbatical to look after our 5 month-old son while I went back to school full-time, I faced a barrage of criticism – including the silent treatment – from friends and acquaintances who couldn’t believe, in turn, that I would do this to my kids or ask this from my husband. The fact that he was looking forward to his “pat” leave did nothing to assuage their sense that I was somehow cheating my family or going against the natural order of things. At the same time, one of my university professors was confiding that when her husband asked his employer for parental leave, his superior instead offered him a pay raise with the advice to hire a cleaning lady. Equality, yes but…
In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I didn’t always approve of “working mothers” (by the way, I profoundly dislike that term. Working mothers. As opposed to what? Women of leisure? Since I joined the ranks of the “working mothers” not only do I get a lunch break but I can go pee when I need to, so there.) But I realised that the vehemence with which I criticized mothers who left their children in daycare was nothing more than the energy I needed to justify my own choice to stay at home to myself. It seems that this attitude has become pervasive, with each woman becoming an illustration of the way things should or shouldn’t be when in reality, individual choices are made for very personal reasons having nothing to do with a social statement. We will have reached full equality when women no longer bear the sole responsibility of making the world go round.
Rebecca adds: What I’ve noticed about the stay-at-home/work-outside-the-home dilemma is how hard it is to predict, before the fact, what will work for you. I have friends who had serious careers in which they’d invested years and thousands of dollars of tuition, who decided, to their own surprise, to stay home, and at least one friend who was very snippy about daycare until she had a baby and thought she’d go nuts if she didn’t go back to work after the first year. As for me – I thought when I was expecting my first that I’d put him in daycare at 12 weeks, the soonest they take them in Manitoba. Then when he actually arrived, the thought made me sick to my stomach, so I was a full-time SAHM for a while. Since then, I’ve somehow muddled into a compromise that involves working (largely) from home, grad school part time (night classes) and a part-time nanny whom I adore who takes care of the baby at our house, often when I’m working in a different room. Most days, this seems like the best of all possible worlds – in the same place as my kids most of the time, intellectual gratification, slow but steady work on my degree, and not putting the baby in an institutional daycare, which I think is a different set of pros and cons than for toddlers. Of course, some days it seems like I get all the cons – deadlines and pressure and seminar reading, while juggling kids and, as Véronique points out, no guarantee that I’ll have time to use the toilet, let alone eat a balanced meal.
So I’ve learned, at the end, that not only can you not know what’s right for other women, it can take a while to figure out what’s right for you and your kids. And it doesn’t bother me that other women make different choices, or prefer different trade-offs than I do.
And speaking of Sarah, one of the things that delights me about her is that she is a feminine, fulfilled woman running for high political office. It’s nothing new for women to be able to achieve what they want, despite NOW’s claims to the contrary. We’ve had women astronauts (two of them Canadian), Secretary of State (Condi), head of major earth-shaking corporations (Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman come to mind) surgeons and generals. Few of them, though, have families.
Whole books have been written about how super high achieving women are much less likely to have children and solid marriages. No, what’s new is for a young woman, with an adoring husband, a large (five children!) family, who is, let’s face it, stunning and could pass for a decade younger than she is, to be a serious contender for Vice-President of the USA. Sarah Palin isn’t forced to pretend to be a man in drag, or even to make her candidacy one built around gender. Canadian women of my generation were brought up being told that we could be whatever we wanted, and that was true, as far as it went. Our children’s generation will see that little girls can grow up to be whatever they want, without giving up marriage, family and femininity. You know, as has always been true for men (mutatis mutandis.)
Does that make me a feminist?
Naomi Lakritz of the Calgary Herald has written an excellent piece about clarity, abortion and Bill C-484.
My favourite line:
It is obvious to anyone with a minimal grasp of English that this bill is not about abortion. Notice the key words “criminally assault,” “wants and loves,” and “against her will.” That does not describe the pregnant woman rifling through the phone book in search of an address for the nearest abortion provider.
And my second-favourite line:
Next, politicians and abortion rights groups have to stop pretending that a fetus is not fully human because it can’t survive on its own. If it weren’t fully human, there wouldn’t be all this debate. We do not hold debates about the degree of guppiness of unborn guppies, do we? And if a fetus cannot survive on its own, neither can an infant or a toddler. Are they any less human?
Reading this also caused me to stop and realize that I am way too cautious on the topic of abortion. Yes, you heard me, too cautious. Because I’ve never seen any Canadian political leader do or say anything reasonable on abortion or defending unborn babies, I stopped thinking they ever could. Thanks to columns like this, I am reminded to demand nothing less. (But hey, a girl has to keep her sanity. Low expectations means that even politicians, from time to time, exceed ’em.)
I am a bit of a stickler for how we use words, especially in the context of hot-button issues like euthanasia and assisted suicide. We can’t settle these issues without debating them and we can’t debate them if we are not talking about the same thing. In an otherwise excellent article in this morning’s Ottawa Citizen, Naomi Lakritz writes:
The killing of Tracy Latimer was not euthanasia. It was murder. Euthanasia is also known as assisted suicide. Tracy did not commit suicide, let alone ask for assistance in doing so.
True, but euthanasia is not also known as assisted suicide, at least not in today’s academic literature in bioethics. With assisted suicide, a physician provides the means or information necessary for a person to end his or her own life. Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) also describes situations like Sue Rodriguez’ where the patient is able to express a desire to end his or her own life but unable to perform the required actions. Suicide is no longer criminal in Canada and the sticky issue with PAS is whether or not physicians should be allowed to facilitate it. Another sticky issue with PAS lies in the validity of someone’s desire to die. Is it a desire to die or a fear of suffering?
Euthanasia refers to the termination of someone’s life by another for the purpose of ending that person’s suffering. Accordingly, if PAS is technically suicide, euthanasia is technically murder and both should be debated as such. Suicide is legal in Canada but assisted suicide is not. Accordingly, we oppose PAS by arguing that the presence of a third party no longer makes it a private decision. Since euthanasia is murder (or at least should be), we oppose it by arguing that disabled life in any way, shape or form, is as valuable as another. One of the sticky issues with euthanasia is precisely the lack of active involvement in the decision by the person whose life is to be ended. That person may have expressed a desire to be “euthanized” in the past, but the actual life-or-death decision is made by an external party. This is in great part why the Latimer debacle is so worrying for disabled Canadians: once you let able-bodied people decide what a life worth living is, you eliminate the experience of disability from the decision-making picture.
All this to say, both are wrong for similar reasons. But that doesn’t make them synonymous.