Last week a strident pro-abortion person, Liz Shepherd, wrote in to the Ottawa Citizen. I remember reading the letter and ignoring it because the ideas were so flawed; I couldn’t be bothered–sorry. However, other people could be bothered in the letters section today, I’m grateful to see. Margaret Somerville wrote in to correct assertions about the medical system:
She is wrong that the patient’s autonomy is always trump, that other medical procedures are not prohibited, and that legally regulating abortion would be unique. Consequently, these are not valid arguments against having law on abortion. The law, both criminal and civil, governs all medical procedures and would prohibit some.
And this one is particularly good, too:
I can stay silent no longer on the abortion debate after reading Liz Shepherd’s letter. Her statement that “no one can claim to be both pro-life and pro-woman” has put me over the edge.
Indeed, the idea that you could not be pro-woman and pro-life is pretty ridiculous–it motivated this letter writer to write in.
Look, if I had a dollar for every time I pointed out the flawed thinking and lack of logic in pro-abortion arguments, I’d be a wealthy woman. Their thinking comes down to this–that women must be able to do whatever they want, no matter what. This involves some fairly anti-woman thinking–the notion that women simply can’t do well in life if they bear children in “unwanted” moments. This magic women-trump-all formula is everywhere.
The bad news: They are, momentarily, winning the public relations battle.
The good news: It’s not a really great argument. Parents don’t teach their toddlers the “whatever you want, whenever you want it” principle…it just doesn’t make sense. And when more and more women stand up to say just the opposite–that you can support women and children, yes, at the same time–our barbaric, uncivilized pro-abortion status quo will fall. Furthermore, when women like Liz Shepherd talk crazy, it’s highly motivating for people who might not previously have engaged in the abortion debate.
Keep up the good work, my pro-abortion friends.
Tanya adds: Margaret Sommerville mentioned this:
But if, for instance, a person wanted their right leg amputated, simply because they’d like to be a one-legged person, a physician could not legally carry out the operation — it would be contrary to public policy and a criminal assault, despite the patient’s consent and the absence of any negligence.”
I’ve been wondering lately about gal bladder stones. They usually pass, but occasionally need to be removed surgically. Now, if the stone is likely to pass, the medical professional will not recommend alternative intervention. Can a patient insist? Can a patient demand, say, surgery? And if they can, is that surgery covered?
I think the parallel I’m attempting to make here is pretty obvious.
Rebecca adds: Joyce Arthur chimed in that all medical procedures require consent (which they do) as if that meant that abortion is just like any other surgery. The difference is, abortion is not medically indicated for a disease or injury. One of the big things feminists did right was insisting that pregnancy not be viewed as an illness, requiring intervention and the passive status for women that accompanies this mindset. But you can’t have it both ways.
And it’s true that if you wanted a leg amputated because you wanted to have only one leg, it wouldn’t be covered by medicare (or performed anywhere, one would hope.) But even if the reason you wanted the leg amputated was because you were convinced that you could only realize your life’s ambitions, and your health and happiness were threatened by having two legs, you’re still not going to get the amputation if there is no medical problem with your leg. Not to belabor the point here, but elective abortion is not a medical therapy, any more than getting your ears pierced is medical therapy, because it doesn’t solve a medical problem – it’s a lifestyle choice. And until abortion rights advocates can get their minds around the fact that “because I don’t want to be pregnant” is not actually a medical condition, we’re not going to get anywhere going over the same ground again and again.