Wednesday, January 9, 2008

There's no such thing as a bad decision...

...there's only research.

I make bad decisions. I tend to make them most often when I'm sleep-deprived, and so far, I've avoided making any bad decisions that have had truly tragic, irreversible outcomes.

So, is it the government's job to protect people from making decisions that they will later regret? Specifically, protect people by restricting their right to make that decision.

I hadn't realized how much that question was a part of anti-abortion advocacy -- at least, not the legal part. I had seen reports of post-abortion depression, trauma, etc., on anti-abortion sites -- particularly those geared toward dissuading individual women from choosing to go through with an abortion. I had not realized that claims that women might regret having an abortion would actually effect judicial rulings on the legality of abortion. (Why, yes. I suppose I am naive like that.) Flashback to Roman Empire much -- all women are perpetual children in need of a guardian to prevent them from hurting their sweet little heads?

Yeah. Sorry, if this is your reason for opposing legalized abortion, you are sexist and anti-woman. No ifs, ands, or buts, about it. Prohibiting an individual from making a choice because she might potentially regret it -- that demeans that individuals personhood and agency and is throughly despicable. Bringing that into legal advocacy designed to overturn previous court rulings and restrict the ability of women to choose whether or not they have an abortion simply reveals the sexist presumptions of the majority (if not all) of anti-abortion groups.

And, of course, women need better options than abortion, but those must to begin a hell of a long time before whenever human life may or may not begin. We need comprehensive sex education in our school systems. We need unrestricted access to birth control, both the traditional and emergency versions there of. A legal system that does a bit better at holding fathers responsible could be nice. Maybe even public school systems that actually educate EVERYONE and not just the little darlings in rich suburbs. Oh, this is a crazy idea -- a living wage! So that women have the option to feed the kid once it's been birthed. Madness.

And I'm not claiming that there aren't people who are opposed to legalized abortion and also recognize that there needs to be far greater changes to the structures of society and a simple ban just won't cut it. I don't find people who oppose abortion because they genuinely believe human life starts at conception despicable, or even necessarily sexist.

But all the organizations really seem to be more concerned with maintaining that women are inferior beings who can't be allowed to make choices, because they might regret it. Or worse, because the male involved might regret it.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

I have an article I should show you from my history class last semester. Remind me sometime when we are in the same place.