Abortion and Women's Rights: Unification of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice through Feminism

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Knowing the Body
2004 Second Web Report
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Abortion and Women's Rights: Unification of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice through Feminism

Claire Pomeroy

 

January 22, 1973 is a day that, in the eyes of many modern feminists, marked a giant step forward for women's rights. On this date the U.S. Supreme court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, a verdict that set the precedent for all abortion cases that followed. For the first time, the court recognized that the constitutional right to privacy "is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy" (Roe v. Wade, 1973). It gave women agency in their reproductive choices; no longer were they forced to succumb to second rate citizenship as a housewife, a single mother, or a mother in poverty on account of pregnancy.

 

Was this decision really a step forward for women, or was it a step backwards? The abortion debate has polarized women, pitting them against each other in the binary of pro-choice and pro-life. This leads to a destructive division between women, one that is detrimental to the furthering of women's rights. How can we, as women, fight for our rights as women if we are so divided? Is there any way to unite these two apparently irreconcilable sides of the abortion debate?

 

A good starting place is to look at abortion from a feminist standpoint. Within feminism, the debate over abortion is not based in the morality of abortion or the integrity of people who support or are against abortion; it is about how abortion fits into our culture and how a women's choice to undergo or not undergo an abortion influences the status of women within our culture. Abortion has become a double-edged sword for women's rights. Without the right to choose women would be locked into their role as mothers, but being given the right to choose also acts to bypass the greater issues of patriarchy, such as the lack of support for women as mothers within our society. It is important, to further women's standing in today's society, that these two sides on the abortion debate become united through feminism.

 

Feminism is the advocacy of the rights of women based on the theory of equality of the sexes (Oxford English Dictionary). It is built on the principle that women have innate worth, inalienable rights, and valuable ideas and talents to contribute to society. Feminists fight for equality in every dimension of society, for both equal rights with men and equal respect.

 

Pro-choice feminism views the right to an abortion as integral to a women's right to sovereignty. Without abortion, women would unjustly be forced into motherhood. From a feminist standpoint, denying the right for women to choose to have an abortion forces them into submissive roles in society. Pregnancy works to condemn women to second class citizenship, since in our society, mothers are second class citizens. Once a woman becomes a mother, her resources to education, employment, and health care become severely limited.

 

Gaining the access to safe and legal abortions finally allowed a woman to have the basic right of controlling her own body. Prior to legal abortion, women had two options: to undergo an unsafe, illegal abortion that put their bodies at risk or to continue their pregnancy, even in situations that were disadvantageous to both the woman and the unborn fetus. Society has no right to control what happens to a person's body, and does not try to manage men's bodies in such a manner, so the right to abortion has equalized women by giving them the right to manage their own bodies.

 

Without legal abortions, underground unsafe abortions will still occur at the expense of a woman's health. Denying women the right to abortion serves to diminish women within society. There is the claim that fetus is a person and, by revoking a woman's right to chose abortion, society places more value on the fetus. From the pro-choice standpoint, the implication that an unborn fetus, which is unconscious and without thoughts, has rights equal to or superior to a woman's, serves only to diminish the recognition of women as living, breathing people who are able to consciously make their own decision about their pregnancy. Compulsory pregnancy laws also violate the traditional American ideals of individual rights and freedoms.

 

Pro-life groups, though often touted as anti-feminist, do not disagree with the need for women to become equals in society. Instead, the feminist pro-life groups see abortion as a mode used by patriarchal culture to keep women in submission by not adapting its structure to encompass mothers. Patriarchal culture has devised abortion as a way to manage pregnancy while maintaining its domineering structure.

 

The beginning of discrimination against women is based on the simple fact that they are not men. Women's bodies are defined by men through the male gaze that shapes the male dominated culture. Because of our lack of a penis, women are relegated to the periphery of society, unable to succeed. The fact that women are able to give birth only serves to continue to define women as the other. The way women can succeed is by adapting ourselves to the patriarchal society. An example of this is displayed through women's bodies. Socially, women's beauty is defined by thinness. Some sections of pro-life feminism argue that by having an abortion, women are succumbing to the social pressure to be thin; they are not embracing their womanhood. Instead of defining what a "woman" is by the standards of living as a woman, womanhood is defined by men. Pregnancy, one of the times when a woman feels most beautiful and in charge of her body and life, is discriminated against. In society, pregnancy is not considered beautiful and, through medical institutions, pregnancy has become considered to be a precarious condition that must be monitored and looked after. This serves to alienate women from their own feelings of beauty. By not embracing our bodies during pregnancy, we resort to defining ourselves in men's terms.

 

Not only does abortion serve to alienate women from identifying with what defines us as special, it also acts as a device that eludes the root of discrimination against women: patriarchal culture. Abortion serves as an easy escape from confronting the discrimination of women by taking the guise as fundamental to women's equality. The truth is that women's equality is still based in a man's world. In order to be equal, women must adopt the characteristics of men. To be on an equal level politically, socially and economically, women cannot become pregnant, because that is, quite obviously, something that men do not do. Our society is not made for women with children. There is a significant lack of good, reliable child care. Businesses do not have flexible hours which suit women with children. Women are still considered the primary care-givers to children, keeping the burden of responsibility for children off of men.

 

Instead of liberating women, abortion liberates men and society. "Abortion on demand liberates men who want sex without strings, promises, responsibility, or the rituals of romance" (Gargaro). Since abortion is an option, it enables employers to not have to make concessions to pregnant women and mothers. Abortion only serves to support the idea that childbearing is solely a job for a woman and, now more than ever, men are exempt from being involved. In the case of an unwanted child it is a woman's "duty to undergo an invasive procedure and an emotional trauma and so sort the situation out" (Greer, 95). Germaine Greer encapsulates the feminist pro-life reaction to the legalization of abortion:

 

"What women 'won' was the 'right' to undergo invasive procedures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies, unwanted not just by them but by their parents, their sexual partners, the governments who would not support mothers, the employers who would not employ mothers, the landlords who would not accept tenants with children, the schools that would not accept students with children. Historically the only thing pro-abortion agitation achieve was to make an illiberal establishment [patriarchal culture] look far more feminist than it was" (Greer, 92).

 

What type of "right" does abortion allow? Most women choose abortion because they feel like they have no other option. How is this real choice? To continue to live happily in the patriarchal world, women submit themselves to the social structures that favor men. As society is structured today, women risk losing everything they have worked for by choosing to have a child. Childbearing, as an option for pregnancy, fits into this society in a marginalized way.

 

On the most basic level, the abortion issue is not really about abortion, but is about the value of women in society. Feminism is pro-woman rather than pro- or anti- abortion. This is where the pro-life and pro-choice groups can begin to relate to one another. But where can we go from here?

 

These two groups need to come together for the sake of equality for women. Instead of focusing their energy on protesting each other, they should unite their energy to change the structure of society. Women must work together to create a business world that supports mothers by petitioning for legislation that protects their right to work, even if they have children. Focusing energy on advocating for better, more reliable childcare would help to combat the male bias in business. We must start at the root of the problem, the lack of space for women within our society, and work from there.

 

Not all of the change can be made by altering the laws that govern our society. We must change our attitudes. Women must stop yielding to patriarchal society in order to succeed. We must demand from everyone around us the equality that we deserve, in both the public and private spheres. This includes pushing men to take initiative and responsibility within relationships to uphold their half of the duties. Women have moved into the workforce, so men must compensate by helping in the home. We must demand from men equal responsibility in caring for the children that they took equal part, and pleasure, in creating.

 

Only when this change is accomplished and when women and men do equally participate in all aspects of our society, will the abortion issue become actually about abortion within feminist thought. As for now, we have to establish ourselves as a powerful force. We must fight for the acceptance of motherhood in society, but until then we also work to keep abortion legal so that we can live without the fear that everything we have worked for, including the acceptance of motherhood and truly equal rights, could be taken away with one sexual mishap.

 

Bibliography
Gargaro, Carolyn C. "What is a Pro-Life Feminist?" Problems of Death: Opposing Viewpoints Series. Greenhaven Press, 1997. found at http://www.gargaro.com/lifefem.html accessed on 11/20/04

Greer, Germaine. The Whole Woman. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999. 91-100.

McClain, Linda C. "Equality, Oppression, and Abortion: Women Who Oppose Abortion Rights in the Name of Feminism." Feminist Nightmares: Women at Odds, Feminism and the Problem of Sisterhood. Ed. Susan Ostrov Weisser and Jennifer Fleishner. New York: New York University Press, 1994. 159-188.

Planned Parenthood Website. www.plannedparenthood.com accessed on 11/20/04

Pro-Life Feminism Website. http://members.tripod.com/~SLV80/ accessed on 11/20/04

Young, Iris. "Pregnant Embodiment." Body and Flesh: A Philosophical Reader. Ed. Donn Welton. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1998. 274-290.

 

 

Comments made prior to 2007

Abortionby must be left a lone. I had one in 1993. I was raped and beaten by my then husband. I was left in a shelter for battered woman.

No protection for me.

I learned I was pregnant during my divorce procedings. If I had gone through the pregnency I would have been forced to have that man another 9 months into my life.

Politic;s have no place in a woman medical prodecure. IT is non of there business ... Jeannette, 8 November 2006

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

woman and man or person

As a little old lady who was an adult before and after Roe v Wade, one who was once a rape victim, though not pregnant by rape, who has never been pregnant nor ever wanted to be, and who has lived a celibate life for over 35 years, I found this essay and some of the comments illuminating but naive.

The primary difference has never been between women and men, nor between pro-choice and pro-life feminists. The issue has always been between people who are pro-choice and people who anti-choice as regards the issues of marrying, having sex, getting pregnant, staying pregnant, raising children, etc.

Either one believes that people have the right to choose whether or not to marry, have sex, get pregnant, stay pregnant, raise children, etc., or one does not believe that. One either believes that people have a right to repudiate their sexuality altogether or in part or not. Believing in the right to choose, acting on it, and making laws that allow it does not deny that right to other existing persons. Do what you will as a free-living person with your own body and life, without infringing on other free-living persons' rights to do the same. No implanted embryo or fetus is a free-living person, and it has no inherent right to exist by interfering with the rights of a free-living person. Period.

Frankly, I did not care much about being "a woman," nor did I want to be "a man." I cared about being "a person" free to choose how to live my life without others' imposing on my body and insistingly "sexualizing" it. It is just as possible to be raped as to have sex, to get pregnant by rape as by choice, to be forced to continue a pregnancy as to choose it. For that reason, sex, pregnancy, and the production of more persons is not inherently valuable: these are completely value-neutral phenomena. But personal liberty is inherently valuable, because it alone gives meaning to life. Until one is free-living, with consciousness, one has no meaning. And the unborn simply don't have it.

Pro-life feminists basically want to remake society so that it is easier to function as a person while still making sexualized choices of having sex, continuing pregnancies, giving birth, and raising children, etc. I am not averse to collaborating on that. But they will have to collaborate with me by not trying to make anti-abortion laws or they will never have my collaboration. For me, the right to choose is one of my spiritual children, and I will protect it as any parent would protect a child he or she choose to bring into the world and take responsibility for.

For me, Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey said what needed to be said legally. They are at least as important as any child, person, woman, or man that I personally know. I would lay down my life to protect them without a split second of hesitation. A pacifist by nature, I would nonetheless be willing to learn to take up arms and use them and kill to protect them, to entertain civil war to protect them. That is what it means to be a pro-choice person, regardless of gender, regardless of sexuality.

pro-plan's picture

pro-plan

how about embracing pro-plan?
pro-plan: the new dialogue

Serendip Visitor's picture

Women should have a choice

I believe that women should have a choice about what they do with their bodies. I also believe that Abortion after the first trimester shouldnt be allowed, unless it is going to kill the woman, or cause her serious problems. The fetus after the first trimester can actually feel it when women have the abortion. As soon as the fetus has a heart beat it is alive.

I think that abortion should only be allowed if
-The woman was raped.
-The woman has a physical or mental illness.
-If financially they cannot afford a baby, or even having the regular check ups.

Here in New Zealand we have to go though 2 Doctors and get their consent, if they cannot decide then there is a third party decision. There are only 6 abortion clinics here which means that we are even more limited to actually having a choice.

Serendip Visitor's picture

ABORTION IS A WRONG THING TO DO

If our mothers had the right to abortion these volumes of debate would not appear today. By the way why on the earth the people think that abortion is a right thing to do? Why do the people say that fetus is not a living thing? What sort of science have we studied? And if yes did we come from the different origin and not from the fetus. I am really against abortion whatever others say.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Double standard

If abortion is a privacy issue, then why have feminists invaded and ruined constitutional privacy protections in every other aspect of society. Feminism is maintained by intrusive big government, a government that actually tries to usurp the privacy and rights of men to gain status for women. The corruption in the family court system is the largest example of this double standard, but the ugly arms of feminism extend into law and education with equal corruption. Feminism is sexism. Abortion as an act, and not as an idea, and it is the killing of an unborn human. There is no denying this except by changing the definition of what a "human" is. Feminists are liars. Bottom line is, one day this whole Marxist feminist system created will crumble, and a natural balance of mutual equality between the sexes will emerge.

Mary Toward's picture

Women's abortion rights

Just because we (women) can get pregnant does not mean we have to have a baby, or carry the embryo to full term. Seriously, if most men had to carry a baby and give birth to a baby they would figure out how to get out of it. Women today, our daughters, our granddaughters, are not going to do anything they don't have to unless they want to! That is the way it should be. The choice should be available for the person who is going to be affected the most, by the life altering experience of giving birth and caring for another life for the next 30 years. I have never understood why the people ( mostly men in power and/or in politics) have no problem sending young men and women into harms way, to war, to die, to protect themselves and their loved ones. Nobody has the right to judge me or anybody else if we choose to have an abortion, yes it is ending a life but not a life full of the love and connection to family and friends, like a soldier. No matter how you try and differentiate it, both are taking human lives, something that has gone on since the beginning of mankind. Why is it okay to kill the soldier but not okay to end a pregnancy. I think it is far worse to take the human life of a soldier than a life that has not taken its first breath outside the womb. I personally think it is more humane not to bring an unwanted child into this world. Maybe I should stop watching CNN and other news that is so depressing. Every day you hear about some sick teacher, man sometimes a woman abusing innocent young children. Bye bye..let me get off my soapbox!!!

Anonymous's picture

pitiful

First of all never compare a women and a male. They are totally diffrent, and they both see life at diffrent views. And plus, God gives life and he takes it away, what makes you think you have that power??? if it werent for your moms decision to keep
you, you wouldnt be here. Everyone deserves a chance at life. That "little" embryo you talk about, has feelings.
The mother may not want the baby and she can give it away, but to KILL an innocent human who has nothing to do with the fact that they got forced in the mothers womb is plain wrong.!!!!!! And to compare that with a soldier??? Seriously, think about
that hard. No one is judging you only telling you to look at the BIG picture. Abortion is for people who only think about themselves. About how they have to have this "mans" baby inside of them. I mean come on, life is more than that. Its precious, it shouldnt be tooken for granted. You say soldiers lives are more important right? Weren't they a baby before they became a soldier? Didnt their mothers choose to have them?? Whos choice is it that, that soldier went to war? And whos choice was it that that women got pregnant? Even if she was raped, that doesnt mean she cant have an adoption. Dont you know there are some women out
there who CANNOT concieve, and who would love to have a baby?? and here you just throwing babies away
like its just a piece of material. Like its plain worthless. How selfish!!!!!!!! And you think its more human to have an abortion, that its more human to KILL??? WoW!! you should try letting God be the judge of Taking life, and bringing it in.

Serendip Visitor's picture

First of all..

First of all, America doesn't force a soldier to go out and die, the soldier makes a decision before putting his/her life on the line to protect that "supposed" unwanted child that person is about to abort. I believe Women are pschycologically forced by their image of equality of man that they feel they shouldn't need to apparently "burden" themselves with their so called "unwanted" pregnancy in order to have a concious succession in being like man, Truly this is sad, and makes the female purpose and the gift of life a mockery. Even for Raped victims, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, your not forced to raise a child that you don't want but someone else in the world will, and why deny that child a life? or even a chance? Why did your mother give you a chance, even though she couldn't talk to you, hear you, or even see what you looked like? but yet give a mere stranger the chance to live. Abortions are Truly an Abomination and risky in harming your body.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thats not true back during

Thats not true back during the 60's men (BOYS) had no choice they either went and fought in the war or were put in jail. And if left the country because they did not believe in what we were fighting for they were considered unAmerican. Back in the 60's women had to take chances with ther lives to change their destiny from single mother to college graduate. You should be ashamed to even refer to a rape victim, must less talk about a light at the end of a tunnel how ignorant are you? Have you ever experienced being raped? You probally never experienced living day to day trying to survived. Do you know what its like not knowing where you were going to sleep or get your next meal? How about pregnant and not knowing where any of those things are going to come from. I bet your the same type of person talking about our abused medicade and welfare system. If it were oh so wonderful I'm sure all the homeless, hungry, and parentless children (which most of these children are waiting for wonderful La La people like you )would love to live where you do. Get real and wake up

Serendip Visitor's picture

Rape victims and abortion

Excuse me, I'm sorry to be commenting on this so late, but I actually DO know women who have been raped and had children, and I do know the children conceived out of rape. I have had intimate conversations with both. AND GUESS WHAT!! Those children are happy to be alive and their parents are happy too. They say that their child helps them to love in a world filled with so much hate, and which they would have lost all control in had they not been able to love that child. Life is a blessing. It is a tragedy that others may die, so that you may live as you wish- MotherTeresa. Don't speak for others when you say they should be able to have an abortion.

Serendip Visitor's picture

She was not talking about back then

You are right back in the day they had no choice. The question I have for you is are you a soilder? Im a soilder everything I do and have done is to help people, I made the choice. I had a friend that was raped, yes she was torn up inside for a while but it did not end her life. She has grown closer to the Lord and if she were to have had a baby she would have kept her/him because it does not matter who the daddy is or what he was like it matters how you would rise the baby. My bestfriend was 16 and pregnate and guess what her baby is the light of her world. She was women enough to take responsability for her actions, and by having an abortion you are just being a selfish murderer. So stop trying to make your self sound all so mighty and high why don't you "wake up and get real." "A nation that kills its own is, a nation with out hope"Pope John Paul II. FYI the BOYs did have a choice between College or War so end the end they really did have a choice.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Fetus' Rights

I think I'm probably the only one out there that believes a fetus is always a person, from the moment of conception. My reason for this being that people say that a fetus isn't "living." However, I would like to ask a question in return to that, "Is the fetus dead?" I believe that a fetus should be given rights at the moment of conception - whether it is considered life or not - because it already has the DNA of a person, and it also has the POTENTIAL to become life. Because of this, a fetus should have human rights during the moment of conception. I do, however believe that abortion should be illegal unless the following occur
- The woman is raped.
- The woman will die in labor
- The woman will be seriously injured due to child birth.
Thanks to the website for this article, because I'm thirteen and am doing a three to five page research paper on abortion, and this couldn't have been more helpful!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thankyou for your thoughts. I

Thankyou for your thoughts. I agree with mostly everything that you stated. However, abortion should never be allowed even in the case of a rape. Please read the following article to understand my view.

Title: Abortion and sexual assault.
Author(s): Bindig, Todd S.
Source: Human Life Review, 35(3): 64-74(Sum 2009)
ISSN: 0097-9783

Thank you.

Serendip Visitor's picture

fetus/alive

What about plants? They don’t think and they are alive. Saying a fetus is a distinct living being is like saying my arm is a distinct living being. My arm is alive, but you can’t murder my arm. Human beings kill everything. We kill cows and calve because they taste good, trees because we like furniture, germs because they make us feel bad, deer because we love hunting, cockroaches because they are disgusting, and thousands of other species. You might say that, That may all be true but we draw the line at killing other humans!” but we don’t. We kill old people (euthanasia) and insurance companies even pay for it we kill criminals (capital punishment), we kill ourselves (suicide), we kill each other (war), we kill in self-defense, we kill when we are temporarily insane, and we pull the plug on people who are in comas. bottom line is its your baby and your choice, btw alot of people dont know before hand if they will die in labor and therefore, that is a definate risk. if you want a child go ahead but if you dont then honestly its up to you because its your body and you have the right to it.... im 13 as well

Serendip Visitor's picture

Your question

In response to your question (if a fetus is not alive, is it dead?) No it is not dead. Something has to have been alive at some point in order to be dead. It does not have it's own life, so there is nothing to lose.

Serendip Visitor's picture

If they do not want to carry

If they do not want to carry a child for 40 weeks then they should have kept their legs closed. When you decide to have sex then your also saying you accept the consequences.

Serendip Visitor's picture

And what if the sex was

And what if the sex was forced? What if there was a problem with the birth control form used?
Don't just blame the women, think of the men. Where is their responsibility? Why are they not held accountable?

Serendip Visitor's picture

accountability

How does abortion hold the men accountable? It just allows them to get away from the responsibility of what they helped create. Abortion actually HARMS women, both physically and mentally. Pro-abortion groups have consistently fought against legislation to treat abortion like any other surgery, informing women of the risks and other alternatives. Why would they do that? Because abortion isn't really about women's rights. They don't really want her to have a choice... they WANT her to "choose" abortion, often under serious pressure from others. Women who undergo an abortion often say, "No one told me about the mental anguish I would endure." Well, of course they didn't. Because they want her to get an abortion, shut up, and get on with her life! And don't you know an abortion is what the rapist wants? He wants what he did silenced, snuffed out forever. He doesn't want anyone to ever know, and a pregnancy is a visual reminder to him and everyone else of the violence he committed. Of women who choose an abortion after rape, 80% regret it. Of those who choose life, NONE regret it. In fact, they feel that they have triumphed over the rapist-- an act of love coming from an act of hate. Rape is a serious, horrible crime, but the affects of abortion last far, far longer than the affects of rape.

TGC's picture

RE: Accountablility

I'm gonna be blunt: that was the most short-sighted, ignorant and arrogant response to rape that I have ever read. If anyone should dictate how a woman should use her body, whatever the reason, it's the woman herself. Period. I don't trust those statistics you just pulled out of your hat, because what woman would really regret aborting the baby of her rapist? Think logically here. If you were theoretically raped and were due to bear the child of your attacker, wouldn't you want to destroy his foul legacy? Now, what if the child was born? A mother who is forced to bear and take care of a child she never wanted, let alone prepared for is now reliving her attack every time she looks upon the kid's face. That mother is no longer mentally stable, and the kid may now be experiencing neglect or worse. The child would begin feeling extremely guilty about his/her origins and this might spiral into depression and maybe even suicide in an extreme circumstance. Truly, you'd be saving both the kid and the mother from themselves by proceeding with a much needed abortion.

Serendip Visitor's picture

how do you know

Wondering....how do you know what a rapist wants?

When you cite a statistic ("Of women who choose an abortion after rape, 80% regret it") and you don't cite a reliable source of that statistic, it comes across as propaganda.

Serendip Visitor's picture

some reading

I don't personally know what a rapist wants, if that's what you're getting at. But in every rape case that I've read or heard of, the rapists does everything in his power to get the woman NOT to tell, to keep it silent, to snuff out his act. Doesn't abortion just further that agenda? Who does abortion help more, the woman or the rapist? Many women have stated that they relived their rape on the abortion table, for many it is painful, it can result in infertility, and it increases the chance of breast cancer (). It victimizes the woman further, causes her to undergo an invasive procedure, and it does not cure the rape. What does it do for the rapist? It silences forever what he did. Do you think it would be easier for a rapist to be convicted if the jury could see actual physical evidence for what he did, in the form of a pregnant person standing before them, or if there was no visible evidence? If a rapist can feel guilt (I have no idea if they can), would they feel more guilt if they saw the woman's growing belly as a constant reminder of what they did or if they saw nothing? Wouldn't abortion possibly embolden the rapist by snuffing out all physical evidence of what he did? This is why I believe rapists want their victims to have abortions.

The 80% statistic was something I read just today, and I can't find it again-- but here is some reading to get you started. If you will really read it and think about it seriously, I believe it will challenge your assumption that abortion is the best alternative for rape victims, and possibly even challenge the basic notion that abortion is even really about women's rights:

P.S. I am a woman. I think abortion is more about men's rights than it is about women's rights. It gives women the right to have an invasive procedure that, for many, physical and psychologically scars them. It gives men the right to have unlimited unprotected sex and never have to deal with the consequences. Who gains more here? If a child is born, there are laws that will force the father to support that child for the rest of its childhood. If the woman gets an abortion, all he has to do is throw a little money at her one time and his part can be over. Is it any wonder, then, that there are more pro-choice men than there are women, and that the highest percentage of pro-choicers is among unmarried men?

Serendip Visitor's picture

some reading

Yes, there are laws that force the male to financially aid the woman with the child. However, my mother didn't recieve any financial aid from my father for neither me nor my siblings. Why is that? Because she doesn't know where he is or even if he's alive. If you cannot find the male then you cannot enforce the laws upon him.

Serendip Visitor's picture

my opion

if a rapist is tryna shut her up and finds out she is going to take it to court don't you think the next thing is to kill her..and if they do go to court he can easily persuade the jury that she seduced him an she wanted it saying the sex was consensual you don't know nothing about rape or child birth so you should let a women do what she wants its her body and if she does go thru with having it are you going to be there to help her with it NO!!!!!! so mind your own damn business.. and stop acting like you care.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Female Autonomy and Protected Lives

The clue to the Roe v Wade debate lies in the fact that no one, virtually no one, is debating that human life should be protected - not for infants (in the form of adequate paid maternal leave), or for the elderly (in the form of social security benefits and adequate affordable heath care).

Due to that negligence, it can be presumed that Roe v Wade overturning is all about returning women to their submissive status - not about the sanctity of life, and certainly, not the sanctity of life of women.

Allowing society the ability to twist and warp issues to capitalize upon isolated principles without being viewed in context is one of the things that may help to win elections but does a great injustice to society who is entitled to weigh the principles being allowed such freedom of debate.

Social clarity is required to reach valid social judgement, and unable to do so, only bad social judgement is allowed to prevail by beng taken out of context. Women allowing themselves to be pieced and parsed into parts is unacceptable, and using the bully pulpit of the Presidency to exacerbate the problem of men who prefer submissive women over female autonomy isn't an acceptable issue for winning the Presidency that is conducted as if it was a survivor show for money. Demanding more of Presidential candidates than that required of horse races through sound bytes for visible credibility is something to be cultivated, and not forgone as a waste of time.

Presidents deserve more, and democracy deserves more than to be reduced to such frivolity in a world where there is little other lawful guidance and reduced to pretentious titles for legislative credibility. Religious law was never meant to be credible as Constitutional law issued from the bully pulpit or the legislative chamber.

Lydia Udell's picture

There is no justification for the death of a human

If its a pregnancy from rape, why kill the child and take its life for the actions of the man who did it. UNFAIR to take the life because of the crime that the father made.

If its just an unwanted pregnancy, HELLO! There is adoption. This is just ridiculous people. Every child is wanted by someone. There are so many couples in the world that would love to have a child of their own. Why not give it up for adoption by a family that wants the baby and will give it a good life. I am sick of hearing the excuse to just take the life of a baby because its better to rid the child of their life in the womb before the are born because its better that way. No i'm sorry its not. Its better to give life and adopt to someone who can support and give the child a good life.

All religious beliefs but aside. This is a human life we are talking about. At the moment of conception, when the sperm meets the egg, immediately the chromosomes match and and form 46 chromosomes which specifically is a human being, not an animal or and unknown substance or just tissue. At that very point the DNA is formed and can tell the hair and eye color of the baby.

Serendip Visitor's picture

uh-uh

first of all its a fetus not a human, and by the way dont you think we have way to many people in this world? death is natural it it will eventually happen to evry one, also it is a choice it is your body as is it your choice.

Terry Machacek's picture

Why does the law not allow

Why does the law not allow women two or three years to decide whether or not to keep the child? Seems strange to me that they have to decide whether or not to keep the baby alive before they have even seen it.

kiara mackenzie's picture

Abortion is wrong!! Why kill when you can save a life!

honestly abortion is very very wrong i dont even know why someone would go through with it anyways it makes me sick just thinking about it..why would you want all of the guilt on you and all the thoughts and depression!?! it makes no since to me.. why would you kill someone that God made personally for you and your family? people are so stupid if they do this. i dont think i could ever get an abortion it woukd break my heart and kill me on the inside.. i just think people need to grow up and learn some respect and think about there actions before doing them!!..

Serendip Visitor's picture

Abortion

What if your 15 year old daughter was raped and became pregnant? Not only carying the memories of the horrible incodent but having to bear a child through high school and always knowing there is a part of a sexual predator inside of her and if she keeps the baby she will have to know how the child was brough upon her for her entire life

Serendip Visitor's picture

reply

not to mention people would be calling her a whor* and a sl*t behind her back

Serendip Visitor's picture

you knw tht some girls get

you knw tht some girls get raped right??? its not the girls fault somtimes some gurls really need an abortion because they might die if they get a kid. an if u send the kid to abortion it might not even have a good life if might be sad knwing he or she dosnt have parents or somthing you should think about everything not just about how ''sad" it is or watever their ARE sooo many different cases its really sad what your saying many ppl should acually put themselfs in a position like tht its not easy but then again everyone is critisising or watever it sucks oh and its not killing because its not alive yet

Serendip Visitor's picture

IT IS KILLING

The baby has a heart beat. that means living, so yeah it is killing. And if something bad happens and they get pregnant. THATS WHY THEY HAVE ADOPTION. and if you can't handle it emotionaly to give a kid up for adoption then you sure are not going to be able to KILLING A BABY.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Adoption

Do you have any idea how full the adoption homes are?!?!?!
I understand by putting it in an adoption home give it a second chance at life but do you really have any idea how many people ACTUALLY adopt children? Most people who do adopt only want babies or even infantants so that they can raise them from beginning to end. But what about the ones who are actually children or older. They have low rates of getting adopted and many of those usually end up behind bars or six feet under for various reasons. So sure, it's killing the baby, sure let's let it live and life play it's cards. We don't know the past and we don't know how the future will turn out for it. But I know you can't miss something if you never see it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

dying

what if you could die in pregnancy? then you kill your self for something you dont love?

George's picture

What about the people who are

What about the people who are raped and did not choose to get pregnant? there are a great number of them out there I myself know a few. Also what about children who have a great possibility of of having a disease that will end their life shortly after birth? You should consider things like that before you judge someones decision to get an abortion.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Many people are mixing their

Many people are mixing their own religion and the ethics behind abortion. Yes most people dont like the idea of abortion being performed on a fetus but understanding that a woman has the right to do the abortion. In the case of Roe v. Wade, it allowed women to have the right to choose to have the abortion or not and not be limited to law of the state. Abortion is legal in every state of the U.S. but every state has a form of process to make the mother understand and possibly change her mind to actually keeping the baby.

Most of the people on this page are mixing their own feelings into something that can not be generalized for everyone else. Abortion is something that must be thought of on a factual and statistical point of views to determine the proper reasoning to abortion.

Serendip Visitor old timer 's picture

Legal abortion

Many of the youth cannot remember when abortion was illegal. I do. I remember friendsand sisters, who made the difficult decision and went scared to death to go to a back alley literally and see someone who had no qualifications to get an abortion. The point is women have been taking care of themselves for years and years, that is not going to change, how they do that is the issue. Womens rights should include safe legal medical proceedures regardless of what those are. It is not about killing or morality, it is about the right to make your own decision and then to have a medically safe pproceedure by a medically trained doctor. When society accepts women as equal, when religions accept women as equal, then this discussion will be obsolete. Talk to women over 50, we all remember what it was like before abortion was legal! Abortion will never go away, the right to a safe legal proceedure should be fundamental.

Neil Taft's picture

Babies who not sees sunlight

We must put in our mind that abortion is a big sin and we must not practiced this. It is not right to aborted the life of the baby even though it is still inside in mother's womb. Hence, it is still fetus but it has also a life and it is give to us. I hope that their is a law will implement to put in prison for those who will caught aborting baby's life and I will look forward in this post.

Thanks

Serendip Visitor's picture

religeion

not every one believes in god

Serendip Visitor's picture

Abortion also mentally harms

Abortion also mentally harms many women who are unable to forget it.

have you been there?'s picture

have any of you ,who are all

have any of you ,who are all so knowingly writting, have a single one of you actually been in the position to actually have to have an abortion? or sat in a clinic and talked to and heard the stories of the women who are sitting in there? i have just had one and spoken and heard the absolutly heart breaking stories of these women, you would not beileve the reasons some people have to have them, health issues, economical reasons you high and mighty people comment and condem women for haveing to make a life changing decision we have all thought very long and very hard about what we were about to do and we made the choice that we knew down and deep in hearts would be best for us and our unborn child. some of you should really learn to look into your own hearts and think be for posting offensive and religiously biased comments.

Serendip Visitor's picture

my question is

You speak about all the sad stories of women that had abortions but my question is what is their story with regard to contraception? That is why I don't agree with abortion. There are multiple contraceptive methods and believe me they are very very effective. If they couldn't or didn't want to be pregnant why didn't they get a Depo Provera shot which is 99% effective. Rape is one thing, but is the woman is being lousy with birth control and just taking their chances and then after finding out she is pregnant is when she realizes she can't keep the child, that is extremely irresponsible.

Logan's picture

birth control

I am pro-choice and I extremely agree with you about how women should use birth control to prevent any chance of getting pregnant. But, I was 21 and using the Nuva Ring which is 99.9% effective and I got pregnant by my boyfriend. He didn't really believe in abortion and I knew what I wanted to do when I found out and it was a big relief when it was over and done with and we didn't have any resentment towards each other for it. I changed my birth control method and a year later I got pregnant again and I got another abortion. It was hard and I regretted it at first, but I was trying to prevent it because I knew we weren't ready to be parent's to a new baby. We live in Idaho and it is an extremely conservative state because of the Mormon community so I had to go to Utah to get them done and they are even worse than Idaho when it comes to being conservative. I am now 26 and my boyfriend (the same boyfriend through my experinces) and I are engaged and have a wonderful 2 year old son that we did plan. I am doing research on why abortion should remain legal for an English paper and saw your post and thought I'd share my experience with you because I know that a lot of people who are pro-life just think it's an easy way out of a huge life changing responsibility, but dont know the story behind it. My point is that there is no birth control that is a 100% effective and that's why they say it is 99.9% because there is still that chance that it may not work and I was that 1% and believe me the clinic was really surprised when I told them what my birth control method was. If women used abortions as a form of birth control then that is something I dont agree with at all, but if we are preventing it than I think we should have the choice on whether or not we want to go through with it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

What's best for the unborn

What's best for the unborn child? Did anybody ask the unborn child? If you did, I hardly think he would have said, "Oh yea, please go ahead and kill me...no prob".

Serendip Visitor's picture

well...i'm pretty sure the

well...i'm pretty sure the unborn child CANT talk.

Visitor's picture

It may not talk

The child may not talk, but it is highly developed in terms of differentiation of tissues. Furthermore, there are many people who can not talk in this world, so does this give us the right to kill them? In defence of pro-lifers, if we are wrong, we have to deal with knowing that we brought a life into this world regardless of the way it was brought in (half of you pro-choicers are unplanned, you're mother was probably scared when she found out and more than likely did not want you... but aren't you glad she kept you?). But what if you pro-choicers are wrong? You potentially could be killing a living human being (People may make the argument that the fetus is not alive because it depends upon the mother to live. However, again there are other cases in this world where humans are dependant upon external things for life but it still does not give us a right to kill them. Anyway, I hope to get across to people is that stop thinking about this as a equality argument, because it's not about that. I'm a female, I know that there is still a long way to go for us to get equality and equity, but killing unborn children (some of them women, what about the rights of unborn females??) is not the way to start.

Carlee's picture

People have a right to their

People have a right to their bodies...

Shahadda's picture

I think there should be more

I think there should be more laws governing this sensitive debate.

If you a minor(female)you need the consent of BOTH parents.
If you are a minor(male) you need the consent of ONE parent.

If the female minor says "I dont know who the father it" and aborts the baby with both of her parents consent.........any prospecting male partners that belive THEY ARE the father and did want to keep it.....he will have the right to SUE for his loss of his unborn child.

The grandparents of the male minor will have the right to the fetus as well and may sue for their loss of their unborn grandchild.

Lets face it........there are no more Virgin Marys out there....the fetus has to come from some one.

If you an adult(female) you do not need a parental consent to terminate............you do how ever need a consent from the """other""" party provider.
If there she does not know who is the father............any male partners that belive THEY ARE the father and did want to keep it.....he will have the right to SUE for the loss of his unborn child.

The grandparents of the adult male counter part will have the right to the fetus as well and may sue for their loss of their unborn grandchild.

Concerning martial issued of abortion..........
The wife counter part must have consent to terminate by the husband.
If both parties agree then there will be no judgement between them either while married or DIVORCED(as long as both parties have agreed and signed)
Grandparents have no rights concerning married couples choices.

Serendip Visitor's picture

abortion should be illegal to

abortion should be illegal to an extent. i think each case should be taken to a judge and figured out. if you were raped, or if you could die if you have to baby, abortion should be an option. but if youre 15 years old, have unprotected sex with your boyfriend, you have to live with the consequences. if you take the chance of getting pregnant, you have to deal with what happens afterwords.

A Middle School Girl's picture

What if the woman is a girl

What if the woman is a girl who isn't even ready for a BOYFRIEND that got RAPED? Like, if someone that went to school with me (I'm in middle school.) got raped, they wouldn't be physically or mentally ready for a child! I know I wouldn't! Or, if a baby was born into a family of drug addicts! Wouldn't it be so much worse to live though the sight of your own parents high, and choking on marijauna smoke daily? Jeez, people! Or, if someone was addicted to meth WHILE they were pregnant! That would give the child TERRIBLE defects!!!

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