Vigilant subway riders will have spotted the “Abortion Changes You” campaign — in all its tacky instances. One example, for discussion:
I stress the decisional aspect of raising a child because, in the modern era, regardless of how you feel about abortion, it is a choice. By disputing that it is a choice — and not just arguing that the exercise of the choice would be wrong — this RedState article on the subject probably gives us more information than the author ever intended. If, after all, abortion isn’t just a bad decision, but no decision at all, the minute a pregnancy occurs, the woman must carry it to term, not because there’s no moral alternative, but because that’s the way of things.
We — men — don’t often look at it this way, but, combined with the far right’s hostility to responsible sex education, this is a very deterministic way to look at a woman’s life. Under this reasoning, the world can alter a woman in a way that she cannot alter the world, and bind her, and her alone, to a future that she was, in every instance, not alone in choosing, and in which she sometimes had no choice.
Conservatives can take the position that an abortion for “convenience” (read: any reason other than grave danger to health) is an immoral act, but instead of acknowledging the difficulties it creates, they demonize women expressing valid concerns as selfish, mock those who share them, and in no way attempt to avoid the difficulty by providing meaningful pre- or post-pregnancy support structures. When was the last time you heard conservatives speak honestly about contraception, or push for incentives, whether public or private, for affordable neonatal care, or day care for working mothers? Until that happens, the anti-choice lobby — and yes, even the women who populate it — shouldn’t, and won’t, be able to avoid being characterized as anti-feminist. Maybe a fetus isn’t a “choice,” but nor is a woman a passive vessel for the state to control, and then ignore.