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Reproductive Rights

Amy-

How do you respond to the theory that abortion actually hurts women in the long run? I am not speaking in medical terms, but rather the idea that if a woman becomes pregnant and decides to terminate her pregnancy in favor of her career or something similar, society has less of a reason to be friendly to mothers. I think the underlying theory is that women shouldn't have to choose between their lives and that of their child, but that society should provide the support that pregnant women and mothers need, and abortion is certainly not that type of support.

I would cite the Scandinavian countries, with their "womb to the tomb" public services as examples of how to be friendlier to women, beyond the sort of surface friendliness that abortion rights offers.

Full disclosure: I do believe that the Scandinavian countries do have legal abortions. I am not arguing that women should not have safe and legal access to abortions, but rather that you should not paint arguments against abortion as all "anti-feminist" or that it is not possible for a true feminist to be pro-life.

I would point you to the July 2001 issue of Harmony magazine, specifically Jen Roth's article "the secular case against abortion," which applies feminist definitions of personhood to fetuses, and also is a source for the argument I laid out above. Many thanks for a response.

M.

   

I think that abortion does have the potential to negatively impact some women's lives in the long run -- they have guilt, they might not be able to conceive and then regret their earlier decision, etc... However, I think that for an equal number of women it has a positive impact on their future -- they are able to have children on their own choosing.

I think a great measure is to look at the quality of relationship that women have with their children. Some felt like they didn't have a choice and that has impacted the relationship they have with their child and vice versa, others felt it was entirely chosen and therefore have a healthy relationship. Abortion and the experience of it after the fact is very different for each person, for some it s a blessing and for others it is sadness.

I hope that helps,

-- Amy

 

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