Friday, November 24, 2006

Great post on the "Choice" issue!

I normally would not post something so controversial...

Who am I kidding, of course I would!

Having watched a bit of Season 7, West Wing, it reminds me of the Abortion discussions of Vinnick and Santos.

Vinnick, the GOPer, was mostly pro-choice. Santos, the Democrat, was mostly pro-life. When Santos' VP candidate found out about it, Santos came back with a discussion of whether one would oppose an abortion for the sole reason of selection of the gender, or IQ and things of that nature. Anyway...I came across this at Pandagon and found it very thought provoking.

Without further adieu...

Funhouse mirror world of anti-choicers
Published by Amanda Marcotte November 21st, 2006 in Reproductive Rights, Feminists For Life

The nice thing about being pro-choice is you have the breathing room that intellectual honesty and consistency affords a person. All your views on the subject of reproductive rights stem from the simple notion that women are fully human. Should a woman get to have sex without “consequences”? Should a woman be free to choose how many children she has? Should a woman who’s been raped be forced to bear her rapist’s child? Should a woman who has a pregnancy with complications be forced to ruin her health or lose her life? The answers are all fairly straightforward and simple when you believe a woman deserves basic human rights.* To be fair, anti-choicers are pretty consistent in their worldview, too—they believe that women are second to men, that women should be punished for having sex, and that pregnancy is god’s way of enforcing women’s second class status. They are extremely consistent in this view. In all but their rhetoric. For some reason, anti-choicers cannot advance an intellectually consistent position, jumping all around the place, casting about for some other reason than the real ones that they have the policy goals that they have.

It’s tough to say why this is, but I suspect the reason might be similiar for the reasons that BushCo claimed, at various times, that we’re in Iraq to advance democracy, stop terrorism, take out some non-existent weapons of mass destruction, or because it makes puppies happy.**

One of the most irritating intellectual inconsistencies of anti-choicers is that they assert that they are anti-choice because of “life” and yet their big project over the past few years is passing and defending a federal ban on a specific abortion procedure called a D&X. This is the sort of ban that will not save a single life but could in fact take many, since the reason D&Xes are used by doctors rather than other procedures is because they feel it’s safer in some circumstances. The policy is effectively anti-life, unless you secretly believe that women don’t count and you don’t care if you get some of them killed in your pursuit to erode women’s rights. Scott Lemieux has an article up at the American Prospect detailing exactly how stupid this ban is and why the Supreme Court will probably approve it anyway, now that it’s headed up by judges who don’t care about niceities like clear, consistent arguments when it comes to hurting women. Highly recommended. Needless to say, the other asinine intellectual inconsistency that will result from all this is that “federalist” legislators and judges—all who claim they want to leave these issues up to the states—are all eagerly signing onto federal anti-woman legislation. But you’ll rarely catch them admitting this.

The downside to siding with the coherent folks is that sometimes you feel a bit sorry for the anti-choicers, with their wildly inconsistent positions. (We’re for life except when it’s a pregnant woman’s! We want women to resort to the coathanger because we just respect them so much!) They get called out on the fact that they’re sleazy liars who won’t be straight about their views on such a regular basis that it’s almost unfair that they don’t get to flip that shit around on their opposition. Not that they don’t try, of course, but such attempts are so dreadfully weak it gives me a pity rush. I got a trackback from a woman defending “Feminists” for Life who wants to tell the world what feminists are really like.*** She’s found us out—we’ve committed the dreadful sin of being just what we say we are, which is supportive of women’s full rights and therefore of the idea that women are a diverse group with diverse desires.

Confronting such intellectual consistency apparently gave Sharon a shock to the system, because she totally mistakes it for the sort of disingenous bullshitting that her side engages in.
I despise what Pandagon calls feminism because it tends to be selfish self-centered BS focused entirely on personal pleasure versus what used to be known as caring about family and society. I think it’s very telling when someone says that they want an abortion (but presumably didn’t mind the process of creating a baby) because they just don’t want kids. It definitely flies in the face of the way NARAL and NOW describe women facing abortion:
While it’s critical to promote policies that help prevent unintended pregnancies and make abortion less necessary, NARAL Pro-Choice America also fights to protect the right to safe, legal abortion.

How, I’m not sure. I read this statement up and down and didn’t see anywhere that NOW or NARAL advocated for the idea that women with unwanted pregnancies should be forced to have the babies as punishment for not being proper women who wants lots of babies. It says something about protecting legal abortion while reducing its necessity by preventing unwanted pregnancies. Unless Sharon thinks that I said that I really enjoy getting pregnant a few times a year because I love nothing better than a painful, expensive abortion, her notion that she’s “caught” me makes no sense. Going back to the intellectual consistency of pro-choicers—we believe women are fully human and deserve a right to control their bodies. This actually means they have a right to prevent unwanted pregnancy as well as terminate it. Interestingly, it’s not the feminists who want to take away the right to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The major organizations that want to increase the abortion rate by increasing unwanted pregnancy through contraceptive deprivation are all the anti-abortion groups. Talk about inconsistent! They say they’re against abortion but want to increase the rate.

The funniest part of this entire rant, for my purposes, is that Sharon claims that feminists both scramble to get abortions left and right while stating at the exact same time that we don’t mind the process of creating a baby. Which is it? To me, the stated eagerness to terminate pregnancies seems to contradict the stated adoration of being pregnant, which is of course the process that creates babies. Do we hate pregnancy or love it? Who knows, but the important part is to know that feminists are all the same and whether that means they love pregnancy or hate it, they are evil, wicked, man-hating beasts. Who are selfish.

Of course, there’s the outside chance that Sharon doesn’t understand biology and in her eagerness to imply that feminists are sluts, she mistakenly said conflated the process of creating a baby with Teh Sex. If so, it’s kind of cute that she can’t bring herself to say that a woman could actually want sex, just that we sluts don’t mind it like good women should. Regardless, this notion that sex and not pregnancy is the process that creates a baby makes me wonder if she’s quite aware of what an abortion even is, since it has to happen during that pregnancy phase, where Sharon seems to think that as soon as you light up that post-coital cigarette a bassinet pops up at the end of your bed and starts emitting baby wails, much like on “The Sims”. And hell, even in “The Sims” you only got a baby once out of every few times you had sex and in the real world, a lot of us manage to go years having Teh Sex without ever even beginning the baby-making process called “pregnancy”. My inclination is to point to this entire misunderstanding of what the process of baby-making is as further evidence that science education in America is sorely wanting. How can they even work up to evolution when so many people don’t know where babies come from?

*For the dumbasses who don’t get it, the proper answers are: Yes, yes, no, and no.**This might be why we’re going to invade Iran. I can’t keep the bullshit straight.***Interestingly enough, by slamming the existence of feminism while defending FFL, she inadvertantly admitted that FFL is not feminist.

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