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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Politicizing Abortion

My stance on abortion wavers just about every day. I seriously don't think the government should get involved, but I also get the creeps when I think about growing fetuses getting sucked out of a womb. I have some sympathy for all sides, basically. Then there are the people who don't get a drop of my sympathy. The people who bomb abortion clinics, for instance. The officials in China who force women to take pregnancy tests and then have abortions. Those are the obvious people to hate in this debate. There's a group with more insidious methods, however. These people will take any opportunity to make abortion a political issue, no matter what the circumstances, and they twist language to make their point. Here's the story that outraged me today. A woman had a miscarriage 15-20 weeks into her pregnancy, and she preserved the fetus in her freezer. She's been charged with concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse (the latter charge was dropped). Now, what's wrong with the previous sentence? Death of a child, are you kidding me? She had a MISCARRIAGE! Twenty to thirty percent of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage! I'm finally beginning to understand why the prochoice people get so upset when the prolife people insist on calling blastocysts babies. Abortion has become so sensitive that when a pregnancy naturally ends before a full-term, live birth, it's seen as a criminal thing, and this poor woman is actually being held in prison by serious charges. Since when do you have to go to the hospital when you're sick? Why does the government need to be so intimately involved with womens' reproductive health? Had this woman gone to the hospital and had/completed the miscarriage there, she wouldn't have been charged with anything. (The medical examiner found that the fetus died in utero of natural causes.)

Feminists constantly say that prolifers ignore the health and plight of a woman, and talk about fetal rights in a vaccuum, as if the mother doesn't exist. They also say that prolifers want to make sure that women are required to have babies as a result of sex, and deserve to be hurt for their slutty decisions. I have to say that while I can certainly see mysogynist tones in what the kookiest right-wingers have to say about abortion, I kinda thought that it was a characterization of the most out-there lunatics. This case makes me think they're more right-on about the general prolife populace than I would have believed before. My heart goes out to this young woman. Imagine the terror of going into labor at 20 weeks, and the horror of seeing your dead, half-formed fetus. As weird and gross as it sounds, I genuinely sympathize with her for wanting to keep the body close. If she had gone to a hospital, this corpse would have been disposed of without ceremony.

4 comments:

  1. I think this may just be evidence that the extremists are getting emboldened in the moral/legal/societal confusion. I doubt most pro-lifers would support prosecuting a woman for hiding a miscarriage.

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  2. Is eating a miscarriage cannibalism?

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  3. Gaurav Ahuja1:24 PM

    You seem to just be having an emotional reaction to people you may not personally like. A woman is responsible for her decisions just as a man is responsible for his decisions. This case you talked about was very bad. But, saying that right wingers talk about rights in a vacuum doesn't make sense. I believe abortion is murder. You can't make a woman's convenience, or health for that matter, trump human life. If you do, you run into a slippery slope that causes all this moral confusion that we are seeing now among different people.

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