This one is more in-depth and ominous: apparently the views of Americans have been swinging towards anti-choice in the last decade as the religious right hijacks public opinion.
I even found a creepy article recently which was pondering in all seriousness why animal rights advocates are not aligned with anti-choice religious arguments, but instead favour feminism and pro-choice. This, I think, is a disturbing question and one that should be taken seriously by animal rights advocates, to make sure that animal rights don’t get associated with that ridiculousness. Fortunately, a majority of animal rights activists and vegans do support feminism’s revolutionary idea that a woman’s body is her own, and not the property of others to control or coerce. Like any other organism which gives birth, human females should have the right and the dignity to be able to choose when and where they bring offspring into the world.
You know, I absolutely believe that the bringing forth of life is miraculous, and that children are beautiful; what pro-choice person doesn’t? Yet, it is not contrary to also believe that every child should be a wanted child, and that it is not murder to terminate a birth. It is some sort of taking of a life, yes, and women realize this; no woman goes lightly into an abortion, thinking of the magnitude of what they are doing and the physical pain they are subjecting themselves to. Abortion is not irresponsible; it’s not the flippant, careless, cruel act that anti-choice proponents make it out to be, as if it is some sort of easy alternative to birth control. It certainly isn’t. And if women were more empowered to make their own choices about birth control, and to be able to negotiate without shame with their partners, perhaps we would have fewer accidental unwanted pregnancies in the first place. And they are not that numerous! Most children are wanted, even if they are accidents; and abortion providers consistently offer counseling and alternatives to prospective mothers. It’s not a random, wanton act; but it is sometimes a necessary one.
Those who don’t support access to abortion are profoundly disrespectful to women. They don’t seem to recognize the deep emotion and agonizing which go along with the decision to terminate a pregnancy. They don’t allow that a woman has any understanding of the complex moral, emotional, and physical impacts of abortion, and the process of decision-making they go through before deciding on a termination. And they don’t seem to have any understanding of the complexity of life and the sorts of situations where it might be better not to bring a child into the world.
I express my empathy to George Tiller’s friends and family, and to the women he will no longer be able to serve, and to all the women in the United States who are finding themselves with fewer and fewer doctors willing to perform abortions because of the disconnected and bizarre notion that a small multi-celled being, a dependent human-in-the-making, always trumps the rights of a fully-grown and sentient woman; and the violent enforcement through threats and murder of that idea.