January 07, 2008

What Does Abortion Have To Do With Women?

I have had abortions.

-Mark B. Morrow, Christian Counselor

Um, no, you haven't. Unless there's something about yourself you should really tell your wife...

-Everyone else

Okay, one time:

If my Significant Other were pregnant, would we consider her having an abortion? See how the pronouns work, there? She would be the one undergoing the procedure, not me. What I would be doing is talking to her about it, discussing options, and reaching a decision together. You know, like couples are supposed to do with really big, important decisions.

At least, that's how it works in a healthy relationship.

In this story published in the LA Times, on the other hand, you'll notice something. The men involved didn't actually talk to the women they had gotten pregnant in any meaningful way. Read, if you will, this rather telling quote:

Aubert looks startled. "I never really thought about it for the woman," he says slowly.

Yes. It shows.

Another man who is a member of this group who actively reinforce feelings of shame, trauma, and guilt ("the men are told to picture their sons and daughters dancing in a sunny meadow at the feet of Jesus Christ" - despite blastocysts and embryos not being able to do that sort of thing) mentioned being so angry that his finance had an abortion that he "drank too much" and blacked out for "weeks and months".

Can't imagine why she didn't tell you she was pregnant, then.

One bit of shoddy writing (rather than shoddy thinking) from the story is this:

"Even abortion rights supporters acknowledge that men may benefit from counseling when they and their partners face an unwanted pregnancy."

Let's file that one under "No Shit", shall we? Why would you even bother to start that sentence with the word even ? I'm not as familiar with clinics in the United States as with the ones in Canada, but clinics here will offer counseling to anyone who is considering an abortion, anyone who is involved with someone else getting an abortion, pretty much anyone who walks into the room, really. Women who are trying to decide are given information, support for whatever decision they choose, and the freedom to make that choice.

Don't miss that last bit: it's the important one.

I understand that abortion is a difficult question, and one that often has politicians flailing like the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a tar pit; but it's only difficult if you bother to think about it.

What these men are doing is stopping that thought, and I simply don't think that should be rewarded.

So, would we decide if the SO should have an abortion? If her health were at risk, then yes. But hopefully, we're the exception rather than the rule. But what if it were a Significant Another who was at no risk and otherwise healthy?

Then we - all of us involved - would have to decide. And until that happens, then I don't know.

Maybe I'll find out, but I refuse to be afraid of the discussion.


posted by Thursday at 8:46 pm


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