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March 30, 2004

Comments

I'm republishing one or two of the earliest from my blog. It was a bummer to use up all my best ideas in the first couple of weeks when no one was reading it. (Don't make me glare at those of you who might suggest that 'when' could just as well be now....)

New stuff in a couple of days, assuming something interesting is going on.

This post, except for the very first line, could be written by your average (average I say!) pro-choice type. I'm not talking about the crowds that show up at a Dean Meetup, or hand out NARAL literature at the local fair.

But most pro-choicers are willing to outlaw late-term abortions, with some debate about what "viable" means. (Anencephaly? Other lethal birth defects or mutations?) As to what month, 4 or 5 sounds about right. It gives plenty of time for reasonable people to reach a decision. And if it was good enough for Thomas Aquinas, it's good enough for me... Carl Sagan says the same thing, at much greater length, and with excellent historical references here.

A very good post about a very difficult issue.
I would probably be called radically pro-choice.
I am willing to talk, and think about everything, even before viability. It is not perfectly clear to me even there.

After five months, if it was someone with whom I had the right, I might argue very hard against abortion.

But the idea of the state stepping in and using direct or indirect coercion is just not acceptable. I am sincerely sorry, this is not a easy position for me to take.

Kudos on an insightful and sensible post. It's difficult to find those on this subject; this is one of those third rails of politics.

Personally, I find abortion more distasteful the later-term it gets. Early on, the fetus is less biologically complex than a tadpole; later, it's an entirely different story.

However, the gods granted me a Y chromosome to go with my X, and so unless I grow a uterus anytime soon, I'll leave the decisions on abortion to those who actually have them.

Good post, Sebastian. Was actually thinking about this topic this morning (er... your night time) and realising how bizarre it was that pro-abortionists can get so worked up about pro-lifers, when if you think about it, if the pro-abortionists are wrong, then the consequences are far graver.

But, of course, as with any belief, there are the fundamentalists. There's a couple of very prominent pro-life charities in the UK, and one of them is a little militant. You don't convince anyone by being an irate idiot.

And I totally agree on the religious para - and I'm a staunch Roman Catholic. There's very little point using religious arguments to persuade the non-religious; and besides, I don't think you need to. From my point of view, being anti-abortion is entirely sensible. Just as I can understand that pro-abortionists, if they genuinely don't consider the foetus a human life, aren't the spawn of Satan.

I'll state up front that I'm pro-choice at least up to the time of viability. However, I recently saw, at Volokh's site, a great, non-religious argument against late term abortions: Any procedure performed in the 8th or 9th month of pregnancy to terminate it will be functionally indistinguishable from actual delivery of a live fetus. The baby has reached term, and has to be delivered, alive or dead. Thus, the abortion procedure is no more likely to "protect the health of the mother" than delivery would be. (Mental health, perhaps, but that bar is set too low, in my opinion.)

That's the kind of appeal-to-reason arguments abortion foes need to use with the nonreligious.

I still support the right to abort prior to viability. Certainly prior to brain activity, or even brain formation.

Excellent and well-considered post Sebastian.

Two things stood out for me though.

One pertains to my most surely annoying mantra:

Saying that God is against abortion, isn't an argument that is helpful or necessary. Atheists can respect human life. Muslims can repsect human life.

This needs more careful wording to avoid being offensive. First it implies that Muslims don't believe in "God"; and even if you mean to imply they don't believe in your God (which is also debatable), the phrasing "can respect human life" implies that it's not perhaps the norm for them. Muslims respect human life.

The same applies for Atheists and Hindus (I'm just particulary weary of misstatements against Muslims).

Second,

By engaging in such tactics you are bringing shame to what should be a proud movement, and are assoicating it with evil when it is good. That is the easy part.

I personally feel abortion should be a very last resort, and I would advise anyone seeking my counsel to have their baby. But because I believe most people agree, I don't see the choice to have an abaortion as anywhere near approaching a "good" or "evil" decision. It's a health care decision. Period.

I do draw the line where you seem to, at viability, and one graphic description of "partial birth abortion" set me against it, but to state the pro-life movement is "good" without further clarification is to suggest the pro-choice movement is "bad." Given that many women die when states outlaw all abortions, this point is highly debatable as well.

I wonder if the issue under examination were changed slavery instead of abortion: Would Mr. Holsclaw hold to his exhortations to moderation? "Just because you believe you are morally right [in opposing slavery] doesn't mean that the people who disagree with you are evil." "[Dred Scott] is accepted, at least in part, by a large majority of Americans." "Religious arguments [against slavery] aren't effective when talking to non-religious people." Moderation is good in its place, but it requires wisdom to discern its place.

This is not idle rhetoric on my part. The principle behind slavery and abortion is the same: that a certain class of human beings may lawfully treated as property.

Sebastian,

I'll join in with the chorus of people saying that you have a lot of good points here. I'm in a slightly weird position as I'm definitely a liberal by U.S. standards but also pro-life, which means I'm pretty often in positions where I have to make my case to people who don't agree with me and aren't likely to. Usually, the first step is to convince them that your position is actually principled and you're not some sort of mouth-breathing troglodyte.

I think pro-lifers need to ask ourselves if we want to maintain our sense of moral purity or if we want to actually do something to reduce the frequency of abortion. There's a pretty broad consensus on restricting late-term abortions that has been overlooked in the rush to get rid of all abortions. There's other areas where I think real progress could be made like improving support structures for teen mothers, fixing adoptions, and so on. There's a lot of things that could be done that a majority of pro-chjoicers would be willing to support.

The principle behind slavery and abortion is the same: that a certain class of human beings may lawfully treated as property.

An excelent summary, but the question remains who is to make the determination of when a human being becomes a person (in the legal sense) and then it becomes a civil rights issue.

who is to make the determination of when a human being becomes a person (in the legal sense)

That, in a nutshell, is the core of the question.

Kevin, I agree that it is important for pro-life advocates to decide what we want. Do we want to be able to say that we were able to maintain self-righteousness or do we want to have an actual impact on the number of abortions which take place.

An effective pro-life movement will focus as much time on reducing abortions within the current Constitutional framework as it does in trying to change the Constitutional framework.

I think the slavery comparison is relevant in the sense of defining personhood, but not helpful in many respects because while you could just remove a slave from a plantation via the Underground Railroad, you can't get a baby out of its mother's body without surgery.

"There's a pretty broad consensus on restricting late-term abortions that has been overlooked in the rush to get rid of all abortions."

I don't agree with this at all. Pro-life advocates in the past 15 years have been trying to place (any) restrictions on late term abortions and have been strongly resisted by pro-choice forces who refuse to distinguish between pre and post viability in the discussion.

"The principle behind slavery and abortion is the same: that a certain class of human beings may lawfully treated as property."

And herein lies the conflict, the very first principle of libertarianism is self-ownership; a women's inviolable right to her body. There may be other cases where the state may perform a procedure, or ban one desired, but they are rare, and controversial.

The pro-life movement often flounders on the implications of their positions. Put the 7 month woman in restraints? Sedate her? Force delivery even at the cost of her life? Should she acquiesce, put guards and monitors on her when she goes home?

"who refuse to distinguish between pre and post viability in the discussion."

Besides the sovereignty issue, as a non-believer (prettier than nihilist) I honestly can't find a place to draw a line that does not feel arbitrary.
I have tried to get excited about brain function, but I am simply not comfortable with defining humanness. Don't know if that weakens my case or strengthens it.

Bob,

If, as I believe, the fetus is a unique human being brought into the world, in almost all cases, by the actions of the mother, then how can the mother lawfully and morally kill it? I thought that free will and personal responsibility for one's actions were also features of libertarianism.

It seems to me that for most cases of abortion, self-ownership of one's body is a red herring. It still depends on the humanity of the gestating person.

But Mr. Holsclaw, there is a political context here, which includes the need for the arts of persuasive as well as forensic rhetoric. Lincoln is the finest American example we have in those arts; and the great political (and moral) question to which he applied all his powers is hauntingly similar to our own.

I think we have seen some real shrewdness on the part of pro-lifers in the effort to shake some moderates loose from the Roe coalition: Last week there was the Unborn Victims of Violence Act; elsewhere we have a bill in Virginia proposing that fetuses be administered a pain-killer prior to an abortion. Now that is being "wise as serpents."

think we have seen some real shrewdness on the part of pro-lifers in the effort to shake some moderates loose from the Roe coalition: Last week there was the Unborn Victims of Violence Act; elsewhere we have a bill in Virginia proposing that fetuses be administered a pain-killer prior to an abortion. Now that is being "wise as serpents."

If that's the case you have some real liars on that side as well Paul, as they insisted and even wrote into the legislation that it was not about abortion.

"I thought that free will and personal responsibility for one's actions were also features of libertarianism."

"self-ownership of one's body is a red herring."

You are mixing personal morality and state policy in the same sentence.

Of course it is not a red herring. This is,I suppose the usual situation of talking past one another. The difference is between a personal moral decision and coercion by the state.

The difference is whether I have ownership of my body in respect to the state. Tatooing myself can be morally wrong, but should the state have the power to forbid me to do it. Smoking cigarettes, overeating, skydiving, etc. You see no difference here.

Nice thoughtful post, Sebastian.

I'd like to note that Mr. Cella at 11;04 is in part making an argument I made here a few weeks ago. If one believes that abortion (at some stage S) is murder, then killing a doctor who performs post-S abortions is like stopping someone who kills first-graders. It's unclear to me how someone who opposes choice on religious grounds (a reasonable position from my outside viewpoint) can "look upon his neighbors without horror and fury". I don't know how such a person feels about fertilized eggs failing to implant, spontaneous abortions, etc. - seems like G*dly infanticide to me.

Question - suppose a woman gives birth, but her baby lacks a working liver and requires a transplant, which for the sake of argument can only come from the mother. Should we compel the mother to have the (only slightly life-endangering) operation?

The "noble lie" of Greek philosophy?

In all seriousness, it is quite true that the bill was not about abortion. But it may be, off at the end, about the very serious and pressing project of moral persuasion that must be undertaken in order to dismantle the current abortion regime. We might say it is thrust or maneuver in a public dialectic, which elsewhere does encompass the abortion debate.

If republican politics is, as I think, all about free men locked in argument about how to refine and perfect “our better Ordering,” as the Mayflower Compact puts it, (though there is no illusion that perfection will be achieved), then most legislation indeed embraces questions larger than itself.

Oh, Bob, you seem to have misread me. I implied that the inviolable right to ownership of one's body is a red herring in the abortion argument, as an abortion kills a separate person. I did not say that ownership of one's body is without worth.

Abortion is morally wrong insofar as it affects another human being. That is where the state should enter into things. And, that is why humanity of the fetus is the central issue. If the fetus is not a separate human being, then abortion is perfectly acceptable. Otherwise, it is not.

Rilkefan, this is really a discussion of tactics among the pro-life crowd, and we probably don't belong here.

There are people of unaltered principle on the wings of this debate, and over at least thirty years, few of these have changed their minds.

And then there are people of little principle who are open to persuasion and compromise. Perhaps. One point at which my suspicion of George Bush turned to contempt was when he said there should be exceptions for rape and incest, that this was the way he was brought up, yet he remained a man of unshakeable religious conviction on the issue of abortion.

"Abortion is morally wrong insofar as it affects another human being. That is where the state should enter into things. And, that is why humanity of the fetus is the central issue."

You are still throwing morality around here. How about:

The conflict is between a woman's self-ownership of her body and the states' compelling interest to afford its citizens equal protection.

Morality is not often in our discourse used as a justification for state policy. The usual justifications are utilitarian. And there is a reason for that.

Rilkefan will perhaps recall that in the discussion he adduces (if I remember right) I explained in some detail how Christians are able to distinguish a collectively-perpetrated horror from those who acquiesce in it. He/she will recall that, on the specific issue of slavery, I noted that I am able to admire John Calhoun while still acknowledging unflinchingly that he -- a talented and brilliant man -- abetted a massive crime. He/she will recall that I stated my confidence that a similar distinction will ultimately be made necessary by the cleansing of our society of this new horror -- made necessary concerning some great men and women who similarly lent their strength to something as awful as Atlantic slavery.

Nevertheless, the dilemma that Rilkefan presents to us is hardly a easily-solved one. There was some good discussion of it here and here.

I would ask Mr. McManus to watch an ultrasound of a 5-month pregnant woman (as I did yesterday of my wife), the technology of which allows us to see even facial expression, and tell us all with a straight face that he has perceived a "part" of the woman's body.

Modern prenatal medical technology has demolished the argument that a fetus of that age is not a person.

Bob,

Okay, but once again we return to the central issue of humanity of the fetus. If we are going to argue on utilitarian grounds, then I would say that the death of the fetus contains more harm than the great inconvenience and slight risk of death for the mother. Again, this depends on whether the fetus is considered to be a person.

I know about the arguments for self-determination of the mother, but they have to pale in comaprison to the life of the fetus. Again, if the fetus is considered to be a person.

The "noble lie" of Greek philosophy?

You know at first I thought you were responding to the Socrates execution bit with that.

Personally, I think a lie's a lie. There are some that affect only a few people, such as "I did not have sex with that woman" and some that affect hundreds of thousands of people such as "we know where Iraq's WMD are", but in the end if you achieve your moral ends via a lie, how do you celebrate? Certainly not with a sense that all is well with the universe and "good" has triumphed. Certainly "good" has laid down with dogs (lain down? I can never remember) and arisen with fleas.

Edward:

I was teasing you. See the second part of my comment.

humanity of the fetus is the central issue

I rather disagree with this -- I think the central issue is, what is it about a human life that makes it more worthy of protection than, say, a cow's life? If we can list the reasons to justify this belief, then maybe we can determine to what extent a fetus meets the same criteria, at various points in its development.

As long as we take the sanctity of innocent human life as an unexamined given, we'll have no resolution to the argument over abortion.

Well, kenB, I had taken it as a given that innocent human life is to be protected. In some cases, such as war, it is unavoidable that some will be harmed. That is why war should not be entertained lightly.

I find the practice of enumerating reasons for the worth of a human life to be distateful.

" and tell us all with a straight face that he has perceived a "part" of the woman's body."

Mr Cella, you are usually better than this. If would go thru my previous posts, at no point have I denied the personhood of the foetus or claimed the foetus was "part" of the woman's body.

You're right: I hadn't seen this clarification when I wrote that last comment:

The conflict is between a woman's self-ownership of her body and the states' compelling interest to afford its citizens equal protection.

I find the practice of enumerating reasons for the worth of a human life to be distateful.

I find it monstrous.

If that's the case you have some real liars on that side as well Paul, as they insisted and even wrote into the legislation that it was not about abortion.

I will not even begin to enumerate the number of times legislation as well as legal opinions has carved out an issue only to find it ignored later on. The legislation establishes when a human being begins, the door is now opened to the issue of when a human being is a person and person raises the issue of civil rights.

Are you advocating duplicity in legislation Timmy?

Not sure I follow your point.

Edward, just giving you the historical facts. I'm opposed to duplicitous legislation but I'm also opposed to legislation by the bench which btw created this mess.

So two wrongs make a right then?

If you're legislating with a goal toward using the courts to overturn a previous decision, what's the difference? You're actually guilty of both.

I find the practice of enumerating reasons for the worth of a human life to be distateful.

I find it monstrous.

Why?

So two wrongs make a right then?

In a nutshell, yes, the question should be put back where it belonged all along, to the states and their legislatures. BTW, I lived in state which had legislated the right to terminate a life in utero.

Let me be more clear.

My presumption is that the Unborn Child Protection legislation will be used in Court to challenge Roe V. Wade or some other ruling that protects the right to choose. I suspect the authors of the legislation had that goal clearly in mind.

So they're going to rely on the kind of "legislation by the bench" you disparage to accomplish this...and that's OK?

"So they're going to rely on the kind of "legislation by the bench" you disparage to accomplish this...and that's OK?"

Let's not be obtuse. Trying to convince the Supreme Court to revert to the pre-Roe constitutional understanding of almost 200 years (that abortion laws are a state concern with which the Constitution has very little to say) is not 'legislation by the bench'.

It isn't a winning political proposition either, but it isn't legislation by the bench.

Let's not be obtuse. Trying to convince the Supreme Court to revert to the pre-Roe constitutional understanding of almost 200 years (that abortion laws are a state concern with which the Constitution has very little to say) is not 'legislation by the bench'.

I've always assumed the way one convinces the Supreme Court to revert to any understanding was via direct appeals, not backdoor legislation disguised as something else...my mistake.

To whom precisely does one appeal a judgment of the Supreme Court? Perhaps my understanding of American government is lacking.

Or perhaps there is some confusion about what 'direct appeals' consist of. They are appeals of lower court judgments of legislation.

You correctly identify the Unborn Child Protection legislation as 'legislation'. Therefore....

I certainly wasn't accusing Mr. Cella of inconsistency with his earlier comments re slavery - I don't think his _position_ is consistent, but then the underlying issues are quite difficult from a mainstream perspective, as his excellent links show.
(Aside: I don't think slavery is that good a comparison, given its historical and biblical acceptance. Infanticide hasn't been widely accepted in Western culture for 1.5 kyears as far as I know.)

Perhaps this thought experiment should be entertained - what if pro-lifer doctors were to kidnap abortion providers, surgically amputate the fingers on their right hands under anaethesia, and turn themselves in to the law? In this scenario no one gets killed, embryos will be protected, the majesty of the law will be maintained.

bob, probably you're right re not being helpful.

"After five months, if it was someone with whom I had the right, I might argue very hard against abortion."

Quoting my own post. And trying to clarify. I have a tendency, tho not a conviction, to grant "more" personhood (If such a thing makes sense, which I doubt) to a foetus after five months than before. I seem to lack grounds inside myself to make such a judgement, but I do so anyway.

I find "scientific" decisions (such as brain waves) on personhood appalling. An intrusion of science where it does not belong and an abdication of responsibility on the part of those who would use them.

I find *state* definitions of personhood equally appalling, including the trimester structure of RvW. If the state may determine, by some arbitrary measure of brain wave activity that a person on life support is no longer human, then a state may also decide that Jews are not human. And I am confounded here by the fact that the state does make such decisions, usually by default according humanness wherever plausible, and granting citizenship by incremental degree to children.

This does *not* speak to what an *individual* can, and often must decide.

Yet I remain pro-choice. Mr Cella on his site explains that an ideology applied consistently and logically inexorably leads to inhumanity. In stubbornness or defiance or some kind of Romantic desperation I apply my libertarianism to the point where it hurts. A lot. And the self-awareness may mitigate, or doubly condemn.

I told Mr Cella he might someday think me wicked.

I find "scientific" decisions (such as brain waves) on personhood appalling. An intrusion of science where it does not belong and an abdication of responsibility on the part of those who would use them.

Why? We have to have some kind of consensus on the matter, and a scientific definition is as good as any, in my opinion.

Your fear concerning state definitions, after all, works as much in reverse as it does in your scenario: If the state, using some quasi-religious or -metaphysical reasoning, can define a fetus as a person for legal reasons, it can define an undifferentiated blastocyst as a person, and maybe even an ovum.

Hell, it can, if it wants to, define a complete human genome -- one full set of 23 paired chromosomes -- as a person. Imagine the havoc that could be wreaked by that.

So by avoiding a state-defined postion on 'personhood' you let each individual mother decide if her unborn child is a person. Perhaps we ought to try individual choice with respect to child molestation?

"I have a tendency, tho not a conviction, to grant "more" personhood (If such a thing makes sense, which I doubt) to a foetus after five months than before."

Not only does it make sense, it is essential. A large part of the current pain stems (haha pun) from the desire to turn what is essentially a spectrum into a clean dichotomy. The process of gestation has a number of small milestones but nothing so profound that it transforms a non-person into a person. Is it development of facial expressions, the brain, the notochord, nerves?

The search for a scientifically supportable clear transition has led most of the pro-life contingent to mark fertilization as the transition, as it's the clearest demarcation available. However, this is so far removed from our intuitive notions of personhood (the zygote is simply and absolutely nothing like what we think of as a person) that it is an untenable place to draw the line and develop anything like consensus.

Personally, I'm a pro-lifer who believes in the spectrum, rather than the miraculous transition. It's a difficult position to argue from, but avoiding difficulty doesn't make you any righter. I think we start at one end (birth), inform ourselves as much as possible, and work back according to how far our intuitive notions of humanity and ethics will take us.

"I find *state* definitions of personhood equally appalling"
Regardless, they're unavoidable. As soon as the state starts enforcing laws that involve terms, it embeds itself in the semantic web. Killing a person is murder. So what's killing? What's a person? The only alternatives are the end of law or arbitrary imposition of interpretation via the courts or majority rule.

"So by avoiding a state-defined position on 'personhood'"

So you have no problems with the state making this determination in principle, you just have problems with the particular decision the state is currently enforcing? Do you pro-lifers actually believe that in allowing the state to control this decision, that any change will endure? It is the will of the majority, and their control of the tools of power, that are causing your pain.

A dangerous precedent, that had dire consequences in Germany in the thirties.

As for child molestation, obviously the state does *not* grant children full personhood under the law, and treats them as property of their parents. I would radically adjust this system, but the quixotic nature of such a goal simply confirms that the state and majority cannot be trusted to act justly.

And my experience with actual women makes me believe that few of them deny the personhood of the foetus.

"Perhaps we ought to try individual choice with respect to child molestation?"

Didn't take you long to hit rock bottom, did it?

sidereal, excellent comment. People don't think enough about sorites paradox.

Sebastian, I'm afraid I have to call Andy's Law on you: A conservative Christian debating any moral issue will inevitably invoke the non-consensual abuse of children or animals and think they've won the debate.

I haven't 'won' the debate by invoking child molestation. I thought the following was obvious, but I'll explicate anyway:

Above it is asserted that the state can't be trusted to define 'personhood'.

It is implied by the basis of the rest of the discussion that we must trust the individual women to decide the 'personhood'.

The stakes are the existance of the life of the person (if it is a person).

Thus the stakes for being wrong are greater (for the soon to be killed/aborted fetus/person)than the case where the state defines molestation.

Nevertheless we allow the state to define molestation.

Therefore, you should either explain the 'trust the state' issue much further to explain the difference, or admit that it isn't the real issue.

Did I really have to break it down that much, or were you just playing a little debating game with me?

"Nevertheless we allow the state to define molestation." Sebastian

"Killing a person is murder. So what's killing? What's a person?" sidereal

The choice of the appropriate metaphor with to make the case is revealing.
......
"And I am confounded here by the fact that the state does make such decisions, *usually by default according humanness wherever plausible*, and granting citizenship by incremental degree to children." bob mc, 5:07

a qualifier within the post in question. Perhaps not clear, but I am saying here that the practice here has been limit the state by forcing humanness to be assumed; not allowing state definitions because we theoretically accept no arguments in the situation. Since Dred Scott, and the Post Civil War Amendments, etc etc.

We simply do not allow this discussion to take place. Yet here we are now attempting this discussion, in various places, using questionable criteria. And setting bad precedents

And in general, where fuzzy unclear, ethical decisions are to be made; where this no clear consensus and little toleration of opposing viewpoints; where resolution is not in sight

If possible, as a libertarian, Yes I prefer to let individuals make the decision as opposed to a fractious and volatile state.

Sebastian, if I understand the argument correctly - and note that it is not necessarily one which I espouse - it is exactly because the stakes are higher WRT abortion that the state should be trusted less with the definition of its central issue.

It is because the stakes have to do with allowing someone to live that we can't allow the state to become involved? But we can regulate the price of phone service? I'm not sure I understand this argument.

Sebastian, it's fundamentally a libertarian point of view - in other words, the higher the stakes are, the more interest (the generic) a libertarian is going to have in keeping the government out of the game. A libertarian isn't going to be quite as concerned with keeping control of the phone service (which isn't an apt comparison, since the phone service, mail service, etc. require organization on a level that abortion simply doesn't) out of the hands of the government as he/she is with keeping control over the lives of putative human beings out of the hands of the government.

And, again, it isn't a position I necessarily agree with. I'm just trying to elucidate.

Feh - the "(the generic)" was part of a previous draft; ignore it. :)

pro-abortionists can get so worked up about pro-lifers, [...]
Posted by: James Casey | March 30, 2004 04:35 AM

I respectfully suggest that this is the exact sort of "muddying the waters" that Sebastian Holsclaw was speaking against.

I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-contraception. I am pro-adoption. I know full well that a child whose soul I have not felt can become a laughing little girl whom I love even when I'm mad at her.

And I know full well that I suffered months-long nausea (not so bad as to require hospitalization; that was one of the other moms in the birthing classes), and pre-eclampsia (which was a great maternal killer for many years), and wrestling with insurance companies that pre-ecampsia tests are indeed covered by their "everything maternal" clause [1] (and I had insurance to wrestle with).

I'm not pro-abortion. I am probably more anti-abortion than before I became a mother. But I don't feel I can make decisions like that for any other woman. I am, therefore, pro-choice, as well as pro-contraception [2], and pro-adoption, and pro-talking about all the choices.

It is, therefore, more than a bit of a mislabeling to lump me under some aegis of "pro-abortion." Even before I was married, and before I was graduated from college, I had a couple of scares -- and for a multitude of reasons, I felt that I would not, personally, choose to terminate those hypothetical pregnancies. (I was, however, very relieved when they turned out to be hypothetical.) But I chose.

Remember, pro-choice can also be pro-keeping.


[1] (It seemed to be a revelation to the person on the other end that pre-ecpampsia/Pregnancy Induced Hypertension/toxemia was, gawrsh, caused by Maternity...)

[2] (Worked quite well for some 10 years, though I know of someone else who was on the pill, and became a mother, so it's not a panacea.)

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