November 3, 2012

The problem with the Pro-life movement is that it might not be as pro-life as they think

And no, I am not talking about other areas where they don't defend human life.  And in this instance, I am not even talking about pro-lifer's resistance to healthcare and nutrition for infants and young mothers.

All of those are legitimate issues, but now I am struck by the pro-life's disinterest in actually reducing abortions.  In my own discussions with some conservatives, I have yet to hear a response to questions about reducing abortions.  Their approach is predicated on banning abortions, in all but a few rare instances--most of which can be summarized as "when I think it is ok, not when some pregnant woman thinks so."

This link is an interesting take on some of this, but the other was this mind-blowing study that suggested that Obamacare's access to contraceptives might reduce abortion rates by as much as 75%.  If true, and I have no idea as to the study's bona fides, then, as this author notes, Obama becomes a "pro-life hero."

Who knows, but I will say that I have yet to get a conservative to answer this question:  "what if banning abortions didn't reduce them, but legalized abortion with good healthcare did?"  Not one response.

And I have a hypothesis, at least for some.  Many feminists and pro-choicers have argued that this comes from a Puritan disapproval of any sex outside their approved setting.  Others have suggested that, at heart, this constitutes a misogyny of the far right that has always been there, but rarely openly expressed as it was during the "Sandra Fluke as slut" incident.

And all of those have some validity, I think.  But I also wonder if this is not based at some level in the idea of the deification of motherhood.  It isn't that they don't want women to have sex (some of them know, after all, that some of these women getting abortions are married with kids.)  But the resistance to reducing abortions, I think, comes from the fact that their goal is to shame any woman who might question having children.  How dare a woman turn that down?

If you acknowledge that some abortions are reasonable, and decide to reduce those instances, you still acknowledge that some women don't want to be mothers, or don't want to be mothers in all instances.  But if you ignore the reduction strategies and instead push to ban all abortions, you not only shame those who have had them, but also any woman who might consider ending a pregnancy.

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