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July 22, 2004

Speaking up on abortions

So I am putting this post under the "politics" category instead of "I'm just a girl" because this isn't just a "girl" issue...

In today's NY Times, Barbara Ehrenreich writes about being "irk[ed]" by women who won't acknowledge their own abortions. She goes on to skewer women who abort after finding out that their fetuses have some sort of defect and don't see the procedure as an "abortion" of the same sort as women who abort for other reasons.

I have to think that this criticism is about the meanest thing I have ever read in the NY Times. (Including quotes from Cheney.) Not only to I agree with these women (aborting a fetus bound to suffer and die an early death seems like an act of mercy), but I understand that they need to comfort themselves however they can. That their private justifications should be discussed in the NY Times is antithetical to the whole abortion rights movement. We have fought for decades to make this a private decision that doesn't have to be justified to anyone.

To be fair, she then goes on to "out" herself as having had abortions for purely economic reasons. (I don't want to know this.) And she does say that she supports the rights of all women. But she then goes on to make an argument that it is up to women who have had abortions to speak out and protect their rights. Now thank god I have never had to make this choice, but I would imagine that having conceived a child, look forward to its birth, finding out it is seriously deformed, making the decision to abort, telling everyone "oops, guess I'm not pregnant", and coming to terms with what you went through, (gasp for air), you probably wouldn't really feel like running around defending abortion rights.

So I propose that we all, I repeat all, guard the right to have an abortion with as much fervor as we hold for everything else. Just as I will do everything I can to protect the rights of people of color, minority religions, and gay rights, I ask that you protect this white Lutheran-raised-now-agnostic woman.

Posted by marti at July 22, 2004 09:43 AM | TrackBack
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Wow... and she was on such a roll! This is icky, I agree. I would definitely be for "outing" the abortions of anti-choice crusaders like Dr. Laura, but what Ehrenreich is talking about is something different. Plus the ONE issue that has not yet been a major wedge in this election season is abortion--could we NOT try to put our foot in it just this minute? There is nothing to be gained by Dems on this issue with so many moderates in play.

Posted by: jay on July 22, 2004 09:51 AM
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