The American preoccupation with other people’s fertility and family planning decisions borders on creepily voyeuristic and predatory. I’m talking stalking on a grand scale here.
After all, the choice to reproduce is one of the most personal and life-altering decisions a person will ever make. In the event of an unplanned pregnancy, the emotional distress of such upheaval cannot be understood by those who have never experienced it.
So why the hell would random strangers feel their opinion on whether or not another person decides to continue a pregnancy is warranted or welcomed?
Moral and ethical considerations you say?
Then why aren't other ethically “questionable,” deeply personal health issues also a group decision?
For example, I firmly believe your proposed cardiac surgery or cancer treatment is a waste of time and resources when you’re ninety years old and it’s doubtful you’ll survive it by six months. Luckily for the uber-elderly person opting for such a procedure, my stance on the ethical and practical ramifications of their decision doesn’t mean jackshit.
And nor should it. It’s not my life, body, or business, no matter what my personal moral code dictates or how strongly I feel about the issue. No, it’s a private decision made between an individual, their healthcare providers, and their loved ones if that’s the person’s choice.
This is also the case with abortion. Or at least it should be.
And just zip it with the religious rhetoric on the subject, unless you’re talking to someone who’s as sanctimoniously deluded as you are. I know this is a majorly offensive to those who’d rather be led than well-read, but most thinking people prefer science over superstition.
And if you don’t and won’t accept biological fact and the law of the land, well that’s your problem. Insisting others obey your religious tenets is breathtakingly over-presumptuous. And obnoxious. And ignorant. Shut the hell up already.
Now, why is this outrageous overreach on the part of far-right evangelicals towards women even tolerated? Maybe because for thousands of years women have been considered more as property than actual people?
Maybe, just maybe?
And if we are really serious about stamping out abortion why don’t we have a mandate forcing men to have vasectomies? Cheaper, safer, and easier for everyone. It takes two to do the Zygote Tango people. Let’s stop pretending this isn’t the case.
Way too many years ago when I was a young mom with three children under four, my husband and I were enjoying a meal at a local family restaurant with the kids. An elderly couple approached us to admire the Littles. The old gentlemen boomed, “well, I can see you are pro-life! Good for you!”
The words and tone indicated enthusiastic (and unsolicited) approval, and his presumption that being nuts enough to have three kids so close together must somehow indicate I was anti-choice got my Boston Irish up to critical levels.
My husband knew what was coming next and made a menu fort to hide behind as I informed said stranger that no, I was actually passionately pro-choice, but it just so happened that my choice was to reproduce like a rabbit because that’s what worked for my family.
Abortion may not have been the best decision for me, but I would never, ever feel justified in presuming my choice would be preferable or even possible for any other woman.
He looked at me like an angel who’d just sprouted devil horns.
So that ended the conversation pretty quickly. A conversation that never should’ve happened in the first place. “Adorable bunch of kids you got there” would’ve been accepted far more graciously.
Unless you are the one carrying a particular pregnancy your opinion of it means zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Just revel in your lamentable lack of knowledge concerning human biology and live in fear of your angry sky-god guy. Let the sane folk go about their business in peace.