Here’s an explosive issue for you…
Raven Clabough, of The New American, recently reported that the #ShoutYourAbortion movement is on the brink of releasing, get this, a coffee table book that “features ‘abortion stories’ and ‘abortion art’ in an effort to destigmatize abortions.”
At first blush, the term “abortion art” evokes thoughts of paintings full of dead fetal individuals, buckets of blood, and body parts possibly sold by abortion groups.
But, the stories likely are heartfelt and honest. The “art” could be penetrating, powerful, and embrace the difficult moral and ethical issues inherent in the act of taking another human life through the act of abortion. One does not want to be cruel or closed-minded about what women go through or how their own personal experiences might be important to hear.
Problem is, this book is not just an exploration, it’s an attempt to influence policy and, sometimes, to blame society for their difficult choices.
As Clabough notes, she discovered that in a gushing story featured on tax-supported public radio station, KUOW, the organizers of the crowd-funded book were the progenitors of the #ShoutYourAbortion movement that started in 2015.
…after Seattle bartender Amelia Bonow shared her abortion experience on Facebook in a post in which she described her “near inexpressible level of gratitude.” Bonow’s post was then shared by her friend Lindy West on Twitter with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, prompting other women to begin sharing their “abortion stories.”
That turned into a national movement.
‘Our culture is all warped about abortion because the anti-choice movement has made abortion seem like a bad thing that bad people do, instead of a normal thing that normal people do…’ said Bonow.
Clearly, a large segment of the human race has, and has had for its recorded existence, a major problem with taking the lives of others when the act is not done in self-defense. And this applies not only to adult-stage humans, but to child-stage humans and fetal-stage humans. This can be observed through millennia and across the world, unless one were to look at ancient religious-ruled states that espoused human sacrifice -- and one would assume the #ShoutYourAbortion movement wouldn’t want to identify with the Aztec church-state #ShoutYourHumanSacrifice movement.
So the argument that “abortion is normal” is less than compelling.
But it gets more problematic.
As Clabough observes, KUOW printed an excerpt of an essay included in the #Shout… book, and in it, the author pulls a page from Rousseau, Marx, and even a comedic character from Repo Man, blaming society for her choices.
I do not regret my decision not to carry my pregnancy to term. I wish there had been another way. I wish we didn’t live in a f----d-up capitalist society that makes it difficult to survive if you’re not wealthy. I wish we lived in a world where black lives mattered and that it didn’t feel like a fist was balled around my heart whenever my 13-year-old son is out and doesn’t answer the phone. I wish we had a health care system that valued black women’s bodies so that I didn’t have to worry about dying during childbirth or after. I could have died during my last pregnancy.
Any woman can die during pregnancy. But this author appears to be unaware of the numerous studies showing that, statistically, abortion is more dangerous to a mother’s life than giving birth.
And, as a person who teaches economics, I should mention that her living standards, life-expectancy, relaxation time, and ability to communicate on a mass level through that crowd-funded book itself all come from the free market. Her thirteen year-old will do better because of the market. The rate of still-births has decreased because capitalism has allowed people to have expendable monetary resources for medicine and prenatal health. In fact, because she lives in the US “capitalist” system, her chances, as well as the chances of her first child (and the child she chose to have killed) surviving the birth process are higher in the US than in places like the UK.
Which brings us to the most important, final consideration. It’s the question of whether those who want the state to protect the lives of other humans will be even remotely consistent about which humans the state will protect.
Simply put, if any of these women support the idea that their neighbor should be taxed to pay for a justice system to punish people for harming other people, they must contend with the question of whether all human beings are included in that “protection”.
So, #Shout ladies? Is the fetus human?
Yes. At the moment of conception, in fact, it becomes a distinct human with distinct DNA.
Is it “being”?
Yes. At the moment of conception, the gears of life begin operating, placing that life on the same course as all other human beings, from conception to death.
If these women want to promote the idea that they can end that human life, is there a moral or ethical distinction between that life and all other human lives?
If these women support government police protection, let them address leaving a portion of the human population out of their supposed “protection” system.
Finally, Bonow said, “We should be proud of surviving all the things we’ve survived, and for choosing to love ourselves.”
For the vast majority of those who become pregnant and have abortions by choice, the belief that one should be proud of taking that human life seems misplaced.
Overcoming heartbreak must be part of the process. But pride in “overcoming” is a dangerous emotion, and can get in the way of hearing the honest thoughts of those with differing opinions.
It can also blind people to the deepest of ethical issues, especially if they believe some human lives should be protected by the government.