Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What (Young) Women Want.

Start by reading this article at the Washington Post. It's a commentary about the Tim Tebow/ProLife ad that will air during the Super Bowl.

I would have posted the totality of my response there, but decided it was just too long to take up the space. My comment is under the moniker MotherSkadi. What follows is absolutely everything I wanted to say.

Ms Walker

I was 23 once and had strong, informed opinions about nearly everything. I was college educated and considered bright and insightful. Then life happened and I realized that not everything is in Black and White. Over the past 33 years I have learned that not every decision is as cut and dried as it first appears.

Your knock on feminists is ill-deserved. It is during my lifetime that women are allowed to choose whether they want to work or stay home, whether they want a career and what it will be, whether they want as many children as they and their spouse can produce (contraception was largely illegal prior to Griswold), and generally just what they want to do with their lives. It's not solely about "me." It's about me as a living, thinking, independent human being in a community of same. It's about having the ability to enter into mutually enhancing relationships that I choose versus being told that my life can only be lived well when it is lived within narrow limits imposed solely because I am female. That is what the feminists really accomplished.

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. But it does not follow that I would want anyone to have an abortion. I want them to have the choice. If our young people, especially teenagers in school, got a more thorough grounding in human sexuality (to include the value of contraception AND abstinence), along with the responsibilities inherent in parenting and building solid families, we just might see more responsible behavior. More responsible behavior would likely result in fewer unplanned/unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions. However, banning legal abortions won't end the practice. The term "back-alley abortions" came into use for a reason and that is not an era we should consider returning to.

I want abortion to be safe, legal, and rare (thank you President Clinton). Would you require every pregnant woman carrying a fetus that has been diagnosed with lethal physical handicaps, likely to result in a stillborn, to carry that fetus to term? I wouldn't. Would you require every pregnancy be carried to term, even if it threatened the mother's own life? I wouldn't. My mother was told by her OB/GYN that another pregnancy would kill her if she didn't wait a while to the next one. A good, practicing Catholic for whom rhythym was useless, she had 7 children in 10 years along with a side trip to the ER for a miscarriage. Do you recall the pre-teen Brazilian girl who was pregnant courtesy of a male relative and whose doctors declared that the pregnancy would kill her if it were allowed to proceed? Would you deny her, and others like her, an abortion? I wouldn't.

Those are just examples for why I think we must have a choice. When we deny choice then we deny that women are independent moral agents capable of managing their own lives, and we return to treating them as morally incompetent, requiring a guardian to decide for them, in this case the state. I won't stand for it and I suspect that many of your peers, once they understand the implications of allowing the state to govern a personal matter, won't stand for it either.

Write again in about 30 years and let us know if your views have changed at all.

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