Happy Birthday, Roe v Wade
I'm struggling to write a post for this, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Freedom of choice is a Good Thing, I celebrate the fact that in this country women are (mostly) allowed to control their own bodies. The anti-choice movement cares nothing for children or women or even the supposed dictates of their god(s); they are sick freaks who cut off parts of their own sexual organs and who are mostly racist Quiverfull types with serious problems with women and authority. But damn, I can't think of the last time I wrote five drafts of a post and trashed them all. Let me try the telegraph version.
What about pro-choice women who have abortions and regret it? What does our narrative offer them? I'm speaking of women who were pro-choice before and after having abortions, but who find the experience so complicated as to leave them wanting, as they turn to those who "support" their right to choose? What does our side offer them?
I think we put women who have abortions in an impossible situation, and we're all to blame, left and right. Sure, a strong minded woman can overcome the "you'll burn in hell forever, you infanticiding slut" narrative with relative ease. But we on the pro-choice side often spend too much time focusing on the "liberating freedom" a post-abortive woman is supposed to feel. What if she doesn't? What if she doesn't feel shame or guilt, but does feel a kind of bittersweet regret that lingers on and on? I know women like this, and I'm ashamed and confounded at how little I have to say to them. "Buck up and burn your bra, sister!" just doesn't seem to cut it.
Choice is an essential, line-in-the-sand, human right. But making that choice, whatever the choice may be, is as unique to every woman as are snowflakes. (Feel that snark soaked in irony roasted over entredre!) Let's all just slow down, sober up, and try to understand that for many women, good, progressive freedom loving women, this is a subject that is never, nor ever will be, a celebratory one.
Update: Let me add what one woman who'd had an abortion said about the man who impregnated her. "Oh, of course he's pro-choice. He's a selfish prick, and wouldn't ever allow his fabulous BMW lifestyle be complicated with a messy, needy new mother and baby demanding he spend less on his expensive books, trips and clothes. But if you think he's pro-choice because he loves women, think again. Being liberal doesn't automatically make you less of a misogynist."