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Thursday, December 01, 2011


So, according to the news, the Obama campaign strategists have already determined who the next Republican candidate for president will be. They've already put out an ad explaining how Mitt Romney contradicts himself ... often.

I get that this is the case. Romney worries me because you cannot know what he believes. The principle to which he seems most dedicated is "Say what you think the voters want to hear." That means that we get a chameleon in office. Clinton pulled that one off pretty well. I was not impressed. I don't want it again.

What really disturbed me, however, was not Romney, but the ad against him. I only got to see a small piece of it where they explained that he was both "pro-choice" and "anti-choice" (their words). Really? Do we have to go there? Again? Because once again we play the word game where sound bytes determine truth and words have no genuine relation to reality. I wish to address that lie.

There are many terms in the question of abortion. There are "pro-choicers" and "pro-lifers". There are "anti-abortionists" and "pro-abortionists". And, of course, a very popular term for those who are opposed to today's abortion laws is "anti-choice". The term is a lie. And we know who the father of lies is, don't we?

So let's examine the positions that are really held rather than those that are maliciously assigned by their opponents. There are indeed those who are "pro-choice". These would argue "We would like to make abortion rare, but we don't want to remove the choice for a woman." It is not accurate or fair to qualify these as "pro-abortion" because they see it as a "necessary evil" rather than a good thing ("pro"). There are also, despite the loud protests, "pro-abortion" people. They see it as a perfectly acceptable method of reproductive management. In this group there are those who see it as somewhat acceptable and those who would like to see it expanded. "Don't let 'that one' reproduce." China, for instance, has this going on. India is suffering from the choice women are making against having female offspring. It's acceptable and encouraged. That's "pro-abortion". And I think the case can be made that President Obama is actually "pro-abortion". But, while both of these allow for the termination of the life of an unborn child, I don't think it is right or fair to characterize these two as "pro-death" or "anti-life". That does not rightly represent their views on the matter.

On the other side, we have the baseline "pro-life" view. They might be called "anti-abortion", but they cannot be called "anti-choice". That would be a lie. Just as the aim of the pro-abortion side is to provide the woman with the ultimate freedom (as opposed to aiming at killing babies), the "pro-life" side is not aiming at preventing choice. To make such a nonsensical claim is to say that laws against murder are "anti-choice" because they aim to prevent people from choosing to kill. Not the case. In fact, it is not really right to call this view "anti-abortion". It works, I suppose, but it's not completely accurate. You see, it is not abortion that is being opposed. It is baby-killing. Thus, "anti" doesn't really play a part here unless we are called the "anti-baby-killing" view. (Strange. I haven't seen that one. I wonder why not?) You see, if modern science could come up with a method whereby a pregnancy could be terminated but the baby not die (the aim of abortion is to terminate a pregnancy, right?), there would be nothing to protest. It is the death that is being protested, not the woman's right to choose whether or not to be pregnant. So to label this view as "anti-choice" is indeed a bald-faced lie.

There is, at the end here, one other thing that bothers me. It's just a feeling, a possibility, a sense of things. If the medical profession did indeed come up with a way of terminating a pregnancy without terminating a life, what do you think the outcome would be? Would women take that option, or would they continue to terminate the life? It is my sense of it that most women who wish to terminate their pregnancy have no interest in allowing that life to continue. If they did, they could continue the pregnancy and give up the child. They don't. Now, that thought is disturbing to me. Is there an underlying current of "pro-death" in this world of abortion, an unconscious need to eliminate that life rather than merely terminating a pregnancy? I don't really know. That thought bothers me. If it is the case, my argument against labeling some "pro-death" or "anti-life" would fall apart. But don't call us "anti-choice". It isn't accurate, let alone kind.


David said...

Though I agree with you completely, I can see where pro-lifers could be SEEN as anti-choice, since they want the baby to live despite what the mother wants. Its a false assumption, but its there. Of course, with an over abundance and an almost unrestricted access to birth control, we'd have to say that choice happens at conception. You either choose to use protection or you don't (noted, this is true for MOST pregnancies). I'd imagine the biggest division comes to rape victims. But I apologize, this strays from the topic at hand.

It truly is unfair to have false labels applied in the media broadcasts with no way to refute those labels. And with the low analytical abilities of most of our society, those labels become easily taken as truth and wrongly applied. We can try to refute them in our blogs and other media, but those are all limited to those that actually search for it, rather than being blindly passed to the masses like commercials and daily news, which pretty much everyone sees.

Stan said...

Everybody, in that sense, is "anti-choice". They want to restrict the choice of murderers to murder, to restrict the choice of burglars to break into their homes, and to restrict the choice of bankers to steal. They don't want rapists to be allowed to choose rape or child molesters to be allowed to choose to harm children. We intentionally and rightly want to limit the choices of people that wish to do harm ... unless, of course, it's harm to a baby.

I saw a show last night complaining about the dangers of football, especially high school. It's dangerous. It causes damage. Some have even died. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, from 1931 to 2007 there were a total of 1006 deaths due to football injuries and another 683 indirectly from football. One study indicated that in 1995 26% of all pregnancies in the world were terminated by abortion. That's 35 out of 1000 women. In that same year there were 0.27 deaths out of 100,000 players in high school football (and none in college or professional). While our society wants desperately to give "choice" to women on these things, it would appear, despite the dangers of football, that it is safer on the football field than in the womb. Yet there are voices out there that would like to outlaw football (anti-choice) but keep abortion. Now, which is more "anti-choice" ... those who can no longer choose to play a dangerous game, or those who never get the chance to choose life?

Sorry ... you agreed with me, but you kicked off a rant.

(As an aside, I can see a reasonable, logical defense for abortion in the cases that a mother will die if she brings the child to term. But that's because I'm pro-life, not "anti-choice" or "anti-abortion".)

Craig said...

I guess I'd argue that the choice comes when someone chooses to engage in the activity most likely to cause one to get pregnant. The second choice is to engage in said behavior and not avail ones self of the opportunity afforded by the vast number of methods of birth control.

If someone makes those two badly, the chances of making further poor choices seem to rise significantly.

Good point about football being safer than being in the womb.

Stan said...

That is, it seems, most often how it works, isn't it? "I want to be able to choose to have sex whenever I want. I want to be able to choose to not employ any of the recommended safety methods offered. I want to have my life, have it my way, and I don't want to have to be held responsible for it." I don't know ... starts to sound like a child's rant.