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« The Last Lesson of William F. Buckley, Jr. | Main | Daily roundup »

February 28, 2008

It’s Not Really About Choice...

These two stories from the Daily Telegraph underline an often ignored fact in the abortion wars: Many, if not most, women don't "choose" abortion--someone else chooses it for them: a husband, boyfriend, parents, or the baby's paternal grandparents, who don't want their son to have to deal with a girlfriend's unexpected pregnancy. (As well, abortion clinics often "choose" this choice for young, frightened girls for a different reason: money).

Frederica Mathewes-Green wrote about this phenomenon 14 years ago in her book, Real Choices: Listening to Women, Looking for Alternatives to Abortion. Mathewes-Green, a former BreakPoint writer, famously wrote that "No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg."

Those who call themselves "pro-choice" should recognize this fact--and offer women some real choices to gnawing off their own legs. The "anti-choicers" have offered such choices for decades.

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I think, many pro-choice people have been offering women real choices: in the form of health education, access to contraception, and social services which make it possible for young women to support children.

Having an abortion is, as you note, an agonizing decision which women do make lightly. Unfortunately, many of them have been given no real choice in the matter.


Brian, yes, there are some prochoice people who offer social services to women in need, but take a look around at what "prochoice" organizations offer troubled pregnant women: Abortion. Funds for abortion. Transportation for abortion. A place to stay when you're out of town for your abortion. I've not seen ONE network of prochoice people saying, "It's not a choice if there's only one option" and offering help to have the baby.



I find it intriguing that the "point" of your post is that "many pro-choice people have been offering women real choices," yet you end by saying, "Unfortunately, many of them have been given no real choice in the matter."

As Christina pointed out, THAT is the point this article makes.


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