Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Clarification

Apparently, I've gotten dragged into a thread over at Digby's place when someone linked to me in the comment section of a brief post written by Tristero.

A reader of both mine and Digby named Mooser tried to highlight the complexity of the issue of abortion by quoting a paragraph of mine from yesterday that seems to have inspired the most passion and disagreement. This is the offending paragraph in question:
It's true that many of Dr. Tiller's abortions were performed on mothers who'd been carrying fetuses that tests had revealed to be deformed. But I cannot and will not believe that all the 6000+ abortions that Dr. Tiller had boasted of performing were all deformed. Many of the mothers who'd walked out of Dr. Tiller's abortion clinic a few pounds lighter did so because they didn't want to be saddled with the responsibility or inconvenience of caring for an unwanted baby that could've just as easily have been adopted.

After being called everything from "an unreformed fuckstick" to "a wacko" publicly and behind my back, I had to take exception by interjecting the comment below:
But is it really all that simple? - Mooser

No it is not. And that was my point. It's a complex issue, a real issue, unlike gay marriage or global warming.

First of all, when I advanced my position against abortion, I didn't bother including the qualifier, which is something I've said in earlier blog posts that you, Mooser, either didn't or couldn't find:

That even if I were king and could pass an edict banning abortion, would I? Of course not. Roe v Wade taught us that at the heart of the pro-life/pro-choice debate is privacy. Privacy and the right to tell or not tell a woman what to do with her uterus.

I'd also rather that nobody play rap music. Should we ban that, too?

My personal feelings and philosophy on abortion or anything else is much smaller than the issue and I don't pretend otherwise. I haven't the right to impose my view on half the population and wouldn't even if I could.

But I never bothered mentioning that in my post yesterday because it would not have been germane. I wanted to first state that I am opposed to abortion to provide as a counterpoint my even more strenuous revulsion toward Dr. Tiller's murder. So, in a way, it was almost like my setting up a straw man argument.

Secondly, Mooser, I don't know what those archived posts are supposed to represent. I do respect women, even my ex who put me through the wringer.

As for the uninformed miscreant who called me an "unreformed fuckstick" behind my back, let me ask you something:

Would it have been more intelligent and "reformed" of me to make a sweeping, hyperbolic statement such as, "I think it's safe to say that none of the woman who'd gotten abortions at Dr. Tiller's clinic did so out of personal convenience"?

That would've been uninformed and risibly absolute. I think we can take it as an article of faith that woman can, do and will get abortions for mere convenience. It isn't always about birth defects, rape, incest, threats to their lives or busted condoms.

Sometimes it's about convenience, both social and financial. That's where I have a problem with abortion, especially late term abortions.

So think about that next time you insult me in public behind my back, pal.

Now, this proves many things, namely that our side (which is to say pro-choice rather than pro-abortion), whether we're on the side of the angels or not, isn't necessarily less misinformed, intolerant or absolute than right to life people.

As I'd highlighted yesterday, I straddle a fence when it comes to abortion and I have to weigh against my innate revulsion at the concept of abortion as a $5000 a pop industry and those who would seek such services (especially late-term abortions beginning at the end of the second trimester) vs telling a woman what to do with her body.

My personal feelings on anything shouldn't be any more efficacious or catalytic than any of our personal opinions on issues that are plainly larger than any one of us. And we have to acknowledge that mankind will never evolve to the point where it will swing to one pendulum or another on any divisive issue whether it be abortion, capital punishment, gay marriage or anything else. We have to resign ourselves to the fact that there are no easy answers, no simple solutions, few workable compromises and long after we're all dead and gone, the next generation or two will be just as divided as we are.

But I am at least trying to appreciate the complexities of this issue and not trying to offer absolute philosophies that easily blow down the arguments of the other side.

But calling me names behind my back and bringing up past acts such as me torching a couple of blogs doesn't in any way advance anyone's argument any more than it renders mine null and void.


At June 2, 2009 at 11:56 AM, Blogger No Blood for Hubris said...

Respectfully, what evidence do you have for your assertion that abortions are done for "personal convenience"?

Sounds like the "don't be so selfish, have another baby" frame, making having another kid like picking up an extra bottle of milk at 7/11.

At June 2, 2009 at 12:06 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

What evidence do you have that they aren't?

I can cite personal experience. When my ex-wife and I split up in 1991, she was a couple of months pregnant. Before I knew it, she wasn't and I know for a fact she didn't miscarry.

Her reasoning was brutally simple: If she went fullterm, she'd have to care for three kids alone instead of her original two. That would've necessitated child support from me. Child support often has unofficially built in to it visitations, which she was militantly against.

So, yeah, I do have proof. And my ex wife wasn't the sole exception. It would be absurdly simple-minded to assume otherwise.

At June 3, 2009 at 2:43 AM, Blogger kimc said...

No, of course she wasn't the only exception. The question is more, how many are those exceptions? What is the proportion of people who do it lightly versus those who agonize over it?
I suspect very few do it lightly. In my experience, It's not liberals who take it lightly. Pro-choice people tend to take the "choice" part very seriously, viewing it as a responsibility.
Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever actually met someone who took that decision lightly.

At June 3, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I never said "lightly." Even selfish decisions can be hard ones. But I never used the word "lightly."

At June 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

Everyone everywhere needs to read this article regarding the reality of third-trimester abortions:


"Late-term abortions are very rare. About one percent of all abortions performed in the United States occur after 21 weeks. The third trimester begins at 24 weeks."

At June 4, 2009 at 11:14 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

Only in reading that HuffPo article on third-trimester abortions did it hit me. My friend and her man finally got pregnant after trying for a year.

Too late for a locally legal abortion, they received the news that their precious baby had trisomy 18 and would only live a horrible, painful life for maybe a three years. Going full term with that baby would be to prolong the agony.

Since only three doctors in America (well, now there's only two, thanks to these "Christian" extremists) do the procedure and none of them live near us, their only option was to induce early.

They went in to the hospital and took the abortifacient, but when delivery actually occurred, the medical staff were out of the room. She was all alone when the fetus came out and took a while to die. These "Pious Christians" that don't have a single clue what they are talking about eagerly rubbing salt into their already existing emotional wounds.

Extremist "Christians" simply refuse to experience empathy, indeed, they spiritually thrive on making everyone else's lives more miserable.


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