The content of the article, some of which is excerpted below, needs no words to show how shocking the content is from Mary Elizabeth Williams, who starts her piece saying, “So what if abortion ends a life?”
“I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice,” she writes.The only good news is very few Americans agree with this notion of abortion on demand.
Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word “life.” Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life? That’s why the language of those who support abortion has for so long been carefully couched in other terms. While opponents of abortion eagerly describe themselves as “pro-life,” the rest of have had to scramble around with not nearly as big-ticket words like “choice” and “reproductive freedom.” The “life” conversation is often too a thorny one to even broach. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.
When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.
We’re so intimidated by the wingnuts, we get spooked out of having these conversations. We let the archconservatives browbeat us with the concept of “life,” using their scare tactics on women and pushing for indefensible violations like forced ultrasounds. Why? Because when they wave the not-even-accurate notion that “abortion stops a beating heart” they think they’re going to trick us into some damning admission. They believe that if we call a fetus a life they can go down the road of making abortion murder. And I think that’s what concerns the hell out of those of us who support unrestricted reproductive freedom.
It seems absurd to suggest that other only thing that makes us fully human is the short ride out of some lady’s vagina. That distinction may apply neatly legally, but philosophically, surely we can do better. Instead, we let right-wingers perpetuate the sentimental fiction that no one with a heart — and certainly no one who’s experienced the wondrous miracle of family life — can possibly resist tiny fingers and tiny toes growing inside a woman’s body.
I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.
A Marist College poll taken earlier this month shows a majority take one of three pro-life positions on abortion, opposing 99 percent or 100% of all abortions done annually in the United States.
Four decades after the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Roe v. Wade, a new Marist poll provides more details about Americans’ attitude on abortion, with 83 percent favoring significant restrictions. The poll reveals that support for significant abortion restrictions has increased by four points since last year — rising from 79 percent to 83 percent.
Looking at abortion in views in general, 10 percent believe abortion should never be permitted; 12 percent believe abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother; 34 percent would restrict abortion only to cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother; and 27 percent would limit abortion to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy.
Few Americans take the position of either President Barack Obama or Planned Parenthood, as only 11 percent would allow abortion at any time, while 6 percent would allow it during the first six months of pregnancy.