Abortion: Stop pretending women have no brains, ok?
I know that anti-abortion crusaders tend to think of women as nothing but walking wombs, good only for producing the children said crusaders will then ignore, but it’s getting ridiculous. More ridiculous. And by “ridiculous,” I mean “enraging and sad.”
First, there’s this lawsuit that just got thrown out of court in Illinois: A woman who got an abortion at Planned Parenthood sued because she says they had an obligation to tell her “she was terminating a human being as a matter of biological fact.”
Justice Rudolfo Garcia ruled “No court, regardless of where it sits, has found a common law duty requiring doctors to tell their pregnant patients that aborting an embryo, or fetus, is the killing of an existing human being.” And he’s right… for now.
Look, lady, I’m sorry you feel guilty about having an abortion, or that you’re in a position that you’re allowing yourself to be used by anti-abortion campaigners. But that lawsuit? It’s crap. Planned Parenthood has everyone who comes in and asks for an abortion to sign a form “stating she knew she was there for an abortion, and that upon receiving it she would not be having a child.” That’s what abortion is. It’s the termination of a pregnancy. No one is hiding that form anyone. And no one is forcing you to get one. If you’ve got an itchy legal trigger finger, I’d suggest suing the people who keep calling you a murderer — you may have grounds for a libel suit, because abortion is legal and, by definition, not murder.
This whole suit seems to be the brainchild of Harold J. Cassidy, who, according to causes.com, is “best known as the lawyer who helped orchestrate the South Dakota law requiring that all abortion providers tell women undergoing abortions that having an abortion will ‘terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.'”
And the whole thing is ridiculous, because it assumes that women are too stupid to realize what they’re doing when they go in for an abortion. The thinking seems to be “If they only knew that they’re not getting some sort of spa treatment, but are instead going against their purpose in life and depriving the world of another baby who we will later join the Tea Party or become a pinko commie welfare recipient, they’d leave that death house immediately!”
I’ve got news for you, Cassidy: Women know what they’re doing. A women gets an abortion because she has to, because it’s the right thing for her life at the time. She doesn’t do it blindly. she doesn’t do it without serious thought and terror and trepidation. She doesn’t do it without realizing she may have to run the gantlet of anti-abortion campaigners who will call her horrible names and shove bloody pictures in front of her face. She may feel horrible, she may wish she weren’t in this situation, she may have agonized, she may decide at the last minute that she doesn’t want to go through with it — which is her right. But she know what she’s doing, and she knows she’ll have to live with it, and she know if you ever find out you’ll make her life a living hell.
But to hell with what I say. Read this piece by Suzanne Moore in The Guardian. She’s talking about a proposal that “counseling” be provided to women who seek abortions, and she’s spot on about what that really means:
This is nauseating. A vote of conscience? If MPs had one they would say it is not the business of the legislature to control women’s reproduction. They would stop telling us what is “emotive” and ask what actually is. I didn’t want counseling in order to have an abortion. I certainly did after a miscarriage – again an awfully common experience – but none was offered. No, instead let’s bring on an army of “independent” zealots who can tell us that abortion leads to cancer, mental health issues and infertility, and sod the evidence that having a baby is more risky than having an abortion. Anyone who talks about how easy it is and how the reality is glossed over is ignorant. You have a scan. You know and see what you are doing. It’s not a walk in the park but it is a huge relief. The emotive part is the enforced waiting.
Now the tactics are to further that wait. This is nothing short of cruelty dressed up in the language of concern.
I hope like hell that the politicians in Britain won’t fall for the same smokescreen that politicians in South Dakota did. And I hope like hell that the Illinois Court of Appeals doesn’t get sucked in by Cassidy’s argument. I would say that I hope this issue gets settled once and for all, and that anti-abortion zealots will realize that they’ve lost, and that if they don’t want women getting abortions,they should make contraception a viable options. But I don’t believe in magical thinking. I don’t think these rabid anti-abortion folks will ever believe that anyone would make a conscious choice to do something they disagree with. And they’ll never believe that women are capable of making up their own minds.