James and Lois Cowan's Blog

James and Lois Cowan

James and Lois Cowan
Location
Key West, Florida, USA
Birthday
July 07
Bio
The paramedic and writing team of James and Lois Cowan lives and works on a tramp steamer in Key West and in the summer off the coast of Maine. Advice columnists and authors of some dozen titles, they're at work on "Naked Love" and "The Fiend in the Cellar"—a nonfiction mystery that unfolded in Boston in 1849. They are the ghosts for Touchstone Press's book by Levi Johnston: "Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs."

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AUGUST 8, 2010 7:01AM

Sarah's Choice (Palin, that is)

Rate: 19 Flag

 

 

Lois Cowan

 

I read Going Rogue cover to cover; I know what I’m talking about. Sarah Palin is pro-choice when it comes to herself and her family. The three times she was faced with the question of an abortion—to have or not to have—she exercised her own free will.

 

That’s all anyone wants.

 

The first instance was early in her married life when a pregnant Sarah was told by her obstetrician that the fetus’s heart wasn’t discernible. No one can be positive in this situation—but the odds were the unborn child was no longer alive. Sarah had a D & C, the procedure where the opening into the uterus is dilated, enlarged so a curette fits in to scrape out the products of conception. Suction is used. Nothing is left behind. Sarah shed an emotional burden as well as she avoided possible deadly sepsis. She could have waited and miscarried. She shouldn’t have. A therapeutic abortion preserves the mom’s health. Sarah’s well-being.

 

In her book she spoke of the loss of this child, a still being within her uterus. There also talk of the doctor’s bill. Palin claims the term abortion was whited out and miscarriage penned over it. (Non-medical people always get into trouble when they freestyle like this.) Palin didn’t eject the fetus. One’s body engineers miscarriages, not the doctor. The medical terminology, therapeutic abortion, might not be in line with the Palin political stance but it is what happened. It’s not what she says she’s against…but it’s not far off.

 

Her next encounter with abortion was in August, 2008 when she is carrying Trig. Sarah weighed the pros and cons. “No one,” she tells herself, “knows I’m pregnant. No one would ever have to know.” This includes, she explains, her husband. 

 

She was, no question, considering an abortion.

 

The decision Sarah reached—it was God’s wish for her to have this child—isn’t going to be criticized by this writer. It is, however, disconcerting that she considered the termination of a pregnancy without letting her husband weigh in. She insists parents must be given say-so over a minor daughter’s choice yet she kept Todd in the dark?

 

Daughter Bristol’s unplanned pregnancy again brought up the specter of abortion. Sarah and Todd worried about their not-quite-grown-up teenager. What would this mean to her education? She was so young; how could she cope with a newborn?

 

Sarah writes that they encouraged their daughter to follow her own heart. Her choice would be theirs. Once it was clear Bristol would carry the child to full term, Sarah proclaimed, “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby…." 

 

Palin sounds like the poster child for Pro-Choice. 

 

If Sarah were asked about the thought process of herself and her family, I imagine she’d agree that the 150 million American females should have the same right to choose that she did. But, she might rationalize, I didn’t have the abortion…and Bristol decided to carry her baby full-term….

 

We’d both know that’s not the point. 

 

It is imperious to advocate that others should be mandated to have babies when both Sarah and her daughter chose to. It is disingenuous to suggest decisions between a physician and a woman regarding termination of a pregnancy should be government regulated. It is heartless to take away the ability of women to control their own bodies, to decide if they share their uterus, their whole being, with another for a nine month period, or not. 

 

That’s all we want for everyone: Sarah’s choice.


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Just like the "Politically Pro-Choice, Personally Pro-Life" crowd on the left, there is a strong "Politically Pro-Life, Personally Pro-Choice" contingent on the right. I find the former a bit cringe inducing, but the latter is simply infuriating.
Fascinating. Thanks.
You're absolutely right. Of course, if it hadn't been a "choice" she'd have said so. She'd have carried the stillborn child to term and risked her life and health to do so. She'd have never remotely even considered an abortion either for Trig or for her daughter's child. But she gave her daughter the choice, just as she gave it to herself, then congratulates herself publicly for choosing the "right" one.

If abortion really were murder, no one would give me pats on the back for getting up in the morning and "choosing" not to murder my 10-year-old and my 12-year-old. They'd have me committed to an institution (and rightly so) for even saying it.

A born child is NOT the same as an unborn child.
This touches on one of the things that really bothered me in the 2008 election, the notion of "choice" used as such. I've gotten tired of the semantics of the word with regard to abortion issues - and that's not a dig at your interesting post, just a thought I've had rolling around for a while. Because to me, if you are what is politically considered "pro choice" and not "pro life" that doesn't mean pro choice = anti-life. And conversely, if you are politically pro life, that doesn't really mean you are anti-choice. Palin talks about making choices, and no matter the stance on abortion, it's a choice one way or the other. Even if abortion is 'off the table' for a person... it's off the table because that person made that choice.

To quote Geddy Lee, 'if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."
Hmmm interesting perspective. thanks for putting it out there...I had wondered if I were the only one in the world who saw she was making a choice she had. I remember the days when we did not or the choice was life-threatening or could get you handcuffed to the rails of a hospital bed.
Yes. Choice means you can choose to abort or choose to continue the pregnancy. It wouldn't be a choice if there was only one option.
Excellent discussion of this topic from a slightly different perspective. Unfortunately the Palin's of this world seem to take an approach that "what's good for them is good for the rest of us". You are entirely correct; the 2 Palin women each made a choice--consciously. Our freedom extends to the limits of our alternatives; and no further.
The hypocrisy is astounding, or as my mother used to say, "Do as I say, not as I do."
You hit it right down the middle of the fairway. Excellent post!
A totally fatuous take on the matter.

Palin's opposition to abortion is based not on her decision to forego it, as you foolishly imagine, but rather on the fact that in her view, abortion involves the destruction of a human life and she wants no part of it. Her choice not to abort was merely strong evidence of the genuineness of that conviction. You're reading into her book not what she is saying, but what you would like her to be saying to support your stupid point. Reread.

I have written elsewhere that a practical solution to this thorny issue may lie in a requirement that aborting mommies be required to watch the procedure on a sonogram. If the abortion is performed early on, i.e. responsibly, the view shouldn't be too painful. However, some spoiled feminist who is obsessed with her control over her body, as if it's ALWAYS the only one involved, should be forced to deal with the graphic consequences of her sacred right to choose.

Is there a quicker kick on the OS front page than Palin bashing?
So Osmond....please tell us your reasoning for requiring a woman to watch the procedure. What exactly do you hope to accomplish with such a step?

The only reason I can imagine why is you feel these women need to know the consequences of their actions. And you feel that your way is the right way.

But there's a pretty simple question to ask yourself, here. Are you exercising YOUR right to choose? Or are you trying to influence the rights of others.

Your approach seems pretty obvious based on that question.
KD, you are an inspiration to women everywhere. Instead of a radical, extremist position, you have applied the rule of reason to the issue and to your life. I'm sure your son is a monument to your clarity of thought.
I absolutely agree and enjoyed your piece. However, exposing the hypocrisy and responding with a logical argument to the holier than thou bunch isn't the kryptonite one would think. The only hypocrisy, by one of their own, that the theocrats won't spin is male on male relations. One of Palin's congressional endorsements is Star Parker, a woman who wants to deny women the right to choose and she herself has admitted to five abortions. Also read Joyce Arthur's piece titled The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion for more examples of when the anti-choice choose.

I also find it disturbing that Sarah didn't consult Todd and include him in the decision process that she seemed to be capable of going either way on. I agree with Sarah that it was her choice alone but she should have given Todd an opportunity to weigh in on how her decision would affect their relationship and their family.

I think Sarah's story is full of holes and lies, however I think the analysis above of Sarah's choice is valid when taking her ridiculous story at face value. It is well known in Alaska that Bristol and Levi were trying to get pregnant. I have two daughters in high school in California and this is the reality that is not discussed. The taboo of being an unwed teen mother is completely gone and shame has been replaced with celebration and accolades. Getting pregnant is a good alternative for a girl who doesn't enjoy school, isn't doing particularly well and doesn't have dreams or goals beyond being a mother. This trend is bad for society and extremely costly to the taxpayers. Abstinence, birth control and abortion don't come into play when one is trying to get pregnant. In fact, to improve your chances of achieving a pregnancy you can't abstain, you shouldn't use birth control and you wouldn't consider an abortion. Easy concepts even for someone like Bristol. The anti-choice powers can claim Bristol as their hero but she is just another short sighted teen, unconcerned about being a good citizen, who thought having a baby would be cool and she couldn't be happier or wealthier.

If Sarah's story is taken at face value it seems she did everything possible to avoid having a live birth. She exercised excessively during the pregnancy. She had completely flat abs at seven months along. She took the wild ride back to a Podunk hospital that wasn't equipped for deliveries of any risk. It seems she was going for a pre Roe v. Wade have your boyfriend beat you up type of abortion.

It seems that Wasilla suffers from a problematic combination of teen pregnancy and binge drinking and meth use. Absent of the tiniest thread of evidence that Sarah gave birth to Trig other than the word of Sarah, a confirmed liar, and her sketch doctor who has gone underground and after agreeing to be interviewed, showed up with a lawyer and refused to answer questions, I have to believe that Sarah did not give birth to Trig. Who gave birth to Trig is another question that really doesn't matter. There is no independent evidence that Sarah gave birth and a lot of circumstantial evidence that she did not.

Photographs of early Trig either show a baby with his ears unnaturally concealed by a blanket or with a deformed ear. Later photos of Trig show him with a perfectly formed ear. My belief is that Bristol gave birth prematurely to a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome sometime around January or February 2008 prior to getting pregnant again with Tripp and that the first baby was presented as the first baby Trig.

I support the choice of other women even if it wouldn't be the choice I would make. Fortunately I've never had to make the choice of giving birth to a known Downs syndrome baby and therefore I can't know what choice I would make. Downs syndrome babies grow up to be downs syndrome teenagers and adults. Sarah seems to have pooped out before Trig became a toddler. Sarah Palin has a very limited attention span and quits when the going gets tough. She made the choice to give birth but can't seem to follow through on mothering her child.
Finding hypocrisy in Palin's positions is rather like shooting fish in a barrel. Yep, she loves to talk about the choices she made but wishes to deny to everyone else. Sarah is a hypocrite. The sun rose in the east. Bears crap in the woods.

We're always going to have disagreement on abortion. What some see as murder of innocent human life others see as control of their own bodies. Since there is no consensus among the religions, some abhor it while others condone it, and there is no moral consensus among Americans, it is never going to be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I'm pro-choice but I can definitely see where the pro-life people are coming from. Abortions make me a bit uneasy when they are done past the first trimester.

Not that this compromise would please anyone, but I would settle things thusly:
1st Trimester: Allow abortions for any reason
2nd Trimester to viability limit: Allow abortions only for valid risks to the mother's health.
Past viability: Fetus has same rights as anyone else.
Kyle,

Sorry I confused and distracted you. I said "Who gave birth to Trig is another question that really doesn't matter. " I don't care who gave birth to Trig but I care who didn't. To question Obama's birthplace, in light of the fact he has provided a birth certificate and it has been independently fact checked and verified by the Republican governor of Hawaii, is crazy. I agree with you on that. If Sarah Palin offers up Trig's birth certificate or her medical records or throws any kind of bone out there and fact checkers conclude she gave birth to Trig, I will accept it as fact. She has not done this although she has lied about having provided his birth certificate in a radio interview. It matters because Sarah's story about not terminating a KNOWN Downs syndrome pregnancy is the only reason she got within striking distance of the presidency. Cynically, she inserts having done prenatal testing into her convoluted story because a woman who finds out her baby has a genetic disorder after the birth is no more a hero to the pro-life crowd than any other married woman adding to her family.

Bristol Palin is a distraction and may be part of the birth hoax or not. Prior to the birth of Trig it has been established that the rumors of Bristol's pregnancy if they were just that, made their way to her mother and her mother brought the rumor up to a reporter for the purpose of denying it. Bristol was out of sight and out of school for five months in the fall of 2007 with the official story being she had mono. Bristol's facebook or myspace page showed she frequently drank and used drugs.

But forget about Bristol. She's a red herring. Forget I added the distraction. Have you seen or heard anything that indicates that Sarah gave birth to Trig? Are you a Ronald Reagan fan? Reagan said trust but verify. You trust Sarah - good for you. Now verify the story.
Excellent piece and well argued. Thank you for finding me so I could find you!
Our pleasure, Sparking. Thanks for the kind words.

The Cowans
Like a lot of rabid so-called "pro-lifers" when the issue hits them right in their own womb...suddenly...."flexibility."

May Palin eventually fall into political oblivion with Dr Laura. Thanks for this piece.
Right in the uterus. Great analogy.

James
Lawless Lawyer, I do not see how there can be a "Politically Pro-Choice, Personally Pro-Life" crowd on the left, as you state. Pro-Choice means you have the option to go either way, does it not? If someone is fine with someone else's choice to abort yet would not opt out themselves, , isn't this the way it should work?
Hey Froggy. I don't even care if an unborn child is the same as a born child. Just as society wouldn't force me to give one of my a kidneys or a portion of my liver to someone else—a live person—I don't think I should have to share my brain, heart, pancreas with a fetus if I don't wish to.

Lois
WadeS: Geddy Lee is right. He speaks though of having a choice and not acting upon it. And, yes, that's a choice to roll with the punches.

We're not sure we agree, though, that, "if you are politically pro life, that doesn't really mean you are anti-choice." The Pro-life position is for life. There's no option.
Patie, I don't remember the getting handcuffed to a bed scene (although your writing those words made it terrible to me). I, who grew up in South Florida, do recall all the month-long trip my parents' friends—and my own mother actually—took to Cuba. That's where the pregnant women went for abortions. I had a girlfriend whose mom didn't survive that vacation. She was buried there. Whew.

Lois
You got it, geezerchick. I don't see Lawless Lawyer's perspective. Choice has to do with facing two or more possibilities. This is not what the Pro-Lifers are contemplating.

James
Might it ever occur to you that the reason Sarah felt confronted with a "choice" is that certain boobs have arranged it so that she has to *make* a choice? The fact is, with abortion a readily available option, *every* woman must choose whether or not to continue every pregnancy. Even though most of them know that however you look at it, there isn't any choice there at all. Which is to say that there's only one choice that isn't murder.

Yes, murder is a readily available "choice" for virtually every woman in our society, every time she has the life of a small person in her power. Things are even so foully arranged that she must make a "choice" as to whether or not to involve her beloved husband in the decision. The boobs have arranged it so that she need not.

These are temptations to evil that one would prefer not to face, but the morons have made it so that every woman, and even every little girl, must face these temptations just when her body has gone hormonally haywire. A woman need not seek the advice of her husband, and certainly not her lover who is not her husband. A little girl need not seek the protection of her parents--she can kill her child and grievously wound herself without their knowledge. Without affording them the ability to protect her, and to protect their grandchild. At an age when many girls realize that the best way to wound their parents is to cut themselves, every girl has the legal right to do the most damage to herself that one can do without, necessarily, dying. I can think of all kinds of circumstances wherein a girl or a woman might think she was somehow doing a noble thing, by shielding her family from the murder that she would do.

It appears that Sarah Palin has admitted that this temptation can be, well, tempting. And of course, in her daughter's case, all she could do legally is to love her daughter no matter what Bristol "chose". Would you think more of her if she said, "Girl, if you murder that child, don't come home"? You have to take the child where she is, and it is expecting a lot of a teenager to know and to do the right thing, when so many morons rant that the wrong thing is just a different "choice".

Of course there is no choice, legal or not. If the baby is dead, the doctor may call it an abortion, but it is not murder. You can't murder someone who is already dead.

If the baby is alive, then of course it's murder, and the "choice" is fictional. Tell me where else it is a protected choice whether to murder someone else. Indeed, to torture someone else to death.

Girls have the right to know what a powerful gift it is, to give life to another person. And they need to be rewarded and valued for this gift that they give. They should understand that it is so big a gift that it takes two to give it, a mother and a father, and that it is wrong to try to give this great gift when one is unable to afford it--for example, when one has not contracted for the other person to hang around for the duration of the child's childhood.

But they should also know that when once the great gift is given, it is their duty to give whatever it takes to make the gift successful. It is not fair to decide, partway through the process, that one wishes to make another "choice" and withdraw the life. That is, murder the child.

Women have always known that the choice to give life to a child comes before conception, and men have generally expected a second chance at that choice afterward. It is ironic that, just when modern science hands the victory in this dispute, in the form of DNA testing, incontrovertibly to the women, they should switch sides and insist, with the men, on the privilege of changing their minds.

At least the men, in changing their minds, left the child with one parent to protect him or her.
If you’d read “Going Rogue,” dianiline, you'd not be saying Sarah Palin was pushed into making a choice by the morons—like moi? She pondered how she'd handle an infant along with a governorship. This was before amnio pointed toward Down Syndrome. Palin writes that no one knew she was with child and no one ever had ti if she ended the pregnancy while in Texas.

I applaud Sarah; she listened to her inner voice. It would have been decent to include your husband. She suggests Todd wouldn't go along. I have a problem with that excuse, or maybe a marriage where this wouldn’t be shared. I think we agree on that, dianiline, yes?

We don’t concur when you pronounce that “most" women know there’s no choice but life. Polls indicate a plurality of American females are pro-choice, want women to have that option.

How, though, is it fair to say the boobs—like me?—force females to choose? It is the ProLifers who insist gravid women look at ultrasounds, sit around in waiting rooms for 12 hours, thinking, crying. How cruel. You say we should make sure females have no say over their own bodies cause it’s too hard a decision to make?

Who has made so tough?

As for children being scarred by a terminated pregnancy, is it healthier for a 12 year old rape victim to undergo a D&C 10-minute procedure, or a 9-month pregnancy and the delivery of a full-term neonate? And who-knows-what after that? I know which route I’d choose for my daughters and granddaughters. I can at least grasp the killing-babies argument but not this one. I do care more for the living than the not-yet-born.

You say of Sarah, “...And of course, in her daughter's case, all she could do legally is to love her daughter no matter what Bristol ‘chose’." You say that, but Sarah didn’t. She and Todd trusted Bristol would listen to them, but felt it was her choice, not theirs, to make. You ask: “Would you think more of her if she said, ‘Girl, if you murder that child, don't come home”? Yes. That is what she advocates for everyone else. I give Sarah kudos for sharing her thought-process. I just wish she'd not say the opposite is what he believes; so I didn't have to point out the hypocrisy.

Regarding her abortion to deal with the lifeless fetus she carried—perhaps this the reason she never made her medical records public?—did I not make myself clear? Sarah misspoke when claiming the doc’s office whited out the term “abortion” and replaced it with “miscarriage.” Her health insurance would need the correct medical term and billing number. Sarah had a medically necessary D&C—a therapeutic abortion. A miscarriage is something else. Silly lie, don’t you think?

You say girls “have the right to know what a powerful gift it is, to give life to another person.” Although I’m more into the no-frills biology of procreation, no different than animals, I like your choice of words. We all need to rear our children to understand it’s easier with a mom and dad, or from my perspective, a mom and mom, or dad and dad. (Do you know about all those poor foster kids in my state of Florida—the only holdout state—who cannot be adopted by gay couples? The children languish, never to have a family of their own. Sorry, I digress.)

Sex is sex. We all can say and teach til we’re blue in the face but it happens. Look at all the Pro-Life politicians who get caught with their kickers around their ankles. I understand that. Read my husband James Cowan’s LAUNCH post and THE TIE THAT BINDS; we’ve all been there or know someone who has. It’s a nice thought but that’s all it is: all these loved babies, usually the product of the poorest Americans and not always wanted.

We can disagree and I’ll respect your opinions; I'll not label you a boob or moron. Abortion isn’t a good thing. No one likes it; no one wants it. It’s best to prevent the pregnancy. Let’s work together. Females avoiding pregnancies through free birth control and sex education don’t need abortions and we’re all happy. Women who choose to have babies rather than abort need a supportive society with free medical care, continuing financial help with the child. There’s that other choice—an excellent adoption system. For some, though, abortion makes the most sense. That’s the reality, and a choice that should be out there.

Lois
Dear Lois,
Whatever Sarah Palin has written in Going Rogue does not impact the fact that it is the legality of abortion that imposes the choice as to whether or not to continue the pregnancy. If there were no hit men out there willing to kill the baby, normal women could just get about the business of adjustment that ought to accompany every pregnancy.
Of course Palin pondered how she’d handle an infant along with a governorship. I hope she pondered that before she took on the governorship in the first place.
I’m glad Mr. Palin is decent enough that he wouldn’t “go along with” killing his child. He wouldn’t be much of a man if he did, would he? Can we agree on that?
You accuse me of saying “we should make sure females have no say over their own bodies cause it’s too hard a decision to make”, when of course I have said that there really is no decision to make. Of course women and men should have some say over their own bodies—but neither ever have the right to kill or otherwise abuse their babies. And you make this accusation right after complaining about women being required to see ultrasounds in order to make an informed decision. Perhaps you think women shouldn’t have information because that makes it harder to believe the fiction that there is a choice?
I think it is scandalous of you to suggest that a juvenile rape victim should be further victimized by being made an accomplice in the murder of her child. She may not understand at the time what she is agreeing to, but she will have the rest of her life to try to avoid realizing what she’s done, and can’t undo. And just as children learn how much they are loved by watching the tender love that baby brothers and sisters receive, a child rape victim is bound to understand on some level that if her baby is expendable, then she was expendable, once, too. Perhaps she still is? At any rate, the adults around her are obviously unwilling to give the love and care that she needs. I am glad not to be among your daughters, or granddaughters, for whom you would choose this desolate course. It would be hard to have a conception of the sanctity of my own life if I were.
“I do care more for the living than the not-yet-born,” you say. The not-yet-born, of course, are among the living. I have already pointed out that there is no murder in terminating the pregnancy of a child who has already died. And your preference is selfish. You care more for the already-born because you can see them suffer; indeed, you may suffer with them, but the not-yet-born have no voice to claim your empathy. What they suffer is out of your sight, out of your hearing, out of mind. You may not even have considered whether they suffer. But how can you be sure they don’t? Certainly there is no way to kill a child of nine month’s gestation without causing her pain. What about eight months? Five? I believe it is demonstrable that children can express pain at least as early as fourteen or fifteen weeks gestation. Why is that pain of less account than the pain of a child already born?
I cannot speak for the Palins, but it is not their fault that the fate of their grandchild was Bristol’s choice. A young girl has to get parental permission to take two Tylenol at school, but apparently the fact of conception miraculously makes her mature enough to decide whether her baby lives or dies.
Can you give me quotations of Palin’s that support your assertion that she advocates that “everyone else” throw their kids out if they commit abortion?
Like many technical terms, “abortion” has a medical definition and a slightly different meaning in common use. If Palin had a miscarriage, her doctor’s office would have labeled it as a “spontaneous abortion”. One of my online friends, very active in the effort to protect the lives of unborn children, was startled to learn that her medical records called her miscarriage just that—she understands that it is the correct medical term, but feels vaguely violated nevertheless. “Abortion” seems like such a dirty word, now that people use it to refer to the deliberate killing of babies. But it really only means “ending”, and obstetrically it means “ending a pregnancy”. So yes, technically a D&C following spontaneous fetal demise is a “therapeutic abortion”, and I suppose that is the only legitimate use of that term in the context of pregnancies. But the baby is already dead, and this is not the popular meaning of “abortion”.
If a woman miscarried but did not expel all of the uterine lining and placenta, it would be termed an “incomplete abortion”, and a D&C would be necessary. I don’t see why they would call that D&C an abortion, since the pregnancy was arguably already ended. Technically, a live birth could also be called a spontaneous abortion, and a live birth by Caesarian section might be termed a surgical abortion, but there is usually not much interest in these terms in those joyful events.
I am sorry about foster kids whose parents can’t or won’t care for them, and who cannot be placed in loving foster homes for one reason or another. I will point out here that many foster parents provide excellent families for their charges despite the fact that they have no legal rights over the children, and often live in fear that the children will be taken away and given back to the parents who can’t or won’t care for them. You would do better to call for more decent families to take in foster children, and to adopt children if they are able, than to inflict the complication of gay “parents” on innocent children. A child of either sex has the right to two parents—one of each—and the fact that many children are born without ready access to both of their parents doesn’t make it a good idea to give innocent children to experimental families.
Sex is sex, as you say, and I would belabor the obvious by pointing out that it has consequences. First amongst these consequences are children, who have rights. I repeat my statement that women have finally won the argument decisively; men who for thousands of years could conceive children and then claim to know nothing about them can now be held accountable through the miracle of DNA testing. Of course it is still unwise to be making babies with men whom one doesn’t trust to stick around to raise them unless coerced! But it is even more unwise to give up the argument, when we’ve won it, by pretending that it’s a fair choice to deny the child after conceiving her.
In fact abortion is a misogynistic thing. If it were truly a woman’s choice whether or not to continue a pregnancy, why should the father be liable for child support? If ever you have your way and people feel that this is a choice, the logical next step is to extend that choice to men. Why shouldn’t the woman have to get the man’s permission to continue with the pregnancy?
More to the point, why should she expect him to contribute to the child’s support, unless he so chooses? Why should she receive any help from anyone in raising the child, when it was strictly her choice to bear it? One could imagine the man being liable for the cost of abortion—he must have foreseen that possibility beforehand—but perhaps he would only be liable for child support if he agreed beforehand to accept a child.
Even then, why couldn’t he change his mind after the conception? If abortion were acceptable, the woman could. You imagine “a supportive society” providing women with free medical care and financial help—but why should society have any obligation if the pregnancy was optional? I don’t think you can make the case that the father has an obligation to support a child who is strictly the woman’s choice—so much less can you make the case for billing everyone else.
And more ominously, if it is society’s job to provide for the child, won’t that come, like help from in-laws, with “advice” attached? And won’t society, if it is footing the bill, perhaps want some say in that initiating “choice”? Once you make pregnancy a matter of choice, you may be surprised who ends up holding the ultimate power of choice.
“We can disagree and I’ll respect your opinions,”, you say. “Sure, I don’t approve of abortion, or any other form of child abuse, but you go ahead and abuse your child, possibly to death,” you would like me to say. Agreeing to disagree is possible when reasonable people can hold either side of an argument, but I expect that if I exclude abortion from the other types of child abuse, you would not support the statement that you want me to make.
Women who think birth can be controlled are the only ones likely to consider abortion reasonable. In fact sex, not birth, can be controlled, and you’re right that with appropriate sex education, women don’t need abortions. This would begin with the fact that, as one of my daughter’s public high school teachers so eloquently put it, “touching leads to babies”. If you’re not prepared to handle a baby, control yourself. If you can’t control yourself, you’re really not prepared to handle a baby. And if you think killing the baby is a sensible way to deal with an inconvenient pregnancy…no. No one could think that.
dianiline, have you ever known anyone who was raped and then found she was pregnant? Is this what you mean when you refer to an "inconvenient" pregnancy? One out of every four females in our great violent country will be sexually abused in her lifetime. You may feel that God is there to help these poor souls who also often end up carrying a lifetime reminder of the horror. I think our government should also watch out for one half of the population whose life can in a moment turn so grim. Have you ever been sexually abused? Has a daughter?

I note you go on about how terrible it is to murder another human. I feel that way about executions; I bet somehow you don't.

Lois
Hi Lois,
No, like most people, I haven’t ever known anyone who was raped and then found out she was pregnant, because of course that doesn’t happen very often. Possibly that would be an inconvenient pregnancy. Possibly a great blessing.
How in Heaven’s name would it help the victim, in this case, to kill her baby? How does becoming a murderer ease the pain of being a rape victim?
I can’t imagine there are many rape victims who don’t carry a lifetime reminder of the horror. Why add the burden of guilt to this suffering? A woman who aborts carries a lifetime reminder that she has killed her child—how tragic for those who cannot muster the grace to recognize this as a horror.
“God is there to help these poor souls” is just another way of saying that you and I are here to help them, as of course we are. Everyone’s life can, in a moment, turn grim in a variety of ways. Very few of these situations are improved by killing another human being! Least of all those cases where the human being to be killed is one’s child.
Executions are rather a different subject, but they can be carried out for a variety of reasons. Executing someone for stealing a loaf of bread—probably not defensible. Executing someone for murdering dozens of college coeds, and repeatedly breaking out of prison to kill more—well, you and I probably both sleep better knowing that Ted Bundy is out of action. I, in any case, because I have college aged daughters.
The difference is the severity of the crime for which the person is being executed, but in any case it’s hard to justify calling the killing of a killer “terrible”, but not the killing of a helpless innocent.
Is this what you’re doing, or have I misunderstood you?

Blessings,

Diana