Friday, September 05, 2008

Well, Copying = Stealing, So....

I've been watching various Daily Show clips in which they make fun of Republicans and talking heads for asking people to respect Palin's family's decision to have Bristol keep the baby, but then on the other hand, saying that other people shouldn't be trusted to be able to make the same decision themselves.

What I find really interesting is that they are having such a hard time defending themselves from this argument.

If they really believed that abortion was infanticide (as Gingrich claims he does) then the response is a no brainer. All they would have to say is that if murder was not illegal, but they were trying to make it so, no one would consider it hypocritical of them to applaud people's decisions not to murder.

But they can't do that.

And they know they can't do that because most people don't think that abortion is murder - and they know that the only reason the "abortion is murder" argument gets them any points is because we make such high demands on mothers (women in general, really) to be perfect and to sacrifice themselves for their children. For most people, women who get abortions are "murdering" their children in the same way that overprotective mothers "smother" their children.

There are a lot of reasons why abortion "feels" wrong to people. Most people, however, don't think that it's wrong the way that murder is wrong. Often, they mainly think that it's wrong the way that they think that candidates leaving their infant children at home while they go campaigning is wrong. They may agree or disagree with someone's decision, but they mainly think it's their decision to make - with the caveat that mothers (and mothers to be) are judged differently than fathers (and fathers to be).


Lyle said...

I was lucky in that my junior year health teacher truly believed in comprehensive sex education, not shying away from controversial topics. We had both an anti-choice group and Planned Parenthood show up (as well as an afterschool seminar where women spoke about their experiences with abortion). I still remember the anti-choice group's talk basically came down to "But at six weeks it already looks like a little baby!" Sigh.

Since Gov. Palin doesn't believe in an exception to save the life of the mother, a part of me is really interested to see a question in the debates about how she'd feel if Bristol Palin's doctor felt that carrying the pregnancy to term could be fatal... however, all the screaming about how unfair it is to bring her personal life into the campaign has silenced that.

Then again, since the media has barely called it a lie when she claims to have "stopped" the bridge to nowhere, I guess she'd get away with saying that she does believe in exemptions when the life of the mother is at risk in such a moment.

I do wish pro-choice groups would speak more often about reproductive choice rights in general, to make it clear that the battle to limit access to birth control is coming from the same people who want to limit access to abortion. At least when I was in high school, a part of the anti-abortion argument was to point at women who've had multiple abortions as if only silly, irresponsible women got abortions when the anti-choice forces wouldn't like for women to be able to make responsible sexual choices about their reproductive systems, either.

Mickle said...

"I do wish pro-choice groups would speak more often about reproductive choice rights in general..."

Me too. And that they include women's rights to be mothers in all that as well. Because a part of reproductive freedom is also the freedom to be a parent...and the same people who want to limit borth control also want to control who is allowed to be a parent. Or at least, who is allowed to be a parent ans not suffer for it.

Most feminist bloggers that I read talk about this, but not many groups do in the press releases, where the focus their money and time, etc.