On Demand

I was visiting a nice elderly lady and she had a poster on her wall soliciting donations to stop ‘abortion on demand’. It’s the kind of phrase like ‘strident feminist’ that bursts into the conversation ready for a fight.

Let’s be realistic. You don’t get your teeth cleaned ‘on demand’. If you don’t believe me, try stomping into a dentist’s office demanding to get your teeth cleaned and see how far you get.

There’s other propaganda points. The use of the word ‘convenience’ as if the decision whether to have a baby is not a profound and permanent one, with consequences that affect generations. ‘Just give it up for adoption’ as if that decision is no more important than distributing a litter of kittens.

And ‘unplanned pregnancy’. That’s most pregnancies. It’s an unwanted pregnancy that is a crisis.

What got me on this track is a post where Frederick Clarkson makes some important points about loaded language in the abortion debate, especially as it has taken over the health reform debate.

The anti-abortion Congress members have succeeded in getting themselves labeled ‘pro-life’ by all the press, including NPR. There’s not even a moment’s thought. Their concern for life might not exist in any form except making abortion illegal, but they get to wrap themselves in the mantle of life-lovingness no matter how many Americans die needlessly for lack of access to medical care.

The supporters of the public option, Medicare expansion or single payer have gone from being part of the discussion to being the ‘liberals’ to ‘the left wing’. It’s amazing how far to the left you can move when the rest of the party shifts to the right.

Does anyone care that Americans line up around the block to get into a free clinic– and it’s not a disaster, just another day in a broken system? Is it politically correct to say we need to fix this, or is that being strident?

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2 responses

  1. I find it pathetic that 37 years after roe v. wade we are revisiting this again. I guess this shows just how close religion is to politics and that mostly men are still at the birth of the debate. This is particularly disturbing to me because it’s a womens right and while I am fully aware of those that abuse the needs to make this a ritual to have them performed, they outweigh the cost to raise these welfare mothers. Not only that, but there is a burden that is bestowed on them and then depression and then what for the child??? Is the gov’t v. church there to rear the chid and hold the hand of the teenager or mid-aged mom that is FORCED to have it? I sit and look and numbers and it makes no sense…or does someone know a good sound argument that I could grasp a little better….

  2. In nursing I see every day how families and friends hold things together in a way that outsiders never could. ‘Trust Women’ the President said, and we should. Women and the people they trust to consult with are the ones who will bear the responsibility, and should have the choice. People have short memories, and dangerous, illegal abortions and forced adoptions are forgotten, though many older women have survived that.
    However, if the people who claim the label, ‘pro-life’ want to honestly and openly operate agencies that give aid to women who want to continue a pregnancy and need help I’m with them. They can start by petitioning the Governor to stop cutting the safety net from under the poorest Rhode Islanders.

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