Two Contrasting Takes on Abortion 

By sheer co-incidence, I read two posts this morning with vastly different takes on the thorny subject of abortion. I wanted to take a look at these posts in more detail – one post in particular. One post was written by a woman and the other by a man. Can you guess which way their respective opinions go?

I found myself agreeing with Purple Sage, who runs a site that discusses feminism, among other things. I don’t agree with everything she has to say on every topic, but on this issue, I most certainly do. Reproductive rights are being denied to women the world over, by people who claim to be pro-life but who usually aren’t – they care only about forced birth. Eliminating the conditions that kill and harm fully fledged human beings? Not interested. 

Pro-life should also factor in quality of life, including quality of life for the mother, but typically the woman’s part in this is reduced to that of a carrier, a shipping crate whose life is defined by motherhood – her dreams and aspirations relegated in order to satisfy a form of control. Even traumatic experiences such as rape are effectively deemed secondary to the undeveloped zygote, a point made all to clear in David Tee’s post on Theology Archaeology. 

I quote:

There are many anti-abortionists who allow abortion in times of rape or incest and to us that is an inconsistent point of view as well as a sinful compromise. The problem with that viewpoint is that it look sat the crime, the supposed feelings of the mother to be and ignores what scriptures tells us

The line about the ‘supposed’ feelings of the prospective mother just serves to under the underlying attitude towards women from certain quarters of the religious right. It doesn’t matter that she has been put through a terrible ordeal. It doesn’t matter that the child will be a living reminder of that (indeed, the pregnancy will be a reminder as well) – the woman’s feelings on this matter are swept aside as a matter of institutionalised misogyny. 

His final paragraph makes this point very clearly:

It is not easy but there are no escape clauses allowing us to pervert justice when our wives, daughters or mothers are raped or made victims of rape. Women need to learn what true justice is just like the men do.

How can there be justice when the victim is forced into a course of action she never asked for and doesn’t want? In this scenario the rapist has more rights than the victim! The victim (who has problems been subjected to a grilling about her sex life and behaviour in the trial) will be forced to deal with a daily reminder of the assault against her, whether or not she turns to adoption (which, by the way, is traumatic in its own way). 

Here’s the thing. Let’s teach men to not rape. To respect women’s bodies and women’s choices. In fact, let’s teach men to respect women full stop. No forced pregnancies, least of all in cases of rape. Let’s not defund Planned Parenthood, and let’s not use social stigmas to prevent access to contraception. Let’s work harder to resolve the persistent misogyny in society.

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14 thoughts on “Two Contrasting Takes on Abortion 

  1. I have yet to come across a “pro-lifer” who actually cares about the life of the mother when she is at serious risk or has had a traumatic experience. If one does not care about the mother’s life then how exactly are they “pro-life”? The idea that pro-life is synonymous with anti-abortion is incredibly contradictory and often times a lie.

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  2. The problem with the author’s post is that he is like so many pro-abortion advocates. They forget that a woman cannot reproduce without the man and that the woman does not have a sole ownership on reproduction or its rights.

    The fact that my views were misrepresented is no surprise. The author takes great liberty to read into my words his own thoughts and does not take he time to clarify anything with me but that is another weakness of those who distort the abortion issue. Another sad point is the following:

    ***but typically the woman’s part in this is reduced to that of a carrier, a shipping crate whose life is defined by motherhood – her dreams and aspirations relegated in order to satisfy a form of control***

    God made women to be the bearer of the children so if a woman has a problem with their role in life then they need to take it up with God not attack men. The rebellious spirit found in so many feminists and pro-abortion supporters is enormous. The problem is not with men but their own attitudes.

    The broad generalizations made in the above article do not help matters. Another thing that pro-abortion people do not understand is that rape and incest are a crime, women will be victims. It is impossible in this current world to do away with that fact. Get over it and stop whining. The baby is not the perpetrator here and in no way should pay with its life for a crime it did not commit. The people who are very wrong in this issue are the feminists and the pro-abortion groups.

    I am not saying that all pro-life people are right or doing right. They make their share of mistakes but the pro-abortion person should take note and instead of whining and complaining find a pro-life person who will provide real solutions to their problems without hurting the baby.

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    1. I don’t forget that men are involved. I acknowledgethat women are involved, something the pro-life side ignores, more or less completely. Women, despite being the ones most affected by pregnancy (in fact, the only ones, for men do not go through the physical, psychological and hormonal changes that affect women in pregnancy), are granted almost no say in what happens to their own bodies. Men do not die at childbirth – women can and do. Men can’t die because of complications during pregnancy – women can and do. Yet the decision-making (such as Trump’s famous picture of a bunch of men in his office) is made by men. So David, what say you to that?

      A man can rape a woman, which is the first step in denying the woman her reproductive rights, and then other men, and patriarchal thinking, will force her to keep the baby. So in one sense you’re right – a woman doesn’t have sole ownership on reproduction – she has none. Society has marginalised women on this issue, despite women being affected the most. What say you to this David?

      God made women to be the bearer of the children so if a woman has a problem with their role in life then they need to take it up with God not attack men. The rebellious spirit found in so many feminists and pro-abortion supporters is enormous. The problem is not with men but their own attitudes.

      Presumption of the superiority of your beliefs again. And this seems like a convienent excuse to dismiss men of their responsibilities. Women were not ‘made’ to be nothing more than vehicles for children. That’s using your faith to justify control over women – a form of misogyny. Sadly, since you are so completely entrenched in your religious views, I don’t believe there is any point in trying to get you to understand that.

      The broad generalizations made in the above article do not help matters. Another thing that pro-abortion people do not understand is that rape and incest are a crime, women will be victims. It is impossible in this current world to do away with that fact. Get over it and stop whining. The baby is not the perpetrator here and in no way should pay with its life for a crime it did not commit. The people who are very wrong in this issue are the feminists and the pro-abortion groups.

      Yes, rape is a crime – and women are the victims, and then they continue to be victims when they are forced to carry a permanent reminder of that assault on their bodies. You’re telling women to ‘get over it’?! That’s appalling – why not use your faith and influence to teach men not to rape, which would also have the effect of reducing the number of women who seek abortions? The baby is not the perpetrator true – but the woman didn’t ask to be placed into that situation and had her right to choose whether to even get pregnant taken away – something you are dismissing.

      Perhaps the pro-life side should, for once, stop trying to deny people their rights to good quality of life, and actually show they care beyond ‘push out baby’?

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  3. ****are granted almost no say in what happens to their own bodies.****

    the problem here is that when people have sex, they do not own their own bodies anymore. it is a biblical issue and you have commented or asked a question when I discussed this on my own site. Also, people forget that women do not own the body developing inside of them. They have no right nor permission to do it harm.

    **** Men do not die at childbirth – women can and do. Men can’t die because of complications during pregnancy – women can and do****

    so? Does this mean the baby has to die then instead of the women? You do realize female babies die and lose their rights to their bodies and reproductive rights.

    ****Yet the decision-making (such as Trump’s famous picture of a bunch of men in his office) is made by men. So David, what say you to that?****

    Not always but men do have to be involved because they are the fathers of the unborn child. women have no right nor permission to deprive men of their children.

    ****she has none.****

    who in their right minds would allow someone to murder?

    ****Presumption of the superiority of your beliefs again. ****

    You haven’t proven that women come from some other source than God and you have not proven that God does not exist or that he has not created women and men. it is not control over women but stopping them from committing murder and sin. Big difference

    ****That’s appalling – why not use your faith and influence to teach men not to rape, ****

    Actually I have. I have told men on different occasions to keep it in their pants. I have also scolded pastors on this issue. You forget that people have free choice and under the influence of evil. Your denial of evil renders you unable to handle this issue because you do not accept the source where rape comes from.

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    1. the problem here is that when people have sex, they do not own their own bodies anymore. it is a biblical issue and you have commented or asked a question when I discussed this on my own site. Also, people forget that women do not own the body developing inside of them. They have no right nor permission to do it harm.

      It’s only a Biblical issue to those of the Christian faith. When a zygote is growing in the mother’s body, sapping her strength and placing greater and greater strain on her body, do you not think she should have some say in what happens? Especially when she’s been raped, and denied the choice over whether or not to get pregnant? The moral message you’re sending here is – ‘get over it, the undeveloped life that was forcibly implanted in you takes precedent over you, a fully-fledged human being’. That’s actually ‘pro-life’ in a nutshell. And these decisions are made almost exclusively by men, which leads to the next point…

      Not always but men do have to be involved because they are the fathers of the unborn child. women have no right nor permission to deprive men of their children.

      The problem is that men almost exclusively make this decision on behalf of the woman who is affected far more than the man – even in cases of rape, where the woman’s right to decide who she has sex with has been violated, her freedom to make choices over her own body is denied. This is the point you don’t seem to understand. You claim to be pro-life, but you care nothing for the life of the mother.

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  4. ****Perhaps the pro-life side should, for once, stop trying to deny people their rights to good quality of life, and actually show they care beyond ‘push out baby’?****

    if you read my reply on my website, you would see I take them to task for that very thing. I agree that right to life people should get off the picket lines, stop with the fake abortion clinics and so on and get involved with those who can’t handle another child.

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    1. By suggesting women are meant to be carriers and dismissing the longer term ramifications of rape, you are not showing any interest in the life of the woman. That isn’t pro-life.

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  5. ****The baby is not the perpetrator true – but the woman didn’t ask to be placed into that situation and had her right to choose whether to even get pregnant taken away – something you are dismissing.****

    getting pregnant is not the sole choice of a woman. you seem to not understand what the term ‘crime’ means. No One asks to be a victim of a crime, yet it happens to them and they have to deal with the aftermath, why should women be given a pass on that?

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    1. If a woman is raped she has had NO choice in the matter and to subsequently force her to effectively relive that every moment of every day is cold-hearted and callous. Why do you not understand that?

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  6. ****By suggesting women are meant to be carriers and dismissing the longer term ramifications of rape, you are not showing any interest in the life of the woman. That isn’t pro-life.

    I can’t change life. You do not understand what pro-life means. You seem to define it as free from crime and that would be a gross distortion.

    ****If a woman is raped she has had NO choice in the matter and to subsequently force her to effectively relive that every moment of every day is cold-hearted and callous. Why do you not understand that?

    You do not understand that no one has choice when they are a victim of a crime except the criminal. you have not provided any sound reason for eliminating an innocent child from existence. You also forgot about the option of adoption if you do not want women remembering the crime but then women need to learn how to deal with rape just like everyone else has to when they are victims of a crime.

    ****It’s only a Biblical issue to those of the Christian faith. When a zygote is growing in the mother’s body, sapping her strength and placing greater and greater strain on her body, do you not think she should have some say in what happens?

    you have a very distorted view of reproduction and blame the innocent.

    ****Especially when she’s been raped, and denied the choice over whether or not to get pregnant? The moral message you’re sending here is – ‘get over it, the undeveloped life that was forcibly implanted in you takes precedent over you, a fully-fledged human being’. That’s actually ‘pro-life’ in a nutshell. And these decisions are made almost exclusively by men, which leads to the next point…

    you are not sending any moral message with your point of view. there is more involved her than just the woma but you seem to ignore their rights in your haste to grant women something they cannot have.

    ****The problem is that men almost exclusively make this decision on behalf of the woman who is affected far more than the man – even in cases of rape, where the woman’s right to decide who she has sex with has been violated, her freedom to make choices over her own body is denied. This is the point you don’t seem to understand. You claim to be pro-life, but you care nothing for the life of the mother.

    so you think the life of a mother is more important than anyone else and comes at the cost of another human being?

    you would be wrong in that assessment in the first sentence. You fail to grasp the concept of what is a crime.

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    1. At this point, I am wondering what the purpose is of this conversation. We are clearly approaching this from two very different perspectives, as we have done with virtually all of our past discussions. I will however, make one final attempt to understand your arguments, provided you are willing to make the attempt to understand mine.

      No one can change life, however I don’t define life as ‘free from crime’. What I don’t do is dismiss the impact of the crime upon the victim. You cannot fail to be aware of what a horrible, heinous crime rape is, whether an overt attack, or date-rape, or any non-consensual situation. Your suggestion to women that they should ‘learn to deal with it’ is one of the most shocking statements you have made in our history of discussions. I sincerely hope none of the women (and for that matter, none of the men) in your life ever go through it. My advice to you though, would be to speak to victims of rape – to gain a better understanding of what they have been through. Rape is not something someone can simply shrug off. You are correct in one sense – no one has a choice to be a victim of crime – but in the case of rape, and rape-induced pregnancies, the denial of choice is a fundamental one. It’s a direct violation of a woman’s body, and in forcing her to go through with the pregnancy, that violation continues. Adoption or not, the woman will be forever forced to live with not only the act of rape, but the knowledge of what happened after. I cannot pretend to understand what sort of psychological scars that would leave someone with, and I would never dismiss that by saying they should ‘learn to deal with it’.

      You say I blame the innocent – in what way do I blame the innocent? I don’t blame the zygote developing inside the woman, but I don’t blame the woman either. I don’t hold her accountable to a life-altering circumstance because she was violated. I don’t pretend her life is a non-factor in all this, like you do – you haven’t offered a single explanation was to why the woman’s life should be so irrevocably changed – all her hopes and dreams and aspirations dashed (with those decisions being made by men), all because a man raped her. Why do women have so little worth in the eyes of the pro-life camp? Their lives – the lives of a fully developed human being (as opposed, if you will pardon the biological assessment – a collection of cells) mean nothing to pro-lifers, so pro-lifers aren’t really pro-life at all. They are pro-life when it suits them.

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