apolitically correct

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post: "Whatever abortion may be, it cannot be simply a matter of privacy."

I've never had the luxury of seeing abortion as just a matter of sexual freedom - this may have more to do with my Catholic upbringing than I normally like to admit. I've never been able to think of abortion as something that affects only me. In my junior year of high school (ironically the most feminist year of my life, probably), when peers were getting pregnant or starting to think about what they'd do if they did, I shied from any potentially damning sexual activity because my fear of facing that choice was so strong. Back then, it
was still a matter of choice for me - albeit choice that was part of a package deal: scot-free life, and a one-way ticket to hell.

Fast-forward to twenty-land: done with school, employed full-time, insured. Gifted, truly, with love, comfort and security - and completely stripped of any "good" reasons to terminate an unintended pregnancy. This scared the crap out of me when it first occurred to me. What was I thinking back then - that God would be more lenient because I still had to finish high school? Because my ultra-conservative parents would never stop being ashamed of me? Whatever - 27 is not 17, I am out of poorly-reasoned excuses for why it might be okay. And thank God for that.

I'm not sure I can completely swallow the notion of abortion rights as simply "[women's] right to have sex with men they don't want to have children with" - it doesn't begin to touch the legitimate questions raised by rape or other situations where the absence of choice is present. And I do not know - is Ann Coulter's sarcasm borne of religion or politics? What's survived of my Roman Catholicism isn't coexisting so well with my politics ... and MUST I refer to it as politics?

My search for a bottom line has led me to a fledgling one at best: I believe in the Constitution; I believe in liberty and justice (for all). I believe life begins at conception. I know what I'd do if I wedged myself between a rock and the hardest place I could imagine. Therefore my pro-life actions would in a way belie my pro-choice "politics," for which my church would condemn me to hell.

God, not religion; principles, not politics.


PG said...

I've been discussing what might happen if the constitutional right to abortion is invalidated lately. I don't think I would have an abortion -- I think, I don't presume to know what I'd really feel if I were in some of the situations that others face, such as rape, poverty, pre-existing physical and mental conditions, a fatally deformed fetus, etc. -- but I also realize that I have so many privileges that others do not, and forcing them to make decisions in their circumstances based on what I would do in mine strikes me as incredibly arrogant and wrong.

damned_cat said...

thank you for putting a human face on what involves not only conflicting state regulations but most importantly the well-being of actual people.

among other things, one issue that prevents me for the time being from being more vocal about any facet of roe is exactly that to wear any badge of opinionation, one must assume they WOULD know what they'd feel in that situation. some do know, some feel it's irrelevant. because principles override personal circumstances ... and all that.