Stop Talking About Abortion

Earlier tonight, Jessica made a really good point about feminism and abortion: NOW’s insistence on making abortion not only its immediate concern but also its grand selling point is hurting the feminist movement, in particular making it less appealing to young women.

In the US, abortion has been legal for 33 years. Do you know a movement that succeeded by reminding people of its past successes? Me neither. The constant threat to Roe vs. Wade helps keep committed members inside, but it doesn’t convince anyone who isn’t already part of the movement.

Fear-based appeals don’t work. They’re a staple of boundedness-oriented egalitarians, but most people aren’t egalitarians. Telling young women that if they don’t support NOW their right to abort will be revoked won’t make them support NOW; it’ll make them shrug feminism off as a relic of the past. If you don’t believe me, ask Kilgore how successful he was at running for Virginia Governor by telling everyone his anti-death penalty opponent wouldn’t have executed Hitler.

To succeed, movements have to constantly reinvent themselves. In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan didn’t talk about women’s right to vote, but demonstrated that women’s rights had been slipping over the ten previous years, and raised the issues of education and work. 1960s American liberalism moved on from public works and social security to Medicare and civil rights.

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to say it for a while, but the Democratic Party should under no circumstances bring up judicial nominations as a campaign issue in this election. Telling people “Vote Democratic so that Bush won’t overturn Roe vs. Wade” won’t get a single pro-choice voter to the polls or convince a single undecided; it’ll energize the activist base, but the activist base already supports the party.

It’s the same with the feminist movement: American women make 62 cents on the male dollar, are subjected to serious job discrimination, and are told to do nothing but raise kids while the government refuses to support them financially. If NOW really can’t rile people up with employment discrimination and sexual harassment, it should get the hell out of the way of a more serious feminist organization that can.

8 Responses to Stop Talking About Abortion

  1. ausblog says:

    Over 3,500 terminations per day, 1.3 MILLION per year in the United States alone.
    50 or 60 MILLION per year World Wide.

    I am a pro-lifer who has no religious convictions at all . I didn’t need the fear of god or anything else to come to my decision, just a good sense of what is right and wrong.
    You see we were all once a fetus. Is it beyond the realm of possibilities that when your mother first learned she was carrying you, she may have considered her options? What if she had decided to terminate? Would that have been OK?
    You would not exist, if you have children they would not exist, and your (husband or wife) would be married to someone else. You would have been deprived of all your experiences and memories. In this day and age with terminations being so readily available and so many being carried out, if you make it to full term
    you can consider yourself lucky. Lucky you had a mother that made the choice of life for you. Don’t you think they all deserve the same basic human right, LIFE?
    I’m all for contraception, prevention is certainly better than termination.
    Did you know you can get an implant that is safe, 99.9% effective, and lasts for three years? Just think girls not even a show for three years, wouldn’t that be great? I think too many people rely too heavily on the last option (abortion), I think if abortions weren’t so readily available people would manage their reproductive system far better resulting in a fraction of the number of unwanted pregnancies.
    World wide there are over 50 MILLION aborted pregnancies each year. In America 3,500 terminations carried out every day, that’s over 1.3 million every year, 50% of all cases claimed that birth control had been used, 48% admitted they took no precaution, and 2% had a medical reason. That’s a staggering 98% that may have been prevented had an effective birth control been used. Don’t get me wrong, I suspect the percentages in Australia would be much the same.
    Just a lot of unnecessary killing.

    At the point of conception is when life began for you. This was the start of your existence. Your own personal big bang. Three weeks after conception heart started to beat. First brain waves recorded at six weeks after conception. Seen sucking thumb at seven weeks after conception.

    I am convinced that in the not too distant future, people will look back at many of the practices of today with disbelief and horror.


  2. ausblog says:

    Want to know how to find humanity-?

    True humanity can only be achieved by concidering others/caring about others as much as,if not more than yourself.

    Then and only then could we call ourselves a -Civilisation-

  3. SLC says:

    Re Ausblog

    Ausblog is missing the point. The question is whether abortions should be made illegal. Making them illegal will not stop abortions; before abortion was legalized in the US, there were an estimated 800,000 illegal abortions caried out every year. The only problem is that many of them were carried out by back alley practitioners using coat hangers and resulting in many complications and deaths. Many of the f****** born agains in the US calling for abortions to be made illegal again also want abortion practitioners subject to the death penalty and women getting abortions subjef to long jail terms. Ausblog should address himself/herself to these issues, rather then pontificating on moral subjects.

  4. gordo says:

    I think ausblog is a bot. That same comment appears on at least a dozen other blogs.

    As for what the Democrats ought to be talking about, I think it should be national security and the war on terror. And whenever possible, other issues should be tied to that one.

    On almost every other issue, Democrats are more popular than Republicans. So to win, they have to reassure voters that they are concerned about terrorism, and that they do have a plan to safeguard America.

    When the issue of the economy comes up, Democrats should point out that the security and military structures require a lot of money to maintain. A strong nation requires a strong economy.

    Democrats will just have to accept the fact that people are not going to be distracted from the security issue.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    Well, it’s not just national security; it’s important to both project strength there and attack Republicans elsewhere. That’s why I suggested immigration as a wedge issue to split the conservative base. I wouldn’t have even mentioned abortion here as a purely Democratic thing, seeing as how Democrats are waffling on that issue; I meant it more in the context of movement feminism.

  6. ausblog says:

    I’m 98% pro-life and 2% pro-choice, though the 2% didn’t come easy.

    World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.

    Over 3,500 per day / Over 1.3 million per year in America alone.

    50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

    A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

    And 2% had medical reasons.

    That means a staggering 98% may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.

    Australia (with a population of 20 million) terminated over 100 thousand young people last year. I’ve done the figures and Australia do more per head.

    Abortion has got to be by far the Mother of all holocausts, the most extensive crime against humanity the world has ever seen.

    Though it pains me to say it but, there may always be a need for the 2% medical reasons and such, but that’s all.

    So how do we get the other 98% to be responsible……………….

    How do we get them to be honest with themselves, about when life begins.

    egg+sperm = human being

    Sadly many prefer to have an occasional abortion over using birth control, they have all kinds of reasons, each of them selfish.

    Then there’s the christian impossition,(all a bit talibanish), and their men in high places.(church and state should never entwine) their stance against b/c has only added to the numbers.

    Sanity must provale, abortions should remain available and safe to the 2% and such and the rest need to have a good look at themselves and get their act together.

    I’d like to see effective birth control made available to all who can’t afford it.

    People have to stop using abortion as birth control…..

    If you think the point of conception is NOT when life begins, and all you have is a clump of cells and not a living human being.
    Then at least concider this –

    Soon after you were conceived you were no more than a clump of cells.
    This clump of cells was you at your earliest stage, you had plenty of growing to do but this clump of cells was you none the less. Think about it.
    Aren’t you glad you were left unhindered to develope further.
    Safe inside your mother’s womb until you were born.

  7. Kendra says:

    I recently had to make the most difficult decision of my life, a decision to terminate my pregnancy. I spent many long nights, 2 months, considering my options and my circumstance. I had been your average 21 year old before, partying, drinking, not eating as well as I should. When I found out I was pregnant, those were my first thoughts: the damage that had already been done during crucial formative moments in an embryo’s development due to my own actions & health. The doctors assured me that many women drink socially before they realize they’re pregnant, however, making sure that I understood that fetal defects may not show up until the 16th week at the earliest, and sometimes not until birth or cognitive and behavioral development as a child, and there’s really no way to know for sure. I did not “socially” drink, I drank tequila from the moment I got off work until I passed out at night. I smoked pot & cigarettes every day. I ate fast food and tubs of chocolate icing. Obviously this is not a healthy state for me, nor was it a healthy place to gestate a being. Besides the obvious physical concerns, my economic situation is dire, and my emotional health obviously not exactly par. My mother passed away 2 summers ago, after a long painful battle with strokes, heart disease and digestive problems, after I had quit school to care for her to keep her out of a nursing home. I’m not proud of the way I’ve chosen to self-medicate my pain, but at least the only person I’m hurting is me. When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately stopped drinking and smoking, but obviously stressed over what had already been done. Once again, my doctors made it clear that frequently problems are not found until after birth, when you’ve condemned another human being to suffer through “life” because of your actions. I made the decision to terminate out of the deepest love I have ever known, even trumping me and my siblings decision to bring our mother home to pass peacefully without putting her on an operating table with a 20% chance of survival. I am sure that my decision was right for me, my heart tells me so. My soul knows that the soul that was planning on coming in as my first child has now gone back to the light and love of eternal existence, instead of a stress-filled, possibly unhealthy “life” on federal aid without a positive father figure. If it’s meant to be, I believe that soul will come back to me, but I can’t see my decision as murder. I see it as making a very unselfish choice to prepare a better life for the dear soul that will come to me as my first child. It is not a choice that is taken lightly. By the way, GET OUT OF MY UTERUS!

  8. Lyndis says:

    They’re right you know. It’s not a question whether the baby is alive at conception. We know it’s alive at conception. That’s a fact in every sense of the word medical scientific religious or otherwise. It’s simply not a real problem in the debate.

    But the problem of illegal abortions replacing them is real.

    But I’m going to be brutally honest with you people: If someone doesn’t qualify for an abortion, because it’s not as much as a danger as they think it is.

    Why do we even care if they hurt themselves trying to get around the law? They murdered someone. This someone was defenseless and entirely in their control and responsibility.

    They can face the consequences and we should not have to be guilt tripped over their own mistakes. Can they not? Regardless of what people dramatize things to be, unless you hide behind religion to defy logic (Which like it or not is not an acceptable argument), death is the worst thing that can happen to you. This is logic. This is fact, unless you’re in a Hollywood movie.

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