Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice

I've been on the reproductive rights/justice beat a long time and I can't make up my mind. Are fetus freaks really really stupid or really really deluded?

I realize these are not mutually exclusive. Also that some in the antichoice movement, especially the leadership, are decidedly neither, but rather prey on the ignorance and gullibility of their followers to make a living.

But in the main, I just can't decide. Are more of them dumb than demented? Or the other way around?

Current case in point: The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, to give it its complete title, is a woman named Ilyse Hogue. She's an interesting person as demonstrated by this Washington Post profile.

She's also pregnant with twins due in July.

This fact is making tiny heads in Fetus Nation explode. From the WaPo piece:
The reaction beyond NARAL, however, has been much more complicated, Hogue says. “There is this whole mentality that anyone who fights for the rights that we fight for must hate children and not want to parent,” she says. “So to have the leader of a reproductive rights organization — an abortion rights organization — show up pregnant, it’s just jaw-dropping.”

At one point, she says, she walked into a hearing on Capitol Hill and an antiabortion advocate looked at her swollen belly and asked, “Is that real?”

“As though I actually had strapped on a prosthetic baby bump to wear to a hearing for some reason,” recalls Hogue, who is due in early July. “It’s like, ‘What don't you get about choice meaning choice?’ ”
The gals at our own astroturf front for Focus on the Family can't get their heads around it either. Here's one of them quoting a pro-choice writer, then commenting.

Given the information she had at the time, given the fact that she was so close to finishing school, and given MY secular, liberal worldview… I have no doubt at all that if I had been my mother, there would have been no me.
Something to consider, isn’t it? Yet the writer seems to remain pro-choice.
If one is drunk enough to argue with them, inevitably one of them pulls out the Ultimate Anti-Choice Gotcha: "Well, what if your mother aborted you? What about that? Huh? What would you think about that? Huh?"

Answer: Precisely nothing.

So our beleaguered USian cousins have picked up this (foul) ball and are running with it.

They've begun a campaign that refocusses the pro-choice message into Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice,
The media and others often depict the pro-choice movement as having a political “agenda” equivalent though oppositional to that of the anti-choice movement, which seeks to eliminate access to abortion care, in all circumstances, as well as to contraception and other forms of reproductive health care, irrespective of the consequences for public health or women’s lives.

But what is the pro-choice “agenda?” Is it really just about ideology? And what is so surprising about being pro-choice and pregnant?

Being pro-choice is fundamentally about parenting, because it means believing, as the international women’s rights movement has long stated, that every child should be a wanted child, and that, by extension, that every parent is a willing parent.
Part of the campaign is a new Tumblr that is collecting great stories from prochoice parents.

Maybe someday I'll make up my mind on the stupid v. delusional question.

But not today.

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