By pohutu, cross-posted from threewisewomen
When you’re in a defensive crouch in the face of those on the march
against reproductive rights, you can find you wake up one day to
discover they’ve seized big swaths of ground that you’d never really
even thought about defending. Perhaps because you never thought the
ground was yours in the first place. Or perhaps because you’d simply
never really thought about it.
One of those swaths of ground is love. Yes, don’t be shocked: love. Abortion and love.
Anti-abortionists began their assault on the ‘love’ ground decades
ago: God loves you and your baby; we love you and your baby; we are the
ones who love; you are the ones who hate and kill. Opposing abortion was
the ‘loving’ position to take. For a while, this love-focus was
directed primarily at the fetus. Save the life of the unborn child. We
want to force you to continue an unwanted pregnancy because we love
babies, we love your baby, we love children.
But if you really were doing this for love, how could you tell a
woman that she was a murderer, a killer? How could you scream
obscenities at her on a picket outside a clinic? Being all about love,
and being so cruel to pregnant women wasn’t a good look. So, in recent
years, there’s been an increased focus on the woman, with a lot of anti
energy going into making the case that abortion hurts women. Now, it’s
that we want to force you to continue this pregnancy not just because we
love ‘the baby’, but because we love you, too.
In a culture that reveres mother-love, it’s easy to see abortion as
anything but an act of love, and so we on the pro-choice side just gave
away the ‘love’ ground without really even realizing it was there,
without really even thinking about it.
Let’s take it back: “Abortion as an act of love.” Does that statement
shock you? Does it seem a radical thing to say? If it does, why? If it
doesn’t, hey, you get it. Abortion as an act of love. How could that
possibly work? What could that possibly mean?
Just as there are as many reasons for having a child as there are
women who have children, there are as many reasons for having an
abortion as women who have abortions. Is every birth an act of love? Is
every abortion its opposite? Let’s say you were unhappily pregnant and
forced to give birth against your will (what anti-abortion advocates,
out of ‘love’, want to make a reality). Would that birth be an act of
love? Let’s say you had three children, lived in poverty, became
pregnant and for the sake of your children, had an abortion. Would that
abortion be an act of love? Let’s say you were 13 and pregnant and
wanted an abortion. Your mother arranged it for you. Would your mother’s
act be an act of love?
Abortion can be love just as motherhood can be love. Abortion might
not be an act of love – coerced abortions, for example; motherhood might
not be an act of love – coerced motherhood, for example. Or, an
abortion might be simply a raw need. It might be desperation. It might
be a mistake. It might be a million other things. And one of the those
things is love: Abortion as an act of love.
is part of a week of Pro-Choice Postings hosted here at The Hand Mirror
starting on Friday 28th October 2011. For an index of all the posts,
being updated as they go up, please check the Pro-Choice Postings index. And if you'd like to submit a post for cross-posting, guest posting or linking to please email firstname.lastname@example.org.