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View Diary: Despite What Forced Birthers Claim, Pro-Choice Means Defending the Choice NOT to Have An Abortion (123 comments)

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  •  I have a friend who fought her daughter's (15+ / 0-)

    decision to abort. I was surprised because she is adamantly pro-choice. Knowing that, I was careful to keep criticism out of my voice when I asked her why she fought her college-age daughter's decision. She said that she supports the right of women to choose but that she would never choose abortion for herself or anyone in her family. She was prepared to stand by her daughter during her pregnancy by helping her get all the prenatal care she might need and supporting her if she could no longer attend school (she was on scholarship). She hoped that after carrying a baby to term, her daughter would choose to keep the baby, but would help her give up the baby for adoption if, after the birth, the daughter still didn't want the baby.

    I admit being conflicted over her response, but overall, I think I respect her even more for opposing abortion for herself and her family while demanding that it remain an available option for all women.

    (In case you're curious, the daughter did abort and my friend went with her to care for her; her daughter may not have honored her wishes, but she stood by her anyway.)

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:15:18 PM PST

    •  I am glad the mom stood by her (5+ / 0-)

      But it is hypocritical to say, "I support choice unless it affects someone I actually know," which is what her stance boils down to.

      History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

      by stormicats on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:48:10 PM PST

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    •  if her daughter were college aged, at that time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, chimene

      she was an adult.  So the parent's objection would have been seen as pro forma
      (BTW my adult daughter came to me when she found she was carrying her third and I, for a multitude of reasons, advised her to keep the baby.  It turned out to be a fortunate choice for her and one of the few times I actually gave good advice as a parent)

    •  I don't respect her attitude. NOT pro-chocie. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, chimene, coquiero, splashy, filkertom

      It is one thing to reject abortion for oneself--but she wanted to take that decision away from her daughter who was a legal adult and able to make that chocuie herself. I AM glad she stood by her.

      I am not sure my parents would have stood by  me if I  had gotten pregnant. The one time I thought I was at 23,  I decided to abort without telling them.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:04:05 PM PST

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      •  Oh please (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, chimene, happymisanthropy, 1BQ

        Being pro-choice doesn't mean I think abortion is morally right in all circumstances. But it DOES mean that I get to make the morally right or morally wrong choice when it comes to ME.

        As a parent it's my job to teach my kids MY morals.

        As a parent of daughters I'd do exactly the same thing. We support them HAVING a choice, but we are under no obligation to agree with the actual choice they make. Sometimes it is enough to understand that at least they won't be choosing to get maimed or murdered in a back ally. THAT is why we are pro-choice.

        That doesn't make me anti-choice. It makes me one of those people who believe that abortion should be safe and it should be rare. You can only legislate one. The other one happens as a result of many cultural pressure points (which the forced birthers have yet to discover or appreciate.)

        •  I think the woman above is slightly hypocritical. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Munchkn, chimene, sngmama, coquiero, Naniboujou

          I DO think she is weakly pro-choice. I have a best friend who is similar--we have agreed to disagree. I DOknwo she'd have made the same decision your friend did and supported her daughter if one of them had chosen abortion. Their father? The self-righteous Catholic Republican who likes to visit prostitutes and blames his wife for hsi infidelity? He'd likely throw her out on the street.

          And who said I would disagree about a parent's right to teach her children her morals? Yoru kid, you teach 'em. But I ALSO get to disagree with you--first amendment and all that.  And legally you don't get to force them to have an abortion--nor should you be able to force them NOT to have one, unless the girl truly is a child.

          I think women have abortions for reasons that seem moral to them--and most likely to me.  Too young? Moral to me. Unable to care for another child? Moral.  Need to finish school so you can afford to have a baby? Moral. Unable to face single motherhood with no support network? Moral.

          Safe legal and rare is an ideal. It would be much better if every pregnancy were wanted or planned. As a defensible position, it  ONLY works  if you accept the reality that people who aren't married or in a stable position to raise a child WILL have sex--and not all of them will use or afford birth control.  Unless birth control is free and available to teenagers and young women--and the Catholic church is doing its best to make sure that never happens (which is why I left it 40+ years ago).

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:53:23 PM PST

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        •  THIS is my point, that my friend supports all (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk

          women having a choice, even if she disagreed with her daughter's. Parents can disagree with their grown children's choices even while they demand that they be given that choice.

          I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

          by 1BQ on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:38:43 PM PST

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          •  Yes but the notion that she disagrees with it for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            splashy, marykk

            herself AND her family is the problem.  There's a strong element of coercion there when you add the "And family" bit.  You may not see it, but I do--because I had Catholic parents who would NOT have supported that decision. They wanted abortion legal--but not for me.

            I chose not to have kids.  But if I had, I'd have sat down and discussed birth control and sex frankly--I know I'd do this because when I was in college I had a surrogate  "little sister" with whom I had this discussion and told her flatout that if she became sexually active, she needed at least to use condoms for STIs as well as birth control--but the Pill was a better choice for pregnancy prevention.  This was 71, BEFORE ROe, so we didn't discuss abortion--but after 73, I'd have held her hand if she needed one.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:25:07 PM PST

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            •  I guess you didn't read my original comment. Even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Naniboujou

              though she didn't want her daughter to have an abortion, when her daughter insisted, my friend not only paid for the procedure, she took her daughter to the doctor's office and stayed with her. She overcame, or disregarded, her own objections in order to support her daughter. I think that's admirable, although I would have preferred that she not object to begin with.

              I think that family, and even friends, have the right to hold their own opinions and to voice them. They just don't have the right to prevent a woman from exercising her own right to a safe, legal abortion. But no one is obligated to support a woman's decision to abort. Although we'd like everyone to be pro-choice and open-minded about exercising that choice, that's not the world we live in. We'll keep working on that :-)

              I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

              by 1BQ on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:14:03 PM PST

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              •  I read the comment. (0+ / 0-)

                I stand by what I said.  There is still a strong element of coercion in it when she said she was fine with abortions for others but not for her AND HER FAMILY. Yes, she changed her mind in the end. But in her mind she still had the right to make the decision for her family as well as herself.

                I tend to think family and friends should keep their opinions to themselves unless they are requested. I will assume the daughter requested the opinion.

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:02:52 AM PST

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            •  I had catholic parents too (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Naniboujou, Ahianne

              There is a difference between accepting someone's choice and condoning it.

              There are not degrees of being prochoice depending on one's enthusiasm for choosing abortion. Or on their quickness to label every reason for abortion as morally right.

              I'd be exactly as this mother. It is much easier to be prochoice when you're not ever put to the test. When real life hands you a test such as a daughter getting pregnant when she doesn't want to be...well, that is when you EARN your prochoice badge. This mother definitely did. Had the daughter given the child up for adoption against her mother's wish but the mother stayed with her in the hospital and delivery...same thing.

              Acceptance of our ability to choose for ourselves is ALL that is required for labeling ourselves prochoice. Kudos to anyone whose belief in this is tested in real life and comes through it even when their heart is breaking.

              •  I was put to the test. (0+ / 0-)

                I knew my parents and I chose to go it alone. Becuase I KNEW what their reactions to be. I knew because a close friend got pregnant and put the baby up for asoption. They approved heartily. They did NOT approve at all when I told them I'd accompanied another friend back in 70 to get the early version of Plan B--basically the Pill with instructions.  My father was very inflexible, and he would not have forgiven me. Hell when I was 29 and chose to marry a divorced man without getting the church approval and was married out of the church--even though I hadn't been a Catholic for years--he almost didn't forgive THAT.

                Have YOU ever had to make the choice for yourself?

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:06:39 AM PST

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    •  The thing is, why does she think her family (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, filkertom

      Decisions should be made by her?

      We are all separate people. Only the person that is pregnant should make the decision, since they will bear the costs.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:54:36 PM PST

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      •  The point I was trying to make and failed. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy, filkertom, marykk

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:25:38 PM PST

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        •  Yes, I saw that after my comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          Only those that will bear the costs should make decisions regarding their lives.

          Otherwise, it's slavery - when someone else who won't bear the costs makes the decisions for them.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:55:49 PM PST

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