Via Media

Via Media


Told Ya, Redux

posted by awelborn

Katha Pollitt of the Nation responds to Will Saletan in "Pro-Choice Puritans."

The trouble with thinking in terms of zero abortions is that you make abortion so hateful you do the antichoicers’ work for them. You accept that the zygote/embryo/fetus has some kind of claim to be born. You start making madonna-whore distinctions. In the New York Times Magazine Eyal Press, a contributing writer to this magazine, writes of his father, a heroically brave and dedicated abortion doctor: "Had the women…been free-love advocates for whom the procedure seemed a mere matter of convenience, he would not have been so angry" at the antichoice protesters who hounded him and his patients. Why not? Because a sexy single woman should suffer for not suffering? Nobody’s proposing the walk of shame for men who don’t or won’t use condoms, or stern lectures for them in the clinic waiting room either.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(17)
post a comment
Jon W

posted January 26, 2006 at 5:29 pm


Nobody’s proposing the walk of shame for men who don’t or won’t use condoms, or stern lectures for them in the clinic waiting room either.
Pardon my French, but merde du taureau.
I know any number of people who’d volunteer for this duty in a New York minute, with a baseball bat and a truckload of enthusiasm.



report abuse
 

Dan

posted January 26, 2006 at 5:38 pm


“You start making madonna-whore distinctions.”
In other words it outrages her to suggest that sex has meaning and consequences, one of which might be the creation of new life.



report abuse
 

Dan

posted January 26, 2006 at 5:48 pm


At the end of the Pollitt article there is this: “If you like this article, consider making a donation to The Nation.” For the sake of balance, to this they should add: If you don’t like the article, consider making a donation to your local pro-life pregnancy counseling center.



report abuse
 

Cheryl

posted January 26, 2006 at 6:09 pm


“…You accept that the zygote/embryo/fetus has some kind of claim to be born…”
Um, yeah, Katha.
I’d say that’s kind of it in a nutshell.



report abuse
 

Laura(southernxyl)

posted January 26, 2006 at 7:08 pm


What an extraordinary article. Pollitt actually disapproves of a woman who is careful to use birth control because she doesn’t want to get pregnant.
It must be really painful to see the tide turning against you.



report abuse
 

Laura(southernxyl)

posted January 26, 2006 at 8:18 pm


To clarify: I meant that Pollitt is seeing the tide turning against her.



report abuse
 

Anonymous Teacher Person

posted January 26, 2006 at 11:03 pm


I do think she may be onto something with this comment:
“Assuming opinion hasn’t drastically changed, most Americans think women should be denied abortions for the reasons the vast majority of procedures are performed. They think women should carry unwanted children to term, even if they can’t support them, have no partner, have to drop out of school, shortchange their other children or can’t cope emotionally. Now, maybe those respondents don’t really want abortion to be illegal so much as they want to express their disapproval.”
The last sentence strikes me as perceptive, but then, I am a pessimist this week.



report abuse
 

Emily

posted January 27, 2006 at 8:43 am


I’d have to agree with Katha that considerably more moral censure is typically directed at the woman than at the man.



report abuse
 

adjuration

posted January 27, 2006 at 10:09 am


“I’d have to agree with Katha that considerably more moral censure is typically directed at the woman than at the man.”
True, but natural, since I’d guess the man’s family, friends, and acquaintances are rarely aware that one of his children has been aborted.
The moral censure belongs up front – on men and women sleeping together outside of wedlock – and equal censure on both. How much of that do we get these days?
As for moral censure on married men and women who abort their children, well, those aren’t the kinds of couples I generally invite over for dinner in the first place, so they get equal treatment.



report abuse
 

adjuration

posted January 27, 2006 at 10:15 am


Anonymous Teacher Person,
“‘Now, maybe those respondents don’t really want abortion to be illegal so much as they want to express their disapproval.’
The last sentence strikes me as perceptive, but then, I am a pessimist this week.”
This sounds like the old “Abortion should be illegal except in the case of rape, incest and me.” I hear some people talk that way, but not as many as I used to. Cheer up! Maybe the tide really is turning as Laura(southernxyl) says and there is cause for optimism.



report abuse
 

Gerard E.

posted January 27, 2006 at 10:36 am


What jolly fun. The pro-choicers are sniping among one another. They lost the intellectual, moral, and medical battles (sonograms, etc.) eons ago. Now they battle among themselves as to who is the most pro-choiciest. Let’s just stand back and watch them go kablooey. Deo Gratias.



report abuse
 

Loudon is a Fool

posted January 27, 2006 at 1:01 pm


Interesting that the polls she cites indicating that a majority of Americans believe that being poor, slutty, lazy or emotional is not an excuse to kill somebody are from 1989. Is this because, after seeing that a majority of Americans don’t support the majority of abortions, pollers stopped asking those questions? Or because in the intervening years public support for abortions in those situations has declined even further?



report abuse
 

magda

posted January 27, 2006 at 4:52 pm


The reason that men escape censure is not because pro-life people are making Madonna/Whore distinctions or whatnot, it’s because abortion allows pregnancy to be invisible. It enables MEN to engage in thoughtless sex. As one man who tried to pressure me into having sex said when I tried to be good and talk about consequences of sex–like pregnancy–said to me, “well, you can always have an abortion, right?” I was vehemently pro-choice at the time–having had an abortion myself a couple of years before–but I was still taken aback by the way the possibility of easy abortions allowed HIM, not me, to simply not think about consequences. I knew the consequences, abortion allowed him to be oblivious.
Abortion encourages men to use women for sex. Abortion takes any moral censure that a man might get for an unwanted pregnancy completely away.
Sorry if this got off-topic



report abuse
 

Donald R. McClarey

posted January 27, 2006 at 6:06 pm


“Abortion encourages men to use women for sex. Abortion takes any moral censure that a man might get for an unwanted pregnancy completely away.
Sorry if this got off-topic”
I can think of nothing more on topic. Bravo!



report abuse
 

Laura(southernxyl)

posted January 27, 2006 at 7:11 pm


Not only does abortion encourage men to use women for sex, it enables incest and statutory rape. It is hard to understand how a woman who calls herself a feminist (and under certain circumstances I do) could want to hide the fact that somebody messed with a 13- or 14-year-old girl. And help that somebody cover it up. Help them.



report abuse
 

Ubi_deficiunt

posted January 28, 2006 at 11:37 pm


“Nobody’s proposing the walk of shame for men who don’t or won’t use condoms, or stern lectures for them in the clinic waiting room either.”
Curious – I’ve often wondered how the pro-abortion crowd recognizes men as active participants in conception, and yet their responsibility mysteriously disappears during preganancy, only to re-emerge conveniently when the fetus magically becomes a baby.
To acknowledge that men are being “let off the hook” for their part in creating the “fetus” is to tacitly acknowledge that they are equal agents during pregnancy, which is to affirm that no decision can be made concerning the “fetus” without the consent of the “sperm donor”. So much for keep your laws off my body.
Pro-abortionists can’t have it both ways. Either paternity is a myth and men have neither rights nor duties to the product of the woman’s preganancy, or both man and woman remain co-equal agents in the life of the child, from conception through the child’s majority.
I’m waiting for the day when some brave nit-wit challenges his child support because he didn’t have the “choice” to abort the child. If the pro-abortion crowd has an ounce of consistency (not likely), then they would be forced to come to said nit-wit’s defense.



report abuse
 

Emily

posted January 29, 2006 at 9:27 am


Ubi–
Acknowledging that men are equal agents with women in bringing about the pregnancy does not lead directly to the conclusion that “no decision can be made concerning the ‘fetus’ without the consent of the ‘sperm donor’”.
For most people who are pro-choice, the nine months of the pregnancy are a special situation where the woman has a vastly differential physical burden, which leads to her having a differential perogative of decision-making during that time.
You treat their position as being obviously incoherent. I don’t see it that way.
People who are pro-choice will not be motivated to take you or your arguments seriously if you can’t extend some degree of respectful and charitable interpretation to their beliefs–i.e., see their beliefs as other than obviously moronic.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as on

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.