Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

10/12/2006 (11:51 am)

At the Root of the Abortion Debate

Don’t know why I was thinking about this today, but here it is.

The legalization of abortion in the United States began as a need for women to avoid irresponsible men. Women who perceived themselves to have been abused or victimized by men, took radical action to prevent that from happening again. Since the point at which women are most vulnerable is when they’re pregnant — when they’re most in need of support and protection, and least able to provide it for themselves — freedom from irresponsible men meant the ability to absolutely control pregnancy. Birth control was not enough, because no birth control is foolproof. Abortion was necessary. With birth control and legal abortion, no women need ever be a victim.

While I don’t approve of women killing their children, and would prefer some solution to bad men mistreating women that runs short of aborting kids, I can at least understand the impulse. At least some of the perceived victimization was undoubtedly real, and probably more horrific than I care to examine.

What came next, though, I cannot understand.

What came next was that a huge percentage of the population that cared very little about the victimization of women jumped on board the abortion ship. These people had discovered that a life free of moral restrictions on sex was a lot easier than a morally coherent life. They’d decided to live as though it was ok to seduce and bed anybody they liked, whenever they liked, and devised rationalizations to explain why they accepted no responsibility for the consequences. To these folks, abortion was the perfect solution to the unfortunate, unintended consequence of their behavior called “a new human life”. If there existed an inviolable, morally imperitive right to abort one’s children, then they could screw with abandon, and never be forced to alter their lives to raise the resulting children.

The irony of this is of epic proportions; it reads like a Greek tragedy. The women who desired protection from irresponsible men chose a mechanism that was seized by those same irresponsible men, and opened a floodgate of irresponsibility that ultimately victimized women orders of magnitude more frequently. The legacy of legalized abortion is women pressured into abortions by boyfriends, husbands, and parents, women living for decades in a fog of post-traumatic stress after multiple abortions, women experiencing infertility and other health issues as a result of abortions, and a culture in which men cannot be persuaded to commit to women, protect them, and raise families. And because of that culture, women who choose not to abort their ill-conceived children have to raise them alone, because the men accept no responsibility for the children they’ve sired. The single, largest impoverished group in America is single women with children, thanks to the culture of sexual irresponsibility.

No, it’s not about “choice.” That’s just a marketing slogan, like “pro-life” is a marketing slogan. It was never about “choice.” The same people who insist on an absolute “freedom of choice” on this topic, are not nearly so adamant about protecting the freedoms to choose, say, to whom they might rent their apartment, or where they’re going to send their kids to school, or whether they can shop at Wal-Mart or drive a Hummvee. No, it’s not about choice: it’s about independence from men (for the feminists among us), and it’s about living as though sexual conduct needs no restraint.

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