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...for visiting the Blog of the Nonviolent Choice Directory.

We feature commentary but most of all action alerts on the same positive, abortion-reducing measures we cover in the Directory.

These measures include post abortion healing; male responsibility; comprehensive sexual/reproductive health education; all voluntary pregnancy prevention methods, plus rape and incest prevention & treatment; and life-affirming ways to get through crisis pregnancy and beyond.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

News Flash! Amanda Marcotte Knows My True Motives and I Don't Have a Clue!!

At RH Reality Check, blogger Amanda Marcotte asks what for her is apparently a rhetorical question, with the preset answer a big giant "Hell, No!":

Do Anti-Choicers Really Care About the Abortion Rate?

Well, then, if I (for one, among many) were truly antichoice and did not give a flyin flip about reducing the abortion rate: what precisely am I doing here with the Nonviolent Choice Directory?

You tell me, Amanda Marcotte. For although you probably don't know me from Adam, you just know oh so much about my REAL motives and my deepest darkest self-- and I haven't a clue.

She characterizes people who adopt the approach taken here, and elsewhere, as "naive," as "sexist" buyers into "the anti-choice assumption that women are, by their nature, too damn stupid to know what abortion is and that the abortion rate reflects widespread female stupidity" and into "the misinformed notion that antichoicers are primarily motivated by a desire to save fetuses rather than a desire to control sexual expression, especially female sexual expression."

I (for one, among many) take the approach I do on abortion for reasons quite other than being naive, sexist, believing that women are too stupid to know what an abortion is, or complicit with people who use unborn children's lives as a smokescreen for their lust to punish people, especially women, for enjoying sex.

Although someone else could of course have parallel experiences and form a different conclusion...I am talking here about me, specifically, and why I feel, think, and do what I do.

I take this approach in part because I know, in my own flesh, what it is like to find yourself pregnant when you don't want to be, yet recoil from the thought of abortion. I experienced family planning failure--yes, I did and still do believe passionately in birth control--in a situation of poverty, ill health, detoured schooling and career plans, and heavy stigma placed on me at this evidence I'd had nonmarital sex. And against all the pressures to abort my daughter, I bore and raised her and fought very hard to give her a life of more dignity and safety--in short, freedom from sexism and abuse--than I personally ever knew as a child.

I did not have her to punish myself for having nonmarital sex. No, it wasn't about self-punishment, or submission to Almighty Ovarian Destiny. I had my daughter because I revered both our lives. I felt we were both important, we both had the rights to live and flourish, like all human beings.

And somehow, with the loving help of others, I found the wherewithal to sustain both of us and raise her into the bighearted, whipsmart, astounding young woman she is today. Even as I am outraged about how we were denied essential social benefits--human rights--that would have eased our interconnected passages, and about how billions of people are still denied these benefits, and much else.

I have also over the decades borne witness to the sacred crisis pregnancy stories of many, many women from all walks of life--some of whom define themselves as prolife, some as prochoice, some as apolitical. I have listened to these stories, whatever their outcomes, with the deepest respect for the wisdom and intelligence of the women who bear them. To me, feminism is about listening to women, especially the most silenced and unheard.

And from listening to all these women--and from reading the emergent body of scientific literature on why women have abortions...I believe that abortion so often happens not because women are stupid, but because they are denied the means and the power to plan pregnancy, or forego it altogether. Because they are denied the means and the power to bear and raise, or-- if it is their own choice place for adoption-- their children with the utmost support that human beings, whether born or unborn, need and fully deserve.

And it's not enough to be merely conscious of this; one must take action, and take action, and take action, to ensure that all women and children, born and unborn, can live and thrive to the fullest.

But to hear Amanda Marcotte, everything I've just said is either a lie, or is at best a massive, naive self-delusion.

That's the thing about these ad hominem arguments...they leave you with the sinking feeling that no amount of talk and action to the contrary will ever make a difference, that you will just be baited and provoked to produce more and more and more and none of it will ever be any good enough and credible enough to be admissible as evidence.

Because--consider the source, the bad, bad source--you are that vile-hypocrite thing, an "antichoicer."

I remember hearing a long time ago about a couple who, because they were prolife, thought they should adopt hard-to-place children. So they adopted a dozen of them. Some prochoicers people would come up to them and ask them, "Why don't you prolifer antiabortion people ever care about kids who are already born? Why don't you go and adopt those unwanted children?" When the couple explained that in fact they had adopted a dozen such children, they were confronted with, "Well, why haven't you people adopted ANY MORE?"

If prolifers who adopted a dozen hard-to-place kids couldn't "win"...I surely never will.

Note: None of this is to deny that sometimes prolifers impose their own ad hominem arguments on prochoicers...And for the record, I don't think that's fair, either. When prochoicers tell me that they aren't about "wanton baby killing," "destroying the family," "hating on G-d," or any of those things...I take them at their word. After all, they know their motives from the inside, and I do not.

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