Na've anti-choice moralizing denies rights of born people

By Ola Switala

Last week another clueless dude sounded off on the intersection of ethics and freedom of choice. Clearly delineating that it is unethical to kill (read: abort) the unliving (read: the unborn), about halfway through the article I realized that many people take pleasure in the killing of the undead in all those zombie movies. Then I thought about making a splatter film pitting the unborn against the undead. I am troubled, for it seems that one man, Josh Schukman, firmly believes in freedom of choice for all, and certainly his own freedom to sermonize, but for Josh, ethics once again trumps freedom of choice as far as women are concerned.Let us pay no heed to the fact that in America, women have long been laid with the task of being beacons morality and purity in an ugly world of manly violence and lust. Well, this woman is ready to unleash her cock in a swordfight to the finish. Here I go.

While arguing that no abortion is ethical, save for cases of rape or incest, wherein he “can’t offer a solution,” Schukman “articulates” that his only concern for women’s health with regard to abortions is to stop “back alley abortions.” Throughout the scope of his article, clean surgical tables, the site of medicalized abortions, are the hotbeds of America’s human rights violations. Broodingly listing 2-timing abortionists and second trimester escape artists, Schukman avoids all research into pills that dissolve the embryo before it develops and never once mentions a condom. In white, evangelical America, where the embryo is king, and Plan B and abortion pills are like, totally inhumane.

Schukman’s article sponsors that age-old naive belief in the supremacy of “unborn” peoples’ rights over born peoples’ rights. It seems that the loss of stable body image, loss of job, loss of marital happiness, and, let’s face it, the loss of sanity that can result from unwanted pregnancies is paltry compared to the inalienable rights of a parasitic embryo to feed off of the lives of everyone around it.

Before you protest the way I strip humanity from a 2-week old zygote, please note that for the poorly insured, myself included, a $600 dollar abortion may be the most affordable option when compared with the thousands of dollars that will be paid for nine months of hospital visits, pre-preg counseling, and medical services, delivery room or otherwise. All this coupled with three years of baby clothes, furniture, baby-sitting, and eighteen years of feeding, schooling and potential psychiatric services for the child.

I believe that children are costly and ought to be delivered to those who are ready to take care of them. The reason why Amy Richards decided not to have triplets is because she could not live with the stress of changing her career and lifestyle to raise three children at once. And bless her. How brave of her to share her emotional ambiguity about the procedure that she endured. It seems that in this middle-American climate of Costcos and AMC cineplexes corporate-loving evangelical ideals make it impossible for women to abort, or even selectively reduce and breathe free without being demonized.

Schukman and many men and woman before him forget that American women and men don’t live their lives in the idyllic dreamworlds of “Juno,” or better yet, “Knocked Up.” Just to reiterate: most women don’t work at Access Hollywood and get a promotion for having a child out of wedlock, and most overweight, jobless stoners don’t make wonderful fathers. I just love to smash the myth that women are just babymakers waiting for the opportunity to do their job. Most women do not desire to terminally lose their independence at the age of 17…or 20…or even 35 if they so will it, especially not without a partner. If people who are anti-abortion feel strongly that every child deserves a family, perhaps they should let families decide when the time is right to have a child.

Regardless of who is having the children, choosing to have every baby that you “conceive” puts further strain on the poorly-paid women of color and wage-workers who have historically been hired to baby-sit and care for white and middle class children. As the corporatization of American labor turns manufacturing jobs into service jobs, people are having to use more people-skills at work, people-skills which are hard to manage when one is busy trying to raise a child with the father doing 1/4 of the work, if any at all. Before we pass judgment on people for choosing when to have children, perhaps we should pass more judgement on the systematization of life which makes it so difficult for people to be good parents.

I thought that as reproductive beings, women-identified people of all races, sexualities and genders had made it out of the kitchen by 2008, but people who hold anti-abortion views are constantly pulling us right back into reproductive bondage by our ovaries. Who wants to have sex only when they’re ready to have children? Who should have the right to decide when the time is right to raise a child? Childbirth is a woman’s choice. This is not about life and death, this is about stigmatizing the appartently “deviant” sexualities of people who choose to abort the unborn rather than to emotionally maim the born. Let go of my ovaries and take responsibility for your own sexuality—stop thinking with your cock, Josh.

Ola Switala ’09

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