10 June 2009

At the core - MY body, MY decision.

I have been saddened and sickened this week by the stories in the news about the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in Kansas City. Saddened that this man was murdered and sickened by his killer claiming the closure of Tiller's clinic is a victory for the anti-choice movement.

Proponents of the anti-choice movement have been very quick to distance themselves from Tiller's accused murderer, saying that he was not a volunteer, not a friend, not a supporter of Operation Rescue, one of the largest and most well-known anti-choice groups in America. In fact, OR's director, Tim Newman, has been quoted extensively in the press as saying, “This idiot did more to damage the pro-life movement than you can imagine” in addition to, “Good God, do not close this abortion clinic for this reason,” he said. “Every kook in the world will get some notion.” The nasty, cynical side of me wants to say that he's posturing for the media, but since I turn off the news whenever his name or face shows up, I don't honestly know.

Whenever September 11 rolls around, I declare a media blackout in my life, because I can't handle watching the towers fall again. This week, I've been turning off the news because me yelling at the TV or radio does nothing but raise my blood pressure, and won't change the way that these people think.

I find it very interesting that the name Operation Rescue is being wrangled over in court, and the two battling it out for the rights to the name? Are men. Of course. Fellas, when YOU can be raped and get pregnant from it, when YOU can be sexually assaulted by a family member and get pregnant from that, when YOU can actually get pregnant, I'll be much more willing to let you have a seat at the table. Until then, as far as I am concerned, it remains a woman's own personal decision, and not the hobby-horse of over-privileged men.


John said...

(John walking carefully...)

I too have been outraged by this horrendous action. Killed in church no less! Even mortal enemies of old considered the church "sacred space." The act was heinous regardless of where it occurred.

I appreciate your rant but I must take issue with the terminology "anti-choice." Outside the situations you clearly delineate at the end of your post it is not a matter of choice but of life. The choice, in all but those areas you point out, is made when consensual sex is entered into. Having babies is a well known result of the choice to have sex.

I, and many others like me, am not against people having choices - especially those choices that lead to healthy lives. I am against unborn children not having choices - not even the opportunity to make choices.

Perhaps "pro-life" is offensive to you in much the same fashion. Can we find other terms?

Lucy Arin said...

I do find "right-to-life" or "pro-life" off-putting, much as you feel about 'anti-choice.' Not offensive, exactly, but not my favorite, either. I think that the rhetoric contributes to keeping the two sides shouting at one another, rather than allowing rational discussion to happen. But what else would you say? I don't think there is much neutral ground to stand on in this debate.

I think we've talked about this before. I object to using abortion as a method of birth control. But I object more to my government telling me what I can and can't do with my own body.

I know that most likely you and I won't be able to agree on this issue at all. We are looking at entirely different aspects. Part of my problem with this issue is that it is a way for government and society to continue to control women. I recognize that that's a pretty radical feminist notion.

Consenting adults make mistakes. Methods of birth control fail. Sexual attacks happen. Why are the rights of the potential possible human-to-come more important than the rights of the person already here?

John said...

In short, because the person already here can speak for, defend, and care for themselves. The possible human-to-come cannot. One tenet of justice is that it gives a voice to the voice-less rather than have them summarily trodden under foot by those with a voice. If it's just a blob of cells then let's do with it what we will. If it's a human life we do well to protect it.

I realize we will not be coming to any group hug moments on this one anytime soon. I am ok with that and as I have shared with you, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have a civil exchange. Perhaps we should take our show on the road and demonstrate that disagreement doesn't have to be disastrous as in the case of Dr. Tiller.


Lucy Arin said...

Interesting. I have not ever thought about it like that before. Hmm.

Isn't it nice that we're able to be polite and yet at complete odds on this? I really like that.

Ha, can you imagine the two of us speaking for places like Oral Roberts' university (Liberty, I think?) and then UC Berkley? Same speeches, radically different audiences. That isn't a half-bad idea, really, especially in light of the current climate with Dr. Tiller's murder. Shall I call Keppler (a talent agency that handles professional speakers) or would you like to? ;-)

John said...

The "I've never thought about it like that before" moment is what this kind of exchange is all about and why it is so necessary. I assure you, I have had several of those moments through our dialogue on this, and other, issues of interest. And, YES! it is wonderful to be able to have this conversation with you.

You probably have a better contact source with Keppler than do I. I can't wait! That would be quite an experience! Maybe we should start small and test this thing out...you can come to a church fellowship here and I can attend a dinner party there.

You are a valued part of my world of thinking.

As always, blessings.