What makes a feminist?

What makes a feminist?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The correlation between abortions and infertility

The liberal feminist backlash

Shorthand version: columnist Ross Douthat pointed out in The New York Times that there's an interesting tension in America between "the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility." (The Wire cited Douthat's column in its Monday 5 Best roundup.) Douthat wrote that while some women long to have children but are biologically unable, others find themselves contemplating abortion in the midst of an unwanted pregnancy. He went on to note that adoption rates have declined since 1973--the year Roe v. Wade was decided--and lamented that so many pregnant women choose to have abortions rather than give birth and allow their children to be adopted.

Pro-choice feminist responses, as one can imagine, have been huge (and, obviously, not in support). Yeah, I'm not surprised.

Now, one woman's infertility in no way obligates another woman contemplating abortion to give the baby to her instead. What bothers me is the implication that there somehow is a connection, and that a pregnant woman who is considering abortion is in anyway obligated to give her baby to some other woman (likely upper-class, given the prohibitive expenses involved in adoption).

What bothers me is the lack of understanding from the baby's perspective. Abortion isn't wrong because it denies an infertile couple someone else's baby. As one response pointed out, babies aren't a commodity.

They're HUMAN BEINGS. There shouldn't need to be any other argument against abortion!

And no, Jill Filipovic, "valuing life" does not mean "punishing women". Unless you want to punish the unborn woman that might be in your own womb.

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