Not very often at all, does one witness anyone from inside the professions look in the face of the caveats, the exceptions, the varieties of moral angles, the endless motives behind the decision-making process of “choice.”
This is not an issue I weigh in about very much. It is a free-fall of assumed positions and accusations of my uncredentialed maleness, to offer any viewpoints on it at all, and I don’t necessarily here reveal the whole of my thinking. As women’s right to choose is both the law of the land for the moment and indeed, women’s business in the sense of their being one of the parties whose rights are subject to decisions and outcomes, I know what I believe, seldom articulate it, and allow the topic as a whole to be one of the endless reasons I am so glad to be a man.
But when we see the kinds of emotional and intellectual gymnastics attending the entire question of reproductive rights, resulting in everything from
- the most preposterous denials of the humanity or livingness of the unborn,
- to attempts to spin a woman’s choice and the event of her procedures as “joyous occasions”,
- to an institutionalized policy of denial of the very concept that an abortion might leave an emotional residue of trauma, regret or ambivalence within a woman, even when the frame of reference is from womanhood itself in terms of how the after-effects of hysterectomy, miscarriage and post-partum are easily recognized as real quantities in her life,
and then add these to the remarks made above by a lady I conclude ought to know what she is talking about?
I do continue to wonder if any part of this incredibly complex, divisive and pervasive subject matter will ever be discussed, or policy crafted, according to the gravity and the magnitude it needs to be recognized as having?
Two intensively and permanently hostile factions have been created by history, neither willing to accord the other even a modicum of respect or recognized validity, each posturing as if the matter were simple and that theirs is the simple solution to it; and these two factions have remained the elephants in a room where far larger questions of the whole of public policy have come to be irreconcilable between them, and is becoming more so.
I see so many things influenced by Roe v Wade historically, and not out of any personal mandate that my way be the only way though them:
- that liberal and conservative in general have come to mean absolute, intolerant enmity to each other;
- that the notion established by “choice” as being that children become essentially their mothers’ property on conception, now leads to a presumption of disposability of fathers, fatherhood and the role and purpose of male parenting;
- and worst of all, that there seems to be no common ground in sight.
We see people saying they will vote for a female candidate they openly despise and distrust, for one reason only: that she represents less of a threat to women’s right to choose. In the face of incalculable threats within the person of that candidate, that she poses just for being who and what she is.
For God’s and all our sakes, given that the future of civilization has been weighed as an acceptable risk in service of the preservation of that right, I hope it is worth it.
Because in the final analysis and the far bigger picture, ladies, no, it’s not just all about you. Nor is it all about any one of us, female or male, and what we might simply want to have a right to choose.