Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Several good pieces on the Roe anniversary over at NRO today, including this by Frederica Mathewes-Green

Roe has taught us many lessons which now govern our lives in ways we can barely perceive. Instead of being one small tool for women's advancement, abortion opened a chasm, and a lot of unexpected things fell in. It turned out to be an irresistible force, because abortion makes things so much easier for everyone around the pregnant woman. Before Roe, unplanned pregnancy created many problems for many people — the woman's lover, her parents, her siblings, her boss, her landlord, her dean. Abortion changes the picture instantly: Just go get it taken care of, dear, and it will be as if it never happened. Women were expected to do the sensible thing and save everyone else a lot of fuss and bother. Overnight, unplanned pregnancy became her private problem, a burden for her to bear alone. Abortion-rights rhetoric compounded this effect with terms emphasizing her isolation: My body, my rights, my life, my choice. The flip side of all that first-person assertiveness is abandonment. The network of support that once existed had been shattered.

To continue a pregnancy came to look like an insane choice, one that placed an unfair burden on others. Having a baby in less-than-perfect circumstances came to look like a crazy and even selfish whim. A woman in an unplanned pregnancy was not just permitted to have an abortion — she was expected to. And that has made all the difference.





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