Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Are people's opinions on abortion really changing?

The Washington Post argues that they are, but I think there's more going on here than you might think. This article seems to be evidence that people, especially young people, are uneducated on the subject.

"Kids need their parents to help make that decision," she says of parental notification requirements. It would have angered her "if there had been a law -- but it's for the best."


Note that she does not actually support parental notification laws. She just offers that it would be ideal if girls can have their parents' help if they have to get abortions, but she is against the law. Anyone pro-choice disagree? Anyone think it would be bad if girls can rely on their parents for help? This quote does not show increasing support for limits on abortion at all.

"I have not met one person who is very anti-choice," she says. "I have met people who said they would never think about having an abortion but they always add it's the person's choice."

You hear this alot, and it's an attitude that is used to push for limits on abortion rights. My take on this attitude is that no one imagines herself in the situation, or likes to. But you don't know what you will need until you need it.
When somebody says that they don't think of herself as the kind of person who would get an abortion, but she's pro-choice, it's interesting to prod a little further than leave it at that. Most girls who say this, if your next question is "What would you do if you got pregnant right now?" and you will learn alot more about their thinking. In my experience, there are two standard answers you'll get. Women who really don't want children, at least not now, will generally point out that they can't get pregnant, because they use birth control. Other women I know who are older and feel secure in a relationship will often say, "Well, I do want children and it might just be the time."
Asking someone point-blank if they imagine themselves getting an abortion is as good as asking her if she thinks of herself as a stupid slut in our parlance. We know in our hearts it's a bullshit question, but being women and raised to be dodgy when discussing our opinions, we're likely to answer with a dodge.
If pushed for their real opinions by someone who shows respect for those opinions, you are likely to get more interesting answers from women. They will talk about abortions they've had, their fears of childbirth, their desire for children, their wish that men were more involved. And they will tell you, over and over again, that things are never simple and the law should not get involved.
Here's a good example of how the media is confusing the issue of "what's wrong" with "what should be illegal":

Increasingly, women say men should be notified when their girlfriends or wives get pregnant and consulted about the decision to proceed with the birth or abort -- a concept of inclusion anathema to earlier activists.

Again, there is nowhere in that statement where women say that men have a legal right to be notified so that he can take control of the decision, at least some control. If you point blank asked women if there should be a notification law, you'll see much different answers. But when you ask a fuzzy "should", the question turns into a moral question about your own personal decisions. And as most women would feel comfortable turning to their partners, and in fact would really want that support, they are likely to answer accordingly. But if you ask if a woman who is the victim of domestic violence should be required to "consult" with her abusive husband, the answers would be much different. That men have a role is not something contested by "earlier activists". They were, and are, fighting spousal consent laws. They were fighting laws that said the ultimate decision is the man's, not the woman's.
Buried deep in the story is very good news indeed. Young men are showing equal numbers in support for abortion rights as young women. This is not evidence that the young are becoming more conservative. This is evidence that men are finally coming around to the feminist side, and that's a real news story.

By the way, a million people march for women's rights! Yea!

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,my opinion on abortion.Having abortion is like commiting murder cos its not the child's fault if he/she comes into the world.Aborting is decreasing the population if we don't know.If someone has the fear of god he/she will not abort.its commiting suicide!!!!!.Even if we don't hear the baby's cry dosen't mean the doesn't feel pain.

10/11/2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to be honist yeh i think havin abortion is wrong there fore who knws y people are havin abortions there might be some kind of reasons like say if they got raped all had a disabled child what abt if they couldnt cope wouldnt you be feeling sorry and then fink yeh well she shouldnt have brought the child into the world ...........

11/26/2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, my opinion on abortion is that its the persons choice to decide what is right for them or what would be right for the child.
plain and simple if you dont support abortion dont have an abortion if you support abortion dont over use it by getting an abortion everytime you end up getting pregnent

10/14/2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe that it is the persons choice to have an abortion though they should have a good excuse as to why they may have an abortion. excuses like not being able to support the child or being raped is excusable, if i were to get pergnant at my age, I would have an abortion due to reasonings that i believe are excusable.

6/14/2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuick u all u murders

11/11/2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had an abortion at 16 yrs old due to being to young, was my own fault got my self in that mess, i felt pressured slightly but i did it anyway...3 years on now i cry about it almost everyday, thinking what have i done? i feel guilty all the time its something that i have to live with for the rest of my life...i do feel like a murderer but its different for different people, i dont think people realise just how hard it is to go through, i dont expect all them people t understand as they're against it thats up to them, im not against it but do regret it deeply

4/06/2010

 
Anonymous Viagra Online said...

I think this is so hard because young because young people can't measure consequences because they don't have the correct education to avoid it.

11/24/2010

 
Anonymous viagra online said...

some day abortion will become legal! there's no doubt it!

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