Doctor Science Knows

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pro-Life and Seeing Women

(not). Daniel Larison, who is extremely sensible for a conservative but is still Conservative, wrote his thoughts on Tiller. I commented:

jake has IMHO nailed it:
For whatever reason, many anti-abortionists believe the woman shouldn’t be held responsible for her actions. I think it is the same kind of thinking that underlies the resistance to abortion - the subject is defenseless, at the mercy of more powerful beings, and because we have an obligation to protect and defend the weak, we also don’t hold the weak (fully) responsible for their bad actions. In essence, a woman is a permanent ward of her family, and not an autonomous actor in her life.
In other words, the central question is *not*, despite the framing, “Is a fetus a human being?” but “Is a woman a human being to the fullest extent of the law?” You don’t get to say “of course! no-one ever doubted it!” when the historical truth is that it has *often* been doubted, at great length.

I must say it’s enraging to see Scott, Richard, and Daniel discussing abortion as though their opinions must be Serious and Important, even though none of them has any skin in the game. And it’s doubly enraging to see posts like Daniel’s that do not even mention the word “women”, as though we’re invisible and inaudible even when the battlefield is our own bodies.

Until you *act* as though women are autonomous actors in our own lives, it would be foolish of me to assume that’s what you believe. You may even tell youself you fully respect me as a human being with my own agency, but when you discuss what barriers to place between me and my doctor *without even mentioning my existence* your actions — that is, your words — show that I am not solid and real in your eyes.

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    By Blogger bathmate, at 1:11 PM  

  • I like your blog - and I'm a real commenter! :-)
    Seeing as your last update is in August 09, I sincerely hope you haven't given up the blog. I came in here via google looking for your reference to Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Savage child, which is a fascinating post I'd like to bounce off soon when I have the time.

    By Anonymous Helen, at 5:08 PM  

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