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30.5.07

No Abortions For Sluts

I almost never write about abortion, but sometimes people make it too easy. Here's Kathryn Lopez's latest criticizing Planned Parenthood:

Browse on over to their Web magazine for minors, www.teenwire.com, and you'll find, among the question-and-answer, a question from a teen who says she had an abortion "a little over a month ago," is pregnant again, and wondering if a second abortion is safe. Not only does the teenwire.com staff cavalierly tell the girl (who, I remind you, got pregnant again a month after her first abortion) that abortion is "very safe" the first or second time around, but that abortion "is much safer than giving birth." While they do throw in a line about preventing pregnancy by using birth control, there's no talk about adoption or other alternatives - such as raising the child, and getting help to do so - that a desperate girl could afford to hear.


I'd really like to believe that pro-lifers are actually pro-life -- that is, that their position on abortion is based on misplaced but sincere concern about taking the life of the fetus. But Lopez's parenthetical gives the game away, showing that to her it's all about punishing women for failing to stay chaste. Lopez can sort of see how someone might think it's OK to get an abortion if you're a good girl who made one mistake. But if you're a little slut who went and got pregnant a second time -- well, you had your chance, now you've made your bed and you'll have to lie in it. Someone who's genuniely pro-life or pro-choice wouldn't care how many times, or how closely spaced, a person's abortions are. Either abortion is murder and so every abortion is equally bad, or abortion is just fine and so it's fine to get one on your first or hundred and first pregnancy. But to a person with a puritanical view of sex, the mother's "number" is a critical piece of information in deciding whether she's a good girl who can be cut some slack or a bad girl who needs to face the consequences.

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