Not wholly sure here

It can feel uncomfortable to keep telling our abortion stories – but it is still essential
Emma Beddington

Depends what the stories are perhaps:

So: I had two abortions. In neither case was my life in danger; there were no foetal abnormalities; I could have supported another child. It was simply the right thing to do for me both times and I’m eternally grateful it was possible. They were not “good” abortions; they should not need to be. Many abortion stories are like mine: unexceptional, not “deserving” or “worthy”.

Because that’s not how a rather large number of people do feel about it. Put my vehement opposition aside. Take, say, Bill’s “Safe, legal and rare” thing. Pure lifestyle abortions aren’t quite what is meant there…..there are even some who might describe such actions as being, well, selfish….

16 thoughts on “Not wholly sure here”

  1. Abortion is a public health good and a necessity, full stop;
    You have to love that semi-colon, don’t you.
    The article makes no distinction between abortion and birth control. So much for “rare”.

  2. “I murdered two unborn children because I’m a selfish cunt” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

    Stick a fork in it, this civilisation’s done. I think we have the Caliphate coming for our next course. We deserve it.

  3. I never understand the rationale behind the “My body. My choice” argument. These, we are told, are intelligent women who, presumably, understand that, in mammalian species, penetrative sex is how we reproduce and that, therefore, by induction, deduction and plain instinct, sex is likely to lead to pregnancy. The results of choosing to have sex are a mere consequence of that choice. That is where the my body, my choice is made.

  4. Sorry about the mess above – accidental ‘cutting’.

    Choose sex. Pregnancy might result. Deny responsibility for the consequences of your choice. Demand another chance to choose.

  5. From Wikipedia:

    In Great Britain abortion continues to be regulated under criminal law, but is legally available through the Abortion Act 1967, which permits abortions if there is:

    * risk to the life of the pregnant woman;
    * a necessity for abortion to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;
    * risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family (up to a term limit of 24 weeks of gestation); or
    * substantial risk that if the child were born, it would “suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”.

    I know that the second is the usually abused justification but it would seem in her case this wasn’t the case. She was just using abortion as contraception. So, prosecute her and the doctors who performed the termination.

  6. So she’s publicly stating she is too stupid and irresponsible to use contraception?

    Whatever the arguments over all abortions may be, this is surely the unacceptable limit. At what stage does “I can’t be bothered with more kids, so kill it” cease to be operative? Age 18?

    I’m with Ron Paul on this. The only answer is to make abortion-as-contraception as publicly shaming as drink-driving. That removes 99.99% and avoids interfering in all the really difficult cases.

  7. The only answer is to make abortion-as-contraception as publicly shaming as drink-driving.

    For that you need to own the culture. But the culture is owned by those who regard your mere opinion as as shameful as drink driving.

    It’s amazing how much is downstream of culture.

  8. “Deny responsibility for the consequences of your choice”

    The weakness of this argument is the retort “but why shouldn’t the consequence of the choice be going to get an abortion – not something someone will do for the giggles, so genuinely a negative consequence, albeit not as taxing or risky as giving birth?”

    There’s clearly some merit to the “you already had a choice” argument (provided you’re prepared to accept exemptions for e.g. rape victims, which not all anti-abortion people do) but it needs supplementing with something that addresses why the abortion itself is wrong, rather than relying on “you need to own the consequences of that choice (as I define them)”. Not saying the argument can’t be made, just that “take responsibility” is only a partial argument.

    Question of shame as a social sanction raised above is an interesting. There are lots of things that we generally regard as “morally bad” but generally wouldn’t wish to criminalise – adultery (stopping short of bigamy), lying (with certain exceptions – lying under oath in court, perhaps lying to a client to whom a duty of honest disclosure is owed) and so on. If we removed all form of stigma/shame/blame attached to those things, then we’ve essentially reached the point they face no moral disapproval at all. It’s quite arguable there are things where we actively desire these social sanctions because we generally want to reduce the frequency at which they take place, without actually getting the plod and courts involved. For someone who thinks abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” – the latter because they somewhat disapprove of it – the persistence of some kind of shame or blame is probably net beneficial.

    Of course for someone who’s very much of the “it’s her own body, she can do what she wants with it” perspective (the weakness of which is that whether we are only discussing “her” body, or the body of someone or something else, is exactly the crux of the issue, and labelling it as about “woman’s bodily autonomy” is just a linguistic attempt at sidestepping the real debate) then the shame or blame is a net negative, and something worth countering in the culture wars by shaming “judgemental” people for casting their own opinions and sharing stories and experiences to normalise abortion. Pretty clear in those culture wars who’s on top at the moment.

  9. MBE

    I think the point is that they are claiming abortion as a Right, not just as a possible action. Rights are big things; they require others to act on them, otherwise that right is ‘deprived’.

    This ‘right’, however, is only necessary because of an action on the part of the claimant. It’s like claiming a right not to suffer from having a hangover, but denying that your decision to get sozzled impinges on the standing of the claim to that right.

  10. ” Rights are big things; they require others to act on them, otherwise that right is ‘deprived’.”

    Why my usual response to anyone claiming rights is “Fuck off. You don’t have any”
    What they actual mean is that they’re laying an obligation on other people to provide them with what they want. In which case, it’s simpler. “Fuck off” suffices.

  11. “So she’s publicly stating she is too stupid and irresponsible to use contraception?”

    Contraception is an invention of the Patriachy to Suppress Womanhood and…..[insert whatever femiwoke shyte here].

    She’s Fighting the Fight… *ahem*

  12. This story is minor evidence that we still live in a patriarchy.
    We can shame Emma Beddington for being selfish and murdering a foetus or two.
    But imagine if she named the men she slept with, and perhaps that they wouldn’t wear a condom because it didn’t feel right. They should also be shamed. But naming and shaming horny masculados who will only do it the natural way doesn’t happen in this society.

  13. Bongo

    “But imagine if she named the men she slept with, and perhaps that they wouldn’t wear a condom because it didn’t feel right.”

    Because that’s what happened here? Obviously not, but let’s create a Straw Woman to invent a wholly fallacious comparison.

  14. Why the opposition to abortion, I ask myself, when it guarantees that the stupid selfish bitches in favour of it don’t leave many offspring?

  15. I do like your ‘evolution in action’ argument, Witchie.

    Of course, I don’t like killing kids. But if I was running the Afghan war, the place would long since have been turned into a desert of radioactive glass. So perhaps I’m being a trifle hypocritical in quibbling over whether the lady can kill her offspring if she wishes.

  16. The abortion debate is such a mess because of so many bad faith actors. When it really gets down to what the legal argument it’s about it’s “at what point, from conception through to birth should abortion no longer be legal” and all parties are just arguing for different stages of that continuum.

    Then there’s the separate moral argument about what should be socially acceptable versus shameful. Without any data to back this up I would assume most people fit into the camp of “what happens in private stays in private”. I.e. yeah you can do it but boasting about it seems crude. There do seem to be a whole host of women who are outright proud to have had abortions which to me seems rather distasteful.

    Planned Parenthood as an organisation in the US is far more crazy than you would believe based on the news that filters over the internet. What struck my fiancée and I the most about it on our last US trip was where the centres were located. Multiple times we would be driving down a main interstate road to see a stopover with McDonalds, Starbucks, Planned Parenthood and KFC, all in neighbouring identical buildings. The forced casualness of getting an abortion, seemingly at the same level of seriousness as grabbing a burger, was fairly shocking.

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