Friday, October 06, 2006

Questioning Abortion Chic

Kathleen Parker takes on the "We Had an Abortion" campaign at RealClearPolitics:

A nine-week-old fetus, for the record, has a heartbeat, a closed circulatory system, a respiratory system, eyes, ears and brain function. She can't go shopping yet, but she can squint, swallow, move her tongue and make a fist. She is not, in other words, "just a clump of cells.''

The problem with petitions and "I Had An Abortion'' T-shirts, such as those hawked by Planned Parenthood, is that they trivialize the deeply emotional and spiritual consequences many women suffer. They also deny girls and young women access to the nobler feminist position that knowledge is power.

We insist on informed consent for appendectomies or tooth extractions, but not abortions. As a result, American daughters now coming of age will see only the go-girl aspect of sexual freedom without the whoa-mama revelation of maternal awe.

The latter isn't learned from a textbook, but is experienced during that moment of personal reckoning when one realizes that a fetus is unequivocally a baby. My own transformative thinking -- from an unflinching pro-choicer to a disclaiming pro-lifer -- came with childbirth and motherhood.

After experiencing the humbling power of creation, it was impossible for me to view abortion as anything but the taking of a life. That is the truer lesson feminism should impart to its little sisters.

Parker contends that, if feminists really care about women, they will tell women the whole, unfiltered truth about abortion.

Painful as it may be to realize how rapidly a fetus develops, especially for women who have had abortions in the past, we all need to know these facts. Only then can our personal choices, and our public policies, be genuinely informed.

No comments: