Yesterday’s post on the Wendy Davis filibuster has generated some interesting discussion on Facebook (on my sister’s wall, actually, not mine). Some conservative friends have passionately voiced their opinion that abortion is right up there with slavery in terms of historical evils, and I just thought I’d put my answer out there for those who can’t see it.
X (and others like X), I do hope that you actually read my post, which was intended to lay out for my primarily left-leaning readership precisely the concerns that inform your passionate stance. It is not a stance that I share because like many pro-choice folks, I believe that keeping abortion safe, legal, and accessible is as much a matter of life and death as you believe restricting it is. If you would like more detail as to why, consult the testimony that was read before the Texas Senate the other day. Restricting access to abortion does in some cases cause women to lose their lives. Getting an abortion is quite often a choice between two appalling options.
There are many on the pro-choice left, however, who regard the pro-life position as primarily motivated by misogyny, which is a generalization that also vexes me. They are as unwilling to compromise on this as your are and in some cases believe you are evil. Given that some conservative legislatures wish to head in a direction where I could be prosecuted for having a simple miscarriage, it’s not hard to see how the rhetoric gets there.
But if those are the terms upon which this debate is going to move forward, that seems like a problem. I’m interested instead in having this discussion on the basis of sound medical science and with a full understanding of the circumstances that make abortions necessary, not on sweeping moral pronouncements that leave no room for the messy, often heartbreaking complexities of real life.