Sunday, April 3, 2011

Follow Up: Anonymous and Arcana

I thought that Arcana made some really great points for why abortion should be a legal procedure. I think that it's a common misperception that some women use abortion as a method of birth control because they're not careful. It's clearly already an expensive and painful procedure, so I just don't think it makes sense. It also implies that women don't think about the weight of the choice they're making. It puts women down to imply that they don't understand what they're doing when they abort a fetus. Arcana's point about how we refer to the fetus too, was interesting. Molly noted this as well, but when we want the pregnancy we call it a baby and if we don't we call it a "cell mass" or something equally impersonal. I thought her concluding message was very powerful. As women, we need to accept the decisions we make and although we may not be proud of them, it's important to acknowledge them and our feelings about the decisions we made. If a child would not flourish at the time, it is not fair to force it into the world.
I think it was really incredibly brave of the German women to stand up for themselves in that way. In a time when abortion is so shameful and private as Arcana was saying, it takes a lot to come out and say that it is something you've experienced and a personal decision you made. I think that magazine article seems like it would have been really powerful. Having 450 women with their pictures, proudly, or at least unashamedly claiming they have had abortions shows that it is something that people really do take part in and utilize. I also thought Molly's point was really interesting. It is a practice that for a very long time was not legal, but that doesn't mean people weren't having it done. Her connection to prostitution was a really good example of that. I think the slogan for people who are pro-choice is really accurate. We need to keep it safe, legal and accessible so that women don't have to go to outstanding lengths to procure an unsafe procedure that could put the mother at risk as well.


  1. I think another side of this issue that wasn't mentioned in the readings was prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Yes, it is important to make abortion a safe, legal option but I also think that there is more that can be done to prevent these abortions in the first place. First, prevention would mean that women wouldn't have to deal with the mental struggle to decide what to do if they did get pregnant. It would also save money over time. Finally, one of the biggest arguments that pro-life supporters use is giving the statistic of how many abortions take place each year, which is a huge number. If fewer abortions took place, maybe this would become a slightly less heated issue over time.

  2. Michele, I think you bring up a good point here, in addition to Tira's points. Brownmiller's argument could have benefitted from her consideration of birth control in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I think that there is a huge difference between abortions that come from "careless sex", and abortions that are due to true health concerns. For example, Brownmiller could have distinguished between these two instances. While I am making a distinction, I'm not trying to say that abortions should only be "legal" when there are true health risks (to either to mother or the fetus). I think that abortion should be a woman's choice, no matter the circumstances. However, the need for some abortions can be prevented. Educating people about birth control and the importance of using protection has been proven to decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies (and, in turn, I'm sure it has also decreased abortions).