About Those Personal Freedoms You Enjoy, Mr. Douthat…
Let’s play the game. Imagine a matriarchal society where, for example, men are expected to stay home and raise the children and keep the house, are paid 75¢ on the dollar, are continually passed over for promotions because they’re not part of the "girls’ club," and are solidly underrepresented in state and federal legislative bodies. Imagine a world where men’s bodies are still considered chattel, and are subject to archaic and inhumane religious beliefs costumed as "law." And yes, it’s a cliche, but imagine a world where men could get pregnant. Then imagine a world where a doctor is murdered for performing an abortion that man sought because he didn’t want to carry the child to term for any number of reasons.
Pretty hard to do, isn’t it?
I read Ross Douthat’s editorial in today’s New York Times, and couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. In typical mealy-mouthed fashion, this smug, little whey-faced brat was, in a friend’s words, suggesting that murder and terrorism are appropriate bargaining chips for a woman’s right to choose – and getting paid to do it in an international "newspaper of record":
If abortion were returned to the democratic process, this landscape would change dramatically. Arguments about whether and how to restrict abortions in the second trimester — as many advanced democracies already do – would replace protests over the scope of third-trimester medical exemptions.
The result would be laws with more respect for human life, a culture less inflamed by a small number of tragic cases — and a political debate, God willing, unmarred by crimes like George Tiller’s murder.
And then what, Douthat? When your fellow religious fanatics decide that they’re not happy with limiting women’s rights to receive abortions during their second trimester? Outlawing it altogether, like so "many advanced democracies already do"? Murdering doctors for even engaging in women’s health programs?
And if you’re going to lift one line from an article, why don’t you include the rest of the story?
In many countries, legislation prohibits or restricts the grounds for second trimester abortions. Instead of preventing women from having abortions, these laws often force them to risk their lives doing so. There will always be women who need abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, but the numbers diminish greatly by 20 weeks, and become rare after 24 weeks.
Abortion-related deaths have been declining globally in the past three decades because many more countries now have safe, legal abortion. Methods have become substantially safer and simpler, more providers have been trained, and women with complications are more likely to seek and to receive medical help, even where abortion is still legally restricted.
HOW DARE YOU. HOW FUCKING DARE YOU.
As TBogg so succinctly put it: Hand over your uterus, and nobody gets hurt.