an After abortion

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Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Welcome to readers from the Matthew Yglesias blog.

Matthew says that it is not a good pro-life argument to note that some people feel traumatized or significantly emotionally distressed after abortion. (He writes that my little blog here is pro-life and "focuses heavily on emotional trauma that women are said to suffer post-abortion. This strikes me as an exceedingly weak pro-life argument.")

Although I don't believe that anyone else is confused about this, I should note that this blog is in no way an attempt to create a political argument out of the reality that some men and women suffer after abortion.

Post-abortion syndrome is an equal opportunity employer, afflicting those who are pro-choice and those who are pro-life. The PASS website is a good place to read for anyone who wants to understand that.

Matthew also suggests that by including a short dialogue from Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants", written when abortion was illegal, I have failed to consider the possibility that Jig's feelings in that story are a function of the fact that her abortion is illegal. His reading of Jig is quite unusual. Most people...gosh, even pro-choice college professors!...read Jig's feelings as some combination of queasiness about the reality of what is about to occur and resentment about the pressure being applied by the baby's father.

The legality of abortion has made it easier and more socially acceptable to apply that kind of pressure. Consequently, there are lots of Jigs among us in the post-Roe v Wade world.

Tomorrow, I'll blog about how NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman adopts, with Matthew, an odd kind of legal positivism around one's emotions following abortion. And as a full-service blog, I'll even explain what legal positivism is!







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